Business

Business
12:34 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Debate Over Rebuilding Beaches Post-Sandy Creates Waves

Ongoing beach nourishment, like this project in Viriginia Beach, has been the topic of debate. Some people say it's needed to protect beach communities; others decry the costs.
Pam Spaugy U.S. Army

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 12:49 pm

For a half-century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been in the beach business, dredging up new sand as shorelines wash away. Federal disaster aid for Superstorm Sandy could provide billions more for beach rebuilding, and that has revived an old debate: Is this an effective way to protect against storms, or a counterproductive waste of tax dollars?

On a recent blustery day at Virginia Beach, the latest beach nourishment project is in full swing. A bulldozer smooths out pyramids of sand, and on the horizon, a large, black hopper dredge appears with another load.

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Business
3:34 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Google Posts How It Handles Requests For Users' Data

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 10:11 am

Google wants you to know you're being watched. Or rather, the company wants you to know how and when the police get to watch what you do online.

For the first time, the company has posted its policies for when it gives up users' information to the government. It's part of a broader company strategy to push for tougher privacy laws.

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Business
3:29 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Hemp Gets The Green Light In New Colorado Pot Measure

Hemp products for sale in Washington, D.C., in 2010. The U.S. is the world's largest consumer of hemp products, although growing hemp is illegal under federal law. Colorado recently passed a measure that legalizes growing hemp.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 10:13 am

With recreational marijuana now legal in Colorado, small-scale pot shops will open up soon in places like Denver and Boulder. But that's not the only business that could get a boost: Large-scale commercial farmers may also be in line to benefit.

Why? When Colorado voters legalized marijuana last November, they also legalized hemp.

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Business
1:49 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Free Breast Pumps And The Cost Of Health Care

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:12 pm

Health insurance plans now have to cover the full cost of breast pumps for nursing mothers. This is the result of a provision in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and the new rule took effect for many people at the start of this year.

It's led to a boom in the sale of the pumps, which can cost hundreds of dollars.

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Business
6:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Dependent On Arms Plant, N.Y. Town Braces For Gun Laws' Impact

Standing near the Remington Arms factory, Beth Neale, deputy mayor of Ilion, N.Y., says she's watched a lot of large manufacturers leave the region. She's not sure Ilion would easily recover from losing Remington.
Marie Cusick for NPR

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 1:30 pm

When New York state passed a wave of new gun-control laws on Jan. 15, it outlawed a type of assault rifle made just over an hour's drive from the state capital.

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News from Chornyak & Associates
12:11 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

IRS Trends in Tax Auditing

Are you aware of the significant changes in the way the IRS targets taxpayers for audits and how it conducts the exams?  

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Business
3:27 am
Thu January 10, 2013

The North Dakota Town Where A One-Bedroom Apartment Rents For $2,100 A Month

Yours, for $2,100 a month
Josh Marston

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:04 pm

A plain, one-bedroom apartment in Williston, N.D., rents for $2,100 a month. For this price, you could rent a one-bedroom apartment in New York City.

Williston is not New York City. There are 30,000 residents and one department store. The nearest city is two hours away.

Rents are so high in Williston because the town is in the middle of an oil boom. Unemployment is below 1 percent, and workers are flooding into town.

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Business
9:15 am
Tue January 8, 2013

New Bank Rule: Sounds Boring, Actually A Big Deal

The Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland: world capital of bank rules that sound boring but are actually a big deal.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 5:59 pm

We don't hear much about bank liquidity, partly because it sounds so dull. It's much more fun to talk about prop trading (fear the London Whale!) or structured finance (synthetic CDOs are crazy!).

But if you're trying to figure out how safe banks are — and how willing they'll be to make loans to ordinary people — liquidity is at least as important as other, more-dramatic-sounding corners of finance.

So the new liquidity rules global banking regulators released yesterday are a big deal for the real economy.

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Business
5:45 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Why Is Google Exec Interested In North Korea?

Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt (left) arrives at Pyongyang International Airport on Monday. There is speculation that Schmidt's presence in North Korea could have an upside for Google by positioning Schmidt as the company's global ambassador.
David Guttenfelder AP

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 6:39 pm

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, has landed in North Korea. His trip there is a bit of a mystery.

Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, has been a vocal proponent of providing people around the world with Internet access and technology. North Korea doesn't even let its citizens access the open Internet, and its population is overwhelmingly poor — so it's not exactly a coveted audience for advertisers.

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Business
5:07 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

The $1.76 Million Tuna: Great For Publicity, Bad For The Species

Sushi chain owner Kiyoshi Kimura poses with a bluefin tuna in front of his Sushi Zanmai restaurant in Tokyo on Saturday. He paid more than $1.7 million for the fish.
Shuji Kajiyama AP

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:52 pm

It's become an annual tradition: bidding up an outrageous price for a Pacific bluefin tuna during the first auction of the new year at Toyko's Tsukiji fish market.

