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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1:55pm

Thu September 15, 2011
Europe

How The European Debt Crisis Could Spread

A giant logo of the euro can be seen outside the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.
AFP/Getty Images

The world's major central banks are so worried about Europe's debt crisis that they are moving to shore up eurozone banks. The troubled banks hold billions in sovereign debt of Greece, Spain, Portugal and other struggling countries.

Left unchecked, this crisis could spill over into the U.S. economy. Here's how Europe's troubles could migrate to the U.S. and the rest of the world.

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3:04pm

Fri September 9, 2011
Economy

Economists Weigh Effectiveness Of Obama Job Plan

Originally published on Fri September 9, 2011 3:05 pm

President Obama delivers a speech about creating jobs to a joint session of Congress Thursday as Vice President Biden (left) and House Speaker John Boehner look on.
Charles Dharapak AP

Economists have been looking over the $447 billion job-creation package President Obama proposed to Congress Thursday night. Predictably, the reaction was mixed, with most economists giving it a thumbs up, and many conservatives turning thumbs down.

Here are a few of the economists' opinions that were blogged, tweeted, reported or emailed around.

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9:55am

Fri September 9, 2011
Economy

Comparing Job Plans: No Shortage Of Ideas

A giant sign reading "jobs" hangs outside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce building in Washington, D.C.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

In the 2012 election cycle, "Job No. 1" for any political candidate will be to lay out persuasive plans for generating more middle-income jobs.

In the more than two years since the Great Recession ended, job growth has been exceptionally slow. Today, 14 million U.S. workers cannot find jobs and the unemployment rate hovers at 9.1 percent. That's nearly twice the level that would reflect a healthy labor market.

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9:43am

Thu September 8, 2011
Europe

Europe's Shaky Finances Rattle U.S. Economy

In 1999, the core European Union countries created a common currency, the euro, which is used by about 327 million Europeans.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

For nearly two years, the Greek debt crisis has been causing financial and political turmoil in Europe.

Now, the widening European troubles are undermining U.S. stock prices and increasing the odds of a global recession.

The crushing debt loads incurred by Greece, as well as Italy, Ireland and others, have "badly rattled global financial markets," Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm, said Wednesday.

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6:38am

Sun August 28, 2011
Economy

Slow-Growth Economy Spikes Food Stamp Reliance

About 46 million people get government help in the form of food stamps when buying food. That's roughly 15 percent of the population.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to release its latest update on the food stamp program. It's an important indicator of the nation's economic health — and the prognosis is not good.

Food stamp use is up 70 percent over the past four years and that trend is expected to continue.

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9:16pm

Sat August 13, 2011
Business

Gas Prices, Retail Sales Offer Economic Bright Spots

Shoppers stroll through Sawgrass Mills Mall during the first day of the back-to-school sales tax holiday on Friday in Sunrise, Fla. The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.5 percent in July.
Wilfredo Lee AP

It may seem hard to believe after such a tumultuous week on Wall Street, but economists do see a few bright spots.

For one, Americans with good credit scores can get some of the best housing bargains in decades. Freddie Mac's latest survey shows the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages has dropped to 4.32 percent. That's down to the half-century lows set during the fourth quarter of last year.

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6:15am

Sun July 31, 2011
U.S.

Debt Battle Leads To Layoffs In Aviation And Beyond

Many factors have been holding down job creation this summer — everything from the extremely hot weather in many regions to the weak housing market in just about every city. Another factor dampening job growth has been the political battle over the nation's debt.

One example of how the Washington debate is hurting workers involves aviation. Amid the bickering over the debt ceiling earlier in July, Congress failed to pass a short-term extension of the Federal Aviation Administration's budget.

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12:00pm

Fri July 29, 2011
Your Money

What Happens To Average Joes If U.S. Defaults?

Host Michel Martin and NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax check the facts behind the debt debates. Geewax explains how poor people would be both harmed and helped by government spending cuts, and how Americans can safeguard their credit if a U.S. default happens.

4:54pm

Tue July 26, 2011
Economy

On U.S. Debt, An Early-Warning Indicator Flashes Red

A week from now, the U.S. Treasury may default on some debts as it hits against a $14.3-trillion debt ceiling.

