NPR Topics: Business Story of the Day Podcast: Episodes

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke returns to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for a second day of testimony. He's delivering the Fed's semi-annual report about the state of the economy. David Wessel, economics editor of <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>, talks to Steve Inskeep about what Bernanke had to say.
South America's economies are growing at a fast clip. That's because more people in the middle class there are beginning to buy more. That in turn is helping drive growth, production and jobs.
Downtown Phoenix is full of dirt lots. At the peak of the real estate bubble, an acre was selling for about $90 a square foot. Investors and developers thought the city was finally about to grow up. Now, the same land sells for $9 a square foot.
A leading pension expert says people in the private sector have pension envy because it seems their public sector peers are getting a better deal in retirement. But that envy may not last long as state and local governments struggle to pay for those benefits.
Women's participation on Europe's corporate boards averages about 12 percent, far less than the proportion of women in politics. European countries are debating whether to follow the path Norway has taken and enact laws that require that at least 40 percent of board members be women.
Justin Urquhart Stewart, director of Seven Investment Management in London, talks to Steve Inskeep about the quickly climbing price of oil.
New and used auto sales jumped 20 percent last year, according to a new survey of businesses. The car industry, sensing a rebound, has responded with an abundance of TV ads. Economists say the uptick in sales is a sign that consumers are starting to believe the worst has passed.
In just six months, Cleveland's jobs agency helped nearly 1,500 people find work — about the same number as in all of the previous year. The secret to its success: It shifted from retraining workers to targeting the needs of employers engaged in hiring.
Federal, state and local governments, along with many private companies, are struggling to get their finances in order, and many are looking at one major cost: pensions. Many pensions in the U.S. aren't sustainable, economist Dambisa Moyo says, and they've made American corporations uncompetitive.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has rejected $2 billion in federal funding for high-speed rail, dealing a blow to a controversial Obama administration initiative.
A self-help guru goes on trial this week for manslaughter after three people died during an event he hosted at a sweat lodge near Sedona, Ariz. Following that deadly spiritual retreat, tourists have retreated from the area's mecca of spiritual energy — but it's unclear whether the tragedy or the tough ...
Many websites and social media forums have been valued at astronomical sums. Last week, AOL agreed to buy The Huffington Post for $315 million. The sale will undoubtedly make some people rich. But most of the value was created by writers working for free.
<em>Financial Times </em>columnist Lucy Kellaway has written a new novel about taboo workplaces romances — and how hard they are to maintain.
Both sides are tripping over each other to convince voters they are making a real dent in the budget. But one expert says they are only tackling domestic nondefense discretionary spending — a mere 10 percent of the federal budget.
There have been calls to allow states to declare bankruptcy. Jim Spiotto, a bankruptcy specialist and partner at Chapman and Cutler in Chicago, talks to Renee Montagne about the pros and cons, and what congressional action would be needed to make state bankruptcy possible.
The Transportation Department says an investigation into sudden, unintended acceleration of Toyotas shows they were caused by mechanical problems, not electronic glitches. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says NASA engineers examined hundreds of thousands of lines of software code to look for flaws.
Revenue for ads embedded in social games is expected to more than double between 2010 and 2012, thanks to companies selling everything from fast food to entertainment. After Farmers Insurance Group ran its first ad in FarmVille, 5 million gamers downloaded it.
Nearly 20 states have either banned payday lenders or imposed interest rate caps that discourage them from setting up shop. But a report shows that some payday lenders have tried to find a way around the limits by partnering with Native American tribes and setting up shop online.
Republicans are demanding big cuts in all spending that isn't defense-related. Democrats say the economic recovery is still too fragile to do that. Now Democrats warn that the GOP could shut down the government and allow a default on the national debt if it doesn't get the cuts it wants.
Some of the millions of Americans who have lost jobs in the past few years are looking to replace the lost income with direct sales. Think Tupperware, Avon and Pampered Chef. But making real money is real work.
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