John Ydstie http://wgcu.org en In March Jobs Report, Market Awakens From A Winter Swoon http://wgcu.org/post/march-jobs-report-market-awakens-winter-swoon The U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March, according to data released this morning. The unemployment rate refused to budge, though, holding steady at 6.7 percent. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 20:30:00 +0000 John Ydstie 8994 at http://wgcu.org Health Care Law Helps Entrepreneurs Quit Their Day Jobs http://wgcu.org/post/how-health-care-law-could-spur-new-businesses The Affordable Care Act — which many see creating challenges for businesses — could benefit a particular group of business people: entrepreneurs.<p>Joshua Simonson was reluctant to give up his job at a Portland, Ore., area grocery store, New Seasons Market, which he says had provided excellent health care for him and his family. Wed, 12 Mar 2014 20:59:00 +0000 John Ydstie 8195 at http://wgcu.org Health Care Law Helps Entrepreneurs Quit Their Day Jobs February Jobs Numbers Give Some Economists Reason To Smile http://wgcu.org/post/february-jobs-numbers-give-some-economists-reason-smile Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. There was some positive economic news today. Job growth in February was stronger than expected. The government monthly employment report showed 175,000 jobs were added to the economy last month. There were also upward revisions for December and January. Fri, 07 Mar 2014 21:09:00 +0000 John Ydstie 8028 at http://wgcu.org Meeting Minutes Show Human Side To Fiscal Crisis http://wgcu.org/post/meeting-minutes-show-human-side-fiscal-crisis Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The Federal Reserve today released transcripts of its meetings in 2008, back when the financial crisis was unfolding. The documents show Fed policymakers struggling to understand and respond to failing Wall Street banks and the global financial system in turmoil. NPR's John Ydstie has been reading through the transcripts and joins us now. Hey there, John.<p>JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.<p>CORNISH: So we've had these minutes, at least, right, from most of these meetings for years. Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:05:00 +0000 John Ydstie 7603 at http://wgcu.org Fed Chair Promises Continuity Before Congress http://wgcu.org/post/fed-chair-promises-continuity-congress Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel.<p>Janet Yellen made her first appearance on Capitol Hill today as the new leader of the Federal Reserve. Her message was clear. There will be no sudden changes in Fed policy. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, Yellen said the central bank is likely to keep pulling back its big stimulus program despite concerns about the economy.<p>JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: It was a long day for Janet Yellen. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 22:08:00 +0000 John Ydstie 7265 at http://wgcu.org Reining In Health Care Costs Key To Trimming Deficit http://wgcu.org/post/reining-health-care-costs-key-trimming-deficit The Congressional Budget Office earlier this week said this year's deficit is likely to be about one-third the size it was in 2009, when the Great Recession bottomed out. A recovering economy is the main reason for the deficit's improvement, but moderating health care costs have also contributed.<p>Harvard economist and health policy specialist David Cutler says getting the federal government's finances under control is all about health care.<p>"A fairly accurate summary of the federal budget is that the U.S. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 09:23:00 +0000 John Ydstie 7070 at http://wgcu.org Is Obamacare A Job Killer? New Estimates Suggest It Might Be http://wgcu.org/post/obamacare-job-killer-new-estimates-suggest-it-might-be A new front has opened in the political battle over the Affordable Care Act, with Tuesday's release of the Congressional Budget Office's annual budget and economic outlook. The economists updated an earlier estimate about how many workers would leave the workforce because they no longer needed a job to have health care coverage — revising upward from 800,000 people to over 2 million people. Republicans pounced on the higher number, and President Obama now finds himself playing defense. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 23:00:00 +0000 John Ydstie 7033 at http://wgcu.org After Overcoming Early Obstacles, Yellen Assumes Fed's Top Job http://wgcu.org/post/after-overcoming-early-obstacles-yellen-assumes-feds-top-job Ben Bernanke hands over the reins at the Federal Reserve to Janet Yellen on Friday. The Fed's vice chairwoman will be the first female ever to lead the nation's central bank. It's a position many view as the second most powerful in the country.<p>The world of central banking is largely a man's world. But Yellen has been undeterred by such barriers since she was in high school in Brooklyn. Charlie Saydah, a former classmate, says she was probably the smartest kid in the class. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 22:33:00 +0000 John Ydstie 6911 at http://wgcu.org After Overcoming Early Obstacles, Yellen Assumes Fed's Top Job A Fond Farewell To Fed Chairman Ben http://wgcu.org/post/fond-farewell-fed-chairman-ben Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Ben Bernanke steps down this week as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The new chair, Janet Yellen, will take over on Saturday. After a two-day meeting, the message today from Fed policymakers was simple: Stay the course. The Fed released a statement saying it will continue dialing-back its stimulus.<p>NPR's John Ydstie has more on that decision and Bernanke's legacy.<p>JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Fed policymakers said they will reduce their monthly stimulus by another $10 billion. