Business

Business
2:58 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Apple Rejoins Green Product Registry After Criticism

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 3:52 pm

Apple announced Friday that it is rejoining a widely-used registry of environmentally-friendly electronic devices called EPEAT. That's after pulling out of the registry just last week. The company had come under harsh criticism from those who said the company was turning its back on its green environmental image. Melissa Block speaks with Wendy Kaufman about Apple's decision.

Planet Money
2:46 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

The Cost Of Free Doughnuts: 70 Years Of Regret

U.S. soldiers receive refreshments, including doughnuts, from an American Red Cross clubmobile in London. Soldiers today still resent a Red Cross move to charge for doughnuts.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 3:06 pm

A lot of the online services you probably use are free. Gmail is free. Facebook is free. Yahoo News and NPR are free (though we certainly solicit contributions!). But increasingly, online companies are trying to figure out how to start charging, at least for some services, some of the time.

But today, we have a cautionary tale about charging for things that were once free. It's the story of how one small mistake moving away from free can cause trouble that's impossible to fix.

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Presidential Race
8:26 am
Fri July 13, 2012

How Battleground States See The Economy

A young supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a sign during an election party at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas in February.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:33 am

For all the chatter that the winner of the 2012 presidential election will be determined by the economy, you wouldn't know it by looking at the most closely contested states.

The recovery is still tepid in most parts of the country, and there's a sense of trepidation that signs of improvement might not last. Among the swing states, some are doing comparatively well while others are struggling — but the political picture looks roughly the same in all.

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Business
5:48 am
Fri July 13, 2012

JPMorgan: Trading Loss Grows To $4.4 Billion

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 12:23 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The largest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase, this morning released its second quarter results. It's net income was $5 billion, but it turns out that loses in a failed hedging strategy involving a secretive trader were much higher than what the bank originally said the loss would be. In fact, JPMorgan lost $4.4 billion last quarter on those risky trades.

As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, that's not the full extent of the firm's damage.

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The Two-Way
5:17 am
Fri July 13, 2012

JPMorgan Earned $5B In Second Quarter Even After $4.4B Trading Loss

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 12:30 pm

Though it suffered an estimated $4.4 billion second-quarter loss related to its bungled trading in some very risky types of investments, JPMorgan Chase said this morning that it still did well enough in its other businesses that it had net income of $5 billion in those three months.

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Business
3:09 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Uzbekistan Sets Up Rival To Facebook

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business comes from the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan, which by the way, won six medals in the last Olympics. But today's last word is about another kind of competition, this one between social networking sites. And the word is: YouFace. That's the name of a new social networking site that aims to lure local Internet users away from Facebook, and, quote, "boost patriotism among young people in Uzbekistan."

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Business
3:09 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Team USA Predicted To Take The Most Medals

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some future news now. The Olympics begin two weeks from today in London, and we can already tell you the likely big winners. China will take the most gold medals, followed by the U.S. and host country, Great Britain. Team USA will win the most overall medals, followed by China and Russia.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Asia
3:09 am
Fri July 13, 2012

China's Economy Slows To 3-Year Low

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. China's economic growth has slowed down to a three-year low. That's according to new figures released today. The numbers matter to us because of the way the world economy is so interconnected. Americans import a lot from China, sure, but have also been working to boost exports to other nations, including China.

NPR's Louisa Lim joins us from Beijing to make sense of the latest news. Hi, Louisa.

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Business
3:09 am
Fri July 13, 2012

JPMorgan To Reveal Earnings, Trading Losses

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 12:26 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the biggest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase, says it has lost $4.4 billion from its failed hedging strategy involving a secretive trader. That's more than twice the bank's earlier estimate. The company released its second-quarter earnings report this morning, and NPR's Jim Zarroli is with us now to talk about them. Jim, what is the company telling investors this morning about that money?

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Business
3:09 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Geithner Pointed Out LIBOR Concerns In 2008

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:04 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a warning about LIBOR.

It came years ago. We now know that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner pointed out problems with the way that London's key interest rates were set. He did this in 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis at the time he was head of the New York Federal Reserve.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
1:20 am
Fri July 13, 2012

County Considers Eminent Domain As Foreclosure Fix

Half of San Bernardino County's 300,000 mortgages are underwater. In an attempt to ease the mortgage crisis, the Southern California county is considering taking control of some of those properties by eminent domain.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:04 am

County and city officials in San Bernardino, Calif., are considering a controversial plan: using the power of eminent domain to take over "underwater" mortgages, where the value of the home is worth less than the original loan. Taking on those properties, officials say, would allow the homeowners to refinance those troubled loans.

