Business

Business
3:24 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Shilling Blames Rhode Island For Company's Downward Spiral

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 10:01 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's spend some time talking about the big money world of video games. In a moment, what may have been the biggest legal battle ever in the game industry. But first to former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Shilling. He is blaming the governor of Rhode Island for the meltdown of his video game company, 38 Studios. The company's failures have seen almost 400 workers lose their jobs and has Rhode Island taxpayers on the hook for close to $100 million. Ian Donnis of Rhode Island Public Radio has the story.

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Energy
3:51 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Gulf Refinery Expansion May Not Cut Gas Prices

Expanding the refinery at Port Arthur, Texas, took five years and $10 billion. The facility can now process 600,000 barrels a day.
Motiva Enterprises

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

In Texas recently there was a grand opening for what is now the largest refinery in the U.S. Shell and Saudi Arabia's national oil company, Saudi Aramco, have more than doubled the capacity of their Port Arthur refinery.

The refinery business has been going through a tough period in recent years. Americans are buying less gasoline and other petroleum products — about 10 percent less than in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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Europe
2:36 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Central Bank President Warns That Euro Is Unstable

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The euro needs a vision - that was the message today from European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, speaking before the European Parliament. He warned that the current plan backing the single currency is unsustainable.

And as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, governments may have to make some tough choices to keep the eurozone intact.

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Europe
2:00 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Battered Spanish Economy Nears Tipping Point

A student in Pamplona, holding a sign in the Basque language, protests cuts Thursday in education and other public services by the government. Spain's financial position is weakening and there are fears the country will need a bailout.
Alvaro Barrientos AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:58 pm

Spain's borrowing costs hit record highs this week and European stock markets have slumped over fears Madrid can't afford the price tag required to prop up its ailing banks. It's looking ever more likely the country will need some kind of bailout.

After watching Greece from afar for years, many Spaniards now believe Spain's number is up.

A tourist in Madrid might wonder where the crisis is. Traffic is heavy and the tapas bars are packed.

But listen in on some of the conversations, and it's clear that Spaniards are scared.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

For Many Teens, Summer Jobs May Be Thing Of The Past

Tom Auffhammer, 17 (right) scoops ice cream in Syracuse, N.Y. Teens continue to face stiff competition for summer jobs, but a downward trend in summer hiring for teens actually predates the recession.
Michelle Gabel The Post-Standard/Landov

The school year's winding down, meaning teenagers around the country will soon be trying to pull in some extra cash scooping ice cream or manning those kiosks at the mall.

But with the job market still weak, teens are facing stiff competition landing summer jobs. And while the downturn has hit young job seekers particularly hard, it's not just the lingering effects of the Great Recession working against them: the drop-off in teen summer hiring actually began long before 2007.

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The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Wal-Mart Pulls Out Of Group That Advocates 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Selina Gray of Sanford, Fla., at a protest there on March 31.
Julie Fletcher AP

Wal-Mart has joined the list of major corporations withdrawing their support from a conservative political group that advocates the "Stand Your Ground" laws that came under intense focus after the Trayvon Martin killing became a national story.

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The Salt
12:18 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Bloomberg's Sugary Drink Ban May Not Change Soda Drinkers' Habits

Will reducing the size of New York city's sodas impact the obesity problem?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:58 pm

When New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last night he wants to ban sodas and many other sugary drinks in 16 ounce servings sizes and up, the reaction was swift and predictable.

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Economy
9:06 am
Thu May 31, 2012

U.S. Economic Growth Falls Short Of Expectations

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with starts with some discouraging numbers.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Job Growth Slow, Jobless Claims Up, GDP Revised Down

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 6:49 am

The number of jobs on private employers' payrolls grew by a modest 133,000 positions from April to May, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

ADP's monthly report is sometimes a decent barometer of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say when it issues its employment estimates. We're due to hear from BLS about the May employment situation on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
4:59 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Bloomberg Aims To Take Gulp Out Of Sugary Drinks With Ban On Big Ones

Bloomberg's got his sights on these.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 6:04 am

Having gone after smoking and artificial trans fats, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg now has his eye on big sugary drinks.

