Business

Business
3:29 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Top Vatican Bank Officials Resign

Ernst von Freyberg, president of the Vatican Bank Institute for Works of Religion, or IOR, talks with The Associated Press during an interview June 10 at his office in Vatican City. He was named the bank's interim director on Monday after the director and the deputy director both resigned.
Domenico Stinellis AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 8:42 pm

Two top officials of the Vatican bank resigned Monday just days following the arrest of a senior cleric with ties to the institution after police caught him with the equivalent of about $26 million in cash that they say he was trying to bring into Italy from Switzerland.

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Business
3:44 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Student Loan Rates Set To Double On July 1

The interest rate on new Stafford loans is going to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent Monday.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:00 pm

The interest rate on government-backed student loans is going to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent Monday.

Republicans, Democrats and the Obama administration could not agree on a plan to keep it from happening. Lawmakers say a deal is still possible after the July 4 recess. But if they don't agree on a plan soon, 7 million students expected to take out new Stafford loans could be stuck with a much bigger bill when they start paying the money back.

It has been one of the more heated debates in Washington this year.

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Business
3:43 am
Fri June 28, 2013

In Phoenix, 'Zombie' Subdivisions Rise From The Dead

Workers frame a home in Gilbert, Ariz., near Phoenix, in July 2012. Developers are buying up half-built and vacated subdivisions amid renewed demand for housing.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:57 am

Developers in Phoenix are scrambling to keep up with another frenzied demand for housing. During the Great Recession, homebuilders in the suburbs abandoned neighborhoods that were only half-built. These so-called zombie subdivisions left a ring of unfinished construction around the city.

But now, the zombies are waking up.

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Business
3:03 am
Thu June 20, 2013

A Surprising Barrier To Clean Water: Human Nature

Rodan Gatia gets water from a spring. A chlorine dispenser is behind her.
Jacob Goldstein NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 10:38 am

In many parts of the developing world, drinking a glass of water can be deadly — especially for young children, who can die of diarrheal diseases contracted from dirty water.

So getting clean water to people in the developing world has been a top priority for aid groups for a long time. But it's been a surprisingly hard problem to solve.

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Business
3:21 am
Wed June 19, 2013

U.S. Automakers Are On A Roll, But Hiring Is Slow And Steady

A worker installs parts on a Chrysler SUV engine at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Plants in the U.S. are now operating above 90 percent capacity, but automakers are wary of adding large numbers of new workers.
Geoff Robins AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:40 am

There is one basic question that keeps being asked about the U.S. auto industry: Is it on the rebound?

"People ask a lot, is the auto industry back?" says Kristin Dziczek, a director at the Center for Automotive Research. "And it depends on what scale you want to look at."

So if we're looking at scales, let's start with productivity. In this case, how many work hours it takes to build a car. Productivity in U.S. plants is 39 percent higher than it was in 2000. "Productivity has never been this high," Dziczek says.

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Business
3:05 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Why Buy A House When You Can Buy A Mountain?

Jeff Rosenthal, co-founder of Summit, in front of Powzilla, an open-top Suburban turned rock crawler.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:55 pm

It's not your everyday real estate deal. A team of young entrepreneurs persuaded about 50 deep-pocketed investors to help them purchase a mountain. The deal just closed in April, and development on Utah's nearly 10,000-acre Powder Mountain is now underway.

"When we made those first phone calls, everybody's like, what? That being said, they know that we aren't kidding," says Jeff Rosenthal, co-founder of Summit, the group that led the purchase of the peak.

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Business
3:59 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

FTC Can Sue Firms In 'Pay For Delay' Drug Deals, Court Rules

The Supreme Court has ruled that the FTC can challenge arrangements between makers of generic drugs and makers of brand-name products such as AndroGel, seen here on a computer monitor screen.
Reed Saxon AP

When the maker of a brand-name drug pays a maker of generic drugs to not produce a lower-priced version of their product, the Federal Trade Commission can challenge the arrangement on antitrust grounds, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The ruling may end the era of what regulators call "pay-for-delay" deals.

The justices voted 5-3 to allow a case to go forward in which the FTC is challenging one of many such deals. Several companies are involved in the case, including Solvay Pharmaceuticals, maker of AndroGel, and generic-drug maker Actavis.

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Business
3:19 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Why More People Are Renting Tires

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 1:44 pm

"Oh, I checked every place in town, and they were outrageous," says Shannon Kelly. "It would be anywhere from $4[00] to $500, and I just don't have that right now."

