John Ydstie

John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street and the federal budget for NPR for two decades. In recent years NPR has broadened his responsibilities, making use of his reporting and interviewing skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. His current focus is reporting on the global financial crisis. Ydstie is also a regular guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation.

During 1991 and 1992 Ydstie was NPR's bureau chief in London. He traveled throughout Europe covering, among other things, the breakup of the Soviet Union and attempts to move Europe toward closer political and economic union. He accompanied U.S. businessmen exploring investment opportunities in Russia as the Soviet Union was crumbling. He was on the scene in The Netherlands when European leaders approved the Maastricht Treaty, which created the European Union.

In August 1990, Ydstie traveled to Saudi Arabia for NPR as a member of the Pentagon press pool sent to cover the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. During the early stages of the crisis, Ydstie was the only American radio reporter in the country.

Ydstie has been with NPR since 1979. For two years, he was an associate producer responsible for Midwest coverage. In 1982 he became senior editor on NPR's Washington Desk, overseeing coverage of the federal government, American politics and economics. In 1984, Ydstie joined Morning Edition as the show's senior editor, and later was promoted to the position of executive producer. In 1988, he became NPR's economics correspondent.

During his tenure with NPR, Ydstie has won numerous awards. He was a member of the NPR team that received the George Foster Peabody for its coverage of 9/11. Ydstie's reporting from Saudi Arabia helped NPR win the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award in 1991 for coverage of the Gulf War. Prior to joining NPR, Ydstie was a reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio. While there, he was awarded the Clarion Award for his report "Vietnam Experience and America Today."

A graduate of Concordia College, in Moorhead, MN, Ydstie earned a bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude, with a major in English literature and a minor in speech communications.

Ydstie was born in Minneapolis, and grew up in rural North Dakota.

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11:20am

Wed November 30, 2011
Business

Central Banks Around Globe Move To Ease Fears

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a surprising move by central banks.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: The Federal Reserve took action this morning, along with the major central banks in Europe and Japan, to ease credit for commercial banks. This is an effort to free up funding for European banks battered by the eurozone's sovereign debt crisis. NPR's John Ydstie reports.

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12:01am

Tue November 22, 2011
Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems

Selling Water, Health Care In The Developing World

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 7:49 am

In a Healthpoint clinic in the village of Mallan in Punjab, India, lab technician Navdeep Sharma draws Suba Singh's blood sample. Part of Healthpoint's business plan is to offer cheap diagnostic tests at its clinics. Diagnosing and treating people in a single visit is one key to delivering affordable health care.
Soma Vatsa for NPR

In rural India, deep in Punjab — about 90 minutes from the Pakistani border — getting clean drinking water is a challenge. Well water often has high levels of dangerous chemicals. Surface water is contaminated with pesticides and agricultural waste.

Getting adequate health care is equally challenging. Government hospitals are often far away, and lines are long.

Here, in places like a dusty rural town called Rajiana, a 2-year-old company called Healthpoint Services is trying to figure out how to bring clean water and health care to rural communities on a global scale.

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5:58pm

Fri November 18, 2011
Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems

India Eye Care Center Finds Middle Way To Capitalism

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 7:38 pm

Patients sit after their cataract surgeries at a hospital of the Aravind Eye Care System in Madurai, India.
Reinhard Krause Reuters/Landov

At an Aravind hospital in Madurai, a city on India's southern tip, the waiting room is packed. A clinical assistant calls out the names of patients, and they're escorted to examination rooms. This hospital alone screens around 2,000 patients a day — and tour guide Shawas Philip says this day is busier than usual.

"We might break that record today — of the number of patients that are seen on a particular day. That's exciting," he says.

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12:01am

Fri November 18, 2011
Economy

Would Supercommittee Failure Roil Markets?

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 4:34 pm

Analysts worry that failure by the supercommittee to reach a credible debt-reduction deal could upset financial markets, force up interest rates and hurt the economy.
Scott Olson Getty Images

With Wednesday's deadline looming, the congressional supercommittee still seems far from an agreement, causing concern that failure could send financial markets into a spiral.

The bipartisan panel, charged with finding budget cuts or new revenues to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, is a child of the summer's debt-ceiling debate. It was an escape hatch for Congress and the president when they couldn't reach agreement on big deficit-reduction measures. That game of chicken helped to send the stock market sliding.

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4:00am

Wed November 16, 2011
Business

House Panel Votes To End Fannie, Freddie Bonuses

The House Financial Services Committee voted on Wednesday to suspend nearly $13 million in bonuses paid to executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The measure would also prohibit future bonuses. The Senate is expected to take up similar legislation.

12:01am

Fri October 7, 2011
Economy

Does The Economy Need A Little Inflation?

Though most central bankers hate inflation, policies that promote inflation may boost the U.S. economy, some economists say.

Ken Rogoff, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, says the Federal Reserve's efforts to boost growth haven't worked and the central bank needs to be more forceful.

