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 Tell Me More and 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 to 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 reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal.

Over the years, she has filed business news stories from China, Japan, South Africa and Europe.

Geewax was a 1994-95 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 in journalism from The Ohio State University.

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It's All Politics
12:00 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

U.S. Chamber President Criticizes GOP's 'Intramural' Battle Over Bain

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue at a press conference Thursday in Washington.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 1:57 pm

The "Battle Over Bain" has become a hot topic at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a key player in politics.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue says he is "disappointed" that some GOP presidential candidates are attacking front-runner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for his work at Bain Capital in the 1990s.

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Business
2:38 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

The Optimists' Turn: EU's Crisis May Not Be So Bad

A woman checks stock indexes of a bank in Milan. Some analysts say the turmoil in Europe may actually help the U.S. economy.
Luca Bruno AP

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 3:25 pm

Europe's debt crisis is a huge threat to the U.S. economy. Or is it?

For many months, economists have been warning that Europe's debt troubles could spiral into a massive recession that drags down U.S. growth.

But some analysts say those fears may be wildly exaggerated. The U.S. economy has been "decoupling" from Europe for some time, and wouldn't be significantly harmed by any recession taking shape over there, they argue.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
9:46 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Can Construction Help Build The Recovery?

A construction worker walks on the roof of a newly built home in Westport, Conn. The construction sector, which has been battered by the depressed housing sector, added 17,000 jobs in December.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 10:05 am

Of all the good news in the December unemployment report, perhaps the most encouraging sign for the 2012 labor market was the increase in construction jobs. That sector has lost more than 2 million jobs as the housing market imploded 5 years ago, but increases in construction hiring and spending could be cautious signs of a turnaround, analysts say.

Overall, employers created 200,000 jobs last month, sending the U.S. unemployment rate down to 8.5 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

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Business
4:41 am
Sun January 1, 2012

2012: A Better Year, Unless Europe's Debt Blows It Up

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses journalists at EU headquarters in Brussels in December. It's possible that European leaders will come up with ways to manage the region's debt crisis in the new year, but the worst case scenarios are dire.
John Thys AFP/Getty Images

Last New Year's Day, most economic forecasters were predicting a good year ahead. But 2011 turned out to be another disappointment for stock investors and home sellers, and a discouraging time for job seekers.

Now, as 2012 begins, economists are hoping their crystal balls are working a bit better. Most are seeing a brighter picture.

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Economy
9:46 am
Thu December 22, 2011

What's The Economic Impact If The Tax Break Dies?

Mary Polocy (left) stands in line to enter a career fair in Independence, Ohio, in November. Congress has yet to agree on a measure that would extend unemployment benefits.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 2:28 pm

Most political analysts say that Congress and President Obama will eventually agree to extend the payroll tax cut into 2012 – even if it takes another month of arguing.

But what if Congress really can't get it done?

Economists are fairly unanimous in saying growth would be slowed — at least in the short term — if Congress were to fail to pass legislation to extend the tax holiday and include two other proposals to: 1) continue federal help for the long-term unemployed and 2) block a 27 percent Medicare pay cut for doctors.

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Business
11:02 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Investors Endure Another Disappointing Year

For Americans saving for retirement, 2011 was another lackluster year, filled with lots of risks but few rewards.

Savers who tried to avoid risks by putting money into federally insured savings accounts earned almost no interest. The money just sat there, even as inflation ate away at its value, with consumer prices rising nearly 3.5 percent this year.

And for those who invested in a broad array of U.S. stocks, the results were — at best — mixed.

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Still No Job: Over A Year Without Enough Work
11:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

The Impacts Of Long-Term Unemployment

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 1:55 pm

  • Hear Marilyn Geewax On 'Tell Me More'

The country has been trying to recover from the Great Recession for three years. But the U.S. job market remains weak, leaving roughly 5 million workers unemployed for a year or more.

The Kaiser Family Foundation teamed with NPR to conduct a survey, seeking to describe the experiences of those long-term unemployed workers. Here are some highlights of the survey findings.

The long-term unemployed tended to be low-wage workers.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

'Dr. Doom' Fears Another Financial Crisis Is Coming

Nouriel Roubini.
Tony Ashby. AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 6:16 pm

The economist known as "Dr. Doom" for his 2008 recession prediction says the world may be headed for another financial crisis.

New York University professor Nouriel Roubini said Wednesday that Europe's debt troubles are so profound that the continent is falling into a "recession that will get worse and worse."

And a deep recession likely will lead to another financial panic that could spread around the world — an outcome that will be " very painful," he said.

