Economy & Business

Business news

David Brancaccio

Paul Merenbloom, a former Wall Street analyst, decided to change careers to work on a passion project: a system to help older or infirm people live safely in their homes for longer.

SentinelCare keeps a close eye on loved ones who need watching in the home. How often is the person getting up at night? Getting around? Prepping food? 

It’s a system that goes beyond the buttons or bracelets that summon emergency help.

Merenbloom joined us to talk about how the idea got started.

President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, is on tap Wednesday for a Senate confirmation hearing.  What does his record in corporate leadership reveal about what he might bring to the table in government?  Tillerson joined the energy giant ExxonMobil in 1975 and never left, rising to the rank of chief executive in 2006.  As a corporate leader, he was serious, straightforward, cautious and did a fair amount of dealmaking with foreign governments, including Russia, which will likely attract scrutiny from lawmakers.

01/11/2017: Rex Tillerson's Boy Scout ties

Jan 10, 2017

President-elect Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, begins his Senate confirmation hearing later today. What could he bring to the table as leader? We'll look at his Boy Scout past and find out how experts would grade his ExxonMobil tenure. Next, we'll discuss Volkswagen's announcement that it's close to a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over rigged cars, and then chat with a former Wall Street analyst about a project of his that aims to help the elderly live independently.

01/11/17: Rise of the minivan

Jan 10, 2017

The Detroit Auto show has revved up, and there's an unlikely star at the center of it all: the minivan. CNET's Tim Stevens joined us to talk about how the vehicle can be a playground for all kinds of tech. Next, we'll talk about a division at Yahoo, where some assets will be separated and placed under a new brand name: "Altaba." Finally, we'll look at Norway's decision to phase out its FM radio network.


After years of planning, negotiations and speculation, filmmaker George Lucas has chosen Los Angeles to be the home for his museum honoring visual storytelling. It will display his personal collection of fine and popular art, including Norman Rockwell paintings, Mad Magazine covers, photography, children's art, as well as Hollywood props and visual effects from his famous movie franchise Star Wars.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


What killed U.S. productivity?

Jan 10, 2017
Mitchell Hartman

The U.S. economy has improved steadily since the Great Recession — as measured by gross domestic product  (GDP), unemployment, job creation, home sales, and consumer spending.

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Diesel passenger cars have had a tumultuous past in the United States. In the last 15 years, they gained some acceptance among American consumers before a recent downturn. But in the pursuit of increased gas mileage, an increasing number of car makers are now offering diesel models in this country.

But a notable absence today is Volkswagen, which once sold the most diesels vehicles in this country. After VW was slapped with a huge penalty for rigging emission test results, the company pulled its diesels off the market.

What Is Driving The 'Unbanking Of America'?

Jan 10, 2017

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Blog: Make Me Smart update

Jan 10, 2017

Hey everyone,

Just a quick update to let you know that we're working hard to get ready for the official launch of "Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly," our new podcast dedicated to, you guessed it,  getting smart about business, tech, culture, and how all those things affect each other and your everyday lives.

Our first show will go live Tuesday, January 24, right after inauguration weekend.

Here are some things you can do until then:

Subscribe to the podcast!

Kai Ryssdal

The Clemson Tigers became national champions for the first time in 35 years when they beat Alabama 35-31 Monday night.

I always knew the Tigers would stand victorious, but turns out the university's finance folks had an inkling last night would turn out well, too.

Will Wilbur Ross be good for trade?

Jan 10, 2017

Update: After this story aired, Ross' hearing was delayed to January 18. The original audio appears above.

The online classified website said it has suspended its adult ad pages, citing government pressure about the content being shared there.

A 2016 Senate report called the website the "largest commercial sex services advertising platform in the United States" and said that "Backpage officials have publicly acknowledged that criminals use the website for sex trafficking, including trafficking of minors."

New York to shutter huge nuclear energy plant

Jan 10, 2017

The state of New York now finds itself facing a big, big energy test. It’s just announced the phase out of a mammoth nuclear energy plant just up the Hudson River from New York City.

But now it has to replace all that power, and it’s committed to doing so in a low-carbon way. We will likely see this test play out across the country, as more and more aging nuclear plants find themselves on the energy endangered list.