Chris Arnold http://blog.wlrn.org en In June Jobs Numbers, Signs For Optimism http://blog.wlrn.org/post/june-jobs-numbers-signs-optimism Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. There are plenty of Fourth of July references being tossed around about the latest economic numbers. Some analysts call the new report early fireworks, others caution hold the fireworks. But overall, the news is positive. The Labor Department says employers added 288,000 new jobs last month - more than expected. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent. And that's the lowest unemployment rate since 2008. The stock market hit an all-time high. Thu, 03 Jul 2014 20:09:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 34976 at http://blog.wlrn.org Housing Market Fake-Outs Stump Economists http://blog.wlrn.org/post/housing-market-fake-outs-stump-economists Many homebuyers have been throwing down cold hard cash for their entire house purchase in recent years. Some are baby-boomers who sold a bigger house and are downsizing. Some are investors. Sun, 29 Jun 2014 16:31:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 34729 at http://blog.wlrn.org Housing Market Fake-Outs Stump Economists Sluggish Housing Market A Product Of Millions Of 'Missing Households' http://blog.wlrn.org/post/housing-market-sluggish-because-millions-missing-households A year ago, the housing market looked like it was finally recovering. Sales and prices were picking up. But then home sales fizzled. Currently, they are down about 7 percent from last spring.<p>A big part of why housing remains so stunted is that there are more than 2 million "missing households" in the U.S. That's how economists describe the fact that fewer people are striking out on their own to find places to live.<p>Instead of renting an apartment or buying a home, a large number of Americans in their 20s and early 30s are living with family or tripling up with roommates. Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:37:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 34160 at http://blog.wlrn.org Sluggish Housing Market A Product Of Millions Of 'Missing Households' Missing In The Housing Recovery: New Houses http://blog.wlrn.org/post/missing-housing-recovery-new-houses More than five years after the crash, homebuilding is stuck at half its normal level. That's a big drag on the economy. And things aren't looking much better: A report out Thursday shows homebuilder confidence is <a href="http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?newsID=16817">at its lowest level in a year</a>.<p>This severe slump in single-family home construction has been going on across the country. We haven't seen anything close to this kind of a long-term construction slump since World War II.<p>"This is a completely unprecedented collapse," says Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. Thu, 15 May 2014 21:37:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 32424 at http://blog.wlrn.org Missing In The Housing Recovery: New Houses Housing Regulator Has Big Plans In Store For Two Mortgage Titans http://blog.wlrn.org/post/housing-regulator-has-big-plans-store-two-mortgage-titans A top federal regulator for the U.S. housing market signaled some big changes for government-run mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The changes likely mean lending will be expanded. Tue, 13 May 2014 20:05:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 32280 at http://blog.wlrn.org Amid The Device Hype, This Startup Is Taking Wearables To Heart http://blog.wlrn.org/post/amid-device-hype-startup-taking-wearables-heart There's been a lot of talk about <a href="http://www.npr.org/tags/172618814/wearable-devices">wearable devices</a> being the next big thing in the technology world. It's easy for the hype to get ahead of the products, but there's actually some serious innovation going on.<p>"What we're going to see over the next couple years is going to be extremely exciting," says Dan Ledger of Endeavor Partners, which consults with the companies that are inventing wearables. "As the technology improves ... Fri, 02 May 2014 07:41:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 31697 at http://blog.wlrn.org Amid The Device Hype, This Startup Is Taking Wearables To Heart Putin's Chess Moves In Ukraine: Brilliant Tactics, But Bad Strategy? http://blog.wlrn.org/post/putins-chess-moves-ukraine-brilliant-tactics-bad-strategy The game of chess is a national pastime in Russia. And you might say that Vladimir Putin is playing a high-stakes game of geopolitical chess when it comes to Ukraine.<p>Western leaders are plotting how to counter Putin's latest moves with economic sanctions. So to get some insight into what might come next, we talked to an economist who knows Russia — who is also extremely good at chess.<p><strong>Putin Playing From A Weak Position</strong><p>Kenneth Rogoff is a world-renowned economist and professor at Harvard. