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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6:46pm

Tue April 9, 2013
Your Money

Will You Be Chained To A Smaller Check In Retirement?

Opponents of President Obama's expected proposed changes to Social Security rallied at the White House on Tuesday. Among them were lawmakers like Minnesota Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan.
J. David Ake AP

When President Obama on Wednesday unveils his blueprint for the government's 2014 budget, he'll offer lots of ideas for changes in taxes and spending.

But the proposal likely to grab the most attention will be the one dealing with cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients. Many economists would applaud a change in the way Social Security officials measure inflation, but many older Americans may hiss, fearing a new formula will cut their benefits.

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10:43am

Fri April 5, 2013
Economy

U.S. Job Growth Slows As Jobless Face Benefit Cuts

Originally published on Sat April 6, 2013 4:55 pm

Applicants complete forms at a job fair in Newark, N.J. Weak U.S. job growth comes at the same time benefits for the long-term unemployed are shrinking.
Mark Lennihan AP

The 11.7 million Americans searching for work got discouraging news Friday morning when the Labor Department said employers created only 88,000 jobs in March. The weak job growth comes at the same time benefits for the long-term unemployed are shrinking.

The smaller-than-expected increase in payrolls was a big disappointment, coming after a long stretch of much better results. Over the past year, employment growth has averaged 169,000 jobs a month.

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7:16am

Thu March 28, 2013
Business

Cheap Natural Gas Pumping New Life Into U.S. Factories

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 5:13 pm

A worker hooks up pipe during natural gas drilling by EnerVest on the Barnett Shale near Fort Worth, Texas, in 2012.
Ron Jenkins MCT /Landov

The millions of Americans who lost factory jobs over the past decade may find this hard to believe, but U.S. manufacturing is coming back to life.

The chest compressions are applied by the pumping of cheap, domestic natural gas.

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12:29pm

Thu March 21, 2013
Crisis In The Housing Market

You Be The Judge: Is The Housing Market Really Improving?

A home for sale in Glenview, Ill. Existing-home sales hit the highest level in more than 3 years in February. But not everyone is convinced that the housing sector's momentum has staying power.
Nam Y. Huh AP

This week, optimists had no trouble finding fresh evidence to suggest that the housing market is recovering.

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4:15pm

Mon March 18, 2013
Business

Why The Crisis In Cyprus May End Up Hurting You Too

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:28 pm

Cypriots protest an EU bailout deal outside the parliament in Nicosia on Monday. A proposed bailout deal would slap a levy on all Cypriot bank savings.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Ask Americans to point out Cyprus, and most would have to spin a globe several times before noticing the small island nation, east of Greece and south of Turkey.

But whether or not you have ever given a thought to the 1.1 million people living there under the warm Mediterranean sun, Cyprus might send a chill up your spine this week.

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1:59pm

Fri March 8, 2013
Economy

5 Things The Jobs Report Tells Us About The Economy (Or Not)

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 3:02 pm

The job market showed strong growth in February. But questions about low wages, consumer debt and government austerity cloud the sunny picture.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

If you enjoy having a good argument, Friday's report on the labor market gives you plenty to chew over. Find a debate partner and let's get started.

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6:48pm

Mon March 4, 2013
The Two-Way

Long Lines At TSA: Maybe Not a Good Omen For Spring Break Travel

The scene at Salt Lake City International Airport.
Ryan McCammon via Facebook

The Transportation Security Administration today would not confirm there were any unusual delays in air travel caused by budget cuts.

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12:38pm

Wed February 27, 2013
Economy

Economists See Budget Cuts Putting The Recovery At Risk

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:52 pm

Shipyard workers wait for President Obama to speak about looming automatic federal budget cuts Tuesday in Newport News, Va.
Charles Dharapak AP

Getting economists to agree with each other isn't easy. But Congress and the White House have managed to unite them.

