Business

Business
2:39 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Target Begins Running Holiday TV Ads Early

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 6:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Are you ready?

(SOUNDBITE OF TARGET COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The holidays are coming, and they're going to be big.

MONTAGNE: Target has aired its first holiday ad of the season.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let me just get my face out of my palm here. That's right. Forget planning your Halloween costume or picking out a turkey. Target is making its mark early - six weeks before Thanksgiving, in fact. It had a lot of people double-checking their calendar.

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Business
2:39 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Bankruptcy Adds To Criticism Of Obama's Green Policies

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 6:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with echoes of Solyndra.

A Massachusetts manufacturer of electric car batteries has filed for bankruptcy. The company, A123 Systems, had received hundreds of million dollars in federal support, including a $250 million grant.

As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, its failure is reigniting criticism of President Obama's green energy policies.

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Business
2:39 am
Wed October 17, 2012

'Wired' Magazine Story

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 5:13 am

Google has nearly 20 data centers packed with computer servers that are huge consumers of energy. Google allowed technology writer Steven Levy of Wired magazine to see its facility in Lenoir, N.C. Levy talks to Steve Inskeep about what he saw while he was there.

Business
2:39 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Farmers Cautious Of Drought-Resistant Seeds

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 6:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here in the United States, the corn harvest is nearly complete. It was earlier and much smaller than in recent years, which means stockpiles are lower and prices will likely be higher. Now, while this summer's drought is largely to blame, the dry weather did offer perfect conditions to test drought-resistant corn. As Iowa Public Radio's Amy Mayer reports, seed companies and farmers are now crunching the yield numbers to see what these new varieties could mean in coming years.

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Business
3:44 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Citigroup CEO Abruptly Steps Down

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:06 pm

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit is stepping down. In a statement released Tuesday morning, he said the time was right for someone else to take the helm. Pandit, who is 55 years old, took the top spot at Citi in December of 2007, just as the financial crisis was beginning to unfold.

Economy
2:37 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Home Health Aides: In Demand, Yet Paid Little

Home health aide trainees Marisol Maldonaldo (center) and Nancy Brown (right), shown here with assistant instructor Miguelina Sosa, are studying to join one of the nation's fastest growing yet also worst paid sectors of the workforce.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 1:29 pm

The home care workforce — some 2.5 million strong — is one of the nation's fastest growing yet also worst paid. Turnover is high, and with a potential labor shortage looming as the baby boomers age, there are efforts to attract more people to the job.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Citigroup CEO's Exit Leaves Wall Street Scratching Its Head

Vikram Pandit on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on in June.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Today's announcement that Vikram Pandit had abruptly resigned as chief executive of banking giant Citigroup has left competitors, analysts and media pundits stunned and sputtering.

"This comes as a huge surprise," William George, a Goldman Sachs board member, said in an interview on CNBC.

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Money Coach
10:04 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Can College Students Handle Their Own Finances?

America's student loan debt is more than one trillion dollars, according to government agencies. Now, a former professor says high schools and colleges need to do more to help students manage their debt load. Host Michel Martin speaks with writer Laura McKenna about her online op-ed for The Atlantic.

The Salt
10:02 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Farmer Tackling Monsanto's Seed Policy Gets A Day In Supreme Court

Many folks protest Monsanto's business practices, like this Greenpeace protester spraying paint on a company research soybean field in Iowa.
John Gaps III AP

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 8:57 am

Why do so many people hate Monsanto?

Is it because this multinational corporation pioneered some enormously successful genetically engineered crops, including corn, soybeans and cotton?

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Economy
9:30 am
Tue October 16, 2012

5 Questions 'Real' People Might Ask At The Debate

An audience member holds up his hand at a Mitt Romney town hall meeting in Dayton, Ohio, in March. Audience members will be allowed to ask questions at the second presidential debate, being held Tuesday night in Hempstead, N.Y.
Gerald Herbert AP

As this election year began, political pundits insisted the No. 1 issue would be the economy. They expected the candidates to offer voters detailed plans for encouraging job growth.

Now, with the election just three weeks away, many Americans are still scratching their heads, wondering what exactly President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney would do to improve the economy.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit Steps Down

Vikram Pandit on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on in June.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 7:41 am

Vikram Pandit, the chief executive officer of Citigroup, has stepped down, the company's board announced today.

"The Board also announced it has unanimously elected Michael Corbat CEO and a director of the Board," Citigroup said in a statement. "Mr. Corbat previously served as Citigroup's CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa."

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Business
5:33 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Who's The Richest Person In History?

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Nearly 700 years after he ruled the Mali Empire, King Mansa Musa has been awarded the title of richest person in history. Personal fortune: $400 billion. That's according to a new inflation-adjusted list compiled by Celebrity Net Worth. West Africa's salt and gold were the source of Musa's great wealth, which he used to build magnificent mosques. More modern names on the list: The Rothchilds and John D. Rockefeller. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Business
5:29 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Pizza Hut Rethinks Debate Promotion

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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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Election 2012
2:52 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Veterans Want Solutions To Unemployment Issue

Veterans applaud at an Oct. 8 campaign event in Swanton, Ohio, for Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Health care and unemployment are among veterans' chief concerns this election season, and both the Obama and the Romney campaigns have offered solutions.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:35 am

Military veterans across the country have a whole range of concerns this election season, from the high rate of suicide to special challenges for female vets. But like everyone else, they're especially concerned with health care and jobs.

The nation's obligations to some 2 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan pose a challenge for the next commander in chief. Unemployment for post-Sept. 11 vets is about 2 percentage points worse than the national average, and veterans want solutions.

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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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