Business

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."

Economy
2:47 am
Fri November 16, 2012

U.S. Mayors Concerned About Fiscal Cliff Cuts

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 4:49 am

The two biggest fears of the fiscal cliff are defense cuts and tax hikes. The nation's mayors say the devastating effects of automatic cuts reach further than the Defense Department — right into their own cities. Steve Inskeep talks to the Democratic Mayor of Charleston, S.C., Jospeh Riley and Republican Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Ariz., about the impact sequestration could have in their cities.

Planet Money
1:37 am
Fri November 16, 2012

It's Legal To Sell Marijuana In Washington. But Try Telling That To A Bank.

David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 12:03 pm

Voters in Washington and Colorado just approved measures legalizing marijuana for recreational use. But businesses that want to sell marijuana in those states will face a problem: No bank wants to do business with them.

I called several banks in Washington. I called a local credit union, a tiny bank in the San Juan islands. Everybody said basically the same thing. Even if selling marijuana is legal under state law, it's still illegal under federal law. And banks and credit unions worry that this could get them in trouble.

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Law
12:05 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Busted: What Happens When Shoplifters Get Caught?

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 1:25 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. As the holidays get underway, retailers go on high alert against shoplifters. Cases spike at this time of the year, and they're expected to raise losses for the year to nearly $35 billion.

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Money Coach
10:42 am
Thu November 15, 2012

A Military Boot Camp For Your Money

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, we've all heard about how veterans leave the military with lifelong lessons about discipline, camaraderie and staying cool under fire, but our next guest says his military service also helped him with his finances.

Steve Repak is a veteran who is now a certified financial planner. He says he's applied what he learned in the Army to apply discipline to his finances. He's written a book to share what he learned. It's called "Dollars and Uncommon Sense: Basic Training for Your Money," and he's with us now.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Superstorm Sandy Sends Jobless Claims Up Sharply

The line was long last week at a job fair in Chicago.
Scott Olson Getty Images

There were 439,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 78,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. Behind the big increase: Superstorm Sandy, which threw some people in the Mid-Atlantic onto the unemployment rolls and shut down state unemployment offices the week before — meaning that some claims were postponed into last week.

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Thu November 15, 2012

BP Pleads Guilty, Will Pay $4 Billion In Criminal Penalties For Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 4:32 pm

Update at 11:30 a.m. ET: Oil giant BP has agreed to plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill and will pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties, the company just confirmed. And it will pay $525 million in civil penalties in a resolution with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. BP will make the payments over six years.

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Business
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:28 am

An online petition is urging Macy's to stop selling its line of Donald Trump branded clothing. The petition says the department store should sever ties with Trump because he is offensive, sexist and hypocritical. But a Macy's spokesperson insists its merchandise and marketing do not represent any political position.

Business
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

BP Expected To Plead Guilty In Gulf Spill

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:12 am

Oil giant BP is preparing to plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf spill. The deal is set to be announced in New Orleans Thursday.

Business
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:21 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with Twinkie trouble.

Hostess Brands, famous for processed treats like Twinkies and Ding Dongs, says it will go into liquidation if striking bakers do not return to work this afternoon. This could see the layoffs of nearly 18,000 workers. The bakers walked out over wage and benefit cuts. Analysts say the company's most iconic brands would likely be bought by other companies if Hostess goes out of business. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Economy
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Studies Vary On How Many Jobs Will Be Lost If Taxes On The Wealthy Ride

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:07 am

Republicans claim President Obama's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy will cost the economy 700,000 jobs. Another study from the Congressional Budget Office puts the number of lost jobs as 200,000. But both studies also assume millions of new jobs will be created.

Business
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

House Report Blames Corzine For MF Global's Demise

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 4:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

House Republicans have released portions of a report on the collapse of MF Global, the commodities firm run by former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine. The report chastises Corzine for taking excessive risk.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Around the Nation
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Should Taxpayers Pay For Rebuilding Northeast Infrastructure?

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:01 am

President Obama travels to New York Thursday to get a first hand look at the continuing recovery efforts and lingering damage from Hurricane Sandy. Damage and lost economic activity from the storm have been estimated as high as $50 billion. State officials and lawmakers from the affected region say they intend to tap the federal government for as much assistance as possible.

Business
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Thompson Takes Over New York Times Company

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 4:58 am

This week marks the start of Mark Thompson's tenure as the new chief executive officer at the New York Times Co. It is facing financial head-winds, and is hoping Thompson can recapture some of the success he enjoyed in leading the BBC. But there's concern within the Times that its new leader has been tainted by scandals at his old employer.

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