Chris Arnold http://kcur.org en In June Jobs Numbers, Signs For Optimism http://kcur.org/post/june-jobs-numbers-signs-optimism Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. There are plenty of Fourth of July references being tossed around about the latest economic numbers. Some analysts call the new report early fireworks, others caution hold the fireworks. But overall, the news is positive. The Labor Department says employers added 288,000 new jobs last month - more than expected. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent. And that's the lowest unemployment rate since 2008. The stock market hit an all-time high. Thu, 03 Jul 2014 20:09:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 58363 at http://kcur.org Housing Market Fake-Outs Stump Economists http://kcur.org/post/housing-market-fake-outs-stump-economists Many homebuyers have been throwing down cold hard cash for their entire house purchase in recent years. Some are baby-boomers who sold a bigger house and are downsizing. Some are investors. Sun, 29 Jun 2014 16:31:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 58113 at http://kcur.org Housing Market Fake-Outs Stump Economists Sluggish Housing Market A Product Of Millions Of 'Missing Households' http://kcur.org/post/housing-market-sluggish-because-millions-missing-households A year ago, the housing market looked like it was finally recovering. Sales and prices were picking up. But then home sales fizzled. Currently, they are down about 7 percent from last spring.<p>A big part of why housing remains so stunted is that there are more than 2 million "missing households" in the U.S. That's how economists describe the fact that fewer people are striking out on their own to find places to live.<p>Instead of renting an apartment or buying a home, a large number of Americans in their 20s and early 30s are living with family or tripling up with roommates. Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:57:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 57553 at http://kcur.org Sluggish Housing Market A Product Of Millions Of 'Missing Households' Missing In The Housing Recovery: New Houses http://kcur.org/post/missing-housing-recovery-new-houses More than five years after the crash, homebuilding is stuck at half its normal level. That's a big drag on the economy. And things aren't looking much better: A report out Thursday shows homebuilder confidence is <a href="http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?newsID=16817">at its lowest level in a year</a>.<p>This severe slump in single-family home construction has been going on across the country. We haven't seen anything close to this kind of a long-term construction slump since World War II.<p>"This is a completely unprecedented collapse," says Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. Thu, 15 May 2014 21:37:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 55809 at http://kcur.org Missing In The Housing Recovery: New Houses Amid The Device Hype, This Startup Is Taking Wearables To Heart http://kcur.org/post/amid-device-hype-startup-taking-wearables-heart There's been a lot of talk about <a href="http://www.npr.org/tags/172618814/wearable-devices">wearable devices</a> being the next big thing in the technology world. It's easy for the hype to get ahead of the products, but there's actually some serious innovation going on.<p>"What we're going to see over the next couple years is going to be extremely exciting," says Dan Ledger of Endeavor Partners, which consults with the companies that are inventing wearables. "As the technology improves ... Fri, 02 May 2014 07:41:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 55104 at http://kcur.org Amid The Device Hype, This Startup Is Taking Wearables To Heart Putin's Chess Moves In Ukraine: Brilliant Tactics, But Bad Strategy? http://kcur.org/post/putins-chess-moves-ukraine-brilliant-tactics-bad-strategy The game of chess is a national pastime in Russia. And you might say that Vladimir Putin is playing a high-stakes game of geopolitical chess when it comes to Ukraine.<p>Western leaders are plotting how to counter Putin's latest moves with economic sanctions. So to get some insight into what might come next, we talked to an economist who knows Russia — who is also extremely good at chess.<p><strong>Putin Playing From A Weak Position</strong><p>Kenneth Rogoff is a world-renowned economist and professor at Harvard. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:34:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 54601 at http://kcur.org Putin's Chess Moves In Ukraine: Brilliant Tactics, But Bad Strategy? How Do Companies Boost 401(k) Enrollment? Make It Automatic http://kcur.org/post/how-do-companies-boost-401k-enrollment-make-it-automatic More Americans are saving for retirement through their employers' 401(k) programs. That's because in recent years they've been given a strong nudge — more companies are automatically enrolling workers in retirement savings programs.