Business

Business
1:06 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

How The Gender Pay Gap Has Changed (And How It Hasn't)

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:53 am

The pay gap between men and women has been narrowing for decades. But it persists, and it gets larger as women move toward the middle of their careers.

In a recent paper, Harvard economist Claudia Goldin looked at the gap in a bunch of different ways — how it's changed over time, how it changes over the course of people's careers, and how it varies from industry to industry.

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Business
10:52 am
Mon December 15, 2014

From Australia To France, Another Bad Day For Uber

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Screenshot

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 2:37 pm

Uber's troubles are mounting. The ride-sharing service was criticized in Australia after its "surge pricing" kicked in, quadrupling fares for some customers trying to flee the area in Sydney where a gunman took hostages in a cafe.

Here's a screenshot that one customer sent to Mashable with details of the increased fare:

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Business
5:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

That Nest Egg Needs To Last As Long As You Do. So How Do You Start?

While people can often estimate how much they might need for 10 or 15 years of retirement, that calculation becomes more difficult for retirement that could last 20 years or more.
Gary Waters Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:22 pm

Retirement for baby boomers will look different than it did for their parents — Americans are living longer, health care costs more, fewer people have pensions today, and many people facing retirement haven't saved much.

All of that makes managing the nest egg you do have even more vital. But many people need and want guidance on what they should do to make sure their retirement savings last.

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Chornyak & Associates
11:22 am
Mon December 8, 2014

News From Chornyak & Assoicates December, 2014: Winter Preparation Checklist

Commonwelath Financial Network warns us to avoid making the end of the year more stressful than it needs to be. By checking some items off your list earlier, you'll be free to focus on what's important during the holidays-spending time with family and friends.
 

Are you ready for colder weather and the end-of-the-year rush? Consider using some of these tips to help you save money and time as winter approaches.

Ready your home and car

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Business
6:43 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Holiday Shoppers Are Filling Their Carts, Online

Workers pack items Sunday at an Amazon fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif. Cyber Monday online sales jumped 8.5 percent over 2013.
Noah Berger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 7:45 pm

This weekend, Will Falls decided to skip the local mall near Raleigh, N.C., and shop online instead.

"No standing in line, no finding a parking spot," he says. "Just get comfortable and go at it."

Millions of Americans did the same — Falls helped contribute to an 8.5 percent increase in online shopping Monday compared with 2013, according to data from IBM.

That growth stands in contrast to an 11 percent drop in sales reported by the National Retail Federation at brick-and-mortar stores over the Black Friday weekend compared with a year ago.

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Business
2:07 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Small Retailers Jump On The Subscription Box Bandwagon

The Wantable company arranges makeup, jewelry/accessories and undergarments in a box to match each subscriber's tastes. The company started with three employees in 2012 and now has 24.
Alyssa Pointer MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 7:18 pm

For three years, Erin Maynard ran a store called The Geeky Cauldron out of her home in Phoenix. On the online artisan marketplace Etsy, she sold jewelry inspired by themes from popular books, films and TV shows: think vampires and wizards. For the most part, it made her decent income, but month-to-month sales were a roller coaster: Some months, sales topped $5,000, while other months they barely cracked $1,000.

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Business
5:48 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

As U.S. Leads Growth, It Wants Others To Step Up

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says the global economy is relying too heavily on just the United States for growth.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 6:41 pm

The global economy rolls along more smoothly when it's not riding a unicycle. It needs additional wheels for momentum and stability.

That is, in effect, what Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is telling leaders of other advanced nations.

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Business
3:35 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Coal Mines Keep Operating Despite Injuries, Violations And Millions In Fines

This photo of Roy Middleton working underground at the Kentucky Darby mine now sits on the mantel in the Middleton home in Harlan County, Ky. He was killed after an explosion in 2006.
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch/NPR Original photo courtesy of the Middleton family

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 9:21 am

Jack Blankenship was pinned facedown in the dirt, his neck, shoulder and back throbbing with pain.

