Marilyn Geewax

Marilyn Geewax is a senior editor, assigning and editing business radio stories. She also serves as the national economics correspondent for the NPR web site, and regularly discusses economic issues on NPR's mid-day show Here & Now.

Her work contributed to NPR's 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for hard news for "The Foreclosure Nightmare." Geewax also worked on the foreclosure-crisis coverage that was recognized with a 2009 Heywood Broun Award.

Before joining NPR in 2008, Geewax served as the national economics correspondent for Cox Newspapers' Washington Bureau. Before that, she worked at Cox's flagship paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, first as a business reporter and then as a columnist and editorial board member. She got her start as a business reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal.

Over the years, she has filed news stories from China, Japan, South Africa and Europe. Recently, she headed to Europe to participate in the RIAS German/American Journalist Exchange Program.

Geewax was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, where she studied economics and international relations. She earned a master's degree at Georgetown University, focusing on international economic affairs, and has a bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University.

She is a member of the National Press Club's Board of Governors and serves on the Global Economic Reporting Initiative Committee for the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Tue July 28, 2015

Drawing A Line From The Chinese Stock Market To Your Wallet

A Chinese worker is seen at a construction site in Beijing. Economic changes in China and in other places have reduced demand and prices for commodities like the metal in the building's structure.
AP

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 1:03 pm

A mega-economic story is playing out globally. It involves U.S. interest rates, the Chinese stock market and jobs in Minnesota, Arizona and North Dakota.

And your wallet, too.

No kidding. It's all related. To see how, let your mind wander back.

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Business
10:13 am
Sat July 18, 2015

From Highways To Trade Deal, What Big Business Wants By Christmas

It could be a bumpy road ahead for Congress — not least because, well, they'll have to find ways to fund fixes for old, bumpy roads.
trekandshoot iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 2:47 pm

Temperatures soar, flowers bloom and the sun rises early. On these long summer days, there still seems to be plenty of time for achieving your 2015 goals.

But not if you are a business lobbyist. For you, time is short.

Here's what you want by Christmas: a Pacific Rim trade deal; an updated No Child Left Behind Act; revival of the Export-Import Bank; long-term highway funding and a completed federal budget.

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The Two-Way
6:18 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

Tired Of Greek Reruns? Understandable, But A New Season Is Beginning

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaks with reporters after meeting with eurozone leaders in Brussels on Monday. The leaders reached a tentative agreement on a bailout program that provides cash in exchange for changes in the way the Greek government operates.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert AP

Is news coverage of Greece wearing you down? Too many deals and deadlines?

It's no wonder. The "Greek debt crisis" has been in progress for nearly six years, making it easy to assume that we're seeing just another crazy episode in a long-running drama.

But European leaders are saying this time it really is different. Here's why:

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Economy
10:13 am
Sat July 11, 2015

Stocks Manage To Bounce, But Commodity Prices Are Swooning

The freighter American Mariner discharges its load of iron ore in Cleveland last November. Prices for iron ore and other commodities have plunged amid economic uncertainty in China and Europe.
Mark Duncan AP

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 12:46 pm

After a nerve-rattling plunge, stocks in Asia, Europe and the United States managed to end the week ahead of where they started.

But not so for industrial commodities. Their prices just keep heading south — creating more worries for miners, but good news for many manufacturers and consumers. The price drops could even help depress interest rates for all sorts of borrowers.

Before considering the impacts, first check out the magnitude of the changes. These are approximate prices, compared with one year ago:

  • Copper: $2.55 a pound, down from $3.27
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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Wed July 8, 2015

A Day Filled With Market Jitters, But Not Panic

A trader claps on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the close of the day after trading was paused for nearly four hours due to a "technical glitch" on Wednesday.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

If you were looking for reasons to be nervous, Wednesday provided lots of them, like these:

-- Chinese stocks plunged again, with the Shanghai Composite Index falling another 5.9 percent.

-- The Greek debt crisis remained unresolved, with European officials still scrambling for a solution.

-- Many raw-material prices continued their slide — with the Bloomberg Commodity Index down 26 percent from last year.

