Business & Education

Economy
1:03 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Checking In On The Economy, The Good And Sluggish

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 1:38 pm

The U.S. economy started showing signs of recovery in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Four years later, the economy is slow to recover in some areas. The stock market and housing are showing signs of growth, while unemployment still lags behind.

The Salt
12:32 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Wal-Mart Pledges Fresher Produce By Cutting Out The Middleman

A shopper selects produce at a Wal-Mart in Deptford, N.J.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 3:02 pm

The nation's largest retailer announced Monday that it will be delivering produce from farms to stores faster by buying fruits and vegetables directly from growers.

The plan is to source about 80 percent of fresh produce directly, explained Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of the food business for Wal-Mart U.S., during a conference call that we participated in Monday morning.

In many instances, Sinclair says it will be possible to "cut out the middleman," but he added that local wholesalers will continue to "play an important role for us in the areas we serve."

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Who Knew? Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Is A Funny Guy

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. (2010 file photo.)
Tim Shaffer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 9:15 am

Hearing that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered Princeton graduates "10 suggestions" at their commencement ceremony Sunday, we had visions of those in caps and gowns nodding off during a treatise on the fine points of investing in municipal bonds.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Cardboard Bike Creator May Soon Start Peddling His Product

Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni and his cardboard bicycle.
Baz Ratner Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 12:07 pm

After capturing the imagination of people around the world last year with video of a bicycle made almost entirely out of cardboard, Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni is now hoping to capture money from folks who would like to own one.

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Economy
5:17 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Big Or Small, Sequestration Cuts Felt Nationwide

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 9:23 am

It's been three months since the start of across-the-board, federal spending cuts. Renee Montagne talks to David Wessel, economics editor at The Wall Street Journal, about how badly the sequestration is cutting into the economy.

Business
5:13 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Trial To Start In Apple Price-Fixing Dispute

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 9:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And Apple faces off with the Justice Department beginning today in a federal court over a price-fixing dispute. Last year, the government accused Apple of conspiring with five major publishing companies to raise prices on electronic books.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Business
4:54 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 9:23 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with some European optimism.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: The president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, says he expects to see a gradual economic recovery in the eurozone nations this year. Speaking in Shanghai yesterday, he acknowledged the region still faces challenges, including record unemployment, but he cited growing European exports and rising regional stock markets as factors indicating better times ahead. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
4:54 am
Mon June 3, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 9:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Fridge for sale.

The seller is New York State and it comes from a Manhattan psychiatric ward.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's a morgue cooler, and it's available on eBay. The Listing describes its condition as "good." It is big enough, as the New York Post points out, to hold four cadavers or nearly 2,000 cans of beer.

Business
2:29 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Surf Air Offers 'All You Can Fly' For A Monthly Fee

Surf Air CEO Wade Eyerly stands in front of one of the airline's turboprop planes in Burbank, Calif. Eyerly boasts that Surf Air will offer frequent commuters a corporate jet experience for not much more than regular airline prices.
Wendy Kaufman NPR

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 9:23 am

A new airline with an innovative, "all you can fly" business model is about to take off. Federal regulators have just given California-based Surf Air permission to begin passenger service.

Surf Air is a big idea with small planes. For a flat monthly fee, subscribers will be able to take all the trips they want among four California cities: San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.

The airline's co-founder and CEO Wade Eyerly boasts that Surf Air will offer frequent commuters a corporate jet experience for not that much more than regular airline prices.

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Sat June 1, 2013

If This Cute Cheerios Ad Causes Drama, What Won't?

Cheerios via YouTube

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 11:13 am

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It's All Politics
4:23 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Obama's Economic View: A Glass Half-Full And Half-Empty

President Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday. He said the economy is seeing progress but added that too many people are still struggling.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 5:39 am

It has been a good week for economic news. Here's a quick rundown of the positive signs: Home prices showed their best gains in seven years. Consumer confidence hit a five-year high. The stock market set a new record. All just this week.

"We're seeing progress," President Obama said in the White House Rose Garden on Friday morning, "and the economy is starting to pick up steam. The gears are starting to turn again, and we're getting some traction."

You could tell from the tone of his voice that he was leading up to a "but."

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The Salt
4:21 am
Sat June 1, 2013

France Sells Presidential Wines To Update Palace Wine Cellar

French President Francois Hollande's palace has decided to dive into its wine cellar and sell some of its treasures to raise money and replenish its collection with more modest vintages. About 1,200 bottles, a 10th of the Elysee's wine collection, are being sold at the Drouot auction house in Paris this week.
Jacques Brinon AP

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 2:46 pm

Prized Burgundies and Bordeaux once served at the presidential palace in France were sold for the first time ever as the wine cellar at Elysee Palace gets an overhaul.

Some 1,200 bottles, or 10 percent of the palace wines, went on sale this week at the famous Drouot auction house in downtown Paris. On the block were vintages from 1930 to 1990, including famous names such as Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Montrachet.

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Planet Money
4:15 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

All The Wealth We Lost And Regained Since The Recession Started

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 6:47 pm

American households lost roughly $16 trillion in net worth since the recession started in 2007. According to the latest Fed data, we regained about $14.6 trillion, or roughly 91 percent, of it. But let's not break out the champagne glasses just yet.

A new report from the St. Louis Fed shows that, after adjusting those numbers for inflation and normalizing them for population growth, we recovered less than half of what we've lost in wealth.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

No Smoking Outside Starbucks Shops Starting Saturday

Don't sit down here and have a smoke with your coffee, Starbucks says.
Mark Memmott NPR

Starbucks is moving its smoking ban outdoors.

Starting Saturday, according to signs posted in its more than 7,000 shops across the U.S. and Canada, "the no-smoking policy ... will include outdoor areas."

"Smoking will be restricted within 25 feet of the store and within outdoor seating areas," the notices read.

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Business
10:14 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Can A Huge Hog Deal Pose A National Security Risk?

Smithfield hams hang outside the Taste of Smithfield restaurant and gourmet market in Smithfield, Va. Shuanghui International Holdings plans to buy Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest hog producer.
Rich-Joseph Facun Reuters/Landov

Americans do love their bacon, but is that romance a national security issue?

Maybe.

This week, China's biggest pork producer announced plans to buy Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc. Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa wants a national security review by an interagency panel known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS.

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