Business

Planet Money
2:28 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Without Magic, Santa Would Need 12 Million Employees

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 2:31 pm

There are 760 million Christian children in the world, according to the Pew Research Center. Suppose Santa delivers one gift to each child. What kind of delivery workforce would Santa need?

We couldn't get an interview with Santa. But we did get Paul Tronsor from FedEx and Mike Mangeot from UPS. They helped us go through the numbers.

Here are just a few of the positions Santa would need to fill to pull off Christmas. (Note: For the complete list, see the graphic at the bottom.)

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Economy
9:58 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Why Not Go Over The Fiscal Cliff?

The White House is promising to veto a new tax proposal from House Speaker John Boehner. But who's bluffing and what's believable when it comes to fiscal negotiations? And what happens if talks break down? For Tell Me More's 'Why Not?' series, host Michel Martin takes a look at what might be on the other side of the fiscal cliff.

The Two-Way
8:36 am
Wed December 19, 2012

U.S. Will Sell Off Its General Motors Stock

General Motors is buying back stock from the U.S. government.
Paul Sancya ASSOCIATED PRESS

In a statement early this morning, the Treasury Department says it's going to "exit" its investment in General Motors. The federal government holds just over 500 million shares of GM stock.

The automaker will buy 200 million of those shares, and the government will dispose of the rest "in an orderly fashion" over the next year and a half, depending on market conditions.

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The Two-Way
5:18 am
Wed December 19, 2012

UBS To Pay $1.5 Billion For 'Routine And Widespread' Rate Rigging

The logo of Swiss banking giant UBS in Zurich, Switzerland.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Swiss banking giant UBS AG has agreed to pay $1.5 billion in fines to regulators in the U.S., Britain and Switzerland for its part in a scheme to manipulate the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR), which is used to set rates on contracts around the world.

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Business
3:42 am
Wed December 19, 2012

What Does A Gun Debate Mean For Retailers?

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Companies that make firearms are facing some tough choices, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Yesterday, the private equity group Cerberus Capital Management said it's getting out of the gun business. And one of the largest outlets for firearms, Dick's Sporting Goods, said it is suspending sales of certain kinds of rifles. Wal-Mart has removed a website listing for a rifle similar to the one used by the gunman in Connecticut.

NPR's Sonari Glinton looks at what the gun debate could mean for big business and big retail.

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Economy
3:11 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Boehner Pushes 'Plan B' To Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Steve, welcome back. It's good to see you.

INSKEEP: Oh, it's a delight to be here, David. Thanks very much.

GREENE: I can tell you, you did not miss any resolution to the fiscal cliff debate here in Washington.

INSKEEP: I was actually hoping you'd fixed that while I was gone. You didn't?

(LAUGHTER)

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Business
3:08 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Day 8 Of 12 Days Of Tax Deductions

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, as we reach the peak of the holidays, let us not forget one of the most significant days of all - New Year's Eve. It's also the end of the tax year.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Many rules are set to expire and other may change as Congress and the president negotiate over tax laws, which is why we are explaining what the rules are in our 12 Days of Tax Deductions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS")

INSKEEP: Today's tax break is a big one, the state and local income tax deduction.

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NPR Story
2:53 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a global bank settlement.

It's the big Swiss bank, UBS. It announced this morning that it will pay a total of $1.5 billion in fines for its role in rigging the interbank lending rate known as LIBOR. The settlement will be paid to Swiss, British and American regulators.

NPR Story
2:53 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Credit Rating Upgrade Is Good News For Greece

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Greece got a rare bit of good news late yesterday. Standard and Poor's upgraded the country's credit rating six notches to a B minus. I mean, not the worst grade on your report card, but in the financial world this is junk bond status.

Still, Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens that there is a more stable outlook.

