5:21am

Tue May 8, 2012
Economy

What Hollande's Anti-Austerity Rhetoric Means

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 7:41 am

Socialist Francois Hollande won the French presidency over the weekend, in large part due to his pledge to push for growth and battle the German-led austerity approach to Europe's fiscal problems. But what does that pledge mean in practical terms?

5:21am

Tue May 8, 2012
Business

Mortgage Update

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 10:03 am

Bank of America is offering to reduce an average $150,000 in principal for borrowers who qualify, a bank official says.
Chuck Burton AP

Bank of America is offering about 200,000 homeowners a chance to wipe out a big chunk of their mortgage debt. The offers are part of the settlement Bank of America and other major banks reached with state and federal regulators earlier this year, and it's one of the biggest principal forgiveness opportunities so far.

Read more

5:21am

Tue May 8, 2012
Business

Business News

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 7:41 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a shareholder revolt.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Read more

5:21am

Tue May 8, 2012
Asia

Pakistan's Prime Minister Refuses To Step Down

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 7:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Pakistan's Supreme Court has issued a judgment against the country's prime minister - again. The court had already ruled against Prime Minister Yusuf Reza Gilani for blocking a corruption investigation. Now, the judges have released details of their ruling, giving 77 pages worth of reasons why they found the prime minister in contempt of court. Let's remember this conflict is taking place in a vital, if troubled, U.S. ally.

NPR's Julie McCarthy joins us on the line from Islamabad, as she has so many times over the years. Hi, Julie.

Read more

5:17am

Tue May 8, 2012
NPR Story

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 7:41 am

Beatles tunes are very hard to license — the surviving band members and heirs have been choosy about who can play their songs. AMC's Mad Men made the cut. For a reported $250,000, the show was allowed to pay "Tomorrow Never Knows."

5:17am

Tue May 8, 2012
NPR Story

Germany Stays The Course On Austerity Measures

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 7:41 am

The elections in France and Greece signaled a resounding popular rejection of the tough austerity measures being pushed by Germany, Europe's largest economy. But Berlin doesn't appear to be changing course.

3:17am

Tue May 8, 2012
Europe

Why The Markets Shrugged Off French Vote

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 7:41 am

A supporter of French President-elect Francois Hollande wears a mask of outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

The arguments for growth policies as opposed to austerity are taking center stage in Europe after the French and Greek elections.

His rhetoric aside, France's President-elect Francois Hollande is not rejecting austerity. In fact, he pledged to balance France's budget by the end of his five-year term, just one year later than his opponent, outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Read more

3:16am

Tue May 8, 2012
Theater

A Test Of Hearts, Minds And 'Hands On A Hardbody'

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 4:04 pm

Hands on a Hardbody
La Jolla Playhouse

About 20 years ago, a Texas car dealership started a competition: Contestants had to keep one hand on a brand-new, fully loaded truck; the last person standing got to keep it.

It may not seem like a gripping drama, but it was the subject of a 1997 documentary. And now, it's the basis of a musical.

It's called Hands on a Hardbody, and that hardbody is, yes, the truck. At a rehearsal at the La Jolla Playhouse in California, it's on casters so the actors can spin it around the stage.

Read more

3:14am

Tue May 8, 2012
Family Matters: The Money Squeeze

Long-Term-Care Insurance: Who Needs It?

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:50 am

AnnaBelle Bowers' long-time physician, Walter Watkin, gives her a kiss on the forehead at the end of her visit. When asked how long she had been coming to see him, he said, "Long enough for her file to be 2 inches thick."
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Americans routinely buy all sorts of insurance — for cars, homes, health and even pets and boats.

But when it comes to long-term-care insurance, relatively few sign up. Out of more than 313 million Americans, only about 8 million have any such protection, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The low participation rate largely reflects the high cost of long-term-care insurance.

Read more

2:29am

Tue May 8, 2012
Business

Shhhh! (Facebook's About To Go Public)

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 10:07 am

The world's biggest social network is expected to go public on May 18. And like all companies facing an initial public offering, Facebook is staying quiet about its financials and stock potential.
Timur Emek AP

Facebook started what's called a "road show" this week, pitching itself to potential big investors across the country. It's one of the last steps before a company goes public — which Facebook reportedly plans to do next Friday.

But that pitch has to be very carefully calibrated — as you can tell from all the warning language that precedes it on Facebook's road show website.

Read more

Pages