Economy & Business

Business news

Is globalization in decline?

Aug 18, 2017

The idea of more open, global trade has been sold as necessary for economic success. Yet today we hear calls to "build a wall" and to break up trading partnerships. Turns out we've seen the pendulum swing between free trade and protectionism many times before. Our series Trade Off looks at key moments when trade barriers have been built up or torn down and at globalization's winners and losers. 

Markets are down in Europe today, after they dropped by more than 1 percent in the U.S. We'll discuss what's contributing to the ongoing downturn. Afterwards, we'll take a look at globalization through the lens of the "elephant chart," a creation from former World Bank economist Branko Milanovic that explains who the winners and losers of this phenomenon are. 

A wave of tech companies have condemned white supremacist organizations and websites, like the Daily Stormer. But will their online presence eventually fade away, or just find another outlet? It turns out that the Daily Stormer has moved its operations to what's called the Dark Web. Nicolas Christin, an associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon University, joined us to discuss whether sites like these will be able to thrive on the Dark Web. Plus: We play this week's Silicon Tally with Doree Shafrir, a senior tech writer at Buzzfeed and author of the book "Startup: A Novel." 

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Worried about Internet companies snooping on your online browsing? You might turn to something called a virtual private network to protect your privacy. But researchers say these networks can themselves be insecure.

Earlier this year, the federal government rolled back rules that would have prevented Internet service providers from tracking your activity online.

Despite a growing fossil fuel export business, the U.S. economy has actually seen its emissions of carbon dioxide fall the last two decades. A new analysis lists the specific reasons, and there are many: more natural gas burned instead of coal, more wind and solar power, more efficient factories and cars. But tomorrow's path to lowering emissions may look very different as new technologies come online and more things run on green electricity.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Changes at the top for Wells Fargo

Aug 17, 2017

Scandal-besieged Wells Fargo seems to be cleaning up its act. It's replacing three of 15 board members, including the chairman. Stephen Sanger will step down at the end of the year and current Vice Chair Elizabeth Duke will take his place. Is this a real change for the bank?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Are we at economic war with China?

Aug 17, 2017

Déjà vu all over again? A Trump administration official has called a reporter up and had a very candid, shall we say, colorful conversation, which he maybe did, maybe didn't think was on the record. This time, the official was White House chief strategist Steve Bannon who said: "We're at economic war with China." Bannon said he thinks the U.S. is losing. How much truth is there in that? How are economic relations between the U.S. and China?

At his Tuesday press conference in New York, during which he discussed the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump spoke about his theory on how to overcome America's racial divides. He said, "We have many companies, I say pouring back into the country. I think that's going to have a huge, positive impact on race relations. You know why? It's jobs. What people want now, they want jobs. They want great jobs with good pay and, when they have that, you watch how race relations will be."

Women CEOs outperform men, so why aren't companies giving them the top job?

Aug 17, 2017

When you look at the largest companies in the country, few of them have female CEOs or even female board members. Some high-profile female CEOs have been forced out of their jobs recently. Yet, companies led by women tend to have better returns than those that aren't. So what gives?

If you've been paying attention to some of President Trump's recent public remarks, you might've noticed something (besides all that). He often leads with the economy, the stock market or his economic agenda and how great it's gonna be. In his extraordinary press conference on Tuesday, he even pointed to jobs as a way to fix race relations. That argument seemed a bit tidy, so we called up an expert to check the facts. That presser was supposed to be about infrastructure, by the way. The president has hyped a big spending package on roads, bridges, transit and the like for a while now.

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Republicans are trying to look forward.

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08/17/2017: The tale of the vanishing businessmen

Aug 17, 2017

After CEOs started abandoning ship from President Trump's business advisory groups, he just decided to...dissolve a couple of them. On today's show, we'll look at whether these councils could've actually accomplished anything, and if the CEOs of these big companies have lost an important communication link to the White House. Afterwards, we'll talk about how businesses are processing the uncertainty happening in Washington, D.C., and then discuss the effects of the upcoming solar eclipse on solar power. 

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A classic David and Goliath story is playing out in Boston. A group of inner-city teens are facing off against the corporate giant that owns the Boston Bruins and their home arena, the TD Garden. NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

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