Business

Business
3:28 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Hollywood Writer's Gongs Still Going Strong

Comedy writer Andrew Borakove left California for Lincoln, Neb., to sell gongs.
Guy Raz

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:33 pm

Andrew Borakove was a television comedy writer in Hollywood when he realized he had to make a life change.

"A vision of a gong appeared before me, and I said a gong? I've never thought of that," he says. "And I started doing research and I said, 'Yep, I could maybe sell gongs for a living.' "

Read more
Business
4:13 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Facebook, Apple Part Of Big Year For Business News

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 3:38 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Any new member of Congress faces a steep climb to get up to speed on the economic challenges facing the U.S. over the next 12 months. Some of the loudest demands for congressional attention will no doubt come from America's CEOs and business leaders because while the recovery has been trudging along in the right direction, some of America's largest companies and corporations have not distinguished themselves over the last year.

Read more
NPR Story
2:06 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Major Port Strike Averted

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 3:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. A strike has been averted at many of the nation's busiest shipping ports, at least temporarily. The union representing longshoremen at ports along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico have threatened to walk off the job starting Sunday. But as we hear from NPR's Jim Zarroli, port operators and the union have reached agreement on one of their most contentious issues.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:26 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Port Strike Averted As Dock Workers, Terminal Operators Agree To Extension

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 2:46 pm

Longshoremen and East Coast and Gulf Coast port operators have agreed to an extension on labor negotiations, a federal mediator said Friday, averting a potentially crippling strike that would have halted container traffic at many of the nation's largest seaports.

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET: The temporary deal extends the contract to Feb. 6.

Read more
Business
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

The last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business has the Second City coming in first, but I have a feeling this will not be a source of pride. In 2013, Chicago will have the most expensive parking meters in North America.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Politics
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

'Fiscal Cliff' Countdown: 4 Days Until The Plunge

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:48 am

So far there are no signs of a breakthrough in talks between Democrats and Republicans in Washington to stave off the tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect on New Year's Day. President Obama has summoned top congressional leaders for talks at the White House on Friday.

Business
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

What's In Store For The Airline Industry In 2013?

Events in the new year could include the biggest airline merger ever. For months, a deal between American Airlines and U.S. Airways has been talked about. The new year is also likely to bring slightly higher domestic ticket prices and some new planes.

Environment
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Administrator Lisa Jackson To Leave EPA

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 1:32 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Also last month, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency joked to an environmental law conference: Everyone who wants my job, stand up. Yesterday, Lisa Jackson turned serious and made it official: She's leaving the EPA next month.

As NPR's Selena Simmons-Duffin reports, there are mixed feelings about Jackson's departure.

Read more
Planet Money
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

The 'Fiscal Cliff' And The Art Of Negotiating

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:50 am

The tortuous negotiations involved in the "fiscal cliff" talks are like a chess game. The opponents follow rules and techniques. Negotiating is part science, part art, and everyone does it in their daily lives.

Business
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

SEC Filing Reveals Apple CEO's Pay Package

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a big pay cut.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Apple hit a big milestone this year when it became the most highly valued public company in history. So it may be a surprise to hear that Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, saw a big dip in salary - like, a 99 percent dip.

Books
2:23 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

E-Books Destroying Traditional Publishing? The Story's Not That Simple

Publishers are finding that flexible pricing on e-books can help bring in new readers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 7:40 pm

What counts as a book these days, in a world of Kindles, Nooks and iPads — and eager talk about new platforms and distribution methods?

Traditional publishers are traveling a long and confusing road into the digital future. To begin with, here's the conventional wisdom about publishing: E-books are destroying the business model.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:23 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Federal Government Prepares For Uncertain Landing After 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 7:40 pm

With negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff" uncertain at best, the Obama administration is trying to tamp down anxiety in the federal workforce.

The administration's message to various federal agencies is that there will be little immediate effect on public employees from the budget cuts scheduled to take effect next week if a deal is not reached. Treasury Department employees, for instance, were told not to expect "day to day operations to change dramatically on or immediately after January 2."

For workers, of course, that's good news.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Jobless Claims Fell By 12,000 Last Week

The line at a job fair earlier this month in Manhattan.
John Moore Getty Images

There were 350,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, down 12,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports. That's the lowest level since early March 2008.

The agency adds that "the 4-week moving average," which tends to smooth out some of the volatility that comes with the weekly figures, "was 356,750, a decrease of 11,250 from the previous week's revised average of 368,000."

Read more
Business
3:07 am
Thu December 27, 2012

What Does Your Desk Drawer Reveal About You?

What do you keep in your desk drawer at work? Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway recently investigated what was in her colleagues' desk drawers, and wrote a column about her findings. She talks to Renee Montagne about some of the items people have, and why they hold on to them.

Business
2:34 am
Thu December 27, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 4:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, if you have BlackBerry at the bottom of the drawer, it turns out it's also at the bottom of the 2012 list of smartphone makers.

Our last word in business is: Bad Call.

The company that makes BlackBerry, Research in Motion, had only 5 percent of the global smartphone market in 2012. That was down from 11 percent the year before. That's according to the market research firm iSuppli. Also in the 5 percent club: Nokia and HTC.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

Economy
2:34 am
Thu December 27, 2012

5 Days Left To Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff" Extremes

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 3:06 am

President Obama returns to Washington Thursday as do members of the U.S. Senate. They're cutting holiday plans short in hopes of coming up with a deal to avoid the tax hikes and budget cuts set to take effect on Jan. 1.

