Business

4:15am

Mon December 31, 2012
Economy

Europe Fails To Stimulate Growth In 2012

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 12:52 pm

The U.S. economy grew at a steady though not very strong pace this year. But Europe slipped back into recession because of the ongoing debt crisis. European leaders took steps to stimulate growth, but it wasn't enough to reverse course.

The economic crisis that got under way five years ago was felt all over the world. But Mohammed El-Erian, CEO of the investment firm PIMCO, says different regions have healed at much different rates.

The year "2012 was another multispeed world globally, in the sense that different parts did different things," he says.

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3:33am

Mon December 31, 2012
Politics

After Fruitless Weekend, Congress Still Seeks Fiscal Deal

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:46 am

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, leaves the Senate chamber to caucus in the Capitol on Sunday.
Molly Riley AFP/Getty Images

It is almost unimaginable that both the House and Senate would be in session on a Sunday evening on the penultimate day of the year. And yet, they both were, with lawmakers hoping it was not merely a big waste of time and effort.

A bipartisan push by Senate leaders over the weekend has so far failed to forge a deal to spare American wage earners from tax hikes and shield government programs from drastic cutbacks.

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3:32am

Mon December 31, 2012
Planet Money

The Fiscal Cliff: A Love Story

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:46 am

America, if you're scared by all the talk you've been hearing about the fiscal cliff, take heart: There are reasons for people across the political spectrum to love the cliff.

There's a lot for liberals to like in the fiscal cliff, says Matthew Yglesias, who writes wonky articles about economics for Slate.

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3:28am

Mon December 31, 2012
Author Interviews

Death Of The (Predatory) Salesman: These Days, It's A Buyer's Market

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:46 am

iStockphoto.com

The familiar image of the salesman in American culture hasn't always been a flattering one. Just think of Alec Baldwin as the verbally abusive "motivator" of two real estate salesmen in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Daniel H. Pink, author of the new book To Sell is Human, says that this relentless, predator-style approach to selling has become outdated. He believes that the art of sales has changed more in the past 10 years than it did in the previous century.

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4:50pm

Sun December 30, 2012
Around the Nation

A Tough Year For Unions, With Few Bright Spots Ahead

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:55 pm

Despite huge protests at Michigan's state capitol building in Lansing, Republican lawmakers in the state made the union stronghold the 24th right-to-work state in the country.
Rebecca Cook Reuters via Landov

This year was a tough one for organized labor.

In June, Scott Walker — the Wisconsin governor who banned collective bargaining for public employee unions — survived a recall election.

And, despite huge protests in Michigan, the union stronghold became the 24th right-to-work state, banning unions from requiring workers to sign up. That came just 10 months after Indiana passed a similar law.

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10:58am

Sun December 30, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama 'Modestly Optimistic' On Cliff Deal; 'He Won,' Says Graham

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 12:48 pm

President Obama returned early from his holiday in Hawaii on Thursday for discussions on the "fiscal cliff."
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama went on the air to levy pressure on Congress Sunday as Senate leaders worked to negotiate a deal to avert the tax hikes and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff."

"I was modestly optimistic yesterday, but we don't yet see an agreement," Obama said in an interview with NBC's Meet the Press taped on Saturday. "Now the pressure's on Congress to produce."

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6:45am

Sun December 30, 2012
Business

Housing Made A Big Turnaround In 2012

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 12:45 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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5:11am

Sun December 30, 2012
Business

Retail Workers Bear Brunt Of Sluggish Holiday Sales

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 4:51 pm

Pedestrians pass the Dow Jones display ticker in Times Square on Wednesday in New York. U.S. shoppers spent cautiously this holiday season, a disappointment for retailers that slashed prices to lure people into stores and now must hope for a post-Christmas burst of spending.
Frank Franklin II AP

Several large retailers took a leap of faith on what they thought would be a gangbuster holiday season, hiring more seasonal workers this year than last.

Sales during the two months before Christmas weren't all that stunning, however, and that's meant fewer opportunities for seasonal workers.

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5:17pm

Sat December 29, 2012
Business

Hollywood Writer's Gongs Still Going Strong

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 6:33 pm

Comedy writer Andrew Borakove left California for Lincoln, Neb., to sell gongs.
Guy Raz

Andrew Borakove was a television comedy writer in Hollywood when he realized he had to make a life change.

"A vision of a gong appeared before me, and I said a gong? I've never thought of that," he says. "And I started doing research and I said, 'Yep, I could maybe sell gongs for a living.' "

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6:13am

Sat December 29, 2012
Business

Facebook, Apple Part Of Big Year For Business News

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Any new member of Congress faces a steep climb to get up to speed on the economic challenges facing the U.S. over the next 12 months. Some of the loudest demands for congressional attention will no doubt come from America's CEOs and business leaders because while the recovery has been trudging along in the right direction, some of America's largest companies and corporations have not distinguished themselves over the last year.

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