NPR Business

Politics
6:12 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Automatic Budget Cuts Near As Democrats, GOP Stand Firm

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

With Congress headed for a recess, prospects are dimming for a deal to keep the nation from falling off the next fiscal cliff - sequestration. That's the term for automatic spending cuts that go into effect March 1.

NPR's Mara Liasson explains how the White House and Congress got to this impasse and why it's so hard to get past it.

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NPR Story
6:12 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Effects Of Automatic Spending Cuts Become Clearer

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:39 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

As we've been hearing, clock is ticking on the sequester. That is the Washington term for the across-the-board cuts that will take effect March 1, unless Congress acts to put them off.

The impact the $85 billion reduction in government programs could have became a bit clearer yesterday, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

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NPR Story
6:12 am
Fri February 15, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Let's catch up on yesterday's $23 billion bid to buy H.J. Heinz Company. Warren Buffett is one of the investors. The Oracle of Omaha is famous for snatching up American staples, like ketchup.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Lesser known is one of Buffet's partners in the acquisition - a Brazilian, equally found of American companies.

Today's last word in business is: another oracle?

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Business
6:12 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Carnival's Crippled Ship Expected To Hurt Cruise Business

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:40 am

This week's debacle on the Carnival Triumph is a setback that may cost the company as much as $80 million and hurt the industry's image. Carnival says passengers who were on the Triumph the last five days without power were miserable, but at least they were safe. Industry watchers say Carnival generally has handled the mishap well, but that the industry may need to rethink how it deal with events like power outages on floating cities than can carry more than 5,000 people.

Economy
6:12 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Eurozone Economies Declined In 2012

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Europe's rocky economy.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: It was a tough three months for the eurozone at the end of last year. The area fell deeper into recession.

And as NPR's John Ydstie reports, it's expected to remain in recession well into 2013.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: The output of the eurozone fell six-tenths of a percent in the final three months of last year, according to a report from Eurostat. The decline translates to an economy contracting at a 2.3 percent annual rate.

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Business
6:12 am
Fri February 15, 2013

How Will Proposed Merger Affect Airline Passengers?

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:39 am

Conventional wisdom says fewer airlines mean higher fares and fewer flights. But experts say the American Airlines-U.S. Airways proposed merger is a mixed bag. Past mergers haven't led to significantly higher fares, but will this time be different?

Economy
2:31 am
Fri February 15, 2013

In Kansas, A 'Glide Path' To No Income Taxes. Will It Work?

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, shown delivering the State of the State address last month, is pushing to get rid of the state's income tax, which has some Republicans concerned.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 9:47 am

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has put the state on what he calls a "glide path to zero" income tax. But that glide path is far from being clear or smooth.

On the face of it, Brownback seems to enjoy a remarkably strong political position. He's a conservative Republican, flanked by GOP supermajorities in both legislative chambers. His allies helped purge moderate Republicans from the state Senate in last year's election.

"I think the road is open," Brownback says. "I think we do provide an alternative model. I think we do provide a red-state model."

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Business
5:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Merger Of American Airlines and US Airways Will Create World's Largest Carrier

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:40 pm

The boards of US Airways Group and AMR have approved the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. The resulting company will become the world's largest airline. American is in bankruptcy, so its creditors will own a big chunk of the new company and US Airways shareholders will own the rest.

Business
5:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Berkshire Hathaway And Private Equity Firm To Buy Heinz For $23 Billion

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:40 pm

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and the private equity firm 3G Capital are set buy ketchup giant Heinz.

Business
5:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Airline Mega-Mergers: 'Good, Bad And Ugly'

A United Airlines aircraft passes by a Continental Airlines plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in 2006. Their merger, begun in 2010, has been difficult, analysts say.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 8:24 pm

The proposed marriage of American Airlines and US Airways announced Thursday is likely the last in a series of industry mega-mergers, but history suggests combining two big carriers isn't easy.

"The history of airline mergers in the U.S. is good, bad and ugly," says Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst at the consulting firm Hudson Crossing. He and many others point to the 2008 union of Delta and Northwest as the best merger in recent memory.

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