Economy & Business

News
5:18 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Auto Loan Surge Fuels Fears Of Another Subprime Crisis

Auto dealers are extending loans to a growing number of people with weak credit.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 5:29 pm

The number of Americans buying autos approached a record high last year. It's one more sign of how much the economy is improving.

But there's a big potential downside that's evoking comparisons to the subprime mortgage boom. Auto dealers are extending loans to a growing number of people with weak credit, and more of them are having trouble making payments.

When Chris Westervelt moved from Texas to Alaska to take a job, he decided to trade in his Mazda for a car that could handle snow and ice.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Goodbye, Garden Yeti: In-Flight Catalog SkyMall Files For Bankruptcy

A signature SkyMall item: The hot dog bun toaster.
SkyMall

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 1:43 pm

SkyMall, the ubiquitous in-flight catalog that reliably greets you in the seatback pocket, is falling victim to technological innovation.

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Business
4:08 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Flexible Income Opportunity Helps Cities Warm To Uber, Study Says

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 6:53 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
9:47 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

To Keep Planes From Disappearing, NTSB Urges Constant Tracking

One of many relatives who waited in vain for news of loved ones aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The NTSB hopes to get faster answers by requiring better technology, especially on planes that fly over large bodies of water.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:48 pm

In a response to recent incidents in which large commercial airliners have vanished into oceans, the National Transportation Safety Board is calling for new regulations requiring all passenger planes that fly over large bodies of water to be equipped with more sophisticated flight tracking technologies.

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The Salt
6:03 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Investment Fund Pours Cash Into Cleaner, Greener Fish Farming

World Resource Institute

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 3:28 pm

Like it or not, our seafood increasingly originates not in the deep ocean but on fish farms hugging the coasts. Aquaculture already supplies about half of the world's seafood, and global production is going to have to more than double by 2050 to meet demand, according to the World Resources Institute.

The business opportunity here is tremendous. Thousands of operations around the world now produce huge numbers of salmon, shrimp, mussels, tilapia and catfish, to name a few fish species that thrive on farms.

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Business
5:21 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Family Dollar Shareholders Approve Takeover By Dollar Tree

Family Dollar shareholders agreed Thursday to sell the company to rival chain, Dollar Tree for $8.7 billion. Family Dollar turned down a bigger offer from Dollar General due to antitrust concerns.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 5:49 pm

The Great Recession hobbled the U.S. economy and crushed many businesses, but some companies thrived, including the so-called "dollar" stores.

Shoppers flocked to them because you could buy a lot with not much money. And as the economy rebounds, people are still going to some. But one chain, Family Dollar, hasn't kept pace with its competitors.

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Business
4:13 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Google Could Provide Relief To Sprint, T-Mobile With Wireless Deal

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 7:12 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Europe
4:13 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

European Central Bank To Try Its Hand At Quantitative Easing

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 5:28 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
3:01 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Debate: Is Amazon The Reader's Friend?

Franklin Foer recently wrote a cover story for The New Republic titled, "Amazon Must Be Stopped." He argued against Amazon at the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate — and won.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Amazon owns 41 percent of all book sales and 67 percent of all e-book sales mainly because it offers lower prices. But the e-commerce company came under fire in late 2014 when Amazon and the publishing house Hachette faced off over who should set the price for e-books. The debate raises questions about Amazon's growing place in the market, the changing role of publishers and the value of books in our society.

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Planet Money
2:35 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

How Much More (Or Less) Would You Make If We Rolled Back Inequality?

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 3:28 pm

What would incomes look like for U.S. families today if the income distribution were the same as it was in 1979?

Larry Summers recently made this really intriguing calculation in the FT.

His conclusions:

  • Families in the bottom 80 percent of the income distribution would be making $11,000 more per year, on average, than they're earning today.
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