<p>Some firms are also automatically increasing the amount employees contribute. Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:42:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 54479 at http://kcur.org How Do Companies Boost 401(k) Enrollment? Make It Automatic Onlookers Show No Worry Over Market's Week In Tumult http://kcur.org/post/onlookers-show-no-worry-over-markets-week-tumult Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish. Volatile, that's the kind of week the stock market had. Investors sold off high-flying technology and biotech stocks. Weak bank earnings also added to the sour mix. The NASDAQ is down 8 percent from its peak this year. The S&P 500, it's off 4 percent. Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 54069 at http://kcur.org One More Speed Bump For Your Retirement Fund: Basic Human Impulse http://kcur.org/post/one-more-speed-bump-your-retirement-fund-basic-human-impulse Saving for retirement is a challenge facing most Americans. Research shows the challenge is made harder by our basic human impulses. We know we should be saving. But we don't. We consistently make bad financial decisions.<p>One thing that leads us astray is what behavioral economists call "loss aversion." In other words, we hate losing. And that gets in the way of us winning — if winning is making smart financial decisions.<p><strong>How A Smashed Car Is Like A Smashed Nest Egg</strong><p>A few months ago I got rear-ended and my Jeep Cherokee was totaled. It's the first new car I ever bought. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 22:27:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 53672 at http://kcur.org One More Speed Bump For Your Retirement Fund: Basic Human Impulse How Russia's Annexation Of Crimea Could Hurt Its Economy http://kcur.org/post/how-russias-annexation-crimea-could-hurt-its-economy Russian President Vladimir Putin's swift move to annex Crimea is seen as a sign of strength by many Russians, and it has boosted Putin's popularity at home. But when it comes to Russia's economy, many analysts think Russia's prospects are looking weaker.<p>In recent days, we've seen Russians rallying in the streets, waving flags and celebrating Putin's move to reclaim Crimea as part of Russia.<p>And before that, Putin has been active on the world stage, hosting the Olympics and standing up for Russia's interests in Syria. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:38:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 53257 at http://kcur.org How Russia's Annexation Of Crimea Could Hurt Its Economy Severe Weather Socks The Economy, But Full Impact Is Unclear http://kcur.org/post/severe-weather-socks-economy-full-impact-unclear The economy often absorbs the impact of snowstorms, such as <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/03/285171762/what-a-blast-wicked-winter-storm-spreads-across-nation" target="_blank">this week's storm</a>, without much trouble, but this winter the weather is doing more damage than usual.<p>Sal Sambataro, the manager of Il Cortile in Manhattan, says that when the weather is better, people are packed into the family-owned Italian restaurant. On a recent day, though, the temperature is close to 15 degrees and the doorman wears a furry hat. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 22:46:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 52145 at http://kcur.org Severe Weather Socks The Economy, But Full Impact Is Unclear Grounded And Confounded, Airlines Wait For Storms To Pass http://kcur.org/post/grounded-and-confounded-airlines-wait-storms-pass The snow and ice storms sweeping the East Coast have been felt not only on the ground but in the air, as well. Airlines are cancelling thousands of flights, and both the companies and their passengers have had to deal with the fallout. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 21:22:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 51253 at http://kcur.org Trouble In Emerging Markets Causes Stocks To Take A Tumble http://kcur.org/post/trouble-emerging-markets-causes-stocks-take-tumble Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Stock prices soared in the past year, but this was a rough week and prices really tumbled today. The Dow lost 318 points, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ both fell 2.1 percent. This was part of a global sell-off, as investors focus on the growing financial turmoil in the developing world. NPR's Chris Arnold is following this and he joins me now. Chris, the year started off looking like the global economy was more stable. We didn't have a financial crisis unfolding somewhere. So what's going on now?<p>CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Right. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 22:22:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 50239 at http://kcur.org Small-Batch Distilleries Ride The Craft Liquor Wave http://kcur.org/post/small-batch-distilleries-ride-craft-liquor-wave Wherever you live, you're probably not too far from a local microbrewery making beer. Now, the latest trend is the spread of what you might call "micro-boozeries."<strong> </strong>Craft liquor distilleries are springing up around the country like little wellheads spouting gin, whiskey and rum.<p><a href="http://www.turkeyshoredistilleries.com/" target="_blank">Turkey Shore Distilleries</a> in Ipswich, Mass., is one of them.<p>Co-founder Evan Parker<strong> </strong>boils molasses in a giant, 400-gallon copper kettle to distill what the company calls Old Ipswich Rum. Wed, 22 Jan 2014 22:54:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 50124 at http://kcur.org Small-Batch Distilleries Ride The Craft Liquor Wave Obama Unveils New Plans To Encourage Manufacturing Jobs http://kcur.org/post/obama-unveils-new-plans-encourage-manufacturing-jobs Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama has been talking a lot lately about income inequality. Today, he visited a factory in North Carolina and announced new steps that he said would create more good-paying, middle class jobs. Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:00:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 49828 at http://kcur.org For The Unemployed, Ideas To Help Bridge The Gap To Work http://kcur.org/post/unemployed-ideas-help-bridge-gap-work When members of Congress return to work next week, at the top of the "to-do" list is whether to renew emergency unemployment benefits. Thu, 02 Jan 2014 23:18:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 49202 at http://kcur.org For The Unemployed, Ideas To Help Bridge The Gap To Work Cars Are Next Frontier For Sharing Services http://kcur.org/post/cars-are-new-fronteir-sharing-services Following the popularity of companies like Airbnb, which rent out a client's house or apartment to people visiting the area, more companies are trying the idea with cars. Companies like Uber help find someone to drive you around like a taxi. Another will let you rent out your car like a Zipcar while you're at work. <br /> Fri, 27 Dec 2013 10:09:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 48922 at http://kcur.org Cars Are Next Frontier For Sharing Services Manufacturing 2.0: Old Industry Creating New High-Tech Jobs http://kcur.org/post/manufacturing-20-old-industry-creating-new-high-tech-jobs As the U.S. economy continues to recover, it has been getting some help from an unexpected place. After decades of massive job losses, manufacturing firms have been steadily creating jobs — many of them well-paying. One particularly bright spot is a new generation of high-tech manufacturers.<p>At a company called Machine Inc. in Stoughton, Mass., a hulking computer-controlled milling machine is making an intricate aerospace component. "It goes in as an aluminum block, and finishes up as a completed manifold," says Richard Mileika, the company's founder. Thu, 26 Dec 2013 21:36:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 48910 at http://kcur.org Manufacturing 2.0: Old Industry Creating New High-Tech Jobs Mel Watt: A New Captain For America's Housing Market http://kcur.org/post/mel-watt-new-captain-charge-americas-housing-market Seven months after his was nominated, the U.S. Senate this week confirmed former Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., to head the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant companies that control much of the mortgage market.<p>The vote occurred after Democrats changed the rules on filibusters — now the Senate can confirm presidential nominees with a simple majority.<p>For people who watch the U.S. Fri, 13 Dec 2013 14:01:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 48286 at http://kcur.org Mel Watt: A New Captain For America's Housing Market Photos: Comet ISON May Have Survived Its Blistering Encounter http://kcur.org/post/photos-comet-ison-may-have-survived-its-blistering-encounter The Comet ISON appears to have survived after disappearing and being thought dead. Fri, 29 Nov 2013 18:28:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 47579 at http://kcur.org Photos: Comet ISON May Have Survived Its Blistering Encounter To Changing Landscape, Add Private Health Care Exchanges http://kcur.org/post/changing-landscape-add-private-health-care-exchanges We've been reporting a lot lately on the troubled rollout of President Obama's signature health care law. Wed, 27 Nov 2013 08:19:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 47468 at http://kcur.org To Changing Landscape, Add Private Health Care Exchanges Can Young People Get Obamacare For $50 A Month? Sometimes http://kcur.org/post/can-young-people-get-obamacare-50-month-sometimes <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlerIMpzVPQ</p> Wed, 13 Nov 2013 20:57:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 46790 at http://kcur.org Can Young People Get Obamacare For $50 A Month? Sometimes What Happens When The Pace Of Startups Slows Down http://kcur.org/post/what-happens-when-pace-startups-slows-down Since the financial crisis hit five years ago, there aren't as many Americans starting new businesses. In uncertain economic times, it's harder for entrepreneurs and investors to take the risk.