Marilyn Geewax

Marilyn Geewax is the senior business editor for NPR's National Desk. Besides assigning and editing business stories, Geewax regularly discusses economic issues on Weekend Edition Sunday.

Geewax was previously the national economics correspondent for Cox Newspapers' Washington Bureau. Before coming to Washington in 1999, she worked for the Cox flagship paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, first as a business reporter and then as a columnist and editorial board member. She has also reported for the Akron Beacon Journal.

In 2004, Geewax earned a master's degree at Georgetown University, where she focused on international economic affairs. During 1994-1995, she studied economics and international relations at Harvard as a Nieman Fellow. She was also a Davenport Fellow at the University of Missouri, and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University.

From 2001 to 2006, Geewax taught a business journalism class as an adjunct professor at George Washington University.

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6:42pm

Tue February 18, 2014
The Two-Way

CBO: Minimum Wage Hike Could Boost Paychecks – And Cut Jobs

Darlene Handy of Baltimore holds up a banner at a rally supporting a pay measure in Maryland. More than 20 states have raised minimum pay rates above the federal level.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Whatever you already believed about raising the federal minimum wage, you now have more ammo for your argument, thanks to a report released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, titled "The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income."

Yes, you're right: Raising the wage in steps to $10.10 an hour by 2016 would push employers to cut jobs — about 500,000 of them, says the CBO, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress.

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6:10pm

Thu February 13, 2014
The Two-Way

Many Flights Canceled, But Fewer Fliers Stranded On Tarmac

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:43 pm

Passengers wait in line at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Thursday. A major snowstorm has delayed flights from Atlanta to New York.
David Tulis AP

Would-be air travelers sitting at home may be frustrated about their canceled plans. But most likely, they are happier than they would have been had they gotten trapped on an icy tarmac.

And that used to happen many hundreds of times a year before the Department of Transportation stepped in to reduce the frequency of passenger incarcerations.

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4:40pm

Fri February 7, 2014
Business

Disappointing Jobs Data May Point To A Tougher 2014

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:03 pm

Job seekers sign in before meeting prospective employers during a career fair at a hotel in Dallas last month.
LM Otero AP

Friday's unemployment report confirmed what many workers already had suspected: Five years after the job market plunged off a cliff, the climb back remains a tough slog.

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3:38pm

Wed February 5, 2014
Business

Which Way For Stocks? Investors Watch 'Worry Index' For Clues

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 5:42 pm

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday afternoon.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Anyone who invests in the stock market knows share prices can go up — and down. That's why they call it a market.

Still, this year, price movements have been fast and furious — shocking investors and prompting many to fear "volatility."

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12:14pm

Tue February 4, 2014
The Two-Way

U.S. Borrowing Is Less Of An Economic Worry, At Least For Now

Stock investors looking for a reason to feel optimistic about the economy may have found one this morning.

A new report shows the federal budget deficit has done some mad shrinking in recent years. Thanks to spending cuts, tax hikes and a stronger economy, the deficit in this fiscal year will be only $514 billion, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.

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5:42pm

Mon February 3, 2014
The Two-Way

Stocks Head Lower; Investors Wonder What's Next

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:44 pm

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the trading day on Monday in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

If your New Year's resolution was, "I am going to prepare for retirement by moving my savings into stocks," then you must be very sad now.

Broncos-fan-level sad.

On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged an additional 326 points, down about 2 percent to 15,373. That was the seventh triple-digit drop so far this year. Back on Dec. 31, the Dow was at 16,577.

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3:25pm

Sat February 1, 2014
Energy

'A Global Bathtub': Rethinking The U.S. Oil Export Ban

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:00 am

A pipeline carries oil at the federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility near Beaumont, Texas. U.S. oil companies are urging an end to a 1970s-era ban on oil exports.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

When oil supplies ran short and gasoline prices spiked four decades ago, angry drivers demanded relief. Congress responded in 1975 by banning most exports of U.S. crude oil.

Today, domestic oil production is booming, prompting U.S. energy companies to call for a resumption of exporting. Many economists agree.

But would that bring back the bad old days of shortages? Would you end up paying more at the pump?

