Business

The Salt
1:55 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Ordering Food Online? That'll Be More Calories, Cost And Complexity

Ordering food online can affect your waistline and your wallet more than traditional methods.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 2:51 pm

Think about it — when you order something online, you avoid long lines, there are infinite options at your fingertips, and no one can see your face. So it comes as little surprise, then, when people order food online, they might go a little overboard.

Actually, sometimes a lot overboard.

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Planet Money
1:49 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Why Public Pensions Are About To Look Less Healthy

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 3:26 pm

On Friday, Planet Money's Caitlin Kenney told Morning Edition listeners how public pension plans are going to look a lot less healthy very soon. A new study shows just how bad they might look, even as it offers some caveats to its own results.

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Planet Money
8:51 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Olympic Economics, The Pre-Games Show

The 2012 Olympic Games in London are expected to cost £9.3 billion ($14.5 billion).
FABRICE COFFRINI AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 9:35 am

The 2012 Summer Olympics in London starts in four days with the carefully choreographed opening ceremony. But a related spectator sport is already well underway: Dissecting the economic impact of the games.

A show we did in February looked at how big an economic boost cities really get from hosting the Superbowl, and much of the same analysis is being applied to this year's games.

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Stocks Are Sliding On Fears About Europe, Other Worries

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 1:16 pm

Stocks fell sharply on Wall Street this morning as traders reacted to word that Europe's debt crisis may be deepening and that China's economy may slow, Bloomberg News says.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 200 points, or a little less than 2 percent, after an hour of trading. Other indices were also off.

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Business
6:26 am
Mon July 23, 2012

News In Spain, Greece Sends European Stocks Diving

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Concern about Spanish debt is at the top of NPR's business news.

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Business
6:26 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Beer Trade Group Sizes Up Rival Beverages

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: drink more beer, please.

That's the message of the Beer Institute. The institute will be meeting this week in New York City; people there trying to figure out how to get you to drink a little more beer. The industry trade group includes representatives from Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. And their meeting comes with some stress in the beer world. Beer shipment volumes have been down for three straight years, through 2011.

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Sports
4:43 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Olympic Athletes Go For Gold, And Green

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. The athletes gathering in London for the opening of the Olympics are after gold, and also after green. Forbes estimates that sponsorships will earn swimmer Ryan Lochte almost $2 million. And even athletes who are not superstars can pick up cash. Here's Ilya Marritz of member station WNYC.

ILYA MARRITZ, BYLINE: Lashinda Demus is a 29-year-old mother of twins living in Los Angeles, and currently, she's the fastest 400 meter woman hurdler in the world. Also, she's promoting Greek yogurt.

(SOUNDBITE OF ADVERTISEMENT)

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Business
4:39 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Rifts Emerge Amid 'Frac Sand' Rush In Wisconsin

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In this country, there's an ingredient that's key to the success of new oil and gas technologies. That crucial ingredient is ordinary and plentiful, but only found in a few places and obtaining it almost always causes friction.

From Wisconsin, Laurie Sterns dent us this report.

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U.S.
4:39 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Job, Tuition Woes A Drain On Law Schools

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We imagine high-powered lawyers making plenty of money, and surely many do, but the American Bar Association has revealed a bit of a secret. A huge number of new law school graduates cannot find jobs as lawyers. The weak job outlook, coupled with high tuition, is prompting many students to think twice about law school. Enrollments are falling. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

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Technology
3:14 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Silicon Valley Boot Camp Aims To Boost Diversity

As part of the New Media Entrepreneurship camp, participants paid a visit to Google.
Joshua Cassidy KQED

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 12:30 pm

If there is a founding ethos in the world of high-tech startups, it's this: The idea is everything. Facebook's initial public offering might have seemed like the perfect illustration. A simple concept, conceived by a college student, became a $100 billion empire in just 8 years.

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Business
2:22 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Romney's 1040: Tax Terms An Accountant Would Love

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 3:17 pm

For weeks, Democrats have been trying to call voters' attention to the financial dealings of Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Supporters of President Obama, the Democratic Party's candidate, have been suggesting that Romney has exploited tax shelters and offshore accounts to build and protect his wealth in ways that average taxpayers would never be able to do.