More than 95 percent of top U.S. economists believe growth is "likely to be negatively affected" by the automatic federal spending cuts that are scheduled to kick in Friday, according to the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

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4:19pm

Thu February 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Surely Congress Would Know Better Than to Hurt Airlines. No?

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 5:31 pm

Those baggage fees, cramped seats and tiny pretzel bags to the contrary and notwithstanding, airline passengers enjoyed good times in 2012, according to an annual recap from Airlines for America, the industry trade group.

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11:15am

Thu February 14, 2013
Business

How The American-US Airways Merger Might Affect You

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:24 pm

A US Airways plane rests near two American Airlines jets at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport last year. The combined carrier would be named American Airlines.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

American Airlines and US Airways on Thursday announced they plan to merge to create the country's largest airline, with a route network stretching from coast to coast, and covering large swaths of Latin America, Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and Africa.

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2:52pm

Wed February 13, 2013
Economy

Obama's Call For Higher Minimum Wage Could Have Ripple Effect

Wendy Brown of Schenectady, N.Y., holds a sign before an Occupy Albany rally pushing for a raise in New York's minimum wage on May 29, 2012.
Mike Groll AP

So maybe the Great Recession really is over.

After more than five years of recession and painfully slow recovery, President Obama has sent a powerful signal that he thinks the U.S. economy is now in much better shape — good enough, at least, to provide workers with raises.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama called upon Congress to boost the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2015, up from the current $7.25. The wage would rise in steps, and after hitting the maximum in two years, would thereafter be indexed to inflation.

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11:55am

Wed February 6, 2013
Economy

With Gasoline Prices Rising, Consumers Are Having A Tough Year

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:30 pm

Raul Rivero fills up in Miami. Having less take-home pay at the same time gas prices are rising could dampen consumer spending, economists say.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Business leaders involved in homebuilding, oil drilling or automaking are happy about the way 2013 has kicked off. Lower- and middle-income consumers, on the other hand, are feeling like the year has kicked them in the head.

"Consumers have not rebounded with the arrival of the new year," says Ed Farrell, director of consumer insight at the Consumer Reports National Research Center. "Middle-income Americans were particularly hard hit this month and appear to be losing ground."

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10:57am

Fri February 1, 2013
Business

Jobs Still Lag, But Homebuilding May Soon Help

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 4:43 pm

A new home under construction in Pepper Pike, Ohio. This spring's jobs data could look much brighter if housing heats up.
Tony Dejak AP

Here in the depths of winter, U.S. economic numbers aren't looking so hot. This week, new reports showed growth started to freeze up last fall, and the unemployment rate rose a bit in January, to 7.9 percent.

But most economists say you shouldn't let those cold facts fool you: This spring's data could look much brighter if the housing market continues to heat up.

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5:51pm

Wed January 23, 2013
The Two-Way

Transportation Secretary: Duration Of Dreamliner Review Is Unknown

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 5:57 pm

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speaks during a news conference at the Transportation Department in Washington in January.
Susan Walsh AP

If you were dreaming of flying soon in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, you have to wake up: Federal Aviation Administration isn't rushing its review of the grounded aircraft.

"We need to get to the bottom of the recent issues with the batteries in the 787 and ensure their safety before these aircraft can be put back in service," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today at an Aero Club luncheon in Washington.

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12:00pm

Thu January 10, 2013
Economy

Three New 'Cliffs' Threaten The Economy

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:39 pm

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Jan. 2. Financial market participants will be keeping a close eye on upcoming deadlines affecting the U.S. debt ceiling, scheduled automatic budget cuts and federal funding.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Maybe you were hoping you'd never hear the phrase "fiscal cliff" again after Congress passed legislation Jan. 1 to address that tax-break-expiration deadline.

Sorry.

Three more cliff-type deadlines are fast approaching. They involve: 1) raising the federal debt ceiling 2) modifying automatic, across-the-board spending cuts and 3) funding the government to avert a shutdown.

The deadlines all hit between Valentine's Day and Easter, which means new rounds of chaotic congressional negotiations may start up just after the Jan. 21 presidential inauguration parade ends.

