Chris Arnold

NPR correspondent Chris Arnold is based in Boston. His reports are heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. He joined NPR in 1996, and was based in San Francisco before moving to Boston in 2001.

In recent years, Arnold has spent much of his time reporting on the financial crisis, its aftermath, and the U.S. economy's ongoing recovery. He has focused on the housing bubble and its collapse. And he's reported on problems within the nation's largest banks that have led to the banks improperly foreclosing on thousands of American homeowners. For this work, Arnold earned a 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for the special series, The Foreclosure Nightmare. He's also been honored with the Newspaper Guild's 2009 Heywood Broun Award for broadcast journalism. He was chosen by the Scripps Howard Foundation as a finalist for their National Journalism Award, and he won an Excellence in Financial Journalism Award from N.Y. State's society for CPA's.

Arnold is also reporting on the now government-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In a series of stories in partnership with ProPublica, Arnold exposed investments at Freddie Mac that raised serious concerns about a conflict of interest between Fannie and Freddie's massive investment portfolios, and their mission to make home ownership more affordable. The stories generated widespread attention, and led to calls for an investigation by members of Congress.

Arnold was recently honored with a Nieman Journalism Fellowship at Harvard University during the 2012-2013 academic year. He joined a small group of other journalists from the U.S. and abroad and studied, among other things, economics and the future of home ownership in America.

Prior to that, Arnold covered a range of other subjects for NPR – from Katrina recovery in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, to immigrant workers in the fishing industry, to a new kind of table saw that won't cut your fingers off. He traveled to Turin, Italy, for NPR's coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics. He has also followed the dramatic rise in the numbers of teenagers abusing the powerful and highly addictive painkiller Oxycontin – more than 1 out of 20 high school seniors report using the drug.

In the days and months following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Arnold reported from New York and contributed to the NPR coverage that won the Overseas Press Club and the George Foster Peabody Awards. He chronicled the recovery effort at Ground Zero, focusing on members of the Port Authority Police department, as they struggled with the deaths of 37 officers - the greatest loss of any police department in U.S. history.

Prior to his move to Boston, Arnold traveled the country for NPR doing feature stories on entrepreneurship. His pieces covered technologists, farmers, and family business owners. He also reported on efforts to kindle entrepreneurship in economically disadvantaged areas ranging from inner-city Los Angeles to the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota.

Arnold has worked in public radio since 1993. Before joining NPR, he was a freelance reporter working out of San Francisco's NPR Member Station, KQED.

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3:42am

Mon April 21, 2014
Your Money

How Do Companies Boost 401(k) Enrollment? Make It Automatic

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 2:15 pm

iStockphoto

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.

Some firms are also automatically increasing the amount employees contribute. That's just as important, experts say.

And all of this makes a big difference: Without it, millions of Americans don't save at all.

Making Time For Retirement Planning

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4:06pm

Fri April 11, 2014
Economy

Onlookers Show No Worry Over Market's Week In Tumult

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 8:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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. But as NPR's Chris Arnold reports, the sell-off hasn't triggered alarm and indicators for the broader economy are mostly positive.

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6:27pm

Thu April 3, 2014
Rethinking Retirement: The Changing Work Landscape

One More Speed Bump For Your Retirement Fund: Basic Human Impulse

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 7:34 pm

We hate losing twice as much as we love winning, behavioral researchers say. And that gets us into trouble with financial decisions.
iStockphoto

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.

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.

How A Smashed Car Is Like A Smashed Nest Egg

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5:38pm

Wed March 26, 2014
Parallels

How Russia's Annexation Of Crimea Could Hurt Its Economy

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 11:05 am

A street vendor in Simferopol, Crimea, sells eggs with the dual currency price tags in Russian rubles and Ukrainian hryvnias. Russia's annexation of Crimea mean it will now have to prop up the peninsula's weak economy.
Dmitry Serebryakov AFP/Getty Images

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.

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.

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4:44am

Tue March 18, 2014
Your Money

Report: Most Americans Not Putting Enough Away For Retirement

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 9:44 am

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.

5:39pm

Tue March 4, 2014
Economy

Severe Weather Socks The Economy, But Full Impact Is Unclear

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 6:31 pm

It's too cold to eat out.
John Moore Getty Images

The economy often absorbs the impact of snowstorms, such as this week's storm, without much trouble, but this winter the weather is doing more damage than usual.

