Business and Economy

Business and Economy
6:31 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Investors Want a Piece of Fannie and Freddie

Adjustable-rate mortgages lead to the subprime mortgage crisis. This practice played a large part in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s 2008 insolvency.
Dale Calder

Urbandale’s Continental Western and other investors in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren't receiving dividend checks since all profits from the mortgage lenders are being turned over to the U.S. Treasury. 

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Talk of Iowa
5:34 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Child Care: Breaking the Bank

Jason Parks

Finding a trustworthy and affordable child care provider is one of the biggest challenges working parents face. At the same time, providers are asked to do demanding and important work for little pay.

Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to that problem, says infant and toddler consultant Beth Walling.

"It's like trying to tackle poverty," she says.

Walling is especially concerned, since studies show there's an achievement gap that exists at 10 months of age.

"A 3-year-old’s vocabulary can predict their third grade reading level."

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Business and Economy
7:03 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Landowners Question Bakken Pipeline

Fort Madison Landowners
Joyce Russell/IPR

It was standing room only when roughly 350 people turned out at a meeting yesterday in Fort Madison.     

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Hearings Underway
5:39 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Landowners to Ask Questions about Bakken Pipeline

North Dakota Oil Fields

Informational meetings begin this week  for landowners  in 18 Iowa counties.

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Business and Economy
2:29 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Grinnell Muffler Factory Closing

gb_packards

Donaldson Company, Inc. is closing its Grinnell plant, laying off 75 workers.

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Business and Economy
4:55 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Dahl's Foods Files Chapter 11

Sodanie Chea

Dahl’s Foods is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Business and Economy
10:22 am
Wed November 5, 2014

When the Government Charges Your Property With a Crime, Not You

Carole Hinders, owner of Mrs. Lady's Mexican Food, in her restaurant's kitchen
Photo Courtesy of the Institue for Justice

Carole Hinders of Arnold’s Park, IA, wasn’t charged with a crime, but that didn’t stop the I.R.S. from seizing the entire balance of her checking account, more than $30,000.

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Planet Money
5:00 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

T-shirts, Candy, and Candlelight: How Planet Money Makes Sense of the Economy

David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein will speak at ISU tonight at 8 PM.
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

Economics teachers across the country use blackboards and chalk to teach people about supply and demand. The Planet Money team hands out candy to seventh graders.

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Business and Economy
12:00 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Translating Trade Deals in China

Li Zhao Mandelbaum is owner of China Iowa Group, a trading company in West Des Moines
Credit Rob Dillard

Li Zhao Mandelbaum comes from a nation of more than one-point-three-billion people. So the concept of small is relative.

“I often introduce myself, I’m from Nanning, a small city in China, and people will say OK tell me the population, and I will say well, we have about six million population,” she said.

Her hometown is about an hour’s flight west of Hong Kong near China’s border with Vietnam. It’s known for its lush greenery and hilly terrain. But despite its beauty, it wasn’t enough for the adventurous, young Li Zhao.

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Business and Economy
12:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Native of India Leads High Tech Push

Tej Dhawan, co-founder of StartupCity Des Moines
Credit Rob Dillard

A few dozen of Central Iowa’s high-tech brain trust are pouring beers and munching tacos on the fifth floor of a downtown Des Moines office building.

They’ve come together a few days before the lights go out on a business incubator that became the centerpiece for an area known as Silicon Sixth.

They exchange pleasantries with the two men at the heart of Startup City Des Moines – Christian Renaud and Tej Dhawan.

Before the party began, Dhawan sat in a remote conference room and reflected on what he was looking to accomplish for high-tech firms in Central Iowa.

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Business and Economy
10:50 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Proposed Pipeline Would Cut Across Iowa

Landowners in rural Keokuk County, Iowa discuss a proposed pipeline that would be built in some of their farmground.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

 Business is booming in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale oilfields. With that boom comes a need for infrastructure. More than half of the oil out of the Bakken leaves by train or truck.  But companies are working on pipelines.  One proposed pipeline would cut clear through the state of Iowa. 

