Business

Energy
9:52 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Falling Oil Prices: A Blip Or A Hint Of The Future?

Oil and gas production in the U.S. is rising, and the U.S. is expected to be less dependent on foreign energy in the coming years. This oil drilling rig, shown in October 2011, is outside Watford City, N.D., a state that has seen a boom in energy production.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 1:42 pm

World oil prices have been falling recently — and that's good news for oil consumers such as the U.S., Europe and China, and a potential challenge for the big exporters like Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The oil market is notoriously volatile, and the factors driving prices down are temporary. But some energy industry analysts are posing a much larger question: Is the world, and the U.S. in particular, entering a new phase of expanding energy supplies and more moderate prices?

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Shots - Health Blog
7:47 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Why Your Drug Copay Could Change

How much a medicine costs you could vary depending on the value your insurer assigns to treatment.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 10:00 am

What if how much you paid for a drug was based on how much it might help you, instead of the sticker price?

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Media
4:57 am
Tue May 8, 2012

English-Language News Launched By Univision, ABC

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:41 am

The joint venture will create a multi-platform news service for English-speaking Hispanics. The venture will feature a 24/7 cable channel, as well as digital media platforms.

Business
3:21 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:41 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a shareholder revolt.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Business
3:21 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Mortgage Update

Bank of America is offering to reduce an average $150,000 in principal for borrowers who qualify, a bank official says.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 8:03 am

Bank of America is offering about 200,000 homeowners a chance to wipe out a big chunk of their mortgage debt. The offers are part of the settlement Bank of America and other major banks reached with state and federal regulators earlier this year, and it's one of the biggest principal forgiveness opportunities so far.

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Business
3:21 am
Tue May 8, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:41 am

Beatles tunes are very hard to license — the surviving band members and heirs have been choosy about who can play their songs. AMC's Mad Men made the cut. For a reported $250,000, the show was allowed to pay "Tomorrow Never Knows."

Economy
3:21 am
Tue May 8, 2012

What Hollande's Anti-Austerity Rhetoric Means

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:41 am

Socialist Francois Hollande won the French presidency over the weekend, in large part due to his pledge to push for growth and battle the German-led austerity approach to Europe's fiscal problems. But what does that pledge mean in practical terms?

Economy
3:21 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Germany Stays The Course On Austerity Measures

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:41 am

The elections in France and Greece signaled a resounding popular rejection of the tough austerity measures being pushed by Germany, Europe's largest economy. But Berlin doesn't appear to be changing course.

Europe
1:33 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Bond Market Shrugs Off France's Presidential Vote

A supporter of French President-elect Francois Hollande wears a mask of outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:41 am

The arguments for growth policies as opposed to austerity are taking center stage in Europe after the French and Greek elections.

His rhetoric aside, France's President-elect Francois Hollande is not rejecting austerity. In fact, he pledged to balance France's budget by the end of his five-year term, just one year later than his opponent, outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
1:14 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Long-Term-Care Insurance: Who Needs It?

AnnaBelle Bowers' long-time physician, Walter Watkin, gives her a kiss on the forehead at the end of her visit. When asked how long she had been coming to see him, he said, "Long enough for her file to be 2 inches thick."
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:50 am

Americans routinely buy all sorts of insurance — for cars, homes, health and even pets and boats.

But when it comes to long-term-care insurance, relatively few sign up. Out of more than 313 million Americans, only about 8 million have any such protection, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The low participation rate largely reflects the high cost of long-term-care insurance.

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Business
12:29 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Shhhh! (Facebook's About To Go Public)

The world's biggest social network is expected to go public on May 18. And like all companies facing an initial public offering, Facebook is staying quiet about its financials and stock potential.
Timur Emek AP

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 8:07 am

Facebook started what's called a "road show" this week, pitching itself to potential big investors across the country. It's one of the last steps before a company goes public — which Facebook reportedly plans to do next Friday.

But that pitch has to be very carefully calibrated — as you can tell from all the warning language that precedes it on Facebook's road show website.