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Business
5:42 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Why Americans Spend Too Much

  • Hear Princeton Professor Sheldon Garon
  • Hear NPR's Marilyn Geewax's Interview With Professor Sheldon Garon

The 2008 financial crisis made it clear: Americans save too little, spend too much and borrow excessively, says Princeton professor Sheldon Garon. In Western Europe and East Asia, governments aggressively encourage people to save through special savings institutions and savings campaigns.

Garon has just released a new book, Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves. He discussed his findings with NPR:

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Economy
7:26 am
Sun December 4, 2011

How Europe's Troubles Could Become Ours, Too

Daniel Kryger, left, works with fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. If the European Union can't agree on a plan, its debt crisis could lead to the kind of financial chaos that economists say surely would hurt the United States.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 2:04 pm

This week, European leaders will huddle in intense meetings, trying to work out a comprehensive plan to solve crushing debt problems.

Higher stakes are hard to imagine.

If all goes well at a summit in Brussels, the political leaders will make an announcement Friday, spelling out their long-term commitment to a plan to loosen a choking tangle of debt troubles. If they can't agree on a plan, the EU debt crisis could lead to the kind of financial chaos that economists say surely would hurt the United States.

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Economy
12:23 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Black Friday Sales Suggest A Strong Cyber Monday

Workers process orders at an Amazon.com fulfillment center n Swansea, Wales, as they prepare for their busiest time of the year.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Shoppers stormed retail stores this past weekend, and now on Cyber Monday, many are clicking their way to more purchases.

"I am definitely a price-based shopper," said Sarah Kelly, a 28-year-old Washington, D.C., resident who bought a KitchenAid mixer Monday morning as a holiday gift. She also bought shoes, clothes and other presents after waking early to search for online coupons and shipping offers. "I only purchase if the shipping is free," she said.

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Politics
7:30 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Supercommittee Scenarios: How The Debt End Game May Play Out

Supercommittee member, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., third from left, holds his hand out at a hearing Oct. 26. From left are, Supercommittee Co-Chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Baucus, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 1:40 pm

The congressional supercommittee — charged with developing a plan for cutting the nation's deficits by $1.2 trillion over 10 years — is days away from its Thanksgiving deadline.

But at this point, no deal is on the table, and pessimism is growing. Economists are worried: Failure to reach a deal would add yet another cloud of uncertainty to an already-dark outlook.

The supercommittee grew out of a heated fight in August in Congress over whether to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

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Politics
7:30 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Automatic Cuts: Necessary Medicine Or Doomsday?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned Congress that automatic across-the-board cuts to the Pentagon's budget would "invite aggression from U.S. adversaries."
Mark Wilson Getty Images

As the congressional "supercommittee" runs out of time to reach a deficit-cutting deal, the word "sequestration" is being spoken more and more in Washington.

Depending upon the speaker's political views, the word can be spit out as a curse word, or intoned as a blessing. But love it or hate it, "sequestration" may turn out to be a word that dramatically changes the world's most powerful military, and reshapes domestic programs for public health, education, the environment and much more.

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Europe
3:00 am
Mon November 14, 2011

German Economy Shines As Euro Loses Luster

Workers prepare new Volkswagen Golf cars at a factory in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

As the debt crisis in Europe deepens, Americans may be feeling sorry for Germany.

They see that Germans, who generally work hard and spend carefully, are now being pushed to bail out their debt-ridden partners in the eurozone.

But there's another side to the story.

Turns out, sharing a common currency with a group of fiscal losers has its benefits. The German economy gained strength over the past two years in large part because the European debt crisis weakened the euro. That made German exports more attractive to customers around the world.

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Economy
7:51 am
Sun November 13, 2011

Gen X Takes The Housing Hit; Boomers Only Grazed

Prices are about a third lower than they were in 2006, and they are continuing to drop in most cities. The National Association of Realtors says that this summer, prices fell nearly 5 percent compared with last year.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 10:11 am

At this time five years ago, the white-hot U.S. housing market was starting to cool. Before long, it would slip into a deep freeze.

The thaw still hasn't come. The latest statistics show residential real estate prices are continuing to drop — a trend that could have a long-lasting impact on the net wealth of younger homeowners who bought property during the housing bubble.

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Politics
5:30 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Political Math: Social Security Cuts Don't Add Up

Judy Moses, 71, prepares to be arrested during an Occupy Chicago protest against cuts to federal safety net programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, on Monday.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Conservative activists in the Tea Party want Congress to cut government budget deficits. At the same time, liberal protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement want lawmakers to reduce wealth inequality.

