Business

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.

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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

Tax Deductions And The Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:20 am

Morning Edition continues with the latest installment of its series: The Twelve Days of Deductions. It's a nod to the many deductions, credits and other tax breaks that political leaders are weighing as they continue their negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

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.

Around the Nation
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Commission Probes N.Y. Power Loss After Hurricane Sandy

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:01 am

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to hold the Long Island Power Authority accountable for its performance after Superstorm Sandy. He appointed a special commission to look at how the utility performed. The commission had a meeting Tuesday night on Long Island, where thousands lost power, in some cases for weeks.

Around the Nation
3:56 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Is California Up Next For An Oil And Gas Boom?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:05 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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NPR Story
3:56 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Do Unions Still Have Clout In Michigan?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The contentious fight over labor rights has been unfolding throughout the Midwest in the last couple of years. Michigan is only the latest example.

NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea joins us now to explore the broader impact of all this. Good morning, Don.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So how is what has happened in Michigan different from what we've seen over the past couple of years in Wisconsin and Ohio, where Republican governors also took on labor unions?

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Business
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

HSBC Officials Knowingly Dealt With Iranian Banks

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:57 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

More now on the HSBC case and, more broadly, on what banks are obliged to do and what HSBC did not do. Jimmy Gurule is a professor of law at Notre Dame University law school, used to be undersecretary for enforcement at the Department of the Treasury. Welcome to the program.

JIM GURULE: Thank you.

SIEGEL: And first, someone makes a big deposit at a big bank. What must the bank do and what must it know about that deposit?

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Business
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Small Businesses Might Still Hire If Taxes Are Raised

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now to one of the big sticking points in Washington these days. Much of the debate over impending tax hikes and budget cuts centers on the tax rate for top earners. President Obama argues the tax rate for income over $250,000 a year should be allowed to go up. Republicans say there should be no change in tax rates. When Democrats talk about raising taxes on the wealthy, Republicans hear it as raising taxes on small businesses and killing jobs.

Well, NPR's S.V. Date has been exploring that argument.

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Business
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

U.S. Officials Hope HSBC Penalty Sends A Message

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:55 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. It is the biggest penalty ever paid by a bank to the U.S. government. HSBC, a British company, will hand over $1.9 billion to settle a money laundering case. The Justice Department says HSBC violated the bank secrecy act and the trading with the enemy act by doing business with the likes of Iran.

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Business
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Big Stores Changed Retail With Hands-On Shopping

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're going to get a little help now from Ebenezer Scrooge to set up this next conversation.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "A CHRISTMAS CAROL")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as Ebenezer Scrooge) I will live in the past, the 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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Law
12:12 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

What Changes In Right-To-Work States?

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:26 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

CONAN: That was the scene this morning outside the Michigan statehouse in Lansing as activists protested the legislature's work on two bills to rewrite the state's labor laws and make Michigan the 24th state in the country to become a right to work state. Rick Pluta, the managing editor and statehouse bureau chief for Michigan Public Radio Network, joins us now by phone from the statehouse. Nice to have you on the program today.

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Economy
9:56 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Are 'Fiscal Cliff' Conversations Going Anywhere?

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. The latest unemployment numbers are out and while things are getting slightly better overall, younger people who want to work are still having a very tough time. We reached out to an economist who says apprenticeships might offer one way to offer more opportunity to the younger trying to get into the world of work. We'll talk more about that in just a few minutes.

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Money Coach
9:56 am
Tue December 11, 2012

'Tis The Season To Avoid Charity Scams

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 9:13 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we'd like to talk about those new unemployment numbers. Last week, we learned that the national unemployment rate has dropped to 7.7 percent. That's the lowest level in four years. But the cheering hasn't started for one group of people, the youngest workers, or would-be workers.

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Economy
9:56 am
Tue December 11, 2012

You're Hired! Apprenticeships And Unemployed Youth

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 9:13 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Later in the program, you might think of apprenticeships as something out of the era of blacksmithing and barrel-making, but our next guest says it's time for this type of employment to make a comeback.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Delta Makes Deal To Buy 49 Percent Of Virgin Atlantic

Two bag tags that may soon be together a lot.
Photo illustration by Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Looking to grab more of "the lucrative New York-to-London market," Delta Air Lines said today that it plans to spend $360 million for a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic.

As USA Today writes:

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It's All Politics
9:49 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Calendar: What Happens When

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 11:39 am

As weary as many Americans grew of campaign commercials last month, they may be getting even more annoyed this month by endless talk of the fiscal cliff, the massive collection of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at year's end.

It's easy to understand the urge to stick fingers in ears and loudly chant "la-la-la-la." The budget problems are indeed complicated, and the negotiations tedious.

But resolving the mess is extremely important: Without a solution, every person who gets a paycheck or has investments will see his or her taxes rise.

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Business
4:36 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Could The Opportunity Credit Be Eliminated?

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:55 am

Transcript

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As we head into the holiday season, political leaders are un-merrily locked in a battle over how to cut federal spending and raise revenue - and this could mean meddling with tax deductions that many Americans hold dear.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

So this week and next, we're taking a closer look at individual deductions and tax credits that might be on the chopping block.

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

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Business
4:36 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Climbing Corporate Ladder Is Slow Going For Women

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A new report out this morning finds women are still not making much progress moving up the corporate ladder. Only a small number of senior executives at Fortune 500 companies are women, and the nonprofit group Catalyst shows the number has not changed much in years. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

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Around the Nation
4:36 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Right-To-Work Measure Expected To Pass In Michigan

A right-to-work protester walks past Michigan state police at the capitol in Lansing on Tuesday. The Michigan Legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday that would bar contracts requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 11:29 am

Michigan's Legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday that would bar contracts requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment. The proposed right-to-work law has infuriated union leaders in a state considered the heart of the union movement.

Republican leaders pushing the bill closely watched the fights over labor rights going on across the Midwest, but it wasn't Ohio or Wisconsin that prompted them into action. Many leaders in the public and private sector looked to their neighbor to the immediate south.

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Business
4:36 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a controversial battery buy.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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