NPR's business news starts with worry about American debt.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: Fidelity Investments has sold all of its short-term U.S. government debt. That limits losses for the country's largest manager of money market funds in case the U.S. Treasury run out of money on October 17th and Congress does not do something about the federal debt limit.
Fidelity's president said this move was precautionary. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
For weeks, economists and bankers have been warning that there will be catastrophic consequences if Congress fails raise the nation's borrowing limit.
They say it will mean the nation will default on its debt, which could rock U.S. and global markets. The Treasury has warned that it will exhaust the "extraordinary measures" it has been using to keep paying the nation's bills by Oct. 17.
What would happen if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling and the U.S. defaults on its debt later this month? The broad economic implications are unpredictable, but a default could cause huge trouble for the global economy.
But whatever happens to the global economy, one thing is clear: People all over the world who have loaned the U.S. government money won't get paid on time.
Part of a series about small businesses in America
When it comes to job creation, politicians talk about small businesses as the engines of the U.S. economy. It's been a familiar refrain among politicians from both major parties for years.
But it obscures the economic reality. It makes a nice slogan, but it's not really accurate to say that small businesses produce most of the nation's new jobs, says John Haltiwanger, an economics professor at the University of Maryland.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:49 am
South of Florida's Lake Okeechobee, hundreds of thousands of acres of sugar cane thrive in the heart of one of the world's largest wetlands. The Everglades stretches from the tip of the peninsula to central Florida, north of Lake Okeechobee.
"The Everglades actually begins at Shingle Creek, outside of Orlando," says Jonathan Ullman of the Sierra Club.
That's nearly 200 miles north of the agricultural land that Ullman and other environmentalists say is crucial to state and federal efforts to restore the wetlands area to a healthy ecosystem.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 6:13 pm
Are House Republicans still seeking Democratic concessions on the Affordable Care Act? Or have they switched their sights to even bigger targets: federal spending on entitlements like Medicare and Social Security?
The answer on Wednesday depended on which Republican you asked.
The longer the government shutdown continues, the more sectors in our economy are being affected. More and more, the housing market is feeling the pinch. Most economists think if the federal government reopens in the next few days, the damage won't be too bad. But already, some home sales are being delayed and even derailed, as NPR's Chris Arnold reports.
Janet Yellen is President Obama's choice to replace Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve. The announcement came Wednesday afternoon. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen will be the first woman to lead the Fed.
The government shutdown is starting to hamper trade. More than 40 federal agencies involved in trade shipments — from the EPA to the Commerce Department — have trimmed their staffs, resulting in a slowdown or halt of goods.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:04 pm
Browsing farmers markets this fall, you may find some new apple varieties mixed in with the Granny Smiths, McIntoshes and Fujis. Susan Brown, head of the apple breeding program at Cornell University, estimates that there have been 130 new apples released around the world in the past six years.
This summer, she contributed two more to that tally: the SnapDragon and the Ruby Frost.