Uri Berliner

As Senior Editor at NPR, Uri Berliner oversees coverage of business and the economy. He has supervised and edited much of NPR's work on the financial crisis, the auto industry, energy and the workplace. Berliner has helped to build Planet Money, a prize-winnng multimedia team that covers the global economy.

Until recently, Berliner also edited NPR's sports coverage and was part of a team that won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Berliner came to NPR in 1999 from California, where he worked as a reporter for 12 years at daily newspapers in San Diego and Santa Barbara. At the San Diego Union-Tribune, he covered wildfires, street gangs, the border and military issues before becoming the paper's economics correspondent. His feature writing and investigative reporting earned several awards.

In 1998, Berliner was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where he studied business, history and economics. The following year he moved to Washington, D.C.

Originally from New York City, Berliner received his undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College, and went on to receive his Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

3:54am

Thu December 11, 2014
Around the Nation

Here's Why Retailers Keep Sending You Catalogs

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:19 am

The number of catalogs mailed in the U.S. peaked in 2007, according to the Direct Marketing Association. It's come down since then, but last year it reached 11.9 billion.
NPR

Many things made with paper have become relics because of computers and the Internet: the Rolodex, multivolume encyclopedias, even physical maps.

Now take a look in your mailbox or somewhere around your house. There's a good chance you'll see a shopping catalog, maybe a few of them now that it's the holiday season.

"I ignore them," says Rick Narad, a professor at California State University, Chico. "I get them in the mail sometimes, and they don't make it into the house. I walk past the recycling bin, and they go right in."

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3:24am

Thu November 6, 2014
American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape

In South Carolina, A Program That Makes Apprenticeships Work

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 6:41 pm

John Harris makes a weld for a test during a welding class at Spartanburg Community College in Spartanburg, S.C., on Oct. 22.
Mike Belleme for NPR

Several years ago, South Carolina had a problem: a shortage of skilled workers and no good way to train young people for the workforce. So at a time when apprenticeship programs were in decline in the U.S., the state started a program called Apprenticeship Carolina.

"We were really, really squarely well-positioned at the bottom," says Brad Neese, the program's director.

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4:14pm

Mon August 11, 2014
Men In America

Why Are Men Leaving The American Workforce?

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 11:45 am

It was a great time to be an American man in the workplace after World War II. Hiring was strong for both white-collar jobs and factory work while industries like autos, aviation and steel were booming. By the 1960s, that started to change.
Three Lions Getty Images

There's a long, unfolding story about work in America that often gets overlooked. It's the story of men opting out of work altogether. These are men who have vanished from the labor force — men who don't have a job and aren't looking for one.

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3:46am

Fri June 6, 2014
Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing

From Coffee Futures To Bulk Buying: A Year Of Adventurous Investing

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 11:09 am

Uri Berliner drinking coffee at the NPR headquarters.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

A year ago, NPR's Uri Berliner decided to take his money out of a savings account that was losing value to inflation and turn it loose in an investing adventure. A series of stories in 2013 described his newly acquired assets and sought to shed light on how the markets for them worked.

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11:05am

Sat March 15, 2014
Sports

Why You Won't Win Warren Buffett's Billion-Dollar Bracket

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 1:19 pm

Florida's Will Yeguete shoots over Missouri's Keanau Post in the quarterfinal round of the Southeastern Conference men's tournament on Friday in Atlanta. Investor Warren Buffett is betting $1 billion that no one can pick all 63 winners of the NCAA college basketball tournament that begins next week.
John Bazemore AP

The men's NCAA college basketball tournament starts next week.

In a twist on the familiar March Madness bracket, a mortgage company and a world-famous investor are offering a billion dollars to anyone who picks the winner of all 63 games in the NCAA college basketball tournament.

It's a contest, and it may also be the perfect publicity stunt.

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2:57am

Tue December 24, 2013
Humans

Tired Of Doom And Gloom? Here's The Best Good News Of 2013

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 7:24 am

A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner concludes its first flight in September. Overall, plane-related fatalities have decreased dramatically this year.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

Being a news consumer means you're constantly on the receiving end of bad news. War, unemployment, crime, political dysfunction — it can be enough to make you think we humans aren't doing anything right. But good news: We are. As the year draws to an end, here's a look at a few areas of real progress in the U.S. and around the world.

