Business

Business
2:52 am
Tue October 16, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 8:50 am

Snoop Dogg — who announced his reincarnation as Snoop Lion over the summer — is the newest spokesman for the microwaveable processed turnovers. In 2004, he had a hit, "Drop It Like It's Hot." Now he sings "Pocket Like It's Hot."

Business
2:52 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 8:45 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with some shopping season indicators.

Black Friday, the height of the holiday shopping season, is a month and a half away but companies are already announcing significant seasonal hiring plans. The National Retail Federation says it expects strong holiday sales this year. Today, Amazon announced it is hiring 50,000 workers, thousands of whom it says, it will keep on after the holidays.

NPR Story
2:52 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Bank Of America Improves Foreclosure Image

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 8:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Bank of America will release quarterly earnings tomorrow and once again, foreclosures will be part of the equation. The Charlotte-based bank's role in the 2008 housing crash has landed it on a fair number of lists of most hated institutions in America.

But, as Julie Rose of member station WFAE in Charlotte discovered, some of those most involved in cleaning up the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis are beginning to soften toward the bank.

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NPR Story
2:52 am
Tue October 16, 2012

How Is The Fall TV Season Doing?

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 8:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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NPR Story
2:52 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Manufacturers Financially Support Hiring Vets

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 8:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And four major manufacturers say they will start offering financial support for the training of military veterans. The corporations are taking part in a program called Get Skills to Work Coalition. It has said its initial goal at training 15,000 vets.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Unemployment among veterans has been falling, as it has for everyone else. The jobless rate among vets serving after 2001 now stands at 9.7 percent, but that's still about 2 percentage points higher than the general population.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
1:01 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Renters No More: Newbies Lured To Homeownership

Kitsy Roberts and Janko Williams have traded a rent payment for a mortgage. The Seattle couple is planning to put a lot of sweat equity into their fixer-upper.
Wendy Kaufman NPR

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 8:45 am

In many American communities, buying a home is now less expensive than renting. And with the economics tilting in favor of homeownership, many first-time buyers are jumping into the market.

After eight years of renting, Kitsy Roberts and her husband, Janko Williams, are practically giddy about their new Seattle home. And like proud parents, they are eager to show it off, from its historic details to its fresh paint.

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Business
3:40 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Sprint Born From Railroad, Telephone Businesses

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 4:46 pm

Melissa Block explores the long family history of the companies that comprise what became Sprint. It all began in Kansas in the late 19th century and came to include a long distance system created by the Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Network Telecommunications, or SPRINT.

Business
3:07 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Red Bull's Brand As Powerful As Its Beverage

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:10 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

Yesterday millions of people watched a man free fall from 24 miles above earth, breaking the sound barrier, and then watched as Felix Baumgartner glided down into the New Mexico desert.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Here he's coming. And there you can see by the approaching shadow, he's just about there. (Unintelligible) the world record holder.

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Business
3:05 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Softbank Buys $20 Billion Stake In Sprint-Nextel

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 4:46 pm

Japan's Softbank has announced it will spend $20 billion to take a majority stake in Sprint-Nextel. The deal will provide Sprint, the third largest carrier in the U.S. market, with some much needed cash. It also gives Softbank the opening it's been looking for to break into the U.S. market.

Business
2:52 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Softbank To Buy Majority Of Sprint Nextel

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 5:59 am

Japanese mobile phone company Softbank has announced it has agreed to buy 70 percent of Sprint Nextel for $20 billion. The deal would make Sprint Nextel a tougher competitor against its bigger rivals, Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

Business
2:51 am
Mon October 15, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 5:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today, is supersonic.

A space jump and the brand behind it mesmerized viewers yesterday.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Felix Baumgartner wanted to jump from 24 miles up and travel faster than the speed of sound in freefall, which would be a first. From mission control, they went through a checklist.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Item 31. Your shoot integrity is checked and your parachutes are not deployed.

