Business

NPR Story
2:25 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Double-Dip Recession Catches Britain Off Guard

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 7:21 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Britain is a nation in shock, following yesterday's announcement that its economy has slipped back into recession. The bad news is raising new questions about the government's unpopular austerity measures.

Vicki Barker has more from London.

VICKI BARKER, BYLINE: The news that Britain's economy has fallen into the dreaded double-dip recession caught everyone off guard - including Prime Minister David Cameron, who was immediately hit by a wave of criticism from parliament.

(SOUNDBITE OF VOICES)

Read more
NPR Story
2:25 am
Thu April 26, 2012

After Backlash, Ethanol Industry Is Thriving

Young corn plants grow next to the Guardian Energy ethanol plant in Janesville, Minn. Five years ago, the U.S. government projected that in 2012, ethanol production would use up 30 percent of the nation's corn supply. Last year, it used 40 percent.
Glen Stubbe MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 11:28 am

Five years ago, ethanol was seen as the next big thing to wean the U.S. off foreign oil. Then some studies on the corn-based fuel cast doubt on its environmental benefits, and auto companies turned their attention to hybrids and electric cars. The hype died off, but the ethanol industry is alive and well, driving a big change in America's corn consumption.

Rising up out of the corn fields outside Lake Odessa, Mich., is the ethanol refinery for Carbon Green Bioenergy. The company's CEO, Mitch Miller, says a lot of refineries were popping up when this one was built in 2006.

Read more
Business
2:25 am
Thu April 26, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 7:21 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's stay in Europe for our last word in business - about an ad that allegedly pushes Nationalist buttons.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The story starts with the Netherlands Energy Company. As a promotion, the energy company is offering free beer taps.

INSKEEP: We do not know how a free beer tap promotes using energy, but never mind. The company bought ads. The ads contain a warning for Netherlands women: Prevent your husbands from traveling to Ukraine to see this summer's European soccer championship. They thought...

Read more
Media
2:25 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Panel: Murdoch Is Too Powerful In U.K.

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 7:21 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
Crisis In The Housing Market
1:02 am
Thu April 26, 2012

For Some, 'Frustration' Over Mortgage Settlement

A sign stands in front of a bank-owned home in Las Vegas. Housing counselors say the $25 billion mortgage settlement between major banks and the states has yet to make an impact in communities around the U.S.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 7:21 am

Earlier this month, a judge approved a settlement between five major banks and nearly all of the state attorneys general. The banks admitted to taking shortcuts — or "robo-signing" documents — as they pushed through some foreclosures.

Most of the $25 billion settlement is supposed to go toward reducing mortgage payments for some troubled homeowners. But lots of other programs have promised to help struggling homeowners in the past, and results have been disappointing.

Read more
Asia
12:57 am
Thu April 26, 2012

An African Trader And The Perils Of Business In China

Kelvin Njubigbo, one of the many African traders in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, made two profitable trips to the city from his native Nigeria. On his third trip, he was robbed of $19,000.
Nina Porzucki for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 8:31 am

It's dinnertime at a bustling Kentucky Fried Chicken in the Little Africa neighborhood of Guangzhou, in southern China. Chinese schoolgirls nibble on fries, a grandmother feeds her grandson, and Kelvin Njubigbo stares at a single wing on his tray. His foot, wrapped in a gauze bandage, juts out from the table.

"Everything is risk in life," repeats Njubigbo. "It's all risk from the beginning to the last."

Read more
Economy
2:21 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Federal Reserve To Keep Interest Rates Low

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A load of information today from the Federal Reserve's policymaking committee, but no action. After a two-day meeting where officials discussed the economy and interest rates, policymakers decided to stand pat. They said, as they've said before, that a stronger economic recovery requires keeping interest rates exceptionally low through 2014. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke defended that policy in a news conference after the meeting. NPR's John Ydstie reports.

Read more
Business
2:14 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

The Wal-Mart Dilemma: When Is A Payment A Bribe?

A shopper examines produce at a Wal-Mart store in Mexico City. Wal-Mart's expansion into Mexico has been a major success, but its business practices have raised new questions.
Daniel Aguilar Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 8:10 am

Allegations that Wal-Mart officials in Mexico paid local authorities to speed up permits to build new stores could result in a trial and a huge financial penalty under a U.S. anti-corruption law. But legal experts who spoke to NPR have their doubts it will ever come to that.

