Business

NPR Story
2:52 am
Wed May 16, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 5:25 am

Fragrances for the man candles include Riding Mower, which smells like freshly cut grass, and First Down, which has the smell of orange and leather.

NPR Story
2:52 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Debt Ceiling Debate Is Revived In Washington

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 4:47 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

If you thought the two political parties had moved past their differences over the debt ceiling, think again.

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NPR Story
2:52 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Certain Ford Retirees Face Major Pension Decision

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 7:05 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now to big money that's tied up in a company's pension fund. Tens of thousands of white-collar Ford retirees will soon have a big decision to make: Should they stay in the auto company's pension plan, or take their chances with a lump sum payout instead? The offer is believed to be the first of its kind for such a large, ongoing pension fund.

Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith reports.

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NPR Story
2:52 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 5:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a sign of confidence in the U.S. auto industry.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Berkshire Hathaway has bought 10 million shares of General Motors. The company owned by the billionaire investor Warren Buffett spent just over $200 million for that stake in GM. It is the first time Berkshire has invested in an American automaker.

Business
3:39 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Shareholders Press JPMorgan Over Risk-Taking

Protesters are seen behind a banner with a picture of JPMorgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon outside a shareholders meeting Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 3:46 pm

JPMorgan Chase faced more critics Tuesday, this time from some of its own shareholders at its annual meeting in Tampa, Fla. This comes after the bank disclosed it lost at least $2 billion last week in a bungled trading strategy.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into the surprise loss, and the Justice Department has now reportedly opened a preliminary probe.

JPMorgan executives let shareholders do some venting at Tuesday's meeting.

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Media
2:56 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Murdoch Protege Charged With 'Perversion Of Justice'

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 3:46 pm

Ex-News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, her husband and four others have been charged with alleged perversion of justice in the phone hacking scandal that has shaken the Rupert Murdoch media empire.

Business
2:43 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Facebook's Growth And Reach At A Glance

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:32 am

In just a few years, Facebook has grown from an idea hatched at Harvard to a worldwide social media phenomenon potentially valued at about $100 billion. Review key moments on Facebook's road to growth, see where it's most popular, and compare how much the shares held by Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives could be worth once the company goes public.

Planet Money
2:01 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Is Facebook Worth $100 Billion?

Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:56 am

When Facebook goes public this week, the company will be valued at roughly $100 billion.

It will be the highest valuation ever for an initial public offering of a tech company. Is Facebook really worth this much money?

One way to frame the question is to consider a single fraction.

The number on top of the fraction is the total value of the company. The number on the bottom is the company's profits over the past year. This fraction is called the price-to-earnings ratio. It's widely used by investors in stocks.

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The Salt
1:16 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Vermont Beer Makers Bring Back Old-Time Maple Sap Brews

This farmer, pouring maple sap into his pail near Wilmington, Vt., in 1954, may have turned the dregs of the season's sap into beer.
Robert F. Sisson National Geographic/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 6:33 am

In Vermont, the last sap in the spring maple sugaring season isn't considered good for much. It's too dark and strong to use for commercial maple syrup — people tend to like the light and clear stuff.

But long ago, that late season sap was used in a potent dark beer that offered some cool relief to farmers when the hay was cut in the heat of summer.

Now some local microbreweries are bringing the historic drink back from extinction.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Report: Justice Dept. Probing JPMorgan's Big Loss

Standing behind a banner with a picture of J.P. Morgan Chairman and CEO James Dimon, protesters gathered outside the bank's annual meeting today in Tampa.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 10:45 am

  • Two soundbites from CEO Jamie Dimon at today's shareholders meeting

The Justice Department has begun looking into JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion-and-counting loss from a hedge account, The Wall Street Journal reports. It cites "a person familiar with the matter" as its source.

The Journal adds that "the probe is at an early stage and it isn't clear what possible legal violation federal investigators may be focusing on."

