Business

Around the Nation
7:14 am
Thu September 6, 2012

L.A.'s Ban On Marijuana Dispensaries Halted For Now

Medical cannabis patient Michael Oliveri smokes marijuana during a news conference in Universal City, Calif., last week. Medical marijuana advocates say they have enough signatures to place a referendum before voters that would overturn a ban on pot clinics in Los Angeles.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 3:01 pm

Thursday was supposed to mark the end of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, after the city council approved a ban on them this summer. But patients and advocates have managed to halt the ban, and some dispensary operators are suing the city.

For years, Los Angeles has been a mecca for medical marijuana dispensaries. Anyone with a doctor's recommendation could stop in at chic storefronts offering cannabis-laced desserts or at the more underground clinics, labeled only with a green cross. Hundreds, maybe 1,000 of these pot shops popped up around L.A.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Employers Added 201,000 Jobs Last Month, Report Signals

The scene at a job fair in Harlem earlier this summer.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Three bits of good news about jobs were just released.

"Private-sector employment increased by 201,000 from July to August on a seasonally adjusted basis," according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

And ADP revised up its estimate of the job growth in July — to 173,000 from the 163,000 it previously reported.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Thu September 6, 2012

European Central Bank Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 7:20 am

"The European Central Bank refrained from cutting interest rates today as President Mario Draghi prepares to unveil a bond-purchase plan to save the euro," Bloomberg News writes. It adds that:

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Business
3:24 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 8:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A report on Christmas cargo is at the top of NPR's business news.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: If you want an early indication of how robust this year's holiday shopping season may be, take a look at the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

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Business
3:24 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Gaggle Of New Gadgets Wow Tech Lovers

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 8:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And in the tech world, dueling press conferences and competing corporate unveilings, this week and next, are putting the focus on new and improved gadgets.

NPR's Steve Henn joined us this morning from Silicon Valley to tell us about what's on the high tech horizon.

Good morning.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So there are a host of companies rolling out shiny new toys this week. What's catching your eye?

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Business
3:24 am
Thu September 6, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 8:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is seeing red.

The designer Christian Louboutin is famous in certain circles for his super high heeled shoes. They can cost more than $4,000 and it's the red lacquer soles that Louboutin is really known for.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Economy
3:24 am
Thu September 6, 2012

European Central Bank To Meet On Interest Rates

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 8:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When the European Central Bank holds its monthly meeting today, investors around the world will be watching nervously to see what the bank's head, Mario Draghi, says about interest rates. Draghi was recently quoted as saying he would do whatever it takes to keep Europe's debt crisis from growing out of control, and that could go beyond just cutting borrowing rates.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, any European Central Bank plan to use its resources to prop up Europe's weaker economies will face strong opposition from the Germans.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
3:56 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Democratic Convention Draws Troubled Homeowners

David Sole rode a bus from Detroit to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., to protest how the Obama administration and the nation's banks have handled the foreclosure crisis.
Yuki Noguchi NPR

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:03 pm

Charlotte, N.C., host of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, is the nation's biggest financial center outside of New York. But Charlotte and surrounding Mecklenburg County have the highest foreclosure rates in the state, and many thousands of homeowners owe more on their homes than the properties are worth.

As thousands of Democrats converge in Charlotte for the convention, some troubled homeowners have also gathered, lamenting that the foreclosure crisis has not been sufficiently front and center in the presidential campaign.

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Economy
1:39 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Journalist Evaluates Obama, Romney Economic Plans

David Leonhardt, the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize last year for his columns about the economy.
Earl Wilson The New York Times

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:39 pm

On Monday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a campaign rally audience in North Carolina that "the president can say a lot of things, but he can't tell you you are better off." Later that day in Detroit, Vice President Joe Biden responded "America is better off today than they left us."