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4:03pm

Thu February 13, 2014
Around the Nation

Grounded And Confounded, Airlines Wait For Storms To Pass

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

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.

9:43am

Sat February 8, 2014
Economy

January Job Growth Disappoints, But Unemployment Drops

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 12:05 pm

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.

5:22pm

Fri January 24, 2014
Economy

Trouble In Emerging Markets Causes Stocks To Take A Tumble

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 7:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Stock prices soared in the past year, but this was a rough week and prices really tumbled today. The Dow lost 318 points, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ both fell 2.1 percent. This was part of a global sell-off, as investors focus on the growing financial turmoil in the developing world. NPR's Chris Arnold is following this and he joins me now. Chris, the year started off looking like the global economy was more stable. We didn't have a financial crisis unfolding somewhere. So what's going on now?

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5:36pm

Wed January 22, 2014
The Salt

Small-Batch Distilleries Ride The Craft Liquor Wave

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:01 pm

Evan Parker built the interior space of the distillery himself in a small warehouse near the coast. Parker and his business partner, Mat Perry, have desks overlooking their 400-gallon copper kettle and still.
Chris Arnold NPR

Wherever you live, you're probably not too far from a local microbrewery making beer. Now, the latest trend is the spread of what you might call "micro-boozeries." Craft liquor distilleries are springing up around the country like little wellheads spouting gin, whiskey and rum.

Turkey Shore Distilleries in Ipswich, Mass., is one of them.

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6:18pm

Thu January 2, 2014
Economy

For The Unemployed, Ideas To Help Bridge The Gap To Work

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:01 pm

Job seekers line up to talk to recruiters during a job fair held in Atlanta in May.
John Amis AP

When members of Congress return to work next week, at the top of the "to-do" list is whether to renew emergency unemployment benefits. An extension of the benefits expired at the end of 2013, which means 1.3 million out-of-work Americans are no longer getting unemployment checks.

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5:29am

Fri December 27, 2013
Business

Cars Are Next Frontier For Sharing Services

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 9:57 am

Kevin Petrovic, 19, and his business partner, who's also 19, raised about $6 million from venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to launch FlightCar. The company is trying to make its mark with car-sharing for travelers.
Chris Arnold NPR

Following the popularity of companies like Airbnb, which rent out a client's house or apartment to people visiting the area, more companies are trying the idea with cars. Companies like Uber help find someone to drive you around like a taxi. Another will let you rent out your car like a Zipcar while you're at work.

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4:36pm

Thu December 26, 2013
Economy

Manufacturing 2.0: Old Industry Creating New High-Tech Jobs

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 6:07 pm

Unlike the smoky, eardrum-damaging factories of yesterday, today's manufacturing is going high-tech. That can mean more robots and automated machines than workers. But companies like Machine Inc. in Stoughton, Mass., are still growing and hiring.
Chris Arnold NPR

As the U.S. economy continues to recover, it has been getting some help from an unexpected place. After decades of massive job losses, manufacturing firms have been steadily creating jobs — many of them well-paying. One particularly bright spot is a new generation of high-tech manufacturers.

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9:01am

Fri December 13, 2013
Economy

Mel Watt: A New Captain For America's Housing Market

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 12:19 pm

Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., listens as President Obama announces his nomination to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Watt was nominated in May, but Republicans blocked his confirmation until this week.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Seven months after his was nominated, the U.S. Senate this week confirmed former Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., to head the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant companies that control much of the mortgage market.

The vote occurred after Democrats changed the rules on filibusters — now the Senate can confirm presidential nominees with a simple majority.

For people who watch the U.S. housing market, Watt's confirmation is a very big deal that could mean easier credit.

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1:28pm

Fri November 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Photos: Comet ISON May Have Survived Its Blistering Encounter

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:29 pm

A view from NASA shows the Comet ISON streaming toward the sun (right) then emerging from the other side, dimmed.
ESA/NASA/SOHO/Jhelioviewer

The Comet ISON appears to have survived after disappearing and being thought dead. New NASA photos show the comet emerging from behind the sun smaller and dimmer, but still throwing a big light trail.

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