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Business and Economy
5:37 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Why Data Centers Are Choosing Iowa

Jimmy Emerson

Data centers store digital information off site from a company’s headquarters.  In the past couple years tech giants Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all announced plans for new facilities in Iowa.  

John Rath blogs for Data Center Knowledge and works as a facilities manager for OneNeck IT Solutions in Cedar Falls. He cites one advantage to building in Iowa is a low incidence natural disasters.

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Duane Arnold Report
8:06 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Nuclear Plant Economic Impact Touted

Governor Branstad at Nuclear Plant

Iowa’s only nuclear power plant, the Duane Arnold Energy Center,  is observing its fortieth year in operation with the release of a report showing its economic impact in  the state.   Governor Branstad joined company officials for a celebration at the plant outside Palo.  

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Business and Economy
5:00 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Restaurants Closing due to Low Profits

In Cedar Rapids Ken and Kathy Skvor closed their restaurant Cork'n Fork late last year. They say the economy took it’s toll on their 16 year old business.
Photo by Dean Borg

Customers expecting a dining bargain are making it difficult for restaurants to stay in business.  Jessica Dunker, President and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association   composed of some six-thousand restaurants, says it’s increasingly common for customers to choose free water when ordering an entrée, depriving the business of beverage profits.  Dunker also says restaurants hoping to boost sales by offering deals such as Living Social or Groupon promotions are creating “Groupon addicts”.

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Business and Economy
5:14 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Regional Airport Project Experiences Turbulence

Rob Hammann stands by a large shed on his property where his wife, Robin, has written a phrase protesting the regional airport.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

Plans to build a new regional airport are underway in south central Iowa’s Mahaska County. Two existing airports – in Oskaloosa and Pella would close – and a new consolidated one would provide services to large companies in the area. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports on the fight over whether or not a new regional airport will help the area economy. 

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Business and Economy
6:44 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Men Hold Two-Thirds of Management Jobs in Iowa

Credit SalFalko / Flickr

There are far more men than women in top management jobs in Iowa, according to a new report.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal advocacy group, has released a "State of Women in America" report. It found men hold 67 percent of managerial jobs in Iowa as top administrators in the public and private sectors.

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Business and Economy
6:04 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Lawsuit May Stall Davenport Casino Plan

Davenport is already home to the Rhythm City casino.
Credit chibirashka / Flickr

Prospects for a new casino along Interstate Highway 80 on Davenport’s north side may be stalling as the city considers a lawsuit.

        

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Business and Economy
6:02 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Education Economics

Credit Sarah McCammon / IPR

 It's back to school season in Iowa. IPR's Clay Masters talks education economics with Sarah McCammon while she finishes up her assignment for Marketplace this summer covering business and economics news. They discuss the increasing costs for teachers and parents to pay for public school and a report by the US Department of Education found colleges giving bigger grants to wealthier kids. 

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Business and Economy
7:48 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Head of Economic Development Authority Concerned about Mississippi River

The Mississippi River
Credit IPR

New attention is being focused on the crumbling lock-and-dam system on the Mississippi River. Iowa officials painted a frightening scenario when they appeared before the Mississippi River Commission last week in Dubuque. 

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Business and Economy
6:57 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Rockwell Collins Buys Airinc, John Deere Earnings Beat Projections

Rockwell Collins is headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Credit Facebook / Rockwell Collins

Many Iowans work for two companies in recent business headlines. In a nearly 1.4 billion dollar deal, Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins announced it was buying communication system company Airinc. Rockwell Collins CEO, Kelly Ortberg, calls it the biggest deal the company has undertaken.

And the latest quarter of John Deere earnings beat analyst projections. IPR's Clay Masters talks with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment for Marketplace this summer, about the two news-making companies. They also discuss the state's corn crop and how it compares to the cornbelt as a whole.

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Business and Economy
6:05 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: The Economics of Early School Start Date

Crowds at the Iowa State Fair.
Credit Iowa State Fair

    

The Iowa State Fair wraps up next weekend. IPR's Clay Masters talks with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment with Marketplace, over the economics and controversy over when schools should start and how that affects state fairs and tourism. Masters also talks with McCammon about the energy stories she's done on Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that was involved in the BP oil spill three years ago, and a solar company that’s also ahead of its peers.

