Business

Around the Nation
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Utilities Contemplate What Climate Change Means To Them

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 7:36 am

Superstorm Sandy devastated the mostly below ground electric system that runs through the heart of Manhattan. What happens if Sandy is part of a new weather pattern? Con Edison, the utility that provides power to much of New York's five boroughs, is looking for ways to protect its aging infrastructure.

Business
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

South Park Duo Creates Production Studio

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 4:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And in other news, the creators of "South Park" and "The Book of Mormon" have announced they are forming their own production studio. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Having success in TV, movies and Broadway, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are now branching out with their own, $300 million production company. They've named it Important Studios, and it's poised to approve TV movie and theater projects. It will give the moguls creative and financial control over what they do.

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Business
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Toyota Regains No. 1 Sales Position

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 4:43 am

After careening from back-to-back crises — recalls and the tsunami — Toyota is No. 1 in worldwide sales again. Toyota says it sold at least 9.7 million vehicles in 2012. General Motors reports it sold 9.3 million. Both companies say it doesn't really matter which one is in the top spot.

Business
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:32 am

Wal-Mart is expected to announce that it will hire every veteran who wants a job as part of a new program beginning on Memorial Day. The only requirements: that he or she left the military in the previous year and wasn't dishonorably discharged.

Business
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:38 am

The deal is valued at close to $1 billion. Harry Winston is a symbol of luxury. It regularly loans out its diamond studded creations to stars for their walk down the red carpet. Swatch may be best known for its colorful plastic watches.

Business
1:24 am
Tue January 15, 2013

With Redesigned Corvette, GM Ushers In New Era Of American Sports Car

The newly redesigned Corvette Stingray is unveiled by General Motors on Sunday. The Corvette's status as a cultural icon presents challenges for GM as it attempts to the bring the beloved brand into the 21st century.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 8:24 am

This week, the sleek, speedy Chevy Corvette turns 60 years old. In the increasingly competitive auto business, where few cars make it past their teens, that makes it nearly ancient.

General Motors, however, is not retiring one of America's oldest sports cars just yet, and is embarking on the perilous path of updating the beloved brand. The auto company unveiled the new 2014 Corvette at the Detroit Auto Show on Sunday, a model that also revives the long-dormant Stingray name.

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World
1:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Training Program Aims To Prep Soldiers For Civilian Jobs

Minnesota National Guard Capt. Jeff Pratt, who has nearly 20 years of military service under his belt, found a civilian job with the help of a new jobs program led by the Minnesota National Guard.
Jennifer Simonson for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 8:11 am

Thousands of Minnesota soldiers deployed in Kuwait woke up to a surprise last spring. Just weeks before the end of their tour, a group of corporate recruiters in business-casual attire showed up on base. The first-of-its kind visit was part of a new strategy to help returning service members find civilian jobs before their feet even hit U.S. soil.

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Business
2:33 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Football Playoffs Are Moneymakers For NFL, Advertisers

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:27 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The NFL playoffs are down to four teams. The 49ers, Patriots, Falcons and Ravens remain alive. Four other teams are gone, including the Denver Broncos, who seemed to have a great shot at a championship until this past weekend when Baltimore scored a last-minute touchdown to tie the game and then won in overtime.

These playoffs, of course, lead up to the Super Bowl, the biggest game in football and surely among the biggest commercial events in all of sports.

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Business
2:33 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:27 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with an artful dodge.

Goldman Sachs is reportedly planning to hold back paying bonuses to its employees in the U.K. That's according to the Financial Times, which reports the bank is looking at waiting until the top British tax rate falls by 5 percent in April before paying out the bonuses that would otherwise pay now.

Business
2:33 am
Mon January 14, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:27 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now today's last word in business is more of a scream - ice cream.

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Around the Nation
1:22 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Better Bring Your Own: University Of Vermont Bans Bottled Water

A student walks past a sculpture made of empty water bottles on the University of Vermont campus. UVM has banned the sale of bottled water.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:27 pm

When students at the University of Vermont resume classes on the snow-covered Burlington campus Monday, something will be missing: bottled water. UVM is the latest university to ban on-campus sales of bottled water.

