Business

Energy
2:42 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

BP Recalls Gasoline That May Cause Car Problems

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 5:36 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Time now for a story on the latest recall. It's not food or an appliance. It's gasoline. BP has recalled gasoline that was stored at a facility in northwest Indiana, near Chicago. But tens of thousands of gallons of that gas have already been sold and pumped into gas tanks.

As NPR's Jeff Brady reports, local mechanics are fielding lots of calls from concerned drivers.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:19 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Hospitals Gripe About Health Insurers, Too

When it comes to dealing with insurers, hospitals like some more than others.
iStockphoto.com

It is a truth universally acknowledged that health insurance companies can be a pain for patients. What may be a surprise is that hospitals often complain, too. And the reasons aren't so different from those of consumers: Denied claims. Low reimbursement. Late reimbursement. Thickets of red tape.

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Your Money
9:36 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Refinancing: How To Wade Through The Choppy Waters

Interest rates on mortgages are at an all-time low. But refinancing can be a daunting process. Financial guru and author Louis Barajas speaks with guest host Viviana Hurtado about the ins and outs of refinancing, and what consumers can do to make the process go more smoothly.

Business
2:48 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a really big apple.

It was bound to happen. Apple has surpassed Microsoft as the most valuable company ever. That happened when Apple stock hit $665 per share yesterday, boosting its market value to nearly $624 billion. Microsoft had held the record for market capitalization since 1999. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Business
2:48 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Drought Dries Up Crops, But Not Airline Schedules

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:01 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The airline industry is having a better than expected summer. Airline stocks have been on the rise and customer service is improving. These days, airlines are less likely to lose your luggage. They're also seeing the highest percent of on-time arrivals since the government started keeping track in the late 1980s.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports the industry is getting some help from an unlikely source.

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NPR Story
2:45 am
Tue August 21, 2012

UCLA's MBA Program Wants To Give Up State Funds

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The business school at UCLA wants to go into business for itself. The Anderson School of Management is part of a public university. Of course, it's in California and the school's leaders find that being part of public education in California right now is a little maddening. Budget battles and state budget cuts have become normal.

Will Stone reports on what the school wants to do instead.

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NPR Story
2:45 am
Tue August 21, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:01 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is: pumped up kicks.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Nike will soon release its priciest shoe.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The latest Lebron James-branded basketball shoe, known as - the Lebron X Nike Plus - is expected to retail for $315. I'm hoping that's for a pair, David, and not per shoe.

Anyway, it apparently includes some motion sensing technology - motion sensing technology that can record how high players jump when wearing them.

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Latin America
2:39 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Cuba Views China, Vietnam As Economic Hope

People, one holding an image of Cuba's President Raul Castro and his brother Fidel Castro, wait in line at a bus stop in Havana last month.
Franklin Reyes AP

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:01 am

Cuba is one of the world's last remaining communist states. Cuba's allies in China and Vietnam also maintain firm one-party rule, but have prospered by introducing market principles to their economic models. With Cuban President Raul Castro easing government controls on property rights and private enterprise, many are wondering if the struggling island is looking to Asia for a way forward.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:28 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Health Law Gives Medicare Fraud Fighters New Weapons

With help from the Affordable Care Act, government fraud investigators will make more use of computer programs to detect Medicare and Medicaid scams.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:01 am

Fighting health care fraud in the U.S. can seem like an endless game of Whack-a-Mole. When government fraud squads crack down on one scheme, another pops up close by.

But the fraud squads that look for scams in the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs have some new weapons: tools and funding provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Medicare and Medicaid pay out some $750 billion each year to more than 1.5 million doctors, hospitals and medical suppliers. By many estimates, about $65 billion a year is lost to fraud.

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Business
11:44 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Aetna To Buy Coventry Health Care

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Changes in the health insurance industry are at the top of NPR's business news.

The giant insurance company Aetna plans to get a little bigger. It's buying Coventry Health Care for more than $5.5 billion. Now, if you want to know why, consider the changing landscape in which Aetna does business. Medicaid is expanding under President Obama's health care law, Medicare is expanding as Americans grow older, and those government-run plans include many opportunities for private insurance companies.

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Business
2:30 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:52 am

American is currently seeking to cut costs in bankruptcy protection so the flight attendants' union pushed hard for this vote — warning that rejecting the contract could mean even deeper cuts or furloughs. The company's trying to cut about a billion dollars in labor costs. Mechanics and other union workers had previously accepted new contracts but pilots rejected American's latest offer earlier this month.

