Business

Farms
3:01 am
Tue September 17, 2013

American Farmers Say They Feed The World, But Do They?

A cornfield is shrouded in mist at sunrise in rural Springfield, Neb.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 6:30 pm

When critics of industrial agriculture complain that today's food production is too big and too dependent on pesticides, that it damages the environment and delivers mediocre food, there's a line that farmers offer in response: We're feeding the world.

It's high-tech agriculture's claim to the moral high ground. Farmers say they farm the way they do to produce food as efficiently as possible to feed the world.

Read more
Economy
1:17 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Emerging Market Currency Crisis: Local Impact

Credit Sujata Srinivasan

With U.S. economic growth inching upward, the Federal Reserve’s announcement in May that it might taper off quantitative easing – initiated to boost domestic growth – is sending emerging economies into a tailspin. Global economies are so inter-connected with the U.S. through trade and investment channels that the currencies of Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa and Mexico all fell. But the Indian currency was especially sensitive, falling to its lowest in 20 years.

Read more
Wall Street
10:32 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Creating Smarter Financial Regulation

This Joseph Keppler illustration from 1901 shows that Wall Street bubbles are nothing new

Yale’s School of Management wants the nation’s regulators to learn the lessons of the financial crisis, and they’re designing a new program to help them do it. When Wall Street hit the skids in 2008, it was Main Street that largely paid the price. Andrew Metrick, professor of finance at the Yale School of Management, says one reason is that regulators weren’t looking in all the right places in the years before the crash.

Read more
New London
10:10 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Schooner Festival Showcases Innovation

New London's Waterfront Park will host the CT Schooner Festival
Credit Harriet Jones

Connecticut is celebrating its maritime heritage this weekend with the Schooner Festival in New London. The brand-new event hopes to attract thousands of people from around the region, and provide a showcase for local companies.

The Fishers Island Ferry prepares to sail from its terminal in New London. She'll have some company today, as 20 schooners, sturdy, sleek and fast sailing vessels with a long history in Connecticut, arrive in the Thames River.

Read more
Economy
9:55 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Connecticut Companies Survey World Markets

Bill Stone, CEO of Windsor's SS&C Technologies
Credit Sujata Srinivasan

The U.S. economy is picking up and the Eurozone’s out of a recession, but emerging markets are now slowing down. In this new economy, companies find it takes more than one market to fuel growth.

Think of the global economy as a large pizza pie worth nearly $75 trillion. Each country adds more dough and toppings, and the pie keeps growing. But downturns change that.

Read more
Connecticut's Flagship
7:46 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Amistad America: State Funds Used Appropriately

Freedom Schooner Amistad is Connecticut's flagship.
Ed G (Flickr Creative Commons)

The executive director of Amistad America Inc., a New Haven-based non-profit, asserts that all money it has received from the state has been used appropriately. Amistad America owns and operates the Freedom Schooner Amistad, and recently lost its non-profit status after falling behind in filing federal tax returns.

Read more
Economy
3:43 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Tired Of Inequality? One Economist Says It'll Only Get Worse

Economist Tyler Cowen believes that income inequality in America is only increasing. His new book is called Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation.
Szasz-Fabian Ilka Erika iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:57 am

Economist Tyler Cowen has some advice for what to do about America's income inequality: Get used to it. In his latest book, Average Is Over, Cowen lays out his prediction for where the U.S. economy is heading, like it or not:

"I think we'll see a thinning out of the middle class," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "We'll see a lot of individuals rising up to much greater wealth. And we'll also see more individuals clustering in a kind of lower-middle class existence."

Read more
Budget
12:37 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Maybe 'Muddling Through' Isn't That Bad For The Economy

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:15 pm

When the global financial system started to collapse five years ago, leaders from the Treasury Department, Congress and the Federal Reserve jumped up and started running.

Like men on a burning wooden bridge, they raced along, making crazy-fast decisions. They seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailed out big banks, saved automakers, slashed interest rates and funded a massive infrastructure-building project to stimulate growth.

But that was then.

