Economy & Business

Business news

Tim Harford is the author of 'Fifty Inventions that Shaped the Modern Economy." We play overrated/underrated with Tim. We ask him about inventions like the light bulb and the iPhone as well as messy desks and everyone's favorite summer invention: the air conditioner.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Fax me, beep me, if you wanna reach me

Aug 13, 2018

Fax machines, once the height of telecommunications tech, have mostly gone the way of the beeper. Some offices still fax occasionally, via those big industrial copiers, which new research shows are very vulnerable to hacking. We'll talk through today's cybersecurity and yesterday's tech, but first: What you need to know about Zimbabwe's election and Turkey's currency crisis. Plus: A new book explores what it's like growing up in a company town when the company is the U.S. government.

What growing up in a company town is like when the company is the U.S. government

Aug 13, 2018

President Donald Trump signed a defense spending bill today called the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act, authorizing $717 billion worth of Pentagon spending for the coming fiscal year. Keeping the country and its military at war and prepared for war means a lot of jobs for a lot of people. For Karen Piper's family, building America's weapons of war was the family business. Her parents were weapons developers at the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in the Mojave Desert.

Zimbabwe’s presidential elections in July were supposed to be a chance for the southern African nation to show the world that it’s moved beyond the authoritarianism and economic isolationism that marked former President Robert Mugabe’s rule.

That hope faded when six people were killed in post-election protests. Officially, ruling-party candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa won a razor-thin majority. But his top challenger, Nelson Chamisa, is contesting the results in court. That’s delayed the inauguration that had been scheduled for Sunday.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on hundreds of products from many countries. We're at the beginning of what seems like an escalating trade war, with China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union already retaliating with their own tariffs.

Georgia experiments with food stamp work training program

Aug 13, 2018

At a body shop in Atlanta, Leigh Anne Hatfield just finished taking apart the front of an SUV.

“This is a brand new Toyota Highlander. Got smacked in the front,” she said. Hatfield  said she loves her job here at the body shop. It’s her first job since she become a certified welder. A few month ago she was so poor, she had to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP or food stamps.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last week that he was considering ending the automaker's 8-year run as a publicly traded company, he indicated that he had found the money to do it.

"Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk tweeted.

The economic crisis in Turkey deepened this morning, despite moves by central bank officials in Ankara to calm the flight from the currency. The Turkish lira has lost 39 percent of its value since the beginning of the month. And there’s a reason why the lira’s downfall makes investors nervous — analysts are looking to see if other economies might be feeling the pressure too.

President Donald Trump heads to upstate New York on Monday to sign one of the largest military budgets in the nation’s history. The $716 billion John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act  pours money into pay, training and equipment maintenance, among other things. But some point out it adds to the fast-rising federal deficit and ask whether this level of military spending can be sustained. 

(Markets Edition) The fall of the Turkish lira continues. The currency dropped another 7 percent today, bringing its total fall of value to about 40 percent for the month. This led the Turkish president to denounce those he called economic “traitors,” and we have an economist to talk to us about what happens next. Also, President Trump is expected to sign a $716 billion defense authorization bill, which will add thousands of personnel and even more debt to the federal budget.

Last month , LA took on predatory and high-pressure sales goals at major banks by tightening its responsible banking ordinance. Now, if a bank wants the city's $17 million taxpayer-funded contracts, it must be transparent about sales goal tactics and employee compensation, and it can’t retaliate against whistleblowers who report suspected illegal bank activity.

(U.S. Edition) Turkey’s economic crisis is even worse, with the lira having lost 39 percent of its value since the start of the month. An economics correspondent from the BBC  lets us know about other solutions that are being explored. Also, with heat waves putting pressure on power grids, we remember one of history’s biggest blackouts: In 2003,  a tussle between a power line and tree in Ohio eventually left about 50 million people in the Northeast powerless. Marketplace's Jed Kim takes a look at the reliability of the grid today.

Some Vermont dairy workers say their wages and living conditions have improved, thanks to an agreement reached last year between the workers and Ben & Jerry's, a division of global consumer products company Unilever.

Times are tough on dairy farms around the country, with milk prices declining for the fourth year in a row. But 72 farms that supply Ben & Jerry's earn a little more by agreeing to follow labor and housing standards.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Turkey’s central bank announced measures early this morning aimed at alleviating pressure on its embattled currency, the lira, which has fallen more than 40 percent so far this year. But are the country’s efforts enough to reassure international investors? Then, many of the world’s mining companies call South Africa home – in Peru, environmental regulations for medium and large-size companies have been relaxed in order to attract more investment, but not everyone is happy about this.

Pages