Business

Planet Money
12:51 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Everybody Always Thinks Inflation Is Higher Than It Really Is

Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 8:30 am

The world is going to hell, and prices are going through the roof. This, more or less, seems to be the perpetual conventional wisdom.

The first half of the statement is debatable. But the second half is clearly wrong at the moment: Prices are not going through the roof.

Prices for U.S. consumers rose by just 1.4 percent over the past year, according to the consumer price index numbers released this morning. In other words, inflation is very low.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:42 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Johnson & Johnson Pledges To Purge Controversial Chemicals

J&J

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 12:50 pm

Under pressure from consumer groups, Johnson & Johnson has decided to curb or eliminate a slew of ingredients from its beauty and baby care products.

The company says all the chemicals — including some preservatives and trace byproducts — are safe in the concentrations found in the products. Nevertheless, the company acknowledges that some people remain concerned about the risks.

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Inflation Stayed In Check Last Month: No Change In July

There was no change in the consumer price index last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

It's the second month in a row that the index was flat — a sign that inflation remained in check for the first half or so of summer. Whether that trend will continue, however, is uncertain.

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Business
3:35 am
Wed August 15, 2012

British Bank Settles Money Laundering Charges

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A British bank has agreed to settle charges that it illegally laundered Iranian money. The settlement with Standard Chartered was announced by New York banking regulators, who'd brought the charges just a week ago. The bank still is under investigation by the federal government. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more.

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NPR Story
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the top man at The Times.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The New York Times has named its new president and CEO. The man who got the job is Mark Thompson, a former BBC executive. Thompson will face a different business model from the non-profit British broadcaster. The paper is run by a board that's largely elected by a family trust.

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NPR Story
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Home Depot Reports Earnings Are Up 12 Percent

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:27 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Home Depot says, from its vantage point, there seems to be a turnaround in the housing market. The nation's largest home-improvement chain reported a 12 percent increase in second-quarter earnings.

Joshua Stewart from Georgia Public Broadcasting has the details.

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NPR Story
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Twitterverse is blowing up these days with a lot of talk of football, because its fans like me are very happy about the NFL season is getting close.

Here in Washington, D.C., fans are tweeting about Jordan Black. The Washington Redskins signed the offensive tackle during training camp and he has some work to do.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Which is why our last word in business is: chowing down.

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Around the Nation
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Rep. Ryan's Hometown Seen Through Filmmaker's Lense

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
1:40 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Twitter Lets Customers Skip Recordings, And Make Choices

For customer Laura Hargrove, the choice between moving-truck companies Budget and Penske came down to how they use Twitter.
NPR

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:48 am

Once used mostly for one-time promos and marketing, Twitter is now something businesses are relying on to provide customer service. For instance, Southwest Airlines tweets to alert folks about delays. And Best Buy responds to questions and complaints via Twitter. And they're not alone.

Let's say you're thinking of ordering a pair of shoes online and you want to know the store's exchange policy. You could pick up the phone — but then you'll hear the old recording: "To ensure quality service, your call may be monitored or recorded."

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It's All Politics
2:49 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Ryan's Mission For Fed: Focus On Prices, Not Unemployment

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shakes hands with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the close of the committee's hearing on the state of the economy in February 2011.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:07 am

Mitt Romney's new running mate has authored some provocative policy proposals to cut budget deficits and overhaul Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But Rep. Paul Ryan has also been an advocate for a different course for the central banking system of the United States, the Federal Reserve.

For the past 35 years, the Fed has had a dual mandate from Congress: to set interest rates at levels that will both foster maximum employment and keep prices stable. Put another way, the Fed's goals are to get unemployment as low as possible while keeping inflation in check.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

British Bank Agrees To $340 Million Settlement Over Laundering Charges

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:27 pm

Britain's fifth-largest bank has agreed to pay $340 million to settle charges by New York regulators that it laundered money for Iranian clients.

NPR's Chris Arnold filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"In court documents, the regulator alleged that for 10 years Standard Chartered Bank quote 'schemed with the Government of Iran and hid from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions... involving $250 billion dollars and reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for the bank.'

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Europe
2:30 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

British Bank Settles After Hiding Iranian Transactions

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 4:04 pm

The British bank accused of using its New York branch to launder money from international transaction has agreed to pay New York's top banking regulator $340 million. Regulators said the bank schemed to hide more than 60,000 financial transactions totaling $250 billion for Iranian clients. The bank denied the charges. Audie Cornish talks with Jim Zarroli.

The Salt
1:40 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Secret Side Of The Drought: Many Corn Farmers Will Benefit

President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (second from right) inspect drought-damaged corn on the McIntosh farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:28 am

You've all heard a lot about this year's devastating drought in the Midwest, right? The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last Friday that the average U.S. cornfield this year will yield less per acre than it has since 1995. Soybean yields are down, too.

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Planet Money
1:38 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

What A Very Old Menu Tells Us About The Price Of Steak

Matt Sayles Associated Press

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 9:08 pm

Delmonico's, the New York City steakhouse, has been around forever.

The New York Public Library's archival menu collection doesn't go back quite that far. But it does have a Delmonico's menu from 1918. The archive also, sort of randomly, has a Delmonico's menu from 1988. Delmonico's current menu is online.

One item that's on all three menus: filet mignon.

