Business

Food
2:12 pm
Mon May 28, 2012

'Flash Drought' Threatens To Destroy Mo. Crops

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 7:08 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Climatologists call it a flash drought - a sudden, unexpected burst of high temperatures and low humidity. It can wither crops in a matter of days and it's happening in many parts of the Midwest. With temperatures hovering above 90 degrees, farmers worry the weather could have disastrous consequences on corn and other crops.

From St. Louis Public Radio, Adam Allington has that story.

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Technology
2:01 pm
Mon May 28, 2012

As Headphones Invade The Office, Are We Lonelier?

As headphones and earbuds become common in the workplace, sometimes even co-workers sitting next to each other are communicating online.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 2:33 pm

Headphones or earbuds are becoming common in the workplace. Not just for listening to music on a break, they allow people to tune out their co-workers all day long. But in many cases, those same co-workers are still communicating — online.

Melissa Gore, a project manager at Huge, a Brooklyn, N.Y., digital branding agency, works side-by-side at long tables with hundreds of others. But she doesn't hear the chatter and commotion.

"I just have some headphones on," she says. "I get in the zone with Spotify and sometimes people have to wave their hand in front of me."

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Dead Stop
3:49 am
Mon May 28, 2012

The Graveyard Of Shelved Ice Cream Flavors

Headstones in Ben and Jerry's "Flavor Graveyard" are dedicated to bygone favorites such as Oh Pear (1997), Makin' Whoopie Pie (2002-2003), and Urban Jumble (2000-2001). Click the enlargement for a detailed view.
Ben and Jerry's

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 8:19 am

The first installment in Dead Stop, Morning Edition's summer road trip series about interesting gravesites in America.

When the Ben and Jerry's ice cream company kills a flavor, it's treated with respect — including a burial in the company's "Flavor Graveyard."

"I think we've got the best, and the not-best, up here," Sean Greenwood, Ben and Jerry's Grand Poobah of Publicity, says from the cemetery in Waterbury, Vt.

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Around the Nation
3:49 am
Mon May 28, 2012

Controversy Rages Over Farm Safety Rules For Teens

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 4:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
3:49 am
Mon May 28, 2012

Subprime Market Aids Car Industry Growth

The average credit score for new- and used-car buyers has taken a fall since the days of the financial crisis in 2008. It's fallen especially in the last two quarters. Brands such as Kia and Dodge are gobbling up a disproportionate number of subprime buyers. An increasing number of new-car buyers are getting loans with interest rates higher than 10 percent.

Economy
4:32 am
Sun May 27, 2012

Help Wanted. But Not For Mid-Level Jobs

Job seekers fill out applications at a job fair in the Queens borough of New York City earlier this month. Economists say jobs in the middle — in sales, administration and assembly, for example — are being squeezed.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 27, 2012 5:49 pm

Unemployment figures for May come out Friday. While the numbers will show how many jobs have been added or lost, they won't tell us much about the quality of positions filled or illustrate what economists already know: that the middle of the job market is hollowing out.

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Business
5:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

A Holiday Treat: Lower Prices At The Pump

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And if you're one of millions of motorists on the roads this holiday weekend, you may have noticed something unexpected and welcome. Gas prices are falling. This at the start of the summer driving season when gas prices usually spike. We turn now to Daniel Yergin. He's author of "The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World," and chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates. He joins us from his office in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Yergin, thanks so much for being with us.

DANIEL YERGIN: Thank you.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Spanish Lender Requests $24 Billion Bailout

Spanish bank Bankia's headquarters in Madrid. Spain's fourth-biggest bank, Bankia asked the government for a 19 billion euro bailout.
Pierre-Phillippe Marcou AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 6:44 pm

A troubled Spanish lender has asked the government for 19 billion euros ($24 billion) of public money to keep the bank from collapsing.

As The New York Times reports, this is far beyond what the government was expecting when it took over Bankia and "its portfolio of delinquent real estate loans."

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Consumer Confidence Highest Since Before Recession, Survey Says

If consumers are in the mood to shop, that could give the economy a lift.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:13 am

Here's news that could affect both the economy and the presidential race:

Consumer confidence has improved "in each of the past nine monthly surveys" and is now at "its highest level since October 2007," according to the latest Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers. The most recent recession officially began in December 2007, and lasted into early summer 2009.