Air Safety

Let's start with flying. It's not a lot of fun: baggage fees, pat-downs, cramped seating, disappointing snacks.

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2:52am

Mon November 25, 2013
Middle East

Crippled By Sanctions, Iran's Economy Key In Nuclear Deal

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

A man pushes his cart loaded with fuel containers in Tehran, Iran. Sanctions on Iran's oil have put a serious dent in the country's economy, pushing up the inflation rate to 40 percent.
Vahid Salemi AP

Some of the sanctions against Iran will be eased under an agreement reached between Iran and six world powers over the weekend. In return, Iran promises to temporarily curb part of its nuclear program.

There's widespread agreement that sanctions have worked, squeezing Iran financially and bringing its leaders to the negotiating table. Iran's economy is, by any measure, in terrible shape.

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2:53am

Thu June 27, 2013
The Salt

Coffee Futures: The Highs And Lows Of A Cup Of Joe

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 12:49 pm

Want to invest in coffee futures? One roaster says when it comes to the price of coffee, it "is like a roller coaster."
Joe Raedle Getty Images

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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3:17am

Wed June 19, 2013
Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing

The Art Of Investing: The Rewards Aren't Always Financial

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:40 am

Flower Study #14 by Vladimir Kryloff, the painting NPR's Uri Berliner bought as an investment for $450.
Vladimir Kryloff

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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4:26am

Thu June 13, 2013
Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing

How To Invest In Real Estate Without Being A Landlord

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 6:32 am

NPR's Uri Berliner discovers that among his REIT holdings is one that owns the Washington, D.C., site where, until recently, NPR had its headquarters. The building is being torn down and a new building with law offices will go up in its place.
Marie McGrory NPR

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

Read more

3:24am

Wed June 5, 2013
Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing

Resisting The Temptation To 'Win' When Investing

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 8:17 pm

Hey mutual fund investors: Think you can beat the market? Charley Ellis, who's worked in investment management for 50 years, doubts it. That's because the fees actively managed funds charge can get expensive.
Richard Drew AP

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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3:02am

Thu May 30, 2013
Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing

How A Trip To Costco Can Work As An Investment Strategy

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:19 am

A recent trip to Costco cost NPR's Uri Berliner $303.53. The haul included razor blades, cans of soup and tuna fish, laundry detergent, heartburn relief medicine and dog treats. As an investment, it will pay off if he uses what he bought — and if the price tag for the same items is higher if he returns in a year.
Mary-Elizabeth Berliner

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

Read more

3:01am

Wed May 22, 2013
Your Money

Instead Of Snoozing In Savings, Let's Put $5,000 To Work

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 3:40 pm

Robyn Mackenzie iStockphoto.com

If you have a savings account you probably already know this: Your money there is losing value to inflation. Yields are so low that returns are not even keeping up with the cost of living.

I've been watching some of my own savings dwindle. And that prompted me to take up a challenge: I'm taking $5,000 from personal savings and putting it to work. I'm not a financial whiz, pundit or any kind of guru.

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12:25pm

Wed February 13, 2013
NPR Story

Comcast To Buy Rest of NBCUniversal From GE

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Comcast, the Philadelphia based cable giant, announced a major deal late Tuesday afternoon. It will buy the 49 percent stake of NBCUniversal that it did not already own for $16.7 billion. General Electric is the seller and will also be selling some prized real estate as part of the deal.

4:03am

Tue December 25, 2012
Economy

Back To The Economy Of The '90s? Not So Fast

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 9:42 am

A lone employee oversees Hewlett-Packard workstations being assembled at a plant on Jan. 1, 1993. Huge improvements in computer technology propelled the economy during that decade.
Ovak Arslanian Time

Throughout the debate over taxes and the "fiscal cliff," there's been a lot of looking backward — to the 1990s. The economic expansion of the 1990s was the longest in recorded American history.

Democrats say the economy thrived under the leadership of President Bill Clinton, including his tax rate increase on high earners. Republicans say government didn't spend as much then and that growth didn't really take off until the GOP took control of Congress in 1995.

So what actually happened in the '90s? What made them tick?

A Unique Boom

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