Business and Economy

All Tech Considered
3:43 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

In A Divided San Francisco, Private Tech Buses Drive Tension

Protesters in San Francisco block a Google bus, which shuttles employees from the city to its location in Silicon Valley.
cjmartin Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:31 pm

Part of a series on income inequality in the San Francisco Bay Area

If you want to understand the tension between tech workers in San Francisco, who often make six figures, and many of the city's other residents, try standing on the southwest corner of 24th Street and Valencia around 7:30 on a weekday morning.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Report: 6.4 Million U.S. Homes Still Have Negative Equity

A realty sign in front of a home in The Lakes neighborhood in Las Vegas. Nevada, which was hit hard by the housing bust five years ago, remains the state with the highest number of homes with negative equity.
Isaac Brekken AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 2:00 pm

Although most of the housing indicators have been looking up recently, there are still about 6.4 million homes with "underwater" mortgages, in which the homeowner owes the bank more than the house is worth.

According to the CoreLogic Equity Report, "nearly 6.4 million homes, or 13 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, were still in negative equity at the end of the third quarter."

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All Tech Considered
12:09 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Almost All Tech Execs At White House Supported Obama Campaign

Chad Dickerson, chief executive of Etsy, was among the group of tech leaders visiting the White House. He gave $500 to the Obama campaign.
Etsy

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 4:51 pm

President Obama just wrapped up a meeting with high-tech luminaries at the White House, focusing on an agenda of how to clean up HealthCare.gov, and how to stop the snooping by the National Security Agency from continuing to cast a pall over high-tech profits.

The group has a lot to discuss. On Monday, a federal judge ruled that the NSA's collection of millions of telephone records may be unconstitutional.

Here's who was invited.

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Money Coach
11:06 am
Tue December 17, 2013

There Is A 'Softer' Way To Budget Yourself

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:17 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll talk about holiday parties - specifically, how to handle your business, whether you are with family, friends or colleagues; and equally important, how to handle people who might not know how to handle their own business. That's in just a few minutes.

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Travel
9:06 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Holiday Driving Numbers Up In Oklahoma

More Oklahomans are expected to drive to their year-end holiday destinations in 2013.
Credit timo_w2s / Flickr Creative Commons

A record number of Oklahomans are expected to hit the roads and the skies during the end-of-the-year holiday season.

AAA Oklahoma says 862,000 Oklahomans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home during the last two weeks of December.

AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai says the number of Oklahoma travelers marks a 1 percent increase over last year's numbers.

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Business
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Glaxo To Stop Paying Doctors To Promote Drugs

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with new rules for Glaxo.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: The head of British - the British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline, told The New York Times yesterday that the company will stop paying doctors to promote its drugs. Pharmaceutical firms commonly pay physicians to speak at medical conferences - a practice criticized as a conflict of interest.

Business
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Italian Police Arrest 4 In Holiday Extortion Case

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is a Christmas con.

Just when we want to be thinking about generosity around the holidays, a story of extortion.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Police in Italy have arrested four alleged mafia gangsters for forcing shop owners to buy poinsettias for as much as $140 each. Owners who refused to partake in the Christmas special would have their shops vandalized.

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Business
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Mexico Opens Its Energy Sector To Private Investment

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Over the weekend, the majority of states in Mexico ratified constitutional changes that will allow foreign investment in Mexico's oil sector for the first time in decades.

Here's more from NPR's Carrie Kahn.

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Around the Nation
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

FAA To Soon Pick Sites For Commercial Drone Testing

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Six states will soon be chosen as commercial drone test sites. So major companies like Amazon say they're hoping to use drones to ship products. But first, the Federal Aviation Administration has to figure out how to fly them safely in civilian airspace. Nevada is one of the states that wants to give commercial drones a try, as Will Stone from member station KUNR reports.

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Business
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come

Some Steinway company representatives and employees — like Wally Boot, pictured here — have been working for the company for decades. Boot is the last person to touch every piano that leaves the factory in Queens, N.Y.
Craig Warga Bloomberg/Getty

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

For 160 years, the pianos made by Steinway & Sons have been considered the finest in the world. So when hedge fund billionaire John Paulson recently bought the company, it struck fear in the hearts of musicians: Would the famously handcrafted pianos be changed, for the sake of efficiency? Paulson, who owns several Steinways himself, says nothing will change.

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