Business

Business
2:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Business News

Apple share prices dropped more than 4 percent on the NASDAQ Monday — continuing a five-day decline for the maker of iPads and iPhones. In that span, the company's market value has dropped by almost $60 billion. Analysts say this may just be a price correction but warn that it could drag the markets down with it.

Presidential Race
1:01 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Did Obama's Policies Help, Or Hinder, The Economy?

President Obama signs the economic stimulus bill in February 2009, as Vice President Biden looks on. Experts disagree over the impact of the administration's economic policies on the recession.
Darin McGregor AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 3:14 am

The 2012 presidential election is approaching, and President Obama's fate may hinge on how well the economy fares over the coming months.

On the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been highlighting the economy's weaknesses. The former Massachusetts governor has made a similar claim about the president, and the recession, at almost every campaign stop.

"I don't blame the president for the downturn," Romney told a crowd in New Hampshire earlier this year. "He didn't cause it. But he made it worse and made it last longer."

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Business
1:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

U.S. Has A Natural Gas Problem: Too Much Of It

Oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to coax out oil and gas has led to a natural gas boom that the U.S. market is having trouble absorbing.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:43 am

There's a boom in natural gas production in the United States, a boom so big the market is having trouble absorbing it all.

The unusually warm weather this winter is one reason for the excess, since it reduced the need for people to burn gas to heat their homes. A bigger reason, however, is the huge increase in gas production made possible by new methods of coaxing gas out of shale rock formations.

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Business
12:32 am
Tue April 17, 2012

World Bank Names Obama's Pick As Its New President

Jim Yong Kim, 52, who immigrated from Korea at age five, is currently the president of Dartmouth College. He faced an international campaign challenging his nomination to lead the massive global development bank. Kim's selection continues a decades-long tradition of having a U.S. citizen lead the World Bank.

Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
10:02 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

One Roof, Three Generations, Many Decisions

Ida Christian, who suffers from dementia, gets help from her granddaughter, Yolanda Hunter (left), in blowing out the candles on her birthday cake. Yolanda quit her lucrative job to become Ida's full-time caregiver.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

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

Part of the Family Matters series

The Great Recession slammed into all age groups, flattening the career dreams of young people and squeezing the retirement accounts of middle-aged savers. It financially crippled many elderly people who had thought they could stand on their own.

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Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
10:01 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Family Matters: Meet The Families

AnnaBelle Bowers, 87, talks to her granddaughter Carley, 17 (right), and her friends after they returned from lacrosse practice. "I'm not rich money-wise, but with my family I'm a millionaire," Bowers says.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:54 am

Even as the recovery gains steam, record numbers of people are living under a roof where adult children, middle-aged parents and elderly grandparents must learn to live together. In a series called "Family Matters," NPR's Morning Edition explores the lives of three multigenerational households struggling with issues of money, duty and love.

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All Tech Considered
3:35 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Another Tech Bubble? Maybe Not

Jean-Paul Rodrigue Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 5:16 pm

It's beginning to feel frothy in Silicon Valley. Here are a few numbers:

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Latin America
3:06 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Panama Booms While Poor Watch From Afar

Tourists visit the San Felipe neighborhood in Panama City in December 2011. Panama is experiencing record economic growth, but many fear the benefits aren't trickling down to the poor.
Rodrigo Arangua AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 4:12 pm

The Central American nation of Panama is booming. Fueled by a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal, a thriving banking industry and capital flight from Venezuela, the tiny nation has the highest economic growth rate in the hemisphere.

But even as the government builds a subway system and markets the country as a tropical paradise for multinational corporations, not everyone is sharing in the prosperity.

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Economy
1:00 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

World Bank Selects Another American Leader

The World Bank has named Dr. Jim Yong Kim as its new president. Kim is a Korean-born American and currently the president of Dartmouth University. Kim is a health expert who doesn't have strong finance credentials. Audie Cornish talks with John Ydstie about Kim's appointment.

Economy
11:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Spring Is Here, Will The Housing Market Bounce Back?