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5:41pm

Wed January 29, 2014
Your Money

Need A Retirement Starter Kit? This Might Help

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:56 pm

With new accounts called myRAs, the government would protect workers' savings from losses.
iStockphoto

Financial planners all say: The sooner you start saving, the better off you'll be in retirement.

But that advice often goes unheeded by young workers focused on paying down student debt and car loans. And even for those who can afford to set aside a little cash, investing can seem complicated and risky.

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11:13am

Tue January 21, 2014
Economy

Workers May Be Missing, Or Maybe Just Retiring

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 12:52 pm

Is the economy strengthening, or is the jobless rate falling only because so many people are dropping out of the workforce?
iStockphoto

For more than four years, the unemployment rate has been sliding down — from a 10 percent peak to today's 6.7 percent.

But does that reflect a fast-strengthening economy? Or is the rate falling only because so many people are dropping out of the workforce?

In coming weeks, members of Congress and the Federal Reserve Board will be making big policy decisions based upon their best understanding of those unsettled questions.

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5:27pm

Wed January 15, 2014
The Two-Way

IMF's Lagarde: Any U.S. Budget Deal Is Better Than None

Christine Lagarde, who heads the International Monetary Fund, offered some positive comments about Congress on Wednesday.

Her assessment was a shade better than "faint praise," but something less than "Attaboy!"

Speaking at the National Press Club, Lagarde said she was pleased to see U.S. lawmakers have been moving forward "in a more orderly fashion" as they work on spending legislation.

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2:46pm

Fri January 10, 2014
Business

What's Behind The Drop In Unemployment

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 3:20 pm

Shoppers make a purchase at an outlet mall in Los Angeles. Employers added 55,000 jobs in the retail sector in December.
Gus Ruelas Reuters/Landov

Whether you had a job or were looking for one, December was a gloomy month.

The Labor Department said Friday that for December, employers added only 74,000 jobs — about a third as many as most economists had been predicting. That was the lowest level of job creation in three years — not exactly the news that 10.4 million job seekers wanted to hear.

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9:01am

Wed January 1, 2014
Business

Most Economists Say Happy New Year — Really

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:29 am

Philips Lighting North America CEO and President Bruno Biasiotta rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
Seth Wenig AP

As the new year begins, most economists' annual forecasts are brimming with good cheer.

"The economic news remains broadly encouraging," the Goldman Sachs forecasters write in their 2014 outlook.

And the brighter prospects are not limited to this country. "The global economy is likely to emerge in 2014 with modest growth of 3.3 percent compared with 2.5 percent this year," according to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at the forecasting firm IHS Global Insight.

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4:21pm

Fri December 27, 2013
Business

On-The-Job Deaths Spiking As Oil Drilling Quickly Expands

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Energy companies are adding workers, but fatal accidents are on the rise, too.
iStockphoto

Blue-collar workers, hit hard by automation and factory offshoring, have been struggling to find high-paying jobs.

One industry does offer opportunity: As baby boomers retire and drilling increases, oil and gas companies are hiring. They added 23 percent more workers between 2009 and 2012.

But the hiring spree has come with a terrible price: Last year, 138 workers were killed on the job — an increase of more than 100 percent since 2009.

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7:05am

Fri December 20, 2013
Business

Shop On The Web Or In The Store; Each Has Risks

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 8:37 am

A customer prepares to sign a credit card slip Thursday at a Target store in Miami. The giant retailer says 40 million payment cards nationwide may have been compromised by data theft.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Back in ye olden days — say, a decade ago — many holiday shoppers worried about using credit cards to buy gifts online. They feared their information would end up in the hands of computer hackers.

Turns out, walking into a store and swiping a credit card can be plenty risky, too.

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11:05am

Thu December 19, 2013
Economy

The Washington Two-Step: Dancing Back To Normal

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 1:24 pm

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveil a budget deal Dec. 10 in Washington.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Time and again, business leaders say the one thing they want out of Washington is more certainty.

But rarely do they get their wish.

In recent years, business owners have found themselves wondering whether their government would default on its debts, shut down national parks, change tax rules, cancel supplier contracts, confirm key leaders at federal agencies or hike interest rates.

Finally on Wednesday, they saw policymakers take two big steps toward a more certain future.

