Business

The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

CBO Warns Again: Ignoring Fiscal Cliff Could Result In Recession

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:57 pm

The so-called fiscal cliff is a double-edged sword, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says in a new report issued today.

Why? Ignoring the huge tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at the beginning of the year "will probably cause the economy to fall back into a recession."

But: "They will make the economy stronger later in the decade and beyond."

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Economy
2:54 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Corn Belt Farmland: The Newest Real Estate Bubble?

This field is part of a 160-acre tract in Saline County, Mo., that sold for $10,700 per acre in February β€” double what it would have gone for five years ago.
Abby Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:02 pm

Howard Audsley has been driving through Missouri for the past 30 years to assess the value of farmland. Barreling down the flat roads of Saline County on a recent day, he stopped his truck at a 160-acre tract of newly tilled black land. The land sold in February for $10,700 per acre, double what it would have gone for five years ago.

Heading out into the field, Audsley picked up a clod of the dirt that makes this pocket of land some of the priciest in the state.

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The Salt
2:41 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

You Can Thank A Whey Refinery For That Protein Smoothie

Tim Opper, of Cabot Cheese, inspects equipment that separates whey protein from sugar in the company's whey processing plant.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 7:52 am

If you've ever checked the ingredient list on a PowerBar or a high-protein smoothie, you probably have stumbled across these words: "Whey protein concentrate." You'll find it in a growing number of prepared foods.

This mysterious ingredient is derived from one of the oldest of human foods β€” milk. But capturing it requires huge factories that look more like oil refineries than farms.

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Economy
10:06 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Can Bipartisanship Save Us From The Fiscal Cliff?

The election is over and the deadline for the so-called "fiscal cliff" is drawing closer. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about how the two relate, and what it could mean for America's economic future.

The Two-Way
8:19 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Word To The Wise: Change Your Twitter Password

Twitter.com

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 10:23 am

The news is spreading that Twitter is warning quite a few users that their accounts may have been compromised and that they should immediately change their passwords.

TechCrunch says, "keep your eyes peeled Twitter users: Twitter is sending out emails to some of its users telling them it has reset their password and asking them to create a new one."

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Thu November 8, 2012

McDonald's Has First Drop In Key Sales Figure Since 2003

The golden arches at a McDonald's restaurant in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 7:50 pm

Fast-food giant McDonald's said today that revenue at its restaurants that have been open at least 13 months fell 1.8 percent in October β€” the first time it has suffered a month-to-month decline in that key indicator since April 2008, according to BloombergBusinessweek.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Jobless Claims Fell By 8,000 Last Week; Superstorm Sandy Might Be Factor

Job-related booklets at a New York State Department of Labor Employment Services office in Brooklyn.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

There were 355,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down by 8,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

But a measure designed to show the trend edged up: "The 4-week moving average was 370,500, an increase of 3,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 367,250."

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Europe
3:54 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Greeks In Store For More Austerity Cuts

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 3:31 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And during the presidential campaign, Greece and its crushing debt often came up as a cautionary tale, as in don't let America become another Greece.

That country has now approved yet another round of deep budget cuts to avoid bankruptcy, which in turn prompted another round of protests, as Joanna Kakissis reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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Around the Nation
3:51 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Mich. Voters Defeat 2 Organized Labor Ballot Issues

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 8:46 am

Unions poured millions of dollars into ballot campaigns to guarantee collective bargaining rights in the Michigan Constitution and allow state-paid home care assistants to organize into a union. Both were resoundingly defeated.

Business
3:51 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Labor Strife Pits Immigrants Against Immigrants

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 8:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And a strike by workers in Milwaukee, is pitting a group of Mexican immigrants against their employer - a family-owned business that itself was founded by immigrants. As WBEZ's Niala Boodhoo reports, the dispute - involving workers and their legal status - reflects struggles of other immigrants in the workplace.

NIALA BOODHOO, BYLINE: You could call Palermo's Pizza the quintessential American success story. The company was started by Italian immigrant Gaspare Fallucca, from a small bakery and restaurant on Milwaukee's East Side.

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Business
3:51 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 7:00 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a whole bunch of insurance plans.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Maybe also some auto industry stimulus here. As many as a quarter million cars and trucks damaged when Sandy stormed up the East Coast will have to be scrapped. That's according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. The estimate is less than the 325,000 cars ruined by Hurricane Katrina, but it's still an awful lot of cars.

