Chris Arnold

NPR correspondent Chris Arnold is based in Boston. His reports are heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. He joined NPR in 1996, and was based in San Francisco before moving to Boston in 2001.

Arnold is currently covering the collapse of the housing market. He's reported on how a breakdown in lending standards has led to the highest foreclosure rate in the United States in more than 50 years. For his series on the sub-prime lender Ameriquest, he interviewed former employees from around the country who described widespread fraud at the company's offices. With more than a million people now facing foreclosure, Arnold continues to cover the ongoing crisis and the efforts to resolve it. For this work, Arnold won the Newspaper Guild's 2009 Heywood Broun Award for broadcast journalism. He has also been honored by the Scripps Howard Foundation as a finalist for their National Journalism Award, and he won an Excellence in Financial Journalism Award from N.Y. State's society for CPA's.

Arnold has covered a range of other subjects and stories for NPR – from Katrina recovery in New Orleans and the gulf coast, to immigrant workers in the fishing industry, to a new kind of table saw that won't cut your fingers off. He traveled to Turin, Italy, for NPR's coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics. He has also followed the dramatic rise in the numbers of teenagers abusing the powerful and highly addictive painkiller Oxycontin – more than 1 out of 20 high school seniors report using the drug.

In the days and months following Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Arnold reported from New York and contributed to the NPR coverage that won the Overseas Press Club and the George Foster Peabody Awards. He chronicled the recovery effort at Ground Zero, focusing on members of the Port Authority Police department, as they struggled with the deaths of 37 officers - the greatest loss of any police department in U.S. history. Arnold followed the lives of those who lived and worked around ground zero - from bond-traders and Chinatown garment sewers to small business owners - as they sought to put their lives back together again.

Prior to his move to Boston, Arnold traveled the country for NPR doing feature stories on entrepreneurship. His pieces covered technologists, farmers, and family business owners. He also reported on efforts to kindle entrepreneurship in economically disadvantaged areas ranging from inner-city Los Angeles to the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota.

Arnold has worked in public radio since 1993. Before joining NPR, he was a freelance reporter working out of San Francisco's NPR Member station, KQED.



Sat June 18, 2011
Reporter's Notebook

If Table Saws Can Be Safer, Why Aren't They?

This week some of the nation's biggest power tool companies sent their executives to Washington. They came to argue against tougher safety mandates for so-called table saws — the saws with large open spinning blades. NPR's Chris Arnold has this Reporter's Notebook.

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Wed June 8, 2011
Crisis In The Housing Market

For Many, It's Still A Good Time To Buy A Home

"For Sale" and "For Rent" signs are seen on the front of townhomes in Centreville, Va.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Home prices around the country have fallen into a double dip. After declining around 30 percent from their peak, they started to rise a bit last summer with the help of a federal tax credit.

But with that stimulus gone, prices are now sliding again to new lows. And while some pundits say a lease makes more sense than a mortgage, other economists insist it's a great time to buy.

'American Dream' Under Fire

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Tue May 31, 2011

Robot Gladiators Prepare Kids for Manufacturing Jobs

A student works on her robot gladiator.
Courtesy of National Tooling and Machining Association

Robot battles have drawn kids into novels, TV shows, and movies for decades. Now companies are using robot wars to attract a new generation of employees to high-tech manufacturing.

On a Saturday morning in Indianapolis, 100 high school students from around the country gather in an airplane hangar to enter their creations in an epic war.

"Three, two, one, let 'er rip!" says local business owner Steve Overton, who is serving as announcer.

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Sat May 28, 2011

Can Low Rates Spark A Hot Housing Summer?

In recent days, home mortgage interest rates have ticked up very slightly but are still quite low, well below 5 percent. This spring's low rates have helped boost mortgage applications, both for refinancing and purchases. NPR's Chris Arnold reports on the outlook for the housing sector this summer, and the industry's one bright spot: cheap mortgages.


Thu May 19, 2011
Money Counts: Young Adults And Financial Literacy

Hard Financial Lessons Learned In College

Sydney Keyser at home in Deerfield, N.H. Her mother has struggled to avoid foreclosure.
Chris Arnold NPR

Part of a series on young people and financial literacy

About 14 million Americans are unemployed and looking for work, and millions more are facing foreclosure. Some have kids in college, and those struggling families must make tough choices about whether to borrow money to pay for school.

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Tue May 3, 2011
Osama Bin Laden Killed

Bin Laden's Death Reminds Port Authority Of Sept. 11



Other reactions from among the first responders to the World Trade Center. On 9/11, members of the Port Authority Police Department rushed to help rescue thousands of people. Port Authority was in charge of the towers. Thirty-seven Port Authority officers were killed that day, the largest loss of any police department in the nation's history. Back then, NPR's Chris Arnold reported on the department and he returned yesterday following the news of Osama bin Laden's death.

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Wed April 13, 2011

Rising Gas Prices Force Consumers To Make Choices

In some parts of the country, gasoline prices have hit $4.00 a gallon. The U.S. Energy Department estimates gas prices nationally will average $3.86 per gallon through the summer.

That's a big increase — up nearly 40 percent compared to last year. So what does that mean for the economy?

Higher gas prices are not going unnoticed at Stan Hatoff's discount gas station in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

"It's not good for the people, this is very bad," says customer Omery Velagoshti, who was filling up his tank.

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Mon April 11, 2011

One Woman's Foreclosure Fight: Is Victory In Sight?

If anyone is a poster child for people who should not be facing foreclosure, it's Debra Dahlmer.

Dahlmer, who is retired and legally blind, has never missed a mortgage payment on her home. She lives in Gloucester, Mass., in a modest house with her 80-year-old mother and several small, well-fed dogs.

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