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Planet Money
1:19 am
Fri July 13, 2012

The European Central Bank's Guide to Influence

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, left, speaks with Spanish Finance Minister Luis De Guindos on Monday. The ECB has increased its influence over European countries struggling with debt.
Georges Gobet AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 4:08 pm

Europe is struggling, thanks to a relentless debt crisis. Compounding its problems: It is not one country, but 17.

Many observers agree that to solve their problems, those countries have to start looking a lot more like one country. And there is a force in Europe trying to make that happen: the European Central Bank. The weapon it has that everyone else lacks? Money.

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Presidential Race
1:17 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Why Would Romney Bury Treasure In Bermuda?

The Thistle House in Hamilton, Bermuda, is listed as the address of Mitt Romney's Bermuda corporation.
David Welna NPR

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:04 am

New questions about Mitt Romney's overseas investments have dogged the GOP presidential contender all week. Many arose from a report in the latest issue of Vanity Fair. It describes how the day before Romney was sworn in as governor of Massachusetts, he put a corporation he'd set up in Bermuda in a blind trust held by his wife, Ann. Romney insists he did nothing wrong.

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Asia
3:02 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Global Markets Brace For China's Slowing Economy

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 4:10 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Global stock markets are anxiously awaiting new figures from China. Analysts are expecting the numbers to show the world's second largest economy suffering its biggest slowdown since the global financial crisis.

NPR's Louisa Lim is in Beijing.

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Asia
2:41 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Pimp My Rickshaw: India's Drivers Pump Up The Glam

You know you want one: rickshaw seat covers emblazoned with Bollywood stars. It's just one way New Delhi rickshaw drivers are trying to outdo each other in the battle for passengers.
Elliot Hannon for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 4:10 pm

Dashboard statues of glow-in-the-dark Hindu gods, hubcaps painted like soccer balls and seat covers adorned with Bollywood stars — all this and more rickshaw bling is all the rage in India.

The motorized three-wheeled buggies are a fixture on India's crowded city streets, scooting in and out of traffic, picking up and dropping off passengers.

In New Delhi alone, there are some 50,000 of these vehicles. And that number is set to double as the city recently lifted a decades-long cap on the number of rickshaws allowed on the road.

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Business
2:35 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Lobster Glut, Low Prices Leave Boats High And Dry

A lobster on a boat off Mount Desert, Maine, is measured to see if it is a legal size. There has been a glut of lobster this season, driving down prices.
Robert F Bukaty AP

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 4:10 pm

This summer is shaping up to be a record season for lobster landings in Maine. That sounds like good news for a state where lobstering makes up a large part of the economy.

It may be welcome news for consumers and food retailers, but for the state's 5,000 lobstermen, it's a different story.

Hard To Make A Living

On Portland's waterfront, about five lobster boats are tied up at one of the piers. Half a dozen lobstermen stand around discussing the current problem of oversupply.

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Poverty In America: The Struggle To Get Ahead
2:26 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Turning Trash Into Cash To Help Nation's Poor

A worker dismantles a mattress at a recycling facility in Oakland, Calif. The material will be used to make carpet products and proceeds will help support the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, a nonprofit that helps low-income families in Eugene, Ore.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 4:10 pm

The bad economy has hurt many nonprofits around the country, even as demands for their services have grown. That's certainly the case in Reading, Pa., which has been labeled the poorest city in America, with a poverty rate of more than 41 percent.

Now, one local nonprofit, Opportunity House, hopes to salvage some of its services by salvaging junk.

Looking For Help

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Planet Money
2:23 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Waiting For JPMorgan And The Whale

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, here seen in June testifying before a congressional committee, will try to explain the bank's trading losses to investors on Friday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Ever since the peak of the financial crisis, we've been treated to the occasional spectacle that leaves the market and its hangers-on in a tizzy: unveiling the terms of new bailout programs, revealing bank stress-test results, and, not long ago, JPMorgan Chase's chief executive

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Opinion
12:51 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Weekly Standard: Obamacare Cost Estimates Rise

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the NAACP National Convention on July 11 in Houston, Texas. Romney was booed by the audience when he reiterated his commitment to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Eric Kayne Getty Images

Daniel Halper is an online editor at The Weekly Standard.

The Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee released the following chart yesterday, detailing the rising projected cost of President Obama's signature legislation, Obamacare:

The latest estimate, as the chart details, is that Obamacare will cost $2.6 trillion dollars in its first real decade. The bill does not fully go into effect until 2014, therefore the estimate begins with that year.

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Opinion
12:50 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

New Republic: Obamacare Means Higher Employment

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks about the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act at George Washington University on July 11 in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Jonathan Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a technical consultant to the Obama administration during the development of the Affordable Care Act.

Forget death panels. Lately critics of the Affordable Care Act have been promoting a different claim — that "Obamacare" is a job-killer. Specifically, they say, it will stifle the economy with regulations and taxes. But the economic literature doesn't support this claim. If anything, it suggests the opposite: The Affordable Care Act will boost the economy.

