National News

Five years on, Dodd-Frank still controversial

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-07-21 02:00

It’s been five years since the Dodd-Frank Act became law, with the goal of preventing the chaos of the 2008 economic crisis from happening again.

But the question whether it’s worked is just as polarizing as the law itself was back then. The law affects Wall Street, banks, whistleblowers, consumer protection, and other sectors of the financial industry.

Michael Greenberger, a law professor at the University of Maryland, says there have been flaws in the implementation of the law, but “the dangerous trading, to the extent Dodd-Frank reaches it and controls it, has been substantially mitigated because of the fact that it’s not a dark market anymore.”

In order to mitigate that “dangerous trading” that led to the 2008 market crash, the Securities and Exchange Commission had to write lots of new rules, and the agency isn’t done. Richard Williams of the Mercatus Center says the sheer number of new rules is too big a burden, particularly for banks. He says that makes it harder for banks to lend.

“I don’t think anybody knows precisely what this is going to do to the financial sector," he says.

The SEC says all those rules are making the financial markets stronger and more resilient.

An inflation of profits at Toshiba

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:58
$1.2 billion

That's how much Toshiba profits have been inflated over several years, according to an independent inquiry. On Tusday, CEO Hisao Tanaka and several other executives resigned in light of the findings. As Reuters reports, the scandal comes at a time when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is trying to rebuild the country's reputation in the global financial market.

5 years

That's how long it has been since the Dodd-Frank Act became law. But even though it's been around for a while, that doesn't mean the Securities and Exchange Commission is done revising and adding new rules. It leaves some experts worried that too many rules will burden banks from lending.

21 percent

That's how much hotel construction has grown over the past year, according to data from STR. With this boom in competition, not to mention Airbnb, rates for hotel rooms have stayed low — a welcome development for Europeans visiting the U.S., as the dollar remains strong against the euro.

$55

That's how much Star Wars superfan Ken Landrum charged per file to re-create his 40-piece, 3-D printed Stormtrooper gun. By offering his design to the public, he is effectively offering merchandise eight months before the next Star Wars film hits theaters, and five months before the official wares from the movie are offered in Disney stores. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at what the era of home 3-D printing might mean for Hollywood merchandising.

£20

That's the value of the note which will get a bit of a face lift in the UK — for the past two months, the Bank of England accepted nominations from the public of British visual artists they thought should be featured on the new note. Among the nominees are Alexander McQueen, Beatrix Potter, and Marie Tussaud. Check out the full list of nominees here. From this list, 3-5 finalists will be chosen by an advisory committee, from which the Governor will pick the face of the new £20 note in spring 2016.

In Transylvania, Donating Blood Will Get You Concert Tickets

NPR News - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:44

The Romanian region is the home of Dracula, but less than 2 percent of the people donate blood.

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Los Angeles Angels Blow Dry Their Wet Field With A Helicopter

NPR News - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:24

After the Angels had their first game rained out in 20 years, they called in the helicopter to dry out the field.

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The Secret Talks That Led To The Negotiations With Iran

NPR News - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:06

Host Renee Montagne speaks with former diplomat Bill Burns about the secret talks he initiated with the Iran. That paved the way for the negotiations that produced the breakthrough nuclear deal.

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There's Little To See, But Cubans Gather Outside U.S. Embassy

NPR News - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:06

The official reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana won't happen until Aug. 14. But Cubans were on hand as the U.S. and Cuba resumed full diplomatic relations after a break of more than 50 years.

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A Death In A Texas Jail Stirs Suspicion

NPR News - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:06

Sandra Bland was found dead in a Texas jail last week. Her jailers say the African American woman committed suicide. But the case has triggered a wave of suspicion on social media.

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From Hollywood To Des Moines, In Search Of Political Action

NPR News - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:06

Brent Roske is a Hollywood writer-producer-director who's come to Des Moines, Iowa, where he's started a television show that's rapidly become a destination for presidential candidates.

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Ohio Governor John Kasich Gets Ready To Join The Republican Race

NPR News - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:06

Ohio Gov. John Kasich plans to join the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates with a speech Tuesday morning in Columbus, Ohio.

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The Greek Banks Are Open Again, But The Sales Tax Just Went Up

NPR News - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:06

The good news for Greeks is that banks are open again. The bad news is a sales tax hike that's made most things more expensive. It's an attempt to raise more tax revenue and balance the budget.

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Facing Tough Competition, A&P Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

NPR News - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:06

The grocery store chain A&P has filed for bankruptcy. Stiff competition in the food retail industry is forcing the storied company to sell off or close almost 300 stores around the Northeast.

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The Test That Can Look Into A Child's (Reading) Future

NPR News - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:06

Researchers say they've come up with a 30-minute test that can predict a child's language skill and diagnose learning disabilities.

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From Crape Myrtles To Long Houses, Charleston Is A 'Big Barbados'

NPR News - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:06

This South Carolina city has its architectural and economic roots in the Caribbean.

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Expanding, Not Shrinking, Saves A Small Rural Hospital

NPR News - Tue, 2015-07-21 01:01

As least 55 hospitals across the rural U.S. have closed since 2010. But northern Missouri's Putnam County Memorial finds that adding high-quality specialty services lures patients and revenue.

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Gaza to Canada And Back To Gaza: Why A Family Chose to Return

NPR News - Mon, 2015-07-20 23:47

After leaving Gaza City in 2008 for Vancouver, the al-Aloul family is back. War is heavy on their minds, but there are some surprising pros, including a lawn and swimming pool.

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Zappos: A Workplace Where No One And Everyone Is The Boss

NPR News - Mon, 2015-07-20 23:33

Earlier this year, the online retailer eliminated managers and embraced 'holacracy' — a system of self-governance. It's one of a handful of firms that's trying to make middle management obsolete.

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News Reports: Chattanooga Attacker Wrote Of Martyrdom

NPR News - Mon, 2015-07-20 15:18

Investigators are examining writings believed to be by Mohammod Yousuf Abdulazeez. His attack on two military centers in Chattanooga, Tenn., killed five service members.

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U.S. Will Lose 'All Credibility' If Congress Rejects Nuclear Deal, Kerry Says

NPR News - Mon, 2015-07-20 14:36

Secretary of State John Kerry tells NPR that Iran would use the deal's failure as an excuse to enrich uranium. He also says efforts to thwart warming diplomatic relations with Cuba would hurt the U.S.

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With Ad Blocking Use On The Rise, What Happens To Online Publishers?

NPR News - Mon, 2015-07-20 14:14

A new Apple update could challenge the current online business model. Some say less ad revenue means more sites will charge for access to content. There's also a move to block the ad blockers.

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Failed Strut Likely Caused SpaceX Rocket To Explode, Elon Musk Says

NPR News - Mon, 2015-07-20 13:44

The Falcon 9 rocket was carrying supplies to the International Space Station when it exploded June 28. Musk, the SpaceX CEO, said that going forward, the company would individually test each strut.

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