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:34:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 31214 at http://blog.wlrn.org Putin's Chess Moves In Ukraine: Brilliant Tactics, But Bad Strategy? How Do Companies Boost 401(k) Enrollment? Make It Automatic http://blog.wlrn.org/post/how-do-companies-boost-401k-enrollment-make-it-automatic More Americans are saving for retirement through their employers' 401(k) programs. That's because in recent years they've been given a strong nudge — more companies are automatically enrolling workers in retirement savings programs.<p>Some firms are also automatically increasing the amount employees contribute. Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:42:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 31091 at http://blog.wlrn.org How Do Companies Boost 401(k) Enrollment? Make It Automatic Onlookers Show No Worry Over Market's Week In Tumult http://blog.wlrn.org/post/onlookers-show-no-worry-over-markets-week-tumult Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish. Volatile, that's the kind of week the stock market had. Investors sold off high-flying technology and biotech stocks. Weak bank earnings also added to the sour mix. The NASDAQ is down 8 percent from its peak this year. The S&P 500, it's off 4 percent. Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 30668 at http://blog.wlrn.org One More Speed Bump For Your Retirement Fund: Basic Human Impulse http://blog.wlrn.org/post/one-more-speed-bump-your-retirement-fund-basic-human-impulse Saving for retirement is a challenge facing most Americans. Research shows the challenge is made harder by our basic human impulses. We know we should be saving. But we don't. We consistently make bad financial decisions.<p>One thing that leads us astray is what behavioral economists call "loss aversion." In other words, we hate losing. And that gets in the way of us winning — if winning is making smart financial decisions.<p><strong>How A Smashed Car Is Like A Smashed Nest Egg</strong><p>A few months ago I got rear-ended and my Jeep Cherokee was totaled. It's the first new car I ever bought. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 22:22:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 30270 at http://blog.wlrn.org One More Speed Bump For Your Retirement Fund: Basic Human Impulse How Russia's Annexation Of Crimea Could Hurt Its Economy http://blog.wlrn.org/post/how-russias-annexation-crimea-could-hurt-its-economy Russian President Vladimir Putin's swift move to annex Crimea is seen as a sign of strength by many Russians, and it has boosted Putin's popularity at home. But when it comes to Russia's economy, many analysts think Russia's prospects are looking weaker.<p>In recent days, we've seen Russians rallying in the streets, waving flags and celebrating Putin's move to reclaim Crimea as part of Russia.<p>And before that, Putin has been active on the world stage, hosting the Olympics and standing up for Russia's interests in Syria. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:22:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 29842 at http://blog.wlrn.org How Russia's Annexation Of Crimea Could Hurt Its Economy Report: Most Americans Not Putting Enough Away For Retirement http://blog.wlrn.org/post/report-most-americans-not-putting-enough-away-retirement The stock market surge has given a lift to many retirement portfolios. But a new report finds that most Americans haven't saved nearly enough for the kind of retirement they expect. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 08:44:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 29389 at http://blog.wlrn.org Severe Weather Socks The Economy, But Full Impact Is Unclear http://blog.wlrn.org/post/severe-weather-socks-economy-full-impact-unclear The economy often absorbs the impact of snowstorms, such as <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/03/285171762/what-a-blast-wicked-winter-storm-spreads-across-nation" target="_blank">this week's storm</a>, without much trouble, but this winter the weather is doing more damage than usual.<p>Sal Sambataro, the manager of Il Cortile in Manhattan, says that when the weather is better, people are packed into the family-owned Italian restaurant. On a recent day, though, the temperature is close to 15 degrees and the doorman wears a furry hat. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 22:29:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 28742 at http://blog.wlrn.org Severe Weather Socks The Economy, But Full Impact Is Unclear Grounded And Confounded, Airlines Wait For Storms To Pass http://blog.wlrn.org/post/grounded-and-confounded-airlines-wait-storms-pass The snow and ice storms sweeping the East Coast have been felt not only on the ground but in the air, as well. Airlines are cancelling thousands of flights, and both the companies and their passengers have had to deal with the fallout. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 21:55:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 27892 at http://blog.wlrn.org January Job Growth Disappoints, But Unemployment Drops http://blog.wlrn.org/post/january-job-growth-disappoints-unemployment-drops The U.S. added just 113,000 jobs in January, instead of the 180,000 analysts had predicted. Despite the anemic gains, the unemployment rate inched down to 6.6 percent, the lowest level since October 2008. Sat, 08 Feb 2014 14:43:00 +0000 Chris Arnold 27639 at http://blog.wlrn.org