Business

Asia
2:09 am
Thu July 26, 2012

In Pakistan, Sounds Of A Different Kind Of Drone

Ibrahim Ahmad, the son of the owner of the Imperial Bagpipe Manufacturing Co., tests a bagpipe at a factory in Sialkot, Pakistan. The Pakistani city is the largest producer of the instruments most commonly associated with Scotland.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 8:35 am

Bagpipes and Scotland? Aye, it's a natural association: Played for centuries, the instrument is especially identified with the Scottish military and traditional Scottish dress, tartan kilts and shawls.

But bagpipes and Pakistan? Nae, you say? Think again.

Turns out no place in the world manufactures more bagpipes than Pakistan. And no city in Pakistan makes more of them than Sialkot.

Bagpipe Central

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Food
3:13 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

USDA Predicts Food Prices To Rise In Drought's Wake

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with the drought and how it could affect your grocery bill. Today, the U.S. Agriculture Department designated 76 more counties as disaster areas because of the drought and excessive heat. And it said that severe drought will likely affect prices for corn and other field crops, although it's too soon to know how much prices will go up.

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Election 2012
3:12 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Black Business Owners Urge Obama To Aid Growth

Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama poses with National Urban League President Marc Morial on Aug. 2, 2008.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:29 pm

President Obama's speech to the National Urban League conference in New Orleans on Wednesday night coincides with a debate over the role of government in helping small businesses succeed.

Some black Americans say they have an especially hard time when it comes to owning and operating their own businesses.

On the northern edge of New Orleans' French Quarter, Shaka Zulu and his wife, Na'imah, are trying desperately to protect a slice of local culture that sometimes gets lost here.

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Economy
3:06 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Geithner Defends Response To LIBOR Scandal

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:29 pm

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was on Capitol Hill Wednesday to talk about the implementation of Dodd Frank. But the questions focused on why the New York Fed, under Geithner, didn't act more aggressively when it first learned about possible manipulation of a key interest rate.

The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

'Truly Ironic': Sandy Weill Says Big Banks Should Be Split Up

Sandy Weill, former chairman of Citigroup, in 2006.
Louis Lanzano AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:44 pm

Sandy I. Weill, the former Citigroup CEO who helped usher in the era of super banks, said during an interview with CNBC today that big banks should be split up.

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Planet Money
1:45 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Your Subsidy Is My Incentive

Tax the other guy's subsidy all you want, but hands off my incentive โ€” that's good policy you're messing with.
Alan Cleaver Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 8:30 am

We've taken a look at government spending in a few different ways lately, including the posts 50 Years Of Government Spending, In 1 Graph in May, and, more recently, Dissecting Federal Spending With An Eye On Cuts.

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Economy
12:42 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Pray For Rain: Food Prices Heading Higher

A "historically low inventory" of cattle and hogs is driving up meat prices, a trend that's expected to continue next year, USDA economist Richard Volpe says.
Justin Lane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:30 pm

A fierce drought has been scorching crops this summer, but it's still too soon to know exactly how much of a hole it will burn in your wallet.

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Economy
10:21 am
Wed July 25, 2012

When It Comes To Tax Cuts, Neither Side Is Blinking

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 12:43 pm

Taxes may be certain, but growth and job creation aren't.

As the U.S. edges closer to a year-end "fiscal cliff," Democrats and Republicans haven't budged in their fight over expiring tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans โ€” and how best to help the middle class and get the country back to work.

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U.S.
4:55 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Hearing On N.Y.'s Soda Ban Brimming With Opinions

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 6:12 am

New York City held its first and only public hearing on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on super-sized sodas Tuesday. One critic of the ban said a lazy lifestyle contributes to obesity just as much as soda; a supporter said he lost 50 pounds by cutting out sugary drinks. The health board will vote on the ban in September.

Business
4:50 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Rain, Jubilee Help Shrink Britain's Output

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 6:12 am

The gross domestic product fell seven-tenths of a percent from the first quarter โ€” much more than expected, and the most in three years. Output shrank in part because of unusually rainy weather and the extra public holiday because of the Queen's Jubilee.

Business
4:28 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Utilities, Customers At Odds Over Downed Trees

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 6:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Millions of people lost power in the Derecho storm that lashed the mid-Atlantic last month, and a big reason for that was trees falling on power lines. Utility companies have been criticized for that. So some have been aggressively removing trees to prevent future damage and they're getting criticized for that, too, as Sacha Pfeiffer of member station WBUR reports.