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All Tech Considered
3:59 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

The Day Instagram Almost Lost Its Innocence

Instagram was the target of a storm of outrage on Twitter and other sites after the company announced a change in its user agreement that hinted that it might use shared photos in ads.
Karly Domb Sadof AP

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

The wildly popular photo-sharing site Instagram nearly caused a user revolt when it revamped its terms of service and privacy policy to suggest it could allow uploaded photos to be used in ads without users' permission.

The change — which was posted in dense legalese on its website Monday — sparked users to vow to stop posting their color-filtered, tilt-shifted photos to Instagram.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
3:19 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Investors, Retailers Shy Away From Guns; Will It Last?

Rifles are displayed for sale at a gun shop in Aurora, Colo., in July. Gun makers are feeling isolated by changing public attitudes.
Alex Brandon AP

It's a nervous time for companies that make and sell guns.

On Tuesday, Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, announced it was selling its stake in Freedom Group, maker of the American Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which was used in the Newtown killings last Friday, along with other brands such as Remington.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
3:08 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Private Equity Group Withdraws Stake In Gun Company After Newtown Shootings

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Coal May Pass Oil As World's No. 1 Energy Source By 2017, Study Says

China and India are projected to propel coal's challenge of oil as the world's top energy source within the next five years, according to a new study. Here, a man rides a bicycle toward a coal-fired power station in China's Guangdong province last year.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:49 pm

Despite a slowdown in U.S. consumption, coal is poised to replace oil as the world's top energy source — possibly in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency. The rise will be driven almost entirely by new energy demands in China and India, the IEA says.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Investment Firm Selling Stakes In Gun Makers

Freedom Group

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 11:12 am

The issue of gun control appears to have moved into business and finance. One of the largest private equity companies in the country is terminating its relationship with a firearms corporation associated with one of the weapons used in the Newtown school shooting.

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Business
3:25 am
Tue December 18, 2012

How Adoption Tax Credit Benefits Families

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:07 am

As the "fiscal cliff" nears, Morning Edition evaluates some of the deductions and credits that are in the tax code. As part of our 12 Days of Tax Deductions, David Greene examines the Adoption Tax Credit, which supports families who adopt children from foster care, as well as infant and international adoptions.

Business
3:25 am
Tue December 18, 2012

'Fiscal Cliff' Interferes With Year-End Tax Plans

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 5:12 am

David Greene talks to tax expert Mary Beth Franklin about year-end tax moves to benefit your personal balance sheet. Franklin is a tax planner and contributing editor to Investment News.

Business
3:25 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with pressure to sell.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Business
3:25 am
Tue December 18, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 5:00 am

McKenna Pope, 13, of New Jersey wanted to get an Easy Bake Oven for her little brother, but didn't want him thinking the purple and pink toy was just for girls. Forty-thousand signatures later, Hasbro has now shown McKenna a prototype of a new silver, blue and black oven. The company says the gender-neutral toy will be on shelves next summer.

Business
3:25 am
Tue December 18, 2012

The Latest On 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:40 am

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met in person again Monday to discuss a budget deal that would undo the massive tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1. The Republican leader has offered to increase tax rates on people who make over $1 million. The president has responded with a counteroffer.

Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
2:26 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Coverage Rapid, And Often Wrong, In Tragedy's Early Hours

Flowers, candles and stuffed animals make up a makeshift memorial in Newtown, Conn., on Monday. Much of the initial news coverage of Friday's events was later found to be inaccurate.
Eric Thayer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 12:09 pm

Nearly everyone reported so many things wrong in the first 24 hours after the Sandy Hook shootings that it's hard to single out any one news organization or reporter for criticism.

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Economy
1:20 am
Tue December 18, 2012

The Downsides Of Living In An Oil Boom Town

Cyndy Aafedt (left) owns the El Rancho hotel in Williston, N.D. Jobs in town have been hard to fill. Her employee, Mary Joy Hardt (right), who is from the Philippines, is one of many people with J-1 visas helping to fill retail, hotel and restaurant job openings here.
Meg Luther Lindholm for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 9:18 am

The population boom in Williston, N.D., has been a blessing and a curse for many local businesses. Williston, the fastest growing small city in America, is enjoying an oil boom and has seen its population double in the past two years.