Economy
2:30 am
Mon August 20, 2012

The Latest On The Global Economy

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 3:43 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Exports of goods and services have been one of the bright spots in the lackluster U.S. economy lately. Exports have been growing much faster than almost anything else. But, economies around the world are now slowing.

And to find out what that means for U.S. exports and jobs, we turn, as we often do, to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Good morning, David.

DAVID WESSEL: Good morning.

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Business
2:30 am
Mon August 20, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 3:52 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's talk about one more bright spot in the American economy - anything that is wrapped in bacon.

Today's last word in business is the double bacon corn dog.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Yeah. Vendors at the Iowa State Fair delighted - or disgusted - consumers when deep-fried butter made its debut last year. Well, this year, Campbell's Concessions took a hotdog, wrapped it in bacon, dipped it in corn batter, which is infused with even more bacon, and they dropped it, where else, into a deep fryer.

(LAUGHTER)

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Business
4:21 am
Sun August 19, 2012

She's No Man; She's A Lobsterman

Lobsterman Genevieve Kurilec holds a lobster caught while fishing along Deer Isle, Maine. Kurilec says more women are beginning to captain their own lobster boats.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 3:46 pm

In New England, more women are breaking through the glass gangway. That's the ramp you use to walk down onto a dock to hop onboard your own fishing boat. For generations lobstermen in Maine have been predominantly, well, men — but that's starting to change.

At a small gas dock in a rock-lined cove on Deer Isle, Maine, there's a new captain fueling up. Genevieve Kurilec, 29, wears a tank-top, orange fishing overalls and lobster buoy earrings.

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Your Money
4:21 am
Sun August 19, 2012

Stores Banking On Personalized Loyalty Programs

A customer using Safeway's personalized deals gets this loaf of bread for 99 cents instead of the original $4.29.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 4:56 pm

Loyalty cards have long given discounts to shoppers who sign up, but stores are increasingly offering personalized discounts tailored to each customer's shopping patterns.

Those tailored discounts mean someone standing in front of you at the supermarket checkout line might get a lower price on the exact same gallon of milk that you're buying.

A 'Secret Deal'

Heather Kulper is one of those people who really wants to get a good deal. She's a mom in a suburb north of Seattle who writes a blog about coupon clipping and saving money.

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The Salt
4:21 am
Sun August 19, 2012

Shop Owners Hope Yogurt Smooths A Path Out Of Greek Recession

Dimitris Plassas and Georgia Ladopoulou work the yogurt bar at Fresko, which specializes in several varieties of Greek-style yogurt.
Joanna Kakissis NPR

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:23 am

Greeks used to take their yogurt for granted. This year, at anti-austerity protests, they even threw it at their politicians. But Greeks are finally realizing yogurt might actually help the country during its worst recession in half a century.

In Athens, dozens of entrepreneurs have opened yogurt bars. The first one, called Fresko, opened last year on a pedestrian street near the Acropolis. It features four types of rich, strained yogurt kept cool in traditional ceramic pots.

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Economy
3:01 pm
Sat August 18, 2012

In Weak Economy, College Grads 'Surge' Into Military

When his parents Tuy (center) and Mydung (right) Lam lost their jobs, electrical engineering major Louis Lam enlisted in the Navy.
Michael Tomsic NPR

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 5:14 pm

The weak economy is helping to drive thousands more college graduates into the U.S. military.

Since the recession began in 2007, there's been a steady increase in the number of college graduates joining the armed forces. The Navy and Army have seen the biggest jumps. About 60 percent more college grads joined the Navy last year than in 2007.

For some of them, it's a job some would never have imagined for themselves just a few years ago.

Not 'What I Thought I'd Be Doing'

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Business
4:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

In Wall Street 2.0, Computers Are King

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 1:03 pm

Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks to Sean Gourley, physicist and founder of quid.com, about the computers that trade stock shares faster than human minds can comprehend.

Business
4:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Settlement Shines Light On N.Y. Regulator, Agency

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York state's Department of Financial Services, got British bank Standard Chartered to pay a $340 million settlement over allegations that it schemed with the Iranian government to launder billions of dollars.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Banking industry officials say it's unheard of: A state regulator, flying solo, threatens to take away the state license of a global bank — and then secures a very public settlement.

That's exactly what happened in New York this past week, when the state's Department of Financial Services reached a settlement with Britain's Standard Chartered Bank over allegations that it schemed with the Iranian government to launder billions of dollars.

