John Ydstie

John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street and the federal budget for NPR for two decades. In recent years NPR has broadened his responsibilities, making use of his reporting and interviewing skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. His current focus is reporting on the global financial crisis. Ydstie is also a regular guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation.

During 1991 and 1992 Ydstie was NPR's bureau chief in London. He traveled throughout Europe covering, among other things, the breakup of the Soviet Union and attempts to move Europe toward closer political and economic union. He accompanied U.S. businessmen exploring investment opportunities in Russia as the Soviet Union was crumbling. He was on the scene in The Netherlands when European leaders approved the Maastricht Treaty, which created the European Union.

In August 1990, Ydstie traveled to Saudi Arabia for NPR as a member of the Pentagon press pool sent to cover the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. During the early stages of the crisis, Ydstie was the only American radio reporter in the country.

Ydstie has been with NPR since 1979. For two years, he was an associate producer responsible for Midwest coverage. In 1982 he became senior editor on NPR's Washington Desk, overseeing coverage of the federal government, American politics and economics. In 1984, Ydstie joined Morning Edition as the show's senior editor, and later was promoted to the position of executive producer. In 1988, he became NPR's economics correspondent.

During his tenure with NPR, Ydstie has won numerous awards. He was a member of the NPR team that received the George Foster Peabody for its coverage of 9/11. Ydstie's reporting from Saudi Arabia helped NPR win the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award in 1991 for coverage of the Gulf War. Prior to joining NPR, Ydstie was a reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio. While there, he was awarded the Clarion Award for his report "Vietnam Experience and America Today."

A graduate of Concordia College, in Moorhead, MN, Ydstie earned a bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude, with a major in English literature and a minor in speech communications.

Ydstie was born in Minneapolis, and grew up in rural North Dakota.

Pages

6:05pm

Wed June 27, 2012
Europe

European Union Tradeoff: Sovereignty For Stability

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:50 pm

In order to salvage its common currency, Europe is working toward a tighter fiscal union. That will require a tradeoff — sovereignty for economic stability. Over the next two days European Union leaders will try to come to an agreement to boost growth.

4:22pm

Tue May 29, 2012
American Dreams: Then And Now

On The Economic Ladder, Rungs Move Further Apart

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm

Kevin Hill, a San Diego landscape designer, was doing well financially before the downturn. Now, he says he feels "lost."
John Ydstie NPR

America is the land of opportunity — that's the bedrock of the American dream. Many expect each generation to do better than the last.

That dream of economic mobility is alive and well for Pam Krank and her husband, Brian McGee. The two are proud owners of The Credit Department Inc., a successful business in the Minneapolis suburb of Mendota Heights.

"Mostly manufacturing companies around the world will hire us to study their customers and tell them how much ... unsecured credit they should grant to each customer," Krank explains.

Read more

3:31am

Thu May 17, 2012
Europe

'Dire Consequences' If Greece Exits Euro

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:46 am

People walk past the Bank of Greece headquarters in Athens.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Euros are being drained out of Greek banks at a rate of up to $1 billion a day this week. In the wake of the country's election turmoil, depositors are nervous about the heightened possibility of a Greek exit from the euro. If that were to happen, euros left in Greek banks could be worth much less than euros outside the country.

Read more

12:33am

Thu May 10, 2012
The Two-Way

Pew Study: Americans In The Northeast Have More Economic Mobility

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 4:48 am

A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts finds economic mobility differs significantly across the United States. The report finds Americans are more likely to move up the economic ladder if they live in the northeast.

Read more

3:17am

Tue May 8, 2012
Europe

Why The Markets Shrugged Off French Vote

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 7:41 am

A supporter of French President-elect Francois Hollande wears a mask of outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

The arguments for growth policies as opposed to austerity are taking center stage in Europe after the French and Greek elections.

His rhetoric aside, France's President-elect Francois Hollande is not rejecting austerity. In fact, he pledged to balance France's budget by the end of his five-year term, just one year later than his opponent, outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Read more

6:29am

Sat May 5, 2012
Economy

On Jobs, Bad News Is Bad. The Good News Is Bad, Too

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 10:26 am

People wait in a line at a job fair on April 10, 2012, in Gresham, Ore. Employment grew by 115,000 last month, but the unemployment rate dip was likely due to people leaving the workforce rather than people getting hired, analysts say.
Rick Bowmer AP

For the second month in a row, weak job growth numbers unsettled nerves in the White House and on Wall Street.

It's obvious why the number of jobs added to the economy in April was disappointing. Employment grew by just 115,000. That followed a disappointing job gain in March. Together, the March and April average was only about half the 250,000 jobs added monthly in December, January and February.

Again, economists suggested the warm winter weather might have boosted job growth during the winter months, which left fewer jobs to be added in the spring.

Read more

2:50pm

Sat April 21, 2012
The Two-Way

At The IMF, $430 Billion In Pledges Buys Leverage For Emerging Markets

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 6:09 am

The UK gave some support to the emerging market nations' quest for a greater role today at the IMF during the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the UK's $15-billion contribution to the IMF's enhanced crisis fund could not be accessed until further progress is made on giving the emerging market a greater voice in how the is Fund is run.

Read more

6:22am

Sat April 21, 2012
Europe

Emerging Markets Promise IMF Financial Firepower

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 10:46 am

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde announced Friday that the IMF had raised $430 billion, surpassing its stated goal.
Charles Dharapak AP

International Monetary Fund officials and members of the G-20 nations announced Friday that member countries have pledged $430 billion to add to the Fund's crisis-fighting arsenal.

The Fund's managing director Christine Lagarde came into the annual World Bank-IMF spring meetings in Washington, D.C., with a goal of raising $400 billion from member states. She was clearly happy and relieved as she announced a number larger than that.

Read more

3:00am

Tue April 17, 2012
Business

U.S. Has A Natural Gas Problem: Too Much Of It

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 7:43 am

Oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to coax out oil and gas has led to a natural gas boom that the U.S. market is having trouble absorbing.
Orlin Wagner AP

There's a boom in natural gas production in the United States, a boom so big the market is having trouble absorbing it all.

The unusually warm weather this winter is one reason for the excess, since it reduced the need for people to burn gas to heat their homes. A bigger reason, however, is the huge increase in gas production made possible by new methods of coaxing gas out of shale rock formations.

Read more

1:50pm

Thu April 5, 2012
Economy

Just How Strong Is The Job Market?

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 5:44 am

Job seekers attend a career fair in New York City. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the quick drop in unemployment might have been a reversal of overzealous cutbacks during the financial crisis.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The monthly employment report Friday could help answer a key question about the economy: Will the recently strong job growth slow once employers finish replacing the people they fired during the depths of the recession?

Read more

Pages