Business

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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Business
4:37 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Undercover Operation Cracks Drug Thefts

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Yesterday, federals officials announced the arrest of nearly two dozen men for the theft of tens of millions of dollars worth of pharmaceuticals in three states.

From member station WSHU in Connecticut, Craig LeMoult reports one of those burglaries was so huge it changed the way companies handle security.

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NPR Story
4:28 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Game Giant Forced To Play Catch UP

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

Video game fans hear this often. EA Sports, it's in the game. Well, now America's largest game publisher is trying to stay in the game. EA, Electronic Arts, built a gaming empire with a strategy straight out of Hollywood - big names and big budgets. But the market is changing. For one thing, more players now prefer games you can play online. And so the Silicon Valley company has been forced to change as well. KQED's Aarti Shahani reports.

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NPR Story
4:28 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Business News

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with Facebook frenzy.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The world's largest social networking site is going public later this month. And yesterday it set a price range for its stock. It plans to sell share shares for between $28 and $35 each, using the ticker symbol FB. The share sale is expected to raise as much as $12 billion, making it one of the largest initial public offerings ever.

Economy
2:13 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Spaniards Dismayed Interest Rates Aren't Lowered

Undercover police stand on a Barcelona street during Thursday's demonstration against austerity cuts. On the same day, the European Central Bank's governing council met there but offered no relief to painful austerity measures.
Pedro Armestre AFP/Getty Images

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

After months of punishing austerity measures, some Spaniards want a break and maybe even some stimulus from Europe. But that didn't happen at Thursday's meeting of the governing board of the European Central Bank.

The location of the ECB summit in Barcelona was kept secret, which may indicate how well officials thought they'd be received in the Spanish port city. Thousands of demonstrators flooded the city's streets, as did police, some in plainclothes and masks, with helicopters overhead.

One in four Spaniards is jobless, and the rate is more than 50 percent for youth.

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Planet Money
1:04 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Food Trucks Seek 'That Mystical Spot'

Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 12:55 pm

The Rickshaw Dumpling Truck is a retired postal van, painted red and filled with Chinese dumplings. I'm riding shotgun with Kenny Lao, the van's co-owner. It's a weekday morning, and we're driving into Manhattan looking for a killer spot to set up shop for the day.

"I think there is that mystical spot in midtown that every truck owner dreams of," Lao says. "Easy parking. It's a wide sidewalk. There's no restaurant but there's lots of offices."

There are 3,000 year-round food trucks and carts competing for that mystical spot. And no one has an official place to park.

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Planet Money
3:37 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

What American Women Do For Work

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:09 pm

Forty years ago, only 1 in 3 American workers was a woman. Today, it's 1 in 2.

You know this already. But it raises interesting, subtler questions: What jobs did all those women get? And how did the gender breakdown change by industry over the past 40 years?

This graph answers those questions.

It shows how the gender breakdown changed in major sectors of the economy between 1972 and 2012.

The size of the circles shows how some sectors grew to include a larger share of the workforce, while others shrank in relative terms.

Two main themes jump out here.

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Business
3:10 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Corn Farmers Hope, Cautiously, For A Bumper Crop

This year, U.S. corn farmers have planted more acres of the crop than at any time since the Great Depression.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:43 am

It's still too early to predict whether the 2012 corn harvest will set a record, but many corn farmers say the prognosis for a bumper crop is looking pretty good right now.

U.S. farmers are planting more acres of corn this year than they have in any year since the Great Depression. And with a mild spring across much of the nation's Corn Belt, many are hoping this autumn's yield will be one for the record books.

A Crop That 'Will Knock Your Socks Off'

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The Salt
1:36 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

How To Tip-Toe Into The Hot Sauce Craze

Tami Franklin tries a variety of hot sauces on her barbecue ribs at Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company in Arlington, Va.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:43 am

If you listen to my story above, you'll know that hot sauce production is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.

And you'll learn that research finds chili-heads — people who love the burn of spicy food — tend to have a penchant for sensation-seeking. Think rollercoasters and action flicks.

So you wanna jump in, but you're new to the hot sauce world?

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