Business & Education

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In Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, Perry Rosen walks over to a 1967 Rock-Ola Imperial jukebox, punches in a letter and a number and smiles as the song "Spooky" by Dennis Yost and the Classics IV starts spinning.

A Japanese cryptocurrency exchange announced the theft Friday of $400 million in digital currency. Some estimates put the loss at the Coincheck exchange at over $520 million.

The stolen assets were stored in the cryptocurrency NEM, one of hundreds of digital currencies created in recent years. Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency, dropped precipitously on news of the hack but has since regained much of its value.

Glenn Kelman has been running the real-estate company Redfin since 2007. He saw it through the housing crash and the recovery. Last year, Redfin went public. It's now worth more than $1.7 billion.

Glenn was in town recently, and we asked him to come in and play overrated/underrated with us.

We bring up a bunch of trends and ideas — really, anything we want — and ask: is this overrated or underrated?

Among other things, we asked Glenn about home ownership, the cult of the CEO and the importance of the dungeon master.

The U.S. economy didn't grow as quickly as many economists had hoped, according to numbers released Friday by the Commerce Department.

During the final three months of 2017, a closely followed measure of the whole economy, called the gross domestic product, a rose at a 2.6 percent annualized rate. That's reasonably good, but less than the 3.2-percent pace in the third quarter. Most economists had been predicting about 3 percent growth.

I hadn't been living in London long when I attended my first Fourth of July party. The hosts, members of the U.S. Embassy staff, made their guests envious by revealing that they could request any American products they wanted through the embassy. Minds boggled with the possibilities. Dried chiles? Aged bourbon? Fancypants cereal?

Nope. These were globe-trotting sophisticates living in the tony Maida Vale neighborhood, and topping their wish lists were ... Bud Light and Cheetos.

Earlier this month, the BBC's China editor, Carrie Gracie, a 30-year veteran of the network, abruptly resigned her job in the Beijing bureau, accusing the network of promulgating a gender pay gap.

The BBC response? There is "no systemic discrimination against women" at the network.

Updated at 12:42 p.m. ET

President Trump, playing salesman-in-chief Friday morning at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, declared, "America is open for business and we are competitive once again."

He also proclaimed, "America first does not mean America alone."

Walmart has a laser-like focus when it comes to finding ways to compete with rival Amazon.com, and the world's largest bricks-and-mortar retailer has announced its latest attempt.

Walmart Stores, Inc. is joining with Japan's largest e-commerce retailer Rakuten to launch an online grocery delivery service in Japan.

Walmart will also work with Rakuten's digital book business, Kobo, to sell e-books and audiobooks in the U.S.

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You know what has happened to the phone over time. You know, years ago - old days - 10 years ago, 15 years ago, it was just a phone.

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Supplies Of Valuable Ginseng Root Dwindling

Jan 25, 2018

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The root ginseng is used to treat all kinds of ailments in traditional Chinese medicine. And some of the most valuable ginseng grows wild in Appalachia. Supplies are dwindling. So as Julia DeWitt from our Planet Money podcast reports, a backup plan is taking shape.

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There's a new study out about the origins of the mafia. It finds that the essential ingredient in the birth of the mafia as we know it isn't the threats or the murders or the other stuff that's great for Hollywood. The detail that matters is lemons.

Music: "Head of The Family".

If you're tempted to join the cryptocurrency bandwagon, regulators say you should take a pause before you click "buy."

Following bitcoin's meteoric price rise in 2017 — from just under $1,000 in January to nearly $20,000 in December — there's been a rush to cash in on cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that makes them possible.

Numerous investment vehicles have been created to meet this surge in consumer demand.

A tobacco product that its maker claims to be safer than cigarettes won qualified support from a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel Thursday.

The advisers voted 8-1 to support cigarette giant Philip Morris' claim that its "iQOS" system "significantly reduces your body's exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals." The device heats tobacco but doesn't ignite it.

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Grumpy Cat finally has something to smile about.

The perpetually scowling kitty, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, has been awarded a cool $710,000 in a copyright infringement case. Or at least her human, Tabatha Bundesen, has.

The wheels of a tall, metal cart squeak as Chris Beatty, 26, pulls it through a maze of aisles inside a cosmetics warehouse in Burlington, N.J.

A hand-held scanner helps Beatty find specific items, such as face cream or lipstick — to be sorted, packed and shipped to online customers. In his industry, this is called picking.

Asked if a robot could do his job, Beatty responds with a long pause. "That's a tough one," he says eventually, "but I don't think a robot could do this."

Spotify, the popular music streaming service, will officially take the company public this spring and is planning a very unconventional IPO — short for "initial public offering" — that has investors talking.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET Thursday

Bank of America is eliminating eBanking accounts this month, transferring their owners into accounts that charge a maintenance fee if they don't maintain a minimum balance or get direct deposit. The move ends a program introduced in 2010 and completes a phaseout begun several years ago, when the bank stopped offering eBanking as an option to new customers.

In 1992, Douglas Bruce proposed a measure called the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, TABOR for short. TABOR was effectively a tax-limitation measure that said, whenever a government wanted more money — whenever it wanted to increase taxes — it had to put the question on the ballot. Increased taxes for roads? The voters would get to decide. Better schools? Put it on the ballot. But put the price there first.

The new acting director of the National Park Service is a former parks official who was reprimanded 12 years ago for pressuring employees to allow the owner of Washington's NFL team to cut down trees for a better view of the Potomac River.

Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the promotion of Paul Daniel Smith on Wednesday.

From 2004 to 2015, Smith was superintendent of Colonial National Historical Park.

After missing the event for two years, German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, delivering a defense of globalism and a rebuke of isolationist tendencies that have emerged in Europe and Washington.

It marked her return to the world stage following months of political uncertainty at home, where she is still trying to stitch together a new government after her party's weak showing in elections last fall.

Merkel made a plea for multilateral solutions to global challenges.

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Last week, General Electric said it was taking a massive loss — $6.2 billion — related to an obscure corner of the company: long-term-care insurance.

Long-term-care insurance is this kind of insurance that anyone can buy. It covers things like nursing home care, or a home health aide.

But recently, GE came out and said it was having an "adverse claims experience" with these policies. Basically, the company got the math wrong, and lost billions as a result.

A new NPR/Marist poll finds that 1 in 5 jobs in America is held by a worker under contract. Within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce. In a weeklong series, NPR explores many aspects of this change.

For Tom Hansen and his family, the past few weeks have been a time of feast or famine.

When 50 Cent agreed to accept bitcoin for purchases of his 2014 album, Animal Ambition, a unit of the cryptocurrency was already worth hundreds of dollars — but the value of those sales has since skyrocketed and the rapper's bitcoin holding is now reportedly worth more than $7.5 million.

Payday lenders appear to have a powerful friend in Washington.

Former Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney is the interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He was appointed by President Trump amid an ongoing a power struggle for control of the bureau.

Research teams spent a decade trying to reach the moon and win the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize. But organizers are declaring an end to this leg of the space race, saying none of the teams are able to launch a lunar rover project by the March 31, 2018, deadline.

"This literal 'moonshot' is hard," X Prize's Peter Diamandis and Marcus Shingles said in a statement about the contest that began in 2007. They said that while they had expected a winner by now, the grand prize "will go unclaimed."

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