SACHA PFEIFFER, BYLINE: There's a strange site rolling through Boston's suburbs lately. It's called a Brontosaurus, and it's a massive tree-cutting machine.

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Business
4:26 am
Wed July 25, 2012

At Silicon Valley Boot Camp, A Startup's Success

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:42 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Today, we conclude our series about an attempt to diversify Silicon Valley. It's called NewME, which stands for New Media Entrepreneurship. Seven entrepreneurs, women and African-Americans, are getting a crash course on how to launch a start-up. And as Amy Standen from member station KQED reports, one of them is getting more attention than he bargained for.

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Business
4:05 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Apple Earnings Send Stock Falling

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 6:12 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Also disappointing, Apple's earnings report yesterday. Wall Street was underwhelmed.

And as NPR's Steve Henn reports, Apple's shares fell more than 5 percent.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Apple brought in $35 billion in revenue, but the company still managed to disappoint Wall Street analysts, like Walter Piecyk at BTIG.

WALTER PIECYK: Apple missed on iPhones - they only sold 26 million. The street was expecting much more.

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U.S.
2:56 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Plant Pleads To Stay Afloat, But Army Says 'No Tanks'

M1 Abrams tanks sit on the assembly line at a plant in Lima, Ohio, the only place where the tanks are manufactured. Plant and local officials fear the plant won't survive if the military temporarily halts new tank orders.
General Dynamics Land Systems

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:39 pm

M1 Abrams battle tanks are the rock stars of military armor. They're made in only one place: Lima, Ohio. The Army says it's done ordering them, but Congress appears intent on spending millions for more, arguing that cutting production is bad for the economy and national security.

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Around the Nation
2:54 am
Wed July 25, 2012

When The Ship Comes In To Brownsville, Rip it Up

A ship cutter helps dismantle a ship at the Bay Bridge Texas recycling yard.
Michelle Lopez for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:41 pm

This fall, the U.S. Navy will contract three Cold War-era aircraft carriers โ€” the USS Forrestal, the USS Saratoga and the USS Constellation โ€” for scrapping. Often called "supercarriers" owing to their massive size, the ships contain nearly 60,000 tons of steel and other metal each.

All three carriers are likely to be sent to the landlocked city of Brownsville, Texas, to be ripped apart.

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Planet Money
5:22 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Apple Just Made $9 Billion (And Investors Are Mad)

Daniel Hennemand (photogestion) Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 8:30 am

Apple reported its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, and depending how you look at it, they're either amazing or disappointing.

The company says it made $8.8 billion in profits over the course of three months. That's more than enough to buy every share of Alcoa, the global aluminum giant, which was worth just under $8.6 billion when the stock market closed this afternoon.

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Business
4:14 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Ford's Little Engine That Could Challenge Hybrids

The 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany featured Ford Motor Co.'s new three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which will hit the U.S. market next year.
Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:37 am

Ford Motor Co. intends to prove that good things come in small packages โ€” really small packages. The company has taken engine downsizing to a new level with its new three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which has been introduced in Europe and is set to hit the U.S. market next year.

The EcoBoost offers more power than many conventional four-cylinder engines, with fuel economy numbers a hybrid could envy. Early fans are calling it a modern "little engine that could," and Ford is betting that American customers are ready to embrace a three-cylinder engine.

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U.S.
4:14 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Offshore Jobs Play Role In Campaigns And Economy

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:46 pm

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have been trading attacks over the issue of American jobs being moved overseas.

The president has pounded Romney for the investments made by his former firm Bain Capital in the 1990s. Not to be outdone, the Romney campaign has suggested most of the money from the president's stimulus program went to create jobs overseas.

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All Tech Considered
3:36 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Want Free Wi-Fi In New York? Get Near A Pay Phone

A phone booth serves as a free Wi-Fi hot spot in New York City's Columbus Circle.
Anna Solo

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 11:26 am

Mark Thomas is using a pay phone, but he isn't paying. And physically, he's not even that close to the phone.

He's sitting on a bench on the street in Astoria, Queens, checking email on his netbook. It's grabbing an Internet signal from a military-grade antenna on top of a pay phone down the block.

"It's not the speediest but you can't complain about free, right?" Thomas says.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Wrong Number: Apple Disappoints Market Amid Sluggish iPhone Sales

Apple reported lower-than-expected third-quarter revenues, numbers partly blamed on slower iPhone sales.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:41 am

A spike in iPad demand wasn't enough to offset slower iPhone sales in the third quarter as Apple Inc. reported lower-than-expected revenues, sending its after-hours stock price on a 5 percent dive.

