NPR Business

It's All Politics
5:30 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Compromise: Devil Is In The Definition Of Revenue

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:29 pm

A grand bargain, a compromise to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, could all come down to one word: revenue. It's now widely agreed that steering away from the cliff — the combination of spending cuts and tax increases set to hit at the start of the year — will require some combination of revenue increases and spending cuts. The central sticking point could well be whether President Obama and Congress can agree on the definition of revenue.

At the moment, the casual observer could easily get the sense that the president and Republicans in Congress are talking past each other.

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Monkey See
5:04 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Running A Comedy Machine: How Chuck Lorre Makes Hits

Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory, one of Chuck Lorre's three popular comedies currently on CBS.
Sonja Flemming CBS

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:51 pm

On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Neda Ulaby has a story about Chuck Lorre, the producer whose name is attached to three of the five highest-rated comedies on American television last season: The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, and Mike & Molly.

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Your Money
4:29 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Companies That Were 'Naughty And Nice' In 2012

The no-questions-asked return policy of the Kohl's department store chain helped it win a spot on the "Naughty and Nice" list compiled by Consumer Reports.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:31 am

For holiday shoppers, retailers' approach to fees, returns and other practices can bring praise or anger. And when customers rant or rave, Consumer Reports takes note — and compiles them into its annual "Naughty and Nice" list of companies.

"They're policies and practices that people either felt were consumer-friendly or not," Consumer Reports senior editor Tod Marks tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. He adds that the list isn't related to the ratings his magazine is known for.

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The Two-Way
6:15 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

All Bets Are Off: Intrade Shuts Door To U.S. Customers

Intrade, the prediction website that accepted bids on, among other things, the result of the presidential election, is shutting its operations to U.S. customers. The move came Monday just hours after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission accused the Ireland-based company of violating the agency's ban on off-exchange options trading.

Here's more from Intrade's news release announcing the move:

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Business
4:48 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Holiday Season May Be A Good One For U.S. Retailers

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:18 pm

Cyber Monday saw a big retail push following a Black Friday that expanded into Thanksgiving Day. The big question now is whether all the early shopping will boost total holiday sales or just push them up earlier on the calendar.

Business
4:48 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Head Of SEC To Step Down After Four Years

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:18 pm

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairwoman Mary Schapiro is stepping down. She took over the agency in 2009 as it was reeling from criticism over the financial crisis and the Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Schapiro is credited as a consensus builder who restored some stability to the SEC. She is being replaced by SEC commissioner Elisse Walter.

Books
4:48 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Independent Bookstores Find Their Footing

President Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia go shopping at a small bookstore, One More Page, in Arlington, Va. This is shaping up to be a better holiday season for independent booksellers than in past years.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:18 pm

In recent years, the start of the holiday shopping season has meant nothing but gloom for independent bookstores. But this year, the mood seems to be lifting, and a lot of booksellers are feeling optimistic. Even President Obama kicked off his Christmas shopping at a neighborhood bookstore in Northern Virginia.

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Business
4:19 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

A Jolly Christmas? Retailers Count The Extra Days

Shoppers line up in a Best Buy store in Rockville, Md., during a Black Friday sale. Thanksgiving weekend sales jumped nearly 13 percent from last year, the National Retail Federation says.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 8:49 am

For merchants, the stars are lining up — at least so far.

Online shopping jumped more than 28 percent on Cyber Monday compared with a year ago, according to IBM Benchmark. And the National Retail Federation says Thanksgiving weekend spending shot up to $59.1 billion, nearly 13 percent more than last year's $52 billion.

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The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

News Outlets Punk'd, Somebody Profits: Google Wi-Fi Buy Is A Hoax

Google.com

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 2:56 pm

This Associated Press report today wasn't true:

"Google has bought an operator of Wi-Fi hotspots in high-traffic locations such as airports, hotels and fast-food restaurants. Google Inc. is paying $400 million for ICOA Inc., a Warwick, R.I., company, as part of the search company's efforts to diversify its portfolio."

It was so wrong, in fact, that the AP later moved a "KILL BULLETIN" saying it was:

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Mon November 26, 2012

SEC Chief Schapiro Is Leaving

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 12:15 pm

(We updated the top of this post at 11:50 a.m. and 12:15 p.m ET):

Moving quickly after the announcement that Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro is leaving on Dec. 14, the White House just said that President Obama has designated SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter to be her replacement.

In a statement, the president says:

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