Business

The Two-Way
11:46 am
Mon January 28, 2013

After Driving Past GM In 2012, Toyota Poised To Boost Sales Further In 2013

Vehicles in the lot of a Northbrook, Ill., Toyota dealer last October.
Scott Olson Getty Images

After seeing its sales take a hit in 2011 because production was hurt by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan early that year, Toyota bounced back in 2012 to retake the No. 1 spot as the world's top automaker.

The company sold 9.75 million vehicles, to No. 2 General Motors' 9.3 million. Volkswagen was No. 3, with 9.1 million vehicles sold.

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Business
11:35 am
Mon January 28, 2013

A 'Permatemp' Economy: The Idea Of The Expendable Employee

According to the American Staffing Association, the U.S. temp industry has added more jobs than any other over the past three years.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 12:00 pm

As lawmakers in Washington debate job creation, and unemployment rates remain high, the temporary labor workforce continues to grow.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Mon January 28, 2013

After Rising To Pre-recession Levels, Stocks Pause; Will Bulls Resume Running?

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Almost as surely as the sun rises in the east, stories about the stock market hitting new highs are sure to be followed by declines in key indexes.

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Business
4:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is, fly like an eagle. Maybe you've seen this viral video. It's of a golden eagle swooping down and snatching up a baby in a park. The bird carries the kid a few feet before dropping him and flying away.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It caused quite a stir online - horrifying many, many viewers before it was revealed as a hoax. The video was a project made by students at a 3-D animation and design school in Montreal.

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Business
4:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Energy Department Encourages New Energy Technology

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has incubated many important technologies over the decades in computer networking and other areas. The Energy Department wants to make similar strides with an agency called ARPA-E. Over three years now in operation, ARPA-E has spent nearly $800 million on 285 experimental projects.

We invited the agency's deputy director, Cheryl Martin, into our studio so we can find out more about these projects. Good morning.

CHERYL MARTIN: Good morning.

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Business
4:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with bookstores closing shop.

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Digital Life
1:34 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Google Posts How It Handles Requests For Users' Data

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Google wants you to know you're being watched. Or rather, the company wants you to know how and when the police get to watch what you do online.

For the first time, the company has posted its policies for when it gives up users' information to the government. It's part of a broader company strategy to push for tougher privacy laws.

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Business
1:33 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Beyond Portlandia: Subaru Drives For America's Heartland

Subaru, known for its success in Denver, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast, aims to expand its market to Texas and Tennessee.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

The car market in the U.S. is at its most competitive. Not only are big companies like General Motors and Toyota slugging it out, but in order to survive, small-niche players like Subaru also are trying to push into the mainstream.

The Japanese carmaker is popular in Denver, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast. Now Subaru has its sights on Texas and Tennessee.

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The Salt
1:31 am
Mon January 28, 2013

How One Man Tried To Slim Down Big Soda From The Inside

PepsiCo's product line ranges from salty chips and its sugary namesake drink to more healthful fare like hummus and yogurt. In 2010, the company announced plans to cut sugar, fat and sodium in its products to address health and nutrition concerns.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 6:42 am

Many big food companies are caught in a dilemma these days. They want to rebrand themselves as merchants of health — Coca-Cola's new anti-obesity ads are just the latest example — but many of their profits still come from products that make nutritionists scowl.

If there's one person who symbolizes this tension, it's Derek Yach.

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Around the Nation
1:29 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Hemp Gets The Green Light In New Colorado Pot Measure

Hemp products for sale in Washington, D.C., in 2010. The U.S. is the world's largest consumer of hemp products, although growing hemp is illegal under federal law. Colorado recently passed a measure that legalizes growing hemp.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:13 am

With recreational marijuana now legal in Colorado, small-scale pot shops will open up soon in places like Denver and Boulder. But that's not the only business that could get a boost: Large-scale commercial farmers may also be in line to benefit.

Why? When Colorado voters legalized marijuana last November, they also legalized hemp.

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U.S.
4:34 pm
Sat January 26, 2013

Investing In Citizenship: For The Rich, A New Road To The U.S.

The Barclays Center in New York, the new home of the Brooklyn Nets, was built partially with investment from overseas donors seeking U.S. citizenship. A little-known immigration program allows wealthy investors to get a green card in exchange for funding American businesses.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:17 pm

The traditional immigrant story is a familiar one.

Someone who longs for a better life makes the tough journey, leaves behind the hardships of his or her native land and comes to the United States to start again. That story, in a lot of ways, helped build this country.

These days, however, there's a very different kind of immigrant who wants to come to this country — the rich — and they have a different set of dreams.