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Business
9:38 am
Fri May 25, 2012

More Americans Putting The 'Dream' On Hold

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 10:35 am

NPR's new series explores how the "American Dream" is evolving during a period of economic uncertainty. Host Michel Martin talks with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about the series, and whether home ownership is still at the heart of the "American Dream," even after the historic collapse of the housing market.

Planet Money
6:50 am
Fri May 25, 2012

The Price Of College Tuition, In 1 Graphic

Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 9:37 am

Here are two ways to think about the price of college tuition:

1. Sticker price is the full price colleges list in their brochures and on their websites.

2. Net price is the price students actually pay. Net price accounts for the fact that many students receive grants or scholarships. So it can be considerably lower than sticker price.

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Television
4:28 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Why Cable Channels Don't Mind Airing Reruns

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

TV is chock full of reruns, from the recent "CSI" to the vintage "I Love Lucy." It's been that way for years, and is especially so on cable. As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, one result is that syndication deals have become a much bigger part of the TV business.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Reruns are no longer seen as filler. Case in point: repeats of "The Big Bang Theory" on cable channel TBS.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE BIG BANG THEORY")

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Space
4:18 am
Fri May 25, 2012

SpaceX Capsule To Dock With Space Station

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 9:13 am

If all continues to go well, a private spacecraft sent to orbit by the company SpaceX is expected to dock with the International Space Station on Friday. The mission is historic because it is the first for the commercial spaceflight industry.

Business
3:09 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR business news starts with a venerable newspaper's cutback.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Starting next fall, the New Orleans Times-Picayune will publish only three print issues a week. The 175-year-old paper is the biggest metropolitan newspaper in the country to stop daily circulation. The Times-Picayune's owners cited declining advertising revenues and the need to shift its focus online.

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Business
3:09 am
Fri May 25, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business: Can't buy me love.

Finding love can be hard, and it may be even harder for a wealthy person. According the Society of Single Professionals, quote, "the 1 percent live in constant fear that their money will attract gold diggers, seeking to enrich themselves." But no more. The group has decided to host dating events that cater to wealthy individuals looking for love.

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Around the Nation
3:09 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Whirlpool Bets Golf Course Will Help Mich. Town's Economy

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

Benton Harbor, Michigan is hosting the Senior PGA Championship, though the economically troubled city may seem like an unlikely place to hold a golf tournament. Benton Harbor is currently in receivership. And it is home to the Whirlpool Corporation, which has moved much of its manufacturing and jobs out of town and overseas. As Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith reports, Whirlpool executives are hoping the golf tournament will give the town an economic boost.

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Asia
2:26 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Hollywood Dreams Led Chinese Firm To Buy Into U.S.

Moviegoers watch a 3-D IMAX movie at a Beijing theater run by the Chinese company Wanda, which recently announced it was buying AMC movie theaters for $2.6 billion. The move is seen as part of a larger effort by the Chinese conglomerate to move into the U.S. market.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

One of the big movie blockbusters this year isn't a film, but a business deal.

The Chinese company Wanda, one of that country's leading cinema owners, is buying AMC Entertainment, North America's second-largest movie theater company, for $2.6 billion.

When the agreement was announced in China this week, it did not make a lot of sense at first glance. At least for the buyer.

AMC is loaded with some $2 billion in debt, and movie theater attendance in North America was down 4 percent last year.

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Your Money
2:25 am
Fri May 25, 2012

In Tight Credit Market, A Tool For Small Businesses

Many small-business owners have had difficulty securing loans in recent years. One website grades the nation's banks by the ratio of small-business loans to deposits — and finds that community banks are often most friendly to small business.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

When small-business owners start looking for money to expand, they often begin at a big bank. The banks are highly visible, well-known and often nearby.

But many small-business owners report that they have struggled to get loans in the wake of the economic downturn.

Ami Kassar, CEO of the small-business-loan broker multifunding.com, advises business owners that large banks are "not the best place to start" when looking for a small-business loan.

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Africa
2:06 am
Fri May 25, 2012

How Crumbling U.S. Dollars Bailed Out Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe now uses the U.S. dollar as its main currency, though the bills are often extremely dirty and falling apart due to constant use. Here a cashier holds U.S. dollars in good condition at a supermarket in the capital Harare in 2009.
Kate Holt Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:17 pm

Four years ago, Zimbabwe experienced one of the worst cases of hyperinflation in history. The country abandoned its own currency and switched to the U.S. dollar — a move experts say prevented a complete economic collapse.

