Marilyn Geewax

Marilyn Geewax is a senior editor, assigning and editing business radio stories. She also serves as the national economics correspondent for the NPR web site, and regularly discusses economic issues on NPR's mid-day show Here & Now.

Her work contributed to NPR's 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for hard news for "The Foreclosure Nightmare." Geewax also worked on the foreclosure-crisis coverage that was recognized with a 2009 Heywood Broun Award.

Before joining NPR in 2008, Geewax served as the national economics correspondent for Cox Newspapers' Washington Bureau. Before that, she worked at Cox's flagship paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, first as a business reporter and then as a columnist and editorial board member. She got her start as a business reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal.

Over the years, she has filed news stories from China, Japan, South Africa and Europe. Recently, she headed to Europe to participate in the RIAS German/American Journalist Exchange Program.

Geewax was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, where she studied economics and international relations. She earned a master's degree at Georgetown University, focusing on international economic affairs, and has a bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University.

She is a member of the National Press Club's Board of Governors and serves on the Global Economic Reporting Initiative Committee for the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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10:52am

Thu October 23, 2014
Economy

You're Enjoying Low Gas Prices, But Is It Really A Good Sign?

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:40 pm

Macy Gould shared this photo from Lexington, Ky., where the gas prices are under $3.
Macy Gould Instagram

All around the country, gasoline prices have been falling for weeks, down to an average of about $3 a gallon. Those lower prices are helping restrain inflation across the board.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department said its consumer price index barely inched up 0.1 percent last month. Over the past 12 months, the CPI has risen by 1.7 percent, roughly half of its historical average rate of increase.

That sounds great for consumers.

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5:53am

Wed October 22, 2014
Business

Halloween-Thanksgiving-Hanukkah-Christmas-New-Year Buying Begins

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 8:58 am

Candice Nelson fits her daughter Arya Kubesh with a Halloween hat at a store at Galleria Mall in Edina, Minn. Retailers are hoping Halloween will give them a good bounce into the peak spending time of the year.
Elizabeth Flores MCT/Landov

At any big-box store, you can find the annual holiday mash-up now on garish display: Halloween costumes are stacked next to the decorative turkey napkins and pre-lit Christmas trees.

It's time to celebrate the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Hanukkah-Christmas-New-Year season!

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9:27am

Fri October 17, 2014
Business

Predictions Of 'Peak Oil' Production Prove Slippery

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 12:52 pm

Workers drill for oil in the Bakken shale formation outside Watford City, N.D., an area experiencing an oil boom.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

The dustiest portion of my home library includes the 1980s books — about how Japan's economy would dominate the world.

And then there are the 1990s books — about how the Y2K computer glitch would end the modern era.

Go up one more shelf for the late 2000s books — about oil "peaking." The authors claimed global oil production was reaching a peak and would soon decline, causing economic chaos.

The titles include Peak Oil and the Second Great Depression, Peak Oil Survival and When Oil Peaked.

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2:42pm

Wed October 8, 2014
The Two-Way

World Bank Says Ebola Could Inflict Enormous Economic Losses

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 6:43 am

A market area sat empty last month in Freetown, Sierra Leone, as the country's government enforced a three-day lockdown in an attempt to halt the spread of the Ebola virus.
Michael Duff AP

West Africa is a poor region, struggling to improve its economic growth.

It had been succeeding. Last year, Sierra Leone and Liberia ranked second and sixth among countries with the highest growth in gross domestic product in the world.

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5:51pm

Tue October 7, 2014
The Two-Way

Disease, War And Terrorism Are Dimming Economic Prospects, Especially In Africa

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 10:34 am

In a world already weighed down by too much debt, new troubles are bubbling up. The Ebola virus, terrorist attacks and war are undermining many countries, which means "downside risks have increased" for the global economy.

That gloomy assessment was released Tuesday by the International Monetary Fund. Its forecast for this year's average global growth slid to 3.3 percent, down 0.4 percentage point from April.

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7:06am

Fri October 3, 2014
American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape

U.S. Manufacturing: A Remembrance And A Look Ahead

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 11:28 am

A worker cuts slabs of steel at a mill in Cleveland in 2004.
Ron Schwane AP

If it weren't for American manufacturing, I wouldn't be here today.

Literally.

A century ago, my grandfather moved from Poland to Youngstown, Ohio, to work in a steel mill. At the time, Ohio factories were cranking out steel slabs, tires and cars — building a mountain of wealth that the next generation could climb. And the generation after that.

But what will happen in the 21st century? Is the path that led to higher ground blocked now?

The answer is complicated.

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2:48pm

Sat September 27, 2014
Remembrances

Why Youngstown, Ohio, Loved 'Jimbo' Traficant

Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 3:08 pm

Former U.S. Rep. James Traficant, seen here during a House Ethics Committee hearing in 2002, served seven years in prison on federal bribery and racketeering charges. Traficant died on Saturday. He was 73.
Joe Marquette AP

On national holidays, I hang a beautiful American flag in my front yard. It's a keepsake flag that, at the request of a congressman, flew over the Capitol.

