Business

Economy
11:28 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Economists See (OK-ish) Growth In 2013

Farmer Randy Dreher unloads corn from his combine during harvest north of Audubon, Iowa. Farm exports are booming and high global prices are helping growers despite the U.S. drought.
Gary Fandel/Iowa Farm Bureau AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:07 am

Suddenly, the new year is looking a bit brighter — at least in the eyes of most economists and investors.

On Day 1 of 2013, Congress voted to veer away from the "fiscal cliff" by passing a package of provisions that avoided broad tax hikes and big spending cuts. And on Day 2, stock prices shot up.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Financial Markets Cheer 'Fiscal Cliff' News

Looking up: Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange earlier today.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 3:08 pm

Though more big battles lie ahead in Washington, Wall Street is following the lead of financial markets around the world in giving a thumbs-up to the deal that kept the federal government from going completely over the so-called fiscal cliff.

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Business
4:29 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Immigrant Investor Program Succeeds In Vermont

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 11:46 am

A development project in a remote area of northeast Vermont is one of the largest in the country to bring in funds using the federal EB-5 immigrant investor program. It allows qualified foreigners who invest $500,000, and create at least 10 American jobs, to get green cards.

Business
4:29 am
Wed January 2, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 9:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business might make you hungry. It's crispity, crunchity Butterfinger, as in the peanut butter and chocolate candy bar, which designated the year 2013 as its 90-ish birthday.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That's 90-ish because, while there is a trademark document that dates back to 1928, the company believes the candy bar was first promoted in 1923. So, you know, 85, 90, 90-ish is what the people at Nestle settled on as Butterfinger's official age.

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Around the Nation
4:29 am
Wed January 2, 2013

FTC Offers $50,000 Reward To Help Stop Robocalls

The Federal Trade Commission will award $50,000 to an individual or small company that comes up with the best solution for blocking illegal robocalls.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 11:53 am

Unwanted telemarketing calls, trademarked for interrupting dinners across the nation, have become such a nuisance over the years that the Federal Trade Commission is calling for help to stop the illegal robocalls.

The agency receives more than 200,000 complaints a month about the prerecorded messages, which offer everything from credit cards to new medications.

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Business
4:29 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 9:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's begin NPR's business news with some fiscal deal details.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: You might remember over the holiday season, we delved into some of the tax credit lawmakers were considering changing as part of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. We called it our 12 Days of Deductions.

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Around the Nation
4:29 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Oil Drilling Rig Runs Aground In Alaska

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 9:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's turn now to a developing story in Alaska. A crew is trying to get aboard a massive oil drilling rig that ran aground in the Gulf of Alaska. Workers have already been evacuated and there is no risk of an oil spill here, but the rig is carrying thousands of gallons of diesel fuel. The rig is a key component of Shell Oil's controversial efforts to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean, and joining us now with the latest on the situation in Alaska is NPR science correspondent Richard Harris.

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Politics
4:29 am
Wed January 2, 2013

House Approves 'Fiscal Cliff' Measure

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 9:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Congress can at least say it started the new year without blowing up the economy. The House approved a plan that eliminates scheduled higher taxes for most Americans and puts off spending cuts for now. President Obama praised its passage last night.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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NPR Story
4:09 am
Wed January 2, 2013

What Was Left Out Of 'Fiscal Cliff' Compromise?

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 9:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Let's talk about everything that was left out of the fiscal cliff compromise approved by Congress yesterday. The measure does raise taxes for the wealthy and preserve tax cuts for others, and extend unemployment insurance again, among other things. But it left a huge amount of fighting for the New Year.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Inside The Fiscal Cliff Budget Compromise Bill: Tax Cuts and Tax Hikes

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 4:44 am

The budget compromise bill that is meant to allow the U.S. government to avoid higher tax rates and austere budget cuts has tax rates as its central issue, with discussions about more spending cuts, and the federal debt limit, put off until the coming weeks.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Tue January 1, 2013

House Passes Fiscal Cliff Deal

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden make a statement regarding the passage of the fiscal cliff bill in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House late Tuesday evening.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:23 am

The House of Representatives voted 257-167 late Tuesday to pass a Senate-approved compromise deal that stops large tax increases for 99 percent of Americans, and delays massive spending cuts for two months.