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5:08pm

Mon December 16, 2013
The Two-Way

General Motors CEO: In The Bailout, Fair Is Fair

General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson speaks at the National Press Club on Monday in Washington, D.C.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Retiring General Motors CEO Dan Akerson made a case Monday for how losing should feel like winning — at least for U.S. taxpayers who lost more than $10 billion in a GM bailout.

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6:37pm

Wed December 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Extended Unemployment Benefits On Track To Expire Dec. 28

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 9:38 pm

A prospective job seeker gets information at a job resource fair for military veterans in Van Nuys, Calif., on Oct. 24.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Unless Congress acts very quickly, some 1.3 million workers will lose their extended jobless benefits on Dec. 28.

Democrats were scrambling late Wednesday to link an extension of benefits to a budget deal that is expected to get a vote as soon as Thursday. But if the effort fails, they will come back at it in 2014.

"We're going to push here after the first of the year for an extension of emergency unemployment insurance when the Senate convenes after the new year," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said on Wednesday.

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4:04pm

Tue December 10, 2013
Business

GM Gives A Woman The Keys To Drive Its Future

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 5:29 pm

Mary Barra speaks at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year. General Motors has picked her to lead the company.
Rebecca Cook Reuters/Landov

She's not the first woman to head a global corporation.

Ginni Rometty runs IBM, and Indra Nooyi heads PepsiCo. Don't forget Ursula Burns at Xerox and Meg Whitman at Hewlett-Packard. There's Marissa Mayer at Yahoo.

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5:35am

Sun December 8, 2013
Economy

Economists Toast 20 Years Of NAFTA; Critics Sit Out The Party

A truck bearing Mexican and U.S. flags approaches the border crossing into the U.S., in Laredo, Texas.
Reuters /Landov

Twenty years ago, millions of Americans were cocking their ears — waiting to hear a "giant sucking sound."

They feared Mexico would begin vacuuming up U.S. manufacturing jobs as soon as President Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, on Dec. 8, 1993.

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1:46pm

Fri December 6, 2013
Economy

For Workers, A Week Stuffed With Good News

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 4:40 pm

An auto worker tightens bolts on the wheel of a Focus at a Ford plant in Wayne, Mich. Reports this week showed increases in auto sales and manufacturing jobs.
Mira Oberman AFP/Getty Images

Here's something you haven't heard in years: The U.S. economy had a great week.

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2:09pm

Sun November 24, 2013
Economy

Many Americans Will Be Giving Thanks For Lower Prices

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 1:11 pm

Gas prices are down compared with last year, but slumping consumer confidence could dampen Thanksgiving holiday travel.
Julio Cortez AP

When Americans drive to their Thanksgiving gatherings this week, they will have one more blessing to count: lower costs.

Gasoline is cheaper than last year. Turkey prices are down, too. And retailers are joining in, offering big discounts on TVs and other goods.

For people who watch every penny, this Thanksgiving will be a good time for pinching.

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4:36pm

Thu November 14, 2013
The Kennedy Assassination, 50 Years Later

JFK's Lasting Economic Legacy: Lower Tax Rates

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 4:00 pm

As the young U.S. senator takes the oath to become president, he sets out to fix an economy struggling with rising unemployment, slumping profits and depressed stock prices.

He knows the deep recession could prevent him from advancing his broader domestic and diplomatic agenda. Yes — all true for President Obama.

But that's what John F. Kennedy faced as well. On his frosty Inauguration Day in January 1961, Kennedy had to start fulfilling his campaign pledge to "get America moving again." Like Obama, he would need to win over a deeply skeptical business community.

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5:16pm

Tue November 12, 2013
Business

Airline Antitrust Deal Seen Boosting Competition At Airports

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:21 pm

An American Airlines jet passes the Washington Monument as it lands at Ronald Reagan National Airport. That's one of seven airports where American and US Airways must now make room for low-cost competitors under a settlement with the Justice Department.
Mark Lennihan AP

From the start, airline analysts had been predicting that an antitrust lawsuit would not stop the $11 billion deal to combine US Airways and American Airlines.

They saw the suit, filed in August, as a government negotiating tactic, not a deal-breaker.

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1:06pm

Fri November 8, 2013
Business

What Really Got Measured In This Month's Jobs Report?

