Business

Business
2:43 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Protesters To Picket Wal-Mart On Black Friday

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 2:51 am

Union-backed organizations plan to picket selected stores across the country, about 1,000 in all. Journalist Charles Fishman tells Linda Wertheimer the groups protesting want to make Wal-Mart a better company and a better place to work. Fishman is the author of the book, The Wal-Mart Effect.

Business
2:43 am
Thu November 22, 2012

More And More Airline Flights Are Filled To Capacity

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 2:52 am

Airlines are always crowded during the Thanksgiving holiday. But if you've had the feeling they're becoming more crowded all the time, it's not just your imagination. On average, more than 80 percent of airline seats have been filled and plenty of flights have been packed to capacity.

Business
1:25 am
Thu November 22, 2012

On Thanksgiving, Stores Serve Up A Side Of Shopping

Walmart associate Angel Campos stocks Christmas decorations Wednesday ahead of the pre-Black Friday event at the Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Rosemead, Calif.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 5:11 am

Gray Thursday may become the new Black Friday. Many big retailers have moved up the beginning of their shopping season, traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving, to Thursday evening.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling pressure from online retailers, which have given consumers an earlier shopping option.

"In the past, online retailers have had Thanksgiving Day all to themselves," says Marshal Cohen, retail analyst with the NPD Group. "And what that means is by the time Black Friday comes around, a lot of consumers have already spent a bunch of money."

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It's All Politics
1:23 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Before The Showdown: The Long Road To The Fiscal Cliff

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prepares to announce a debt ceiling deal in July 2011. That deal laid the foundation for the across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect on New Year's Day, 2013.
Harry Hamburg AP

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 2:45 am

New Year's Day typically inspires hope and new beginnings. But this next one may be cause for trepidation. Tax cuts for all income levels expire on Jan. 1, 2013, and most federal programs will face a 10 percent haircut — because Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan.

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Business
3:20 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

HP Says It Was Duped Into Overpaying For Company

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 3:57 pm

Hewlett Packard is claiming it was duped into overpaying when it acquired Britain's largest software company a little more than a year ago. HP released its latest quarterly earning report on Tuesday and announced that it was writing off most of the $11 billion investment. The firm HP bought, Autonomy, denies there were any improprieties.

The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Judge Approves Hostess' Plan To Liquidate

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

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 3:02 pm

Maybe the end is nigh, after all.

A judge has approved Hostess' plan to liquidate the company, all but assuring that the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Donettes and Wonder Bread will cease to exist.

The New York Times reports:

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop; But Superstorm Sandy's Effects Still Being Felt

The scene at a career fair last month in New York City.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

There were 410,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 41,000 from the level of the week before — when the number of applications soared because of the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy.

The Employment and Training Administration just released the latest figure. At 410,000, claims were still running at a pace above the pre-Sandy range of 350,000 to 400,000 a week.

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Around the Nation
4:02 am
Wed November 21, 2012

'We Didn't Do Enough' To Protect S.C. Tax Records

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Here is a story that's has people in South Carolina on edge. Foreign hackers recently broke into the state's Department of Revenue and stole the records of 3.8 million individual taxpayers and nearly three-quarters of a million businesses. The breach affects everyone who filed an electronic tax return in South Carolina going back to 1998. NPR's Kathy Lohr has the story.

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Business
3:57 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Travelers Take Flight

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Between the lines and the crowds and the dashes to gates, airports are busy places. Atlanta's airport is one of the busiest in the world, especially during Thanksgiving, which is the busiest holiday for travel. Charles Edwards of member station WABE braved the city's airport to bring us this story.

CHARLES EDWARDS, BYLINE: So far this week, security lines inside Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have been long. But, they're moving.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHATTER)

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Business
3:36 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Shops, Buyers Slow To Return To South Street Seaport

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As the holiday season takes hold in New York City, shoppers are heading to FAO Schwartz near Central Park for toys, and to Macy's on 34th Street for clothes or cookware. They shouldn't have a problem, Midtown Manhattan was largely unaffected by Hurricane Sandy. One major tourist attraction in lower Manhattan wasn't so lucky.

Dan Tucker, of member station WNYC, has this report from the historic South Street Seaport.

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Business
3:36 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a costly misstep by HP.

