Economy & Business

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Before a solar project, Mark Holohan usually gives his customers plenty of time to mull over the cost. But lately, installers are scooping up panels so quickly that Holohan has trouble guaranteeing a price for too long.

"We have a sort of panic buying mode in the marketplace right now. Inventories have fallen. Availability has decreased. Prices have risen," Holohan, the solar division manager at Wilson Electric, said over the clatter of machines and workers in the company's warehouse outside Phoenix, Ariz.

The Trump administration has halted a $1 million federal study of the health hazards associated with living near mountaintop coal mines.

People generally like to measure a business's worthiness based on its bottom line — not its values.

But over the past couple of decades, socially responsible investing (SRI) has grown into an industry worth trillions. Cliff Feigenbaum, who founded GreenMoney Journal 25 years ago, joined us to talk about the increase in people who are matching their values with their portfolios, and what happens when a company has the right track record on certain issues, but not others. 

Below is an edited transcript. 

Samsung is scheduled to announce a new phone this week, which is expected to have wireless charging. The process known as inductive charging isn't new though — it's been around for years. So, um, why isn't everywhere? Rahul Mangharam, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, explains why smartphone charging is in its awkward teen phase, and why we can expect a break out soon. Afterwards, on the heels of Mario Kart's 25th anniversary, we'll chat with the voice of Mario: Charles Martinet.

The Trump administration has halted a $1 million federal study of health hazards for people who live near mountain-top coal mines. On today's show, we'll look at what this means for people who live near these mining sites and why the administration decided to put a stop to it. Afterwards, we'll talk about McDonald's decision to shut down a third of its restaurants in India, and then discuss the success of the socially responsible investing (SRI) industry. 

The list of charities and nonprofits that have canceled fundraising events at Mar-a-Lago continues to grow. At least 20 groups now have pulled out of galas that had been scheduled for President Trump's country club in Palm Beach, Fla.

In announcing the cancellations, many of the groups cited the controversy surrounding Trump's recent comments that "both sides were to blame" for the violence that occurred during a white supremacists' rally in Charlottesville, Va.

The Environmental Defense Fund opened an office near Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., 10 years ago. It was part of a carefully plotted strategy to persuade the giant retailer that going green could be good for business. If it worked, it certainly could be good for the planet — Walmart's revenues are bigger than the entire economy of most countries.

"We really saw that working with companies could be transformative at a scale that was pretty unmatched," says Suzy Friedman, a senior director at EDF.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


One of the biggest companies on earth is basically a headless beast right now. We're talking about Uber on this week's All Tech Considered.


Afghanistan: What’s the plan for the economy?

Aug 21, 2017

President Trump will outline his plans for Afghanistan in a national address tonight. The U.S. has poured billions into Afghanistan since 2001. So why is the country’s economy in such bad shape?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Bannon and his backers eye cable TV for Breitbart

Aug 21, 2017

Steve Bannon, President Trump's now former chief strategist, is back at Breitbart as the conservative news site's executive chairman. "I'm leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents," Bannon told Bloomberg News last week. Bannon played a key role in Trump's election victory, and now that he's back at Breitbart, the site is planning a global expansion. No word yet on the specifics, but TV may be in the works.

Keeping jobs in the U.S. just doesn't make sense for Carrier's bottom line

Aug 21, 2017

Six months after President Trump's inauguration, the Carrier furnace and air-conditioner factory in Indianapolis began the first of 632 planned layoffs this year. This is the same Carrier factory that Trump worked with to keep its plant and manufacturing jobs in America. James Briggs, who writes for the Indianapolis Star, covered the Carrier layoffs for the paper last month.

A new form of ID theft: account takeover

Aug 21, 2017

When Tiffany Bennett got an email from her phone company saying the password on the account she shares with her husband Kevin had been changed, she didn’t think anything of it.

“He and I share an account and we do that sometimes. I meant to check with Kevin to see if he had done it and it slipped my mind,” she remembered.

After all, this was her cell phone, not a credit card or something.

“When I really knew something was wrong and put everything together was a couple hours later when all of a sudden my texting wouldn’t work,” she said.

President Trump declined to fully dissociate himself from his businesses when he took office. Although he gave operational control of the Trump Organization to his sons, the president said he wasn't going to sell his interest, or put his assets into a blind trust. Federal conflict-of-interest laws exempt the chief executive. However, market forces have other ideas.

At Bartels' Harley-Davidson in the Southern California beach town of Marina Del Rey, customers stroll around looking at cruisers — those motorcycles you ride with your feet out in front and hands up high. There are plenty of tattoos and leather jackets on this middle-aged set. But there aren't many young people around.

General manager Ron Bartels said selling Harleys was a lot easier 10 years ago. After the financial crisis, discretionary income became less abundant, so sales dipped.