Marilyn Geewax http://publicradiodelmarva.net en Frustrated With Congress, IMF Heads Leave D.C. With Budding Idea http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/frustrated-congress-imf-heads-leave-dc-budding-idea As far as looks go, Washington turned in a dazzling performance as host city for this past week's meetings at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.<p>Cherry blossoms peaked, tulips popped, and the air carried the sweet scent of hyacinths.<p>But politics-wise, Washington let down its global guests. Sun, 13 Apr 2014 14:41:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 52491 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Frustrated With Congress, IMF Heads Leave D.C. With Budding Idea German Fears About U.S. Spying Could Hurt Trade Deal http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/german-fears-about-us-spying-could-hurt-trade-deal Most Americans and Germans agree: More trade between the United States and the European Union would be a good idea.<p>But when you get down to details of a possible trade pact, suspicions pop up, <a href="http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/04/09/support-in-principle-for-u-s-eu-trade-pact/">according to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center</a> in association with Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation.<p>"There is a lot of fear" now in Europe about how much Americans might pry into Europeans' lives if they could impose their more relaxed privacy standards on the EU, Aart De Geus, CEO of the Ber Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:38:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 52367 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net German Fears About U.S. Spying Could Hurt Trade Deal Wonk Week In Washington: When Briefings Are Better Than Blossoms http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/wonk-week-washington-when-briefings-are-better-blossoms Let the senior-citizen tourists stare at the fluffy pink cherry blossoms.<p>Let the Midwestern seventh-graders tilt their heads back and gaze gape-mouthed at the Washington Monument.<p>Sure, this is a lovely week for them to be in Washington, D.C. It's April. It's gorgeous.<p>But no one is happier to be here this week than the wonks. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:49:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 52328 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Wonk Week In Washington: When Briefings Are Better Than Blossoms Turmoil in Ukraine Clouds The Region's Economic Outlook http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/turmoil-ukraine-clouds-regions-economic-outlook When Americans envision the European economy, they may think of modern factories churning out sleek German cars and chocolatiers perfecting Belgian truffles.<p>That developed part of Europe is perking up. <a href="http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2014/RES040814A.htm">The International Monetary Fund said this week</a> that, coming out of a crushing recession, Eurozone growth should be around 1.2 percent - sluggish but steady this year.<p>Another part of the continent, however, is anything but steady these days. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:09:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 52303 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net 21st Century Energy Outlook: Quite Similar To The Last Two Centuries http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/21st-century-energy-outlook-quite-similar-last-two-centuries The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's <a href="http://www.energyxxi.org"><em>Institute for 21</em><em><sup>st</sup></em></a><em><a href="http://www.energyxxi.org"> Century Energy</a> </em>sponsored the event.<p>But the speaker, Anthony Alexander, the chief executive of FirstEnergy Corp., offered a vigorous defense of that 20th century invention — nuclear power. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:06:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 52235 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Expecting A Spring Thaw, Shops And Restaurants Warm To Hiring http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/expecting-spring-thaw-shops-and-restaurants-warm-hiring As winter loosens its grip, employers are taking on more help.<p>Hotels, bars and restaurants added 33,000 workers, while retailers tacked on 21,000 jobs in March, the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">Labor Department said Friday</a>. Economists say those increases suggest employers are growing more confident that Americans will be spending more this year.<p>"Consumers still have the wherewithal to make discretionary purchases and were just waiting for the snow to be plowed and the temperatures to rise to resume spending," IHS Global Insight chief U.S. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 21:00:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 52036 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Expecting A Spring Thaw, Shops And Restaurants Warm To Hiring Stocks Or The Mattress? Winning The Retirement Championship http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/stocks-or-mattress-winning-retirement-championship This month, millions of Americans picked winners and losers in <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/24/293734452/march-madness-after-the-upsets-which-team-do-you-like-now">college basketball</a> games, hoping to make money from wise bets.<p>But you can play for much higher stakes by placing sensible bets with your savings. Fri, 28 Mar 2014 19:14:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 51616 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Stocks Or The Mattress? Winning The Retirement Championship Women And Wealth: Local To Global Money Lessons http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/women-and-wealth-local-global-money-lessons When it comes to money, women rule. Literally.<p>Think about it: A woman holds the top job at the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Social Security Administration.<p>At the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde is the managing director.