Economy & Business

Business news

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

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

After a two-day meeting in Washington, D.C., Federal Reserve policymakers say they'll keep their benchmark rate in a range between 1 percent and 1.25 percent for the time being.

Fed officials said "job gains have been solid" and the U.S. "labor market continues to strengthen" in the statement after a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.

The officials described economic activity as "rising moderately." They noted that unemployment rate has declined since the beginning of the year. The Fed is close to meeting its mandate to maximize employment.

Janette Braverman is a person with a lot on her plate. She is the first African American to serve on the Ozaukee County Board of Supervisors and has a two-decade career in the IT and manufacturing industries. As if that weren't enough, Braverman also owns her own consulting business and is deeply invested in church life. 

Hospitals Face Growing Cybersecurity Threats

5 hours ago

In the neonatal intensive care unit of Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, a father is rocking a baby attached to a heart monitor. While doctors roam the halls trying to prevent infections, Chief Information Officer Theresa Meadows is worried about another kind of virus.

"The last thing anybody wants to happen in their organization is have all their heart monitors disabled or all of their IV pumps that provide medication to a patient disabled," Meadows says.

How tycoon William Jenkins cashed in on the Mexican Revolution

9 hours ago

William O. Jenkins isn't exactly a household name, but he was once among the richest and most influential men in Mexico. Jenkins was born in Tennesee in the 1870s. In his 20s, he moved to Mexico and started investing in everything from sugar to movies. Eventually, he became a millionaire magnate with a lot of friends in high places.

It sounds like the start of a dystopian novel. A company called Three Square Market inserts microchips in the hands of its employees, right between the thumb and pointer finger. Being part machine does not hurt much, Tony Danna, vice president of international development at the company assured us.

“It stings you when it goes in. It takes about two seconds to go in,” Danna said. You may think it is weird, but according to Danna, it’s not weird, it’s “advanced.”

In a series of tweets this morning, President Donald Trump said he would ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military, citing "tremendous medical costs."

His statements on Twitter undermine policies set forth by President Obama's administration, which said last year that transgender people could openly serve in the military. Trump's declaration comes amid Congress' consideration of a $700 billion spending bill to fund the Pentagon. 

There's a whole lot of turbulence in Washington, yet the markets are going up. There's uncertainty. The economy is doing all right (but not fantastically). And company earnings reports are just OK. So what gives? Julia Coronado, an economist at Macropolicy Perspectives, joins us to chat about the strange nature of the stock market. Afterwards, we'll talk with the Eurasia Group's Ian Bremmer about the new sanctions bill against Russia, which has bipartisan support here in the U.S., but isn't getting a warm reception in Europe.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The National Cyber Security Alliance, a public-private partnership supported by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Trade Commission, is holding workshops to help small businesses around the country defend against cyber threats. Hackers have launched successful data thefts against companies large and small in recent years, and the FBI reports that ransomware attacks are on the rise.

As the Federal Reserve concludes its July meeting, many expect it won’t announce a hike in the interest rate. One big thing that factors into that decision is inflation. One of the Fed’s mandates is to keep prices stable – to prevent rampant inflation. Raising interest rates can help, but the Fed has been in a holding pattern waiting to see whether economic growth is enough to spur inflation, too.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Why the sanctions bill against Russia is controversial

15 hours ago

In a rare moment of bipartisan support, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. But while the proposed sanctions bill will likely pass the Senate, President Donald Trump may veto the measure.

Ian Bremmer, president and founder of the Eurasia Group, joined us to talk about why certain industries are against the measure, why both Democrats and Republicans happen to be on board with it, and the fear that exists over North Korea's nuclear's capabilities. Below is an edited transcript.

The company Three Square Market provides software that runs vending machines, self-checkout kiosks and, soon, microchips that can be implanted into its employees' hands. Vice President of International Development, Tony Danna, joins us to share what exactly these chips are capable of. Afterwards, we'll chat with Anatrope founder Tiffany Rad about two of the biggest hacking gatherings in the U.S.:"

While everyone's watching the latest health care news, there's another important issue being discussed in Washington, D.C. — the cost of borrowing. As the Federal Reserve wraps up its policy meeting, we'll take a look at what the future of interest rate hikes might hold. Afterwards, we'll take a look at stock market volatility, and then talk about how small businesses are trying to prepare against cyber criminals. 

Pages