Business

Around the Nation
2:28 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

R.I. Strikes Out On Ex-Pitcher's Video Game Venture

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling had to push through a mob of reporters on Monday after meeting with Rhode Island officials to discuss the finances of his troubled video game company and ask for more state help.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:04 am

In 2004, pitcher Curt Schilling became a New England folk hero. That's the year he helped the Boston Red Sox beat their archrival, the New York Yankees, by pitching with a surgically repaired ankle. And when that wound started to bleed, his bloody sock also became legend.

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Business
9:46 am
Tue May 22, 2012

How Much Can Potential Employers Ask About You?

Massachusetts lawmakers tried and failed to pass legislation that would have required criminal history checks, urine screening and fingerprinting and photographs of all new hires at the state Gaming Commission.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 12:03 pm

Everyone knows it's tough to get a job these days. The task is that much harder if you have any kind of blemish on your past.

The use of background checks to screen potential employees has become a billion-dollar business. More than 90 percent of employers in the U.S. conduct criminal background checks, at least on some potential hires, according to a recent study by the National Consumer Law Center.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Facebook's Stock: What Should It Cost?

Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 2:08 pm

As the downward pressure continues on the price of Facebook's newly issued shares, let's see what our collective financial wisdom tells us.

The initial public offering was priced at $38 a share. After technical snafus on Friday, and only thanks to lots of help from Facebook's bankers, that's about where the stock settled its first day.

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Economy
3:36 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Opposition To Austerity Sweeps Ireland

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 4:12 am

A mass tax revolt is under way in Ireland, and hundreds of thousands of people have resolved to break the law and refuse to pay a newly-introduced levy on households. The tax is $125 a year, but protesters say it could lead to larger property taxes in the future.

Author Interviews
3:36 am
Tue May 22, 2012

'Road To Freedom': Moral Debate For Free Enterprise

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 4:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Economic issues are shaping this year's presidential campaign, as we're hearing in this morning's news. Arthur C. Brooks, of the American Enterprise Institute, says that debate involves more than money. It's a question of which economic policies are morally right.

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Business
3:36 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Prosecutor Links Rajat Gupta To Raj Rajaratnam

The insider trading trial of Rajat Gupta is underway in New York. Gupta is a former Goldman Sachs board member, who prosecutors say provided inside information to hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam. Gupta's lawyer told the jury that the case against his client was based on guesswork and speculation.

Election 2012
3:36 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Obama Camp Hammers Away At Bain Capital Issue

The Obama campaign continues its attack on Mitt Romney's time at the private-equity firm Bain Capital. Over the weekend, Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker seemed to veer off the campaign's message. Later, Booker tempered his remarks in a YouTube video. But it didn't take long for the Romney campaign to seize on Booker's comments.

NPR Story
3:14 am
Tue May 22, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 4:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: a last song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CELEBRATE")

WHITNEY HOUSTON AND JORDIN SPARKS: (Singing) Everybody's been so uptight, and forgetting to live the life.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This final recording by the 1980s and '90s pop star, Whitney Houston, was released yesterday. "Celebrate" debuted on Ryan Seacrest's radio show.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CELEBRATE")

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Europe
1:24 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Spain's Beloved Four-Day Weekends Are At Risk

People relax at a beach in Barcelona, Spain, on a Monday last summer. Many Spanish workers are upset that some traditional four-day holiday weekends might be scaled back to just three days.
Manu Fernandez AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 3:36 am

One of the perks of living in Europe is the generous vacation schedule. But the austerity moves across the continent could be changing that, at least in some places. Portugal, for example, recently cut four of its 14 annual holidays.

And Spain is shuffling its calendar to shorten extended weekends — something the prime minister says it can no longer afford. The change could mean the loss of a celebrated tradition: the four-day weekend.

A Holiday For Bullfighting

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Asia
1:21 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Mongolia's Dilemma: Who Gets The Water?

Amin-Erdene Galkhuu pumps well water to her family's Bactrian camels in Mongolia's South Gobi region. Herders and mining firms both need water in this arid area.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:47 am

Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation's distinctive, nomadic identity.

