Business

Economy
1:24 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Easy Money May Boost Economy But At What Cost?

Specialist David Pologruto works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 13, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke holds a news conference in Washington. The world's central banks are easing credit, putting more money into the global economy.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 10:31 am

The world's central banks are pumping cash into their economies, pushing down interest rates in hopes the ready cash and lower rates will boost borrowing and economic activity. Everyone agrees the action is dramatic and unprecedented, but there's disagreement over whether they will do more harm than good.

Economists know very well the trillions of dollars being added by the central banks to the global economy can be risky.

"These are risks about long-term rises in inflation, housing bubbles potentially building up," says Jacob Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute.

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Around the Nation
3:29 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Despite Record Drought, Farmers Expect Banner Year

With far less than half of their normal corn yield, the Ulrich brothers are relying in part on government-subsidized crop insurance to keep their farm afloat.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 10:39 am

After one of the driest summers on record, recent rains have helped in some parts of the country. But overall, the drought has still intensified. The latest tracking classifies more than a fifth of the contiguous United States in "extreme or exceptional" drought, the worst ratings.

In some parts of the Lower Midwest, water-starved crops have collapsed, but the farmers have not. Farmers across the country are surviving, and many are even thriving. This year, despite the dismal season, farmers stand to make exceptionally good money, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Digital Life
2:56 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

'Angry Birds' Spinoff Flies To Top Of iTunes Charts

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 3:50 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This soundtrack has accompanied untold wasted hours around the globe. It is the music from "Angry Birds," the addictive mobile game that surpassed one billion downloads in May.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Business
2:24 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

American Airlines Fliers Fed Up As Labor Clash Rages

American Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at Miami International Airport this month. Reports indicate that American Airlines has canceled somewhere between 2 and 5 percent of flights in recent days, reportedly blaming a surge in pilot sick days and maintenance write-ups by pilots.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 10:37 am

Pat Henneberry is an airline's dream customer. She flies all week, every week, and buying an $800 ticket so that she can have full flexibility is standard operating procedure. She's an American Airlines platinum customer. But she is fed up with the endless delays and cancellations.

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Planet Money
12:28 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Surprise! There Are 386,000 More Jobs Than We Thought

We thought the U.S. economy added just under 2 million jobs between March, 2011 and March, 2012. Turns out, the actual number was more like 2.4 million — a big difference!

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Economy
9:43 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Housing Prices Up, But Market Far From Recovered

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 11:54 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, Eric LeGrand was a star college football player until a tackle left him paralyzed. We'll speak with him about his new memoir and his new life. That's in a moment.

But, first, let's turn to housing. The Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index is one of the top measures of the U.S. housing market and the latest report just out this week says prices are on the rise.

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Orders Plunge, GDP Growth Revised Down

A huge drop in demand for cars, aircraft and other transportation equipment pulled down orders for so-called durable goods in August, the Census Bureau says.

Orders fell 13.2 percent, "the largest decrease since January 2009."

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Business
2:50 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Has Apple's Fued With Google Hurt Its iPhone 5?

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 3:08 am

The fallout from Apple's controversial decision to drop Google Maps from the iPhone 5 continues. Customers aren't giving Apple Maps any love, and analysts say Apple made an uncharacteristic blunder in dumping Google.

Business
2:50 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Atlanta Symphony Musicians Ratify New Contract

When the two sides couldn't reach an agreement last month, players were locked out of the Woodruff Arts Center. With the season set to begin in just one week, the musicians approved a deal with $5 million in concessions.

Business
2:50 am
Thu September 27, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 4:53 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There is at least one group of musicians out there who don't seem to have any money problems. Our last word in business is: Kiss. They know what their fans want.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROCK N' ROLL ALL NIGHT" )

KISS: (Singing) I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day. I, wanna rock and roll...

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You know you're moving your head as if you're playing a guitar onstage right now.

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Business
2:50 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 4:44 am

Kareem Serageldin is accused of hiding mortgage security losses during the financial crisis. He faces extradition to the U.S. A former senior trader for Credit Suisse, Serageldin is the highest level Wall Street executive to be charged in a case related to the 2008 financial meltdown.

NPR Story
2:50 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Regular NFL Refs Will Be Back On The Job Thursday

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 3:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We are pleased to announce this morning that NPR has ended its lockout of Mike Pesca. The network reached a deal with our sports correspondent after his replacement repeatedly confused adjectives with adverbs. OK, that's a joke, but in reality the NFL reached a deal with referees after the replacements made a series of brutally criticized calls. Mike Pesca has been following developments.

