Business

7:55am

Tue June 12, 2012
Economy

The Fed's Tough Job Gets Harder In Election Year

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke hasn't said whether the central bank will act to further stimulate the economy.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Americans who fear the economy is losing steam would like to see the Federal Reserve turn up the heat.

That might happen when the central bank holds its next meeting June 19-20. The Fed could take steps to drive interest rates even lower, or create fresh piles of cash to stimulate growth.

But with the election season gearing up, the Fed's ability to act boldly may be restrained. That's because the monetary policymakers want to preserve the Fed's credibility as a nonpartisan entity.

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7:06am

Tue June 12, 2012
Planet Money

Why It's Illegal To Braid Hair Without A License

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 4:21 am

Jestina Clayton, would-be braider.
Jim Urquhart AP

Note: This post was updated to add audio from Morning Edition.

Jestina Clayton learned how to braid hair as a girl growing up in Sierra Leone. When she was 18, she moved to America. Got married, had a couple kids, went to college.

When she graduated from college, she found that the pay from an entry-level office job would barely cover the cost of child care. So she decided to work from her home in Utah and start a hair-braiding business.

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6:48am

Tue June 12, 2012
The Two-Way

JPMorgan Knew Of Risks, 'WSJ' Reports

"Some top JPMorgan Chase executives and directors were alerted to risky practices by a team of London-based traders two years before that group's botched bets cost the bank more than $2 billion," The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

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3:32am

Tue June 12, 2012
Business

Starbucks Order Gives Ohio Mug Maker A Jolt

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 11:03 am

Bob Davis hand-dips mugs before they go into the kiln at American Mug and Stein in East Liverpool, Ohio. Most overseas companies have machines that can do this much faster.
Amanda Rabinowitz WKSU

For decades, when you slid into a booth at a diner or a local coffee shop, the waitress probably arrived with a standard-issue, off-white mug. More than likely that mug came from the Ohio River town of East Liverpool, which calls itself "The Pottery Capital of the Nation."

A lot of that city's pottery business is long gone. Now, one of the few remaining pottery factories in the battered town is pinning its survival on a major corporation.

To step inside American Mug and Stein in East Liverpool is to step into another era.

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3:08pm

Mon June 11, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Families' Wealth Plunged 40 Percent During Recession, Fed Says

In a study (pdf) released today, the Federal Reserve reports that Americans saw a record drop in their wealth between the years 2007 to 2010. Driven primarily by plummeting home values, families' median net worth dropped 38.8 percent, to levels last seen 18 years ago.

Reuters reports:

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