Uri Berliner

As Senior Editor at NPR, Uri Berliner oversees coverage of business and the economy. He has supervised and edited much of NPR's work on the financial crisis, the auto industry, energy and the workplace. Berliner has helped to build Planet Money, a prize-winnng multimedia team that covers the global economy.

Until recently, Berliner also edited NPR's sports coverage and was part of a team that won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Berliner came to NPR in 1999 from California, where he worked as a reporter for 12 years at daily newspapers in San Diego and Santa Barbara. At the San Diego Union-Tribune, he covered wildfires, street gangs, the border and military issues before becoming the paper's economics correspondent. His feature writing and investigative reporting earned several awards.

In 1998, Berliner was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where he studied business, history and economics. The following year he moved to Washington, D.C.

Originally from New York City, Berliner received his undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College, and went on to receive his Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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5:14pm

Fri July 17, 2015
Parallels

Nuclear Deal Opens Up Potential For Investors In Iran's Stock Market

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 7:39 pm

Iranian stockbrokers monitor share prices at the Tehran Stock Exchange in April. The historical Iran nuclear deal could open the country's market up to international investors.
Vahid Salemi AP

Iran may not be fond of Western-style capitalism, but it has a stock market where shares in Iranian companies are traded.

And if sanctions are lifted following the nuclear deal, it could be where international investors road-test Iran's economy.

Earlier this week, just after the landmark deal about the future of Iran's nuclear program had been announced, Radman Rabii in Teheran was excited about the future.

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5:54pm

Fri June 26, 2015
Sports

ESPN Brings Betting Talk To The Mainstream

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 9:20 pm

This year's ESPN NCAA basketball coverage did not shy away from talking about the ordinarily sensitive topic of betting as much as it has in the past.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Walk into a bar or spend some time in an airport and there's a good chance ESPN is on TV. What happens on its ever-present SportsCenter, airing live 18 times daily, resonates with sports fans around the country. So it matters that over the past couple of years, ESPN has increased coverage of what's always been an extremely sensitive topic for leagues and TV networks — sports betting.

ESPN says it wants to be more direct about a topic broadcasters have dealt with circuitously, often with a wink and nod, rather than in the direct language of gambling.

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7:33am

Sat April 4, 2015
The Salt

Why Wal-Mart Is Betting Big On Being Your Local Urban Grocer

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 6:16 pm

A customer shops for groceries with her son at the Wal-Mart on H Street in Washington, D.C.
Emily Jan NPR

Wal-Mart made its name by going big: massive super centers with gallon jars of pickles and rows and rows of lawn chairs and tires.

Its future may depend a lot on going small. It's investing in smaller stores in densely populated urban neighborhoods, where customers buy fewer items at a time.

Customers like Donna Thomas, who walked over to a Wal-Mart near Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on her lunch break from her job as an executive assistant at Comcast.

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8:20pm

Tue February 24, 2015
History

Even Pickaxes Couldn't Stop The Nation's First Oil Pipeline

Tanks holding oil in Pithole, Pa., in 1868. Samuel Van Syckel built his first pipeline over just five weeks in 1865. At 2 inches in diameter, it was tiny by modern standards — but it was an engineering marvel.
Drake Well Museum/Courtesy of PHMC

One-hundred-fifty years ago, a man named Samuel Van Syckel built the nation's first commercial oil pipeline in the rugged terrain of northwestern Pennsylvania.

His pipeline transformed how oil is transported — and it would change the modern world, too — but not before a battle that makes the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline look meek by comparison.

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4:14am

Thu January 29, 2015
Economy

For Long-Haul Drivers, Cheap Gas Means A Sweeter Commute

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 8:21 am

Jed Brown drives 100 miles each day to work between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Cheaper gas is making his commute more manageable, but he doesn't expect the low prices to last.
Uri Berliner NPR

With wages still stuck for many Americans, the big drop in gasoline prices is the equivalent of an unexpected cash bonus for the nation's drivers.

The average American household is expected to save $750 this year from lower gas prices, according to the Energy Department.

But Thomas Kinnaman, an economist at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., says it's instructive to look beyond the word "average."

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3:54am

Thu December 11, 2014
Around the Nation

Here's Why Retailers Keep Sending You Catalogs

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 7:51 pm

The number of catalogs mailed in the U.S. peaked in 2007, according to the Direct Marketing Association. It's come down since then, but last year it reached 11.9 billion.
NPR

Many things made with paper have become relics because of computers and the Internet: the Rolodex, multivolume encyclopedias, even physical maps.

Now take a look in your mailbox or somewhere around your house. There's a good chance you'll see a shopping catalog, maybe a few of them now that it's the holiday season.