Business
2:34 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Toyota To Settle 'Sudden Acceleration' Lawsuits

Owners of Toyota vehicles that experienced sudden and unintended acceleration have reached a settlement requiring the carmaker to pay as much as $1.4 billion in claims. A judge will review the proposal Friday.

Business
2:34 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Real Estate Market Is Expected To Improve In 2013

For the first time in five years, the U.S. housing sector contributed to economic growth in 2012. The foreclosure crisis is evolving and working its way through the system, although there are still lingering concerns.

Technology
1:28 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Music-Streaming Services Hunt For Paying Customers

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 6:58 am

2012 has been a strange year for content creators — authors, producers, musicians. It was a year when the very idea of physical ownership of a book or CD or even a song file became almost passe.

It was also the year in which music-streaming services like Spotify and Pandora launched major efforts to convince people to pay for something they didn't own. But it's been slow going.

Music-streaming services have been trying to win over two types of customers: a younger generation that doesn't buy at all and an older generation that still likes owning physical albums.

Read more
Law
3:32 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Toyota Reaches $1 Billion Deal On Accelerator Lawsuits

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 5:24 pm

A plaintiffs' attorney says Toyota Motor Corp. has reached a settlement exceeding $1 billion in a class-action lawsuit involving complaints of unintended acceleration in its vehicles. Robert Siegel talks with NPR's Sonari Glinton about the deal, which still needs a judge's approval.

Economy
3:32 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

The Fed Boosts The Economy, But What About The Risks?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference in Washington on Dec. 12. Some economists worry the Fed has set the stage for inflation as well as stock and housing bubbles by keeping interest rates low.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 5:24 pm

The Federal Reserve continued to keep its foot on the accelerator in 2012, using unusual tactics to try to boost economic growth. But there's disagreement among economists about whether the Fed's policies were effective or whether the risks to the economy outweighed the rewards.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Toyota Moves To Settle 'Sudden Acceleration' Lawsuits For More Than $1 Billion

Toyota has agreed to spend more than $1 billion to resolve lawsuits stemming from "unintended acceleration" cases. In November, the company displayed new cars at the Los Angeles Auto show.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 5:27 am

Owners of Toyota vehicles that experienced sudden and unintended acceleration have reached a settlement that could require the carmaker to pay as much as $1.4 billion in claims, according to the auto maker and the law firm representing Toyota customers.

U.S. District Court Judge James Selna, at whose direction the many lawsuits over the "runaway car" fears were consolidated in 2010, will review the proposed settlement Friday.

Read more
NPR Story
1:54 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Labor Force Participation At Lowest Point In 3 Decades

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 5:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

7.7 percent, that's the current unemployment rate. It's a full percentage point lower than this time last year. That sounds like progress, a modest number of new jobs are being added every month. But labor force participation, a measure of both people who are working and those who are actively looking for work, is at its lowest point in three decades.

Read more
Economy
12:56 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Measuring The Impact Of Your Charitable Donations

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Ari Shapiro in Washington. Neal Conan is away. This week, many of us are making year-end charitable donations. There are countless needy people and worthy causes competing for our dollars. So many philanthropists today want proof that an organization actually succeeds at its mission.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:48 am
Wed December 26, 2012

'Housing Recovery Is Gathering Strength,' New Report On Prices Signals

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

Home prices were up 4.3 percent in October from the same month a year before in the 20 major U.S.

Read more
NPR Story
4:07 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 5:23 am

Holiday Sales rose by less than 1 percent from the year before, according to MasterCard's SpendingPulse unit. That's the slowest growth in spending since the 2008 recession. Even online sales — which posted double digit gains over the past few years — were lackluster this year.

Business
4:07 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Worst CEO List, Who's On It?

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 4:53 am

David Greene talks to Sydney Finkelstein, who teaches management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, about his list of the worst CEOs of 2012. Of interest is not just who made the list this year, but who didn't.

Business
4:07 am
Wed December 26, 2012

2012 Sets Box Office Records

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 5:00 am

The domestic box office is expected to top $10 billion this year. After two solid years of decline, the U.S. box office enjoyed a nearly 6 percent jump.

Business
4:07 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Firefighters Deal With Community Backlash

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 4:46 am

In the East Bay area outside of San Francisco, a community has turned against its firefighters. The Contra Costa Fire Department is set to close four firehouses after voters failed to pass a tax to keep them open. Some say they want to see changes to firefighter pensions before they give the department more money. The firefighters say they feel like they are under attack.

Law
1:25 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Wall Street Wiretaps: Investigators Use Insiders' Own Words To Convict Them

Raj Rajaratnam, center, billionaire co-founder of Galleon Group, is surrounded by photographers as leaves Manhattan federal court May 11 after being convicted of insider trading charges.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 4:07 am

It was another busy year for federal authorities pursuing insider trading cases. Seventy-five people have now been charged in the last three years, and investigators say that success comes largely from their decision to attack insider trading the way they take down the Mafia and drug cartels — with tools such as wiretaps, informants and cooperators.

The story behind how the government decided to go after insider trading as hard as it goes after the mob is really just a story about dead ends.

Read more

Pages