Foreclosure filings in March fell to their lowest level in four years. Some analysts see the market healing and turning around, yet others argue the next wave of foreclosures are just around the corner. NPR's Chris Arnold discusses how housing markets are faring across the nation.

Business
2:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Business News

The action by China's central bank widens the range at which the currency can be traded on the international market. The move is seen as seen a step toward addressing foreign complaints that China was suppressing the value of its money to boost Chinese exports, and hurt foreign imports.

Business
2:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

'New Rules For Everyday Foodies'

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's turn now, to the economics of a good meal. Tyler Cowen is an economist, author of the blog Marginal Revolution, and a serious eater. He seeks to use his understanding of economics to zero in on the best food and best restaurants, and he shares what he's learned in a book called "An Economist Gets Lunch." Cowen is a fan of local food. But for the taste, not because he thinks it will save the world.

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Business
2:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

The Last Word In Business

It's in a ritzy section of town, so the company is hoping to appeal to high end customers with a retro farmhouse style decor. This includes Ottomans covered in vinyl cowhide fabric and the front of a 1960s van mounted on the wall.

Around the Nation
2:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Tornado Hits Wichita's Ailing Aviation Industry

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 5:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The tornado season started early in much of the nation and continued over the weekend. Spotters reported more than 120 tornadoes on Saturday. One killed five people in Woodward, Oklahoma. Others ripped into homes and businesses in Iowa and Kansas. And that includes the heart of the economy in Wichita, the aviation industry. Here's Frank Morris from member station KCUR.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
1:23 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Hoping For Payout, Investors Become Landlords

Renzo Salazar maintains the yard around a foreclosed house in Miami after the bank hired him to keep the home from falling into complete dilapidation.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 3:08 am

The housing market has a new frontier — turning foreclosed homes into rental properties. Some big-time investors are starting to buy up thousands of homes to turn into rentals. That might help shore up home prices. But some housing advocates are nervous.

For decades, most single-family homes available for rent have been owned by mom-and-pop landlords. Sometimes it's the nice old guy up the street who owns a couple of rental homes, and some even offer advice on the Internet.

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Religion
1:22 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Christians Debate: Was Jesus For Small Government?

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., with his 2012 budget plan. Ryan cites his Catholic faith in justifying his proposed cuts to social safety-net programs.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 7:45 am

What would Jesus do with the U.S. economy?

That's a matter of fierce debate among Christians — with conservatives promoting a small-government Jesus and liberals seeing Jesus as an advocate for the poor.

After the House passed its budget last month, liberal religious leaders said the Republican plan, which lowered taxes and cut services to the poor, was an affront to the Gospel — and particularly Jesus' command to care for the poor.

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Your Money
3:36 pm
Sun April 15, 2012

The Tax Man Cometh! But For Whom?

In the U.S., the top 10 percent of income earners pay 70 percent of all federal income taxes.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun April 15, 2012 7:30 pm

It's that time of year again – tax week.

With the deadline for Americans to file their income taxes looming, there's a good chance you've heard or will hear from politicians, on cable news and on talk radio about those who pay little or no taxes.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has said that we "have a situation in this country where you're nearing 50 percent of people who don't even pay income taxes." There are even those who say that there are nearly 50 percent of Americans who pay no taxes at all.

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Technology
6:00 am
Sun April 15, 2012

Redefining 'Hacker' In Technology Hotbed

Palo Alto, Calif., recently hosted a 12-hour bonanza for software developers, artists and families. The "Super Happy Block Party Hackathon" was a marathon for coders to make new software in a short amount of time. It also featured food trucks, music and homemade robots. Corey Takahashi reports.

Planet Money
9:21 am
Fri April 13, 2012

What America Pays In Taxes

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 2:26 pm

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Your Money
2:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Why Tax Day Falls On April 17 This Year

Tax day falls on April 17 this year, due to a little-known holiday in the District of Columbia.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 9:25 am

Every year, millions of Americans scramble to file their income taxes before the filing deadline — ordinarily April 15.

But procrastinators get a reprieve this year: The 2012 deadline falls on Tuesday, April 17.

