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Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Gets Mellow

Aug 11, 2018

The legendary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally draws bikers to South Dakota from around the world.

Vendors line the sidewalks hawking biker gear, tattoos and the obligatory rally t-shirts; Harleys and Hondas are parked along the side entrances to bars and restaurants. But traffic on the roads is pretty light compared to the past, when rowdy bikers were backed up at four-way stop signs for a city block.

In fact, the "rowdy rally" is looking pretty mellow in its 78th year.

Along the country roads that fan out from Ogallala, Neb., there are abandoned, weathered old farmhouses and collapsed barns, remnants of the hardscrabble settlers who first tapped the Ogallala aquifer and turned the dry, high plains into lush wheat and corn fields.

Like a lot of the Midwest, western Nebraska slowly emptied out over the years, which is why a lot of locals say the current housing shortage is nothing short of a paradox.

Clara Malave, 50, works in the hot and loud laundry room at one of the bayfront hotels in Erie, Pennsylvania, loading linens into massive industrial washers and dryers. At $8.80 an hour, it's grueling work. But it is work, and she’s grateful for it. Like most of the other workers here, she’s a part-timer whose hours change constantly. She only knows a week out what her schedule will be. She keeps a carefully balanced checkbook and a list of her impending expenses.

As Turkey’s currency tumbles, contagion fears rise

Aug 10, 2018

Turkey’s currency, the lira, is in free fall. It’s been declining for months and today it reached a record low, down by as much as 18 percent. Part of the reason is Turkey’s bad relations with the United States. The two countries have been at odds lately over the detention of an American pastor. And today, President Donald Trump announced that he’d double tariffs on Turkish metals. The turmoil has rattled European markets, which fear they may get hurt, too. How justified are those fears? And what’s the global risk?

A hedge fund gets hungry for Campbell Soup

Aug 10, 2018

There is a certain circle of life quality to corporate finance in this economy. Almost every day on Wall Street, big investment companies like hedge funds and private equity firms go looking for companies to invest in or to acquire.

This happens all the time with lesser-known companies, but just this week, it happened with the Campbell Soup Co. Its soups are an iconic American brand, and the company’s been around for 149 years, but looking at its flagging soup sales alone, you can tell it’s a bit of a dinosaur.

Multiple wildfires have already burned hundreds of thousands of acres in California this summer. The Mendocino Complex fire in Northern California is the largest in the state’s history, and the Ferguson fire forced the National Park Service to close parts of Yosemite during the busiest part of the tourist season.

We wanted to know how tourist-dependent businesses up there are doing, so we called up Lori Howard at the Yosemite Sierra View Bed and Breakfast in Oakhurst. It’s about 14 miles away from the gate of Yosemite National Park on Highway 41.

All companies start out as private enterprises. That means there are only a handful of shareholders in the firm, and sometimes just one. But at some point, the company's owners might decide to 'go public', and put their shares up for sale on a public exchange for anyone to buy.

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

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The economics of disability (encore)

Aug 10, 2018

Roughly one in five Americans has a disability. Those numbers increase with age and vary across race and gender, but every single one of those people is carving out an economic life. In this hourlong special, we focused on three pillars of the economy: education, work and health care. 

President Trump boasts that his trade policies are bringing back the steel industry, but recent corporate earnings reports make clear that they're also hurting the bottom line at many manufacturing companies.

"We're putting our steel workers back to work at clips that nobody would believe, right?" Trump asked the crowd at an Aug. 1 rally in Pennsylvania.

Major American steelmakers have reported higher-than-expected revenue in the second-quarter, thanks in part to Trump's 25 percent tariffs on imported steel.

Are Turkey's problems contagious?

Aug 10, 2018

It's rare that foreign exchange markets top the news, but when they do, it's never good. Turkey's currency, the lira, fell to record lows against the dollar as President Donald Trump hit the country with additional tariffs on steel and aluminum. We'll break down what happened and try to figure out if other countries should be worried. Then, we'll talk to a business near the wildfires that closed down Yosemite National Park during peak season. Plus: The sun sets on the celebrity chef restaurant.

The business behind celebrity auctions

Aug 10, 2018

As a public school teacher in New York City, Richard Andino isn't making boatloads of money. But that doesn’t stop him from attending celebrity auctions.

At a Park Avenue sale last month, he dropped five grand on a gold watch once owned by the mid-century jazz legend Art Tatum, known as one of the greatest piano players of all time.    

“It’s something that belonged to my idol,” Andino said. “So it’s worth it.”

Andino, who’s 53 and plays piano himself, has been obsessed with Tatum since he was a teenager. That’s why he’s willing to pay up.

Toxic workplaces can lead to a balancing act for HR

Aug 10, 2018

(Markets Edition) President Trump has now chimed in on Turkey’s economic crisis, tweeting out that he’s cranking up the tariffs on Turkey, calling relations with the country “not good.” And while the Turkish economy is only the 17th largest in the world, it still carries potent global impact.

Turkey shaken by financial fears, Trump rattles it further

Aug 10, 2018

A financial shockwave ripped through Turkey on Friday as its currency nosedived on concerns about its economic policies and a dispute with the U.S., which President Donald Trump stoked further with a promise to double tariffs on the NATO ally.

The lira tumbled 13 percent in one day, to 6.51 per dollar, a massive move for a currency that will make the Turkish poorer and further shake international investors’ confidence in the country.

New inflation numbers were released Friday morning, and it’s a curious thing: the economy is going strong and consumers are spending, which tends to push prices up. And yet, we haven’t seen all that show up in the inflation numbers yet.

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