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 22:30:00 +0000 John Ydstie 6844 at http://wgcu.org Bernanke's Fed Legacy: A Tenure Full Of Tough Decisions http://wgcu.org/post/bernankes-fed-legacy-tenure-full-tough-decisions Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will preside over his last Fed policy-making meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 08:31:00 +0000 John Ydstie 6731 at http://wgcu.org Bernanke's Fed Legacy: A Tenure Full Of Tough Decisions Year In Numbers: The Federal Reserve's $85 Billion Question http://wgcu.org/post/year-numbers-federal-reserves-85-billion-question Many economists and investors think there's a good chance that at the end of their two-day meeting that begins Tuesday, Federal Reserve policymakers will announce that they'll begin reducing their $85 billion monthly stimulus, their third round of quantitative easing, or QE3.<p>The analysts think recent economic data, like a drop in the unemployment rate to 7 percent and a budget deal in Washington, have brightened the outlook for the economy enough that the Fed can pull back.<p>But there's another troubling number that could make Fed policymakers stand pat, says University of Chicago professo Tue, 17 Dec 2013 08:16:00 +0000 John Ydstie 5541 at http://wgcu.org Year In Numbers: The Federal Reserve's $85 Billion Question What's At Stake For States That Reject Medicaid Expansion http://wgcu.org/post/whats-stake-states-reject-medicaid-expansion The Affordable Care Act has produced a surge in the number of people signing up for Medicaid. The ACA offers billions of federal dollars to states to expand Medicaid coverage for the poor. But only 25 states have accepted the federal government's offer, and those that haven't could face economic and budget losses. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 11:56:00 +0000 John Ydstie 5342 at http://wgcu.org The Stock Market Loves The Fed For Now, But Can It Last? http://wgcu.org/post/stock-market-loves-fed-now-can-it-last Major stock indexes have shot to record highs in the U.S. this year, gaining more than 20 percent, and yet economic growth remains at disappointing levels. A lot of analysts believe the stimulus efforts by the Federal Reserve are behind the stock boom and a possible bubble.<p>Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of the <a href="http://www.pimco.com/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">giant bond fund PIMCO</a>, says the markets would not have done so well without that support from the Fed. Tue, 26 Nov 2013 22:48:00 +0000 John Ydstie 4914 at http://wgcu.org The Stock Market Loves The Fed For Now, But Can It Last? How The Affordable Care Act Pays For Insurance Subsidies http://wgcu.org/post/how-affordable-care-act-pays-insurance-subsidies The new health care law will provide around $1 trillion in subsidies to low- and middle-income Americans over the next decade to help them pay for health insurance.<p>Johanna Humbert of Galien, Mich., was pleasantly surprised to discover that she qualifies for an insurance subsidy, since her current plan is being canceled. Humbert makes about $30,000 a year, so she'll get a subsidy of about $300 a month. Thu, 07 Nov 2013 07:57:00 +0000 John Ydstie 4282 at http://wgcu.org How The Affordable Care Act Pays For Insurance Subsidies Notices Canceling Health Insurance Leave Many On Edge http://wgcu.org/post/notices-canceling-health-insurance-leave-many-edge President Obama repeated this line or a variation of it many times during the campaign to pass his landmark health care bill: "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period."<p>But while that might be true for people who get health insurance through their employer, it's not true for many people who buy their policies in the individual market — about 5 percent of the nation's policyholders.<p>At a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the president had not broken his promise. Wed, 30 Oct 2013 22:00:00 +0000 John Ydstie 4027 at http://wgcu.org Notices Canceling Health Insurance Leave Many On Edge For Obamacare To Work, It's Not Just About The Numbers http://wgcu.org/post/obamacare-work-its-not-just-about-numbers Relatively few people have enrolled in new health insurance plans since the Affordable Care Act exchanges launched this month. Fri, 25 Oct 2013 22:26:00 +0000 John Ydstie 3870 at http://wgcu.org For Obamacare To Work, It's Not Just About The Numbers Wilted Reputations Left By Shutdown And Default Threat http://wgcu.org/post/wilted-reputations-left-shutdown-and-default-threat President Obama said Thursday that the government shutdown and threat of default did unnecessary damage to both the U.S. Thu, 17 Oct 2013 22:01:00 +0000 John Ydstie 3596 at http://wgcu.org Wilted Reputations Left By Shutdown And Default Threat In A Debt Crisis, U.S. May Have To Decide Payment Priorities http://wgcu.org/post/debt-crisis-us-may-have-decide-payment-priorities The government is just 10 days away from defaulting on its debt. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that by Oct. Mon, 07 Oct 2013 21:45:00 +0000 John Ydstie 3268 at http://wgcu.org In A Debt Crisis, U.S. May Have To Decide Payment Priorities Is Government's Renewed Push On Mortgage Fraud Too Late? http://wgcu.org/post/governments-renewed-push-mortgage-fraud-too-late "Remain aggressive." That's the message Attorney General Eric Holder says he has given to prosecutors around the country about pursuing wrongdoing by financial institutions — particularly, wrongdoing related to the financial crisis of 2008.<p>But as the five-year anniversary of the crisis approaches, the record of prosecutions against high-level Wall Street executives has been dismal.<p>University of Missouri Professor William Black was a federal regulator during the savings and loan crisis in the late 1980s and early '90s. Thu, 22 Aug 2013 21:08:00 +0000 John Ydstie 1750 at http://wgcu.org Is Government's Renewed Push On Mortgage Fraud Too Late? Full-Time Vs. Part-Time Workers: Restaurants Weigh Obamacare http://wgcu.org/post/full-time-vs-part-time-workers-restaurants-weigh-obamacare Many businesses that don't offer health insurance to all their employees breathed a sigh of relief earlier this month when they learned they'd have an extra year to comply with the new health care law or face stiff penalties.<p>President Obama <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/07/03/198387347/delay-for-insurance-mandate-pleases-businesses">delayed the requirement</a> for businesses with 50 or more employees after complaints that the plan was too complicated to implement by the original deadline, January 2014. Wed, 24 Jul 2013 21:29:00 +0000 John Ydstie 754 at http://wgcu.org Full-Time Vs. Part-Time Workers: Restaurants Weigh Obamacare