Despite that once-unthinkable possibility, financial markets appear calm. The stock market has not crashed and interest rates have held steady.

Still, one indicator is showing investors are getting nervous: the cost of insuring U.S. government debt against default is starting to spike.

"It's an early-warning indicator," says Otis C. Casey III, director of credit research for Markit Group Ltd., a London-based financial information services company.

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7:40am

Sun July 17, 2011
Economy

Consumers' Personal Debt Ceilings On The Rise Again

While consumers reduced credit card spending after the financial crisis hit, they are starting to raise their debt loads again.
iStockphoto.com

While Congress has been debating ways to lower the nation's debt ceiling, consumers have been quietly raising their own debt ceilings. Federal Reserve data show consumer debt has begun ticking up again after dropping during the recession.

In the years just before the financial crisis hit in 2008, Americans were borrowing more and more. In 2000, the total debt load for U.S. households was roughly $5 trillion. That shot to about $12.5 trillion by 2008, according to data compiled by the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

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12:01am

Thu July 7, 2011
Politics

Let's Make A Debt-Ceiling Deal

Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

On Thursday morning, President Obama will meet in the White House with top Democratic and Republican lawmakers — four from the House and four from the Senate — to continue work on a massive debt-reduction deal.

The goal is to complete a long-term, multitrillion-dollar budget reduction package by about July 22. That would give Congress enough time to write the deal into legislation, pass it and get it to Obama for his signature before the federal government reaches its $14.3 trillion debt limit on Aug. 2.

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6:59am

Sun June 26, 2011
Economy

Why So Glum? Economic Optimism Dims

The latest surveys show that both business owners and consumers have been losing confidence in the U.S. economy. That pessimism is just the latest blow to hopes for a speedy recovery.

Last week, even Federal Reserve officials said they have grown more pessimistic about the economic outlook this year. The policy makers cut their forecast for 2011 to a growth rate of just 2.7 to 2.9 percent — down from their April estimate of 3.1 to 3.3 percent.

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5:34pm

Mon June 13, 2011
The Two-Way

Vilsack: Growing Corn To Grow Jobs

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on an amendment to kill federal tax incentives for the ethanol industry. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., pushed for the vote to cut the 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit, worth about $6 billion a year, for refiners and gasoline blenders.

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7:44pm

Sat June 11, 2011
Business

After Wild Weather, Higher Food Prices On Horizon

Throughout April and May, U.S. farmers faced floods, tornados, downpours and droughts — all of which made planting difficult. Now in June, intense heat has been sweeping over much of the country.

The harsh weather likely will reduce the fall's harvest, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That, in turn, could further drive up grocery prices for consumers.

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7:13am

Sun May 29, 2011
Economy

Holiday Travelers Welcome Back The Vacation

2010: Costs dominated Memorial Day plans.
IBM

This Memorial Day weekend is kicking off what promises to be the best vacation travel season since 2007.

"Workers are starting to regain enough confidence in their employment situation to ask for and actually use vacation time," John Challenger said in a written analysis. He's chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., an outplacement firm based in Chicago.

Over the past three summers, the travel and leisure sectors have been hurt by the surge in "staycations," the stay-at-home alternatives for people who couldn't afford destination vacations.

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8:17am

Sun May 15, 2011
Your Money

Money Counts: A Series For The Financially Young

The young people set to graduate this spring will soon be facing adult financial responsibilities, like earning paychecks, paying bills and managing their debts.

But many of these graduates already have advanced degrees from the School of Hard Knocks. Over the past four years, the Class of 2011 has lived through the nation's toughest economic period since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Many students have watched their parents lose jobs — and even homes. Now it's time for this next generation to begin building a better financial foundation for themselves.

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8:12pm

Sat April 9, 2011
Your Money

Paychecks Can't Keep Up With Rising Prices

Anyone who has filled a gas tank or shopped for ground beef recently knows that prices are headed higher.

But while many retail prices may be moving up, workers' wages are remaining flat. The mismatch between rising prices and stagnant wages is putting a squeeze on workers this year.

On one side of the misery equation, Americans have been seeing retail prices rise at an annualized rate of more than a 5.6 percent so far this year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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