Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 10:49 am
As the AP reads it, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stopped just short of "committing the Fed to any specific move, such as another round of bond purchases to lower long-term interest rates."
Bernanke gave a speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wy. today. As with all his speeches, it was being closely watched for signs on what the Federal Reserve would do next.
And our last word in business today is Happy Birthday.
Turns out when you're a billionaire investor you can celebrate any way you want. Warren Buffett turned 82 yesterday and his wish was to give away billions, so he did, in the form of millions of dollars worth of his company stock. All told, those shares will eventually be worth about $3 billion. That gift was divided between his three children's charitable foundations.
NPR's business news starts with yet another patent decision.
Apple and Samsung have been busy suing each other in countries all over the world. The latest decision came this morning. A court in Tokyo ruled that Samsung did not infringe on an Apple patent. A small win for the South Korean company, after a U.S. jury awarded Apple $1 billion in damages last week. Separately, a South Korean court has already ruled both companies infringed on each other's patents. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
And now let's report on a battle playing out on Norwalk, Connecticut. Eleven thousand students went back to school in Norwalk this week after a summer clash over budget cuts - the kinds of budget cuts that are familiar to people across this country. Dozens of teachers and other staff were reinstated in Norwalk, following protests by parents over the budget cuts.
As Kaomi Goetz of member station WSHU reports, parents are still frustrated.
Apparently the oil market is alright too. Now that Isaac has passed, the major oil companies are looking to restart production in the Gulf of Mexico. With nearly all the production platforms shut down, many people expected to see a rise in oil prices. But instead we've seen in the last few days what looks like the typical movement of the market - a little down one day, a little up the next.
Isaac is proving far less disruptive than Hurricanes Katrina or Ivan. Here's NPR's Yuki Noguchi.
This November, voters in California will decide whether the state should require labels on foods with genetically engineered ingredients. If the initiative, known as Proposition 37, passes, manufacturers would have to say somewhere on the front or the back of the food's packaging if the product contains or may contain genetically engineered ingredients.
Farmers markets are popping up in cities all across the country, and people expect lots of different things from them: Better food, of course, but also economic development and even friendlier neighborhoods.
At its core, though, the farmers market is a business, and it won't survive unless the farmer makes money.
For every farmer who is hurting this year during the drought, others are benefiting. Many fields in the South, Northwest and Upper Midwest are producing bountiful corn crops. And because the drought has pushed prices to record highs, farmers who have corn to sell expect a terrific payday.
"The corn has actually really, really taken off all the way through season. It's grown fast. It's been accelerated. The corn looks really good now," says John Scott, whose family farm in Sargeant, Minn., is just bursting with corn.
With Election Day drawing closer, each presidential candidate is pushing harder to make the case that he would be a better leader for the economy.
And voters are listening to the pitches. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll showed that nearly 3 in 4 Americans say the candidate's approach to the economy will be a "major factor" in deciding between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney.
The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment remained flat, last week, the Employment and Training Administration reports. In the week that ended Aug. 25, a seasonally adjusted 374,000 claims were filed, matching the previous week's total, which was revised up.