Business

Business
2:50 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Chevron Fire May Lead To Higher Calif. Gas Prices

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here in the U.S., analysts are trying to figure out what affect an oil refinery fire could have on gasoline prices. The fire erupted Monday night at an important refinery in Richmond, California. It's owned by Chevron Corporation. It was extinguished within five hours, but could have a lasting impact.

NPR's Richard Gonzales reports that gas prices are expected to shoot up in an already expensive market.

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Business
2:50 am
Wed August 8, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business is: shocking - positively shocking.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Any James Bond fan knows that's a line from (Singing) "Goldfinger."

It's what Bond says after electrocuting a henchmen in a bathtub.

MONTAGNE: Britain has the Olympics, and this fall, it will have a 24-hour James Bond channel. British broadcaster BSkyB is launching the channel for the month of October to mark the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise.

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Business
1:19 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Natural Gas Giant Tries To Shift Gears

Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa., in 2010.
Ralph Wilson AP

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 1:54 pm

A drop in natural gas prices is hurting balance sheets across the petroleum industry. The second-largest natural gas producer in the United States — Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy — has been hit especially hard.

After 23 consecutive years of touting its increasing natural gas production, Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon told investors during a conference call Tuesday that the company projects its gas output will drop about 7 percent in 2013.

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Business
2:26 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

British Bank's Value Tanks After Laundering Charges

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 4:00 pm

At a time when European banks already are struggling, three huge British banks recently have been charged with engaging in bad practices or flat-out corruption. Barclay's had its LIBOR scandal, HSBC had its drug money scandal and now Standard Bank is being accused of money laundering. What's going on in London and what are the potential impacts on the U.S. economy?

National Security
12:03 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Is There A Role For Government In Cybersecurity?

The Cyber Security Act of 2012 failed in the Senate, despite growing alarm in the intelligence community about the vulnerabilities of the nation's infrastructure. The episode highlights a unique problem for politicians concerned about the balance between national security and federal regulation.

All Tech Considered
11:04 am
Tue August 7, 2012

How His Life Was Hacked In The Cloud

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:45 am

  • Mat Honan talks to Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne

I spent some time at the Defcon and Black Hat conferences in Las Vegas over the past few weeks listening to hackers describe the myriad security holes and flaws in some of the most popular products and applications that roam free in the online world.

While this experience made me nervous, so far at least I have fared better than writer Mat Honan.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Tue August 7, 2012

British Bank Denies Laundering Iranian Money; Say It's Not A 'Rogue Institution'

  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Jim Zarroli on 'Morning Edition'

As its stock tumbled today following word that New York State regulators have labeled it a "rogue institution" that allegedly hid about 60,000 secret transactions involving $250 billion in Iranian funds, Britain's Standard Chartered Bank strongly denied the accusations.

It "rejects the position or portrayal of facts as set out in the order," the bank said.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

British Bank Accused Of Hiding Iranian Transactions

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Financial regulators in New York said yesterday they may bar a British bank from doing business in the state. They said that because the bank allegedly laundered some $250 billion in Iranian money through its branch in Manhattan. The bank is Standard Chartered Bank. It does much of its business in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. But like any global bank, it wants to have a foothold in the U.S. markets, and that foothold is now in danger. For more, we turn to NPR's Jim Zarroli in New York.

Jim, Good morning.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with your happiness.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: That's the indicator Fed Chief Ben Bernanke wants to see. Bernanke told a conference of economists last night that despite data pointing to a recovery, many people still feel stressed. He said the economic well-being of Americans is the Fed's ultimate objective - that is, the sense that things are going well.

Business
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Best Buy's Founder Bids To Take Over Retailer

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Best Buy's founder and former chairman is not happy about the way things are going. That's why Richard Schulze said, yesterday, he wants to buy back the shares he does not already own and take the electronics retailer private. Schulze said he decided to publicly announce this offer because the board was taking too much time with it - could be worth nearly $9 billion in cash.

But as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, the deal is being met with some skepticism.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

How Internet Browser Roles Are Changing

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As more people around the world get online using an increasing variety of devices, like smart phones and tablets, the browser wars are back and hotter than ever.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Google Chrome are battling to be the world's most popular browser. No matter what browser one may use, it's still the primary way through which many people still enter the Internet.

So, to browse the latest in browsers, we're joined by Rich Jaroslovsky. He's a technology columnist with Bloomberg News.

