Bitcoins are a digital currency, attractive to those who prefer not to leave a paper trail when they buy and sell things online. Over the past two years, the Bitcoin community has widely expanded and the value of the currency has fluctuated wildly.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee in Washington. Imagine April 15 but without tax returns, without the mad scramble to finish them, the long wait at the post office, the piles of receipts piling up for deductible expenses, in other words an America without tax returns.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 4:27 pm
Hi, it's another installment of Ask A Banker. We've gotten lots of good questions, and also lots of bad questions, on Twitter and email, but answered only a fraction of them, in part because in some columns I just answered questions that I or Planet Money made up. Sorry. So let's make up for lost time by giving short answers to a bunch of real questions from real people, or at least real email accounts.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 10:36 am
Satellite TV distributor Dish Network has offered to buy telecom giant Sprint Nextel Corp. in a $25.5 billion deal, a move that could derail a similar offer by the Japanese phone company SoftBank.
Dish says that it has offered $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock for Sprint. After the news was announced on Monday, Sprint's stock jumped 15 percent in pre-market trading, according to The Associated Press.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 10:45 am
Federal aviation officials have ordered that more than 1,000 Boeing 737s be examined to see if a key part on the plane's tail section needs to be replaced, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued the airworthiness directive for a pin that holds the 737's horizontal stabilizer to the rest of the tail, to see if it is in danger of failing prematurely. The horizontal stabilizer — also known as the tail plane — enables the pilot to control the aircraft's pitch.
GREENE: Bloomberg News is reporting that billionaire investor John Paulson has lost more than $300 million as a result of the slide in gold prices. After climbing for years, gold has recently lost considerable ground. And it's widely expected to fall even further this week.
The intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and 28th Street looks like a lot of intersections in Los Angeles: There's a Taco Bell on one corner and a strip mall with a liquor store and a Liberty Tax Service office on the other. And out in front, as traffic speeds by, 27-year-old Robert Oliver is hard at work — dancing.
"So, chest movements like this, this is called bucking," he says. His chest bounces to the beat. His Bluetooth headphones are on. And his feet glide across the hot sidewalk like he's on ice. "I come up in here and I go down, and that's called a kill-off."
The New York Yankees' "Craft Beer Destination" met with derision online, after fans noted the beers were all MillerCoors products — and one of them is a cider. The stand now has a new title, the "Beer Mixology Destination."
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:39 pm
The baseball season is still young, but the New York Yankees have already faced harsh public criticism. No, we're not referring to their lackluster record. Instead, the Yanks were accused of trying to hoodwink beer drinkers with a new "Craft Beer Destination" concession stand at their Bronx stadium.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 10:40 am
Still haven't filed your taxes, eh?
Well, you have until 11:59 p.m. Monday to get it all done — or at least file for an extension that gets you off the hook until Oct. 15. To help all of you procrastinators, here are answers to a few of your questions.
If I'm filing by mail, can I come skidding into the post office at 11:58 p.m. and still make the deadline?
Many authors struggle to make a living in America, thanks to smaller advances, shrinking royalties and the merging of publishing houses and the impact of e-books. The challenges are embraced by some and make others wary. Writer Scott Turow, who's also president of the Authors Guild, is in the latter camp. Host Jacki Lyden talks to Turow about his recent New York Times op-ed on the topic.
A new immigration bill is expected to be introduced in the U.S. Senate next week, calling for better border security and a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the United States without legal status.
One big hurdle toward that was cleared this week when the United Farm Workers reached a deal with growers that would address wages and caps the number of visas allowed for new workers.
In the age of hundreds of cable channels, millions of 140-character bulletins and an untold number of cat videos, a fear has been growing among journalists and readers that long-form storytelling may be getting lost.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:56 am
A severance package of $20 million might have seemed reasonable to American Airlines CEO Tom Horton, but a U.S. bankruptcy judge says it's too much.
The proposed payout, part of a deal that would merge American parent AMR and US Airways Group, first caught the attention of U.S. Trustee Tracy Hope Davis, a Department of Justice official monitoring AMR's Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
And our last word in business today is, what do you want on your burger? The CEO of Burger King Worldwide is stepping down. Forty-three-year-old Bernardo Hees has been wearing the Burger King crown since 2010, when the fast food chain was bought out by 3G Capital.
In Los Angeles, a former partner at KPMG, one of the big four accounting firms, has been charged with insider trading.
As NPR's Nina Gregory reports, Scott London is accused of trading tips for money and gifts.
NINA GREGORY, BYLINE: The details in the Justice Department's criminal complaint against Scott London read like bad fiction. Bags of hundred dollar bills wrapped in $10,000 bundles, a Rolex worth an estimated twelve-thousand dollars, secrets shared at the country club and covert recordings of phone calls.
A top executive at News Corp. dropped a bombshell this week when he said the company is considering taking Fox's over-the-air network to cable. The announcement follows a court win for a startup company that streams broadcast channels online.
That startup's CEO, arguably the most feared man in television right now, is soft-spoken and rather techy.
The tax code is full of complicated loopholes and deductions that require professional translation. So I called a bunch of accountants and tax lawyers and asked them: What are your favorite, most confusingly named deductions — and what do they actually mean?
Intangible Drilling Costs
"The government will pay you to dig a hole in the ground," says Howard Rosen, a CPA in St. Louis. "You can write it all off immediately."
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
More than three million cars and trucks worldwide are being recalled. Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mazda, Nissan, and Pontiac all say some of their vehicles made between 2001 and 2003 could potentially have faulty airbags.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 2:38 pm
For years, undercover videos documenting animal cruelty at farms and slaughterhouses have cast the nation's meat and dairy farmers in a grim light.
In response, the livestock industry supported legislative efforts in multiple states designed to keep cameras from recording without permission in livestock plants. The Salt reported on these efforts, which activists call "ag gag" bills, last year.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 4:08 pm
It's going to cost more to bail out Cyprus than originally projected, with officials now saying the cost will be $30 billion instead of the original estimate of $23 billion.
"It's a fact the memorandum of November talked about 17.5 billion [euros] in financing needs. And it has emerged this figure has become 23 billion [euros]," government spokesman Christos Stylianides was quoted by the BBC as saying on Thursday.
In the 1920s, a man passing through Washington, D.C., noticed something about the city in September: It was sweltering, and there were few places to seek relief. He figured you could make a lot of money selling ice-cold drinks.
That first business venture set J.W. "Bill" Marriott Jr. on a road to riches.