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European leaders have vowed to do all they can to keep the eurozone intact, but U.S. companies are making contingency plans in case Greece is forced to leave the currency union.

The New York Times said major U.S. banks and corporations are "preparing for what was once unthinkable" — Greece's exit from the eurozone:

Defensive Back Struggles to Hold a Job

Sep 2, 2012

Ross Ventrone has been hired, promoted, or fired by the New England Patriots no fewer than 29 times in two years. The transition the defensive back from Villanova made into the world of professional football has been different from what most people would assume, he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends of All Things Considered.

Two hundred years ago this week, Napoleon Bonaparte fought a battle in Russia that may have begun his undoing. He led his Grand Army against the Imperial Russian Army near a village called Borodino, about 70 miles from Moscow.

It was the single bloodiest day of the Napoleonic Wars, and it's remembered by Russians as a symbol of national courage. An army of re-enactors relived that Sunday.

The charter school movement is now at a crossroads. More than 2 million students will be enrolled in charter schools in the fall — a big number for a movement that's barely 20 years old. The publicly funded, privately run schools have spread so fast, they operate more like a parallel school system in some places.

Greece is trying to raise cash by reviving an ambitious program to privatize state assets. The country's lenders, which include the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, hope the sell-off will cut the country's enormous debt.

But Antonis Tsifis, who runs a betting shop in a working-class neighborhood in Athens, is upset that the government is going to sell its stake in OPAP, the giant gaming firm that oversees his betting shop.

Anyone with a 401(k) retirement plan has been painfully aware of the gyrations in the stock market in recent years. The market has come back up lately, but the economy is still in low gear, so many analysts aren't too bullish in the short term. Also, treasuries and CDs are offering tiny returns.

So what's the average American trying to save for retirement to do? Answers are percolating at an annual economics retreat in Maine.




This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Every year at this time, many of the world's central bankers gather in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for an annual economic policy symposium, within sight of snow-capped mountain peaks. The economy continues to be weak in much of the world. A select group of journalists is allowed to attend - and Robin Harding, the U.S. Economics Editor of the Financial Times, is one of those journalists.

He joins us from Jackson Hole. Mr. Harding, thank you for being with us.



You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Harvard University is investigating what it calls an unprecedented case of cheating. College officials say around 125 students may have shared answers and plagiarized on a final exam last spring. From member station WBUR in Boston, Curt Nickisch has reaction on campus.

CURT NICKISCH, BYLINE: This is not what a brand-new class of carefree 18-year-olds expected to be talking about as they went through freshman orientation today.



Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Every so often, people talk of eliminating the penny - which isn't worth much anymore. It survives, but not in a Chipotle restaurant in New Jersey. The Star-Ledger says a customer discovered the restaurant rounding his bill to the nearest nickel, often collecting an extra cent.

Household Debt : Falling. Slowly.

Aug 29, 2012

The New York Fed just put out its latest report on household debt. It's a good, quick-ish look at the debt picture for ordinary Americans. Here's the key graph:

It shows:

* Household debt is overwhelmingly about mortgages.

* Mortgage debt shot up during the housing boom, and has slowly — slowly — been falling for the past several years.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its GDP numbers today, saying that during the second quarter of this year, the United States economy grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate.

That's up from its original estimate of 1.5 percent.

The BEA reports:



Not so long ago, the journalist James Fallows made a prediction about China. Many Americans worry about the power of a rising China, but Fallows argued that in the next few years Americans may have more to worry about from China's weakness.

China's economic boom has altered the world economy, but its growth is slowing down. And we're going to talk about that with Beijing-based economist Patrick Chovanec. He's on the line from Beijing.

Welcome to the program.


Judge To Rule Later On Ala. Prepaid Tuition Plan

Aug 27, 2012
Tax Credits / Flickr

A judge says he will rule later on whether a new law can be applied retroactively to Alabama's prepaid college tuition plan. Montgomery County Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick heard arguments from both sides Monday and took the case under advisement. At issue is a settlement the board of the Prepaid Affordable College Tuition plan reached with many participants to pay less than full tuition because of the plan's financial problems. The Alabama Supreme Court ruled in March that the settlement violated state law. The Legislature revised the law in April.

ACT Says A Quarter Of High Schoolers Are College Ready

Aug 24, 2012

The people at ACT, best known for the assesment test taken by many college-bound high schoolers, have finished crunching 2012 numbers and they report that just 25 percent of high schoolers who took the test are college ready.

A freshman class is arriving at Penn State this week. But a child sexual abuse scandal that rocked the school last fall is casting a shadow over the school's "Welcome Week."

Millions of college students are heading back to campus soon, and as any parent footing the bill knows, they're hungry for more than just knowledge — they want food, and lots of it, at all hours.



NPR's business news starts with a big patent ruling.


INSKEEP: This is a case of Apple against Samsung - and if that sounds familiar, it's because there's more than one patent case here.