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Business
2:51 am
Mon October 15, 2012

2 Americans Win Nobel Economics Prize

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 5:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Two Americans have been awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Economics for work that has to do with matching in business, medicine and marriage. The two, whose work turned out to be a good match, are Alvin Roth of Harvard and Lloyd Shapely of the University of California, Los Angeles. They will share the $1.2 million prize.

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Business
2:51 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Survey: Economy To Keep Growing But Not Add A Lot Of Jobs

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 5:59 am

The U.S. economy will continue to grow throughout the rest of the year and in 2013, but at a tepid rate that fails to lower unemployment, according to a new survey of business economists. The forecast, from the National Association of Business Economists, also expects consumer spending to weaken.

World
3:31 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Do Chinese Tech Firms Pose U.S. Security Threat?

Staff and visitors walk past the lobby at the Huawei office in Wuhan, China. Beijing has urged Washington to "set aside prejudices" after a draft congressional report said Chinese telecom firms Huawei and ZTE were security threats that should be banned from business in the U.S.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:59 pm

Over the past decade, Chinese companies have become major players in the global telecommunications market. This week the House Intelligence Committee issued a report that could interrupt that growth. The committee warned American companies not to do business with two of China's main telecom manufacturers, saying they posed a security threat.

Huawei Technologies is the miracle story of the Chinese high-tech industry, says telecommunications consultant Roger Entner.

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Planet Money
1:14 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Remember The 14-Year-Old Who Bought A House? She Just Bought Another One

This is Willow's new house.
Shannon Moore

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 10:20 am

Willow Tufano became a homeowner earlier this year. This was newsworthy because Willow was 14 years old. She raised money to buy the house by selling stuff on Craigslist.

I spoke to Willow again last week and got an update. She's 15 now, and her life over the past few months was sort of surreal. She got caught up in two dramas: America's housing market and America's media circus.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Remembering Andrew Brimmer, First Black On Federal Reserve's Board

Andrew Brimmer in 1970, when he was a Federal Reserve Board governor.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

A life well-worth noting has caught the attention of obituary writers:

-- "Andrew F. Brimmer, a Louisiana sharecropper's son who was the first black member of the Federal Reserve Board and who led efforts to to reverse the country's balance-of-payments deficit, died on Sunday in Washington. He was 86." (The New York Times)

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Consumer Confidence Jumps To Pre-Recession Level, Survey Shows

"Black Friday" 2011 in Manhattan: Retailers hope to see shoppers out again in force this holiday season. If confidence stays high, they may get their wish.
Michael Nagle Getty Images

"U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose to its highest in five years in October as consumers became more optimistic about the economy in a possible boost to President Obama's reelection hopes," Reuters reports.

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Business
2:32 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Pentagon Revising Cyber Rules Of Engagement

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with rules of engagement.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Last night, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued these words of warning: foreign cyber actors - he said - are probing America's critical infrastructure networks.

As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, Panetta says the Pentagon is revising its cyber rules of engagement, so it can respond to those attacks.

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Business
2:23 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Survey: 1-In-10 'Dual-Screened' Presidential Debate

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 4:37 am

Transcript

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The Salt
1:23 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Kelp For Farmers: Seaweed Becomes A New Crop In America

Oyster fisherman Bren Smith on his boat, The Mookie. Smith decided to try his hand at seaweed farming, collaborating with ecology professor Charles Yarish.
Ron Gautreau Courtesy of Bren Smith

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 9:02 am

A new kind of crop is being planted in the United States, and it doesn't require any land or fertilizer. Farming it improves the environment, and it can be used in a number of ways. So what is this miracle cash crop of the future?

It's seaweed.

Charlie Yarish, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut, loves seaweed. In nature, he says, when seaweed turns a rich chocolate color, that means the plant is picking up nitrogen, a process called nutrient bioextraction.

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Planet Money
1:22 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Gangnam Style: Three Reasons K-Pop Is Taking Over The World

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:16 pm

Gangnam Style is, among other things, a high-tech, sophisticated export.

Yes, the video is totally crazy and awesome. But this is not some viral fluke. South Korea has been building up to this moment for 20 years.

