Business

Business
3:27 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Hostess Delays Liquidation, Will Meet With Union

Hostess Brands and its second-largest have agreed to a day of mediation to see if they can end a strike by bakers and prevent the company from shutting down. The parties will meet Tuesday with a bankruptcy judge. He announced on Monday that he wasn't ready to approve a liquidation.

Business
3:23 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with mortgage hiring.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: Banks are rushing to add employees to meet the demand for home loans. Low interest rates have sparked a record wave of mortgage activity, and the need for more people to process the paperwork. Mortgage employment rose by 9 percent this year, to its highest level since the financial crisis in 2008. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Around the Nation
3:23 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Drought Hurts U.S. Grain Exporters, Market Share

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now for today's business bottom line. Last summer's drought has brought bad news this fall - low crop yields, especially of corn; plus higher prices, and a prediction from the Department of Agriculture that corn exports will be at a 40-year low. The U.S. still is the world's biggest supplier of corn. But this year, American exporters won't be quite as dominant as usual, in the global corn market. From Missouri, Abbie Fentress Swanson reports on the impact this is having.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Business
3:23 am
Tue November 20, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:29 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business: 'Tis the season for shopping days with names.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's not just Black Friday anymore. With stores opening earlier and earlier, Black Friday is fast becoming Black Thursday. You might still go out and bargain hunt on Friday, but be warned, there's no rest for you on Saturday. There's now Small Business Saturday, when shoppers are encouraged to buy from local stores.

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Business
3:23 am
Tue November 20, 2012

The Origin Of The Term Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:20 am

The fiscal cliff has economists and politicians in a tailspin. The term is used to describe what will happen if Congress fails to come to an agreement on budget cuts or tax increases by the end of the year. Some say the term is inaccurate, and somewhat alarmist. Linda Wertheimer talks to linguist and Boston Globe language columnist Ben Zimmer about the origin of the term fiscal cliff.

Business
1:20 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Tempted By Holiday Discounts, Consumers 'Self-Gift'

People crowd the aisles inside Macy's department store Nov. 25, 2011, in New York after the midnight opening to begin the "Black Friday" shopping weekend.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 3:23 am

Have you ever been out shopping for other people during the holiday season, and the sales were so good you couldn't help but buy something for yourself?

The National Retail Federation calls that self-gifting, and says that this year consumers who do it plan to spend an average of about $140.

Spokeswoman Kathy Grannis says that's the most in the 10 years the NRF has been asking shoppers about the trend.

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It's All Politics
4:09 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Siren: Meet The Man Behind The Curtain

Peter G. Peterson speaks at the Fiscal Summit in Washington, D.C., last year. The event was sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 6:28 pm

Debate over the long-term debt and the annual deficit has dominated the post-election agenda. Both the White House and Congress want to avert massive budget cuts and tax hikes early next year, a situation popularly called the "fiscal cliff."

The challenge has been brewing for years. But its current prominence owes much to the decades-long lobbying of billionaire Peter G. Peterson and his private foundation.

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Business
2:41 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Tech Week Ahead: Intel CEO To Retire Early

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 3:52 pm

Audie Cornish and Robert Siegel talk about the tech week ahead. They cover the announcement that Intel CEO Paul Otellini plans to retire early and will step down next year.

The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Maybe Twinkies Do Last Forever: Union, Hostess Headed To Mediation

The big name in the Hostess lineup.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 6:43 am

"Twinkies Saved! Hostess, Bakers Union Agree to Mediation, Avoiding Shutdown."

That's the "alert" this hour at CNBC.com.

Reuters has issued this "bulletin":

"US BANKRUPTCY JUDGE SAYS PARTIES AGREE TO MEDIATION ON TUESDAY IN HOSTESS CASE."

And according to The Associated Press:

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Opinion
12:29 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Working On Thanksgiving?: Reasons To Be Grateful

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 12:42 pm

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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Planet Money
12:26 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

The U.S. Is Borrowing Less From China, More From Everybody Else

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

In popular U.S. mythology, China is the creditor-bogeyman. Japan is the place where robots take care of old people.

Mythology notwithstanding, Japan is about to pass China as the biggest foreign lender to the U.S. government.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Good Signs: Home Sales Are Up; Builders' Confidence Is Also Higher

This home sold last month in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 12:39 pm

Two positive economic indicators:

-- "Sales of existing homes increased in October, even with some regional impact from Hurricane Sandy, while home prices continued to rise due to lower levels of inventory supply," the National Association of Realtors reports.

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Business
4:58 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Visa Card Worth Its Weight In Gold

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 8:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with a credit card that's worth its weight in gold. For those who want to buy bling with bling, a bank in Kazakhstan plans to offer a Visa card made of gold, plus a couple of dozen diamonds and mother of pearl. It will require $100,000 upfront and an annual fee of $2,000, but there are no late fees and you get a free iPhone. It won't be the first bejeweled card, just the first made of pure gold. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
2:49 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 8:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with credit card debt rising.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Americans are running up more debt on their credit cards, and that could be a good sign. The average American had almost $5,000 of credit card debt in the third quarter of 2012, up almost 5 percent over the previous quarter.

Law
2:49 am
Mon November 19, 2012

BP Legal Troubles Persist Over Gulf Spill

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 8:38 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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NPR Story
2:44 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Hostess Brands To Begin Selling Its Assets

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 8:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business: Twinkie rush.