As NY1 reports, the mayor:

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Business
3:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our last word in business today is: Big Gulp. Actually, make that moderately-sized gulp.

New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, which means a large Slurpee or a Grande Frappuccino, would still be legal. Restaurants, movie theaters, and food trucks would all have to abide by the rule, which is aimed at rising obesity rates. Fruit juices and alcoholic drinks would be exempt.

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Business
3:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:11 am

Economists had predicted the growth of Asia's third-largest economy would continue to slow this year. But the latest data suggests the Indian economy is in worse shape than many analysts thought. The country's growth in the first quarter of this year was only 5.3 percent, compared to 9.2 percent last year.

Business
3:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Fire In Belltown, USA Destroys Last Bell Factory

Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company in East Hampton, Ct., was a fixture in what was known as Belltown USA. Dozens of bell manufacturers used to call it home. But Bevin Bells was the city's last manufacturer until this past weekend when the factory burned down. Owner Matthew Bevin would like to rebuild.

Education
3:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Seattle Area Lacks Computer Science Majors

In Seattle alone, there are thousands of computer-related jobs waiting to be filled. But at the University of Washington, the number of bachelor's degrees in computer science is the same now as it was more than a decade ago. A lot of students have been rebuffed in their effort to major in computer science or computer engineering.

Election 2012
1:36 am
Thu May 31, 2012

The Fine Political Art Of Jobs Forecasting

A sign outside a McDonald's restaurant in Chesterland, Ohio, advertises job openings earlier this month.
Amy Sancetta AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 6:17 am

Friday is jobs day, when the federal government releases its monthly unemployment report. It's also just about five months before the presidential election.

When the two presidential contenders talk about unemployment, they're trying to balance their rhetoric between optimism, pessimism and reality.

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Youth Radio
12:52 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Find Me A Part-Time Job

An image from the TaskRabbit website shows one of the company's workers assembling a piece of furniture — a task the site says will pay $45.
NPR

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 3:21 am

The unemployment rate is 8.1 percent, but the underemployment rate — that's people who work part time but want full-time work — is much higher. For many people, making ends meet means cobbling together various part-time jobs. And there are some apps for that.

Shannon Mills has blanketed the floor in a spacious home in Corte Madera, Calif., with protective plastic. Now she's taping off the trim, getting ready to paint over the peach-colored living room walls with the more neutral "bisque" shade waiting in cans at her feet.

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It's All Politics
3:14 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

CEO In Chief? A Business Background Is Rare For Presidents

Mitt Romney addresses the Latino Coalition's 2012 Small Business Summit in Washington earlier this month.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:17 am

Republican Mitt Romney is running on the strength of his business background. He says he knows how to fix the economy, in part because of his success at Bain Capital. But history is not necessarily on Romney's side. Very few businesspeople have made it to the White House.

The transition from business to politics isn't necessarily an easy one.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
1:29 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Sizing Up The American Dream

In a nation as diverse as the United States, the idea of "the American dream" means different things to different people. Many associate the dream with intangible ideals like freedom of expression, freedom of religion, optimism and family ties. But the American dream has also long been associated with attaining a higher standard of living, particularly one that surpasses that of the previous generation.

American Dreams: Then And Now
12:46 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

With The American Dream Comes The Nightmare

Unemployed circus clown Tim Torkildson, aka Dusty the Clown, sits on a bench on the north side of the U.S. Capitol in May.
Bill Clark CQ Roll Call

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 9:34 am

One American's dream can be another American's nightmare.

Consider: Some people long to live in big cities; others think cities have ruined the landscape. Some Americans love to drive big old honking SUVs; others see huge cars as pollution-producing monsters. For some people, the American dream is a steady office job. For others, the office is a sinkhole and the real dream is freedom from the office.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Bank Bailout Fund Floated As Way To Calm Crisis In Europe

The Spanish bank Bankia in Madrid has asked the government to inject $24 billion. The European Commission is proposing a "banking union" to help eurozone governments rescue banks.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 2:22 pm

There have been very few days lately when worries about Europe's debt crisis weren't growing.

As Spain struggles to shore up its third-largest bank with a $24 billion bailout, the country's borrowing costs continue to go through the roof as fears lingered about a possible run on its banks.

