Business

5:16am

Thu December 20, 2012
Business

Persistence, Bribes Got Wal-Mart Into Mexican Town

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:37 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Suppose you run a business, you want to open a store but local zoning laws make your preferred location off limits? If you're the Mexican branch of Wal-Mart, according to The New York Times, you just bribe an official to alter the zoning map.

David Barstow is one of the reporters of the latest Times investigation of Wal-Mart and bribery in Mexico.

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4:38pm

Wed December 19, 2012
Europe

UBS To Pay $1.5 Billion In Fines Over Libor Scandal

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 5:43 pm

The Swiss bank UBS has agreed to pay $1.5 billion in fines in multiple countries to settle allegations of manipulating the London interbank offered rate and other benchmark interest rates.

11:48am

Wed December 19, 2012
Economy

Why Not Go Over The Fiscal Cliff?

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 11:58 am

The White House is promising to veto a new tax proposal from House Speaker John Boehner. But who's bluffing and what's believable when it comes to fiscal negotiations? And what happens if talks break down? For Tell Me More's 'Why Not?' series, host Michel Martin takes a look at what might be on the other side of the fiscal cliff.

10:36am

Wed December 19, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Will Sell Off Its General Motors Stock

General Motors is buying back stock from the U.S. government.
Paul Sancya ASSOCIATED PRESS

In a statement early this morning, the Treasury Department says it's going to "exit" its investment in General Motors. The federal government holds just over 500 million shares of GM stock.

The automaker will buy 200 million of those shares, and the government will dispose of the rest "in an orderly fashion" over the next year and a half, depending on market conditions.

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7:18am

Wed December 19, 2012
The Two-Way

UBS To Pay $1.5 Billion For 'Routine And Widespread' Rate Rigging

The logo of Swiss banking giant UBS in Zurich, Switzerland.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Swiss banking giant UBS AG has agreed to pay $1.5 billion in fines to regulators in the U.S., Britain and Switzerland for its part in a scheme to manipulate the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR), which is used to set rates on contracts around the world.

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5:42am

Wed December 19, 2012
Business

What Does A Gun Debate Mean For Retailers?

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Companies that make firearms are facing some tough choices, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Yesterday, the private equity group Cerberus Capital Management said it's getting out of the gun business. And one of the largest outlets for firearms, Dick's Sporting Goods, said it is suspending sales of certain kinds of rifles. Wal-Mart has removed a website listing for a rifle similar to the one used by the gunman in Connecticut.

NPR's Sonari Glinton looks at what the gun debate could mean for big business and big retail.

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5:34am

Wed December 19, 2012
Business

Credit Rating Upgrade Is Good News For Greece

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Greece got a rare bit of good news late yesterday. Standard and Poor's upgraded the country's credit rating six notches to a B minus. I mean, not the worst grade on your report card, but in the financial world this is junk bond status.

Still, Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens that there is a more stable outlook.

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5:15am

Wed December 19, 2012
Business

Switzerland's UBS to Settle Rate-Rigging Scandal

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a global bank settlement.

It's the big Swiss bank, UBS. It announced this morning that it will pay a total of $1.5 billion in fines for its role in rigging the interbank lending rate known as LIBOR. The settlement will be paid to Swiss, British and American regulators.

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5:11am

Wed December 19, 2012
Economy

Boehner Pushes 'Plan B' To Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Steve, welcome back. It's good to see you.

INSKEEP: Oh, it's a delight to be here, David. Thanks very much.

GREENE: I can tell you, you did not miss any resolution to the fiscal cliff debate here in Washington.

INSKEEP: I was actually hoping you'd fixed that while I was gone. You didn't?

(LAUGHTER)

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5:08am

Wed December 19, 2012
Business

Day 8 Of 12 Days Of Tax Deductions

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, as we reach the peak of the holidays, let us not forget one of the most significant days of all - New Year's Eve. It's also the end of the tax year.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Many rules are set to expire and other may change as Congress and the president negotiate over tax laws, which is why we are explaining what the rules are in our 12 Days of Tax Deductions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS")

INSKEEP: Today's tax break is a big one, the state and local income tax deduction.

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