Business

Business
3:33 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:02 am

The bank UBS has been in the middle of a huge investigation into interest rate manipulation. There are several reports that a subsidiary of UBS is making a settlement deal with U.S., British and Swiss officials.

Business
2:42 am
Fri December 14, 2012

SEC Chairman Schapiro's Exit Interview

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:51 am

In an interview with David Greene, outgoing Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro reflects on her tenure at the agency, and the disappointment that she wasn't able to overhaul money market funds. She leaves the job on Friday.

Business
2:42 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Examining Earned Income Tax Credit

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 4:47 am

It's time for another installment in Morning Edition's 12 Days of Tax Deductions — a check on some of the deductions, credits and tax breaks that could be on the chopping block as the government seeks to raise revenue and reduce debt.

Economy
2:42 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Inflation Index Fix Could Cut Federal Deficit

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:13 am

The Consumer Price Index is one of the most familiar measures in economics and politics. But some in Washington want to change the way the index is calculated to better reflect people's shopping habits.

While the proposed change is described as a technical fix, it could also cut the federal deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

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Business
2:42 am
Fri December 14, 2012

What Does Right To Work Mean?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 3:33 am

The term "right to work" has been in the news a lot this week. On Tuesday, Michigan became the 24th state to enact right-to-work legislation. It means unions can no longer require workers to pay full dues, even if they're working in a union shop.

Politics
2:42 am
Fri December 14, 2012

'Fiscal Cliff' Message Repeats Itself

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 4:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Politicians, they love to stay on message, don't they? Even when there's not much to spin, they'll spin.

MONTAGNE: Take last night. President Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner. Both sides said the exchange was frank. Lines of communication remain open.

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Planet Money
1:24 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Why A Principal Created His Own Currency

David Kestenbaum NPR

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 12:43 pm

Shawn Rux took over as principal of MS 53, a New York City middle school, last year. At the time, 50 or 60 kids were absent every day. You could understand why they stayed away: The school was chaos.

Twenty-two teachers had quit, the entire office staff had quit, and hundreds of kids had been suspended. The school was given a grade of F from the city's department of education.

"It was in a bad place," Rux says.

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Business
1:17 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Farewell, Bosses: A Wave Of Young Entrepreneurs

To save money, 30-year-old Alisha Mustafa runs her small pie-making business out of the kitchen of another restaurant.
Mustafa Pie Co.

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 3:33 am

Thirty-year-old Alisha Mustafa spent years working at low-paying restaurant jobs. The unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent in her hometown of Bloomington, Ind.

"I've worked it all in this town," she says. "I've worked for so many restaurants, and last year was my year from hell in the industry."

So, she quit and started her own business. Now, she spends most days baking treats like gluten-free strawberry mango pie for her business, Mustafa Pie Co.

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Business
3:25 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Future Of Retail May Involve Personalized Shopping

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now one final time, we'll borrow the words of Ebenezer Scrooge to introduce a series of conversations we've been having.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, A CHRISTMAS CAROL)

GEORGE C. SCOTT: (as Ebenezer Scrooge) I will live in the past, present, and the future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.

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Business
2:25 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

HSBC Critic: Too Big To Indict May Mean Too Big To Exist

HSBC has agreed to pay $1.92 billion to settle a multiyear U.S. criminal probe into money-laundering lapses at the British lender, the largest penalty ever paid by a bank.
Edgard Garrido Landov/Reuters

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:01 pm

Federal and state authorities have received criticism after deciding not to indict HSBC on accusations that it laundered money for Mexican drug cartels and conducted prohibited transactions on behalf of countries like Iran and Sudan. Instead, they entered into a $1.9 billion settlement this week with the bank.

There's no question that HSBC is a massive, sprawling operation. It markets itself as the world's local bank. But watchdogs of the banking industry say mere size should never insulate an organization from the law.

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It's All Politics
8:39 am
Thu December 13, 2012

For Business Owners, Higher Taxes Could Mean Fewer New Hires — Or More

President Obama examines a K'NEX roller coaster on Nov. 30 at a Hatfield, Pa., factory that makes the toys. During the visit, Obama spoke about the economy, the middle class and his plan to raise taxes on top wage earners.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:25 am

Every time President Obama explains why he wants to increase taxes on the richest 2 percent, Republicans have a ready answer: Most small business owners file their taxes as individuals, and a rate hike would discourage them from hiring new workers.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Jobless Claims Fell Sharply Last Week, Wholesale Prices Dropped In November

At a job fair in New York City earlier this year, a man waited for an interview. Economists say the job market is slowly improving, and the latest data on jobless claims seem to support that analysis.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There were 343,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, down 29,000 from the week before, according to the Employment and Training Administration.

At that level, claims were the lowest they'd been since the first week of October's 342,000.

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Business
2:53 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

CALM is an acronym for a new law that takes effect Thursday. It stands for the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, and it means you won't have to jump for your TV remote the second commercials air. The law says the volume of commercials needs to be the same as the programs they're coming out of.

Business
2:53 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with supervising banks in the EU.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Politics
2:53 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Most Of Congress In The Dark On 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 9:44 am

Of the 535 members of Congress, not many appear to be in the loop about the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. That makes the rest nervous about having to vote on a bill on short notice despite misgivings about what's in it. But this is often how major deals get accomplished in Washington.

In these budget negotiations, the names Boehner and Obama come up most often — and virtually all the rest are on the outside looking in.

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Business
2:53 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Fed To Keep Short-Term Interest Rates Low

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In the U.S., the Federal Reserve now says it intends to keep its benchmark interest rate exceptionally low until the unemployment rate reaches six and a half percent. It's the first time the Fed has named a specific thresh-hold for when it would begin raising interest rates.