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2:40pm

Fri January 4, 2013
Economy

As 2013 Begins, A 'Pretty Positive' Job Outlook

The health care sector added 45,000 jobs in December and is expected to see continued growth this year, economists say.
iStockphoto.com

If you're searching for work in this new year, the Labor Department's final jobs report for 2012 suggests: The trend is your friend in 2013.

The jobs outlook is actually "pretty positive," said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an employment consulting firm.

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3:20pm

Thu January 3, 2013
U.S.

The Phantom Tax That Made The Deficit Look Better

The alternative minimum tax created a "useful fiction," as one analyst says, by appearing to shrink budget deficits.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

As Americans continue to sort out the contents of the fiscal cliff legislative package passed by Congress Tuesday, they are finding elements they like and some they hate.

There's one exception. Everyone is glad Congress finally found a permanent fix for the alternative minimum tax.

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1:30pm

Wed January 2, 2013
Economy

Economists See (OK-ish) Growth In 2013

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 9:07 am

Farmer Randy Dreher unloads corn from his combine during harvest north of Audubon, Iowa. Farm exports are booming and high global prices are helping growers despite the U.S. drought.
Gary Fandel/Iowa Farm Bureau AP

Suddenly, the new year is looking a bit brighter — at least in the eyes of most economists and investors.

On Day 1 of 2013, Congress voted to veer away from the "fiscal cliff" by passing a package of provisions that avoided broad tax hikes and big spending cuts. And on Day 2, stock prices shot up.

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12:07pm

Mon December 24, 2012
Economy

The 2012 Economy Brought Glad Tidings To Many

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 1:56 pm

Construction workers build a home in Palo Alto, Calif. A real turnaround seemed to take hold in the housing sector in 2012 after years of fits and starts.
Paul Sakuma AP

After years of recession and slow recovery, maybe you didn't notice. But it turns out, 2012 was a fairly good year for the U.S. economy.

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index has risen nearly 14 percent this year and the unemployment rate has fallen to 7.7 percent, the lowest point in four years. Inflation and interest rates have stayed low, allowing families to cut their debt loads.

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6:31pm

Mon December 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Investors Shun Gun Makers As Gun-Control Talk Increases

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 12:00 pm

(Scroll down for a Tuesday morning update.)

On Wall Street, investors appear to be listening closely to the growing talk in Washington about curbing assault weapons.

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11:49am

Tue December 11, 2012
It's All Politics

Fiscal Cliff Calendar: What Happens When

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 1:39 pm

iStockphoto.com

As weary as many Americans grew of campaign commercials last month, they may be getting even more annoyed this month by endless talk of the fiscal cliff, the massive collection of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at year's end.

It's easy to understand the urge to stick fingers in ears and loudly chant "la-la-la-la." The budget problems are indeed complicated, and the negotiations tedious.

But resolving the mess is extremely important: Without a solution, every person who gets a paycheck or has investments will see his or her taxes rise.

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12:02pm

Fri December 7, 2012
Economy

A Good Jobs Report Might Be Bad For The Jobless

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 1:49 pm

Judy Smith, of Dalton, Ga., looks over paperwork as she files for unemployment benefits in August after being laid off from a catering job. More than 2 million people who get extended benefits may lose them if Congress doesn't act soon.
David Goldman AP

The Labor Department's glad tidings Friday about the uptick in job creation last month might morph into bad news next month for many of the long-term unemployed.

That's because the boost in November hiring, with employers adding 146,000 jobs, might make it more difficult for Democrats to argue in favor of having Congress renew the extension of benefits for people out of work more than six months.

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5:05pm

Wed December 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Red Alert: Aerospace Industry Counts Down to Cutbacks

It's red alert time for aerospace industry executives, workers and contractors.

As they mingled today at the Aerospace Industries Association's annual Year-End Outlook luncheon at a Washington Grand Hyatt, the bright red electronic digits kept counting down for them.