<p>These women run large, complex organizations that decide how money is invested, budgeted, saved and spent. They shape the rules that govern the global economy.<p>But over on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, men still do more risk-taking.<p>Why is that?<p>And while U.S. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:31:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 51574 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Women And Wealth: Local To Global Money Lessons After Winter's Chill, Economists Predict A Warming Trend http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/after-winters-chill-economists-predict-warming-trend Somewhere under all of that melting snow, there's a warming economy.<p>"Adverse weather conditions" have hurt economic growth so far this year, but things are headed in the right direction now, according to a forecast released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics.<p>"Conditions in a variety of areas — including labor, consumer and housing markets — are expected to improve over the next two years, while inflation remains tame," Jack Kleinhenz, NABE president and chief economist for the National Retail Federation, said in a statement.<p>Each month, the association surveys pr Mon, 24 Mar 2014 04:09:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 51303 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net After Winter's Chill, Economists Predict A Warming Trend Paying For College: No Easy Answers For Many Families http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/paying-college-no-easy-answers-many-families The math is clear: College pays off.<p>Among Americans ages 25 to 32, college graduates earned $17,500 more than high school graduates in 2012 — the largest pay differential ever, according to <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/02/11/the-rising-cost-of-not-going-to-college/">Pew Research</a>. When it comes to earnings, "the picture is consistently bleaker for less-educated workers," the Pew study concluded.<p>But even as the value of a college diploma has been rising, the cost of tuition has been increasing even faster — far beyond the reach of most young people. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 07:59:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 50921 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Paying For College: No Easy Answers For Many Families Overtime Pay Proposal Triggers A New Debate About Wages http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/overtime-pay-proposal-triggers-new-debate-about-wages On Thursday, President Obama <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/13/289826847/obama-if-you-work-more-you-should-get-paid-more">rolled out his plan</a> for strengthening overtime pay protections for millions of workers. In his view, if more workers got fatter paychecks, they could spend more and stimulate the economy.<p>But if his critics are right, then employers would end up laying off workers to make up for the higher wage costs. And that would hurt the already painfully slow recovery.<p>Which scenario is right?<p>Economists are divided. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 12:49:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 50744 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Overtime Pay Proposal Triggers A New Debate About Wages Don't Run Out For Caviar Yet, But Wages Are Heading Higher http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/dont-run-out-caviar-yet-wages-are-heading-higher Friday's monthly <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">employment report </a>was encouraging — but not just for job seekers. People who already have work could find something to celebrate too: Hourly wages rose at a decent pace.<p>That's a welcome change for employees who have seen only very, very modest raises in this economic recovery.<p>The Labor Department said average hourly wages rose by 9 cents an hour in February, up to $24.31. Sat, 08 Mar 2014 10:20:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 50453 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Don't Run Out For Caviar Yet, But Wages Are Heading Higher Obama's Budget: Magic Wand Or Club? http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/obamas-budget-magic-wand-or-club Think of the <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview" target="_blank">budget plan released Tuesday</a> by President Obama as a magic wand. If he could wave it and make every line come true, how would the U.S. economy look?<p>Like this:<p>Wealthier Americans would be paying more in taxes, while poorer ones would be getting new tax credits. More roads would be under construction and scientists would be receiving more funding. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:46:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 50265 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Obama's Budget: Magic Wand Or Club? Marching Into Spring, Realtors' Hopes Rise http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/marching-spring-realtors-hopes-rise For real estate agents, March Madness has begun.<p>The rush is on to throw out clutter, paint walls and clean carpets. Historic data show the peak time for selling homes is April through July, and that means this is the month for spring cleaning.<p>"Freshen up the landscape and add that mulch now," Dallas Realtor Jeff Duffey recommended in a phone interview. Sun, 02 Mar 2014 10:26:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 50127 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Marching Into Spring, Realtors' Hopes Rise After A Weak Holiday Season, Wal-Mart Profits Shrink http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/after-weak-holiday-season-wal-mart-profits-shrink Wal-Mart on Thursday reported that its annual profits failed to grow. And failed by a lot.<p>Full-year net income tumbled to $16 billion, down by nearly $1 billion from the previous year.<p>That tells you a great deal about how hard the economy has been on the lower-income shoppers who make up Wal-Mart's core customer base, according to Charles Fishman, author of <em>The </em><em>Wal-Mart</em><em> </em><em>Effect</em>.