As we start this next story, let's remember that college football is big business, TV contracts, million dollar coaching salaries, game day revenues and more. Everybody profits except the players who may get treated like royalty and get all sorts of benefits on campus, but technically, are not supposed to be paid. So are they students or are they employees risking their health and the service of a big business?
A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.
On a Sunday at dusk, Amtrak's eastbound Empire Builder train is jampacked, filled with people heading to their jobs in North Dakota towns like Minot, Williston and Watford City.
After losing a lot of ground, stock prices were back up a bit today. Investor anxiety about the state of the world's currency markets seemed to ease. The current turmoil is reminiscent of the 1997 currency crisis in Asia, which hurt economies all over the world.
As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, there are also some big differences.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 12:54 pm
When you are out of work and looking for 27 weeks or longer, you become part of a group the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls long-term unemployed. The share of long-term unemployed workers hit its peak in May 2010, when 46 percent of the unemployed were long-term unemployed. It has hovered around 40 percent of the unemployed in the three years since.
For years, industrial cities across the U.S. have watched factories pack up and leave, taking their operations to Mexico or China. But here's something relatively new: increasing numbers of Chinese companies are bringing manufacturing to the United States.
Just south of Dayton, Ohio, a Chinese auto-glass maker now plans to open up shop in what used to be a large General Motors truck plant.
The announcement is a big deal for this former factory town.
Now it's time for our Money Coach conversation. You've heard by now about the problems at a number of retail stores like Target and Neiman Marcus, where hackers were able to access supposedly private information from the millions of customers who used credit and debit cards at the stores. But now there are people trying to take advantage of that chaos and scam you again. Here to tell us more is Sheryl Harris who writes for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Welcome back. Thanks so much for joining us.
As the enrollment period continues for health coverage on the state health insurance marketplaces, people continue to have many questions about buying a plan there.
What happens with premium tax credits if a couple gets divorced? If the premium tax credit is based on the previous year's income when the couple filed taxes jointly, many wouldn't qualify. But once someone is divorced, one individual might have little income. What is the subsidy based on in that situation?
In recent years, rampant borrowing has driven a significant chunk of China's economic growth. The bill is now becoming clearer — and it's big. Late last year, China revealed that local governments owe nearly $3 trillion – more than the gross domestic product of France, the world's fifth-largest economy.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
On the way into work this morning, I felt a blast of cold air on my face. It was 19 degrees in Washington, unpleasant even for a few minutes. And we're going to hear next about people who spent the whole night outside in temperatures that were even lower.
NPR's business news starts with income inequality.
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INSKEEP: President Obama has dropped a few hints that one of the themes of his State of the Union address tonight will be the growing gap between the rich and the poor. He recently called economic mobility and inequality the defining challenge of our times. So is it?
Harvard researchers have been examining this question, including a co-author of a study, Nathan Hendren.
Here's another item likely to be part of tonight's State of the Union address: helping the long term unemployed. The president is expected to announce that some of America's firms have signed a pledge not to discriminate against the long term unemployed when they're hiring. This week, the president plans to meet with many of the CEOs of those companies. NPR's Zoe Chace from our Planet Money team reports on the surprising experiment that, in part, lead to this meeting.
Federal Reserve officials are meeting this week to decide whether to continue easing up on economic stimulus measures. The pullback by the Fed so far is being felt around the world, especially in some emerging markets.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will preside over his last Fed policy-making meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Saturday morning, the first woman ever to lead the nation's central bank, Janet Yellen, will take over.
There's no doubt that during his two terms as chairman, Bernanke faced a challenge unlike any Fed chairman since the Great Depression: a global financial crisis that threatened to become financial Armageddon and followed by a deep recession.
Bernanke talked about how he survived it all during an appearance at the Brookings Institution recently.
Beginning next week, NPR News will be taking an in-depth look at the unprecedented oil drilling boom happening on the Northern Plains, where the state of North Dakota has fast become one of the nation's most productive drilling regions. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with NPR reporter Kirk Siegler, back from a recent reporting trip in North Dakota for the series.
Stock prices soared in the past year, but this was a rough week and prices really tumbled today. The Dow lost 318 points, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ both fell 2.1 percent. This was part of a global sell-off, as investors focus on the growing financial turmoil in the developing world. NPR's Chris Arnold is following this and he joins me now. Chris, the year started off looking like the global economy was more stable. We didn't have a financial crisis unfolding somewhere. So what's going on now?
More and more people are buying homes with pure cash. In December, all-cash purchases accounted for 42.1 percent of all U.S. residential sales, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac, a company that collects and analyzes housing data.
Montreal-based Bixi, which came up with the bike sharing systems offered in many American cities, has filed for bankruptcy. Renee Montagne talks with Andy Riga of the Montreal Gazette about where things went wrong for Bixi, and the future prospects of its operations in North America.
And as we just heard from Jim, economic mobility may not have changed much in the last 20 years, but income inequality has skyrocketed. More on the latter now from Michael Dimock, vice president of research at the Pew Research Center. Pew has a new survey out, asking Americans what they think about income inequality.
Michael Dimock, welcome once again.
MICHAEL DIMOCK: Thanks for having me.
SIEGEL: And first finding is Americans say there is growing income inequality, yes?
You might think that retailers have to let you know right away if they get hacked and someone steals your account information.
But recent disclosures by Target and Neiman Marcus that their networks were hacked, and data about their consumers were stolen, have raised questions about how quickly merchants need to alert their customers.
In the case of Neiman Marcus, the company may have had evidence of a breach as far back as July. But the law is a bit murky on just how quickly companies need to let customers know.
The World Economic Forum is underway at the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos. It's an annual meeting of the world's business elites but also in attendance are world leaders and academics, celebrities and charities.
Gideon Rachman is chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times. He's a regular at Davos and he joined us from there. Good morning.
GIDEON RACHMAN: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: Tell us about who is there this year and if there are some names that you're surprised to find are not.
Spain's banking system on Thursday is marking an end to its reliance on bailout loans from Europe that were desperately needed 18 months ago to shore up its banks after a construction boom-and-bust.
Spain is now the second eurozone country to cleanly exit its bailout program, after Ireland.
It's a dramatic difference from a year and a half ago, when demonstrations erupted outside banks in Spain almost daily. At the time, record numbers of Spaniards were losing their homes in foreclosure. Unemployment soared past 25 percent and kept rising.