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National Security
12:27 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Bill Would Have Businesses Foot Cost Of Cyber War

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 8:20 am

Business executives and national security leaders are of one mind over the need to improve the security of the computers that control the U.S. power grid, the financial system, water treatment facilities and other elements of critical U.S. infrastructure. But they divide over the question of who bears responsibility for that effort.

The disagreement stands as an obstacle to passage of major cybersecurity legislation backed by Sens. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Susan Collins of Maine, among others.

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Business
2:23 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

New 'Fortune 500' List Shows Record Earnings

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The overall U.S. economy may be moving at a sluggish pace, but for corporate America, 2011 was a banner year. The Fortune 500 list came out today, and it shows record high earnings for the top 500 companies. Their profits increased more than 16 percent from last year to total more than $824 billion. The 500 companies are ranked by revenue, and Exxon Mobil tops the list with a staggering $453 billion. Fortune's managing editor, Andy Serwer, joins me to talk about the numbers and what they mean. Andy, welcome to the program.

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Planet Money
10:16 am
Mon May 7, 2012

In Greece, Rejecting Austerity Could Mean More Austerity

Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 12:12 pm

The elections in Greece are being described as a rejection of the austerity measures imposed by "the Troika" — the European Central Bank, the EU, and the International Monetary Fund, which required steep budget cuts as a condition for the Greek bailout.

But if Greece were to abandon the Troika, it could face more austerity, not less.

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Economy
9:50 am
Mon May 7, 2012

What Do April's Job Numbers Mean?

Host Michel Martin discusses April's jobs report with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., head of the Congressional Black Caucus, and NPR's Business Editor Marilyn Geewax. Just 115,000 jobs were created, fewer than most economists expected, but the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent.

The Two-Way
7:04 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Exxon Back At No. 1 On 'Fortune 500' List; Wal-Mart Knocked To No. 2

At an Exxon Mobil gas station in Chicago; July 29, 2010.
John Gress Getty Images

After two years in second place, Exxon Mobil is back on top of the Fortune 500.

With 2011 revenues of $452.9 billion, the oil and energy giant edged out Wal-Mart Stores, which brought in $447 billion, Fortune magazine just reported.

Wal-Mart took the top spot from Exxon Mobil two years ago and held on to it again last year. Soaring oil prices are a major factor in Exxon's move back to No. 1.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Mon May 7, 2012

'Seismic Shift' In Europe After French And Greek Elections

In Paris on Sunday, supporters of newly elected president Francois Hollande celebrated.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 10:53 am

  • Eleanor Beardsley, reporting on 'Morning Edition'
  • Sylvia Poggioli reporting on 'Morning Edition'
(Note: We updated the market news in this post at midday.)

A victory Sunday by Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande in France and the rejection by voters in Greece of that country's austerity policies have caused a "seismic shift" that threatens the future of the euro,

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Around the Nation
4:25 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Drilling Boom Strains State Regulatory Agencies

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 4:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tax revenue coming from shale, oil, and gas development has many states very happy, but the boom is also putting a strain on regulators. There are not enough of them to inspect all the drilling sites. Colorado, for example, has 17 inspectors for more the 47,000 active oil and gas wells. Kirk Siegler reports from member station KUNC.

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Each day, Jim Precobb(ph) of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission logs about 400 miles in his state-owned truck.

JIM PRECOBB: It is absolutely staggering.

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Business
4:01 am
Mon May 7, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 4:55 am

The Marvel Comics superheros smashed the domestic revenue record with a $200.3 million debut. It's by far the biggest opening ever.

Business
3:55 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 4:46 am

The world's second biggest maker of personal computers Lenovo Group has announced it will invest nearly $800 million over the next five years to build a mobile device facility in China. The company will develop and manufacture products like smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices to meet growing global demand.

