Jack Lew, the man President Obama has chosen to help oversee the country's biggest banks, has said it plainly — he's no expert on banking. Lew said as much when the Senate was vetting him to head the White House Office of Management and Budget in 2010.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked Lew if he thought deregulation of Wall Street caused the financial crisis. Lew said he didn't consider himself the best person to answer that question.
Kentucky is bourbon country. Bar shelves in Louisville are stocked with a crowded field of premium bourbons; the city's Theater Square Marketplace restaurant alone carries close to 170 different brands. So when news trickled out that longtime distillery Maker's Mark plans to water down its bourbon, locals were stunned.
Bourbon has to be aged at least two years — and that's where Maker's Mark got in trouble. Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels says the company simply didn't make enough.
Rebecca Weel pushes a baby stroller with her 18-month-old up to the seafood case at Whole Foods, near ground zero in New York. As she peers at shiny fillets of salmon, halibut and Chilean sea bass labeled "certified sustainable," Weel believes that if she purchases this seafood, she will help protect the world's oceans from overfishing.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. There's a new generation of boom towns across the American West sparked by the explosive growth of oil and natural gas. When these industries move in, small towns near the fields change almost overnight. Once-sleepy main streets suddenly boast improved schools, libraries and community centers. Quiet rural airports expand to take corporate jets. Restaurants and motels and hardware stores all thrive.
More than 3,000 cruise ship passengers who thought they'd be heading home today have instead been told they'll remain in the Gulf of Mexico until Wednesday, stranded by an engine fire that set their ship, the Triumph, adrift. Onboard power and sewer system outages have been reported. The ship, which was 150 miles north of the Yucatan Peninsula when the fire struck early Sunday, has a crew of more than 1,000.
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 3:27 pm
To be clear, the trip I took a couple of weeks ago to Puerto Rico with an NPR team was not about food. We headed down to the island to report on the economic and crime troubles that are driving people off the island and to Florida in record numbers. And though we did tons of advance research about census figures and crime statistics, none of us really looked up good places to eat.
In a tropical, Latin land, we assumed we'd be practically stumbling over savory local meals and exotic fruits.
Now, tomorrow President Obama delivers his State of the Union address, and may well discuss energy, as he did four years ago. But energy analyst Sarah Ladislaw says a daunting goal is getting trickier.
SARAH LADISLAW: This administration did not come in with small plans for energy markets or for energy policy. Their big plan was to try and de-carbonize the energy sector.
INSKEEP: Reduce carbon emissions by relying less on coal, oil and gas.
LADISLAW: Primarily done for the purpose of battling climate change.
The lure of the China market is legendary. The dream: Sell something to 1.3 billion people, and you're set.
The reality is totally different.
Ask the MBAs from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School who tried to launch Auntie Anne's pretzels in China. The result is a funny, instructive and occasionally harrowing journey that is now the subject of a new book, The China Twist.