Business

The Salt
1:46 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Danes May Bring Back Butter As Government Rolls Back Fat Tax

Toothbutter, illustrated.
Sidsel Overgaard NPR

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 1:34 pm

Toothbutter: noun. Butter spread so thickly as to reveal teeth marks upon biting.

The fact that this word exists in the Danish language should help to explain what politicians were up against when they introduced the "fat tax" just over a year ago. This is a country that loves it some butter (and meat, and all things dreadful to the arteries).

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
1:33 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Beach Towns Mourn Sandy-Ravaged Boardwalks

Waves break Oct. 31 in front of a destroyed amusement park wrecked by Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, N.J.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 11:15 am

Hurricane Sandy left a long trail of destruction across the New Jersey shoreline. And it did a lot more than just flood houses.

In towns like Seaside Heights and Belmar, Sandy wiped out the boardwalks that line the beach. In places like these, boardwalks served as the commercial center knitting the towns together, and residents are wondering where to go from here.

Until two weeks ago, the boardwalk was the place to hang out in Belmar, N.J. Ann Summer was walking along the water with her husband this weekend.

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Media
4:17 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Conservative Media Caught in the Blame Game

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 5:08 am

In the wake of last Tuesday's elections, a lively debate has erupted into the open over whether conservatives and the Republican Party were well-served by their favorite media outlets.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney was reported to have been so certain of a victory on Tuesday night that he cast aside tradition and did not draft a concession speech. But conservatives now say his misplaced confidence — and theirs — were bolstered by the predictions of many like-minded pundits, which were broadcast and posted online around the clock by sympathetic news outlets.

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Technology
2:36 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Supercomputers Act Like Talent Magnets

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 3:47 pm

Titan, the new supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, has been crowned the fastest in the world. It can clock 17.59 petaflops (quadrillions of calculations per second). Audie Cornish talks to Steve Henn for more.

The Salt
2:28 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Kind of Like 'eFarmony': Matching Farmers With Urban Landowners For Fun And Profit

Chris Costa and one of her chickens on her farm in Downingtown, Pa. Costa and her partner, T.J., found the land for this farm through a sustainable agriculture program.
Emma Lee WHYY

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 4:15 pm

Many farmers want their farms to be located close to a city - especially organic farmers who'd like to sell their produce at big urban farmers markets. But the price of land within range of a big city is sky high and only getting higher.

Most small farmers buy their land, but some are now looking to lease in suburban or exurban areas. And to do that, they're using something straight out of Fiddler On The Roof: A matchmaker.

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Economy
2:28 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Opportunities Emerge For Vets In Tough Job Market

Last year, Congress passed legislation that — among other things — gave employers tax credits for hiring vets.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 4:28 pm

Many veterans aren't just looking for a job; they're looking for a career, a calling and, of course, financial stability. Those recently separated from the military have to confront what is still a fairly weak civilian job market.

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Business
5:32 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Customers Complain About Early Christmas Carols

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Business
3:39 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 5:11 am

Beginning next summer, federal rules will require pilots to have six times more flight time to get hired, and will then also require airlines to give pilots more rest between flights. This will increase the number of pilots airlines need, just as thousands of senior pilots reach the mandatory retirement age of 65.

Business
3:39 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Woman Behind 'Brown Sugar' To Sell Jagger Letters

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 5:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is: "Brown Sugar."

We know Mick Jagger was the man who wrote the lyrics behind dozens of hit songs by the Rolling Stones, but especially given those songs, it's something of a surprise that he could compose a sweet love letter. One of his many lovers - and thought to be the inspiration behind the song "Brown Sugar" - has those letters and is making them public, for a price.

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NPR Story
3:18 am
Mon November 12, 2012

With Election Over, Washington Moves On To 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 4:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

With the election settled, Washington, Wall Street and much of the rest world, it seems, are focused on whether Congress and a reelected president can avoid the fiscal cliff. To tell us what's at stake, we turn now to David Wessel. He's the economics editor of The Wall Street Journal and author of "Red Ink," a new primer on the federal budget and the deficit.