They are demanding Romney release many years of tax returns.

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Planet Money
2:11 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Just How Blind Are Blind Trusts, Anyway?

J.D. Pooley Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 8:32 am

As Mitt Romney has faced questions about his investments and tax returns, the likely Republican presidential nominee has responded with two words of explanation: blind trust.

Romney keeps most of his wealth in a blind trust designed to prevent him from knowing exactly where his money is and what it's doing. It's a long tradition for presidents and candidates, though anyone can set one up if he wants to.

But it turns out that not all blind trusts are equally blind. Some are cast into complete and utter darkness. Others are more nearsighted.

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Planet Money
12:02 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Episode 388: Putting A Price-Tag On Your Descendants

Waves pound a sea wall in Pacifica, Calif., during a storm in 2010. Small assumptions can make a big difference when putting a price-tag on future disasters.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 8:32 am

  • Listen to the Episode

Given a choice between $50 now and $100 in a month, many people would take the money now. But offered $50 in a year, or $100 in 13 months, they'd wait the extra month to double their money.

The lesson: People have a "present bias," says Frank Partnoy, a professor of law and finance at the University of San Diego. "So people have more impatience in a one-month time period than they do in a one-year time period."

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Planet Money
10:13 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Ni Hao, Siri! Apple Woos Asia, In Two Charts

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

In June, Apple announced that the iPhone's virtual personal assistant, Siri, had learned Chinese. The smartphone's operating system will feature Chinese search engine Baidu, plus popular video sites like Youku. Today the newest iPad arrives in China.

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Business
2:39 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 12:42 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a recall from Ford.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: A recall from Ford Motor Company comes with a strong and unusual message. If you own a certain 2013 model of the Ford Escape, the company says stop driving it. Ford issued this warning yesterday and said dealers will come pick up the SUVs from owners and drop off a loaner car.

Business
2:39 am
Fri July 20, 2012

GM Retirees Face Friday Pension Deadline

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 12:42 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You've got to escape from your Escape.

Now, today is an important day for more than 40,000 salaried retirees of General Motors. They're facing a major financial decision. This evening marks the deadline for accepting a pension buyout.

Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton explains.

TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: The GM retirees have two choices: either take a lump-sum payment - which can range from 400,000 to $800,000 - or their pensions will be shifted from GM's books to the private insurance company Prudential.

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Economy
2:39 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Tough Austerity Plan Incites Spanish Protesters

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 12:42 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Spain, hundreds of thousands demonstrated in scores of cities yesterday, protesting austerity measures meant to pull the government out of the red. Sales tax is going up, and civil servants are taking pay cuts. All this as Europe readies a bailout of Spain of up to $125 billion.

Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHANTING)

LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: About 100,000 Spaniards flooded Madrid's center once the sun went down on another 100-degree day.

(SOUNDBITE OF AIR CANNONS)

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Business
2:39 am
Fri July 20, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 12:42 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Sylvia - Sylvia Woods, the name behind soul food haven Sylvia's.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's a restaurant, and for many, it's much more. The Harlem institution has been around for half a century, but it will never be the same because yesterday, Sylvia Woods died at the age of 86, on the same day New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was due to celebrate her legacy.

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Planet Money
1:44 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Public Pensions Are About To Look Less Healthy

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 9:06 am

The health of public pension plans — the retirement plans for teachers, firefighters, police officers and other state and local governments — has gotten plenty of attention lately.

Some plans are hurting, and numbers from state and local governments suggest their public pension plans are underfunded by about $1 trillion.

But that gap between what they owe and what they have on hand today is about to look bigger — much bigger, in some cases.

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The Salt
3:19 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

As Drought Kills Corn, Farmers Fight Over Ethanol

Stunted corn grows in a field next to a cattle feed lot in rural Springfield, Omaha, Neb.
Nati Harnik AP

We often talk about the "farm lobby" as though farmers spoke with a unified voice. And it's true, they usually try to.

But an unusually bitter and public fight is breaking out right now between the farmers who grow corn and other farmers who need to buy that corn.