<p>"This clearly reflects the economic constraints on people who shop at Wal-Mart," Fishman said.<p>The holiday season was especially disappointing. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 23:25:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 49638 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net After A Weak Holiday Season, Wal-Mart Profits Shrink U.S. Government Will Back Loans For Nuclear Power http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/us-government-will-back-loans-nuclear-power Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a multibillion-dollar loan guarantee Wednesday for building nuclear reactors in Georgia, underscoring the White House's plan for an "all of the above" energy strategy.<p>The two reactors will be the first built in this country in nearly three decades.<p>President Obama "sees nuclear energy as a part of his carbon-free portfolio" that also includes renewable energy sources, Moniz said during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 22:45:40 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 49577 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net U.S. Government Will Back Loans For Nuclear Power CBO: Minimum Wage Hike Could Boost Paychecks – And Cut Jobs http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/cbo-minimum-wage-hike-could-boost-paychecks-and-cut-jobs Whatever you already believed about raising the federal minimum wage, you now have more ammo for your argument, thanks to a report released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, titled <a href="http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44995-MinimumWage.pdf">"The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income."</a><p>Yes, you're right: Raising the wage in steps to $10.10 an hour by 2016 would push employers to cut jobs — about 500,000 of them, says the CBO, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress.<p>And yes, you're right: The proposed raise would lift n Tue, 18 Feb 2014 23:23:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 49514 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net CBO: Minimum Wage Hike Could Boost Paychecks – And Cut Jobs Many Flights Canceled, But Fewer Fliers Stranded On Tarmac http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/many-flights-canceled-fewer-fliers-stranded-tarmac Would-be air travelers sitting at home may be frustrated about their canceled plans. But most likely, they are happier than they would have been had they gotten trapped on an icy tarmac.<p>And that used to happen many hundreds of times a year before the Department of Transportation stepped in to reduce the frequency of passenger incarcerations.<p>DOT was responding to a fliers' revolt that kicked into high gear back on Valentine's Day 2007. That's when snow and ice led to JetBlue Airways' decision to strand hundreds of passengers on planes on the tarmac at New York's John F. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 23:10:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 49285 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Many Flights Canceled, But Fewer Fliers Stranded On Tarmac Disappointing Jobs Data May Point To A Tougher 2014 http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/disappointing-jobs-data-may-point-tougher-2014 <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/07/272956312/nervousness-about-economy-ahead-of-todays-jobs-report" target="_blank">Friday's unemployment report</a> confirmed what many workers already had suspected: Five years after the job market plunged off a cliff, the climb back remains a tough slog.<p>In January, employers created <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">113,000 additional jobs</a>, well below most economists' estimates of roughly 185,000. Fri, 07 Feb 2014 21:40:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 48967 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Disappointing Jobs Data May Point To A Tougher 2014 Which Way For Stocks? Investors Watch 'Worry Index' For Clues http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/which-way-stocks-investors-watch-worry-index-clues Anyone who invests in the stock market knows share prices can go up — and down. That's why they call it a market.<p>Still, this year, price movements have been fast and furious — shocking investors and prompting many to fear "volatility."<p>The Chicago Board of Options Exchange tracks the speed of price movements using its <a href="http://www.cboe.com/DelayedQuote/DQBeta.aspx?content=http%3A%2F%2Fdelayedquotes.cboe.com%2Fnew%2Findices%2Fquote.html%3FASSET_CLASS%3DIND%26ID_NOTATION%3D8941863">Volatility Index, or VIX</a>. Wed, 05 Feb 2014 20:38:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 48823 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Which Way For Stocks? Investors Watch 'Worry Index' For Clues U.S. Borrowing Is Less Of An Economic Worry, At Least For Now http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/us-borrowing-less-economic-worry-least-now Stock investors looking for a reason to feel optimistic about the economy may have found one this morning.<p>A <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010">new report</a> shows the federal budget deficit has done some <a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/02/04/271273908/the-deficit-the-talk-is-big-but-the-number-is-shrinking">mad shrinking</a> in recent years. Thanks to spending cuts, tax hikes and a stronger economy, the deficit in this fiscal year will be only $514 billion, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.<p>Whoa, you might say. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 17:14:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 48749 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Stocks Head Lower; Investors Wonder What's Next http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/stocks-head-lower-investors-wonder-whats-next If your New Year's resolution was, "I am going to prepare for retirement by moving my savings into stocks," then you must be very sad now.<p><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/02/270657316/seattle-dominates-denver-to-win-its-first-super-bowl-victory">Broncos-fan-level sad</a>.