John Ydstie

John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street and the federal budget for NPR for two decades. In recent years NPR has broadened his responsibilities, making use of his reporting and interviewing skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. His current focus is reporting on the global financial crisis. Ydstie is also a regular guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation.

During 1991 and 1992 Ydstie was NPR's bureau chief in London. He traveled throughout Europe covering, among other things, the breakup of the Soviet Union and attempts to move Europe toward closer political and economic union. He accompanied U.S. businessmen exploring investment opportunities in Russia as the Soviet Union was crumbling. He was on the scene in The Netherlands when European leaders approved the Maastricht Treaty, which created the European Union.

In August 1990, Ydstie traveled to Saudi Arabia for NPR as a member of the Pentagon press pool sent to cover the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. During the early stages of the crisis, Ydstie was the only American radio reporter in the country.

Ydstie has been with NPR since 1979. For two years, he was an associate producer responsible for Midwest coverage. In 1982 he became senior editor on NPR's Washington Desk, overseeing coverage of the federal government, American politics and economics. In 1984, Ydstie joined Morning Edition as the show's senior editor, and later was promoted to the position of executive producer. In 1988, he became NPR's economics correspondent.

During his tenure with NPR, Ydstie has won numerous awards. He was a member of the NPR team that received the George Foster Peabody for its coverage of 9/11. Ydstie's reporting from Saudi Arabia helped NPR win the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award in 1991 for coverage of the Gulf War. Prior to joining NPR, Ydstie was a reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio. While there, he was awarded the Clarion Award for his report "Vietnam Experience and America Today."

A graduate of Concordia College, in Moorhead, MN, Ydstie earned a bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude, with a major in English literature and a minor in speech communications.

Ydstie was born in Minneapolis, and grew up in rural North Dakota.

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6:32pm

Wed August 13, 2014
The Salt

Shifting Climate Has North Dakota Farmers Swapping Wheat For Corn

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 11:29 am

Dan Selvig says wetter conditions helped convince his family to shift their plantings to corn.
John Ydstie NPR

Overall, climate change is predicted to hurt agriculture around the world. It could even threaten corn production in the Corn Belt.

But in North Dakota conditions are now better for raising corn, and that's a big benefit for farmers.

When I was growing up in Wolford, N.D., up near the Canadian border, wheat was king. It had been the dominant crop since the prairie was first plowed in the late 1800s. So it was kind of strange to go back this summer and find Larry Slaubaugh, a local farmer, filling his 18-wheeler with corn from a huge steel grain bin.

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5:20pm

Tue August 12, 2014
The Salt

Iowa's Corn Farmers Learn To Adapt To Weather Extremes

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 11:32 am

Farmer Seth Watkins (left) and agronomist Matt Liebman stand amid native prairie grasses near Des Moines, Iowa. The conservation strip is used to stop soil erosion.
John Ydstie NPR

Climate change is creating all kinds of challenges and opportunities for business. One of the sectors that feels the effects most immediately is agriculture. Already, weather patterns are making it more challenging to raise corn — even in Iowa — in the middle of the Corn Belt.

Seth Watkins raises corn and cattle in southern Iowa, and he recalls the memorable weather from 2012.

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4:52pm

Thu August 7, 2014
Europe

Russia Retaliates For Western Sanctions With Ban On Food Imports

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:43 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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4:01pm

Fri August 1, 2014
Economy

In July Jobs Numbers, Fodder For Cautious Optimism

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 2:33 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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4:08pm

Wed July 30, 2014
Economy

Fast Growth Does Little To Budge Fed's Caution — For Now

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 7:30 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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4:59am

Wed July 30, 2014
Business

U.S. Judge Sides With Iraq, Blocks Kurds' Attempt To Sell Oil

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 8:07 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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As Iraq has been torn apart by sectarian violence, the country's Kurdish population has moved towards independence with income from oil.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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4:58am

Wed July 23, 2014
Health Care

What Do The New Obamacare Rulings Mean For People Getting Subsidies?

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 7:51 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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4:28pm

Mon July 21, 2014
Law

GOP Marks Dodd-Frank's 4th Birthday With Calls For Repeal

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:10 pm

Transcript

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Four years ago today, President Obama signed a massive overhaul of the nation's financial laws, The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The law was a response to the Wall Street bailouts and regulatory failings that sparked the financial crisis and caused the great recession. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the anniversary is being marked by calls from some to repeal parts of the law.

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4:21pm

Tue July 15, 2014
Economy

Despite Brightening Signs, Fed Is Likely To Stay The Course

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

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5:18pm

Wed June 18, 2014
Economy

In Press Conference, Fed Chair Keeps Things Upbeat — And Vague

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:08 pm

Transcript

: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I am Robert Siegel. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen may have learned a lesson - don't get specific when talking about when the benchmark interest rate may go up. She made that mistake during her first news conference as Fed chief. Today she left it at it depends, and as NPR's John Ydstie reports, Yellen also gave a relatively upbeat assessment of the economy following a two- day meeting.

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4:13pm

Fri June 6, 2014
Economy

In May Jobs Report, A Milestone: A Return To Pre-Recession Levels

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 7:29 pm

The May jobs report showed steady job creation. Payrolls expanded by 217,000, and unemployment held steady at 6.3%. And there was a milestone: The U.S. economy now has slightly more jobs than it did in December 2007, when the last recession began.

4:08pm

Wed June 4, 2014
Business

New Pollution Rules Leave Utilities Frustrated, As Details Remain Up In Air

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 7:18 pm

The Obama administration has proposed rules for limiting greenhouse gases, but many of the details must still be set by states, leaving utilities unsure about specifics they'll be expected to achieve.

4:21pm

Wed May 28, 2014
Health Care

Study Questions Need For Employer Health Care Requirement

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 6:17 pm

The employer mandate requires that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health insurance to their workers. A new study by the Urban Institute says the mandate should be eliminated.
Mutlu Kurtbas iStockphoto

When the Affordable Care Act was unveiled, business groups railed against the provision that requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance for their full-time workers.

The Obama administration responded by pushing back the deadline for the coverage, so it hasn't yet taken effect. Now support for this so-called employer mandate is eroding in some surprising quarters.

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5:29am

Sun May 18, 2014
Economy

The Merits Of Income Inequality: What's The Right Amount?

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 12:38 pm

The Occupy Wall Street movement helped put the issue of income inequality in the spotlight. But economists say there's a balance.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Income inequality is a big problem, many economists agree. But they also say some level of inequality is necessary for capitalism to work.

Inequality in the U.S. has risen to levels not seen since the 1920s. The top 1 percent pocket more than 20 percent of the nation's income, and the 400 richest people in the country own more wealth than everyone in the bottom 50 percent.

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4:21pm

Fri May 2, 2014
Economy

Positive April Jobs Report Blows Past Expectations

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:17 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. U.S. employers were in a hiring mood in April. That's the takeaway from the government's monthly jobs report released today. It shows 288,000 jobs added to payrolls. That's the biggest monthly job growth in nearly two and a half years. NPR's John Ydstie has more on the report, which also included a big drop in the unemployment rate.

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