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The Salt
1:19 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

High-Tech Shortcut To Greek Yogurt Leaves Purists Fuming

A supermarket's dairy case with shelves of yogurt.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 10:30 am

America's food companies are masters of technology. They massage tastes and textures to tickle our palates. They find ways to imitate expensive foods with cheaper ingredients.

And sometimes, that technological genius leads to controversy.

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Planet Money
12:29 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Six Policies Economists Love (And Politicians Hate)

A marijuana cigarette in British Columbia. Our panel of economists agrees that criminalizing pot is a huge waste of resources.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 10:18 am

Tuesday's show presented the common-sense, no-nonsense Planet Money economic plan — backed by economists of all stripes, but probably toxic to any candidate that might endorse it.

You can still listen to the show, but we've had some requests for a post with our six-step plan spelled out in brief.

So here they are, along with a few words about each of the economists who helped craft it:

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Ford Recalls Some 2013 Escapes, Tells Owners Not To Drive Them

Ford's Escape was redesigned for the 2013 model year. Last month, this one rolled of the assembly line in Louisville, Ky.
Brian Bohannon AP

Warning that a fuel line could leak, "potentially resulting in an underhood fire," Ford Motor Co. today told owners of about 11,500 model year 2013 Escapes "to stop driving their vehicles and to immediately contact their dealers."

The company said that "dealers will deliver a loaner vehicle to customers and will then transport their 2013 Escape to the dealership until the repair has been completed."

There have been no injuries reported in connection with the problem, the company said.

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Planet Money
7:35 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Wait, Investors Paid Germany To Hold Their Cash?

Monument to headier times: The euro logo outside the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The International Monetary Fund has warned of possible deflation in parts of Europe.
Frank Rumpenhorst AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 2:00 pm

On Wednesday, investors paid Germany to hold on to their money for a couple years.

That's right: Germany got to borrow more than 4 billion euros (about $5 billion), and instead of Germany paying interest to its lenders, the lenders are paying Germany. This a lot like Citibank paying you a smidgen to carry a balance on your credit card or to take out a loan (without also charging you interest).

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose By 34,000 Last Week

There was a 34,000-increase in the number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

It says 386,000 people filed claims, up from 352,000 the week before. "The 4-week moving average was 375,500, a decrease of 1,500 from the previous week's revised average of 377,000."

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Around the Nation
6:01 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Drought Hits Farmers And Residential Landscapers

The drought is beginning to really sink its teeth into the Midwest. More than three-quarters of the nation's corn acres are in a drought zone. In Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, corn crops are burning up and its causing commodity prices to shoot up. Suburban residents are paying to water their lawns, but it isn't doing much good.

Business
5:11 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Yahoo May Be Marissa Mayer's Biggest Challenge Yet

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're going to hear more now about the woman taking the reins of one of Silicon Valley's most famous and challenged companies. Marissa Mayer took the tech world by surprise this week when it was announced she was taking the CEO job at Yahoo. The buzz grew louder when it came out she's pregnant and planning on working during her maternity leave.

Mayer is known for being one of Google's first employees and its first female engineer. NPR's Laura Sydell has this profile of Mayer and what she brings to her new job at Yahoo.

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Business
2:41 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Capital One Settles Over Vendors' Missteps

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:01 am

Capital One Bank will pay $210 million to settle federal charges that it tricked credit card customers into buying costly add-on services like payment protection and credit monitoring. The case is the first enforcement action from the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Health Care
2:41 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Health Care Is An Advantageous Topic For Candidates

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The Supreme Court made a decision on President Obama's health care law, but did not end the debate. Voters in battleground states remain polarized about that law. There are signs, though, that the gap between opponents and supporters has become a little smaller. This is the first NPR poll of the 2012 general election season, and we have more, this morning, from NPR's Mara Liasson reports.

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NPR Story
2:41 am
Thu July 19, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:01 am

United Airlines posted a deal last week that got Brian Kelly's attention. He writes a blog about frequent flyer miles called "The Points Guy." The flight he was looking at was to Hong Kong that would require four frequent flyer miles.

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