Economy & Business

Business news

Nearly a third of households in the United States have struggled to pay their energy bills, the Energy Information Administration said in a report released Wednesday. The differences were minor in terms of geography, but Hispanics and racial minorities were hit hardest.

When an economy needs refugees

Sep 19, 2018

The White House said this week it will cut the number of refugees allowed into the country to 30,000 next year from the 45,000-person limit for 2018. That's a record low for the United States, which worries many local economies that depend on immigrant and refugee labor. Erie, Pennsylvania, is one of those places. The city strategically welcomed and resettled refugees when the population was shrinking and jobs were disappearing.

There was some big news this week in the auto and tech industries, which are increasingly overlapping. The world's largest automotive partnership, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which sold more than 10 million cars around the world last year, is going to start embedding Google's Android operating system in its cars starting in 2021.  The promise for consumers?  Infotainment systems that do more and are less, shall we say, buggy. 

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The bill that gives a nod to federal aviation spending over the next five years passed the U.S. House but has yet to take flight in the Senate. The Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill includes changes to airline ticket fees, and safety upgrades. But critics say the bill falls short in one area: improving the nation's air traffic control system, which they say is under strain as the industry expands to accommodate more and more passengers. Commercial air carriers have been pushing to move the nation's air traffic control system from radar to GPS.

When it comes to tariffs, consider today T minus five. In five days, more than 5,000 types of goods from China will be added to a list of tariffs imposed by the United States. That likely means higher prices for leather handbags. Fruit juice. Rain jackets. We may be surprised by what's on the list. But here's the thing: Lots of American factories will be surprised, too. Because in a world of supercomplex global supply chains, manufacturers don't always know what's in their own products.

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NerdWallet is changing how we shop for financial products

Sep 19, 2018

NerdWallet is the personal finance website that helps consumers find, review and compare financial products. It's like a matchmaker between bank services and customers. The site uses more than 300 journalist and financial experts to provide details on credit cards, personal loans, taxes — anything money related.

An indicted New York congressman who had announced he was withdrawing from his race has reversed course and now says he will continue to campaign for re-election and plans to serve again if he wins this November.

In a campaign statement announcing the decision Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y. said, "The stakes are too high to allow the radical left to take control of this seat in Congress."

On Aug. 21, 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder walked to a podium at the Department of Justice, flanked by government officials, and announced his agency had reached a record $16.6 billion settlement with Bank of America.“The largest civil settlement with a single entity in history,” he said.

Today, an interview with Berkeley Economist Ulrike Malmendier, who has done pioneering work on the psychological effects of living through different economic events — and specifically the effect on our behavior and our willingness to take risk. Based on that work, what were the likely effects of the financial crisis, for us and for the economy?

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

After the dust settled on the Great Recession, financial institutions ended up paying over $200 billion in settlements to the U.S. government and people affected by the crisis. Some settlement deals broke records. But where'd that money go, and was it enough? As part of our ongoing coverage of the 10 years since the crisis, Divided Decade, we'll try to find out. Then: The federal government announced it will cap refugees entering this country at 30,000 next year, a record low. We'll look at Erie, Pennsylvania, one economy that relies on refugees to stay afloat.

Part of the tax law that was passed last year attempted to encourage U.S. companies that were holding earnings abroad to bring money home. Maybe companies might hire workers, increase wages or build factories.

We are well into 2018 and we are starting to see some repatriation.

President Donald Trump said in August he expected more than $4 trillion in overseas corporate profits to come flowing into the United States very soon. That's an unrealistic amount, said Michaele Morrow, associate professor of accounting at Suffolk University.

Let's figure out how to end hunger forever. And do it fast.

That's the lofty goal of the World Food Programme's Innovation Accelerator, a 2-year-old venture inspired by the startup scene. It's gathering an arsenal of ideas to fight hunger — both by brainstorming internally and supporting outside entrepreneurs — to test out in the real world as quickly as possible.

Canada is in no rush to join a new NAFTA deal

Sep 19, 2018

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland meets with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in the latest round of North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations on Wednesday. This comes a month after the United States and Mexico stuck a preliminary deal. But there are still some sticking points that need ironing out before Canada is ready to sign on to new agreement. 

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NerdWallet wants to help you with finance

Sep 19, 2018

It started with a simple Google search to compare credit cards, but when nothing helpful turned up, an idea was born. Tim Chen is the founder and CEO of NerdWallet, a financial advice website with more than 100 million yearly users. While struggling to compare credit cards online, he got the idea for a website with all types of financial advice and products. He told Kai Ryssdal that the idea resonated with millennials because “millennials are just used to comparing things. Even college professors.”

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