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Solar Power Court Fight
1:09 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Power Companies Spar Over Solar

Credit: City of Dubuque

Advocates  for solar power are watching an Iowa court case that pits a small Dubuque company  against the state’s giant electric utilities.    Both sides say the case could  eliminate  some of the barriers to solar power in the state.  

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Business and Economy
6:45 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Cost-Benefit Analysis for Better Government

Credit Matt Cardy / Getty Images

  The Pew Charitable Trusts and McArthur Foundation are funding a project that hopes solve public policy in an evidence-based way. IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment with Marketplace this summer, about her reporting on the issue. They also discuss an upcoming story she's working on the economics of recycling. 

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Business and Economy
6:43 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Controlling the Cost of College

Candidates applying for a place at the Medical University of Vienna sit for an exam in a hall of the fair grounds in Vienna on July 5, 2013.
Credit Patrick Domingo / Getty Images

This week IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment with Marketplace, about issues regarding paying for college.

IPR would like to know what business issues are important to you, join our IPR Insight Network and lend your expertise and experience to our reporting.  

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Business and Economy
6:41 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Unemployment Rate Holds Steady, Energy Markets Heat Up

Farmers Rick Hammond and Abbi Harrington. Rick is married to Abbi's sister, Heidi. The family is fighting the Keystone XL.
Credit Sarah McCammon / IPR

  This week Clay and Sarah discuss the state's unemployment rate which is largely unchanged for June. They also discuss an issue Sarah is reporting on regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline and its impact on the country if its built or not. 

IPR would like to know what business issues are important to you, join our IPR Insight Network and lend your expertise and experience to our reporting.  

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Business and Economy
5:43 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Shakeups in Agribusiness

Credit Sarah McCammon / IPR

This week Clay and Sarah discuss big news in agribusiness and how the industry is reacting. The U.S. House passed a farm bill that strips the nutrition portion out of the legislation, breaking up the rural/urban coalition of lawmakers. Also, a deadly pig virus is causing pork producers to be even more cautious with how they operate their business. And a deadly train accident in Quebec has people in the United States looking at how the country transports oil. 

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Business and Economy
6:27 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Positive Economic Indicators in Iowa

Credit Sarah McCammon / IPR

 IPR's Clay Masters talks with Sarah McCammon who's on assignment covering business news for Marketplace. 

IPR would like to know what business issues are important to you, join our IPR Insight Network and lend your expertise and experience to our reporting.  

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Business and Economy
7:30 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Postville, Iowa then and now

The name of the kosher meat packing plant was changed from Agri-Processors to Agri-Star when it reopened under new ownership
Credit Pat Blank

Five years ago, on May 12, 2008, Postville's kosher meat packing plant was the site the largest immigration raid in Iowa history. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank talks with some of those who were there then and who are still there now

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Business and Economy
5:35 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

MidAmerican Energy Announces $1.9 billion Wind Deal in Iowa

Credit flickr

Iowa’s biggest economic development deal was announced Wednesday. As Governor Terry Branstad puts it… it’s all about wind energy. Mid-American Energy will in invest 1-point-9 billion dollars in Iowa to add up to 1,050 megawatts of wind generation. That’s about 656 new wind turbines IN IOWA by 2016. Branstad says Iowa’s wind energy industry is a good selling point for high-tech companies like Facebook which just announced it would build a data center in Altoona, just outside of Des Moines.

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Business and Economy
7:22 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Berkshire Hathaway: Coming to a "For-Sale" Sign Near You

Iowa residents soon will be seeing a Berkshire Hathaway logo on "for sale" signs in front of some homes.
Credit Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway's newest Iowa acquisition, Prudential First Realty, soon will be adopting the “Berkshire Hathaway Home Services” logo. The company has 77 agents and three offices in central Iowa, and their “For Sale” signs that now say Prudential, will be converted to Berkshire Hathaway.

Brennan Buckley is a company marketing executive in Des Moines.

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