July 3, 2013 When the Labor Department releases new unemployment data Friday, the news likely will be disappointing. Not really bad, just not very good. Unfortunately, that assessment sums up the entire recovery, which began four years ago. "We're just running in place," one economist says.
June 28, 2013 The interest rate on government-backed student loans is going to double on Monday. Policymakers in Washington could not agree on a plan to keep it from happening. If they don't agree on a plan soon, 7 million students expected to take out new Stafford loans could be stuck with a much bigger bill.
June 27, 2013 NPR's Uri Berliner gets a taste of the commodities market with a $227 wager on coffee. The futures price for coffee has tumbled for more than three years. But as he learns from interviews with coffee roasters and a futures broker, trying to predict coffee prices is not for the faint of heart.
June 27, 2013 Many people know how to buy things in cyberspace. But what about doing business in outer space? That's the question PayPal wants to answer. Citing the looming era of space tourism, the company is starting the Galactic project with the SETI Institute, to "make universal space payments a reality."
June 25, 2013 John Hammergren, the chairman and CEO of drug distributor McKesson, may have the largest pension ever reported for an individual, at $159 million. That's what he would have been owed in a lump sum if he had left voluntarily on March 31.
June 20, 2013 In our recent poll on African-Americans, we found that half of those surveyed were positive about their financial situations — and half weren't. That divide tracks with a difference in attitudes about many aspects of respondents' lives.
June 20, 2013 KUHFSupplies of oil have been surging this year, and U.S. drivers, who have been switching to more fuel-efficient cars, are using less gasoline. That would seem to be the right economic combination to push down prices at the pump, but gasoline prices have remained stubbornly high this summer.
June 19, 2013 The Internet makes collecting and even investing in art much more accessible to ordinary people. As part of his adventures in investing, NPR's Uri Berliner pays $450 for an abstract flower study he's only seen online. Is it an investment or a painting he's just happy to have hang on his wall?
June 18, 2013 When we get free perks we didn't earn, negative feelings can result, according to researchers. Part of the problem? Fellow customers. It helps if they're not around, a new study says.
June 17, 2013 Economists hope the leaders of major economies gathering in Northern Ireland will discuss expanding global trade. Since interest rates can't be lowered much further, analysts say, trade will be a key catalyst for growth.
June 14, 2013 The Federal Reserve's economic stimulus has helped keep mortgage rates at record lows in the years since the Great Recession. But rates are ticking upward, leaving some investors worried that the nascent housing recovery will suffer if the Fed unravels its policies too quickly.
June 13, 2013 One of the simplest ways to invest in real estate is through a real estate investment trust. REITs generate income for investors by leasing commercial properties. As part of his quest to put $5,000 to work, NPR's Uri Berliner learns that what counts as real estate in a REIT keeps expanding.