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Economy
9:44 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Is Subprime Lending Making A Comeback?

Auto sales are on the rise in Detroit, and not just for people with perfect credit. Chrysler and other companies are targeting customers with subprime credit, and giving them interest rates well above what you might imagine. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR's Sonari Glinton about who's doing it, and what it might mean for the economic recovery.

Shots - Health Blog
8:43 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Employers Less Likely To Drop Coverage Than You Might Think

Employers are bruised by health costs, but most aren't thinking about dropping coverage just yet.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 1:52 pm

When it comes to businesses providing health coverage for employees, there's a mad dash for the exits, right?

Maybe not, according to a recent survey of more than 1,300 U.S. employers of varying sizes. Consultants at Oliver Wyman's health practice wondered how employers are weighing the increasing costs of providing health insurance and the potential exit strategy paths available under the federal health law (if it survives the Supreme Court).

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Europe
3:17 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Irish To Vote On Stricter Budgetary Rules

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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Business
3:17 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Spain's Retail Sales Drop Amid Belt Tightening

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 4:44 am

In Spain, retail sales for April plunged to a seasonally adjusted 9.8 percent from a year ago. It's the fastest decline on record. The drop in sales is being blamed on Spain's severe austerity program.

Business
3:17 am
Wed May 30, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:36 am

The Japanese government has launched a campaign aimed at selling bonds to help fund reconstruction of areas hit by last year's earthquake and tsunami. It recruited the popular girl band AKB48, known for hits like "Baby Baby Bay," to help promote the bonds.

The Salt
1:28 am
Wed May 30, 2012

From An Israeli Kibbutz, A High-Priced Caviar Prized By Top Chefs

Dean & Deluca

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 6:29 am

A kibbutz in the mountains of northern Israel might seem an unlikely source for some of the world's most expensive gourmet food. But a small farming collective has built itself a lucrative business, supplying some of America's top chefs with caviar that customers pay hundreds of dollars to sample.

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Architecture
1:17 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Forget Big-Box Stores. How About A Big-Box House?

The architecture firm HyBrid, which specializes in designing buildings from recycled shipping containers, created this solar-powered house for Sunset Magazine.
Amy Eastwood

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 3:17 am

When it comes to architecture, sustainability and affordability can mean many things: Salvaged wood becomes new flooring, old newspapers are shredded into insulation.

But a few architects are taking green building one step further: creating entire homes and businesses out of discarded shipping containers — an approach some have dubbed "cargotecture."

Approximately a quarter-million shipping containers pass through Oregon's Port of Portland each year. These are big boxes — 40 feet long and weighing thousands of pounds.

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Law
2:30 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Lawyers, Not Victims, Making Most In Madoff Cleanup

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 6:45 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You may recall that after Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff was found out, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation hired lawyer Irving Picard to be the bankruptcy trustee, to recover what he could for Madoff's victims. And for the past four years, Mr. Picard has been doing that. Not surprisingly, he and others involved in the recovery effort have been charging fees.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
2:22 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

On The Economic Ladder, Rungs Move Further Apart

Kevin Hill, a San Diego landscape designer, was doing well financially before the downturn. Now, he says he feels "lost."
John Ydstie NPR

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 6:45 pm

America is the land of opportunity — that's the bedrock of the American dream. Many expect each generation to do better than the last.

That dream of economic mobility is alive and well for Pam Krank and her husband, Brian McGee. The two are proud owners of The Credit Department Inc., a successful business in the Minneapolis suburb of Mendota Heights.

"Mostly manufacturing companies around the world will hire us to study their customers and tell them how much ... unsecured credit they should grant to each customer," Krank explains.

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Planet Money
10:28 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Who Decides Whether This 26-Year-Old Woman Gets A Lung Transplant?

A message from Ashley Dias.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 1:24 pm

This is the first of two stories we're doing this week on organ transplants. See the second story, What Air Traffic Can Teach Us About Kidney Transplants

Ashley Dias, 26, is waiting for lungs. She has cystic fibrosis and needs a lung transplant to survive. She's got a tracheostomy tube in her neck so she can only mouth out words.

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