Mike, good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: And that was a goodly decision. Oh, wait a minute. I've done it too.

(LAUGHTER)

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Business
1:40 am
Thu September 27, 2012

In Solyndra's Wake, Solar Company Sees Bright Spot

SoloPower is betting it will succeed where others have failed with a $197 million loan from the Department of Energy.
SoloPower/PRNewsFoto AP

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 7:59 am

A small solar power company hopes to become a winner in a market littered with losers.

San Jose, Calif.-based SoloPower is opening a $60 million manufacturing facility in Portland, Ore., Thursday as it works toward receiving a major government loan — like the one given to now-bankrupt Solyndra. SoloPower thinks it has a strategy to succeed where Solyndra failed.

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The Record
10:03 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

YouTube Shares Ad Revenue With Musicians, But Does It Add Up?

Donna Summer in 1976. YouTube's Chris Maxcy says the company targets advertising to videos by artists like her and gives a share of the revenue from it to the track's label and publisher.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 8:04 am

YouTube is well-known for videos, but a recent Nielsen study revealed 64 percent of teens and young adults go to it to listen to and discover music. The free website, which is owned by Google, has set up advertising deals to help musicians get compensated. But it's not clear how they're getting paid — or how much.

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The Salt
1:43 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Greek Credit Crisis Forces Winemakers, Food Canners To Adapt

Winemakers like Stellios Boutaris, shown near his vineyard outside Naoussa, Greece, and other business leaders have been forced to pursue new financial tactics because credit is hard to come by.
Jim Zarroli NPR

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:54 pm

When the economic crisis erupted in Greece and the bottom fell out of the domestic wine market, the Kir-Yianni vineyard outside picturesque Naoussa decided to adapt. Like other wineries in Greece, it has increasingly tapped the export market, successfully marketing and selling wine in Europe, the United States and even China.

"If you ask me, this crisis has been good for us," says Stellios Boutaris, the son of the company's founder. "It's going to make us stronger."

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Freddie Mac Didn't Harm Homeowners, Inspector General Says

In January, NPR and ProPublica reported on a potential conflict of interest at Freddie Mac, a mortgage giant sponsored by the federal government. The stories noted that even as Freddie Mac was writing rules making it harder for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, it also was stepping up investments in securities that gain when homeowners remain stuck in high-rate loans.

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World
11:15 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Badger Battle: British Animal Lovers Protest Cull

Badgers have been blamed for spreading disease among cattle in Britain. But a campaign to cull the badgers has been met with opposition from prominent figures like Queen guitarist Brian May, who joined this rally in Bristol earlier this month.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:54 pm

The badger, a stalwart of BBC nature programs, is one of Britain's most beloved animals and is a protected species.

To many English dairy farmers, though, this timid omnivore with the black and white stripes is a mobile biological weapon, exposing their cows to bovine tuberculosis through its urine and saliva.

And they've persuaded the British government to sanction extreme measures.

This month, the government issued licenses allowing trained marksmen to wipe out 70 percent of the badger populations in two pilot areas.

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The Salt
9:35 am
Wed September 26, 2012

If GM Apples Don't Brown, How Can You Tell If They're Rotten?

Soon after being sliced, a conventional Granny Smith apple (left) starts to brown, while a newly developed GM Granny Smith stays fresher looking.
Courtesy of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 1:13 pm

In the fairy-tale world, a shiny red apple can lead to a poisonous end. But some see two genetically engineered green apple varieties, poised to become the first to gain U.S. Department of Agriculture approval, as similar harbingers of doom.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Wed September 26, 2012

New Home Sales Were Flat In August, But Prices Rose Sharply

Model homes at a new development in Millbrae, Calif., earlier this year.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

While the number of new homes sold in August was barely changed from July, the median sales price was up sharply, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report. So the news adds to other recent signs, including Tuesday's report about higher home prices in major cities, of a recovering housing sector.

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Business
3:06 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Lesser-Known IPOs Fare Better Than Facebook

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Facebook share price have lost almost half of its value since the social networking company had its initial public offering, or IPO, in the spring. Hundreds of millions of followers apparently will not guarantee you success in the stock market - at least not in the short-term.

Many lesser-known companies have also plunged into the stock market this year in the hopes of raising lots of capital, but their prices have not plunged - they're doing better than Facebook.