New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt argues that both Ryan and Biden are right: It's partly semantics.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:55 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Insurer's Files Show Big Cost Differences For Same Illnesses

Yes, we've seen this before: a study showing large spending disparities to treat similar ailments and little if any link between expenditure and effectiveness.

What's different about a new analysis is the patients.

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Business
2:46 am
Wed September 5, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:15 am

One of those vegetarian-only outlets will be in the city of Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple, the holiest site for India's Sikh religion. The other will be near a Hindu mountain shrine.

Business
2:46 am
Wed September 5, 2012

GM, Ford And Chrysler Post Double-Digit Increases

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:23 am

Pickup trucks sold briskly last month which is good for the bottom line of Detroit's Big Three. One analyst says "the success of the truck segment is usually seen as the harbinger of the overall economy recovery."

All Tech Considered
1:23 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Web-Based Subscription Businesses Surf A New Wave

Customers of Dollar Shave Club say that the company's sense of humor — as seen in an absurdist video of CEO Michael Dubin in his warehouse — has helped win them over.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:43 pm

The newspaper boy and the milkman might not come around as often as they used to, but the days of subscription and delivery aren't over. The Internet and overnight delivery have combined to make a new type of subscription business possible. The sales pitch is part convenience, part price and part cool factor.

Making Razors Cheap, And Cool

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Business
1:21 am
Wed September 5, 2012

'Quite Good' May Not Be Good Enough For GM

The General Motors logo is displayed atop the Renaissance Center in Detroit. The automaker, while doing much better following the government bailout, is still lagging some of its competitors.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 2:54 pm

When you talk to car people about General Motors, they all say the company has gotten better.

"I think General Motors, productwise, is in a better position than it's been in a decade or so," says Jack Nerad of Kelley Blue Book. "The new products, we feel ... are all quite good."

Like many people, however, Nerad adds an important caveat. He says GM's improvement doesn't mean the company is completely out of the woods, because the competition is very good as well.

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It's All Politics
12:47 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Payroll Tax Holiday May Not Survive Year's End

The Social Security tax rate is scheduled to revert to 6.2 percent next year, up from the temporary reduction — to 4.2 percent on an employee's first $110,000 in wages — which has been in effect since January 2011.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 2:46 am

An occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.

If you work, you've probably been getting this tax break: Since January 2011, the government has knocked 2 percentage points off the payroll tax.

For someone making $50,000 a year, the payroll tax holiday works out to about $20 a week.

"We definitely notice it," says Steve Warner of Winter Haven, Fla., while on vacation with his family recently in the nation's capital.

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The Salt
12:07 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

Even this Maharaja Mac, made specifically for the Indian market, will be off the menu at the new vegetarian McDonald's in India.
kawanet Flickr.com

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 2:13 pm

McDonald's, home of the iconic Big Mac, is going vegetarian. Well, at least in India, where 20 to 42 percent or more of the population (depending on how you count) eschews meat, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

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Business
10:38 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Automakers Report Strong August Sales

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with auto sales on a fast track.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

The Two-Way
9:28 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Big Three All Posted Double-Digit Gains In Auto Sales Last Month

A Dodge Ram pickup on sale at Criswell Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Gaithersburg, Md.
Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

"All three Detroit automakers saw double-digit sales increases in August compared with the same month last year," the Detroit Free Press writes. The gains "show that the automotive industry remains one of the economy's few bright spots," it adds.

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Business
4:23 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 10:38 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with iPhones and Kindles and Droids - oh, my.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Tech giants Nokia, Motorola and Amazon are all expected to announce new hand-held devices this week. It may be an attempt to keep pace with Apple, now the largest U.S. company ever. Apple's rumored to be unveiling its new iPhone at a news conference next week.

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Business
4:23 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Author Caught Writing His Own Glowing Review

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 11:27 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Today's last word in business is really written by Steve Inskeep.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And really written by David Greene. We feel obliged to mention that because a British author is in trouble for writing under a pseudonym.

