Economy

Financial and business news

Many people who work a regular job dream of walking out of their cubicle and starting their own business. And every year, about 800,000 Americans do just that.

Dave Selden is one of them. His business grew out of his passion for beer — glass after glass of it. That's immediately clear when you take a look at a video on his website.

He describes how he was trying to drink "a different beer every single day for 999 days." He says he succeeded for about 660 consecutive days, which he admits sounds crazy to say out loud.

What does it mean to "dress for success"? Certainly not what it meant when a book by that name first came out in 1975.

Now, what to wear to work is a murky area that includes a new clothing trend known as "athleisure" — workout wear that might also work for the office.

California's insurance exchange is threatening to cut hospitals from its networks for poor performance or high costs, a novel proposal that is drawing heavy fire from medical providers and insurers.

The goal is to boost the overall quality of patient care and make coverage more affordable, said Peter Lee, executive director of the Covered California exchange.

You wouldn't expect a Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic to take you to the sort of place that's wedged between a 99-cent store and a boarded-up meat market.

But that's exactly where I sat down for lunch with Jonathan Gold — at a downtown Los Angeles eatery called El Parian.

The head of the Chumash Tribe has resigned.

Vincent Armenta has been Chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians since 1999. He headed the tribe during the biggest period of financial growth in its history, overseeing construction of the Chumash Casino Resort, the purchase and relaunch of one of the largest hotels in Solvang, and the addition of multiple parcels of real estate in the Santa Ynez Valley.

If you've ever wondered how gymnasts have sex ... well, according to one new film, it looks like a gymnastics routine. There's a lot of vaulting and twirling, some precise, um, dismounts and even a pommel horse of sorts.

Paul Dedalus can be a man of action. The middle-class protagonist of the dynamic yet ultimately melancholy My Golden Days carries a gun into a tense negotiation with a drug dealer, and happily accepts a secret mission to carry documents and cash to Jewish refuseniks while on a high-school trip behind what was then the Iron Curtain.

Home for the holidays: An aging prodigal child approaches, swearing like a trooper and dragging all manner of other baggage behind her battered wheelie. Once she finds the right front door — it's been a while, with ample reason, since last she visited — a warm, if nervous, welcome awaits from an extended family of noisy Texans gathered for Thanksgiving. In another kind of movie, tears and laughter will follow as a family closes ranks to heal its black sheep, and thereby itself.

Creatively speaking, if not financially, the Divergent series is less a franchise than a quagmire, an unwinnable war that nonetheless must be fought until the bitter end. And like all quagmires, the terrain has been hostile from the start: Based on Veronica Roth's bestselling novels, the films have tried to advance a "Chosen One" narrative through the awkward rigging of a dystopian "faction" system that, at best, only makes sense when vast swaths of the screenplay are carved out to explain it.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Some 20 carmakers have committed to making automatic emergency braking systems a standard feature on virtually all new cars sold in the U.S. by 2022, according to a new plan from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Automatic brakes are designed to stop a vehicle before it collides with a car or another object. Experts say that making them standard could prevent as much as 20 percent of accidents.

UK Slows Its Nightclub Scene

Mar 17, 2016

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

All the scheduled briefs are in for the legal battle between Apple and the FBI. The parties will be in a federal courtroom in the Central District of California next week.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

In a major concession to critics and animal welfare groups, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Inc. says it will stop breeding captive killer whales.

SeaWorld's treatment of its killer whales, or orcas, was put in the spotlight three years ago by Blackfish, a documentary that examined the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by an orca named Tilikum. Since then, in a steady campaign on social media, critics have demanded SeaWorld end its orca breeding program.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Free food - that's a pretty compelling pitch, right? But giving away free food can at times be surprisingly difficult. Noel King from our Planet Money team recently visited a place that's having this very problem.

Doctors have long disputed the accusation that the payments they receive from pharmaceutical companies have any relationship to how they prescribe drugs.

There's been little evidence to settle the matter, until now.

A ProPublica analysis has found that doctors who receive payments from the medical industry do indeed prescribe drugs differently on average than their colleagues who don't. And the more money they receive, the more brand-name medications they tend to prescribe.

Prompted by a letter signed by more than 20 academy members of Asian descent, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apologized for offensive jokes about Asians during the awards ceremony.

"Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns about our 88th Oscar show, which are valid. We appreciate your perspective and take your points very seriously. It certainly was never the Academy's intent to offend anyone," the letter read, in part.

For some, the apology was hollow.

The new movie Krisha is a family drama about addiction and chaos. In it, a recovering addict named Krisha comes home for Thanksgiving after being away from her family for years.

If the family in the film seems tighter than most acting ensembles, it's because they have history: The director and writer, Trey Edward Shults, cast his aunt as the main character, his mother as the family matriarch and himself in the role of Krisha's estranged son.

Federal Reserve policymakers said Wednesday that the U.S. economy is chugging along at a decent pace with an improving job market.

Still, they fear risks from "global economic and financial developments."

So given that balance of good news and growing risks, the Federal Open Market Committee decided to take no action on the target range for the federal funds rate at the close of its two-day meeting.

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing, for the first time, privacy regulations for Internet service providers. The goal is to let consumers weigh in on what information about them gets collected and how it's used.

As they connect us to the Internet, ISPs have insight into our lives — websites we frequent, apps we download or locations we visit — and may use that data for their own promotions or sell it to data brokers to be used for marketing or other purposes.

It's been called "perhaps the most contentious issue in the food industry": Should food products be labeled to indicate they contain genetically modified ingredients?

How Do You Start Mapping Unmapped Streets?

Mar 16, 2016

Google Street View allows people to virtually walk through places from the Aeon Mall in Okinawa, Japan, to historic sites like Petra in Jordan without leaving their homes.

But type in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and you won't see anything. That's because the city is basically off the Google grid, as are many locations in developing countries.

A joint effort between the World Bank's Dar Ramani Huria and Swedish startup Mapillary aims to change that.

Aetna and Cigna inked deals last month with drug maker Novartis that offer the insurers rebates tied to how well a pricey new heart failure drug works to cut hospitalizations and deaths. If the $4,500-a-year drug meets targets, the rebate goes down. Doesn't work so well? The insurers get a bigger payment.

In another approach, pharmacy benefit firm Express Scripts this year began paying drug makers a special negotiated rate for some cancer drugs. The goal is to reward the use of medicines that are most effective for certain cancers.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Sony Corporation has announced it will pay Michael Jackson's estate $750 million for Jackson's 50 percent share of the Sony/ATV music publishing company.

The backstory here has more twists and shouts than a long and winding road (Couldn't resist, but note that the rights to both "Twist and Shout" and "The Long and Winding Road" belong to Sony/ATV). Sony's purchase marks the culmination of one of the most remarkable stories in the history of the music business.

Pages