At one of UVM's recently retrofitted refill stations, students fill up their reusable bottles with tap water. For many of the 14,000 students and staff on this campus, topping off their refillable bottles is an old habit.

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Business
4:51 am
Sat January 12, 2013

A Nightmarish Week For Boeing's Dreamliner

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 10:08 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Of course, this last week has been kind of a nightmare for Boeing and its new 787 Dreamliner. In three separate incidents in as many days, airline carriers reported problems with brakes, with fuel leaks and a battery fire. The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a comprehensive review of the new plane. Joining us now to talk about Boeing's new 787 is Joe Nocera, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, and our man on finance and other matters. Joe, thanks very much for being with us.

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U.S.
2:53 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

FAA To Review New 787 Dreamliner After Spate Of Problems

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 4:11 pm

Boeing faces a comprehensive review of the design and manufacturing of its ballyhooed 787 Dreamliner.

Business
2:53 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Hedge Fund Titans Bet Billions On Success Or Failure Of 'Herbalife'

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 4:11 pm

A pair of prominent hedge fund managers have taken opposing positions on the nutritional-supplement company Herbalife. Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management says the multilevel-marketing company is a pyramid scheme and a bad investment. He's shorting the stock. Dan Loeb of hedge fund Third Point says Herbalife is a good investment. He's taken an 8.2 percent stake in the company and is betting that its shares will rise. Melissa Block talks with David Kestenbaum of the Planet Money team.

The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Computer Users Should Disable Java 7 Owing To Security Flaw, Experts Say

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:43 pm

Millions of computer users who run the most recent versions of Oracle's Java software should disable the product owing to security flaws, says the cybersecurity section of the Department of Homeland Security. The agency says, "Web browsers using the Java 7 plug-in are at high risk."

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Economy
9:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

New Mortgage Rules Not A Fix All

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released new rules for mortgages this week. But neither the banking industry, nor consumer groups are completely happy. Host Michel Martin gets a sense of the current state of mortgages and foreclosures with real estate columnist Ilyce Glink and Keli Goff, political correspondent for The Root.

Shots - Health News
8:43 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Merck Halts Sale Of Niacin Drug In 40 Countries

Tredaptive, a booster of good cholesterol, is dead.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 9:29 am

Drugmaker Merck just stuck a fork in a vitamin-based drug to prevent heart disease and stroke.

The company is withdrawing Tredaptive, a long-acting pill combining niacin (No. 3 in the long list of B vitamins) and laropiprant, a chemical that reduces the unpleasant skin flushing caused by high doses of niacin.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Reports: FAA To Order Review Of Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The interior of a United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 11:05 am

Update at 9:42 a.m. ET. Review Ordered:

Saying that "we are confident about the safety of this aircraft, but we are concerned about these incidents," Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta confirmed Friday morning that his agency has ordered a review of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner after a series of problems in recent days, including fuel leaks and an electrical fire.

The planes are not being grounded. Boeing says it welcomes the review and is confident in the aircraft's safety.

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Business
3:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Looking Back On Bank Of America's Countrywide Debacle

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Five years ago today, Bank of America announced it was buying the troubled subprime mortgage lender Countrywide Financial for $40 billion. At the time, the financial crisis had not fully revealed itself, and many people thought Bank of America was getting a good deal. Instead, the acquisition has turned into a never-ending legal and financial nightmare. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Business
3:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

AmEx Travel Section Bears The Brunt Of Layoffs

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Heading in the other direction, American Express says it plans to lay off more than 5,000 workers in the coming year. These unexpected cuts come despite a strong holiday sales season.

NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: All told, the layoffs will account for about eight percent of American Express's entire workforce - most from the company's global travel business.

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Technology
3:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

CES Vendors Want To Hook Up Your Home

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

That big consumer electronics show in Las Vegas ends today. And while big tech firms like Google and Apple did not attend, an increasingly diverse range of companies took their place. With more and more devices connecting to the Internet, many companies are flocking to this festival of gadgets, hoping to bring all the appliances in your home online. NPR's Steve Henn reports.