Anthony Korda was a barrister, or lawyer, in England who vacationed frequently in the U.S. with his family.

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The Salt
4:12 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Vigor, Brain Power And Other Health Claims From Coke's Advertising Past

(1905) Courtesy of Tom Bates

Coca-Cola is taking a lot of flak for its new television ad campaign addressing America's obesity epidemic – an epidemic in which sugary sodas are widely fingered as a key culprit.

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Economy
3:26 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Japan's Economic Plan May Be Bad News For Everyone Else

Masaaki Shirakawa, the governor of the Bank of Japan, speaks before the press in Tokyo on Friday. The central bank announced new measures to stimulate the economy Tuesday.
Rie Ishii AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:36 pm

Moves taken by Japan's central bank are raising fears that the world could face what's called a "currency war." The measures, announced Tuesday, are designed to flood Japan's moribund economy with money and encourage businesses and consumers to spend more.

Steps like these have been tried again and again by countries all over the world — including the U.S. — in recent years, with mixed success.

What's Wrong With Pouring Money Into The Problem?

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World
1:38 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Spain's Strapped Towns Look To Churches For Cash

The Cathedral of Alcala de Henares is one of many buildings owned by the Catholic Church in Alcala de Henares, Spain. The town, which is outside Madrid, is broke and is pursuing a plan to have the church pay additional taxes.
JMN JMN/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 3:12 pm

The Catholic Church is Spain's largest and richest landowner, though its nonprofit status means it is exempt from paying most taxes.

But amid the current economic crisis, that may be changing.

One college town just outside Madrid is leading an effort by some Spanish municipalities to serve the church an up-to-date property tax bill.

Alcala de Henares is re-evaluating the status of hundreds of church holdings that have been exempt from paying property tax for hundreds of years.

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Planet Money
11:49 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Free Breast Pumps And The Cost Of Health Care

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 3:12 pm

Health insurance plans now have to cover the full cost of breast pumps for nursing mothers. This is the result of a provision in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and the new rule took effect for many people at the start of this year.

It's led to a boom in the sale of the pumps, which can cost hundreds of dollars.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Exxon More Golden Than Apple Again

In this Oct. 20, 2012 photo, people line up to enter a newly opened Apple Store in Beijing. Exxon has once again surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable company after the iPhone and iPad maker saw its stock price falter.
Andy Wong AP

Apple stock has dropped sharply since it announced earnings that disappointed analysts. Now the tech tastemaker is paying another price, losing its crown as the world's most valuable company to Exxon Mobil.

Exxon's market capitalization, the total value of its outstanding stock, was about $417 billion Friday. Apple's was about $413 billion.

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Sales Of New Homes Fell In December, But Were Up Sharply In 2012

A "sold" sign outside a home under construction last fall in Peoria, Ill.
Daniel Acker Landov

Though there was a 7.3 percent drop in sales of new homes in December from November, sales were up a healthy 8.8 percent from December 2011, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report.

Homes sold at a annual rate of 369,000 last month.

Over the whole year, the agencies estimate, there were 367,000 new homes sold — up 19.9 percent from the 306,000 sold in 2011.

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Business
3:15 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Microsoft's earnings.

Yesterday we told you about Apple earnings. Despite heavy sales of iPhones and iPads, its profits were flat last quarter. That's still better than Microsoft, which reported a four percent earnings decline. Those disappointing figures are blamed on sagging sales of personal computers, which have created a shrinking market for Microsoft's newest PC operating system, Windows 8. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
3:15 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Cause Of Boeing's 787 Problems Remains A Mystery

This Boeing 787 battery case was damaged in a fire in Boston earlier this month. The state-of-the-art aircraft is still grounded, as the investigation of the fire's cause continues.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 12:37 pm

Federal safety investigators remain perplexed by what caused a battery on a Boeing 787 to burst into flames earlier this month in Boston. All of the 787s are grounded worldwide after problems with the new airliner also surfaced in Japan.

At a briefing Thursday, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board said it could be a long time before the plane dubbed the Dreamliner is cleared to fly.

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Business
2:50 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Dodgers Channel Close To Being A Reality

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In recent years, regional cable TV sports networks have been a financial windfall for pro sports and college teams. And now it seems to be the turn of the Los Angeles Dodgers to make a record haul here.

There are reports the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable are close to announcing a deal for a Dodgers channel that would pay the team around $7 billion over at least 20 years.

But NPR's Tom Goldman reports it may be one windfall too many in a crowded Los Angeles market.