Read more
Economy
2:49 am
Wed April 25, 2012

'Bittersweet Season' Details Caring For Aging Mom

Jane Gross, author of A Bittersweet Season
Michael Lionstar

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 11:38 am

As part of Morning Edition's Family Matters financial literacy series, Renee Montagne talks to Jane Gross, author of A Bittersweet Season, about caring for her aging mother, and what she wishes she had known before she started.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

Read more
Business
2:37 am
Wed April 25, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:10 am

The town of Boring, Oregon, is twinning with the village of Dull, Scotland. The idea came after a Scottish cyclist passed through Boring. She thought Dull would make a great sister community. Scotland's tourism agency says the partnership could attract visitors to Dull.

Business
2:37 am
Wed April 25, 2012

British Panel Hears From Rupert Murdoch

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:10 am

In Britain Wednesday, media mogul Rupert Murdoch appears before a panel to testify about contacts with leading British politicians at a time when his News Corp. was trying to takeover broadcasting group BSkyB. On Tuesday, Murdoch's son appeared before the same panel.

Business
2:37 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Fitch Upgrades Ford's Junk Status

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:10 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

After all the reports about massive debts and credit downgrades, we have a story this morning of a credit upgrade. The ratings agency Fitch upgraded Ford.

INSKEEP: The company was at junk bond status, meaning a loan to Ford was considered a major gamble. Now, it's been moved to investment grade, the lowest investment rating: BBB minus.

Read more
Business
2:37 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:10 am

Apple announced higher-than-expected earnings for the most recent quarter — profits nearly doubled over last year. Apple's stock is back up, after falling in recent weeks over fears of a slowdown in iPhone sales. Those fears proved unfounded. Sales of iPhone and iPads beat company estimates.

Business
2:37 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Activists Disrupt Wells Fargo Shareholders Meeting

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 4:33 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And there were protests and arrests at the Wells Fargo annual shareholders meeting in San Francisco yesterday. The demonstration - led by the Occupy Movement - was over the bank's foreclosure and lending policies. Hundreds of protesters bought bank shares so they could attend the meeting and disrupt proceedings. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: While hundreds sought to disrupt the meeting, several dozen people representing community groups had purchased stock.]

Read more
Business
2:37 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Are Bribes The Norm In Mexico's Business Culture?

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:42 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Wal-Mart's stock price has fallen sharply this week. That comes after The New York Times reported that the retailer's rapid growth in Mexico involved systematic bribery. Stock prices have also fallen for Wal-Mart's Mexico subsidiary Walmex.

This negative reaction came, even though financial journalist Eduardo Garcia in Mexico City, says bribery is a normal part of business in Mexico.

Was anybody in the business community in Mexico surprised to hear these allegations against Wal-Mart?

Read more
Economy
1:05 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Fed Chief Bernanke To Discuss Sluggish Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has issued cautions about the economy.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:34 am

Policymakers at the Federal Reserve wrap up a two-day meeting Wednesday and will explain what they plan to do about interest rates. The consensus seems to be they'll keep short-term rates near zero to help support the lagging economy.

Read more
Asia
1:01 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Carmakers In China Rev Up As Industry Shifts East

China is now the world's largest market for cars, and the Auto China 2012 car show is now taking place in Beijing. Here, the Denza electric car, a joint creation by Daimler and Chinese manufacturer BYD, is unveiled Monday.
AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 4:24 pm

The Beijing auto show runs this week in what is now the world's largest car market, and a crucial one for Detroit companies.

General Motors just announced it will open 600 more dealerships in China, where it sells more cars than it does in the U.S. Last week, Ford announced construction of its fourth Chinese assembly plant.

For longtime American auto executives in China, witnessing the shift in the global auto industry is dramatic.

Read more
Education
11:36 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Negotiating The College Funding Labyrinth

About 7 out of 10 students borrow money to pay for college. Here, a Stanford University student walks through the campus in Palo Alto, Calif.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 8:16 am

Now that your child has gotten into college, have you figured out how much it's actually going to cost — and who's going to pay for it?

These questions are hitting college-bound students and their parents right about now, along with the other million questions that nobody seems to have straight answers for. Paying for college can be complicated, if not mind-boggling.

Roughly 7 out of 10 students borrow money to pay for college, and for many, the process might as well be a mystery wrapped in a riddle.