And on Saturday, a bluefin tuna big enough to serve up about 10,000 pieces of sushi fetched a mind-boggling price: $1.76 million. That's about three times as much as last year's tuna and equates to about $3,600 per pound for the 489-pound fish.

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Business
11:57 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Big Banks Agree To Pay $8.5 Billion To Settle Foreclosure-Abuse Claims

April 2011: A foreclosure sign in front of a home in Richmond, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 6:26 pm

Ten of the nation's major mortgage servicing companies, including household names such as Bank of America and Citibank, have agreed to pay $8.5 billion to resolve claims that they abused some homeowners when they foreclosed on mortgages during the recent housing crisis, the Federal Reserve and the Comptroller of the Currency announced late Monday morning.

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Business
8:39 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Bank Of America To Pay Fannie Mae $3.6B, Buy Back $6.75B In Mortgages

Bank of America's corporate center in Charlotte, N.C.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:43 am

Bank of America announced this morning that it will pay the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) $3.6 billion in cash and will buy back $6.75 billion worth of mortgages to resolve claims related to mortgage-backed securities sold to Fannie Mae by the bank and Countrywide Financial Corp. (which BofA acquired in 2008.

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Business
5:55 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

iPads, China: Twin Threats To Wisconsin's Paper Industry

The Nekoosa Paper Mill was established in 1883. Its mill in Nekoosa, Wis., sits on the banks of the Wisconsin River, and is now owned by a Canadian paper company.
Mike De Sisti Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 8:11 pm

Deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, lumberjacks still cry "timber," just not as often as they once did. Across the state, milling lumber into good paper, the kind called "knowledge" grade for books, has employed thousands for more than a century, and created a distinct culture.

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Business
11:10 am
Fri January 4, 2013

After Sandy, Can The Jersey Shore Come Home Again?

A woman walks past a cabana complex pulled off its foundations by Superstorm Sandy in Sea Bright, N.J., in November.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 8:25 pm

Think about it and you'll start to realize how important the Jersey shore is to American culture. Sure there's the television show Jersey Shore, but there are more enduring signs. Consider the board game Monopoly; properties are named after Atlantic City locations. And during a television fundraiser for Superstorm Sandy victims in November, comedian Jimmy Fallon talked specifically about the Jersey Shore.

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Business
11:07 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Budget Deal Provides Tax Breaks For Green Energy

Ruben Fragoso checks out appliances at Best Buy in Miami in April 2010, when Florida residents were taking advantage of a federally funded discount for Energy Star-rated appliances. Legislation just passed by Congress as part of the fiscal-cliff deal includes tax breaks for energy-efficient appliances.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:27 pm

Whether you're a homeowner who bought an energy-saving refrigerator last year or a company hoping to build a wind farm, the tax package Congress just approved may give you a reason to cheer.

"It's got something in there, a Christmas gift if you will, for almost everyone — American homeowners, workers who commute via transit, and manufacturers of efficient equipment like clothes washers, dryers, refrigerators," says Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy.

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Business
8:59 am
Fri January 4, 2013

155,000 Jobs Added In December, Jobless Rate At 7.8 Percent

Looking for work: The scene at a "diversity job fair" in Manhattan last month.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:00 pm

There were 155,000 jobs added to public and private payrolls in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

That's right in line with economists' expectations and is another sign of steady, though modest, growth in employment. In November, employers added an estimated 161,000 jobs. The average monthly gain in 2012 was 153,000 jobs, BLS says. That's the same average as in 2011.

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Business
7:14 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Did Hiring Pick Up As 2012 Ended? We'll Find Out Shortly

The scene at a job fair in San Mateo, Calif., earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:38 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Yuki Noguchi previews the jobs report

8:35 a.m. ET. And the answer is: 155,000 jobs added to payrolls in December; the jobless rate held at 7.8 percent. (November's rate was revised up to 7.8 percent.)

Our original post:

Here it comes — the always eagerly anticipated news about jobs and the nation's unemployment rate.

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Business
3:20 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

The Phantom Tax That Made The Deficit Look Better

The alternative minimum tax created a "useful fiction," as one analyst says, by appearing to shrink budget deficits.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

As Americans continue to sort out the contents of the fiscal cliff legislative package passed by Congress Tuesday, they are finding elements they like and some they hate.

There's one exception. Everyone is glad Congress finally found a permanent fix for the alternative minimum tax.

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Business
2:46 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Transocean To Pay $1.4 Billion In Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

The Transocean Discoverer Enterprise drill ship collects oil from the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil well as workers try to stem the flow of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, June 12, 2010.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:10 pm

Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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Business
1:16 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Deal To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' Appears Likely

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 10:01 am

  • NPR's coverage of President Obama's comments on the "fiscal cliff" talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

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