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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6:26pm

Wed September 17, 2014
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 7:23 pm

"There are still too many people who want jobs but cannot find them," Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday.
Susan Walsh AP

The Federal Reserve's policymakers just eyeballed the economy and saw nothing new.

On Wednesday, they announced that wage and price hikes remain low, and that growth continues at a moderate pace. That means interest rates can stay superlow 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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11:52am

Fri August 1, 2014
Economy

As Labor Market Advances, Millions Are Stuck In Part-Time Jobs

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 4:18 pm

People attend a hiring fair for veterans in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., July 16. About 7.5 million people in the U.S. are working less than 40 hours per week even though they want full-time jobs.
Alan Diaz AP

Treading water in July is really fun — if you happen to be in a swimming pool.

But if you find yourself stuck in the part-time labor pool, drifting is disappointing.

On Friday, the Labor Department reported that while employers hired 209,000 workers in July, the growth rate was not strong enough to push part-timers forward.

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6:25pm

Wed July 30, 2014
Economy

Job Worries Linger, But The Economy Is Looking Good

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 6:28 pm

Assembly-line workers at the Chrysler plant in Sterling Heights, Mich. The economy is getting good marks in the latest data, but some worries about the job market continue.
Paul Sancya AP

Five years after the Great Recession ended, where are we with this recovery?

On Wednesday, the Commerce Department and the Federal Reserve both answered by saying, in effect:

We're in a sweet spot — growing at a decent rate with good reason for optimism.

Or as the Fed blandly put it, "economic activity will expand at a moderate pace."

President Obama, speaking on the economy in Kansas City, Mo., was more effusive.

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2:43pm

Tue July 29, 2014
The Two-Way

Chances Are Pretty Good That's A Bill Collector Calling

According to the Urban Institute report, the typical adult in trouble with bill collectors has a median debt of $1,350.
DNY59 iStockphoto

In about one-third of U.S. households, the sound of a phone or doorbell ringing may trigger a desire to duck.

That's because roughly 77 million adults with a credit file have at least one debt in the collection process, according to a study released by the Urban Institute, a research group. A credit file includes all of the raw data that a credit bureau can use to rank a borrower's creditworthiness.

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1:37pm

Mon July 28, 2014
The Two-Way

It May Be Summer, But For Economists, This Week Feels Like Christmas

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 4:31 pm

Chiang Ying-ying AP

This week is summer's sweet spot — the peak time for pool parties, fresh-picked berries and cool drinks. But for economists, it may feel more like Christmas — so much to unwrap!

Each day will bring new decisions and reports that could have a big impact on the nation's economy. So economists, investors and workers will have plenty to ponder. Here's what's happening this week:

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3:33pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Business

4 Theories About Why Wal-Mart Changed Its U.S. Chief

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 4:23 pm

Bill Simon, head of Wal-Mart's U.S. division, is leaving the retail giant after being passed over for the company's top post.
Rick Wilking Reuters/Landov

Bill Simon, head of Wal-Mart's U.S. division, is leaving the retail giant, the company said Thursday.

Any major shake-up at Wal-Mart is closely watched because the company is so important — it tops the Fortune 500 list with annual sales approaching a half-trillion dollars. So lots of people are speculating about what Simon's departure really means. Here are some theories:

The Simplest Explanation

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4:29pm

Tue July 22, 2014
Economy

Inflation Came In Low Again, But Are There Bubbles?

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:39 pm

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on July 15. She said the Fed is likely to keep interest rates low "for a considerable period" since inflation remains so tame.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Want to borrow money for a car or a home this fall?

Oddly enough, the interest rates available months from now for big-ticket items may be determined by the prices you pay today for everyday consumer goods. When store prices are rising rapidly, policymakers start pushing interest rates higher, too.

But for the moment, at least, inflation appears mild enough to keep interest rates low for a long while.

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5:36pm

Thu July 17, 2014
Economy

Latest Wrinkle In The Jobs Debate: Blame The Boomers

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:46 pm

Participation in the workforce has dropped significantly since 2007, and economists say more than half of the dropouts may never return.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Since late 2007, the U.S. labor force has shrunk significantly, raising questions about where former workers have gone and why.

Now the White House Council of Economic Advisers says it has found answers and has compiled them into a detailed research report released Thursday.

As it turns out, most of the missing workers have been hiding in plain sight: They are retiring baby boomers.

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10:58am

Tue July 15, 2014
Business

Citigroup Settlement Offers Former Homeowners 'Cold Comfort'

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 11:10 am

The Citigroup Center is viewed in midtown Manhattan. Critics say the U.S. settlement with the banking giant will do nothing for those hurt most by the foreclosure crisis: people who lost their homes.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Should you be watching your mailbox for a check from Citigroup?

The banking giant says it will pay out $2.5 billion to provide "consumer relief" to help settle charges brought against it by the U.S. Justice Department. The government said Monday that "defects" in Citi's mortgage securities had fueled the financial crisis that triggered the Great Recession.

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