It was sent to me by Jim Traficant, the Ohio Democrat who spent 17 years representing my hometown in Congress. He spent seven more years in prison after being convicted in 2002 of bribery and racketeering. He was one of only four congressmen in history to be expelled from Washington.

That flag helps me understand why Traficant remained popular with so many people in Youngstown. It helps me appreciate rogue politicians.

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4:22pm

Tue September 23, 2014
Business

Move To Curb U.S. Corporate Tax Dodges Could Delay Reform

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 5:48 pm

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has announced rules aimed at discouraging U.S. companies from moving their headquarters overseas to cut their tax bills.
Win McNamee Getty Images

The Obama administration's effort to curb corporate inversions — the strategy of moving company headquarters overseas to dodge U.S. taxes — drew boos from business on Tuesday, and cheers from consumer and labor groups.

No surprise there. But the Treasury Department's rule tweaks to discourage tax-avoidance deals also united everyone on one point: The country needs comprehensive tax-reform legislation.

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6:26pm

Wed September 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Federal Reserve To Markets: Nothing To See Here; Move Along

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen.
Susan Walsh AP

The Federal Reserve's policy makers just eyeballed the economy, and saw nothing new.

On Wednesday, they announced wage-and-price hikes remain low and growth continues at a moderate pace. That means interest rates can stay super low for a "considerable time," while the Fed's bond-buying program can wrap up next month, as expected.

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10:37am

Tue September 16, 2014
Parallels

Like It Or Not, Scotland's Drama May Hit Your Wallet

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:37 pm

The Saltire, the flag of Scotland, flies near the Union Jack in Gretna in Scotland. Some economists say Thursday's vote on Scotland's independence could have wide-ranging economic impacts.
Andy Buchanan AFP/Getty Images

Does news of Scotland's independence vote make your eyelids feel heavy?

Americans may feel a yawn coming on when told of a political squabble playing out in a distant land less populated than metro Atlanta.

But economists say this Thursday's vote is no snoozer. You may wake up to find its outcome has triggered another global financial upheaval.

To understand the risks to your economic health, let's first review a couple of basics:

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9:21am

Mon September 1, 2014
Economy

It Might Sound Stupid, But Maybe It Isn't The Economy This Time

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 6:44 pm

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange last week in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

As they always do on Labor Day, political candidates will begin their campaign sprint to Election Day.

And for years, they have been running on simple advice: "It's the economy, stupid." But this time around the track, they may discover that many Americans want to hear about other issues as well.

Wait. What?

The economy is not the No. 1 issue?

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1:17pm

Tue August 19, 2014
Business

To Fight Inflation, Forget The Barbecue And Just Go For A Drive

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 2:17 pm

Take that scenic drive, because gasoline prices have fallen this summer.
iStockphoto

If you're on a tight budget, here's a plan for enjoying late summer:

1) Take the family for a sightseeing drive.

2) When you get home, have a beer.

Don't do this:

1) Invite neighbors over for grilled steaks.

2) Make milkshakes for the kids.

Such budget-savvy conclusions can be drawn from the inflation report released Tuesday by the Labor Department.

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1:59pm

Fri August 8, 2014
The Two-Way

Shazam! Now You Look Like A Better Borrower

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 5:47 pm

Fair Isaac Corp. says its FICO credit-score calculations will no longer include information about bills that have been paid off or settled with a collection agency.
Courtney Keating iStockphoto

Credit scores can have a huge impact on your life, largely determining your ability to get a home mortgage, a car loan or credit cards.

Soon, tens of millions of Americans will find their three-digit credit scores levitating upward — and without having to pay any new bills.

What's the magic?

It's a simple trick: Fair Isaac Corp. said Thursday that it is changing its widely used FICO credit-score calculations. The company plans to lighten up on consumers, making it easier for millions of borrowers to look better on paper.

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5:53pm

Tue August 5, 2014
Parallels

Obama Says U.S. Exports Have Room To Run In Africa

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 7:02 pm

President Obama speaks Tuesday at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington, D.C. "I want Africans buying more American products," he said.
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama, speaking at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit on Tuesday, spotlighted $14 billion in new investments in Africa by U.S. companies involved in construction, technology and finance.

"The United States is determined to be a partner in Africa's success," Obama said. "I want Africans buying more American products. I want Americans buying more African products."

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4:14pm

Mon August 4, 2014
Parallels

Africa: The Richest Region For Young Workers And Consumers

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 9:14 am

NPR

Africa does not have the wealth that has piled up on the North American and European continents over many centuries.

But it does have something richer regions now lack: lots of young people.

While other continents have aging populations, Africa is giving birth to a new generation of consumers and workers. Sub-Saharan Africa is the youngest region in the world, with 43 percent of its population under age 15.

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