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Business
3:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

International Twitter War Becomes An Opera

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is being set to music. Truth really is stranger than fiction, which is how a TV interview with President Richard Nixon could become a famous play, and how The New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright could create a forthcoming play on the Camp David accords. Now, an international Twitter war is becoming an opera.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Last summer, The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman criticized the economic austerity of Estonia.

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Europe
3:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Spain's Banks Face Layoffs, New Regulations

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

One of Spain's most troubled banks announced, this week, that it's laying off half of its staff - after being sold to a competitor for just one euro. Crippled by the housing market's collapse, Spanish banks are living off bailout loans from Europe. Those loans come with strings attached, including massive layoffs and strict new regulatory measures by Spain's central bank.

From Madrid, Lauren Frayer explains.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Business
3:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with new jobs at Ford.

Ford announced today, that it plans to hire more than 2,200 white collar workers here in the U.S. The jobs will center around product development, manufacturing and IT. This continues an upswing in hiring at Ford. It added over 8,000 U.S. jobs last year. And yesterday, the automaker doubled its quarterly dividend to the highest level in seven years. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Planet Money
1:46 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Black Market Pharmacies And The Big Business Of Spam

Acne medicine, in Turkish.
Dave Keck

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:35 am

An apparent feud between two black market pharmacies has shed light on a shady global industry.

"Rx-Promotion and SpamIt probably are responsible for upward of 50 or 60 percent of spam that you and I got in our inboxes over the last five years," said Brian Krebs, a cyber-security reporter who chronicled the alleged feud on his website. "It's just a ridiculous amount of problems that these two guys cause for everybody."

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Economy
1:44 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Geithner Began With 'Smoldering' Economy; What Does He Leave?

In this handout image provided by the White House, President Obama talks with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at the United Nations on Sept. 23, 2010.
The White House Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:35 am

Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has had a bruising four years. He took office when the U.S. economy was plunging into the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Nominating Jack Lew as Geithner's successor Thursday, President Obama praised his departing Treasury secretary for helping to get the economy back on track.

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The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

American Express To Cut 5,400 Jobs

American Express Co. announced Thursday that it was cutting 5,400 jobs, primarily in its travel business, and take a $287 million restructuring charge associated with those layoffs.

The charge is likely to lower the company's adjusted fourth quarter net income by 46 percent from a year earlier. Excluding the charge, however, the company said its fourth quarter adjusted net income was $1.2 billion, or $1.09 per share.

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Business
4:26 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

To Catch Worker Misconduct, Companies Hire Corporate Detectives

Companies are turning to corporate monitors to check on employees who may be misbehaving.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:32 pm

As businesses face more complex regulations and heightened scrutiny by prosecutors, companies are turning to investigative firms to help keep watch over their employees.

The idea behind the "corporate monitoring" business is to nip misconduct in the bud before law enforcement catches a whiff of it. These corporate detectives-for-hire are seeing good business these days, and finding new ways to snoop.

We all know our employers have access to tons of data about us. They can see every person we email from our company email account, every phone number we dial from our desk.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

What Does $1 Trillion Worth Of Platinum Look Like?

You'd need a lot of these — think in terms of railroad cars to haul them — to have $1 trillion.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

OK, OK. We know that you don't actually need $1 trillion worth of platinum to make this debt-defying coin.

But just for the sake of some financial fun, how much platinum would you actually need to mint a coin that contains a trillion dollars worth of platinum?

Turns out, it's probably more than mankind has available on the market right now.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Obama Taps Top Aide Lew For Treasury

Jack Lew has been nominated to be the next Treasury secretary.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 12:57 pm

  • President Obama announces nomination of Jack Lew for Treasury

Saying he "cannot think of a better person" to take the job, President Obama this afternoon formally announced he is nominating Jacob "Jack" Lew, his chief of staff, to be the next Treasury secretary.

Word of Obama's decision to tap Lew, who previously served as budget director in the Obama and Clinton administration, broke Wednesday.

"Jack has my complete trust," Obama said.

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