The California-based technology giant is writing down an $8.8 billion loss. CEO Meg Whitman says much of that comes from new revelations about Autonomy, a software company HP bought last year. She says the company lied about the state of its finances. HP plans to sue, and has asked authorities in both the U.S. and the U.K. to investigate. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Health Care
3:36 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Fixing Health Care Waste Would Trip Deficit

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Washington, lawmakers are trying to work out a deal to keep the economy from going over the fiscal cliff. Many economists predict those automatic tax hikes combined with deep spending cuts set to go into effect on New Year's Day would throw the economy back into recession.

A group of top CEOs has been urging lawmakers to reach a deal to keep that from happening. Mark Bertolini is one of them. He's CEO of the health insurer Aetna and he said tax increases are as important as spending cuts. We called him to talk more.

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Business
3:36 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Feds: Hedge Fund Benefited From Insider Trading

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have brought charges in what they are calling the biggest insider trading case ever. A former hedge fund employee made about a quarter billion dollars for the fund after allegedly getting a sneak preview of clinical trial data for a new drug.

NPR's Ailsa Chang reports prosecutors believe this may lead them to even bigger cases.

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Business
3:36 am
Wed November 21, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: retro gift.

This holiday season Furby is making a comeback. That's the fuzzy owl-like creature that learns to speak. In his first incarnation back in the '90s 40 million Furbys were sold.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

To reach those numbers again, the 21st century version has some updates - like LCD screens for eyes. They dilate to display graphics like rainbows, love-hearts or diamonds.

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Business
1:34 am
Wed November 21, 2012

To Lure Shoppers, Wal-Mart Tries Same-Day Delivery

Like many other brick-and-mortar retailers, Wal-Mart is trying to attract shoppers increasingly accustomed to online shopping. In one experiment, it's offering same-day delivery in four select markets.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 9:07 am

With the holiday shopping season shifting into high gear, retailers are doing everything they can to win consumer dollars. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is trying out one new strategy this season: same-day delivery. In a few select markets, it's joining online retail giant Amazon and eBay's "Now" service in offering super-quick delivery, straight to your door.

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The Salt
1:33 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Why Greek Yogurt Makers Want Whey To Go Away

Most of the gleaming steel tanks outside Fage's yogurt factory hold milk. One, however, holds the yogurt byproduct whey.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:45 am

A few months ago, I let you in on a little secret about Greek yogurt. Not all of this extra-thick, protein-rich yogurt is made the old-style way, by straining liquid out of it it. Some companies are creating that rich taste by adding thickeners, such as powdered protein and starch.

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Planet Money
1:18 am
Wed November 21, 2012

How The Government Set Up A Fake Bank To Launder Drug Money

Skip Latson marks the fake opening of RHM Trust Bank.
Bill Bruton

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:18 am

In the early 1990s, Colombian drug cartels had a problem: They had more money than they knew what to do with.

"They were having a very difficult time with just the logistics of laundering millions and millions and millions of dollars every week," says Skip Latson, who worked for the DEA at the time.

So Latson and Bill Bruton, who was a special agent with the IRS, hatched a plan: They'd create a fake, offshore bank catering to the needs of the drug cartel.

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Planet Money
1:45 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Ask A Banker: Are The Banks Still Too Big To Fail?

Paul Goyette Flickr

Hi! I'm back again. I'm a former banker, now a writer at Dealbreaker and an answerer of real and imagined questions about the financial world here. You can send questions to planetmoney@npr.org with "ask a banker" in the subject line, or ask on Twitter (@planetmoney).

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Education
10:41 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Future Of Cash-Strapped Historic Black Colleges

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, short-term jitters are leading many small investors to pull their money off of Wall Street. We're going to ask what that could mean for them and the market in the long run. That's just ahead.

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Business
10:38 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Are Stocks Threatened By 'Generation Sell'?

Fewer than 20 percent of Americans now say they're interested in buying stocks. That's according to a survey conducted by the site Bankrate.com. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks to Roben Farzad, contributor for Bloomberg BusinessWeek about what this could mean for the market's future.

The Two-Way
6:39 am
Tue November 20, 2012

HP Takes $8.8 Billion Hit From 'Misrepresentations' By Company It Bought

At Hewlett-Packard headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 10:23 am

Saying it was a victim of "serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations" by a British software company it acquired last year, tech titan Hewlett-Packard just announced it erased $8.8 billion from its books last quarter to properly account for the acquisition.

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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.

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
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.

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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