GREENE: Amazon, the bookselling site, allows people to write short reviews of books. And the best-selling novelist R.J. Ellroy was caught anonymously writing glowing reviews of his own work.

INSKEEP: Mr. Ellroy praised himself for his, quote, "magnificent genius."

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Economy
4:23 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Democrats' Convention To Focus On Jobs, Economy

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 10:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, as you can hear from Scott's report, the economy is a top issue in this campaign.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

So it's fitting that the Democratic Convention was preceded by Labor Day and will be followed by Friday's release of the latest employment numbers.

INSKEEP: NPR's Yuki Noguchi talked with voters about jobs on Labor Day.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: This year, Labor Day festivities came to Charlotte in the form of a huge street party.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

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Asia
4:23 am
Tue September 4, 2012

What's Next? China's Fast-Growing Economy Slows

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 3:29 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Not so long ago, the journalist James Fallows made a prediction about China. Many Americans worry about the power of a rising China, but Fallows argued that in the next few years Americans may have more to worry about from China's weakness.

China's economic boom has altered the world economy, but its growth is slowing down. And we're going to talk about that with Beijing-based economist Patrick Chovanec. He's on the line from Beijing.

Welcome to the program.

PATRICK CHOVANEC ECONOMIST: Good to be here.

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Business
3:16 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Tech Week Ahead: Amazon Hints At New Kindle

Melissa Block looks ahead to the week's tech news with Laura Sydell. They cover a big upcoming announcement from Amazon.

All Tech Considered
2:53 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

When A Kickstarter Campaign Fails, Does Anyone Get Their Money Back?

In seeking financial backers for her Ouya game console, Julie Uhrman was looking for about $1 million. The business received far more than that amount.
Kickstarter

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:48 pm

Crowd funding began as a way to support the arts on the Internet. Artists could go online to pitch a new album, for example, in the hope that thousands would give small amounts. But now it's expanded to entrepreneurs, and the rules aren't quite as clear.

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Business
10:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Which Workers Need Unions, And Which Don't?

Union shops in the private sector have dwindled in recent decades. Now, public union leaders worry that they're losing political clout, bargaining power and members. That raises questions about whether unions fallen victim to their own success. Originally broadcast on June 7, 2012.

The Salt
6:53 am
Mon September 3, 2012

No More Shame: Boxed Wine Now Comes In A High-End Fashion Purse

Vernissage is trying to revamp boxed wine to attract a more sophisticated customer.
Vernissage

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 2:14 pm

Ladies, if the thought of showing up at a party or a picnic with a box of wine seems a little gauche, there's now a product for you: Vernissage's "bag-in-a-bag" of wine. It's boxed wine, shaped like a handbag.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Trucks Full Of Cash: U.S. Firms Make Plans For Greece Euro Exit

A woman walks past a closed branch of the ATE bank in Athens, on July 30 as employees of the bank went on strike.
Angelos Tzortzinis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 6:41 am

European leaders have vowed to do all they can to keep the eurozone intact, but U.S. companies are making contingency plans in case Greece is forced to leave the currency union.

The New York Times said major U.S. banks and corporations are "preparing for what was once unthinkable" — Greece's exit from the eurozone:

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Business
4:15 am
Mon September 3, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 5:19 am

According to U.S. Census data, 62 percent of women who've been giving birth held jobs at the time. Despite improvements in recent decades in attitudes and treatment of women in the workplace, many still face discrimination when the boss finds out they are pregnant.

Business
4:15 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 5:03 am

At least a dozen private equity firms are being investigated over their use of a questionable tax strategy, according to The New York Times. The state's attorney general is looking into whether the firms converted fees for managing funds into investment income — allowing it to be taxed at a much lower rate.

Business
4:15 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Labor Day Check On The Jobs Market

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 5:23 am

At the end of this week, the government's latest snapshot of the job market will be released. David Greene talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, about the unemployment rate.

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