Read more
Business
8:11 am
Mon September 9, 2013

New Direction for CTNext

reSET, the co-working space that hosts Hartford's CTNext hub
Credit Harriet Jones

  It’s been just over a year since Connecticut began to create an ecosystem for entrepreneurs. Dubbed CT Next, the system has launched four hubs, hosted many events, signed up hundreds of nascent companies and spent almost five million dollars. But as it goes into its second year it has changed direction and some are left wondering if enough has been achieved.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
4:56 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Making Tea Honestly

Ashwin on Flickr Creative Commons

Read more
Business
11:46 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Changes Could Mean Angel Flight

Angel investors pump a lot of cash into start-up businesses in this country - by some accounts about $23 billion a year. But some say they'll back off from looking for new opportunities if the Securities and Exchange Commission implements new rules on funding -- rules that are due to go into effect September 10. The irony is that the rules were supposed to make it easier for start-ups to find seed money.

Read more
Business
11:45 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Hartford Fast Food Workers Strike

Fast food workers rally outside the Old State House in Hartford.
Credit Harriet Jones

It's tough to know how many workers from Dunkin Donuts, Subway, McDonalds and other fast food outlets in Hartford walked off the job Thursday. But organizers of the one-day strike say they're happy the city has joined what's becoming a national movement.

Read more
Small Business
8:13 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Kitchen At Hartford Public Library

J Holt

Hartford's Downtown gained another dining option this week, and one that's been a long time coming. For the two institutions behind it, fresh food and good coffee are just the starters. WNPR's J Holt has more.

When the Downtown branch of the Hartford Public Library underwent a major renovation in the early two thousands, a three story tall, glass walled atrium space was built right up front, with the intention of it becoming a cafe.

Read more
Lending
8:03 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Microloans Benefit Connecticut Mom and Pops

Sujata Srinivasan

In an ongoing effort to create growth for mom and pop businesses in the state, the U.S. Small Business Administration is making capital available to Connecticut Economic Development Fund, a non-profit offering micro-loans. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan has more.

James Dufour owns Connecticut Carpentry in Meriden. He makes cabinets for hospitals and employs seven people. Up until the start of the financial crisis, the nearly 30-year-old business had little trouble accessing bank loans. 

Read more
Business
3:13 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Americans Abroad Say They'll Miss ESPN TV

Connecticut-based ESPN has suspended its TV broadcasts in most of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and US sports fans living abroad say they’re having a tough time adjusting to the change.

Peter Alegi says Americans overseas love to argue about 2 things: US politics and US sports. Alegi – a self-described baseball nut - is a New Haven native who has lived for decades in Italy.  Speaking from the town of Todi, Italy, he says ex-pats will sorely miss TV broadcasts of major league baseball, the NBA and NFL.  

Read more
Technology
9:02 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Changing the Science of Concussion

The UNH Chargers scrimmage
Harriet Jones

Athletes and concussion. There's barely a hotter topic in all levels of sports right now as more coaches and players start to recognize the long-term debilitating effects of repeated head trauma.

Read more
Media
11:57 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Businesses Await Word on the Fate of Patch

Harriet Jones

What’s up with Patch? That question seems to be on the lips of many small business owners who rely on the hyperlocal news sites to get the word out about sales, events and promotions. As Patch’s corporate parent AOL threatens closures and consolidations, some are wondering if it will ever be the same again. 

At the Branford River Resort and Spa, manager Doreen Bastian is creating just the right relaxed atmosphere for her guests.

Read more
Barbershop Law
6:32 am
Fri August 16, 2013

A Connecticut Lawyer on the Cutting Edge

Diane Orson WNPR

With law school grads facing a tough job market, some entrepreneurial attorneys are trying out hybrid businesses. One Connecticut attorney has opened a shop that combines his passion for the law with his skill as a barber.

Donald Howard says he first got the hybrid-business idea working as a paralegal for a personal injury attorney who doubled as a sports agent. Then he saw the concept again on a reality television show.

"It was a guy in California who did Legal Grind, a coffee house and a law office."

Read more
Jobs
12:38 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Connecticut Will Pioneer Alternative Jet Fuel Center

Courtesy: Rep. Larson's office

Connecticut is known for its aerospace industry, and it also has some pretty nice farming country. The two might not seem to have a lot in common, but new study hopes to use waste from one to power the other. 

Read more
Books
11:27 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Twin Passions Lead to Major League Business Opportunity

Harriet Jones

It's a common story for a personal passion to lead to a business opportunity. For one Connecticut entrepreneur it was the convergence of two passions -- baseball and art -- that launched her on the road to success. 

 

 

"Well, I grew up listening to the Red Sox on the radio, and on the only station that we had on our TV, you know, back in the Seventies. And my dad was a baseball coach and an umpire, so we just grew up with the Red Sox as sort of part of the family."