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4:19pm

Mon November 26, 2012
Business

A Jolly Christmas? Retailers Count The Extra Days

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 8:49 am

Shoppers line up in a Best Buy store in Rockville, Md., during a Black Friday sale. Thanksgiving weekend sales jumped nearly 13 percent from last year, the National Retail Federation says.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

For merchants, the stars are lining up — at least so far.

Online shopping jumped more than 28 percent on Cyber Monday compared with a year ago, according to IBM Benchmark. And the National Retail Federation says Thanksgiving weekend spending shot up to $59.1 billion, nearly 13 percent more than last year's $52 billion.

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12:36pm

Tue November 13, 2012
Your Money

How The Alternative Minimum Tax Could Slam You

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 1:29 pm

Customers line up at an H&R Block office in Nashville, Tenn., on April 17, the deadline for filing 2011 federal income taxes.
Mark Humphrey AP

Seriously, again?

Anyone who follows the adventures of the alternative minimum tax has to be getting sick of the many sequels. Again and again, this unpopular income tax threatens to hit middle-class families with large and unexpected tax increases.

And each time the threat reappears, Congress applies a "patch" to fix the problem temporarily. That makes the threat an annual event — along with the associated congressional hand-wringing and taxpayer confusion.

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5:30am

Sun November 11, 2012
Economy

How The Fiscal Cliff Would Hit The Economy

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 4:05 pm

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner at the White House in July 2011. They are scheduled to meet at the White House again next week to discuss the looming fiscal cliff.
Carolyn Kaster AP

This week, President Obama will meet with congressional leaders to begin working out a deal to avert a budget calamity commonly known as the fiscal cliff.

Economists are unanimous in saying that if the leaders fail to keep the country from going over the "cliff," both the stock and labor markets will fairly quickly go "splat."

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3:14pm

Wed November 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Shake A Leg Or Throw A Fist? Which Will It Be On Capitol Hill?

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 4:44 pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (left) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada during their recent interview with CBS News' 60 Minutes.
CBSNews.com

Shall we dance?

That's the key question for Congress now that another budget crisis is near. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, today said he's ready to do a little two-stepping with Republicans to twirl away from the edge of the so-called fiscal cliff.

"It's better to dance than to fight," the former amateur boxer told reporters at a press conference. "Everything doesn't have to be a fight."

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5:22am

Wed November 7, 2012
It's All Politics

After Election, Congress Turns To 'Fiscal Cliff,' Other Money Issues

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 10:40 pm

If Congress fails to address the alternative minimum tax, millions of households could see their federal 2012 tax bills jump.
iStockphoto.com

For months, Americans have been watching the presidential political drama play out nightly on the news. Now, with President Obama's victory, that story is ending.

But for the economy, an action thriller is just beginning.

Congress has just weeks to jump to the rescue of an economy moving closer and closer to the so-called fiscal cliff. That phrase refers to a $600 billion cluster of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes — all coming together at year's end.

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2:17am

Wed November 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Business, Labor Groups Laud Obama Victory

Exit polls showed the economy was Issue No. 1 with voters in this presidential election. And it didn't take long for labor organizers and business leaders to start offering their thoughts on the re-election of President Obama.

Because of White House policies, the U.S. economy is "beginning to pick up steam," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. He cheered Obama's win and put congressional Republicans on notice that Democrats will focus on "ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and opposing any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits."

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3:40pm

Fri November 2, 2012
Economy

Sandy, Election Could Skew Future Jobs Reports

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 7:20 pm

Workers clean up debris left by Superstorm Sandy in Long Beach Island, N.J., on Wednesday. The storm may lead to layoffs as business losses mount, but also could result in hiring related to rebuilding.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Each month, the Labor Department issues an employment report. On Friday, that report showed job creation rose in October — and it revealed something more.

With its latest unemployment assessment, the government in effect took a BEFORE snapshot of the U.S. economy. It collected all of the data before Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast and before the election outcome could be known. Each of those two events has the potential to change the AFTER outlook.

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