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Politics
1:49 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Lew, Bowles Rumored To Replace Treasury's Geithner

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 3:43 pm

A second term means some new Cabinet appointments for President Obama, including at the Treasury. After four pretty grueling years, Secretary Timothy Geithner has made it clear he will be leaving Washington.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said last week that Geithner would be staying on through the inauguration. He's also expected to be a "key participant" in "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

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The Salt
1:24 am
Mon November 12, 2012

To Get Around Tax Hike, Spanish Theater Sells Carrots Not Tickets

At the Bescanó municipal theater in northeastern Spain, director Quim Marcé (center) and actresses Meritxell Yanes (left) and Elena Martinell (right) display carrots for sale.
Quim Marcé

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 3:41 pm

In Spain, new austerity measures mean higher sales tax on everything from beer and wine to clothing and movie tickets. But in Bescanó, a small town in the country's northeast, the local theater director has come up with a rather creative way to get around a new 21 percent tax on tickets for plays at his theater –- by selling carrots instead.

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Environment
1:23 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Weighing The Prospects Of The Keystone XL Pipeline

President Obama speaks at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline in May in Cushing, Okla. Obama is under pressure to make a decision on the future of the pipeline during his second term.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 8:17 am

Among the difficult decisions facing President Obama is whether to give the go-ahead for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would bring oil from Canada down to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Environmentalists want it blocked. They are concerned about endangering the Nebraska sand hills, under which is the largest aquifer in the country. It provides drinking water and irrigation water for several states.

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Economy
3:30 am
Sun November 11, 2012

How The Fiscal Cliff Would Hit The Economy

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner at the White House in July 2011. They are scheduled to meet at the White House again next week to discuss the looming fiscal cliff.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 2:05 pm

This week, President Obama will meet with congressional leaders to begin working out a deal to avert a budget calamity commonly known as the fiscal cliff.

Economists are unanimous in saying that if the leaders fail to keep the country from going over the "cliff," both the stock and labor markets will fairly quickly go "splat."

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Music News
3:09 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Love To Hate Nickelback? Joke's On You

Nickelback's Chad Kroeger performs during halftime of a Canadian football game in Vancouver. On the band's own tours, expensive pyrotechnics are more rare.
Jeff Vinnick Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Nickelback. The name itself is musical shorthand for everything music aficionados love to hate about modern rock.

But with more than 50 million record sales worldwide and a lead singer who earns $10 million a year, the band is laughing all the way to the bank — as reporter Ben Paynter describes in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine.

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All Tech Considered
4:32 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Google, Facebook And The Next Billion Users

Men look at mobile phones at the Adjame market in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The market for mobile telephones in developing countries has grown quickly, and now Facebook and Google are trying to get users to use the Internet on their devices.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 10:47 am

The chances are slim that a person living in poverty in a developing nation has access to the Internet on a computer. It's expensive and, in some places, there's a lack of infrastructure to support it.

The chances are better, though, that that person owns a cellphone. It's probably not an iPhone or an Android, and he or she probably hasn't purchased a data plan for it, but it has the ability to access the Internet.

Google believes that this category of cellphone user is the future of its expansion.

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Europe
3:24 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Retro London Cabs On The Road Toward Extinction

The company that makes London's iconic taxis has had financial difficulties, leaving cabbies in a lurch.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:54 am

Cabbie John Crowood's traditional London taxi was one among hordes as he began trundling through the city's streets with so many other benevolent black beetles more than 30 years ago.

Today, he's one of a dwindling band. Crowood says that the only company that makes the classic retro London cab had to recall 400 of its newest vehicles after a mechanical defect was found, leaving hundreds of his fellow cabbies unable to ply their trade.

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It's All Politics
4:12 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

The Upside To Plunging Off The Fiscal Cliff

With Congress on the edge of a fiscal cliff, set to occur Jan. 1, some say a fiscal plunge is exactly what's needed to break the political logjam.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

Now that the election is over, Washington is transfixed by the fiscal cliff, the automatic tax increases and spending cuts due to take effect Jan. 1 if nothing is done.

The sudden shock could seriously damage the economy.

But some Democrats and policy analysts are suggesting that going over the fiscal cliff could help break the political logjam.

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World
1:02 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

To Combat Sanctions, Iran Buys Up Gold

Iranian women look at a jewelry shop display in Tehran, Iran, in 2010. Iran now appears to be stockpiling gold in an attempt to stabilize its economy, which has been hit hard by Western sanctions.
Atta Lenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

Iran is stockpiling gold. That's the way David Cohen sees it. He's undersecretary of the Treasury, and the Treasury's point man for the banking sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Iran.

"Iran is attempting to hoard gold, both by acquiring it and by preventing the export of gold from Iran, in a somewhat desperate attempt to try and defend the value of its currency," Cohen says.

