Business & Education

All Tech Considered
4:14 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

A Diagram Of HealthCare.gov, Based On The People Who Built It

An attempt to draw out the various parts of HealthCare.gov's tech system, based on the testimony of its contractors.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:52 am

One of the major issues that's emerged since the failed rollout of HealthCare.gov is that there was no lead contractor on the project. (CGI Federal was the biggest contractor — awarded the most expensive contract — but says it did not have oversight over the other parts of the system.) Instead, the quarterbacking was left to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a subagency of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Twitter Sets Its IPO Price, Valuing Company At Around $11 Billion

In this Nov. 8, 2011, photo, NASA fan David Parmet signs his name on a Twitter logo during a tweetup event for about 50 of NASA's Twitter followers at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
Brock Vergakis AP

Twitter announced today that it plans on selling 70 million shares at $17 to $20 each, during its initial public offering.

Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal did the math and it means that the company is looking to raise about $1.4 billion and values itself at about $11 billion at the high end. This is the biggest tech IPO since Facebook went public in May of 2012.

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Business
3:23 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Jury Finds Bank Of America Liable For Mortgages Fraud

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Shots - Health News
1:46 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

What's The Real Deadline For Buying Health Coverage?

Which date should be circled on your insurance calendar?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 8:56 am

Under the Affordable Care Act, nearly everyone will be required to have health insurance. If they don't, they'll have to pay the federal government a tax penalty.

But it turns out this is a case where there are deadlines, and then there are hard deadlines.

And with the federally run health insurance exchange at HealthCare.gov so mired in technology problems, figuring out the what counts as a real deadline has become a very hot topic.

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Parallels
1:04 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars

A mechanic repairs a bike at Calmera bike shop in Madrid in September. As car sales slump across Europe, bicycle sales in Spain are outpacing cars — a trend seen across much of the Continent.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 3:11 pm

We know that Europeans love their bicycles — think Amsterdam or Paris. Denmark even has highways specifically for cyclists.

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The Salt
9:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Report: Meat Producers Ignore Pleas For Health, Environmental Reform

Chickens in a mechanized hatchery in Monroe County, Ala.
Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:41 am

Five years ago, a landmark report excoriated the animal agriculture industry's practices and laid out a road map for how it could do better. But in the years since, the problems are just as bad — and maybe even worse.

That's the conclusion of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. This week, the center scolded the industry again with a review of how it has fared in the years since the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production released its original report.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Jobless Claims Dipped Last Week

There were 350,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week (the period ending Oct. 19), down 12,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.

A broader measure — the "4-week moving average" — rose by 10,750, to 348,250. That gives a sense of the pace of claims over the course of a month.

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Business
4:29 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Bank Of America Found Liable For Fraud

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 7:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a verdict against Bank of America.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Last night, a jury in New York found the bank liable for fraud after a month-long civil trial. It was considered a win for the Justice Department's prosecution of misdeeds during the financial crisis. Federal prosecutors argued that a division of Bank of America, Countrywide Financial, wrote bad home mortgages to people clearly unable to repay the loans.

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The Two-Way
5:48 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Bank Of America Liable For Fraud In Countrywide Mortgages

The Countrywide Banking and Home Loans office in Glendale, Calif., in an April 2007 photo.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:59 pm

A Manhattan jury has held Bank of America liable for fraud related to bad loans its Countrywide Financial Corp. unit sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the housing market soured.

The verdict was returned on Wednesday after several hours of deliberation in a month-long trial that focused on loans Countrywide completed in 2007 and 2008, as the housing crisis was already underway. Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America in 2008.

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Business
5:44 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Partisan Squabbles Raise Questions Over U.S. Global Influence

The U.S. Capitol is shown at sunset on Oct. 15, the 15th day of a government shutdown that some analysts say damaged the U.S. reputation worldwide.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:39 pm

The U.S. performance on the global stage has looked a little rocky in the past few weeks.

The Obama administration had to let Russia take a lead in managing the security challenge in Syria. The United States was also embarrassed when allies like Germany, France and Brazil reacted angrily to the news that the National Security Agency had monitored their leaders' communications.

Finally, the government shutdown and the congressional fight over the debt ceiling prompted critical comments about U.S. political dysfunction.

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All Tech Considered
4:39 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

It's Easy To Blame The Canadians For HealthCare.gov Problems

Heavy Internet traffic and system problems plagued the launch of the new HealthCare.gov insurance exchange site.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:43 pm

President Obama is putting former CEO Jeff Zients in charge of the "tech surge" — the administration's emergency effort to fix the Web portal at the heart of the federal government's new health care market. But what about the contractors that built the system? What's their responsibility?

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Chinese Paper Makes Unprecedented Plea For Reporter's Release

A woman reads the New Express newspaper with Wednesday's headline: "Please Release Him."
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:55 pm

"Please Release Him."

That was the simple but startling front-page headline on Wednesday in New Express, a cutting-edge newspaper based in China's southern city of Guangzhou. "Him" is Chen Yongzhou, one of the paper's investigative journalists who New Express says was taken away by police after reporting "problems with the accounts" at Zoomlion Heavy Industries."

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
10:41 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Debate: Should The U.S. Break Up Big Banks?

Douglas Elliott (left) and Paul Saltzman argue against the motion "Break Up The Big Banks" in an Oxford-style debate on Oct. 16.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:52 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

Too big to fail.

Those four words loomed large in 2008, as a crisis in the banking world threatened the global economy. Fears that the failure of large financial institutions would undermine the entire economic system led Congress to step in, passing a $700 billion bailout package.

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Business
4:55 am
Wed October 23, 2013

ATM Maker Diebold Agrees To Settlement In Bribery Case

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:47 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a rather large ATM fee.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: The Ohio-based ATM manufacturer Diebold has agreed to a $48 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department over bribery allegations. The company is accused of spending more than $3 million to bribe bank officials in China, Indonesia and Russia over a five-year period - a violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
4:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Is The JPMorgan Settlement Unfair?

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:47 am

The details are still being worked out, but JPMorgan Chase and the Justice Department have agreed to a $13 billion settlement that will close out numerous lawsuits. About $3 billion will go to compensate investors who lost money on securities from banks that JPMorgan acquired during the financial crisis. Federal prosecutors have agreed not to seek punitive damages against JPMorgan for losses related to those deals.

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