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Europe
7:51 am
Tue May 15, 2012

'News Of The World' Editor Charged With Conspiracy

Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks faces allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in the latest development in Britain's phone hacking scandal.

The Two-Way
6:00 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Facebook Ups Its Forecast: Says Shares Will Sell For $34 To $38

Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Strong demand for its first public sale of stock has led Facebook to raise its forecast for how much each share will sell for when the company goes public on Friday.

"We anticipate that the initial public offering price will be between $34.00 and $38.00 per share," the company says in a statement filed earlier today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Earlier, the social medial giant had expected shares would sell for $28 to $35 each.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Former Murdoch Editor Facing Criminal Charges In Hacking Scandal

Rebekah Brooks, last Friday in London.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 6:36 am

  • Philip Reeves reporting for the NPR Newscast

The first top editor from Rupert Murdoch's U.K. tabloids to face criminal charges related to the hacking scandal that has rocked his media empire is Rebekah Brooks, who prosecutors allege tried to "pervert the course of justice" last year by seeking to cover up what had been going on at Murdoch's News of the World.

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Economy
3:28 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Fact Checking Data On The Boomerang Generation

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The fact-checking organization PolitiFact looked into a shocking claim in a political ad. The ad said 85 percent of recent college graduates are moving back in with their parents. There was a reason for the ad to make that claim. PolitiFact found that 85 percent figure has been repeated by CNN, the New York Post, U.S. News, and more news organizations. The number fits the notion of a boomerang generation, thrown back home by the economy.

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Business
2:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Facebook Raises Anticipated Stock Price

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a price hike for Facebook shares.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: OK, they're not even on sale yet, but investor excitement over Facebook's upcoming initial public offering has prompted the company to raise the price range for its shares. Sources say the new range will be from $34 to $38 per share. That's up from a previous range of $28 to $35.

Business
2:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

The Last Word In business

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business: the passenger door is now closed. Please make sure all your electronic devices have been switched off.

If you're sick of those rules on planes, well, they may be changing a bit. Virgin Atlantic has announced passengers on their new Airbus will soon be able to chat on their mobile phones.

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Business
2:42 am
Tue May 15, 2012

LightSquared Files For Bankruptcy Protection

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Lightsquared, a company that had hoped to build a nationwide wireless broadband network, has filed for bankruptcy. Its plans ran afoul of government regulators who said the new network would interfere with Global Positioning System, or GPS, signals.

NPR's Richard Gonzales has the story.

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Business
2:42 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Voker Rule Languishes Without Guidelines

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

It took only a few weeks for JPMorgan to lose more than $2 billion. And it's taken just a few days more for a senior executive to lose her job. Ina Drew was Morgan's chief investment officer.

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Election 2012
2:42 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Obama Ad Blasts Romney's Time At Bain Capital

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

The Obama re-election committee on Monday released a two-minute ad taking aim at Republican rival Mitt Romney's record at the private equity firm Bain Capital. The ad challenges Romney's claim that his business experience qualifies him to turn the economy around.

NPR Story
2:42 am
Tue May 15, 2012

California Budget Deficit Grows

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

California Governor Jerry Brown wants to convince voters to accept two things they don't like: higher taxes and deep spending cuts. The Democrat proposed a budget yesterday which would only be the start of the pain. The other part would come in November with a ballot measure to raise taxes and spare education. Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler reports from Sacramento.

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NPR Story
2:42 am
Tue May 15, 2012

The Latest On JPMorgan Chase

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

JP Morgan Chase has long had the reputation of being one of the better managed big banks in the country. So how did it make a $2 billion blunder and what does it tell us about banking today, nearly five years after the onset of the financial crisis? When such questions are looming, we often turn to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

And, David, welcome back to the program.