<p>On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged an additional 326 points, down about 2 percent to 15,373. That was the seventh triple-digit drop so far this year. Back on Dec. Mon, 03 Feb 2014 22:42:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 48711 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Stocks Head Lower; Investors Wonder What's Next 'A Global Bathtub': Rethinking The U.S. Oil Export Ban http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/global-bathtub-rethinking-us-oil-export-ban When oil supplies ran short and gasoline prices spiked four decades ago, angry drivers demanded relief. Congress responded in 1975 by banning most exports of U.S. crude oil.<p>Today, domestic oil production is booming, prompting U.S. energy companies to call for a resumption of exporting. Many economists agree.<p>But would that bring back the bad old days of shortages? Would you end up paying more at the pump?<p>Supporters of exports say Americans should not allow 40-year-old images of an energy crisis to distort how we see the world today. Sat, 01 Feb 2014 20:25:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 48617 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net 'A Global Bathtub': Rethinking The U.S. Oil Export Ban Need A Retirement Starter Kit? This Might Help http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/need-retirement-starter-kit-might-help Financial planners all say: The sooner you start saving, the better off you'll be in retirement.<p>But that advice often goes unheeded by young workers focused on paying down student debt and car loans. And even for those who can afford to set aside a little cash, investing can seem complicated and risky.<p>In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama said he's got a way to fix all of that. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 22:41:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 48444 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Need A Retirement Starter Kit? This Might Help Workers May Be Missing, Or Maybe Just Retiring http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/workers-may-be-missing-or-maybe-just-retiring For more than four years, the unemployment rate has been sliding down — from a 10 percent peak to today's 6.7 percent.<p>But does that reflect a fast-strengthening economy? Tue, 21 Jan 2014 16:13:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 47990 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Workers May Be Missing, Or Maybe Just Retiring IMF's Lagarde: Any U.S. Budget Deal Is Better Than None http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/imfs-lagarde-any-us-budget-deal-better-none Christine Lagarde, who heads the International Monetary Fund, offered some positive comments about Congress on Wednesday.<p>Her assessment was a shade better than "faint praise," but something less than "Attaboy!"<p>Speaking at the National Press Club, Lagarde said she was pleased to see U.S. Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:27:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 47749 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net What's Behind The Drop In Unemployment http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/whats-behind-drop-unemployment Whether you had a job or were looking for one, December was a gloomy month.<p>The Labor Department said Friday that for December, employers added <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">only 74,000 jobs</a> — about a third as many as most economists had been predicting. That was the lowest level of job creation in three years — not exactly the news that 10.4 million job seekers wanted to hear.<p>But even people who had paychecks got lumps of coal. Employers reduced the average workweek by 0.1 hours, down to 34.4 hours in December. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 19:46:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 47485 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net What's Behind The Drop In Unemployment Most Economists Say Happy New Year — Really http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/most-economists-say-happy-new-year-really As the new year begins, most economists' annual forecasts are brimming with good cheer.<p>"The economic news remains broadly encouraging," the Goldman Sachs forecasters write in their 2014 outlook.<p>And the brighter prospects are not limited to this country. "The global economy is likely to emerge in 2014 with modest growth of 3.3 percent compared with 2.5 percent this year," according to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at the forecasting firm IHS Global Insight.<p>Most stock analysts also see more gains coming on Wall Street. JPMorgan chief U.S. Wed, 01 Jan 2014 14:01:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 47021 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Most Economists Say Happy New Year — Really On-The-Job Deaths Spiking As Oil Drilling Quickly Expands http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/job-deaths-spiking-oil-drilling-quickly-expands Blue-collar workers, hit hard by automation and factory offshoring, have been struggling to find high-paying jobs.<p>One industry does offer opportunity: As baby boomers retire and drilling increases, oil and gas companies are hiring. Fri, 27 Dec 2013 21:21:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 46830 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net On-The-Job Deaths Spiking As Oil Drilling Quickly Expands Shop On The Web Or In The Store; Each Has Risks http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/shop-web-or-store-each-has-risks Back in ye olden days — say, a decade ago — many holiday shoppers worried about using credit cards to buy gifts online. They feared their information would end up in the hands of computer hackers.<p>Turns out, walking into a store and swiping a credit card can be plenty risky, too.<p>"There aren't good statistics measuring which one is a greater risk," said Greg Brown, chief technology officer for McAfee, a computer security company. Fri, 20 Dec 2013 12:05:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 46517 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Shop On The Web Or In The Store; Each Has Risks