Tamara Keith

Tamara Keith joined NPR in 2009 as NPR's newest business reporter. Her coverage spans the business world, from the latest trends in housing and consumer spending to new developments in the ongoing financial crisis. In her work, Keith aspires to "make business stories relatable to all our listeners, not just those who read the Wall Street Journal." In early 2010, she was one of NPR's reporters on the ground in Haiti covering the aftermath of the country's disasterous earthquake.

Keith has covered the major stories of the global recession, including developments in housing and banking, as well as everyday business stories for national and local public radio news outlets. Over the course of her career, she has covered other major news events including wildfires in California and the coal ash spill in Tennessee.

Keith has deep roots in public radio, and got her start in news by writing and voicing essays for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday as a teenager. After earning her a journalism graduate degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley (where it was reported she was the youngest person to ever enroll), she went to work for NPR station KQED's California Report, where she covered topics including agriculture and the environment. She then went east to WOSU-AM in Columbus, Ohio, where she reported on politics and the 2004 presidential campaign. Then it was back to her home state of California where she reported again for KQED and KPCC/Southern California Public Radio. Tamara also refined her business reporting skills through work with American Public Media's Marketplace.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a first place trophy from the Society of Environmental Journalists for "Outstanding Story Radio."

In her spare time, she hosts and produces "B-Side Radio," an hour-long public radio magazine and podcast.

She is a recreational triathlete and half-marathon runner. Her husband is a cancer researcher and veterinarian.



Wed August 3, 2011

Deal Averts Default, But Doesn't Fix Debt Problems

The National Debt Clock, a billboard-size digital display showing the increasing U.S. debt, is seen in New York City on Monday. Congress passed a bill Tuesday that would raise the nation's debt limit.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

The bill passed Tuesday to raise the nation's debt limit and avoid default includes as much as $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade.

"It's an important first step to ensuring that as a nation we live within our means," President Obama said.

The deal was hard-fought, with cuts some say will be painful, but experts say it doesn't come close to fixing the country's debt problems.

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Fri July 29, 2011

A Weak Economy Is Good For Military Recruiting

Justin Bock holds his daughter, Lina, at his graduation from basic training earlier this year. Bock decided to enlist in the Navy after both he and his wife, Ashley, were laid off.
Courtesy of the Bocks

The third in a three-part series.

The unemployment rate is high, greater than 9 percent. The military is in the midst of a record streak of recruiting success.

It's not a coincidence. A weak economy is good for the military.

'Sorry We're Not Hiring'

About a year ago, Justin Bock was about to join the Navy. He just didn't know it.

Justin and his wife, Ashley, both had solid jobs. So they bought a house in Martinsburg, W.V.

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Thu July 28, 2011
Around the Nation

Military Spouses Face Especially Grim Job Prospects

Stephanie Davis, shown with her husband, 2nd Lt. Charles Davis, says even though she's a special education teacher with two master's degrees, she's had trouble finding a job near Fort Hood in Texas.
Courtesy of Stephanie Davis

Second in a three-part series

In this economy, who in their right mind would quit their job and move to a new city where they don't have any contacts? That's exactly what thousands of military spouses do each year. They don't have a choice.

Stephanie Davis thought she had picked a field that would be portable: teaching.

"And I really loved it," says Davis. "I was at a great school, great district."

That is, until last year when her husband, 2nd Lt. Charles Davis, an Army officer, got orders to transfer to Fort Hood in Texas.

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Wed July 27, 2011
Around the Nation

Home-Buying Regrets: Two Military Families' Sagas

Sarah Bullard with her four children, Liam, Fay, Olivia and Joshua.
Bradley Campbell WRNI

First of a three-part series

It's lunchtime, and Sarah Bullard and her four kids gather around the island in the kitchen of their Bristol, R.I., home. Her husband, a Navy officer, is out of town.

This kitchen is what sold her on the house on a snowy December day.

"We walked through, and it was a cluttered mess," Bullard says. "And we sort of looked at each other and walked through into the kitchen, and my husband looked at me and was like, 'Uh-oh. This is it. It's a beautiful kitchen.' "

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Wed July 20, 2011

New Consumer Protection Agency Faces Opposition

There's a new cop on the money beat: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and it opens its doors Thursday. It was created by the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, signed by the president one year ago.

The bureau will look out for the financial best interests of American consumers. And while it's popular with the public, it remains controversial.

The idea behind the consumer bureau was simple: If there's an agency to protect consumers from buying an exploding toaster, there should be one that protects them from signing up for an exploding mortgage.

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