Second of four parts

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Business
1:16 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Time To Move Grandma: What To Do With Her Home?

Frank Christian takes a break from packing in the dining room of his home in Glen Allen, Va., which he co-owned with his mother. The family recently sold the home in order to free up money for Ida's care.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 7:04 am

Making the decision to move a parent out of the homestead can hurt.

The house may be full of good ghosts and happy memories. But it also has too many steps and too much lawn to mow. So the time comes to pack up and move on.

A decade ago, at least one part of that transition wasn't so tough. When the for-sale sign went up, an eager buyer was likely to show up with a good offer. But today, families are facing a much more difficult real estate environment.

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Movies
2:42 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

AMC Deal Signals Hollywood's New Bond With China

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:21 pm

China's Dalian Wanda Group and AMC Entertainment announced a deal on Monday for Wanda to take over the U.S.-based AMC theater group. The companies say it would be the world's largest cinema chain. It's the latest in a string of deals between Hollywood and Chinese companies.

Business
2:42 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

SEC's Investigation Unit 'Outgunned, On A Roll'

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In New York, the federal trial of a former Goldman Sachs board member got underway today. Rajat Gupta has been accused of leaking stock secrets to a business associate who ran one of the world's largest hedge funds, the Galleon Group. That associate, Raj Rajaratnam, is now serving an 11-year prison term for insider trading.

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Technology
2:42 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Tech Look Ahead: HP Layoffs, Google Gets Motorola

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. And it's time now for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CORNISH: In this week's Look Ahead, Hewlett-Packard will announce its restructuring plan Wednesday when the company reports its quarterly earnings. NPR's technology correspondent, Steve Henn, says part of that plan could include massive layoffs.

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Television
12:39 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Networks Must Adapt To Decline In TV Viewers

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Advertising executives gathered in New York City last week to get their first look at the fall primetime television lineup. The four big networks announced decisions to cancel some shows, including stalwarts like "CSI: Miami" and "Desperate Housewives." And they also welcomed newcomers, including lots and lots of new comedies. But this is all happening against the backdrop of a dwindling audience. It used to be that the network's losses were cable televisions gain, but cable ratings are also down.

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Business
4:11 am
Mon May 21, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 5:11 am

The chairman of Nasdaq issued a public apology after a glitch delayed the start of Facebook trading Friday. And over the weekend, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg married his longtime girlfriend.

Television
4:11 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Why TV Shows Call It Quits Before They're Told To End

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 4:27 am

The TV show House is airing its final episode Monday night on FOX, Desperate Housewives on ABC ended last week and NBC has announced that 30 Rock will have its final episodes this fall. TV and media critic Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times explains why choosing to end a show, rather than getting canceled, presents a creative opportunity for the producers.

Business
4:11 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 5:06 am

Troubled Internet giant, Yahoo has announced it would sell back nearly half of its 40 percent stake in Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company. And, the Wanda Group has agreed to purchase AMC Entertainment for more than $2.5 billion.

Business
4:11 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Ex-Goldman Director Faces Trial On Insider Trading Charges

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 4:58 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A giant of American business goes on trial in New York today. Rajat Gupta is accused of insider trading. He's the one-time chief executive of the consulting firm McKinsey and Company and a former board member of Goldman Sachs.

Prosecutors allege he passed on information about Goldman to billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, who's already in prison for insider trading.

NPR's Jim Zarroli is covering this story from New York. Hi, Jim.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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Asia
12:59 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Mineral-Rich Mongolia Rapidly Becoming 'Minegolia'

The mine at Oyu Tolgoi, Turquoise Hill in Mongolian, will be one of the world's largest copper mines in about five years. An employee holds up a small sample of the oxidized copper that gave the mine its name.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:47 am

Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation's distinctive, nomadic identity.

First of four parts

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Economy
4:13 pm
Sat May 19, 2012

Could Glass-Steagall Have Stopped JPMorgan Loss?

JPMorgan, the largest bank in the United States, is seeking to minimize the damage caused by a $2 billion trading loss, disclosed earlier this month.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 11:15 am

Following JP Morgan's disclosure of a $2 billion loss, a small but increasingly vocal group of lawmakers and economists are arguing that a 60-year-old piece if financial legislation should never have been repealed in 1999.