At the city's brand new McDonald's, manager Vern Brekhus struggles every day to maintain his staff of nearly 100 workers.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Investors Shun Gun Makers As Gun-Control Talk Increases

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 10:00 am

(Scroll down for a Tuesday morning update.)

On Wall Street, investors appear to be listening closely to the growing talk in Washington about curbing assault weapons.

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Girls, Boys And Toys: Rethinking Stereotypes In What Kids Play With

Hasbro's pink Easy-Bake Oven is under fire for reinforcing gender stereotypes.
Peggy Turbett The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:50 am

We've been focusing on some serious news today. Here's something on the lighter side.

A New Jersey teenager who launched a campaign to get Hasbro to make a gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven is expected to meet with the toy company Monday afternoon.

Update at 5:40 p.m. ET. Easy-Bake Oven goes gender-neutral:

After meeting with Pope, Hasbro now says it plans to introduce a new black, silver, and blue model of the oven, and to feature boys in ads for the product. Our original post continues:

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Economy
9:44 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Why Not Raise Capital Gains Taxes?

As a part of the series, "Why Not," Tell Me More is looking at policies that were once untouchable but now may be on the table. Today, NPR Correspondent Tamara Keith and Emory Law Professor Dorothy Brown dig into the pros-and-cons of raising taxes on capital gains and dividends.

Business
3:17 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:41 am

When Apple launched it's iPhone 5 in China Friday, it sold more than 2 million phones in three days. It's great news for the company as there have been some concerns about Apple's long-term outlook and its stock has taken a hit in recent days.

Business
3:17 am
Mon December 17, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:46 am

A cleaning crew found the coins after the death of a reclusive man in Carson City, Nevada, earlier this year. When the man was found to have no relatives in the area, researchers followed the trail to a teacher in California. She just needs certification from a judge to claim the chunk of change.

Business
3:17 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Toy Industry Faces Gender Issues

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 4:54 am

David Greene talks to toy analyst Sean McGowan about Lego's new line for girls, gender-neutral Easy Bake Ovens and other gender issues facing the toy industry. McGowan is a senior analyst at Needham & Company.

NPR Story
3:09 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Examining Child Tax Credit

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:05 am

There's still no budget deal to prevent the automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to go into effect at the end of this year. There are some tax deductions, credits and other breaks lawmakers are weighing in this budget debate.

Afghanistan
1:32 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Afghan Woman Carves Out An Entrepreneurial Niche

Fatima Jafari, owner of Bamboo Wood Industries, listens to a worker in her factory in Kabul, Afghanistan. Jafari is one of the few female entrepreneurs in an industrial trade in the country, despite international efforts to support women in business.
Sultan Faizy NPR

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:49 am

Behind a tall metal gate in a nondescript nook of Kabul sits the Bamboo Wood Industries factory. It's not a place you're likely to stumble across by accident. Inside, a handful of men are cutting, painting and assembling desks and cabinets. The pieces being made are chocolate brown and quite modern looking.

Sitting in a spartan, unheated office above the factory floor is Fatima Jafari, the owner of the company. The 30-something woman started the business a little over a year ago.

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All Tech Considered
1:31 am
Mon December 17, 2012

New Car Features May Keep Older Drivers Out Of The Big Yellow Taxi

Former British politician Ann Widdecombe tests Ford's active park assist feature in the U.K. in July 2011.
Ford Motor Co.

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 2:08 pm

In some of the most potent cultural images we have of cool cars, they are being driven by young men — Ron Howard cruising in American Graffiti, cousins Bo and Luke from The Dukes of Hazzard sliding over the hood of the General Lee, James Dean behind the wheel of his Porsche.

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