Good morning.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is a deal with some strings attached. You have no idea yet what a terrible pun that is. The final notes have been played in a criminal case federal prosecutors brought against Gibson Guitar Corporation.

The Justice Department is dropping its charges against the guitar maker for illegally buying and importing exotic wood - specifically, ebony from Madagascar and rosewood and ebony from India. The company will pay a penalty of $300,000 and give another $50,000 for conservation efforts.

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Health Care
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

The Cheesecake Factory, A Recipe For Health Care?

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Dr. Atul Gawande spends a lot of time thinking about how to make health care better. A couple of years ago his best-selling book, "The Checklist Manifesto," demonstrated how following a simple list could prevent sometimes-deadly medical mistakes. Now he's looking at a bigger picture - the entire health-care system.

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World
1:27 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Growing Pains: Nations Balance Growth, Power Needs

Muslim girls study by candlelight inside a religious school in Noida, near New Delhi, on July 31. The collapse of three regional power grids last week caused a massive power outage that blacked out more than half of India.
Parivatran Sharma Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

It may take some time to pinpoint the exact cause of India's massive blackouts last week, but the underlying issue for India and many other parts of the developing world is that supply is struggling to keep up with the growing demand for power — an imbalance that can affect the reliability of electric grids.

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Business
3:27 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Car Insurers Eye Driving Skills To Calculate Cost

For years, car insurance companies have set rates based on where a driver lives. But new in-car tracking devices may soon transform how drivers are charged for insurance.
Mark Wilson Gettty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 12:37 pm

To the average consumer, car insurance can seem pretty arbitrary. What you get charged often depends more on where you drive than how you drive.

John Egan of InsuranceQuotes.com says it's very often about location, location, location. Two people, he says, can live in two different zip codes in the same city "and pay a substantially different amount of money, depending on exactly where [they] live in your community."

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Business
2:53 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Tech Week Ahead: Happy Birthday World Wide Web

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:44 pm

All Things Considered host Audie Cornish talks to NPR's Steve Henn about the World Wide Web's birthday.

The Two-Way
11:05 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Gibson Guitar Settles Criminal Case Over Exotic Wood Imports

Gibson guitars on sale in New York City.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:06 pm

"After years maintaining innocence," as Nashville Public Radio says, Gibson Guitar Corp. has agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty, donate $50,000 to a conservation fund and give up its claims to ebony and rosewood worth nearly $262,000 to avoid being criminally prosecuted for importing exotic woods.

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The Salt
9:15 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Purists Sniff As Stink-Free Durian Fruit Seeks A Fan Base

Durians for sale at a Singapore market.
momovieman Flickr.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:09 am

To lovers of the world's most odoriferous fruit, something doesn't smell right in Thailand's durian country, where a fruit breeder with the Horticulture Research Institute is in the midst of creating a line of durian varieties that lacks what some say is the most intriguing aspect of this large and spiky, creamy-fleshed tree fruit — its smell.

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Asia
3:15 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Myanmar's Workers Exercise Rights To Organize

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:50 am

Political and economic changes in Myanmar have fueled a wave of labor unrest in the country also known as Burma. Myanmar is in the very early stages of industrial development and has some of the lowest wages in the world. Wages are unlikely to reach levels seen elsewhere in the region anytime soon.

Business
3:15 am
Mon August 6, 2012

The Last Word

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is extreme buzz.

If your regular coffee is not strong enough to jolt you awake in the morning, maybe you'll be interested in a cup of Death Wish, which is our last word in business.

Death Wish is the name of a coffee roaster in upstate New York. It claims to sell the strongest coffee in the world: 200 percent more caffeine than your typical coffee shop brew, according to the website, which also calls Starbuck's "sissy coffee."

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Business
3:15 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Southwest Airlines Rectifies Ticket Billing Error

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an airline refund.

Refunds are starting to arrive in the bank accounts of Southwest Airlines' customers who were billed multiple times for promotional fares booked on Friday. Some customers paid for their discounted air travel as many as 20 times, according to the Associated Press. The company blamed the problem on a computer glitch.

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Author Interviews
1:01 am
Mon August 6, 2012

'American Dream,' Betrayed By Bad Economic Policy

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:33 am

A lot is at stake in the current election, but no matter who wins, the victor will stay committed to policies that cripple the middle class. That's according to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Donald Barlett and James Steele, who've been covering the middle class for decades.