He was alone on an errand, in a dark tunnel a mile underground at the Aracoma Alma coal mine in Logan County, W.Va., when a 300-pound slab of rock peeled away from the roof and slammed him to the ground. As his legs grew numb, he managed to free an arm and reach his radio. For two hours, he pressed the panic button that was supposed to bring help quickly.

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Business
5:22 pm
Sun November 9, 2014

Low Gas Prices Haven't Slowed Domestic Drilling — Yet

Lower oil prices, while good for the economy, are a threat to what has been a dramatic surge in oil production in the U.S.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 3:22 pm

It's lunchtime in Douglas, Wyo., a town smack in the middle of the state's booming oil patch, and the line of cars at the McDonald's drive-through wraps around the building. A hiring poster hangs in the window, and the parking lot is full.

Troy Hilbish, a tool hand for the oil field servicing company Schlumberger, says while he didn't know oil prices have been falling, he does know what falling prices mean.

"If the oil prices go up, we drill more," Hilbish says. "If they go down, we don't drill as much."

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Chornyak & Associates
3:38 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Five steps to survive your adult child's return home

When you waved your grown-up kids off to college, cheered at their graduation, congratulated them on a first job or helped them move in with a partner, you didn't expect that one day you'd be following up those milestones with: "Welcome home!"

But one of the ironies of 21st century life is that just at the crossroads when emerging adults want to take a great leap forward toward independence, many are forced by circumstance to come back home. 

The New Perfect Storm

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Business
5:39 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Some Americans Boosted Charitable Giving In Recession; The Rich Did Not

During the recession, middle-class and poor Americans gave more of their incomes to charity organizations than did the wealthy, according to a new study.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:44 pm

As times got tough in the recent recession, the less well-off of America's citizens became more generous when giving to charity. But at the same time, wealthy Americans cut the proportion of their incomes they donated, according to a new study that analyzed data from tax returns.

NPR's Pam Fessler reports for our Newscast unit:

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Business
7:06 am
Fri October 3, 2014

U.S. Manufacturing: A Remembrance And A Look Ahead

A worker cuts slabs of steel at a mill in Cleveland in 2004.
Ron Schwane AP

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 11:28 am

If it weren't for American manufacturing, I wouldn't be here today.

Literally.

A century ago, my grandfather moved from Poland to Youngstown, Ohio, to work in a steel mill. At the time, Ohio factories were cranking out steel slabs, tires and cars — building a mountain of wealth that the next generation could climb. And the generation after that.

But what will happen in the 21st century? Is the path that led to higher ground blocked now?

The answer is complicated.

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Business
3:36 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Bedbugs, Lava And Bowling Balls: Inside My Homeowners Insurance Policy

The details in a homeowners insurance policy are amazing
Jacob Goldstein NPR

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 9:02 am

My homeowners insurance policy reads as though somebody took all of the bad things that can happen in the world and divided them into two buckets: stuff that is covered and stuff that is not covered.

I'm covered for damage from fire, lightning and malicious mischief. I'm covered if a volcano spews lava onto my house. It's right here under "Additional Coverages." Paragraph 10. "Volcanic Action."

But there's this other section, "Losses Not Insured," that tells you how insurance really works. For example, Paragraph 2, Subparagraph e:

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Business
10:17 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Former Fed Bank Examiner Says Secret Tapes Show Fed Leniency

A former Federal Reserve employee says that audio recordings show Fed examiners being too gentle with the banks they regulate.
David Karp AP

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 10:43 am

The Federal Reserve is among the most powerful institutions in the nation and also among the more private. But new audio tapes secretly recorded by a former employee provide a rare look into meetings involving officials from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

In them, you hear officials considering how to oversee Goldman Sachs, and specifically, they discuss a financial transaction that one official describes as "legal but shady."

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Business
3:28 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Why Jewelry Stores Hide The Price Tags

How much for the blue one?
Stacey Vanek Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 10:12 am

When Tara Silberberg was a little girl, she helped out at her parents' jewelry store and wrote the prices on the tiny price tags.