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The Salt
10:42 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Rwandan Coffee Farmers Turn Premium Beans Into Harvest Gold

Welcome to Rwanda's coffee land, where some of the world's best coffee is grown. Here, Minani Anastase, president of Musasa Coffee Cooperative in northern Rwanda, looks over the coffee drying tables.
Courtesy of Jonathan Kalan

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:04 am

Yesterday on All Things Considered, Allison Aubrey explained how coffee is the new wine — or, at least, how our morning brew is catching up with the evening Chardonnay in terms of our appreciation for its flavor and textures. And that's piquing our interest in learning where our coffee comes from.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:11 am
Fri August 17, 2012

When Does Mom's Blog Become An Ad?

Some mommy bloggers threw parties with Madagascar 3-themed activities for kids. Here's one suggestion from Merck's Children's Claritin Facebook page.
Facebook

Blogging about being a mom is a booming business. And the popularity of these blogs has spawned an industry that turns some of the moms into virtual product reps.

With companies and conferences devoted to connecting moms with industry, regulatory agencies that keep track of truthfulness and transparency in advertising are struggling to keep up.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Insurer Will Pay In Case That Quickly Went Viral

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:20 am

Monday, New York comedian Matt Fisher wrote a very serious blog post headlined "My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court."

It quickly drew considerable attention on the Web, bad publicity for Progresssive Insurance and coverage from national news outlets because he laid out a sad story:

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Business
2:46 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Former Georgia Coach Charged In Ponzi Scheme

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:06 am

The Securities and Exchange Commission says former University of Georgia football coach Jim Donnan used his influence to get high-profile college coaches and former players to invest $80 million into a Ponzi scheme. Donnan has denied the allegations

Business
2:42 am
Fri August 17, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:06 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As in much of the country, it's been a hot summer in the state of Oklahoma, and the heat has forced those without air conditioning to get creative.

Today's last word in business is a Scottish solution.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Mechanics at O'Brien Auto Performance are keeping cool in kilts. From May to October, some employees there don kilts to enjoy a breezier workday.

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Your Money
12:59 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Student Loans Can Dent Retirees' Social Security

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:37 pm

Families often pull together to help finance a college education, with parents and grandparents chipping in or co-signing loans. And now, a SmartMoney report finds the U.S. government withholding money from Social Security recipients who've stopped paying on federal student loans.

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Economy
12:46 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Low Mortgage Rates Boost 'Serial Refinancers'

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:35 pm

Refinance activity continues to boom, fueling the home-loan market. Low interest rates have created a class of "serial refinancers" — those lucky enough to borrow at lower rates — and given them new opportunities to spend their freed up cash.

Settlement attorney Robert Gratz never used to be on a first-name basis with his clients.

"In the past, our practice was such that you'd see people, and that was the end of it," he says.

Gratz now sees the same faces all the time, of clients refinancing again and again — these days in the mid-3 percent range.

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Planet Money
12:44 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Competing Against The Nicest Guy In Town

Hondo (left) and Dizz.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:36 pm

For more: Why does the government subsidize crop insurance in the first place? We try to answer that question in our latest podcast.

The federal government spends about $7 billion a year on crop insurance for U.S. farmers. Policies are sold by private companies, but the government sets the rates, so the companies can't compete on price.

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All Tech Considered
4:39 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

What's In Your Wallet? Wait, You Don't Need One

A barista processes a customer's payment using Square, a device that turns a mobile device into a card swiper. More businesses are using the devices to simplify credit card payments. Others are embracing technology that allows consumers to pay with their cellphones.
Jeff Wheeler MCT/Landov

Most Americans pay with plastic or cash when they visit the grocery store, buy their daily coffee, or fill up the gas tank. But a growing number of large companies are trying to change that.

Google, Starbucks and Wal-Mart are among the many firms that are eager to replace consumers' wallets and stores' cash registers, with smartphones and other mobile devices.

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The Salt
3:45 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Coffee Is The New Wine. Here's How You Taste It

Samantha Kerr prepares coffee at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore, MD.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:03 am

The "know your farmer" concept may soon apply to the folks growing your coffee, too.

Increasingly, specialty roasters are working directly with coffee growers around the world to produce coffees as varied in taste as wines. And how are roasters teaching their clientele to appreciate the subtle characteristics of brews? By bringing an age-old tasting ritual once limited to coffee insiders to the coffee-sipping masses.

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

EBay Says Users Will No Longer Be Able To Sell Magic, Potions, Curses

A "powerful" love potion for sale on eBay. The "buy it now" price is $21.
eBay

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 3:04 pm

It's a tough day for the Harry Potters among us: Ebay said today that beginning in September it will no longer allow the sale of some, um, metaphysical products.

Among them: advice, spells, curses, hexing, conjuring, magic, prayers, blessing services, magic potions and healing sessions.

The Los Angeles reports:

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