This year, April 15 falls on a Sunday. One might expect that would make Monday, April 16, the 2012 filing deadline.

But not so this year. Monday is the District of Columbia's Emancipation Day — a local holiday unfamiliar to most Americans.

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Business
2:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Google Announces Stock Split

Google Inc. plans to split its stock 2-for-1 to preserve its leadership's control over the company. The online search leader also announced a 61 percent jump in profits for the first quarter.

Business
2:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

J.K. Rowling's Next Book: 'The Casual Vacancy'

J.K. Rowling's publisher has announced her book will be set in an English town, where the death of a councilman sets off "the biggest war the town has yet seen." The publisher is also likely hoping this title can conjure up Harry Potter-sized sales. The children's series has sold a record 450 million copies.

Politics
1:03 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Companies Flee Group Behind 'Stand Your Ground'

It's been a week since a coalition of liberal and civil rights groups went public with a campaign to undermine the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has advocated stringent voter-identification and "stand your ground" laws around the U.S.

Seven corporations — Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mars, Kraft Foods, McDonalds, Wendy's and the software maker Intuit — say they have dropped their memberships in ALEC. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it won't give ALEC any more grants, though one already under way will continue.

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The Record
10:01 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Hearing In Megaupload Case To Determine Fate Of Users' Data

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom in February as he is granted bail in a New Zealand court. Dotcom is in New Zealand waiting on a U.S. bid to extradite him on online piracy charges.
Michael Bradley AFP/Getty Images

On Friday morning a hearing scheduled in the criminal copyright case of Megaupload may have implications for all kinds of companies that sell storage space in the cloud — storage space used for anything from music files to family photos, research data to movie collections. The hearing will focus on what happens when the federal government blocks access to allegedly illegal files along with clearly legal ones.

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U.S.
8:24 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Where Does America Get Oil? You May Be Surprised

The U.S. now imports far more oil from Canada than from any other country. Persian Gulf imports now account for less than 15 percent of the oil consumed in the U.S. This photo shows the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, in 2009.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Since the Arab oil embargoes of the 1960s and 70s, it's been conventional wisdom to talk about American dependence on oil from the Persian Gulf. But the global oil market has changed dramatically since then.

Today, the U.S. actually gets most of its imported oil from Canada and Latin America.

And many Americans might be surprised to learn that the U.S. now imports roughly the same amount of oil from Africa as it does from the Persian Gulf. African imports were a bit higher in 2010, while Persian Gulf oil accounted for a bit more last year.

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Business
2:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Business News

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a big fine for Johnson & Johnson.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: So much for no more tears. A judge in Arkansas ordered the company most famous for its baby shampoo to by more than a billion dollars in fines yesterday over its marketing for a very different product. That would be an antipsychotic drug, Risperdal.

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Business
2:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Losing Its Edge, Sony CEO Tries To Turn Company Around

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
2:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Taxes Lead To Stress, Leads To Fatal Car Wrecks

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news: Tax day is rapidly approaching, and it turns out that day can hazardous to your heath.

As NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports, researchers found a rise in fatal auto accidents on the day taxes are due.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Back in 1789, Ben Franklin wrote: Nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes. He couldn't possibly have foreseen the linkage reported in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association: 6 percent more people than usual are killed on the roads on tax day.

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Business
2:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our last word in business is about another driving hazard, DWD: driving with dogs.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Mitt Romney has taken a lot of heat this political season over a decades-old story in which his dog was strapped to the roof of his car while going on a family vacation.

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Planet Money
1:22 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Why Didn't Passengers Panic On The Titanic?

via Foreign Policy

As the Titanic was sinking and women and children climbed into lifeboats, the cellist and violinist from the ship's band stood and played. They died when the ship went down. Men stood on the deck and smoked cigars. They died, too.

This behavior is puzzling to economists, who like to believe that people tend to act in their own self interest.

"There was no pushing and shoving," says David Savage, an economist at Queensland University in Australia who has studied testimony from the survivors. It was "very, very orderly behavior."

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