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Election 2012
2:09 am
Tue May 15, 2012

JPMorgan's Loss A Gain For Campaign Positioning

The U.S. and JPMorgan Chase flags wave outside its headquarters in New York on Friday.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

The fallout from banking giant JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion — and counting — loss has made its way into the presidential campaign. The president and presumptive GOP challenger Mitt Romney have very different views about the regulation of Wall Street, in particular the Dodd-Frank financial systems overhaul law.

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Your Money
1:06 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Canada's Housing Market Booms; Experts See Trouble

Canada's real estate market is one of the hottest in the developed world.
Mike Cassese Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Housing prices are going through the roof in Canada. The real estate market there is one of the hottest in the developed world. In Toronto, prices increased 10 percent in March alone. The average detached house in the city costs more than $600,000.

That has economists and the government worried that Canada is experiencing a housing bubble that's about to burst.

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Planet Money
3:02 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

The 'Whale Sized' Loophole In A New Finance Rule

It's a hedge!
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 11:40 am

Banks that take deposits from ordinary people shouldn't be allowed to make risky, speculative bets! (But they should be allowed to protect themselves against the risks they face in the course of their business.)

This, basically, is the Volcker Rule. It sounds reasonable enough. But it's proving very tough to put into practice — a fact that's illustrated by the $2 billion trading loss reported last week by JPMorgan Chase, the biggest bank in America.

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All Tech Considered
2:42 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Facebook's Success Hinges On How Much More It Can Learn About Us

Investors will be betting that Facebook won't make its users so uncomfortable over privacy that they quit.
Photo Illustration: Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 5:49 pm

This week, All Things Considered is hitting refresh on its All Tech Considered segment — taking you into the changing landscape of technology and how it intersects with everyday life. From Silicon Valley to China, we'll feature stories from around the world, stay on top of innovations that matter — and get you the news you need to know. Every Monday, we'll preview the week's big tech stories.

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Business
2:42 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Resignations Begin At JPMorgan After $2 Billion Loss

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 5:49 pm

JPMorgan Chase's chief investment officer resigned over the weekend and will retire. The bank made the announcement Monday morning, but didn't comment on other expected resignations. Last week JPMorgan surprised the markets with a $2 billion trading loss. That loss has revived interest in the Volcker Rule, which is supposed to reduce risk by prohibiting "proprietary trading."

Business
2:42 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

With JPMorgan Loss, Volcker Rule Resurfaces

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 5:49 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

If you're puzzled by such questions as when is a hedge a hedge and what is an index of corporate derivatives, join the club. And for now, join the tutorial with Lynn Stout, distinguished professor of corporate and business law at Cornell University. Welcome.

LYNN STOUT: Thank you so much for inviting me.

SIEGEL: First, we've heard that JPMorgan Chase bought insurance against a downturn. What did they actually buy? What were they doing?

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Business
2:42 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Calif. Budget Deficit Nearly Doubles To $16 Billion

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 5:49 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

California is bracing for another round of massive spending cuts. Its budget deficit has nearly doubled since the start of the year. Governor Jerry Brown released a spending plan today that spares almost no one, especially if voters reject a tax increase on the ballot this fall. From Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, Ben Adler reports.

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Economy
9:53 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Uneven Economy Evens The Field For Obama, Romney

An audience member decries President Obama's economic policies as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a February campaign rally in Atlanta.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 11:51 am

As the election year began, conventional wisdom was pretty well set about the outcome of the presidential race. If the economy improved, President Obama would win. If not, he'd be a one-termer.

So what does it mean that many big economic indicators are moving sideways?

"Obama seems to be in that gray area," says Paul Pierson, a political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. "The numbers are neither so good nor so bad that they give you a definitive answer."

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Facebook's Zuckerberg Turns 28, With Billions Of Reasons To Celebrate

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in black hoodie.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Happy birthday, Mark Zuckerberg.

Not only do you turn 28 today, but at the end of the week Facebook stock is due to go public for the first time.

The social networking giant is expected to be valued around $100 billion and Zuckerberg's worth will then be around $18 billion, as Wired magazine's Steven Levy said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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