Hostess Brands today begins the process of selling off its assets in a bankruptcy court in New York. That process has struck fear in the hearts of lovers of the sugary-sweet Hostess products, like Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos. Sensing a Twinkie panic and a possible shortage, over the weekend some entrepreneurs took to eBay, offering up many Hostess brands at some very exorbitant prices.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Business
1:27 am
Mon November 19, 2012

The Past And Future Of America's Biggest Retailers

This is among the first Target stores. The company now operates 1,782 stores across the United States.
Courtesy of Target

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 8:38 am

It's an anniversary that most Americans can celebrate — the birthday of the big-box store. Discount shopping as we know it began 50 years ago. In 1962, enterprising retailers invented Wal-Mart, Target and Kmart.

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It's All Politics
1:25 am
Mon November 19, 2012

In Fiscal Cliff Talks, Higher Taxes Vs. Closing Loopholes

President Obama, accompanied by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, speaks to reporters at the White House on Friday during a meeting to discuss the fiscal cliff.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 8:38 am

The White House and Congress continue to work on a deal that avoids the fiscal cliff and cuts deficits in the long run. One of the biggest hurdles is President Obama's proposal to raise tax rates for the wealthy.

Republicans think a better course would be to raise revenue by closing loopholes and limiting deductions for high-income people. The question is, could that method raise enough money.

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Business
3:50 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Tesla Revived The Electric Car, But Can It Sell It?

Tesla workers cheer on the first Tesla Model S cars sold during a rally at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., in June.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 12:13 pm

The American auto industry has a new darling, but it doesn't come from the Big Three or even Motor City. Instead, it comes from the West Coast — Silicon Valley, to be precise.

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The Salt
3:06 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

EPA Says Its Ethanol Rules Aren't Driving Up Food Prices

A sign on the pump advertises the ethanol content of the gasoline as a motorist reaches for the gas pump in his truck at a filling station in Bellmead, Texas.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 1:47 pm

The ethanol industry is happy with the Environmental Protection Agency today. If you're worried about the price of meat, though, you may not be so pleased.

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Business
2:02 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Hostess To Sell Off Its Brands After 82 Years

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 6:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. The Twinkie, the snack cake with incredible staying power on the shelf and in the marketplace, may have reached its expiration date. Hostess Brands says it is liquidating, going out of business after 82 years. The company wants to sell off all of its brands. The decision comes one week after a strike.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Fri November 16, 2012

FHA Announces Moves Designed To Avoid Taxpayer Bailout

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan in May of 2012.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 12:40 pm

The Federal Housing Administration is on track to run out of money next September and may need a taxpayer bailout, an audit released today found.

Responding to the audit, however, the Obama administration announced a series of measures that they hope will raise enough revenue to keep the agency from seeking government help.

The Wall Street Journal explains:

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Planet Money
8:57 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Hidden Housing Subsidy May Soon Come Out Of Hiding

Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 12:47 pm

The federal government has all these ways of paying people to buy houses without actually, you know, paying people to buy houses.

We've talked a lot about two examples of this:

1. The mortgage-interest tax deduction is effectively a government payment to people who are paying a mortgage.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Fri November 16, 2012

East German Political Prisoners Made Some Of Its Products, IKEA Admits

Denis Charlet AFP/Getty Images

News outlets in German and Sweden have been reporting for the past year that some of the products made in past decades for Swedish furniture giant IKEA were produced by political prisoners in Cold War-era East Germany.

Today, IKEA conceded that the reports are true and that some of its "representatives" were aware of what was happening.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Fri November 16, 2012

No More Twinkies? Hostess Brands Is Shutting Down

Stock up now.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 7:53 am

Carrying through on its warning about what could happen, the management of Hostess Brands announced this morning that the company is going out of business and laying off its 18,500 employees.

At issue: According to Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn, "we simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike."

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Economy
3:26 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Everyone 'Has To Participate' To Avoid Fiscal Cliff

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Listen carefully to both President Obama and Republican leaders, and you hear hints of room for compromise. They're talking of taxes and spending as a deadline approaches, December 31st, when higher taxes and spending cuts would take effect. That would reduce the federal deficit, but also damage the economy, according to forecasters.

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Business
3:17 am
Fri November 16, 2012

FHA Faces Shortfall From Mortgage Losses

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with more mortgage problems.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Independent auditors released a report this morning, showing that the Federal Housing Administration is facing a shortfall from losses on the mortgages it insures. The Obama administration says it's going to take steps to prevent a taxpayer bailout.

As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, the FHA has been struggling since the foreclosure crisis hit four years ago.

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Business
2:47 am
Fri November 16, 2012

BP Settles Criminal Suit Over Gulf Oil Spill

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 4:05 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Let's talk next about what's being described as the largest criminal fine in U.S. history. BP will pay nearly $1.3 billion for crimes associated with its 2010 drilling rig accident and oil spill, in the Gulf of Mexico. On top of that, the company will pay more than $3 billion to settle claims from the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

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Business
2:47 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Nintendo Wii U Out This Weekend

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

For those who want to buy Nintendo's new video game console, you may have to wait a while. The Wii U goes on sale Sunday, but many stores have already sold out pre-orders. On Amazon, you can find the new console, but for much more than Nintendo's $350 price.

To find out what's the big deal for gamers and for Nintendo is, we've called Daisuke Wakabayashi. He covers Japanese video game companies for The Wall Street Journal, and joins us from Tokyo.

Good Morning, Dai.

DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI: Good morning.

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Business
2:47 am
Fri November 16, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 5:30 am

Honda, which has long aspired to launch off the road and into the skies, is one step closer to that goal. It has started production on its HondaJet. It's a twin jet engine aircraft, being assembled in North Carolina, aimed at the business market. Industry insiders call it the "Honda Civic of the skies."

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