Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 8:16 am
Happy Friday, fellow political junkies. Of course, it's hard to be happy if you're one of the more than two million federal workers either furloughed or working without pay, or one of the millions of other Americans whose lives are disrupted by official Washington's dysfunction. It's Day Four of the federal government shutdown, 2013 edition. And an end to the disagreement still doesn't seem in the offing.
On that grim note, here are some items of political interest worth mulling over this morning.
One of pro basketball's most colorful figures is not on the court, but he's now in court. Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, defended himself yesterday on civil charges of insider trading.
From member station KERA in Dallas, BJ Austin reports.
NPR's business news begins with no new jobs report.
The Labor Department says it's not releasing the September employment report today as scheduled. The jobs report is almost always released on the first Friday of the month. Not this time. That's thanks to the shutdown, which is in its fourth day.
And today's last word in business: beer and a shot of vegan?
Munich's Oktoberfest - the Bavarian festival of beer - ends on Sunday. It normally brings in over $1 billion and draws some six million visitors to the German city.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Lots of bratwurst and chicken and of course beer get consumed. This year, festival goers have been treated to something else, thanks to the Lorenz Huckett(ph), a 21-year-old cook who took time from working in the kitchen of his father's festival tent to talk to us.
Twitter gave potential investors the first peek at its financials as the company heads toward its initial public offering. Twitter plans to raise $1 billion in its IPO and will trade under the ticker symbol TWTR. While Twitter has quickly transformed the way people communicate and comment on events, it has yet to establish itself as a business.
Across the U.S., many part-time workers have joined the millions shopping for coverage in the new health care marketplace. Some are uninsured. Others are being pushed into the new exchanges because their employers — companies that include Trader Joe's and Home Depot — decided to drop coverage for part-timers.
When states and the federal government rolled out online marketplaces to help people buy health insurance on Tuesday, you'd think that old-fashioned insurance brokers would have been worried.
All told about $200 million is being spent on a new army of people to help consumers find their way. These navigators, guides or assisters, as they're called, would seem to threaten the business of traditional brokers.
Many brokers work for small independent businesses. So are brokers at risk of becoming the next travel agents, whose ranks were thinned by online shopping?
Among the casualties of this week's government shutdown is one pretty big economic indicator. The Labor Department confirmed today that it will not release September's unemployment report tomorrow as scheduled. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles the report, says it doesn't have enough people on hand to crunch the numbers.
NPR's Jim Zarroli looks at the impact of the decision on markets.