<p>And if you look back over the past 25 years, it turns out the overall trend is toward fewer new businesses getting started, too — and that's not good at all when the country needs more jobs.<p><strong>The Next Google</strong><p>New businesses are really important for the economy. For one thing, they often come up with new technologies and better ways of doing things. Thu, 31 Oct 2013 07:57:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 46078 at http://kcur.org What Happens When The Pace Of Startups Slows Down What To Know About The Tentative JPMorgan Deal http://kcur.org/post/what-know-about-tentative-jpmorgan-deal Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne. The Justice Department is on the verge of a $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase. That would make it the biggest government fine involving a single company. It involves the allegedly improper sale of mortgage securities that led to the financial crisis of 2008. NPR's Chris Arnold has been following this and he joins us now. Mon, 21 Oct 2013 09:03:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 45521 at http://kcur.org Business Leaders Decry The Economic Cost Of Uncertainty http://kcur.org/post/business-leaders-decry-economic-cost-uncertainty Running a company is like driving a car. You need to be able to see what's coming down the road. Sat, 19 Oct 2013 10:44:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 45473 at http://kcur.org Economists Say Fiscal Fits And Starts Hurt U.S. Growth http://kcur.org/post/markets-play-it-cool-just-hours-possible-debt-default On Wednesday, the stock market cheered <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/10/16/235263755/hours-ahead-of-debt-ceiling-congress-scrambles-for-a-deal">the debt ceiling deal</a> in Congress. The Dow gained 206 points and all the major indexes closed higher.<p>Investors of course have been watching the showdown in Washington very closely, since a default could have been a global financial disaster. Wed, 16 Oct 2013 20:27:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 45321 at http://kcur.org Economists Say Fiscal Fits And Starts Hurt U.S. Growth Census Report Paints Troubling Economic Picture On Incomes http://kcur.org/post/census-report-paints-troubling-economic-picture-incomes For the first year since the recession, median household incomes did not decline in 2012. But it's hardly a reassuring picture. Incomes were flat despite the economic recovery and big gains in the stock market. That's a troubling aspect about today's labor market. It's four years since the official end of the recession and many households are worse off than when it started. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2013 NPR. Tue, 17 Sep 2013 21:34:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 43810 at http://kcur.org Census Report Paints Troubling Economic Picture On Incomes Rates Come Down On Jumbo Mortgage Loans http://kcur.org/post/rates-come-down-jumbo-mortgage-loans There is something new and different for home mortgages: Jumbo loans are being made at lower interest rates than traditional home loans. That's kind of like a first class airplane ticket being cheaper than riding in coach.<p>At first this seems crazy. For as long as anybody can remember, homeowners have had to pay a premium to get jumbo loans. That's because they're not guaranteed by the federal government. Fri, 06 Sep 2013 07:38:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 43190 at http://kcur.org Rates Come Down On Jumbo Mortgage Loans As Housing Recovers, Lots Of Boats Rise In U.S. Economy http://kcur.org/post/housing-recovers-lots-boats-rise-us-economy In just the past week we've seen a bunch of signs that the housing recovery is gaining steam. Thu, 22 Aug 2013 06:41:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 42370 at http://kcur.org As Housing Recovers, Lots Of Boats Rise In U.S. Economy DOJ Sues Bank Of America Over Mortgage-Backed Securities http://kcur.org/post/doj-sues-bank-america-over-mortgage-backed-securities Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. The Justice Department is bringing civil charges against one of the nation's largest banks. The government alleges Bank of America made false statements about the quality of $850 million worth of home loans. Those loans were then sold to investors. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.<p>CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: U.S. Tue, 06 Aug 2013 23:25:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 41533 at http://kcur.org