Uri Berliner | New Hampshire Public Radio

Uri Berliner

As Senior Business Editor at NPR, Uri Berliner edits and reports on economics, technology and finance. He provides analysis, context and clarity to breaking news and complex issues.

Berliner helped to build Planet Money, one of the most popular podcasts in the country.

Berliner's work at NPR has been recognized with a Peabody Award, a Loeb Award, Edward R. Murrow Award, a Society of Professional Journalists New America Award, and has been twice honored by the RTDNA. He was the recipient of a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. A New Yorker, he was educated at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University.

Berliner joined NPR after more than a decade as a print newspaper reporter in California where he covered scams, gangs, military issues, and the border. As a newspaper reporter, his feature writing and investigative reporting earned numerous awards. He started his journalism career at the East Hampton (N.Y) Star.

Indefinite. Or even permanent. These are words companies are using about their employees working from home.

It's three months into a huge, unplanned social experiment that suddenly transported the white-collar workplace from cubicles and offices to kitchens and spare bedrooms. And many employers now say the benefits of remote work outweigh the drawbacks.

In normal times, hotels promote their star chefs or their swanky design upgrades. But priorities have changed. In the age of the coronavirus, the news from Hilton is a partnership — with Lysol.

As hotel guests begin to return, the standard expectation of hygiene has been elevated to "where it's cleanliness almost with a double exclamation point after it," says Phil Cordell, Hilton's global head of brand development.

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The U.S. economy has been staggered and shocked by the coronavirus pandemic. A stock market meltdown was followed by a more seismic event — waves of business shutdowns, putting millions of jobs at risk.

The United States is heading into a very sharp downturn in the next three months. That much seems certain.

What is unique this time is that we as a country are willing it to happen.

Collectively — intentionally — we are putting much of the economy on lockdown. The priorities are clear: save lives and keep hospitals and emergency rooms from being overwhelmed. For now, that means America is an economic ghost town.

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Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

Stocks plunged Wednesday on deepening worries over a slowdown in the global economy.

The Dow closed down 800 points, or about 3%. Investors have been whipsawed in recent days by mixed signals emerging from the Trump administration about tariffs and the escalating trade war with China.

The jitters were exacerbated amid worrisome economic data from two big countries. Germany posted negative growth in the latest quarter, and China's growth in industrial output fell to a 17-year low.

It was the most highly anticipated college basketball game of the season: Duke was facing archrival North Carolina, with the spectacular talents of Duke's freshman sensation Zion Williamson on display.

Former President Barack Obama was there. Tickets for the game were reselling for more than $3,000 — Super Bowl prices. Duke's exuberant student section, known as the Cameron Crazies, was extra hyped.

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Next, we're going to hear a story of a very different business that you might not associate with tariffs - Bassetts Ice cream.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Thank you, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Thank you.

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President Trump is cutting deals with the European Union this afternoon. In a joint appearance in the Rose Garden, President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced some agreements on trade.

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Since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida two weeks ago, a number of companies have taken a position in the debate over guns. Many severed ties with the National Rifle Association.

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A new NPR/Marist poll finds that 1 in 5 jobs in America is held by a worker under contract. Within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce. In a weeklong series, NPR explores many aspects of this change.

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Wells Fargo just can't get past its fake account scandal.

On Thursday, the bank acknowledged it had created more bogus customer accounts than previously estimated. An outside review discovered that 1.4 million more potentially unauthorized accounts were opened between January 2009 and September 2016.

That brings the total to 3.5 million potentially fake accounts — two-thirds more than the 2.1 million the bank had previously acknowledged.

The massive flooding in the Houston area has brought much of the city's commercial life to a halt. For those venturing out it can be hard to find a place to eat. The Houston Chronicle posted a list of bars and restaurants that are open in the aftermath of Harvey. It's not a big list. There are some cafes and diners serving up meals, but most of the locations are McDonald's or Waffle House restaurants.

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Donald Trump won the backing of the National Rifle Association and many gun owners by opposing limits to the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. But since his election and in the early months of his presidency, Trump has not been good for the gun business.

Shares of publicly traded firearms companies have fallen. The pro-gun president nicking the fortunes of the industry he vowed to protect may seem illogical on its face.

The Dow Jones industrial average cruised past another milestone Wednesday — the 20,000 level, further evidence of the long bull market that has lifted share prices since the depths of the financial crisis.

The index closed at a record 20,068. Since the November elections, the Dow and the broader S&P 500 are up 9.5 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

Quietly on election night, overshadowed by the epic battle between blue and red, the map of America grew greener. Voters in four states — California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine — chose to legalize recreational marijuana. In Florida, Arkansas, Montana and North Dakota, ballot measures passed allowing pot to be used for medical purposes. (Only Arizona bucked the trend, saying no to recreational weed).

Self-driving cars have been getting a lot of attention lately: Uber's self-driving taxis in Pittsburgh, Tesla's semi-autonomous Model S and the driverless Google rides that look like a cross between a Cozy Coupe and a golf cart. But quietly and without much fanfare, researchers and entrepreneurs are working on self-driving trucks — big rigs, tractor trailers.

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