NPR Business

The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Record $614 Million In Penalties Levied As Insider Trading Cases Are Settled

Connecticut-based hedge fund CR Intrinsic Investors "has agreed to pay more than $600 million to settle SEC charges that it participated in an insider trading scheme involving a clinical trial for an Alzheimer's drug," the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday.

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Shots - Health News
10:14 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Power Shift Under Way As Middle Class Expands In Developing World

Brookings Institution

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 9:00 am

"The meek shall inherit the earth" — that seems to be the latest message from the United Nations Development Program.

Their 2013 Human Development Report chronicles the recent, rapid expansion of the middle class in the developing world. It also predicts that over the next two decades growth in the so-called "Global South" will dramatically shift economic and political power away from Europe and North America.

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Planet Money
9:58 am
Fri March 15, 2013

A Surprisingly Uncontroversial Program That Gives Money To Poor People

William Thomas Cain Getty Images

Last year, a federal program called the Earned Income Tax Credit took about $60 billion from wealthier Americans and gave it to the working poor. And here's the surprising thing: This redistribution of wealth has been embraced by every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama.

"This program worked," says Richard Burkhauser, an economist at Cornell University and the American Enterprise Institute. "And there's not a hell of a lot of these programs where you can see the tremendous change in the behavior of people in exactly the way that all of us hoped it would happen."

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Gasoline Pushed Consumer Prices Up Sharply In February

Handles on a gas pump in Brooklyn.
Jonathan Fickies Landov

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 10:05 am

Consumer prices jumped 0.7 percent in February from January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The increase was fueled by a 9.1 percent surge in gasoline prices. Gas prices alone accounted for about two-thirds of the overall rise, MarketWatch says.

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Fri March 15, 2013

More Problems Aboard Carnival Cruise Ships

The Carnival Dream docked in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in December 2010.
Andy Newman AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 1:53 pm

For the past month, management at Carnival Cruise Lines has been in a nearly constant state of damage control.

In the past week alone, three of the cruise line's giant floating playgrounds have experienced embarrassing malfunctions that have at least inconvenienced, if not angered, many passengers.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Book News: Geithner Writing 'Behind The Scenes' Story Of The Financial Crisis

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's new book promises to give us the inside dope about reaction to the financial crisis.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 9:56 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Energy
5:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Could Tapping Undersea Methane Lead To A New Gas Boom?

This photo from a Kyodo News helicopter shows a flame of natural gas from a Japanese deep-sea drilling ship on Tuesday. This successful extraction of methane from the seafloor was a world first.
Kyodo Landov

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 10:38 am

The new boom in natural gas from shale has changed the energy economy of the United States. But there's another giant reservoir of natural gas that lies under the ocean floor that, theoretically, could dwarf the shale boom.

No one had tapped this gas from the seabed until this week, when Japanese engineers pulled some up through a well from under the Pacific. The gas at issue here is called methane hydrate. Methane is natural gas; hydrate means there's water in it. In this case, the molecules of gas are trapped inside a sort of cage of water molecules.

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NPR Story
5:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

JPMorgan In Hot Seat Over London Whale Losses

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Pop Culture
5:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Angry Birds TV, Coming To A Mobile Screen Near You

A scene from the upcoming animated series based on the popular game Angry Birds. The show will be distributed to existing users of the digital game.
Rovio

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 11:57 am

People of all ages have been passing the time playing Angry Birds on their mobile devices. Now Rovio, the company that created the best-selling app, is offering fans a new cartoon series based on the game, which has so far been downloaded 1.7 billion times.

The concept behind Angry Birds is extremely simple: There are these colorful cartoon birds that are angry because some green pigs are after their eggs. Players of the digital game use slingshots to catapult the birds — who don't fly — to destroy structures hiding the pigs.

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Author Interviews
5:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

'Bankers' New Clothes' Leave Too Little Skin In The Game

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 6:50 am

At a hearing in Washington on March 6, Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to senators why it has been hard to go after big bank executives:

"It does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large."

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