Business

7:57pm

Wed May 22, 2013
The Two-Way

Judge: Unredeemed Borders Gift Cards Are Worthless

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 8:34 am

Customers walk out of Borders on July 22, 2011, in San Francisco, Calif., as the chain began liquidating.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

If you were hoping to cash in that Borders gift card for the latest Dan Brown novel — or at least hoping to get some cash for it — you're too late.

A Manhattan federal judge on Wednesday ruled that the bankrupt and defunct book chain owes nothing to the roughly 17.7 million people who hold $210.5 million in unredeemed gift cards.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter says it would be unfair to Borders Group's other creditors to let gift-card holders pursue recoveries, Reuters reports:

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4:55pm

Wed May 22, 2013
Planet Money

Go East, Young Marijuana Dealer

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 6:40 pm

David McNew Getty Images

Chuck used to sell marijuana in California. But the legalization of medical marijuana in the state meant he was suddenly competing against hundreds of marijuana dispensaries. So he moved to New York, where marijuana is still 100 percent illegal. Since making the move, he says, he's quadrupled his income. (For the record: His name isn't really Chuck.)

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4:47pm

Wed May 22, 2013
Economy

Bernanke: Economy Still Too Shaky To End Low Interest Rates

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 6:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

For those who closely follow decisions made by the Federal Reserve, today's marquee event was the testimony of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. He appeared on Capitol Hill before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. And some lawmakers asked Bernanke about concerns of chaos in the financial markets once the Fed stops pumping money into the economy. NPR's John Ydstie explains.

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11:36am

Wed May 22, 2013
The Two-Way

Bernanke Hints That The Economy Still Needs Help

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 11:37 am

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during his Capitol Hill testimony Wednesday before the Joint Economic Committee.
Alex Wong Getty Images

In the nearly impenetrable language that comes with his job, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday that even though the economy is doing better, the central bank needs to keep giving it a boost.

The key passage from his prepared testimony:

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7:12am

Wed May 22, 2013
Business

Qantas Airlines To Offer In-Flight Books

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 9:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business on this Wednesday is: Mile High Book Club.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We're talking about an in-flight library offered by the Australian airline Qantas.

GREENE: They will still have movies on the plane, that right, Linda?

WERTHEIMER: Yes, David. But Qantas is telling passengers who want to read that they can ditch their Kindles and settle in with a paperback.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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7:08am

Wed May 22, 2013
Business

Earning News Sends Home Depot Stock Higher

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 9:29 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Home Depot raising the roof.

Home Depot got a boost from the housing recovery in its first-quarter net income. It rose 18 percent; that exceeds expectations. The company acknowledged yesterday that while cool and wet spring weather had a negative impact on some of Home Depot's seasonal business, its core business stayed strong.

Home Depot's stock price rose by 2.5 percent with the news. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

6:47am

Wed May 22, 2013
Business

Microsoft Unveils Its new Xbox One

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The wait is over for many Xbox fans. Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled its next generation Xbox gaming console. It's called Xbox One. It's the first major revamp of the gaming system since 2005. In our business bottom line, NPR's Laura Sydell reports the new Xbox is designed to be an all-in-one system, an entertainment hub for movies, TV and games that should appeal as much to grandparents as it does to children.

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6:39am

Wed May 22, 2013
Business

Parking Industry Tries To Make Your Life Easier

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 9:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Finding a parking space, probably not at the top of the list of things you like to do. Well, experts in parking think they might be able to change that. One key, they say, is for developers to think about the parking experience when they're designing malls or apartment complexes, instead of just treating it as an afterthought.

This came up in Florida this week, at the International Parking Institute's annual conference. Reporter Kenny Malone, from member station WLRN, was there.

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6:32am

Wed May 22, 2013
Business

Court Rules Vacation Rental Site Illegal In New York

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 9:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here's some news for travelers. If you can't afford - or don't want to pay the price for - a hotel room, maybe you've used the cheap lodging site Airbnb. If so, you have to take New York City off your list. The popular website has suffered a major setback in court. A judge in New York ruled that an Airbnb user in Manhattan violated local laws when he rented a room to an out-of-towner.

From member station WNYC, Ilya Marritz reports.

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6:32am

Wed May 22, 2013
Politics

Battle Lines Harden In Debate Over Blame For IRS Controversy

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 9:29 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Lawmakers are demanding to know what went wrong and who is to blame at the IRS. Two Senate committees held hearings yesterday on the agency's aggressive handling of applications from conservative groups who were seeking tax-exemption. A top IRS official facing a House committee, today, intends to invoke her Fifth Amendment right not to testify. NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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