Kelly had just walked into Rent N Roll, a rent-to-own tire store in Ocala, Fla. She was looking to rent a set of tires for her truck. Tire rental stores like this one have been around for a while, but until recently, most of their customers rented fancy rims. These days, it's becoming more common for the stores to rent simple tires to people who don't have the cash to buy tires outright.

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Business
11:51 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Old McDonald Might Be A Lady: More Women Take Up Farming

Lisa Steketee restocks strawberries during the Laramie Farmers Market in Wyoming, in 2009.
Ben Woloszyn AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:18 pm

More women are getting into farming, according to a recent analysis from the U.S Department of Agriculture.

The agency crunched numbers from the Agriculture Census and found that the number of U.S. farms operated by women nearly tripled over the past three decades, from 5 percent in 1978 to 14 percent by 2007.

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Business
11:49 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Report: Overdraft Protection Puts Customers 'At Greater Risk'

Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 1:44 pm

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking at how overdraft fees affect consumers in a detailed report released Tuesday.

One of the stunning finds: "Overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees accounted for 61 percent of total consumer deposit account service charges in 2011 among the banks in the CFPB report."

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June 2013
12:23 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

What's Hot In Financial Markets Today

As a result of Joe Chornyak's recent meetings with portfolio managers, he uncovered some surprising insights as to what is HOT in financial markets today. Don't miss this video in which he shares with us his thoughts on creating the greatest opportunity over the long haul.

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Business
5:53 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Golden Years Tainted As Retirement Savings Dwindle

Michael and Katharine Powers don't expect to be able to retire. Here, they are with two of their daughters and Michael's grandfather.
Courtesy of the Powers family

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 8:58 am

"I'm a carpenter/cabinet-maker/woodworker, and I think I'll be retiring the day I die."

Michael Powers, 47, is not alone in his retirement insecurity. According to a Pew study published in May, members of Generation X — aged 38 to 47 — are on track to be the first generation to do worse in retirement than their parents. Assuming they retire at all.

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Business
8:14 am
Fri June 7, 2013

What Will Jobs Report Say? Slow Growth Is Best Bet

Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 10:41 am

There was modest job growth once again in May even as the nation's unemployment rate ticked up, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

According to BLS:

-- 175,000 jobs were added to public and private payrolls last month, slightly more than economists had expected.

-- The jobless rate rose to 7.6 percent from April's 7.5 percent. That rate can rise even as more jobs are added because the size of the labor force has also gone up.

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Business
10:31 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Microsoft, FBI Say They've Disrupted $500 Million Botnet

Buttons with the Microsoft logo are seen at a Comp USA store in 2007.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 12:11 pm

Working jointly with the FBI, Microsoft says it has disrupted a botnet responsible for stealing more than $500 million from bank accounts worldwide.

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Business
9:54 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Jobs Outlook Is Brighter For Class Of 2013

Graduates of Bowie State University wave to friends and family at the school's graduation ceremony in College Park, Md., on May 17. This year's graduates are finding better job prospects than at any time since 2008.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

For the last five years, graduation day has been as much a time for apprehension as for celebration.

Even now, with the Great Recession over, many recent graduates are still struggling to turn their high school and college diplomas into tickets for a better life. The unemployment rate for Americans under age 25 remains more than double the overall rate of 7.5 percent.

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Business
7:33 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Book News: Apple Vs. DOJ As Ebook Price-Fixing Trial Begins

An Apple store in Beijing, China opens.
Feng Li Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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FINANCIAL NEWS
12:28 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Preparing for Medicare Enrollment

With all the options available to you, the Medicare enrollment process can seem overwhelming, especially if you leave important decisions to the last minute. Commonwealth Financial Network provides the following advice to ease any potential discomfort about making the correct choices.

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April 2013
12:19 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Financial News From Chornyak & Associates

Where should we place our emphasis in savings and investment?  It's a question that we at Chornyak & Associates face frequently. The website Consumerism Commentary looks at both sides of the issue and comes up with some sound thoughts.  The answer?  It's a "moveable goal." 

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Business
9:04 am
Thu May 30, 2013

New Data Confirm The Economy Isn't Growing As Fast As Hoped

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 10:57 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

That basically confirms what the agency said a month ago, when it released its initial estimate for gross domestic product growth in the quarter. Then, it reported the economy had expanded at a 2.5 percent pace.

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Business
3:02 am
Thu May 30, 2013

How A Trip To Costco Can Work As An Investment Strategy

A recent trip to Costco cost NPR's Uri Berliner $303.53. The haul included razor blades, cans of soup and tuna fish, laundry detergent, heartburn relief medicine and dog treats. As an investment, it will pay off if he uses what he bought — and if the price tag for the same items is higher if he returns in a year.
Mary-Elizabeth Berliner

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:19 am

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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