Read more
Media
2:24 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

James Murdoch Grilled On News Corp.'s Standards

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Rupert Murdoch's son James testified today before a public inquiry in Britain. There, he faced a fundamental question: Did his family use its media influence to bully British politicians into making decisions that advanced the Murdoch's corporate interests? NPR's Philip Reeves followed the hearing in London.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

With 'Drive,' Google Joins The Cloud Storage War

Google Drive.
Google

After years of speculation and rumor, today Google announced Google Drive, a new service that allows users to store data on the cloud.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:24 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Government Files First Criminal Charges In BP Oil Spill

Fire boats battle a fire at the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon in April of 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 12:31 pm

"The first criminal charges in connection with the BP oil spill have been filed against a former BP engineer named Kurt Mix," NPR's Carrie Johnson reports exclusively.

Carrie just told our Newscast unit that Mix has been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting text messages after the spill. The texts were related to the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf. Mix will make his first appearence in court today.

Read more
Business
3:11 am
Tue April 24, 2012

GM To Add 600 Chinese Dealerships

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 6:29 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

General Motors is making a bigger effort in what's become the world's biggest car market. At the Beijing Auto Show this week, GM said it plans to open 600 new dealerships in China this year. GM is trying to grow Chinese sales while they still can.

NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from Shanghai.

Read more
Business
3:11 am
Tue April 24, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 5:34 am

Victoria Beckham has teamed up with Range Rover to produce a special edition Evoque luxury SUV. The former Spice Girl, married to soccer star David Beckham, has designed fashion lines before, but says this is her first foray into automobiles.

Business
3:11 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Bribery Accusations Hurt Wal-Mart's Stock Price

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:41 am

Wal-Mart could face significant legal liability following a report accusing the company of systematic bribery in Mexico. A report in The New York Times claims Wal-Mart officials in Mexico paid more than $20 million in bribes to help the company open more stores there. The story also says top Wal-Mart executives in the U.S. looked the other way. The company's stock price fell nearly 5 percent Monday.

Media
3:11 am
Tue April 24, 2012

British Panels Continue Probe Into Press Abuses By News Corp.

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The scandal that's engulfed Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is taking center stage in London, at the Royal Courts of Justice, once again. Here, his son James Murdoch.

JAMES MURDOCH: I swear by the mighty God that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Read more
Business
3:11 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 5:30 am

Weeks ahead of its initial public offering, Facebook released its first quarter profits Monday, and they are down 12 percent from a year ago. At the same time, company expenses have nearly doubled. Facebook attributes some of that to market expansion, which requires more employees and infrastructure.

Business
3:11 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Former Icelandic Leader Tried On Economic Collapse

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 5:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And let's turn now to the first political leader to be put on trial for his role in the global banking crisis. Yesterday, a special court in Iceland found that country's former prime minister guilty of essentially mishandling the banking bubble that led to Iceland's financial collapse.

Michael Stothard has been covering this trial for The Financial Times. He joined us to talk more about it. Good morning.

MICHAEL STOTHARD: Good morning.

Read more
Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
1:29 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Preparing For A Future That Includes Aging Parents

Natasha Shamone-Gilmore (right) attends church with her husband, Curtis Gilmore (center), and her father, Franklin Brunson, 81. Shamone-Gilmore moved Brunson into her Capitol Heights, Md., home after he developed dementia.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:52 am

Planning a wedding is exciting.

Mapping out a vacation is fun.

Figuring how to afford care for your confused, elderly father? That one may never cross your mind — at least, not until you need more money to care for him.

"Never thought about it," Natasha Shamone-Gilmore, 58, says about her younger self. "Never ever."

She thinks about it a lot these days. Shamone-Gilmore, a computer trainer in Maryland, now shares a modest home with her husband, 24-year-old son and 81-year-old father.

Read more
Business
3:39 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Bankrupt American Airlines Spars With Unions

American Airlines and American Eagle employees protest Monday in New York City against American's plans to cut jobs and labor costs while under bankruptcy court protection. American is seeking permission to break up union contracts and cut expenses, but the unions oppose those plans and support a potential takeover bid by US Airways.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 6:24 pm

With US Airways breathing down its neck, making nice with its unions as well as its creditors, American Airlines came to New York City on Monday to ask a federal bankruptcy judge for relief. Mostly, American wants relief from its unions — 13,000 jobs would be eliminated under its reorganization proposal. American has been hemorrhaging money for years and wants to lower its costs to compete.

Read more
Media
3:04 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Murdochs, News Corp Face Big Week Of Investigations

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

In Britain, the allegations keep coming of illegal behavior by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Today, an investigation was announced into email hacking by Sky News. News Corp's British operations already stand accused of phone hacking, along with bribing police officers.

As NPR's David Folkenflik reports, the new investigation comes just before Murdoch is scheduled to testify on the sandal.

Read more

Pages