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 2:58 pm

Graphic designer Tom Sadowski, 65, works from home in Sterling, Va., in October. Many experts believe the economy is becoming too complicated for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to measure accurately using current methods.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

In October, private employers did a lot of hiring, but a government shutdown forced hundreds of thousands of workers to stay home.

Those federal furloughs offset 204,000 jobs created last month — enough to push the unemployment rate one tick higher to 7.3 percent, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Or maybe the end of that sentence should read: the Labor Department guessed on Friday.

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6:07pm

Fri October 11, 2013
Business

At Global Gathering, Many Worry About U.S. Strength

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 11:19 am

The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank began Thursday in Washington amid a partial government shutdown. Many delegates are concerned that the U.S. budget impasse may threaten global economic stability.
Jose Luis Magana AP

When you invite guests over, you probably straighten up the house to make a good impression.

This week, the nation's capital is welcoming guests from all over the world. Thousands of finance ministers, central bankers, scholars and industry leaders are in Washington, D.C., for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

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5:50pm

Wed October 9, 2013
Business

Yellen Faces A Tough Job At The Fed From Day 1

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 7:02 pm

President Obama stands with Janet Yellen, his choice to lead the Federal Reserve Board, at the White House on Wednesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Starting a new job is always tough. You want early success to prove you really were the right pick.

That's especially true if you happen to be the first woman to hold that job. Ever.

So when President Obama on Wednesday nominated Janet Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve, she might have had two reactions: 1) Yippee and 2) Uh-oh.

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11:59am

Tue October 8, 2013
The Government Shutdown

Obama's Absence At Asia Summit Seen Hurting U.S. Trade

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 3:49 pm

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono speaks Tuesday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. President Obama missed the meeting due to the budget impasse in Washington.
Beawiharta/Pool EPA/Landov

Imagine a poker table.

At one seat, China's President Xi Jinping studies his cards. At another, Russian President Vladimir Putin is stroking his chin. Asian leaders fill the other seats, each trying to win the pot, which is filled — not with poker chips — but with jobs.

That's the kind of high-stakes game that played out this week in Indonesia, where global leaders got together to discuss trade relations. Their gathering ended Tuesday, and exactly who won what is not yet clear.

But this much is known: President Obama was not at the table.

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4:51pm

Fri October 4, 2013
The Government Shutdown

The 'Faux Friday' Jobs Report: What Economists Can Guesstimate

Even without official Labor Department data, economists estimated jobs grew moderately last month.
Andrey Popov iStockphoto.com

Thanks to the federal government's partial shutdown, the Bureau of Labor Statistics skipped its monthly Big Reveal at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

There was no September employment report.

Without access to the BLS numbers, data junkies were left to scrounge around for lesser reports. Maybe if they could suck in enough small hits of other statistics, they could feel that old familiar rush?

Nope. Nothing can replace that BLS high.

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11:45am

Thu October 3, 2013
The Government Shutdown

Without Key Jobs Data, Markets And Economists Left Guessing

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 1:32 pm

JPMorgan Chase trader Frederick Reimer works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The government's monthly jobs numbers won't be released as scheduled Friday, leaving financial markets without key data to evaluate the economy.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

Stock investors and business journalists unite each month for one shared, suspenseful moment — the 8:30 a.m. release of the Labor Department's employment report.

The unveiling of the report — so rich with data on job creation, unemployment, wages and hours — can be counted upon to set off a tsunami of tweets. Economists jump in with instant analysis and politicians fire off press releases with reactions.

That market-moving report was due this Friday.

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5:14am

Tue October 1, 2013
Business

Economists Say Shutdown Will Hurt, But Hard To Add It Up

Government workers protest the possibility of a federal shutdown in Chicago. Nearly 100 employees from federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development rallied in a downtown plaza Monday.
M. Spencer Green AP

After weeks of wondering what would happen, Americans now know:

1. Congress missed the midnight funding deadline for the new fiscal year, triggering disruptions in government operations.

2. That will slow economic growth, at least in the short term.

But just how far the damage will go is far from clear. Economists say they can't refine their predictions because they have no idea how long the shutdown might last or how many federal workers may be furloughed.

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