Business

8:43pm

Thu January 2, 2014
The Two-Way

Consortium Threatens To Pull Plug On Panama Canal Expansion

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 10:09 am

Men sit by the side of the Panama Canal as a ship sails past in Gamboa near Panama City, last month. The expansion project is aimed at accommodating the world's largest container ships.
Arnulfo Franco AP

Cost overruns are threatening to shut down a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal aimed at allowing the world's largest ships to pass through the short cut between the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean.

A European consortium funding the project says it won't continue the work until Panama coughs up the extra cash — which amounts to $1.6 billion over and above an original $3.2 billion bid to build a third set of locks.

Read more

6:18pm

Thu January 2, 2014
Economy

For The Unemployed, Ideas To Help Bridge The Gap To Work

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:01 pm

Job seekers line up to talk to recruiters during a job fair held in Atlanta in May.
John Amis AP

When members of Congress return to work next week, at the top of the "to-do" list is whether to renew emergency unemployment benefits. An extension of the benefits expired at the end of 2013, which means 1.3 million out-of-work Americans are no longer getting unemployment checks.

Read more

4:23pm

Thu January 2, 2014
Economy

The Widening Wealth Gap: Bringing Income Inequality Into Focus

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:18 pm

The widening gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. has become a central touch point for economists, pundits and politicians across the U.S. New York City's newly sworn-in mayor, Bill deBlasio, was elected after campaigning against a city divided between the haves and have-nots. President Obama has called tackling inequality the defining challenge of our time, saying that growing inequality and a lack of upward mobility jeopardizes the American dream. But what, exactly, is income inequality?

Read more

3:49pm

Thu January 2, 2014
The Salt

Cork Versus Screw Cap: Don't Judge A Wine By How It's Sealed

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:18 pm

Winemakers are increasingly turning to screw caps. Now consumers are learning to get over their prejudice for cork, too.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Step aside, cork.

If you're a wine drinker, you've probably noticed that screw caps are no longer considered the closure just for cheap vino. Increasingly, bottles of very good wines are unscrewed, rather than uncorked.

Read more

8:57am

Thu January 2, 2014
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Were Nearly Unchanged Last Week

There were 339,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, down slightly from 341,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

According to The Associated Press, the slight decline is "evidence that layoffs are low and hiring will likely remain steady."

Read more

7:11am

Thu January 2, 2014
Business

Colorado Begins Sales Of Recreational Marijuana

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 8:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is green rush.

The first legal sale of recreational marijuana in recent memory happened in Denver yesterday.

TONY FOX: 8 a.m., we're going to do.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

That's Tony Fox, who owns the 3-D Cannabis Center. She was making the ceremonial first sale, surrounded by dozens of reporters, to Sean Azzariti, an Iraq War veteran with PTSD, who was involved in the campaign to legalize pot in Colorado.

FOX: Sean, your total is $59.74.

Read more

7:03am

Thu January 2, 2014
Business

Fiat Pays $4.3 Billion To Get Complete Control Of Chrysler

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 7:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Fiat and Chrysler.

The Italian automaker Fiat has paid $4.3 billion to gain complete ownership of Chrysler. The agreement announced yesterday is not a big surprise. Fiat already held a majority share of the Detroit automaker that produces Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles.

Industry analysts say this final step in the merger creates a global company that's better able to compete with the likes of General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

6:25am

Thu January 2, 2014
Research News

How Scarcity Trap Affects Our Thinking, Behavior

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 7:52 am

A Harvard economist finds there are psychological connections between the bad financial planning of many poor people and the poor time management of busy professionals. In both cases, he finds the experience of scarcity causes biases in the mind that exacerbate problems.

5:40am

Thu January 2, 2014
Business

Given A Second Chance, Convicted Currency Trader Helps Others

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:33 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And even as things are looking up for the auto industry, many Americans still feel the sting of the 2008 recession. In the years since, many banks have been hit with large fines, but no major Wall Street executive has been convicted of criminal charges for their role in the financial crisis. That's not always how it went. A few years ago, a series of corporate scandals generated outrage and some stiff prison sentences.

Read more

5:37am

Thu January 2, 2014
Television

Fielder Offers Absurd Marketing Advice On Comedy Central

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 2:01 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's hear now about a new reality show featuring a mild-mannered Canadian who gives outlandish advice to companies looking to up their game. It's called "Nathan for You." And as NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, it's become an unlikely hit for Comedy Central.

(SOUNDBITE OF A BARKING DOG)

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: On a sunny winter day in North Hollywood, Nathan Fielding is directing his latest quirky marketing ploy, this one for a new housecleaning service.

Read more

Pages