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Business
5:36 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

So Far, So Good For The Economy. But What About The Second Half?

A worker welds parts in fans for industrial ventilation systems at the Robinson Fans Inc. plant in Harmony, Pa., in February. Hourly wages in the U.S. remained unchanged last month.
Keith Srakocic AP

Maybe it seems like just yesterday that you were storing away your holiday decorations.

Maybe it actually was yesterday because life gets busy and tasks get put off, and before you know it, half the year is over and you're scrambling to catch up.

So in case you have been too busy to pay close attention, here's what we now know about the just-ended half of this year's economy:

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The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Debate Begins: New OT Rules Will Raise Wages — Or Kill Jobs

President Obama has proposed a rule requiring requiring overtime pay for more workers. The plan has drawn fire from many employers.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Business groups and labor unions sharply disagreed today over the potential impact of a proposed change to the federal rule governing overtime pay.

In coming months, the two sides will submit comments in writing to the Labor Department to try to shape the rule's final wording, but the verbal sparring already has begun.

Business leaders say hiking overtime pay would reduce hiring, while unions say the change would stimulate the economy by raising incomes for about 5 million Americans.

Before laying out the different reactions, we'll look at what happened today:

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The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

If The Mess In Greece Is All Greek To You, Then Read This

The EU and national flags fly in the foreground of the Parthenon, as Greek voters prepare to decide whether to continue negotiating for more international loans.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 10:59 am

"It was Greek to me."

Shakespeare used that phrase in one of his tragedies to suggest that a complicated matter was beyond understanding.

Many Americans may be muttering those words again as this week's Greek tragedy plays out.

The situation in Athens really is complicated, but it's also important. So let's walk through the basics together, and then consider what it might mean to Americans.

Here's what has happened so far:

-- The Greek government has way too much debt and can't pay its creditors.

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Congress Signs Off On Trade Bills, Handing Obama A Huge Win

Originally published on Thu June 25, 2015 4:14 pm

The U.S. House voted 236-138 Thursday to tie a bow on President Obama's package of trade-related legislation — giving him final approval on everything he wanted.

The Senate already had signed off on all of it, granting: 1) enhanced trade negotiation powers to the president, 2) aid for displaced workers and 3) trade incentives for sub-Saharan Africa.

Thursday's vote marked a stunning victory for Obama by clearing his path to completing the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal involving the United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations.

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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Wed June 24, 2015

Senate Passes Fast-Track Trade Legislation, 60-38

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 12:03 pm

The Senate handed President Obama a huge victory Wednesday afternoon, giving him final approval of legislation that enhances his power to negotiate trade deals.

The bill needed just 51 votes, but passed 60-38, making it look almost easy.

But earlier this month, the legislation granting Trade Promotion Authority seemed likely to die because of fierce opposition from many Democrats and some Republicans. Various legislative maneuvers were employed to set back the measure.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Senate Votes To Advance The White House Trade Agenda

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 4:58 pm

The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to advance President Obama's trade agenda — setting up a big victory for the White House and a painful loss for labor unions.

This latest Senate vote clears away procedural hurdles for legislation granting Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to Obama. That power allows the president to negotiate trade pacts and then put them on a so-called fast track through Congress. With TPA in place, Congress would take a simple yes-or-no vote on any trade deal, with no room for amendments.

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Business
11:36 am
Tue June 23, 2015

Airlines Vs. Airports: A Dogfight Over Fees Imposed On Fliers

A plane takes off from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on May 25. Airports want Congress to raise passenger fees to pay for improvements.
Trevor Collens AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 2:35 pm

You'd think everyone in the aviation industry would be on the same page about improving air travel. Surely they all want more modern aircraft and upgraded airports, right?

They do. But airlines and airports are in a political dogfight this summer over who should be getting more of your money for improvements.

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Yes, Your Car Loan Will Still Be Cheap As Fed Holds Rates Low

Lincoln Mercury vehicles at a dealership lot in Sterling Heights, Mich.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 4:48 pm

The Federal Reserve's policymakers Wednesday held steady on interest rates — and gave no specific time frame for when they might change course.