"They need to be willing, in fact actively pursue, letting inflation rise a bit more," says Rogoff, who is now a professor at Harvard. "That would encourage consumption. It would encourage investment. It would bring housing prices into line."

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2:34pm

Sat September 24, 2011
World

World Powers Seek To Contain Europe Debt Crisis

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 12:14 pm

World stock markets tumbled this week amid fears about Europe's debt crisis, and the subject dominated the discussions at the fall meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund held this weekend.

Europe's sovereign debt problems, including the growing possibility of a default by Greece, have been festering now for more than a year. Investors in the financial markets are questioning the will and capacity of European governments to solve the problem. In the seminars and salons surrounding the meetings, financial heavyweights sounded the alarm.

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7:02am

Sat September 17, 2011
Economy

Median Male Worker's Income Lower Than In 1973

Tuesday the government's annual poverty and income report revealed that the earnings of male workers in the middle of the income ladder are lower today than they were almost 40 years ago.

In 1973 the median male worker earned just over $49,000 when adjusted for inflation, while in 2010 that worker made about $1,500 less. Yet, in the same period, the output of the economy has more than doubled, and the productivity of workers has risen steadily.

What Has Changed

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8:00am

Sun August 7, 2011
Around the Nation

Urban Rangers Quest For The Natural L.A.

The Los Angeles Urban Rangers are an art collective set on teaching Angelenos how to view nature in their everyday surroundings. Guest host John Ydstie travels with the Rangers on their newest expedition: to explore the L.A. River, a neglected natural resource.

5:49am

Sun August 7, 2011
Science

Dinosaur Hall Roars To Life In Los Angeles

At the center of the new Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is a display on T. rexes' growth and eating habits.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

At the new Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, visitors are greeted with the simulated sound of a dinosaur's roar. Some 300 dinosaur specimens are on display. It's also a hands-on show, with interactive games where kids can become paleontologists. The centerpiece of the revamped exhibit are three Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons, including the youngest known T. rex fossil in the world.

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3:51pm

Tue July 12, 2011
The New Normal

What The 'New Normal' Means For Americans

Experts estimate that in a 2 percent growth economy, the average household income would increase $17,000 less over a decade than it would in a world of 3 percent growth.
iStockphoto.com

The sluggish U.S. economy disappointed most forecasters, not to mention job seekers, in the first half of this year.

It grew at an annual rate of just under 2 percent, which is below the average for the last half century when the U.S. economy grew about 3 percent each year.

And although it may not seem like much, that 1 percentage point makes a big difference — influential analysts are saying we're in for a "new normal."

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4:10pm

Thu June 2, 2011
Economy

New Data Point To No Quick Fix For Economy

Originally published on Fri June 3, 2011 12:29 pm

Specialists Evan Solomon works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, when major stock indexes fell steeply.
Richard Drew AP

Worries about a loss of momentum in the U.S. economy continued to make stock markets jittery Thursday. Major foreign exchanges experienced sell-offs following the sharp drop of more than 2 percent in U.S. indexes Wednesday. The markets are responding to data that suggest the U.S. recovery will remain a long, hard slog.

Mark Vitner, senior economist and managing director of Wells Fargo, says the market sell-off was a response to a tide of negative news in the past few days.

"There's been a lot of disappointing economic data," he says.

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4:00am

Tue May 17, 2011
Business

If IMF's Strauss-Kahn Steps Down, Who Takes Over?

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn remains in custody in New York charged with the attempted rape of a hotel maid. It's almost certain Strauss-Kahn will not remain head of the IMF, and that creates a considerable leadership vacuum at a delicate time for the global economy.

12:01am

Wed April 27, 2011
Economy

Taking Questions: A New Move For Fed Transparency

The Federal Reserve will take some extraordinary action Wednesday when, for the first time in the central bank's history, its chairman will hold a full-fledged press conference.

Ben Bernanke's afternoon appearance before reporters marks the start of what looks to be a permanent shift. The Fed is hoping to hold a press conference once every three months as it aims to explain itself better to the American public.

For some people, Wednesday's conference is a bigger media event than the royal wedding.

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3:43pm

Fri April 22, 2011
The Federal Budget Crunch

Navigating The Budget Maze, Without Getting Lost

President Obama has gone coast to coast this week to stump for his new budget proposal — a plan to shrink the government's ballooning debt. Meanwhile, Republicans are pushing their own plan, developed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Sorting through the conflicting claims is not easy. Even in the best of times, budget plans arrive in a blizzard of numbers. When the country faces daunting fiscal challenges, as it does now, the storm gets even more blinding.

The 'Crazy World' Of Budget Baselines

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12:01am

Thu April 14, 2011
The Federal Budget Crunch

Taxes, Entitlements: Sticking Points In Deficit Debate

The budget plans put forward by President Obama and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) both set a goal of about $4 trillion in deficit reduction, but Ryan would get his in 10 years — two years sooner than the president.

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