The government-controlled mortgage giant Fannie Mae, which needed a $116 billion federal bailout after the housing bubble burst in 2007, said Tuesday that it earned a record $7.6 billion in fourth-quarter 2012 and $17.2 billion for the year.
Monday marked the start of the application period for H1B visas — those are the work permits granted to 85,000 skilled foreigners each year. Many of them work in the high-tech industry. And for the first time since the financial crisis hit in 2008, the quotas for the H1B are expected to be filled in a single week.
David Greene talks to Yvette Aehle, director of the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport, about her plans to shut down the airport's air traffic control tower. Because of sequestration, the FAA will no longer pay for air traffic controllers at 144 smaller airports.
India's Supreme Court says drug maker Novartis can't hold onto its patent for the pricey cancer drug Gleevec simply by tweaking its chemical formula. That means generic drug makers can keep making a form of the drug at a tenth of Novartis's price — for the Indian market and for other low- and middle-income markets. Consumer advocates call it a major advance for access to generic drugs. Novartis and drug industry allies say it will chill companies' willingness to produce innovative products.
Steve Inskeep talks to Zanny Minton Beddoes, of The Economist, about the long-term impact of the Cyprus crisis on European economies. Beddoes offers the view from Germany. That country is now turning its attention to its own general elections in September.
A federal judge has ruled that Stockton, California, may enter into bankruptcy proceedings. That opens the way for Stockton to become America's largest bankrupt city. The population there is 300,000, bigger than Cincinnati, Newark, New Jersey or St. Paul, Minnesota. NPR's Richard Gonzalez reports that others cities share Stockton's problems.
When it comes to claiming Social Security benefits, there is no magic age. Today's boomers can begin collecting full benefits at 66, tap in early for a modified benefit at 62 or delay receiving benefits until 70.
But the importance of making a smart decision on how and when benefits are claimed can't be underestimated, says Mary Beth Franklin of Investment News.
Two startup automakers with big ambitions for electric vehicles appear to be headed in different directions. Luxury plug-in hybrid maker Fisker has hired a law firm to advise it on a possible bankruptcy, according to multiple published reports. Electric car maker Tesla announced on Monday that it expects to turn its first ever profit in the first quarter.