Business & Technology

Planet Money
3:11 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Just How Blind Are Blind Trusts, Anyway?

J.D. Pooley Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 9:32 am

As Mitt Romney has faced questions about his investments and tax returns, the likely Republican presidential nominee has responded with two words of explanation: blind trust.

Romney keeps most of his wealth in a blind trust designed to prevent him from knowing exactly where his money is and what it's doing. It's a long tradition for presidents and candidates, though anyone can set one up if he wants to.

But it turns out that not all blind trusts are equally blind. Some are cast into complete and utter darkness. Others are more nearsighted.

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Around the Nation
11:20 am
Fri July 20, 2012

For Stockton, Calif., Bankruptcy 'Freezes Everything'

Many cities around the country are faced with growing costs and shrinking revenue. Despite making sweeping cuts, Stockton, California recently became the largest city to file for bankruptcy. Host Michel Martin talks with Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston about how she's managing a city that's operating in the red.

Business & Technology
6:04 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Tidewater sees growth in Africa market

Executives of offshore oil and gas fleet provider Tidewater Inc. told shareholders Thursday that prospects are bright the company's African market.

The Times-Picayune reports more than 90 percent of New Orleans-based Tidewater's fleet of oil and gas service vessels operates abroad. The largest concentration is in waters off sub-Saharan Africa, where Tidewater stations 132 vessels, about half its fleet.

Chief Operating Officer Jeff Gorski told shareholders attending the company's annual meeting that Africa is expected to continue to be a leading market.

All Tech Considered
4:56 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

As Wikipedia Gets Pickier, Editors Become Harder To Find

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales speaks during "Wikimania 2012," an international Wikimedia conference, in Washington, D.C.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 5:38 pm

Admit it. You've used the free, crowd-sourced entries of Wikipedia to brush up on history or look up a fact or two in many a trivia conundrum. And you're not alone. Since Wikipedia was launched more than a decade ago, millions of Web users have "Wikied" this or that.

But what have you done for Wikipedia lately?

Maybe you've added a sentence or two to an entry, or even created a new page about for your favorite up-and-coming indie artist.

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Business
4:53 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Earnings up for Pool Corp. in second quarter

Pool Corp., the Covington-based distributor of swimming pool and backyard supplies, reported improvement in its second-quarter net income on Thursday.

The company said net income for the quarter was $65 million, or $1.34 a share. In the same period a year ago, the company reported net income of $59 million, or $1.19 a share.

Revenue rose to $757.2 million from $706 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Casino Revenue
4:50 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Louisiana casinos take in $203 million in June

Louisiana's state-licensed casinos took in nearly $203 million from gamblers in June, a 3 percent growth in winnings over their take a year earlier and a slight dip from the previous month.

The figures, compiled by the state police, were presented Thursday to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

Across the state, the mix of riverboat, land-based and race track casinos brought in nearly $6 million more than the $197 million they collected in June 2011.

The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

A First As A Public Company, Microsoft Reports Quarterly Loss

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer comments on the Windows 8 operating system before unveiling Surface, a tablet computer to compete with Apple's iPad.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 5:18 pm

Microsoft made a $6.2 billion accounting adjustment this quarter that threw it into negative territory for the first time as a public company, the AP reports.

Microsoft took the charge mostly based on the acquisition of aQuantive, an online advertising company Microsoft acquired in 2007.

As MSNBC reports, the "charge was an acknowledgement that the company's struggling online services division — which lost about half a billion dollars in the previous quarter — is a significant financial drag on the company." Microsoft, remember, is the owner of the search engine Bing.

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Concordia Flood Recovery
4:35 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Concordia still feeling economic effect of floods

VIDALIA — The Concordia Economic and Industrial Development District is still feeling the effects of last year's Mississippi River flood.

The Natchez Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/LushVu) that the district board figures for the year that ended June 13 show revenues from hotel taxes totaled $71,000 — a decrease from the $90,000 it collected the previous fiscal year.

Project-Based Opportunity Program
4:25 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

State taking applications for Katrina business loan program

The state of Louisiana is accepting applications for a program offering low-interest loans of up to $5 million to businesses affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

The state Office of Community Development said in a statement Wednesday that the loans are designed to address "unmet business recovery needs" and stimulate economy recovery.

Funding for 11 projects already has been approved through the "Project-Based Opportunity Program."

The loans are funded by federal grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Business & Technology
4:23 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Entergy, Cleco customers can expect some refunds soon

Officials say customers at two Louisiana-based energy companies will be receiving refunds as credits on their energy bills this summer.

Members of the state's Public Service Commission voted to let Pineville-based electricity provider Cleco Corp. put a refund on its customers' September bills.

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