NPR's John Ydstie has more.

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Business
2:53 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Examining The Health Savings Account Deduction

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

We continue with our series: The 12 Days of Tax Deductions. It's Morning Edition's way of making sense of the jungle of tax deductions, credits and breaks that political leaders are sorting through as they try to wrestle more revenue out of the tax code.

Planet Money
1:28 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Will A $1.9 Billion Settlement Change Banks' Behavior?

Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 9:55 am

If a kid does something bad and you want to discipline him — give him a timeout, say, or take away a toy — there are some basic principles that seem to work.

The punishment needs to happen quickly after the bad behavior. And it needs to be significant enough to get noticed. Those rules aren't just for kids; they need to hold true for any type of punishment to be effective.

But if you're a federal regulator punishing a bank, it can be tough to be swift enough and to levee a penalty that's severe enough to make a difference.

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Business
1:21 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Etsy Crafts A Strategy For Staying Handmade And Profitable

Etsy, which began as a place for home crafters and small businesses to sell their goods, has experienced growing pains as it surpasses 800,000 sellers.
Courtesy of Etsy

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

Etsy has gotten very big, very fast. This year, sales are at about $800 million.

"Their growth on all the major metrics you want to look at has accelerated really consistently," says journalist Rob Walker.

Walker recently wrote a story for Wired Magazine with the headline, "Can Etsy Go Pro Without Losing Its Soul?" Here's why: Etsy makes money from its sellers: 20 cents every time they list an item and 3.5 percent of every sale. Today, there are some 800,000 sellers.

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The Salt
3:53 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

From Belgium To Piggly Wiggly: U.S. Beer Fans Snatch Up Elusive Ale

A customer departs Total Wine of Towson, Md., with a gift pack of Belgium's Westvleteren 12 Trappist ale.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:39 pm

To many beer fans, the arrival of the Westvleteren 12 Trappist ale in American shops today is a chance to try a beer they've only read about on beer-geek blogs and sites — where it's often given a "world class" rating of 100.

But finding the beer can be tricky — it's not available in all states, and some stores sold out of their allotment within hours of opening Wednesday.

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Business
3:26 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

More Shoppers Gravitate Toward 'Brand Stories'

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

This week we are exploring the evolution of the American shopping experience. In the second installment in this series, Audie Cornish explores the influence of the Internet on the brick-and-mortar retail world. Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, founder of the design website Apartment Therapy, says that as shoppers move online, the physical store has morphed into more of a showroom for products that are later purchased on the Web, and a place to tell a brand's "story."

Business
3:19 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Survey: Business Leaders Warming To Tax Increases

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Negotiations are intensifying between congressional Republicans and the White House. Both sides say they want to find a compromise to end the budget stalemate that's gripped Washington. Both sides are also vying for support from the business community. The White House has reportedly put an overhaul of the tax code on the table.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Federal Reserve Boosts Effort To Lift Economy

The Federal Reserve's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Saying it is concerned that the economy won't be strong enough in coming months to keep adding jobs to the labor market, the Federal Reserve announced this afternoon that is increasing its efforts to give the economy a boost.

And in an unusually specific statement from the central bank, its policymakers said they expect to keep a key short-term interest rate at or near zero percent "as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent."

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Business
10:40 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Chinese Firm Buys Massachusetts Tech Company

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 11:01 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Late today a federal bankruptcy judge gave the nod to a Chinese firm to buy a Massachusetts technology company. A123 Systems makes batteries for electric cars, but some in Congress are fighting to block the deal. Curt Nickisch reports from member station WBUR in Boston.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Wal-Mart's Lobbying In U.S. To Be Probed By Indian Government

September 2012: Employees celebrate the opening of a Best Price Modern store in Hyderabad, India. Bharti Enterprises manages that and other such stores, which Wal-Mart has invested in.
Noah Seelam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 11:12 am

India's government has approved an inquiry into Wal-Mart's lobbying activities in the U.S. as a heated debate over the retail giant's plans for stores in India moves into a new phase, NPR's Julie McCarthy tells us from New Delhi.

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Economy
9:45 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Fiscal Cliff: Why Not Cut Entitlements?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, another young woman, a mother, has been killed by a man who supposedly loved or at least cared for her. That got us thinking about the political fight over the ways to address violence against women. We're going to talk about that with our panel of women commentators. We call it the Beauty Shop and it's coming up later in the program.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:09 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Despite Protests, Michigan Is A Right-To-Work State

Michigan is now the nation's 24th right-to-work state, where unions cannot automatically collect dues or fees from workers. The governor signed the law just hours after it was approved by the state's legislature in a day marked by protests.

Business
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Federal Reserve Update

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:07 am

Federal Reserve officials were meeting this week to decide how much more credit to pump into the U.S. economy. To find out what they're likely to do — and why — Renee Montagne talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Business
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:42 am

Dave Sobelman was looking for publicity for his pub in Milwaukee. He announced a new drink. It's a Bloody Mary with celery, pickled asparagus, picked onions, shrimp, a chunk of cheese, a piece of Polish sausage and a cheeseburger slider. It sells for $9. It also comes with a chaser of beer.

Business
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:36 am

Greece's government says it will buy back nearly 32 billion euros of its bonds — that means the country would be erasing nearly $40 billion worth of debt. The country's private-sector creditor agreed to sell off the bonds, though at sharply discounted prices. Getting rid of this chunk of debt should allow Greece to get more money from the International Monetary Fund.

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