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NPR Story
3:35 am
Thu November 8, 2012

South Africa Bank Notes Feature Nelson Mandela

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 8:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is Mandela money.

That's Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader and first black president of South Africa. He's now also the first black person to grace South Africa's currency.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
1:30 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Hospitals Gamble On Urgent Care Clinics To Keep Patients Healthy

Dr. Wanda Simmons-Clemmons examines Dawn Antonelli at the PromptCare urgent care clinic.
Jenny Gold for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:51 pm

When Stephen Wheeler realized he had an aching, swollen finger, he called his primary care doctor, who works for MedStar Health. The doctor referred him to PromptCare, an urgent care clinic in a strip mall in the Baltimore suburbs.

Wheeler says he probably would have ended up waiting a long time if he'd gone to the doctor. And even longer at the emergency room.

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The Salt
1:29 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Americans Rediscover The Kick Of Hard Cider

A growing number of U.S. consumers are finding much to enjoy in this fruity alcoholic beverage, driving an increase in cider sales. The Vermont Hard Cider Company now produces 70,000 cases of Woodchuck Hard Cider each week.
Ben Sarle Vermont Hard Cider Company

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:52 pm

A couple hundred years ago. hard apple cider used to be the drink of choice for thirsty Americans. It was easy to make and easy to find. But as people moved into cities, and beer became more popular, cider fell out of fashion.

Now it's come roaring back. U.S. hard cider sales are up 65 percent over last year, and just about all the big beer companies sell it, as well as many artisan brewers. Finding cider at your local bar is often no longer a problem.

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U.S.
1:26 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Opening Lines Set For A Deal To Avoid Fiscal Cliff

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Wednesday that House Republicans are willing to accept new revenues "under the right conditions."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:50 pm

With the election over, attention in Washington has turned to the nation's debt and deficit challenges β€” most immediately the looming fiscal cliff. That's the $600 billion worth of expiring tax breaks and automatic spending cuts set to start taking effect Jan. 1.

The president and Congress agreed to those automatic measures to force themselves to find a more palatable compromise to rein in deficits. On Wednesday, there was an attempt to jump-start that process.

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Shots - Health News
1:25 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Obamacare Is Here To Stay, But In What Form?

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signs a bill in June 2011 to pave the way for a health insurance exchange in the state.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 8:46 am

President Obama's re-election and the retention of a Democratic majority in the Senate means the likelihood of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act has receded.

So what now?

"The law is here and we should at this point expect it to still be here Jan. 1, 2014," says Alan Weil, executive director of the nonpartisan National Academy for State Health Policy.

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U.S.
3:41 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Frustrated Long Island Braces For New Power Outages

Patty Manfredonia, president of a volunteer ambulance company in Sayville, N.Y., has been collecting blankets for Long Island residents without power. A new storm Wednesday is already causing new outages.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 6:49 pm

Normally, the nor'easter bearing down on the Northeast on Wednesday wouldn't be a tremendous cause for concern. But the storm, delivering snow, sleet and wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour, is expected to hit parts of Long Island and New Jersey still reeling from Hurricane Sandy.

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Shots - Health News
2:58 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

New Pill For Rheumatoid Arthritis Gets FDA Nod

A bottle like this one containing Xeljanz, a new arthritis drug from Pfizer, would cost more than $2,000 wholesale.
Pfizer

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:02 pm

In the Election Day scramble you might have missed that Pfizer got a new drug approved for rheumatoid arthritis.

Pfizer expects the twice-a-day pill called Xeljanz will be available in pharmacies later this month.

The drug won't come cheap. The wholesale price will run about $2,000 for a month's supply, the company says.

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Planet Money
12:15 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Ask A Banker: High Frequency Trading

Not just an empty suit.
Paul Goyette Flickr

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 11:58 am

Hi! I'm back. I was once a banker and now I write for Dealbreaker and answer your 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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The Salt
11:37 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Meet 4 African Women Who Are Changing The Face Of Coffee

Fatima Aziz Faraji is one of four women who is at the forefront of empowering women in the coffee sector.
Karen Castillo FarfΓ‘n NPR

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 1:39 pm

If you're a coffee drinker, chances are the cup of java you drank this morning was made from beans that were produced or harvested by women. Women's handprints can be found at every point in coffee production.