The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.

NPR's S.V. Date is reporting on the deal for our Newscast unit. Here's what he says:

"The eventual deal was hammered out by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden. It passed the Senate with overwhelming, bipartisan support.

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Health Care
4:50 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Hobby Lobby Plans To Defy Health Care Mandate

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This New Year could mean a new cost for the craft store chain Hobby Lobby. The federal health care law requires employee insurance plans to cover emergency contraceptives. Hobby Lobby's owners did not want to do that. They say drugs commonly known by names like the morning-after pill are tantamount to abortion.

Now, the Supreme Court has turned aside Hobby Lobby's request to block the mandate. So, starting today, the company could be fined as much as $1.3 million per day for defying the law.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Politics
3:12 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Senate Ushers In New Year With 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On the first morning of 2013, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

The party went until the morning hours here in Washington. We're talking about the gathering on Capitol Hill. Senators were voting around 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

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Business
3:09 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Can An Algorithm Discover The Key To Laughter?

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Along with decent finances, it takes a lot of talent and practice to play in an orchestra. The same goes for being able to make people laugh. And even some of the most brilliant comedians can have a hard time of it. Let's listen to the usually great Johnny Carson in one of his not-so-great moments on the "Tonight Show."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW")

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Business
3:08 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Tribune Co. Moves Toward Entertainment, Cable TV

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Chicago-based Tribune Company, the corporate owner of the L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and 23 local TV stations, emerged from bankruptcy yesterday after a messy four-year process.

As NPR's David Folkenflik reports, Tribune's future may look very different from its newsy past.

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Business
3:08 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR business news starts with record prices at the pump.

You may already have a sense of this from your bank statement, but now AAA has confirmed that the average price of a gallon of gasoline hit a record in 2012. The group says the national average for the year was $3.60. That is nine cents higher than the average in 2011, which was the previous record. For 2013, AAA thinks increased domestic oil production will help keep prices lower. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Business
3:08 am
Tue January 1, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Today's last word in business is old news.

The postal service famously vows that neither snow nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night will stop its carriers from their appointed rounds. But the postal creed does not say how long that will take.

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NPR Story
2:55 am
Tue January 1, 2013

What Does Senate Budget Deal Mean For You?

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Happy New Year.

Let's start with the upside. Congress has yet to rattle the financial markets so far in 2013.

GREENE: Of course, the markets are closed on this New Year's Day, as the House considers a deal on taxes and spending. The Senate has already approved that plan by a huge majority.

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Law
1:00 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Justice Wants Banks To Be Quasi Cops

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny Breuer announces a nearly $2 billion money laundering settlement with British bank HSBC on Dec. 11 in New York City.
Ramin Talaie Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Every year, banks handle tens of millions of transactions. Some of them involve drug money, or deals with companies doing secret business with countries like Iran and Syria, in defiance of trade sanctions.

But if the Justice Department has its way, banks will be forced to change — to spot illegal transactions and blow the whistle before any money changes hands.

Federal prosecutors have already collected more than $4.5 billion from some of the world's biggest financial institutions — banks charged with looking the other way when dirty money passed through their accounts.

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Business
12:57 am
Tue January 1, 2013

New Year Brings Minimum-Wage Hikes In 10 States

Rhode Island's minimum wage will increase from $7.40 to $7.75.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:23 pm

On Tuesday, the minimum wage in 10 states will increase by anywhere from a dime to 35 cents.

For all of the states but one, the pay hikes are part of automatic adjustments designed to keep up with the cost of living.

In Rhode Island, it took a state law to raise the minimum wage for the first time in five years.

Rising Wages Vs. Rising Prices

Cafe Zog in Providence is a cozy, quirky place where you can grab a coffee and bagel to go, or nab a booth then head to the counter to order a hot breakfast.

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Business
12:56 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Rift With China Clouds Solar Industry's Future

Solar panels come off the line at SunPower's solar manufacturing plant near San Jose, Calif.
Lauren Sommer for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

It's been a banner year for solar energy. The United States is on track to install a record number of solar power systems — thanks in large part to low-cost solar panels from China. That's been challenging for American manufacturers, and federal officials have put trade tariffs on Chinese panels.