Your Money
12:46 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Before The IPO: A Private Market For Tech Shares

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks in a video that is part of the company's prospectus for investors. By remaining a privately held company, Facebook has helped boost the popularity of secondary stock markets.
NPR

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 4:34 am

Very soon, Facebook will go public. That means anyone will be able to buy shares of the social networking giant on the Nasdaq exchange. But sophisticated investors have already been buying pieces of Facebook and many other hot tech stocks, on private exchanges.

And now it seems that trading in private company shares is poised to grow, thanks to recent changes in the law.

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Economy
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

On Jobs, Bad News Is Bad. The Good News Is Bad, Too

People wait in a line at a job fair on April 10, 2012, in Gresham, Ore. Employment grew by 115,000 last month, but the unemployment rate dip was likely due to people leaving the workforce rather than people getting hired, analysts say.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

For the second month in a row, weak job growth numbers unsettled nerves in the White House and on Wall Street.

It's obvious why the number of jobs added to the economy in April was disappointing. Employment grew by just 115,000. That followed a disappointing job gain in March. Together, the March and April average was only about half the 250,000 jobs added monthly in December, January and February.

Again, economists suggested the warm winter weather might have boosted job growth during the winter months, which left fewer jobs to be added in the spring.

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Economy
2:13 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Jobs Report: More Are Dropping Out Of Workforce

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:04 pm

The Labor Department issued its monthly employment report on Friday and the news wasn't good. Payrolls did increase with 115,000 positions but that was less than the month before and far less than what most economists were expecting.

Economy
1:35 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

'Dejected': Some Unemployed Give Up The Hunt

People wait at a job fair in New York City's Queens borough on Thursday. While millions of out-of-work Americans continue to seek employment, others have given up looking.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The unemployment rate slipped a notch to 8.1 percent in April, but not because employers went on a hiring spree.

Instead, the jobless rate appeared to improve because fewer people were applying for positions. Last month, the civilian labor force shrank by 342,000 people.

Economists say many of those workforce dropouts were "discouraged" workers who moved to the sidelines after months, even years, of trying to nail down jobs.

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Technology
1:24 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Have You Friended Your Favorite Cause?

Robin Roberts of Good Morning America talks with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook's new tool that lets users share their organ donor status.
Rick Rowell AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 11:45 am

Hours after Facebook put out a call Tuesday for its users to register as organ donors, 6,000 people had already signed up. That's more than 15 times the number of people who normally register each day, according to Donate Life America, which is collaborating with Facebook.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:38 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Arrests Made In $75 Million Prescription Drug Heist

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 11:55 am

Two brothers have been charged in connection with one of the nation's largest drug heists, along with 20 other people in an organized crime ring that stretched from Florida to New Jersey and Connecticut.

It's the culmination of a three-year FBI investigation in which undercover agents managed to prevent any of the stolen drugs from entering the marketplace, the Associated Press reported yesterday.

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Planet Money
7:55 am
Fri May 4, 2012

22 Million Americans Are Unemployed Or Can't Find Full-Time Work

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 11:56 am

More than 12 million Americans are unemployed, according to this morning's big jobs report.

But that doesn't include people who are working part-time because they can't find full-time work. Nor does it include people who want a job but haven't looked for one in the past month.

A less widely reported measure — sometimes called broader unemployment, or U-6 — includes both those groups. Some 22 million people fall into this category.

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Business
4:37 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Bakes Sales Run A Foul Of Obesity Right

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 10:59 am

As school budgets continue to get squeezed, administrators, parents and students are having to do more fundraising. And now the fight to raise funds has come head-to-head with the fight against childhood obesity. Stephanie Armour, of Bloomberg Businessweek, talks to David Greene about the move to ban bake sales.

Business
4:37 am
Fri May 4, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 7:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Well, for kids and parents listening to our show today, let's leave you with a little good food for thought. Our last word in business is: Hello Kitty. That's what some lucky travelers in Asia might be saying if they board an airplane decorated, inside and out, with the famous Japanese character.

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Economy
4:37 am
Fri May 4, 2012

The Politics Of Unemployment Data

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

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