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Planet Money
4:29 am
Fri November 9, 2012

The Secret Genius Of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's fourth studio album, Red, sold 1.2 million copies in its first week, the highest first-week sales total in a decade.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 8:14 am

Taylor Swift's new album, Red, sold more 1.2 million copies in its first week — the highest first-week sales total for an album in over a decade. She did it partly by answering a surprisingly complicated question: What's the best way to sell an album?

There are so many ways to release your music these days. You can sell it at Amazon, iTunes, Wal-Mart, and Starbucks. You can release it to streaming sites like Spotify. You can go on tour.

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Business
2:28 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Sandy's Effects 'Staggering' To New York's Economy

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, also held a press conference yesterday, and gave a warning that Sandy could end up costing his state $33 billion in economic damage, which could worsen the state's already-perilous fiscal situation.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Cuomo said the initial estimates are that the storm will cost the region $50 billion in lost economic activity and infrastructure damage. And he said two-thirds of that will be borne by New York.

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Business
2:28 am
Fri November 9, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 10:46 am

The fragrance company Demeter has introduced a new sushi scent. The company's website says it offers a whiff of seaweed and rice with a lemon-ginger essence. But it isn't fishy.

Economy
2:28 am
Fri November 9, 2012

CBO: 'Fiscal Cliff' Could Put U.S. Back In Recession

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Speaker Boehner also said he wants to work with the president to keep them from going over the fiscal cliff - higher taxes and spending cuts that take effect at the end of the year. The Congressional Budget Office warns of a new recession if Congress doesn't make changes. NPR's Scott Horsley has our daily look at the bottom line.

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Business
2:28 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an attempt to shorten gas lines.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Business
1:21 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Car Dealers Sue Tesla, Citing State Franchise Laws

A Tesla Motors showroom in San Jose, Calif. Car dealers in New York and Massachusetts have filed a lawsuit that seeks to block Tesla from selling its vehicles in those states.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 10:46 am

Tesla Motors usually makes headlines for its technology. Its new Model S is the first entirely electric vehicle to be named car of the year by Automobile Magazine.

Friday's news is less flattering: A judge in New York will take up a lawsuit against the company about how Tesla sells its cars.

When Mark Seeger bought a Tesla in Seattle, he was actually just looking for a pair of shoes.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

CBO Warns Again: Ignoring Fiscal Cliff Could Result In Recession

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:57 pm

The so-called fiscal cliff is a double-edged sword, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says in a new report issued today.

Why? Ignoring the huge tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at the beginning of the year "will probably cause the economy to fall back into a recession."

But: "They will make the economy stronger later in the decade and beyond."

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Economy
2:54 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Corn Belt Farmland: The Newest Real Estate Bubble?

This field is part of a 160-acre tract in Saline County, Mo., that sold for $10,700 per acre in February — double what it would have gone for five years ago.
Abby Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:02 pm

Howard Audsley has been driving through Missouri for the past 30 years to assess the value of farmland. Barreling down the flat roads of Saline County on a recent day, he stopped his truck at a 160-acre tract of newly tilled black land. The land sold in February for $10,700 per acre, double what it would have gone for five years ago.

Heading out into the field, Audsley picked up a clod of the dirt that makes this pocket of land some of the priciest in the state.

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The Salt
2:41 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

You Can Thank A Whey Refinery For That Protein Smoothie

Tim Opper, of Cabot Cheese, inspects equipment that separates whey protein from sugar in the company's whey processing plant.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 7:52 am

If you've ever checked the ingredient list on a PowerBar or a high-protein smoothie, you probably have stumbled across these words: "Whey protein concentrate." You'll find it in a growing number of prepared foods.

This mysterious ingredient is derived from one of the oldest of human foods — milk. But capturing it requires huge factories that look more like oil refineries than farms.

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Economy
10:06 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Can Bipartisanship Save Us From The Fiscal Cliff?

The election is over and the deadline for the so-called "fiscal cliff" is drawing closer. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about how the two relate, and what it could mean for America's economic future.

The Two-Way
8:19 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Word To The Wise: Change Your Twitter Password

Twitter.com

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 10:23 am

The news is spreading that Twitter is warning quite a few users that their accounts may have been compromised and that they should immediately change their passwords.

TechCrunch says, "keep your eyes peeled Twitter users: Twitter is sending out emails to some of its users telling them it has reset their password and asking them to create a new one."

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