Business

Planet Money
3:27 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Capital One's Credit-Card Settlement In Context

Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 4:58 pm

The federal government's new consumer protection bureau notched its first major enforcement action today. Capital One Financial has agreed to shell out $210 million to settle allegations that it tricked credit card customers into buying unwanted services — mostly credit insurance and similar products — while activating credit cards.

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Business
2:07 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

A Look Back At MSNBC's Heady Early Days

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 5:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR.

On Monday, Microsoft unveiled the latest version of its office suite. CEO Steve Ballmer called it the most vibrant, exciting new version of Windows in years. He said it feels to us a lot like 1995, which happens to be when our commentator Andrei Codrescu got a close-up look at the company.

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Economy
12:23 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Rethinking Prosperity: Ideas For 'Fixing The Future'

Raquel Rodriguez and Sylvia Barrios work at Yo Mama's Catering Cooperative, the first worker-owned catering business in Austin, Tx.
JumpStart Productions LLC

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 10:42 am

In the documentary Fixing the Future, reporter David Brancaccio traveled across America to talk to people who are working to reinvent the American economy. Through innovative approaches to creating jobs and wealth — like time banking, worker cooperatives, local currencies and community banking — Americans are rethinking how we measure prosperity and calculate GDP.

NPR's Jennifer Ludden talks with Brancaccio about new experiments in the economy of the future.

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Opinion
9:20 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Weekly Standard: Time To Get Tough With The Banks

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally at Horizontal Wireline Services July 17 in Irwin, Penn.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Irwin M. Stelzer is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, director of economic policy studies at the Hudson Institute, and a columnist for the Sunday Times (London).

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Opinion
9:20 am
Wed July 18, 2012

The New Republic: Where's The Outrage Over LIBOR?

The Canary Wharf headquarters of Barclays Bank, who have been more than $450 for manipulating the LIBOR inter-bank lending rate, on June 28 in London, England. British Prime Minister David Cameron has said the bank's management has 'serious questions' to answer regarding their practices.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Noam Scheiber is a senior editor at The New Republic.

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Opinion
9:19 am
Wed July 18, 2012

The Nation: Can LIBOR Force U.S. Banking Reform?

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill July 17 in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

John Nichols is a Washington correspondent at The Nation.

As lies go, none is greater than the one that suggests banks are capable of "self-regulation."

Given authority over their own affairs, through fantasies such as "self-reporting," CEOs, CFOs and COOs who travel in limousines, wear very expensive suits and give to all the right charities will do what comes naturally to them: lie.

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Planet Money
7:48 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Hurricane Doubts And Salvation Army Socks

Cesar Rodriguez American Red Cross

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 7:53 am

Friday's pieces on the Red Cross and the lasting harm it suffered after it briefly charged soldiers for doughnuts during World War II drew a big response. (A longer version made up the bulk of Friday's show, while a shorter version aired that afternoon on All Things Considered.)

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Housing Starts Hit Four-Year High; Bernanke Heads Back To Capitol Hill

In Phoenix earlier this month, workers were framing this new home.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:57 am

There's more evidence that the housing sector is on the mend and may be the sector of the economy that's got the most going for it these days.

According to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development there was a 6.9 percent increase in "housing starts" last month. At an annual rate of 760,000, ground-breaking for construction of single-family homes, apartments and condominiums the pace hit a four-year high, The Associated Press says.

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Business
2:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Are Pagers Obsolete?

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story is for people who go for old-school technology. If you're the kind of person who owns a tube television - not one of those flat screens - nothing wrong with that. Or maybe you're the kind of person who has an old Walkman with cassette tapes hiding in a drawer somewhere. Maybe you even still use it. And if you're holding on to technology that others have deemed obsolete, you are not alone.

Reporter Tracey Samuelson found some dated devices in a place that might surprise you.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEPING)

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Economy
2:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Fed Chief Gives Gloomy Economic Review

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

We begin our program with two very different views of the economy. Two observers of the economy think the long-term looks very good, as we'll hear in a moment.

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Economy
2:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Economic Update

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 3:58 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

If Ben Bernanke is frustrated by the economy, as he seems to be, he might look at a recent issue of The Economist magazine. Editors there see enough strength that they saw fit to print an illustration of Uncle Sam as a bare-chested muscleman.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's talk about that and more with regular guests on this program, Zanny Minton Beddoes of The Economist. Welcome back to the program.

ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES: Nice to be here.

INSKEEP: And David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal. Hi, David.

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Around the Nation
2:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Politics Weighs Down San Bernardino's Economic Problems

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 11:41 am

The city of San Bernardino, Calif., is expected to declare a fiscal emergency, and officially file for bankruptcy on Wednesday. The declaration would be the third by a California city in recent weeks. Some analysts believe San Bernardino's problems may be more about its dysfunctional local politics.

Business
2:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:57 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some surprise earnings are at the top of NPR's business news.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR Story
2:30 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Would-Be Homebuyers Appear To Be More Confident

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the nation's homebuilders are feeling more optimistic than they have since March, 2007, just before the beginning of the Great Recession. What's more, the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index has posted its largest one-month gain in roughly a decade.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: David Crowe, the chief economist at the Home Builders Association says things are definitely looking up. It's a trend that began last September.

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NPR Story
2:30 am
Wed July 18, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:39 am

One big reason Canadians have pulled ahead, is the U.S. housing bust destroyed a lot of wealth. Home values in Canada have remained steady, and lately, they've even enjoyed a housing boom.

