For more: Why does the government subsidize crop insurance in the first place? We try to answer that question in our latest podcast.
The federal government spends about $7 billion a year on crop insurance for U.S. farmers. Policies are sold by private companies, but the government sets the rates, so the companies can't compete on price.
A British bank has agreed to settle charges that it illegally laundered Iranian money. The settlement with Standard Chartered was announced by New York banking regulators, who'd brought the charges just a week ago. The bank still is under investigation by the federal government. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more.
Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:32 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
NPR's business news starts with the top man at The Times.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: The New York Times has named its new president and CEO. The man who got the job is Mark Thompson, a former BBC executive. Thompson will face a different business model from the non-profit British broadcaster. The paper is run by a board that's largely elected by a family trust.
A federal appeals court has rejected an effort by Louisiana utility regulators to make Entergy Corp. subsidiaries in Arkansas and Mississippi pay for ending an agreement with their Entergy counterparts in Louisiana and Texas.
The ruling Tuesday by an appeals court in Washington deals with an agreement requiring the separate Entergy utilities to offer roughly equal electricity rates. At times, this has resulted in Entergy Arkansas making payments to Entergy affiliates with higher production costs — causing Arkansas customers to pay more.
The U.S. Department of Labor has set aside nearly $100 million in grants for states to set up or improve existing short-term compensation programs, commonly referred to as "work sharing."
Louisiana's share of the grant is $1.5 million. Work sharing allows employees to keep their jobs and helps employers to avoid laying off their workforce during economic downturns by reducing the hours of work for a group of affected workers.