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Economy
12:40 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Back-To-School Shoppers Open Wallets, But Carefully

Shoppers walk along Chicago's Michigan Avenue last month.
Sitthixay Ditthavong AP

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:29 pm

After months of sitting on their wallets, Americans went shopping in July. The uptick reported Tuesday is boosting economists' hopes for a reasonably strong back-to-school season. And retailers are looking for clues about how the holiday shopping season will turn out later in the year.

"This is a good report," Chris Christopher, an economist with IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm, wrote in an assessment of the latest report. "It indicates that consumers came back after hunkering down" during the year's first half when sales were "dismal."

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The Salt
9:14 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Reach For The Fries? Apple Slices Recalled For Possible Listeria Contamination

This apple-topped salad is one of several products being recalled for potential contamination with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes
Ready Pac, Inc.

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:29 am

If you've been applauding yourself recently for choosing the apple slices over the french fries for your kid's fast food meal, or an apple-laden prepackaged salad for your own dinner, you might want to hit the pause button.

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Economy
9:10 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Retail Sales Jump, But Are They High Enough?

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:30 pm

July saw the largest retail sales increase in months, according to the Commerce Department. But not all the news is rosy. NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax joins guest host Jacki Lyden to take a look at consumer spending and the "back to school" season.

The Two-Way
6:50 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Retail Sales Rose 0.8 Percent In July; More Than Expected

There was a 0.8 percent increase in retail sales in July from June, the Census Bureau says, thanks in part to gains in purchases of cars, furniture and appliances.

Overall, The Associated Press says, "all major categories showed increases, a sign that consumers may be gaining confidence." If that is indeed the case, it's good news for the economy. Consumers purchase about 70 percent of all goods and services.

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The Two-Way
5:29 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Luxury Cars Do Poorly In New Type Of Crash Test

This type of crash is particularly deadly and the first set of cars tested generally didn't provide very good protection.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 6:51 am

The first set of cars put through a new type of safety test did poorly even though they were "luxury and near-luxury cars" that should have the latest safety technology built in, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports today.

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Business
2:45 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Boosting Travel Options, Google To Buy Frommer's

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:00 am

Frommer's is one of the best-known travel guide-book companies. The search giant is trying to offer more robust travel related results and sell more ads. Last year, Google bought the Zagat restaurant review brand as well.

NPR Story
2:45 am
Tue August 14, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 5:38 am

Brown became famous in the 1960s with her bestseller Sex and the Single Girl. In it, she urged single women to embrace careers and sexuality. The book led to a three decades long career editing Cosmopolitan. Brown took the magazine from dowdy home and garden coverage to a saucy handbook for single women.

All Tech Considered
1:33 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Despite Layoffs, Google's Motorola Strategy Aims At Innovation

Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS is demonstrated on a Motorola Xoon tablet during a media event at Google headquarters on Feb. 2, 2011. Google acquired Motorola Mobility in August 2011 for $12.5 billion.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:18 pm

Google is shaking things up at its new subsidiary Motorola Mobility, announcing Monday that it will lay off 20 percent of the company's global workforce. Its strategy is to create a small division led by a technology star to spur innovation at the company that invented the cellphone.

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The Salt
1:30 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Crayfish Go On The Menu To Restore Lake Tahoe's Blue Hue

A commercially harvested crayfish from Lake Tahoe near Incline Village, Nev., in July.
Max Whittaker Prime for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:30 am

Around the country, environmentalists are cooking up ways to battle invasive species by serving them up on a platter.

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Google To Buy Frommer's Travel Guides

Google will buy the Frommer's travel guides from John Wiley & Sons.
Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Google will buy the Frommer's travel guide from John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the publishing company announced Monday.

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Technology
2:33 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Drones Drifting Into Markets Outside War Zones

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 4:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Hundreds of UAVs - unmanned aerial vehicles - invaded Las Vegas last week. Not to worry - they were all safely contained in a convention center, as part of a meeting of drone manufacturers. As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, the industry is marketing small, inexpensive drones in an effort to open up a new market away from war zones.

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The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Hog Prices Rise On Word That Feds Will Buy Pork In Bid To Help Farmers

Hogs at a farm in Elma, Iowa (2009 file photo).
Scott Olson Getty Images

President Obama not coincidentally chose Iowa today as the backdrop for his announcement that the federal government is buying $170 million worth of pork, chicken, lamb and catfish to help producers who've been hit hard by drought-related increases in feed costs and by soft prices because of overproduction.

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Television
9:56 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Hardcore Job Program Helps Unlikely 'Get To Work'

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we get the cross-cultural flavor of New Orleans music with writer and radio host, Gwen Thompkins. She talks to songwriters, musicians and producers in Louisiana for her program, Music Inside Out, and she shares their stories with us in just a few more minutes.

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The Two-Way
5:46 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Google Cutting 4,000 Jobs At Motorola; 1,300 Of Them Are In U.S.

Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx.
David Becker Getty Images

Google is eliminating about 20 percent of the jobs at Motorola Mobility, the struggling cellphone manufacturer it finished acquiring earlier this year for $12.5 billion, according to reports from The New York Times, Dow Jones' All Things Digital blog and other news outlets.

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Business
4:59 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Canadians Overrun Bellingham, Wash., Costco

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Business
2:23 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 3:52 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a spike in gas prices.

Gasoline prices jumped 18 cents over the last couple of weeks. That's the biggest increase so far this year. The Lundberg Survey shows that heading into the weekend, the national average price of a gallon of self-serve was $3.69. Now, analysts say the spike is in part because of some refinery and pipeline issues around the country.

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