All Tech Considered
5:04 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

New Yahoo CEO Among A Rare Few: Women Execs With Tech Creds

Marissa Mayer left Google to become the CEO of Yahoo. She was Google's 20th hire and is responsible for the look and feel of many of Google's major products.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 6:49 pm

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

HSBC Executive Resigns During Money Laundering Hearing

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:06 pm

David Bagley, HSBC's head of group compliance, resigned in the middle of a Senate hearing today that was looking into charges that the bank had been lax in meeting government requirements, allowing Mexican cartels to launder money and giving terrorists access to the American banking system.

Bloomberg reports:

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Business
2:55 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

All Eyes Are On Yahoo's New Female CEO

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 4:00 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Marissa Mayer started work today at Yahoo. The fact that Yahoo's new CEO is a woman - and a young woman, just 37, has generated attention, but then came more unusual news. Marissa Mayer is pregnant. She's due to have her first baby in early October.

She told Fortune magazine: My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I'll work throughout it. That, as you can imagine, has amplified this moment as a significant one in the history of women leaders in Silicon Valley.

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Business
2:54 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

HSBC Accused Of Letting Cartels Launder Money

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:16 pm

A Senate committee looked at the failure of HSBC bank to police money laundering.

Economy
11:58 am
Tue July 17, 2012

States Make Tough Calls To Close Budget Gaps

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 12:30 pm

Over half of U.S. states will have to close a combined budget gap of 55 billion dollars, according to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in the 2013 fiscal year. To avoid raising taxes, most states are implementing continued cuts to deal with budget shortfalls.

It's All Politics
10:46 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Romney Repeats No-New-Tax-Releases Stance, Defends Offshore Accounts

Mitt Romney leaves a fundraiser in Baton Rouge, La., on Monday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 4:15 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney continued Tuesday to push back on calls to release more years of tax returns and defended keeping investments in offshore accounts — both issues that have been dogging his run for the White House.

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Business
10:37 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Debt, Debt And More Debt: Is Democracy To Blame?

The marble statue of Plato stands in front of the Athens Academy in Athens. The ancient Greek philosopher had his doubts about democracy.
Dimitri Messinis AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 11:03 am

High-profile experts are staging two separate Washington press conferences Tuesday to demand action on public-debt problems. One group is targeting state budget crises; the other, the federal budget mess.

If the ancient Greek philosopher Plato were still alive, he might hold a third press conference to declare: "It's hopeless. I told you so. Democracy will always degenerate into chaos because people will vote for their immediate self interests, not the long-term good."

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Tue July 17, 2012

In 'Dour' Report, Fed's Bernanke Says Economy Has Decelerated

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 12:10 pm

"The U.S. economy has continued to recover, but economic activity appears to have decelerated somewhat during the first half of this year," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tells Congress this morning in testimony prepared for his semiannual report on economic conditions and monetary policy.

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The Two-Way
5:26 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Drought In U.S. Now Worst Since 1956; Food Prices To Spike, Economy To Suffer

On Monday, a weed was growing through the dry earth at Marion Kujawa's pond, which he normally uses to water the cattle on his farm in Ashley, Ill.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:16 pm

With about 55 percent of the continental U.S. suffering from "moderate to extreme drought" conditions the nation is withering under conditions that haven't been this bad since 1956, according to a new report from National Climatic Data Center.

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Business
2:48 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Self-Help Guru Covey Dies At 79 After Bike Accident

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Today's last word in business could be several things: abundance mentality or win-win.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Or maybe sharpening the saw. Those are all aspects of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." The author of that business Bible died yesterday. Stephen Covey was 79.

MONTAGNE: He wrote "The 7 Habits" in 1989. Years later, Covey appeared on this program. He was asked what skills of leader should have.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

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Business
2:48 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Tech World Star Marissa Mayer To Head Google

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:11 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And in Silicon Valley, the buzz is the latest hire by Yahoo. Marissa Mayer is the new CEO. Yahoo lured the 37-year-old away from Google, were she was one of that company's most prominent executives. She studied computer science at Stanford, was hired on as employee number 20 at Google, and as NPR's Steve Henn reports, she is something of a rock star in the tech world.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: For years the rap on Yahoo has been: this company lacks focus.

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Business
2:48 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Silicon Valley Firm To Help UVA Expand Online Courses

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And we're here next about a new educational partnership with Silicon Valley. It's what the University of Virginia. You may recall last month, UVA's board of governors fired and then rehired President Teresa Sullivan. One reason some board members say they called for her ouster in the first place was that she had not moved quickly enough to expand the university's online courses. That has prompted new initiative being announced today, as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports.

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Business
2:48 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Investigation: HSBC Laundered Drug Money

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

An apology from a giant bank is at the top of NPR's business news.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Shots - Health Blog
1:05 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Deciding On Truvada: Who Should Take New HIV Prevention Pill?

Kevin Kirk (left) and James Callahan have been together for more than five years. Recently they sat down and talked about whether Kevin, who is HIV-negative, might want to start taking Truvada.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 9:05 am

There's something new to prevent HIV infections.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a once-a-day pill that can drastically lower a person's risk of getting the virus that causes AIDS.

It's called Truvada — the first HIV prevention pill.

It's not cheap — around $13,000 a year — and it's not clear what insurers will pay for it. And there's worry that people taking the pill might relax safe-sex precautions.

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Economy
1:00 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Romney's Plan To Revive Jobs Has Mixed Results

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks about job numbers July 6 at Bradley's Hardware in Wolfeboro, N.H.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:10 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he can do better than President Obama at finding jobs for unemployed Americans. One way he would do that is by bringing back personal re-employment accounts.

When people lose their jobs, one of the first places they turn to is their state unemployment office, where they can sign up for unemployment benefits; they often can enroll in some kind of retraining class as well.

In 2004, the Bush administration conducted an experiment to begin privatizing a small part of the federal retraining program.

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