That was the expected outcome of their two-day meeting.

But this changed: The policymakers seemed a bit more optimistic about the U.S. economy. Their statement said that while inflation is very low, "economic activity has been expanding moderately."

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

U.S. House Votes To Buy Time For Obama's Trade Agenda

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 5:10 pm

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET

This afternoon, the U.S. House voted 236 to 189 to give itself six more weeks to sort out tangled legislation involving trade.

The House Republican leaders prodded their members to approve a rule change that extends time for a second vote on one part of a trade package. This portion, called Trade Adjustment Assistance, failed on Friday.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Fri June 12, 2015

Dealing Blow To Obama, Efforts To Pass Trade Plan Fail In The House

President Obama walks with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as he visits Capitol Hill on Friday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 1:14 pm

Dealing a big blow to President Obama's agenda, the House of Representatives failed to pass a key element of a package of bills that would have given Obama the ability to fast-track a trade deal with Pacific Rim nations.

The House began by voting on a bill that would provide funding for training Americans who would lose their jobs because of the trade deal. Failing to attract enough Democratic votes, the body rejected the measure by a large margin.

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Economy
2:30 pm
Fri June 5, 2015

Teens Hoping For More Jobs, Higher Wages This Summer

José Moncada, 16, signed up for a summer youth employment program in New York City. He said hopes to earn enough to help his family, which lives on less than $30,000 a year.
Kaomi Goetz for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 3:10 pm

Recipe for a good summer-job market: First, hire a lot of people in May. Second, give workers raises, and third, push down gasoline prices. Mix it all together — and pour out hope for teen workers.

"Having a job makes me feel really excited. I can put my own money in my pocket instead of asking my parents for money all the time," said José Moncada, a 16-year-old job seeker in New York City.

Moncada and other teens may have caught a break Friday when the economy followed that seasonal employment recipe precisely.

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It's All Politics
5:01 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

The Morning After: Lawmakers Vote To Reduce Amtrak Funding

"Starving rail of funding will not enable safer train travel," Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., told the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, admonished Democrats: "Don't use this tragedy in that way," he said. "It was beneath you."
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 5:24 pm

Transportation funding was going to get plenty of attention this week in Washington — even before an Amtrak train derailed about 140 miles to the north.

This is National Infrastructure Week, so lobbyists, labor leaders and activists started swarming Capitol Hill on Monday, seeking funds for roads, bridges and other projects related to transportation.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Would More Trade Help The Job Market Run Faster Or Trip It Up?

Workers unload cargo at the Port of Portland's Terminal 6 in Portland, Ore.
Rick Bowmer AP

The Labor Department's latest report shows employers created 223,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate went down another notch to 5.4 percent.

So, yay!

But study the wage figures in Friday's report — and your "yay" turns to "meh."

Workers got raises of just 0.1 percent in April. Over the past year, wages advanced only 2.2 percent, a pace that amounts to treading water for most families. The average workweek has stalled at 34.5 hours, unchanged from the previous month — and from a year ago.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Fed Chair Yellen's Warning Adds To Recent Market Jitters

Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen's remarks Wednesday made a lot of investors blink. But there's something to keep in mind before you sell based on her advice.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 6:06 pm

Both stock and bond markets had already been having a rough week, and then on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen added to the jitters.

She warned that stock valuations are "generally quite high," and that "there are potential dangers there."

So if you happen to be an investor who wants to buy low and sell high (and really, who doesn't?), then you might take Yellen's comment as a suggestion that it's time to sell.

And that's just what happened: Measures of U.S. stock prices all slipped — down about 0.7 percent by midday.

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Business
5:01 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Japan's Abe Pushes The Pacific Trade Deal Onto Center Stage

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a joint press conference at the White House with President Obama on Tuesday. Abe is urging U.S. lawmakers to approve a trans-Pacific trade deal.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

President Obama's plan for creating a Pacific Rim trade zone has been hovering in the wings, waiting for the right moment to demand attention.

On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushed it out on to center stage during a dramatic joint meeting of the U.S. House and Senate. He urged Congress to approve the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

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