They say the law, known as the Glass-Steagall Act, was so consequential that there's a direct link between its repeal and both the 2008 financial meltdown and JPMorgan's huge loss.

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Business
6:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Average Investors Share Facebook Feelings

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 9:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Facebook IPO hasn't just sent a jolt of excitement through Silicon Valley, there are many average individual investors who are also thrilled. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: All right. It's a little after 9:30 on Friday. The bell just rang on the NASDAQ, and I'm gonna check in with some regular investors. I'm gonna start with Nelly Sai-Palm. She's a student at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and I'm going to give her a call.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEPHONE RINGING)

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Business
6:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

What To Expect In Facebook's Future

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 9:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Stock in Facebook went on sale for the first time yesterday, the largest initial public offering of stock for an Internet company, and the sale instantly created scores of millionaires in Silicon Valley, about half a dozen or so billionaires. NPR's technology correspondent Steven Henn joins us. He's followed it all from Silicon Valley. Steve, thanks for being with us.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Sure, my pleasure.

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Business
2:22 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

What Happened When JPMorgan Realized Huge Loss?

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

When the chief investment office of JPMorgan Chase was making big profits for the bank with what amounted to big bets, the bank's chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, stopped paying close attention to its operations. When he realized it was making big losses and saw the numbers, he couldn't breathe. That's according to Monica Langley's piece in today's Wall Street Journal, "Inside J.P. Morgan's Blunder."

Langley interviewed numerous JPMorgan executives, including Jamie Dimon, and she joins us now. Welcome to the program.

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Business
2:22 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Facebook The Largest Internet IPO In History

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:34 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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World
2:22 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

As More Move To Cities, A New Take On Urban Design

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:34 pm

With 7 billion people expected to live in urban centers by 2050, the stakes are enormous for building them right. There are many things to think about — traffic, trash, water, connectivity and more. Whether you're a new mega city being built in Saudi Arabia or old Liverpool trying to rejuvenate yourself, you face a lot of the same issues. Hundreds of mayors, private sector actors, think tanks and citizens groups convened in Paris this week to share ideas.

Energy
1:26 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Pipeline Flip Turns U.S. Oil World 'Upside Down'

The U.S. oil boom has created a glut of crude in Cushing, Okla., a major oil storage hub. This sign dubs the city the "Pipeline Crossroads of the World."
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:34 pm

For years, Cushing, Okla., has been on the receiving end of a 500-mile pipeline funneling oil from the Gulf of Mexico to the American heartland.

Starting this weekend, that pipeline will start moving crude in the other direction. That flow reversal could soon have implications at gas pumps around the country.

"For 40 years, crude oil flowed north," says Philip Verleger, a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "Today, oil flows south. It's as if we turned the world upside down."

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

What Facebook May Mean For Your Portfolio, Even If You Didn't Buy It

Facebook shares began trading on Nasdaq shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Friday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:25 pm

Don't worry if you missed out on Facebook's initial public offering. Chances are, if you own shares in a broad-based index fund, you'll be holding onto some Facebook soon enough.

Facebook is such a huge offering -– with an initial market capitalization of more than $100 billion, it instantly becomes one of the 25 largest "cap" stocks — that it could have a distorting effect on some funds, at least in the short term.

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It's All Politics
11:55 am
Fri May 18, 2012

TED's 'Explicitly Partisan' Talk, Briefly Barred From Its Site, Now Everywhere

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 1:23 pm

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Business
8:50 am
Fri May 18, 2012

JPMorgan's Troubles And The Price Of Eggs

Do complex Wall Street transactions ever do anything to help average people? To answer that question, we consider the case of an imaginary company, Chickens LLC, that's looking to grow.
Joern Pollex Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:20 pm

Journalists have spent many days and millions of words hashing over the news that banking giant JPMorgan Chase lost billions of dollars trading "synthetic" derivatives.

I am one of those journalists who, more or less, can understand what the bank says it was trying to do, i.e., hedge against loan losses. But here's what I have a hard time explaining:

What does this kind of complex trading have to do with the price of eggs?

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