"I ignore them," says Rick Narad, a professor at California State University, Chico. "I get them in the mail sometimes, and they don't make it into the house. I walk past the recycling bin, and they go right in."

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3:24am

Thu November 6, 2014
American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape

In South Carolina, A Program That Makes Apprenticeships Work

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 6:41 pm

John Harris makes a weld for a test during a welding class at Spartanburg Community College in Spartanburg, S.C., on Oct. 22.
Mike Belleme for NPR

Several years ago, South Carolina had a problem: a shortage of skilled workers and no good way to train young people for the workforce. So at a time when apprenticeship programs were in decline in the U.S., the state started a program called Apprenticeship Carolina.

"We were really, really squarely well-positioned at the bottom," says Brad Neese, the program's director.

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4:14pm

Mon August 11, 2014
Men In America

Why Are Men Leaving The American Workforce?

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 11:45 am

It was a great time to be an American man in the workplace after World War II. Hiring was strong for both white-collar jobs and factory work while industries like autos, aviation and steel were booming. By the 1960s, that started to change.
Three Lions Getty Images

There's a long, unfolding story about work in America that often gets overlooked. It's the story of men opting out of work altogether. These are men who have vanished from the labor force — men who don't have a job and aren't looking for one.

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3:46am

Fri June 6, 2014
Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing

From Coffee Futures To Bulk Buying: A Year Of Adventurous Investing

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 11:09 am

Uri Berliner drinking coffee at the NPR headquarters.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

A year ago, NPR's Uri Berliner decided to take his money out of a savings account that was losing value to inflation and turn it loose in an investing adventure. A series of stories in 2013 described his newly acquired assets and sought to shed light on how the markets for them worked.

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11:05am

Sat March 15, 2014
Sports

Why You Won't Win Warren Buffett's Billion-Dollar Bracket

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 1:19 pm

Florida's Will Yeguete shoots over Missouri's Keanau Post in the quarterfinal round of the Southeastern Conference men's tournament on Friday in Atlanta. Investor Warren Buffett is betting $1 billion that no one can pick all 63 winners of the NCAA college basketball tournament that begins next week.
John Bazemore AP

The men's NCAA college basketball tournament starts next week.

In a twist on the familiar March Madness bracket, a mortgage company and a world-famous investor are offering a billion dollars to anyone who picks the winner of all 63 games in the NCAA college basketball tournament.

It's a contest, and it may also be the perfect publicity stunt.

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2:57am

Tue December 24, 2013
Humans

Tired Of Doom And Gloom? Here's The Best Good News Of 2013

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 7:24 am

A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner concludes its first flight in September. Overall, plane-related fatalities have decreased dramatically this year.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

Being a news consumer means you're constantly on the receiving end of bad news. War, unemployment, crime, political dysfunction — it can be enough to make you think we humans aren't doing anything right. But good news: We are. As the year draws to an end, here's a look at a few areas of real progress in the U.S. and around the world.

Air Safety

Let's start with flying. It's not a lot of fun: baggage fees, pat-downs, cramped seating, disappointing snacks.

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2:52am

Mon November 25, 2013
Middle East

Crippled By Sanctions, Iran's Economy Key In Nuclear Deal

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 1:11 pm

A man pushes his cart loaded with fuel containers in Tehran, Iran. Sanctions on Iran's oil have put a serious dent in the country's economy, pushing up the inflation rate to 40 percent.
Vahid Salemi AP

Some of the sanctions against Iran will be eased under an agreement reached between Iran and six world powers over the weekend. In return, Iran promises to temporarily curb part of its nuclear program.

There's widespread agreement that sanctions have worked, squeezing Iran financially and bringing its leaders to the negotiating table. Iran's economy is, by any measure, in terrible shape.

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3:05am

Thu October 17, 2013
The State Of The American Small Business

The Roots Of Franchising Took Hold In A Hair Salon Chain

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 10:23 am

Gary Robins sits in the chair of his Supercuts salon in Media, Pa., one of 41 he owns throughout Philadelphia and Delaware.
Will Figg for NPR

We have been reporting for several weeks now on small businesses in America. Today, we explore a business system where entrepreneurs and corporations come together: franchising. Franchising is a bit like marriage. It takes a good long-term relationship to succeed.

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4:04am

Thu June 27, 2013
The Salt

Coffee Futures: The Highs And Lows Of A Cup Of Joe

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 12:49 pm

Want to invest in coffee futures? One roaster says when it comes to the price of coffee, it "is like a roller coaster."
Joe Raedle Getty Images

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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3:17am

Wed June 19, 2013
Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing

The Art Of Investing: The Rewards Aren't Always Financial

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:40 am

Flower Study #14 by Vladimir Kryloff, the painting NPR's Uri Berliner bought as an investment for $450.
Vladimir Kryloff

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

Read more

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