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Planet Money
12:42 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

How To Define Your Terms In 300 Pages

Mary Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, before a June congressional hearing. Both agencies adopted hundreds of pages of rules this week.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 2:09 pm

In Tuesday's show, economist Luigi Zingales warned that massive, overly complicated laws and regulations go a long way toward undermining public trust in the government. They leave only lobbyists and lawyers reading the rules, in the pursuit of loopholes.

By coincidence, on Tuesday a key federal financial regulator said it had approved a collection of definitions and conditions for regulating a big chunk of the derivatives market.

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NPR Story
3:40 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Mobile Ad Networks Accused Of Invasive Apps

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 11:21 am

Mobile apps are aggressively placing unwanted ads on phones. Lookout, a mobile security firm in San Francisco, tested mobile apps and found some disturbing practices. Those include transmitting consumer phone numbers and email addresses and transmitting to third parties and placing ads on the mobile phone's desktop.

NPR Story
3:23 am
Thu July 12, 2012

DirectTV, Viacom Battle Over Distribution Fees

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 10:21 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Almost 20 million subscribers of the country's largest satellite TV provider are now unable to access dozens of channels.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports that DirecTV ordered the blackout after its distribution agreement with Viacom ended.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: If you believe this Viacom video, the sky is about to fall because DirecTV viewers can no longer tune into the antics of "SpongeBob SquarePants," Jon Stewart, or Snooki.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE AD)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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NPR Story
3:23 am
Thu July 12, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 10:21 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Sometimes friends become more than friends and Facebook just won't do. And if the friend in question are dogs, they may want to hear today's last word in business.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PUPPY LOVE")

PAUL ANKA: (Singing) And they called it puppy love, oh I...

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Brazil's dog population is second only to the U.S. Two entrepreneurs - a brother and sister team - are hoping to capitalize on that by building an eight-story hotel for pets. With one floor apparently is dedicated to mating.

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NPR Story
3:23 am
Thu July 12, 2012

United To Place Major Order With Boeing

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 10:21 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a giant deal for Boeing.

It's a big deal that would be worth billions of dollars for Boeing. United Airlines is set to buy about 100 of its planes - the single-aisle 737s. Boeing would still be behind Europe's Airbus when it comes to new orders for the next generation of narrow body jets.

Today's announcement on United's Boeing purchase has long been rumored. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

All Tech Considered
1:08 am
Thu July 12, 2012

New Online Users Have A Longer Timeline

More older adults are using the Internet, thanks in part to introductory classes offered offline.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 11:50 am

Facebook started as a social network for college students. But now that anyone can join, here's a status update: Many of its newest members are senior citizens.

At 101 years old, Florence Detlor is one of the oldest people on Facebook. She says she's always been someone who wants to keep up on the cutting edge of technology.

"Because that's what makes one time different from another," she says.

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The Salt
3:00 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Wake Up Call To Grocery Stores: Young People Shop Around

The millennial generation doesn't shop at the grocery store the way their parents and grandparents do.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 9:31 pm

Supermarkets have spent decades catering to the needs and wants of baby boomers, and now the millennial generation is disappointed with what they're finding at traditional grocery stores, and are shopping elsewhere in greater numbers.

In fact, a new market research report called Trouble in Aisle 5 reports that millennials buy only 41 percent of their food at traditional grocery stores, compared to the boomers' 50 percent.

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Planet Money
11:42 am
Wed July 11, 2012

The Failure Of The Candy Tax

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 3:13 pm

Last week, we re-aired an episode recorded in 2010 with economist Joshua Gans, author of the book Parentonomics. In the episode, Gans' 11-year old daughter, B., told us about his technique for keeping her from spending too much allowance money on candy:

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The Salt
10:12 am
Wed July 11, 2012

U.S. Pig And Cattle Producers Trying To Crush Egg Bill

Egg producers and the Humane Society agree on a bill to require larger chicken cages, but the pork and beef industries fear they're next and are fighting it.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 6:54 am

Remember our reports a few months ago on the odd couple who struck an innovative compromise between egg producers and animal welfare activists? (Here's a hint: The deal calls for egg producers to replace their standard cages with new "enriched" accommodations, complete with perches and nest boxes where chickens can lay their eggs.)

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Economy
10:04 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Did The Great Recession Bring Back The 1930s?

Thousands of unemployed people wait outside the State Labor Bureau in New York City to register for federal relief jobs in 1933.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 12:00 pm

The long economic downturn that began in late 2007 came to be known at the Great Recession –- the worst period since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Even though both events were momentous enough to earn the word "great" as a modifier, they really are not comparable, according to recent research by economist Mark Vaughan, a fellow at the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy at Washington University in St. Louis.

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