In fact, on family-owned coffee farms in Africa, about 70 percent of maintenance and harvesting work is done by women, according to an analysis by the International Trade Centre, but only rarely do women own the land or have financial control.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Stocks Fall On 'Fiscal Cliff' Fears

On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange this morning.
Allison Joyce Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:02 pm

On the day after voters returned President Obama to the White House and kept Democrats in control of the Senate and Republicans in control of the House:

"Investors pulled back sharply ... [amid] rising worries about the upcoming fiscal fight in Congress," The Wall Street Journal writes.

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The Salt
8:55 am
Wed November 7, 2012

California Rejects Labeling Of Genetically Modified Food; Supporters Vow To Fight On

Supporters of genetically modified food labeling rally last month at Los Angeles City Hall.
cheeseslave Flickr.com

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 11:14 am

What a difference $46 million in TV ad spending can make.

At least that was the consensus in the wee hours of the morning at the Yes on Proposition 37 party, held at a performance art space in San Francisco's Mission District, even before the final votes were tallied.

Outspent many times over, "we couldn't get up on the air," organizer Stacy Malkan told The Salt when it appeared the measure was going down. "You need a certain saturation to have an impact."

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Business
3:50 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Media Companies Benefit From Political Ads Binge

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 8:31 am

Media companies are counting themselves among the winners in the 2012 election. SuperPAC spending on political ads will push the total amount spent past 2008 totals. The biggest beneficiaries are the usual suspects: Comcast, Disney, NewsCorp and CBS, but also locally owned TV and radio stations β€” especially those in swing states like Ohio and Florida.

Business
3:50 am
Wed November 7, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 8:31 am

More than an hour before taking the stage to formally announce his re-election, @Barack Obama tweeted his victory. He wrote, "This happened because of you." Obama was one of millions of people who tweeted on Election Day. Traffic on the social networking site peaked at 11:19 p.m. Tuesday when the TV networks called the race.

Economy
3:50 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Obama Pledges To Complete Economic Recovery

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The economy has been a central issue in this presidential election, but it has been improving little by little. In the end, President Obama handily rolled to reelection, pledging, last night, to complete the country's recovery. For more, we turn to economic correspondent John Ydstie. Good morning.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Now, the weak economy was what Republicans hoped would unseat the president and that did not happen. What are the reasons for that?

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Economy
3:40 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Economy Looms Large Over Obama's 2nd Term

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a dive on Wall Street. Just this minute, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down about 317 points. It's considered the worst drop of the year, so far. We're a little bit before noon in New York City. What's going on? We're going to try to find out. We're joined now by DavidWessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal. And David, as best you can determine, what's driving the drop?

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It's All Politics
3:22 am
Wed November 7, 2012

After Election, Congress Turns To 'Fiscal Cliff,' Other Money Issues

If Congress fails to address the alternative minimum tax, millions of households could see their federal 2012 tax bills jump.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 8:40 pm

For months, Americans have been watching the presidential political drama play out nightly on the news. Now, with President Obama's victory, that story is ending.

But for the economy, an action thriller is just beginning.

Congress has just weeks to jump to the rescue of an economy moving closer and closer to the so-called fiscal cliff. That phrase refers to a $600 billion cluster of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes β€” all coming together at year's end.

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It's All Politics
12:11 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Business, Labor Groups Laud Obama Victory

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 12:17 am

Exit polls showed the economy was Issue No. 1 with voters in this presidential election. And it didn't take long for labor organizers and business leaders to start offering their thoughts on the re-election of President Obama.

Because of White House policies, the U.S. economy is "beginning to pick up steam," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. He cheered Obama's win and put congressional Republicans on notice that Democrats will focus on "ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and opposing any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits."

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Your Money
9:19 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Angie's Tips On Avoiding Storm Scams

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 10:03 am

Severe weather could be headed for regions hard hit by superstorm Sandy, so many homeowners are scrambling to make repairs. The rush might make them vulnerable to so-called storm chasers β€” con artists posing as contractors. Host Michel Martin speaks with Angie Hicks, founder of the website Angie's List, for tips on how to avoid home repair scams.

Business
3:41 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Kodak Retirees To Lose Health Benefits

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 10:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Eastman Kodak received approval yesterday to end retiree benefits by year's end. The ruling in a New York State court will save the company millions as it emerges from bankruptcy. It will also mean higher health care costs for thousands of retirees and their families.

Carlet Cleare of member station WXXI reports.

CARLET CLEARE, BYLINE: Retiree Alyce Hahn says Kodak's decision and yesterday's court ruling has left her with a sense of betrayal.

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