OK. From understanding language, let's try to understand one development in the economy. Corporate revenues have been lackluster. But despite that, stock prices keep going up. This might have something to do with what the Federal Reserve has been up to. Hoping to get money into the economy and stimulate growth, the Fed has been aggressively buying bonds. And Fed officials said, after their two-day meeting ended yesterday, that they could even accelerate the bond purchases if necessary.
Let's say you're highly skilled and interested in emigrating to the United States. Well, there are reasons to think you have a pretty good shot. Those with a specialty that's rare and highly valued can take advantage of what's called the H-1B visa. It is specifically for people with a Bachelor's degree or higher and you can only get one if an American company explicitly wants to hire you.
NPR's business news starts with profits for Facebook.
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MONTAGNE: Facebook announced its latest quarterly results, reporting revenues just under $1.5 billion.
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The company showed a profit of nearly $220 million for the quarter but this fell short of analysts' expectations. CEO Mark Zuckerberg blamed the missed target on higher costs. Company spending is up 60 percent this quarter over the previous one due to hiring and new developments.
If you're interested in studying in China, a new scholarship program could help you on your way. Rivaling the prestigious Rhodes scholarships, the new Schwarzman Scholars program was announced recently by Stephen Schwarzman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone Group, one of the world's biggest private-equity firms.
The financier says he plans to raise $300 million, including $100 million of his own money, to fund a new program aimed at bringing students from around the world to study at Beijing's Tsinghua University.
This week, major retailers including Wal-Mart, Gap and others met with labor activists in Germany, hoping to hammer out a deal to improve working conditions in Bangladesh.
The meeting came less than a week after a devastating building collapse in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, killed more than 400 workers. At the meeting, activists pushed retailers who use factories in Bangladesh to start spending their own money to make those workplaces safer.
During the housing bust, taxpayers were forced to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But thanks to the real estate recovery, Fannie Mae could end up paying tens of billions of dollars back to the Treasury this summer.
That's just one of the factors behind a better bottom line for the federal government. This week, the Treasury Department announced it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. A lawyer shortage, really? Well, yes, depending on where you live, and rural America is in some places apparently suffering a lawyer shortage right now, just as it has long been coping with a doctor shortage. Small town life is not selling with certain professions, and in distinct ways communities can be truly undermined by the absence of, say, doctors and lawyers and architects and so on.