The company announced third-quarter revenue of $35 billion, or $9.32 per share; earlier, Bloomberg had projected $37.22 billion, or 10.37 per share.

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Planet Money
2:13 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Episode #389: Handling Other People's Money

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
J.D. Pooley Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:25 am

For today's show, we've collected three Planet Money radio stories never before heard on the show. All of them deal with people who handle other people's money โ€” a politician's, a workforce's, and even a continent's:

Just How Blind Are Blind Trusts, Anyway?: With questions swirling about Mitt Romney's investments, a look at how blind trusts really work.

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Planet Money
2:05 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

NYT Excerpt: Offshore Banking In Belize

Sunset in Belize, a popular offshore haven for businesses.
halseike Flickr

This week in The New York Times Magazine, Adam Davidson opens a hard-to-trace offshore company in Belize, which turns out to be a piece of cake:

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Planet Money
8:56 am
Tue July 24, 2012

How Lego Almost Lost It, Doing Everything Right

A visitor looks at artist Nathan Sawaya's Lego sculpture "T-Rax" at "The Art of the Brick" exhibition in Taiwan earlier this month.
Chiang Ying-ying AP

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 10:16 am

Lego Group, maker of those iconic plastic building blocks, inspires an almost fanatical following in some quarters. But as a business, it turns out, it came close to going bust by following the hot advice of the day โ€” and then recovered by turning to a more prosaic playbook.

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Business
7:08 am
Tue July 24, 2012

'News Of The World' Editors Charged In Hacking

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We've been following some big developments today in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal in Britain. Prosecutors are charging eight people - including a former top aide to Prime Minister David Cameron - and a woman who was Rupert Murdoch's top lieutenant. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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Business
4:48 am
Tue July 24, 2012

'Dark Knight Rises' Tops Weekend Box Office

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a box office high.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: The new Batman movie "Dark Knight Rises" set a box office record over the past weekend. There were questions, of course, about how much money it would bring in after Friday's shooting in Colorado in a theater where the movie was showing.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco has more.

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Business
4:48 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Peet's Coffee Sold For Narly $1 Billion

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is for Peet's sake.

(SOUNDBITE OF COFFEE GRINDER)

INSKEEP: And that's the sound of a coffee grinder.

(SOUNDBITE OF COFFEE GRINDER)

INSKEEP: Really cranking up, there. We have to go along way to get that sound. Actually, it's the sound of a coffee grinder inside NPR. It's a very welcomed sound at MORNING EDITION.

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Business
4:48 am
Tue July 24, 2012

At Silicon Valley Boot Camp, Perfecting The Pitch

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 12:32 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's go next to Silicon Valley, California, with a program called NewME, or New Media Entrepreneurship. It's a boot camp to encourage women and African-Americans - two groups that are dramatically underrepresented among technology entrepreneurs. We've been hearing about it this week. Seven participants from across the country are sharing a house in San Francisco. They're getting coached on their business plans, and as Amy Standen of member station KQED reports, they're attempting to perfect the art of the pitch.

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U.S.
2:45 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Despite Crop Insurance, Drought Still Stings Farmers

Corn plants dry in a drought-stricken farm field on July 17 near Fritchton, Ind. The corn and soybean belt in the middle of the nation is experiencing one of the worst droughts in more than five decades.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:30 am

Stop by most any unirrigated farm across the lower Midwest and you'll see crops in distress. Midwestern corn and soybean farmers are taking a beating during the recent drought, but it's not likely to drive many out of business.

Most of those farmers carry terrific insurance, and the worse the drought becomes, the more individual farmers will be paid for their lost crops. The federal government picks up most of the cost of the crop insurance program, and this year that bill is going to be a whopper.

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Technology
2:33 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Tech Week Ahead: A Look At Quarterly Reports

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 3:19 pm

Robert Siegel looks ahead to the week's tech news with Steve Henn. They cover the quarterly reports from the big tech companies.

The Salt
1:55 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Ordering Food Online? That'll Be More Calories, Cost And Complexity

Ordering food online can affect your waistline and your wallet more than traditional methods.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 2:51 pm

Think about it โ€” when you order something online, you avoid long lines, there are infinite options at your fingertips, and no one can see your face. So it comes as little surprise, then, when people order food online, they might go a little overboard.

Actually, sometimes a lot overboard.

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