National News

Cursed With Mom Guilt? Charlie Brown Might Cure What Ails You

NPR News - Sat, 2014-04-12 03:03

Whenever writer Yiyun Li feels guilty about her parenting choices, she turns to Peanuts for refuge, holding on to the comforting comic strip as tightly as Linus clutches his security blanket.

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Gassy Cows Are Warming The Planet, And They're Here To Stay

NPR News - Sat, 2014-04-12 01:06

Methane from livestock accounts for a huge portion of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, according to a UN report. But reducing global meat consumption isn't necessarily the answer to the problem.

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Food inflation, or, why bacon is a good investment

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-11 18:21
Friday, April 11, 2014 - 18:28 Scott Olson/Getty Images

California cows.

If you’ve noticed your receipt from the grocery store seems larger than usual, you have food inflation to thank.

While the prices of everything usually go up due to regular boring inflation, commodities like food have outpaced other goods.

Matthew Boesler, Business Insider reporter, says food inflation is increasing because of a few different factors.

“A lot of it is due to weather. We have a big drought in California. We’ve had dry conditions across the Midwest, the Great Plains regions,” Boesler says. “The extreme weather events serve to disrupt crop supplies. and that can drive prices up.”

“Another factor you have is the ‘financial-ization’ of these commodities markets,” he says. Hedge funds and other investors are increasingly pouring money into goods like beef and coffee. “It’s very easy for an investor to bet on rising commodity prices. And no one really bets on those prices going down, so you have a lot of one-way money flowing into these markets, and they can become quickly overwhelmed because [investment markets are] not designed for that.”

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Raghu Manavalan/Marketplace

 

“Supply and demand sort of governs the price of a commodity, but the way these markets are set up and you know, given how much capital is flowing seeking investment opportunities, the jumps in prices can be very volatile and large.”

Marketplace Money for Friday, April 11, 2014by Raghu ManavalanPodcast Title Food inflation, or, why bacon is a good investmentStory Type InterviewSyndication Flipboard BusinessSlackerSoundcloudStitcherBusiness InsiderSwellPMPApp Respond No

Tidying up with financial spring cleaning

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-11 16:41
Friday, April 11, 2014 - 17:31 Wikimedia Commons

Once you're all done with your taxes, it's the season for spring cleaning. Organizing ... decluttering your house ... throwing out old furniture, money can work the same way, too.

Personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi gives us her recipe for a productive financial spring cleaning.

Automate your bills: “Automate your bills because that means less stress. It’s minimizing your financial burdens ... Also, to make sure you’re always paying your bills, never getting behind.”

Go paperless: “This is something as a country we’re doing more and more of, but some of us are a little bit behind ... That will help to declutter and give some piece of mind.”

Hold onto three (or six) years worth of tax documents: “If the IRS does come a knocking with an audit, they will want to see the last three years of your records, and all your supporting documents. The one exception, you have to answer this honestly, if you’ve been underreporting income and the IRS audits you for that reason, they can go back as far as six years. So if you’re somebody that takes a little bit of risk with your reporting, and pushes the envelope, make sure you have even more support and backup.”

Look ahead: "Spring is a time when we’re looking ahead. A lot of families perhaps are thinking about a home, people are buying cars, applying for loans for school, so this is a good time to get a firm understanding of where you stand credit wise. Go check your report at annualcreditreport.com (and that’s free!)."

What are your tips for financial spring cleaning? Share them in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter @LiveMoney.

Marketplace Money for Friday, April 11, 2014Interview by Lizzie O'LearyPodcast Title Tidying up with financial spring cleaningSyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherBusiness InsiderSwellPMPApp Respond No
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