But using American dollars has created a host of bizarre issues. The bills are filthy, crumbling and often in short supply. There are no U.S. coins to make change, so chocolate is handed out instead. There is, oddly, an abundance of $2 bills.

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Europe
1:33 am
Fri May 25, 2012

To Tap Arctic Oil, Russia Partners With Exxon Mobil

A Rosneft flag flies over the Russian oil giant's refinery near the city of Samara. Growth of Russia's oil and gas output has stalled, but Exxon Mobil and other foreign firms have signed deals to help exploit the Arctic.
Nikolay Korchekov Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

Russia is still the world's largest producer of oil and gas, but growth has stalled and to get to new supplies requires going to a very difficult place — the Arctic.

"If you want to be in this business in 2020, 2025, you must think about the Arctic," says Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Radio Legend And Civil Rights Activist Hal Jackson Dies

Radio pioneer and civil rights activist, Hal Jackson, pictured in 1970.
Michael Ochs Photography Getty Images

Hal Jackson, radio pioneer and the first African American to be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters' Hall Of Fame in 1990, died Wednesday in New York. He was 96 years old.

Jackson spent his career cracking many color barriers, becoming the first African American network radio announcer, first black play-by-play sports announcer and first African American to host an interracial network television show, according to the Radio Hall of Fame, which inducted him in 1995.

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Planet Money
3:06 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Preparing For A Greek Exit, In 3 Easy Steps

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 1:22 pm

"Finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro agreed earlier this week on the need to develop national contingency plans in case Greece drops out of the common currency, officials said." - WSJ

This is awkward, because you're really not supposed to talk about this sort of thing out loud. You're supposed to say, as Angela Merkel said again this week, "We want Greece to remain in the eurozone."

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Technology
2:49 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Why Printer Ink Is The Other 'Black Gold'

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 7:37 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now to the liquid gold that has long sustained HP: printer ink. These days, the cost of just a few cartridges can quickly exceed the cost of the printer itself. In fact, Audie, ink is so expensive...

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

How expensive is it, Robert?

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Business
2:48 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

What Will HP's Restructuring Look Like?

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 7:37 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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The Salt
1:53 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

A Meat Mea Culpa: What Went Wrong With 'Pink Slime'

May cover of Meatingplace, the meat processing industry trade magazine
courtesy Meatingplace

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 2:47 pm

It came as no surprise to us when outrage over "pink slime," the catchy nickname given to lean finely textured beef (LFTB), went viral a couple of months ago.

Murky government rules, off-limits meatpacking floors, and a "gotcha" media mentality have created a fear and mistrust that's left the public highly opinionated but often woefully misinformed about where our food comes from.

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Game Changers
9:53 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Keys To Success From BJ's CEO: Be Nice, Speak Up

Laura Sen is president and CEO of BJ's Wholesale Club.
Courtesy of BJ's Wholesale Club

May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. All month, Tell Me More is talking to people who trace their heritage to that part of the world and have changed the game in various fields.

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Business
2:48 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Outlook For Housing Industry Appears Promising

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 4:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A lot of housing news is out this week and all of it is looking surprisingly good. Sales of new and older homes both saw gains. And two reports showed prices rising.

NPR's Chris Arnold has more.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: The question is: Can this last? And some people who've studied housing for decades think that maybe it can.

William Weaton is an economist at MIT.

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Business
2:48 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 5:30 am

The world's leading PC manufacturer has announced it will lay off 27,000 workers over the next two years — a third of those job cuts will be in the U.S. The CEO of Hewlett-Packard says the layoffs are part of a restructuring that will include greater spending on research and development.

NPR Story
2:43 am
Thu May 24, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 12:26 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is Robocop car.

American customers have not been able to buy a new Chevrolet Caprice since 1996. Now the car is back, as a police car. The 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV and Detective goes beyond the old black-and-white. Its computer system is voice activated, "Knight Rider"-style. It has eight cameras positioned to scan thousands of license plates per shift, which police computers can then check against a database to find if drivers have outstanding warrants or tickets.

NPR Story
2:43 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Ripple Effect Of Greek Debt Crisis May Hit U.S.

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 5:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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