Business & Education

Business & education news

Long-time White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who covered every president from Eisenhower to Obama, has died at age 92, according to The Gridiron Club & Foundation.

Few Detroiters think the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history is great news.

But plenty see it as an opportunity. Many Detroit business owners hope the bankruptcy will mean more stability and certainty, in a city that has had little of either in recent years.

Sandy Baruah, head of the Detroit Regional Chamber, says the bankruptcy filing did not come as a surprise to him, nor should it surprise anybody else.

The SEC on Friday filed civil charges against Steven A. Cohen, the founder of hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, accusing the billionaire of failing to prevent insider trading.

The Securities and Exchange Commission in a statement Friday afternoon said:

Three of the four major wireless companies are out with new plans for those who want the latest smartphone sooner. The plans, with names like Verizon Edge and AT&T Next, essentially let you rent a phone for six months or a year and then trade it in for a new one — but there's a catch.

"You're paying essentially twice," says Avi Greengart, who is research director for consumer devices at Current Analysis and does some consulting for the industry.

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's been 30 years since Trading Places came out. And, to be honest, I never really understood what happened at the end of that movie. Sure, Louis Winthorpe (Dan Aykroyd) and Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) get rich, and the Duke brothers lose all their money. But what actually happens? How does it work?

I recently talked to Tom Peronis, a guy who has spent years trading OJ options. He walked me through every step of Winthorpe and Valentine's plan.

1. Give The Duke Brothers Bad Information

So much fascinating tech and culture news, so little time. But we certainly think you should see the journalism that's catching our curiosity each week, so each Friday we'll round up the week that was — the work that appeared in this blog, and from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.

ICYMI

Can Bankruptcy Boost Broke Detroit?

Jul 19, 2013

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

How Do You Photograph A City's Bankruptcy?

Jul 19, 2013

Photographer Kirk Crippens says you can't. But that hasn't stopped him from trying. Since 2009, he has been documenting the city of Stockton, Calif., which last year became the largest city in American history to file for bankruptcy — until Detroit filed yesterday. Before bankruptcy, Stockton was the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. But before that, Crippens says, it "was an all-American city — Boomtown, USA — housing going up everywhere."

Joe Kelso and John Winter probably waited too long. The couple has been together for a dozen years but only got serious recently about buying a house in San Francisco.

They saved enough to be able to afford anything under $500,000, but houses at such prices are now few and far between.

This spring, the median home price in San Francisco topped $1 million, up by a third from last year.

Alabama retailers are getting ready for the annual tax free weekend for back-to-school merchandise.

   The state will waive its 4 percent sales tax from Friday, Aug. 2 through Sunday, Aug. 4. The Alabama Retail Association reports that a record 274 Alabama cities and counties are waiving their local sales taxes during that weekend.

   Items covered by the tax holiday include clothing priced at $100 or less, school supplies costing $50 or less, books that cost $30 or less, and computers and computer equipment selling for $750 or less.

China's central bank announced that it was removing some controls on the interest rates charged by banks for the loans it issues clients.

Reuters explains that the People's Bank of China said in a statement that it was removing the floor "on lending rates for commercial banks, meaning that banks will now be able to cut rates as much as they see fit to attract borrowers."

Reuters adds:

With its bankruptcy filing Thursday, Detroit became the largest municipality in the United States to seek Chapter 9 protection.

As Scott reported, the city is saddled with $18.5 billion in debt.

Today, we ask, what happens next?

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a thumbs-up from Moody's.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

In Dubai, Weight Loss Is Worth Gold

Jul 19, 2013

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is: Worth Your Weight in Gold.

That's actually the name of a weight loss program that launched today in Dubai. For every kilogram lost, the government will pay out a gram of gold.

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

An update now on a case that's been working its way through the courts for several years. Some of the world's largest private equity firms are accused of improper business practices. Just yesterday, a federal judge in Boston allowed the case to proceed.

Will Robot Nannies Save Japan's Economy?

Jul 19, 2013

More than half of all Japanese women quit their jobs after giving birth to their first child. That's more than double the rate in the U.S., and it's a problem for Japan's economy.

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Apple, Google, Microsoft and a broad coalition of major tech companies are making a loud call for greater government disclosure of digital communications monitoring.

In a letter out today, an alliance of 63 companies and groups are calling for dramatically increased transparency around U.S. government surveillance efforts. This comes as the companies — and individual Americans — continue to grapple with recent revelations of a sweeping surveillance program led by the National Security Agency.

The Associated Press

Authorities in northeast Alabama say a wind project is moving forward as a renewable energy company plans to build wind turbines atop a scenic mountain ridge in 2014.

   The Anniston Star reports (http://bit.ly/11ZBfId ) that project developer Pioneer Green intends to install eight wind turbines on private property near Centre along the Shinbone Ridge in Cherokee County beginning next year.

Waste Recovery Plant in Montgomery to Add 110 Jobs

Jul 18, 2013
Erin Edgemon/eedgemon@al.com

Representatives from Infinitus Energy and the city of Montgomery have broken ground on a $35 million waste recovery plant that is supposed to create 110 jobs.

In the 1980s, a popular fast-food commercial touted chicken-breast sandwiches — and mocked chicken nuggets sold by competitors.

In the ad, a competitor's doofus clerk explains nuggets. "All the parts are crammed into one big part," he said. "And parts is parts."

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Nike Apologizes For Carolina Mix-Up

Jul 18, 2013

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

OK. Let's stick with the sports theme. Nike put out a new T-shirt for fans of North Carolina's pro football team, the Carolina Panthers.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

But there was a bit of a problem, which brings us to our last word in business: A map mishap.

Game Over For NCAA And Electronic Arts

Jul 18, 2013

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, for financial analysts, the Fed chairman's voice is certainly a familiar one. For sports nuts, football fans, video game players, there's this voice.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: EA Sports. It's in the game.

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a sales glitch for Intel.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got hit so hard by the housing crisis that they required a massive federal rescue. Now lawmakers are looking to scale back the two entities' role — and the government's — in the mortgage market.

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to vote Thursday on President Obama's nominee to head the agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie.

Pages