Business & Technology

Economy
3:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Economic Update

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 4:58 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

If Ben Bernanke is frustrated by the economy, as he seems to be, he might look at a recent issue of The Economist magazine. Editors there see enough strength that they saw fit to print an illustration of Uncle Sam as a bare-chested muscleman.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's talk about that and more with regular guests on this program, Zanny Minton Beddoes of The Economist. Welcome back to the program.

ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES: Nice to be here.

INSKEEP: And David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal. Hi, David.

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Business
3:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 7:39 am

One big reason Canadians have pulled ahead, is the U.S. housing bust destroyed a lot of wealth. Home values in Canada have remained steady, and lately, they've even enjoyed a housing boom.

Business
3:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Are Pagers Obsolete?

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story is for people who go for old-school technology. If you're the kind of person who owns a tube television - not one of those flat screens - nothing wrong with that. Or maybe you're the kind of person who has an old Walkman with cassette tapes hiding in a drawer somewhere. Maybe you even still use it. And if you're holding on to technology that others have deemed obsolete, you are not alone.

Reporter Tracey Samuelson found some dated devices in a place that might surprise you.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEPING)

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Business
3:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Would-Be Homebuyers Appear To Be More Confident

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the nation's homebuilders are feeling more optimistic than they have since March, 2007, just before the beginning of the Great Recession. What's more, the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index has posted its largest one-month gain in roughly a decade.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: David Crowe, the chief economist at the Home Builders Association says things are definitely looking up. It's a trend that began last September.

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All Tech Considered
6:04 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

New Yahoo CEO Among A Rare Few: Women Execs With Tech Creds

Marissa Mayer left Google to become the CEO of Yahoo. She was Google's 20th hire and is responsible for the look and feel of many of Google's major products.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 7:49 pm

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

HSBC Executive Resigns During Money Laundering Hearing

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 6:06 pm

David Bagley, HSBC's head of group compliance, resigned in the middle of a Senate hearing today that was looking into charges that the bank had been lax in meeting government requirements, allowing Mexican cartels to launder money and giving terrorists access to the American banking system.

Bloomberg reports:

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NPR Story
3:43 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Bernanke: U.S. Economic Growth Is Slowing

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 4:16 pm

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers that progress toward bringing down the nation's high unemployment rate will be "frustratingly slow." He reiterated previous statements that the Fed stands ready to do more, but declined to be specific about what it would do. Bernanke also defended the Fed's role in addressing the manipulation of a benchmark interest rate by at least one big bank.

Louisiana Credit Rating
2:56 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Moody's takes note of Louisiana Medicaid cut

Moody's Investors Service says Louisiana's loss of as much as $859 million in Medicaid financing is a "credit negative" for the state.

The notation from the bond-rating agency does not yet affect the state government bond rating — currently high investment grade and stable — but denotes for investors a significant change in the state's balance sheet.

The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/Q4abRS) the cut is tied to a congressional reduction in Louisiana's federal Medicaid financing rate.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Sometimes, 4Chan Users Do The Right Thing

This is the photo posted on 4Chan last night.
Anonymous

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 2:42 pm

4Chan is a cesspool. That's not even editorializing. A few minutes on the notorious, free-for-all Internet message board that gave birth to Anonymous will — in the famous words of Gawker — "melt your brain."

But every once in a while, they do the right thing — like today.

As Hypervocal reports, last night a 4Chan user posted a picture of someone standing on two containers full of lettuce with the taunting caption: "This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King."

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Business
11:37 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Debt, Debt And More Debt: Is Democracy To Blame?

The marble statue of Plato stands in front of the Athens Academy in Athens. The ancient Greek philosopher had his doubts about democracy.
Dimitri Messinis AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 12:03 pm

High-profile experts are staging two separate Washington press conferences Tuesday to demand action on public-debt problems. One group is targeting state budget crises; the other, the federal budget mess.

If the ancient Greek philosopher Plato were still alive, he might hold a third press conference to declare: "It's hopeless. I told you so. Democracy will always degenerate into chaos because people will vote for their immediate self interests, not the long-term good."

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