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Business
3:06 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Economy's Holiday Wish List: Buy Big-Ticket Items

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Warning. It's only September and we have a story about holiday shopping. Large retailers like Wal-Mart and Toys 'R' Us are hiring tens of thousands of people for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

But NPR's Ailsa Chang reports that this seasonal hiring is not the best measure of how well the economy is doing.

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Sports
3:06 am
Wed September 26, 2012

NFL, Refs Meet But No End To Labor Dispute

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good news this morning from the NFL. There were no bad calls by replacement officials last night. OK, there were no games last night. The much-maligned replacement refs don't take the field again until tomorrow night in Baltimore. They'll be officiating the Ravens/Cleveland Browns' game and you can probably expect a lot more scrutiny. The real refs and NFL owners did meet yesterday, but a settlement remains elusive.

NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman has been following developments. Tom, good morning.

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Business
3:06 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Ford Announes Job Cuts In Europe

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news business with some bad news for automakers.

Ford is cutting jobs in Europe. Sales in the European Union are down 12 percent this year; that's what a financial crisis will do for you. Bloomberg reports a few hundred workers, mostly in Germany and the United Kingdom, will be getting the axe. And the pioneering electric car maker Tesla Motors has announced that it is selling five million shares to raise much needed cash.

Business
3:06 am
Wed September 26, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Our last word today in business today is poison, as in box office poison. That's what John Crawford was once called by theater owners.

But she showed them, with her comeback movie, "Mildred Pierce."

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

When she was nominated for Best Actress, Crawford was so nervous, she skipped the Academy Award ceremony. Last night her Oscar from "Mildred Pierce" sold at auction for $426,732.

GREENE: And here's what John Crawford said about that Oscar: I deserved it.

INSKEEP: As do you, David.

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Europe
3:06 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Police Fire Rubber Bullets At Spanish Protesters

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

People aren't getting much work done in parts of Europe, treading water there. Greek workers called a nationwide strike for today, protesting austerity measures. Last night, there were violent protests in Spain. Demonstrators launched a new movement dubbed Occupy Congress, surrounding the Spanish Parliament with a human chain before clashing with police.

Lauren Frayer was in the crowd in Madrid.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHANTING PROTESTERS)

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Business
3:06 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Amtrak Tests Faster Trains In Northeast Corridor

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Speed limits will be broken along the east coast this week. The culprit is Amtrak. Right now, the company's Acela express trains stay under 135 miles an hour between Philadelphia and New York. But this week, Amtrak is testing speeds of up to 165 miles an hour. It could be a sign that true high-speed rail service is coming to the U.S. - though it's not coming all that fast. NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

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The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Drinking (Coffee) On The Job: Restaurant Workers, Women Lead The Way

For many who work in the food service industry, coffee can make or break their day, according to a new survey. Many scientists and sales reps also said their day suffers if they don't have a cup.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 3:19 pm

Cooks and servers, scientists and sales reps — those are some of the workers who say they do better after drinking coffee, according to a new study. Nurses, journalists, teachers, and business executives also said they're more effective at work if they have coffee, in a survey commissioned by Dunkin Donuts and CareerBuilder.

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The Salt
2:24 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Greek Olive Oil Woes Echo Country's Broader Economic Challenges

A Greek farmer drives home with his fresh pressed olive oil in barrels near Alyki, Greece. The country's pure olive oil is hard to find, expensive and poorly marketed, businessmen say.
Matthias Schrader AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 5:39 pm

Greece is in the fifth year of a painful recession, and it doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon. One big problem the country faces is a shortage of strong companies that know how to compete on the world market. And nowhere is this more painfully apparent than in the challenges faced by the country's olive oil business.

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Economy
11:48 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Two Plans For Fixing The Economy, But Few Details

Job seekers fill out applications Aug. 21 at a construction job fair in New York. Polls show voters want the presidential candidates to provide more details on how they would reduce unemployment, change tax policy and alter government spending.
Seth Wenig AP

As this presidential election year was kicking off, strategists were saying the focus would be on the economy. But now — even as absentee ballots are being filled in — the candidates are still dodging details about how to improve growth.

"President Obama doesn't have a plan," says Kevin Hassett, an economic adviser to Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Jeffrey Liebman, an economic adviser to President Obama, says Romney has revealed no plan other than "going back to the failed policies of the past decade."

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Tue September 25, 2012

More Positive News On Housing: Prices Rose For Third Straight Month

A home for sale in Los Angeles last month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Home prices rose in July from June by 1.5 percent in its 10-city index and 1.6 percent in the 20 major cities where it tracks changes, the latest S&P/

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