Read more
The Two-Way
11:42 am
Thu August 8, 2013

'New York Times' Is Not For Sale, Sulzberger Says

Ramin Talaie Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 12:37 pm

Responding to speculation that his newspaper would be next, New York Times Publisher and Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has issued a flat "the Times is not for sale" statement.

Read more
News
5:13 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

The History — And Future — Of Cable's Bundling

Though you'd never see it listed on your monthly cable bill, nearly every channel you get has a secret price.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:13 pm

For Time Warner Cable customers in major cities, the battle for the future of television is playing out before their eyes.

Read more
Media
6:19 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

With An Industry In Turmoil, Why Buy A Newspaper Company?

The Washington Post is now in its seventh straight year of declining revenues, says the paper's chairman, Donald Graham. Rather than continue to watch the paper struggle, Graham and Publisher Katharine Weymouth decided to look for a buyer.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:20 pm

Donald Graham, chairman of The Washington Post Co., is the son and grandson of its leaders for the past 80 years. And along with his niece, publisher Katharine Weymouth, Graham admitted in a video on The Post's website that the family simply didn't have the answers to questions about the paper's future.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

U.S. Sues Bank Of America Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 4:33 pm

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it was suing Bank of America for allegedly lying to investors about the riskiness of about $850 million worth of mortgage-backed securities back in 2008.

According to a press release by the Justice Department, the action is part of efforts of the Obama administration's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force's RMBS Working Group.

Read more
All Tech Considered
7:02 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

In Bezos' Purchase Of 'Post,' Tech And Media Keep Melding

Jeff Bezos, a tech titan and Amazon founder, purchased a venerable newspaper, The Washington Post.
Richard Brain Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 11:46 am

The news spread with the speed of the Internet: The Washington Post, a newspaper that helped bring down a president, would be sold to Jeff Bezos, the tech titan who started Amazon.

Read more
The Salt
3:18 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Massachusetts Revives The Lost Art Of Making Sea Salt

The Martha's Vineyard beach where Heidi Feldman collects saltwater to make sea salt.
Courtesy of Heidi Feldman

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:08 am

"Look for a house, barn, paddock, barking dogs and screeching peacocks."

Those were Heidi Feldman's instructions to me to find Down Island Farm in Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

She forgot to mention the ram, free roaming chickens and miniature horse. But I managed to find it anyway.

Read more
Planet Money
3:17 am
Fri August 2, 2013

4 Reasons Why Millions Of Americans Are Leaving The Workforce

NPR

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:08 am

The unemployment rate only includes people who don't have jobs and are looking for work. A much larger swath of people — about 36 percent of U.S. adults — don't have jobs and aren't looking for work at all. That figure is higher than it's been in decades (and, conversely, the share of adults in the labor force — shown in the graph above — is lower than it's been in decades).

Here are four reasons why so many people are leaving the labor force.

1. They're retiring.

Read more
Social Responsibility
12:57 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Doing Well By Doing Good: Social Enterprise

Sujata Srinivasan

Social entrepreneurship is becoming a buzzword with more people looking to solve social problems through the private market. In the conclusion of a three-part series on corporate social responsibility, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan looks at how entrepreneurs and policymakers are growing this sector.

Read more
News
4:28 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Hedge Fund Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud Charges

General Council for SAC Capital Advisors LP, Peter Nussbaum exits Manhattan federal court, Friday, July 26, 2013, in New York. (Louis Lanzano/AP)

Prosecutors said a large volume of evidence including electronic messages, court-ordered wiretaps and consensual recordings is stacked against a Connecticut-based hedge fund that pleaded not guilty Friday to criminal charges accusing it of letting insider trading flourish for more than a decade.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonia Apps told a federal judge in Manhattan that investigators had “voluminous” evidence against SAC Capital Advisors, a Stamford, Conn.-based firm owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen.

Read more
Business
7:06 am
Wed July 24, 2013

As Obama Renews Jobs Push, How Is The Economy Doing?

Workers line up pipe while drilling for oil outside Watford City, N.D. While the energy sector has been strong, millions of Americans have been out of work since the recession ended.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 10:35 am

The U.S. economy has been growing for four straight years — each under the leadership of President Obama.

But the pace of improvement has been disappointing to many, especially the nearly 12 million people still looking for work.

Read more

Pages