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NPR Story
2:38 am
Fri January 25, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In today's last word in business is: censored, not stirred.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "SKYFALL")

DANIEL CRAIG: (as James Bond) Bond, James Bond.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The new Bond film "Skyfall" is now playing in the world's second-largest movie market - that would be China - and some 007 fans are furious about the nips and tucks Chinese censors have made to the movie.

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Planet Money
12:48 am
Fri January 25, 2013

At $17.5 Million A Year, LeBron James Is Underpaid

A bargain at $17.5 million a year.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 10:29 am

LeBron James is arguably the best player in the NBA. His salary is $17.5 million a year. He's worth much, much more.

"He's getting hosed," says Kevin Grier, an economist from the University of Oklahoma.

James used to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. When he left, the value of the team fell by tens of millions of dollars — and the value of his new team, the Miami Heat, rose by tens of millions. The economists I talked to said James should be making closer to $40 million a year.

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Movies
12:46 am
Fri January 25, 2013

For Would-Be Sundancers, Kickstarter Can Fuel Films

A scene from 99% — The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film, a Sundance documentary that raised more than $23,000 on Kickstarter.
Ari Ress Sundance Film Festival

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 7:14 am

If you want to make a movie, you generally need a lot of money. And filmmakers have to be creative about raising it.

Just ask the filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival, taking place this week in Park City, Utah. Some 10 percent of the films selected for this year's iteration of the prestigious festival raised money through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.

In the three years since the website launched, Kickstarter-funded films have been nominated for Oscars, picked up by Showtime and HBO, and honored with awards at Sundance, South By Southwest and Cannes.

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U.S.
12:44 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Foreign Investors Trade Dollars For U.S. Residency

This Marriott hotel in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood was rebuilt by American Life Inc. using EB-5 visa investment money. The project helped dozens of well-to-do people obtain permanent green cards.
Jennifer Wing for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 7:14 am

Svetlana Anikeeva was 15 in the early '90s when she visited America as an exchange student.

"And it was completely different place in every imaginable aspect," she recalls.

Anikeeva grew up in Vladivostok on the eastern edge of Russia, and studied abroad in Savannah, Ga., where the experience, she says, changed her life.

"The people were different. The culture was different. The weather, the food, the school. Everything was fascinating," she says. "I knew that I wanted to come here."

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Business
3:14 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Still No Answers In 787 Battery Malfunctions

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:22 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Boeing's flagship jetliner, the 787, has been stuck on the ground lately. The FAA and safety authorities around the world grounded the fleet after battery problems. And today we have an update on the investigation of the battery fire onboard a Japan Airlines 787 this month in Boston.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman has been following this story and joins us now for an update. And, Wendy, what did the National Transportation Safety Board have to say today?

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All Tech Considered
2:30 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Swinging From 140 Characters To Six-Second Videos, Twitter Launches Vine

Twitter announced its partnership with Vine, a video-sharing app that posts six-second videos onto a tweet, on Thursday, Jan. 24.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:02 am

If you thought 140 characters of text was too short, try grabbing your Twitter followers' attention with six-second videos. Six seconds.

Twitter on Thursday launched the video app Vine, which allows users to shoot brief videos and directly tweet them. The social media company acquired the video-sharing startup last fall, according to All Things D.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Can An Ex-Prosecutor Make The SEC Tougher On Wall Street?

Mary Jo White, then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a May 2001 press conference following guilty verdicts in the trial of four followers of Osama bin Laden that bombed two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998. President Obama intends to nominate White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Doug Kanter AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 6:38 am

President Obama's choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission has prosecuted terrorists and mobsters. If she's confirmed, Mary Jo White's next challenge will be tackling reckless behavior on Wall Street.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Obama Chooses Former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White To Head SEC

Mary Jo White, who President Obama wants to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Brendan McDermid Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 8:43 am

Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney in New York who prosecuted terrorists responsible for the bombings of the World Trade Center and U.S. embassies in Africa, will be nominated by President Obama to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Jobless Claims Hold At Five-Year Low

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance dipped by 5,000 last week from the week before, to 330,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That means claims remain at a low level not seen since January 2008.

Another measure, the "4-week moving average" that is supposed to give a broader look at the trend, declined by 8,250 — to 351,750.

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Business
3:05 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Private Equity Firm To Take Over Dell

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Staying in the tech world now, later today Microsoft releases its earnings for the final quarter of 2012. And no matter what the computer software giant announces, it won't mask the fact that last year was a brutal one for the personal computer industry.

Dell - one of the largest computer makers on the planet - is in talks to be taken over by a private equity firm. PC sales are declining globally.

And as NPR's Steve Henn reports, some see a technological shift in the works that could undermine the empire built by Microsoft.

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