In their new book, The Betrayal of the American Dream, Barlett and Steele criticize a government obsessed with free trade and indifferent toward companies that outsource jobs.

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Sports
2:52 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

That's No Swimsuit, That's A Racing System

Gold medalist Ryan Lochte swims in Speedo's Fastskin3 system, which incorporates two caps and custom-fitted goggles.
Courtesy Speedo

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 4:24 am

In 2008, Speedo got too good at making swimsuits.

Ninety-eight percent of medal winners that year wore the company's LZR Racer, a zip-sealed full-body suit that carried many top athletes — including Michael Phelps — to gold.

But after those games, the sport's international governing body changed the rules to outlaw the LZR by banning zippers and restricting mens' suit coverage from the navel to the knees. So Speedo went back to the drawing board and spent years developing what's now known as the Fastskin3 system.

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
3:53 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Grand Ole Goo Goo Sweetens Fans Old And New

The Goo Goo Cluster, a classic gooey treat from Nashville, Tenn., celebrates its 100th birthday this year.
Melisa Goh NPR

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 9:43 am

No one's entirely sure where the Southern treat called the Goo Goo Cluster got its name.

The iconic candy from Nashville, Tenn., celebrates its 100th birthday this year. The confection of marshmallow, peanuts and caramel wrapped in milk chocolate may owe its longevity in part to another Nashville icon: the Grand Ole Opry.

Goo Goo Cluster sponsored the venue's radio broadcasts from 1966 until 2006. In one popular advertisement, stage performers crooned, "Go get a Goo Goo ... it's gooooooood!"

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Presidential Race
3:52 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Obama, Romney Each Read Jobs Numbers Differently

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 9:43 am

The stock market rallied on Friday's jobs report, with the Dow Jones industrial average jumping more than 200 points. But what do the numbers mean for the political stocks of President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney? That's harder to measure.

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Planet Money
4:49 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Episode 392: Keeping The Biggest Secret In The U.S. Economy

The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps monthly unemployment figures very safe.
Don Goldberg (DoGoLaCa) flickr.com

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 1:01 pm

  • Listen to the Episode

The monthly jobs numbers are important — really important. They tell everyone from manufacturers to stock traders how the economy is doing. Billions of dollars ride on the jobs numbers.

Get them early, and you'd have everything you need to make a quick fortune. And once — just once, as far as anyone knows — someone did get them early.

On today's show, we talk to the guy who got the numbers before everyone else. And we learn the crazy lengths the government now goes to in order to keep those numbers secret until it's time to release them.

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Technology
11:44 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Tech Giants Gear Up For Patent Battle

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 12:29 pm

A court battle between Apple and Samsung is underway in California, with each side arguing over intricate patent and trademark claims covering how the companies' phones and tablets work, look, and feel. Robin Feldman, professor at the UC Hastings College of the Law, explains some of the key issues in the court case and how it might affect the technology industry.

It's All Politics
10:27 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Latest Jobs Data Maintain Status Quo Of Obama-Romney Race

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 12:10 pm

(Revised @ 1:48 pm ET)

With only three monthly jobs reports left before Nov. 6, President Obama needs every piece of good economic news he can get to add to his argument for re-election.

Friday's employment report certainly provided some. The Labor Department reported that the economy added an unexpectedly strong 163,000 jobs in July. Forecasters had predicted that the economy would add as many as 100,000 jobs, so the report took most everyone by surprise.

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Planet Money
9:37 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Actually, The U.S. Lost 1.2 Million Jobs Last Month

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 1:02 pm

Everyone (including us) is saying this morning that the U.S. economy gained 163,000 jobs last month. Strictly speaking, this is a lie.

In fact, the U.S. economy actually lost 1.2 million jobs last month. There were 134.1 million jobs in June, and 132.9 million jobs in July. (The numbers are in this PDF.)

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Fri August 3, 2012

163,000 Jobs Added In July; Unemployment Rate Rose To 8.3 Percent

A sign pointing the way to a career fair in San Mateo, Calif., last month.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 10:12 am

There were 163,000 more jobs on public and private payrolls last month, but the nation's unemployment rate edged up to 8.3 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

The jobs gain was the best in five months and was much better than the revised estimated of growth for June — a gain of just 64,000 jobs. But it wasn't good enough to keep the jobless rate from rising slightly. In June, it stood at 8.2 percent.

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