While a jury in California deliberates a huge multibillion dollar patent infringement case, which we've been discussing this week, a ruling on a similar case with the same players has been issued today in South Korea.

The Last Word In Business

Aug 24, 2012



And today's last word in business is: duh. That's right, D-U-H.

That's a Colombian beer, and it's at the center of a brewing legal battle between two businessmen and 20th Century Fox. The golden ale was originally called Duff Beer, and it looks just like the beer served up at Moe's Tavern on "The Simpsons." But 20th Century Fox complained that the two brothers who founded the company were infringing on a trademark here - Duff, it's from "The Simpsons." So the brothers said they changed the name to DuH.

The only remaining laboratory of one of the greatest American inventors may soon be purchased so that it can be turned into a museum, thanks to an Internet campaign that raised nearly a million dollars in about a week.

The lab was called Wardenclyffe, and it was built by Nikola Tesla, a wizard of electrical engineering whose power systems lit up the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 and harnessed the mighty Niagara Falls.

Last year, consumers spent $17 billion on video games. That sounds like a lot, but it was nearly $1.5 billion lower than the previous year. One reason: there haven't been any new game consoles out to excite buyers.

Only Nintendo's Wii U might be on shelves for the holiday season.

The console makers are having a hard time figuring out how to improve on what they've got.

Try asking a gamer like Ryan Block what would entice him to drop a few hundred bucks on a new console.

Alabama Tuition Plan Paying Full Rates For Fall

Aug 22, 2012
Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer / Facebook

State Treasurer Young Boozer says Alabama's prepaid college tuition plan will pay full tuition for the fall semester while it waits for a court to rule on the legality of making reduced payments.

Alabama's plan currently has more than 36,000 participants, and more than 19,000 of them eligible to attend college this fall. Boozer said Wednesday there is no way to know when the court will rule.

The Last Word In Business

Aug 22, 2012



OK. And our last word in business today is Wi-Fi donkeys. Just follow along here.

A theme park in Israel called Kfar Kedem, or Village of Yore, depicts life in Israel in the first and second centuries. The Times of Israel describes it as a Galilean version of Colonial Williamsburg.


On the fishing-boat piers of New England, nearly everyone knows a fisherman who was lost at sea.

Boat captain Joe Neves remembers when a crew member got knocked overboard. "We heard him screaming 'Help me!' " Neves says, grimacing. "But you know, on the water at night, your head is like a little coconut." They didn't find him.

Mike Gallagher discovered a friend who was entangled in still-running hydraulics. "I knew right away he was dead," he says.



The business school at UCLA wants to go into business for itself. The Anderson School of Management is part of a public university. Of course, it's in California and the school's leaders find that being part of public education in California right now is a little maddening. Budget battles and state budget cuts have become normal.

Will Stone reports on what the school wants to do instead.

In a new study, The Pew Hispanic Center says that for the first time ever, Hispanics have become the largest minority group in the country's college campuses.

It's a report that marks many firsts for the ethnic group, which has been making great strides in education since 1972.

Among them: For the first time, there were more than 2 million latinos ages 18 to 24 enrolled. They reached a record 16.5 percent of all college enrollment. Hispanics make up a little more than a quarter of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in two-year colleges.

Bill Would Make Changes To School Start Date Law

Aug 20, 2012

Two state legislators say they will introduce a bill in the Legislature that allows local school boards to set start and stop dates for the school year in their systems.

The bill by Republican Sen. Bill Holtzclaw of Madison and GOP Rep. Paul DeMarco of Homewood is being pre-filed this week. It would change a law passed by lawmakers this year that requires the first day of school be no earlier than the Monday two weeks before Labor Day and the last day be no later than the Friday before Memorial Day.

American is currently seeking to cut costs in bankruptcy protection so the flight attendants' union pushed hard for this vote — warning that rejecting the contract could mean even deeper cuts or furloughs. The company's trying to cut about a billion dollars in labor costs. Mechanics and other union workers had previously accepted new contracts but pilots rejected American's latest offer earlier this month.

Refinance activity continues to boom, fueling the home-loan market. Low interest rates have created a class of "serial refinancers" — those lucky enough to borrow at lower rates — and given them new opportunities to spend their freed up cash.

Settlement attorney Robert Gratz never used to be on a first-name basis with his clients.

"In the past, our practice was such that you'd see people, and that was the end of it," he says.

Gratz now sees the same faces all the time, of clients refinancing again and again — these days in the mid-3 percent range.

UAB President Carol Garrison Stepping Down

Aug 16, 2012 / University of Alabama at Birmingham

The president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham has announced that she is stepping down after 10 years. Carol Z. Garrison announced Thursday she is leaving but will continue to serve in her position until an interim president is named. Garrison was named the sixth president of UAB in 2002. She came to UAB from the University of Louisville, where she was acting president. She was hired after the tumultuous departure of UAB's former president, W. Ann Reynolds. UAB has seen record enrollment for three consecutive years, reaching 17,575 in fall 2011.