Things look busy at the SunPower solar manufacturing plant in Silicon Valley. Workers are screwing frames onto shiny, 6-foot solar panels as they come off the line.

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Business
2:12 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

All Eyes Are On The Fiscal Cliff, But The Dairy Cliff Is Important Too

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Amid all the talk of going over the fiscal cliff, we have a report now on another midnight deadline tonight. Few were paying attention when Congress failed to pass the Farm Bill last fall. But now lawmakers are scrambling to extend the law for a year, to dodge a spike in milk prices. While an agreement is in the works, another vote is necessary, and none is scheduled yet. Peggy Lowe of member station KCUR in Kansas City explains how farmers, processors and consumers ended up at what is being called the dairy cliff.

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Economy
9:50 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Is Our Economy Better Than Theirs?

The countdown is on to a new year — and the fiscal changes that are on the other side of midnight. But what else is on the cards economically for 2013, both here and overseas? Guest host Celeste Headlee puts the question to the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy.

Economy
3:46 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Hours Left To 'Fiscal Cliff' Deadline

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 4:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On the final day of the year, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

We still do not know if taxes will be going up as the ball in New York City's Times Square goes down.

INSKEEP: Congressional negotiators are still discussing ways at the White House to avoid the higher tax rates and spending cuts due to take effect after midnight tonight.

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Business
3:42 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Best Car Deals To Be Found This Time Of Year

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We are in a great season to buy a car. Automakers and dealers are offering lots of incentives. And those incentives are just one of the factors in what may end up as the best year for the auto industry since 2007, before the height of the financial crisis. So why has it been a good year? Well, when millions of people hold off on their car purchases for years, that pent up demand, along with cheap credit, will eventually drive stronger sales.

Here's NPR's Sonari Glinton.

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Economy
2:13 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Europe Fails To Stimulate Growth In 2012

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 10:52 am

The U.S. economy grew at a steady though not very strong pace this year. But Europe slipped back into recession because of the ongoing debt crisis. European leaders took steps to stimulate growth, but it wasn't enough to reverse course.

The economic crisis that got under way five years ago was felt all over the world. But Mohammed El-Erian, CEO of the investment firm PIMCO, says different regions have healed at much different rates.

The year "2012 was another multispeed world globally, in the sense that different parts did different things," he says.

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Politics
1:33 am
Mon December 31, 2012

After Fruitless Weekend, Congress Still Seeks Fiscal Deal

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, leaves the Senate chamber to caucus in the Capitol on Sunday.
Molly Riley AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:46 am

It is almost unimaginable that both the House and Senate would be in session on a Sunday evening on the penultimate day of the year. And yet, they both were, with lawmakers hoping it was not merely a big waste of time and effort.

A bipartisan push by Senate leaders over the weekend has so far failed to forge a deal to spare American wage earners from tax hikes and shield government programs from drastic cutbacks.

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Planet Money
1:32 am
Mon December 31, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff: A Love Story

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:46 am

America, if you're scared by all the talk you've been hearing about the fiscal cliff, take heart: There are reasons for people across the political spectrum to love the cliff.

There's a lot for liberals to like in the fiscal cliff, says Matthew Yglesias, who writes wonky articles about economics for Slate.

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Author Interviews
1:28 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Death Of The (Predatory) Salesman: These Days, It's A Buyer's Market

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:46 am

The familiar image of the salesman in American culture hasn't always been a flattering one. Just think of Alec Baldwin as the verbally abusive "motivator" of two real estate salesmen in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Daniel H. Pink, author of the new book To Sell is Human, says that this relentless, predator-style approach to selling has become outdated. He believes that the art of sales has changed more in the past 10 years than it did in the previous century.

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Around the Nation
2:50 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

A Tough Year For Unions, With Few Bright Spots Ahead

Despite huge protests at Michigan's state capitol building in Lansing, Republican lawmakers in the state made the union stronghold the 24th right-to-work state in the country.
Rebecca Cook Reuters via Landov

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 3:55 pm

This year was a tough one for organized labor.

In June, Scott Walker — the Wisconsin governor who banned collective bargaining for public employee unions — survived a recall election.

And, despite huge protests in Michigan, the union stronghold became the 24th right-to-work state, banning unions from requiring workers to sign up. That came just 10 months after Indiana passed a similar law.

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