Here are three reasons South Korean pop music is taking over the world:

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The Salt
2:23 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

How A Sleepy Pennsylvania Town Grew Into America's Mushroom Capital

Four hundred million pounds of mushrooms come from farms in Chester County, Pa.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Here's an astonishing fact: Half of America's mushrooms are grown in one tiny corner of southeastern Pennsylvania, near the town of Kennett Square.

But why? It's not as though this place has some special advantage of climate or soil, the kind of thing that led to strawberry fields in Watsonville, Calif., or peach orchards in Georgia. Mushrooms can grow indoors. They could come from anywhere.

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Technology
11:50 am
Thu October 11, 2012

In Digital War, Patents Are The Weapon Of Choice

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:16 pm

If you don't think of patents as a particularly exciting or interesting field, consider a point Charles Duhigg makes in his recent New York Times article, "The Patent, Used as a Sword": According to an analysis done at Stanford: "In the smartphone industry alone ... as much as $20 billion was spent on patent litigation and patent purchases in the last two years — an amount equal to eight Mars rover missions."

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Business
9:10 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Beep If You Understand Veep Buzzwords

Wind turbines dwarf a church near Wilson, Kan. The White House wants to extend a federal wind energy credit, but the Romney campaign wants to let it expire.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:07 am

When Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep Paul Ryan face off during their only debate, tens of millions of Americans will tune in to hear them defend their running mates' records.

And that audience Thursday night also will hear lots of budget-related buzzwords, with meanings that may not be entirely clear. Those words are shorthand for policies that could have huge impacts on taxpayers and the annual $1 trillion budget deficit.

Brushing up on terms of the debate can help voters better understand what's really being said on the stage at Centre College in Kentucky.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Thu October 11, 2012

U.S. Foreclosures Drop Dramatically, But The Picture Remains Very Mixed

An auction sign in front of a Salem, Ore., home on Feb. 23.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:38 am

RealtyTrac, an online industry group that follows the foreclosure market, says the number of foreclosed properties nationally dropped dramatically in September, down by seven percent from August. And the firm says since September 2011, foreclosures are down 16 percent — that's the lowest total since July 2007.

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Business
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Michigan Voters To Decide Renewable Energy Mandate

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

There are business effects to some of the more than 170 statewide ballot measures to be decided in next month's elections. In California, voters will determine if labels should be required on genetically-modified food. People in Arkansas will vote whether to increase taxes for highways and bridges. And one measure in Michigan is capturing attention - whether the state constitution should be amended to change how utilities get their electricity.

Here's Rebecca Williams of Michigan Radio.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHIP HORN)

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Business
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

WAL-Mart's Off To A Good Start With Holiday Shopping

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:22 pm

Wal-Mart is thriving despite the shaky economy, protests from union supporters and allegations of bribery at its Mexican unit. The company's stock price hit an all-time high Wednesday, and holiday layaway sales are off to a sizzling start. It's also introducing a low-cost, pre-paid debit card.

Business
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:59 am

Lenovo shipped 13.8 million units in the third quarter, according to the research firm Gartner. That robs a struggling Hewlett-Packard from a title they'd long enjoyed: the world's No. 1 PC vendor. The firm's data also suggests a worldwide dip in PC sales of about 8 percent over the past year.

Business
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:54 am

In a Census Bureau report released Wednesday, it tallied up the median earnings for different bachelor degree holders. Engineers make an average of $92,000 a year. Some other majors at the low-end of the list: education, fine and visual arts and communications. Those all earn an average of $50,000 to $60,000.

Health
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Meningitis Outbreak Linked To Compounding Pharmacies

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We've been watching a deadly medical scandal unfold over the past week. A steroid commonly injected into people's spines to relieve back pain was apparently contaminated by an ordinary fungus.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As a result so far, 137 people in 10 states have contracted a rare brain infection of fungal meningitis. Twelve people have died. The tainted drug apparently came from a pharmacy in Massachusetts that shipped nearly 18,000 doses to 23 states.

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