"I had such good handwriting, too," said Silberberg. "Just teeny tiny, minuscule little handwriting."

Not that customers would see it: The price tags were turned upside down or tucked away. Even now, when Silberberg runs the store, she still hides the prices.

Customers have to ask Silberberg what the price is, or guess it. It's like playing a jewelry store version of The Price Is Right.

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Business
10:37 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Like It Or Not, Scotland's Drama May Hit Your Wallet

The Saltire, the flag of Scotland, flies near the Union Jack in Gretna in Scotland. Some economists say Thursday's vote on Scotland's independence could have wide-ranging economic impacts.
Andy Buchanan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:37 pm

Does news of Scotland's independence vote make your eyelids feel heavy?

Americans may feel a yawn coming on when told of a political squabble playing out in a distant land less populated than metro Atlanta.

But economists say this Thursday's vote is no snoozer. You may wake up to find its outcome has triggered another global financial upheaval.

To understand the risks to your economic health, let's first review a couple of basics:

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Business
5:17 am
Tue September 16, 2014

With Debt Collection, Your Bank Account Could Be At Risk

Conrad Goetzinger and Cassandra Rose struggle to pay their bills as $760 is garnished from their paychecks every two weeks by debt collectors. Twice, Goetzinger's bank account has been emptied by collectors after he failed to payoff a loan for a laptop.
Eric Francis AP for ProPublica

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:36 am

Kari Fiotti moved back to Omaha, Neb., in 2009 after a decade living in Italy. She had divorced her husband and returned to the U.S. to start a new life.

Then, Fiotti, 44, took a pricey fall.

"When I came back, I fell and I broke my wrist without insurance," she says.

Her doctor, she says, rejected her offer to make partial payments. So, like millions of Americans, her debt — which had grown to $1,640 with interest and fees — was turned over to collectors.

Fiotti soon learned how hard they would try to collect her unpaid bills.

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Business
3:40 am
Tue September 16, 2014

GM Ignition-Switch Defect Now Linked To 19 Deaths

Kenneth Feinberg, who is administrating a crash victims fund, testified before a Senate commerce subcommittee hearing in July that was examining accountability and corporate culture following GM recalls.
Lauren Victoria Burke AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 11:03 am

A special compensation fund for victims of GM's faulty ignition switch has issued its first report, and it makes clear that GM will pay claims for more than the 13 deaths the automaker says were linked to the defect.

GM established the voluntary compensation fund as part of its ongoing mea culpa for delaying an ignition switch recall for a decade.

The program is only for Cobalts, HHRs, Saturn Ions and a few other GM models, all no longer in production, and only for those killed or injured when their airbags did not deploy because the ignition switch had turned off.

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Business
9:29 am
Fri September 12, 2014

U.S. Threatened To Fine Yahoo $250K A Day If It Didn't Release User Data

Yahoo's new logo.
Yahoo.com

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 8:39 am

In a dramatic showdown in 2008, the United States government threatened to sue the Internet giant Yahoo! $250,000 a day if it did not turn over a vast amount of user data.

That's according to the company's general counsel, who announced today that it had won a fight to release documents relating to a secret court decision, which sided with the government, finding the broad request constitutional.

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Business
3:21 am
Thu September 11, 2014

The Alibaba Effect: How China's eBay Transformed Village Economics

Handsome Zhang — that's his real name in Mandarin --€“ runs a shipping company, one of many supporting businesses spawned by East Wind village's furniture industry. The shipping business helped Zhang, 25, buy this Kia sports car.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 10:58 am

The Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba is poised this week for what could be one of the biggest IPOs in Wall Street history. One reason Alibaba has been so dominant in China is its business-to-consumer platform, Taobao, a sort of Chinese eBay.

Last year, Taobao and Alibaba's brand-name retail site, Tmall, drove nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in transactions.

Along the way, Taobao has even transformed village economies.

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