Both goals could be achieved by doing one thing: reducing Social Security payments to retirees, the wealthiest demographic group in the country.

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Economy
10:39 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Stores May Be Slow To Hire For The Holidays

NPR

The latest jobs report shows the U.S. economy is continuing to grow. But the pace is slow enough to suggest the holidays may not be very bright, especially for people seeking seasonal work.

Employers added a total of 80,000 jobs last month — about half the number needed to keep pace with population growth and begin pulling nearly 14 million job seekers back into the workplace.

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Business
4:04 am
Fri October 28, 2011

In Europe's Crisis, U.S. Mostly An Observer

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao meeting in Berlin on June 28. During Europe's economic crisis, both China and the United States have stayed mostly on the sidelines.

Markus Schreiber AP

When Columbus sailed west in the late 15th century, he launched a long and lucrative relationship between Europe and the Americas. Family ties, economic bonds and shared military goals continue to knit us together.

But as the European debt crisis has deepened, it has highlighted this early 21st century shift: The United States is becoming more of a Pacific Rim country and less of a North Atlantic partner.

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Europe
11:45 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Hamilton's Lesson For Europe: Pay Your Debt

Because of Alexander Hamilton's insistence that the United States pay off its debt, investors came to see the nation as a stable place to do business, biographer Ron Chernow says.

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

This weekend, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet in Brussels with other European Union leaders. Their goal: to settle on a plan to pay the debts of struggling member nations.

Their meeting might go better if Alexander Hamilton's ghost could get a seat at the table.

Hamilton, one of the United States' Founding Fathers, was the fiscal genius who insisted that paying off debts of this union's member states would lead to economic greatness.

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Economy
5:07 am
Sun October 16, 2011

Betting On Food Prices May Sell The Hungry Short

For speculators, food is a commodity to trade, not eat.

Scott Olson Getty Images

Speculators in the agricultural commodities markets are forcing grocery prices to rise too quickly and erratically, according to some top economists marking World Food Day on Sunday.

"Excessive financial speculation is contributing to increasing volatility and record food prices, exacerbating global hunger and poverty," wrote 461 economists, from more than 40 countries, in an open letter.

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Economy
12:53 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

Thought The Economy Was Tanking? Not So Fast

The construction sector added 26,000 jobs in September, reversing a drop a month earlier.

Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 9, 2011 6:06 am

A few weeks ago, dismal economic reports seemed to be pointing to one conclusion: The economy was slipping into another recession. Investors fled the stock market, pundits predicted doom and political leaders pointed fingers, trying to fix blame for a faltering economy.

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Economy
11:05 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Debt Crises Not A Damper For Some U.S. Businesses

Despite concerns about Congress and the European debt crisis, most U.S business owners remain optimistic and expect growth to continue this year, the heads of both General Electric and FedEx said Thursday.

"There's still a lot of growth," GE CEO Jeff Immelt told about 600 executives attending a conference on middle-sized businesses. "It's a long, slow recovery...but it is getting better."

FedEx CEO Fred Smith agreed, saying that shipments of goods continue to reflect a growing economy. "We don't see a contraction," Smith said. "Just slow growth; steady as she goes."

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Politics
2:09 am
Sun October 2, 2011

Federal Budget Uncertainty Weighs On Economy

Welcome to Fiscal Year 2012...such as it is.

On each Sept. 30, the nation wraps up its old budget, and on Oct. 1, it starts a fresh spending cycle. Or at least, that's what is supposed to happen.

But once again, Oct. 1 has come and gone, and the country still has no formal budget in place. Instead, Congress last week approved a stopgap funding bill to keep the government operating temporarily, just as it has done time and again since the 1970s.

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Politics
12:24 am
Sun October 2, 2011

A Guide To The U.S. Budget Battles

Originally published on Sun October 2, 2011 9:28 am

This year, the annual budget fight has become especially muddled. That's because Congress and the White House are actually engaged in three different, but related, budget debates that are going on simultaneously.

Ultimately, the three battles involve just one question: How much money should government take in and spend? But the separate tracks involve different time horizons, and each problem has to be resolved in a different way.

Here is a fresh look at the three ongoing budget battles:

1. The Fiscal 2012 Budget

Background:

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Economy
4:29 am
Sun September 25, 2011

Three Years After The Market Crash, A 'New Normal'

Three years ago this month, chaos ruled in financial markets.

Huge financial companies, such as Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG were stumbling, and government officials were scrambling to prevent a global financial meltdown. They threw together bailouts and pushed weak companies to merge with stronger ones.

The central bankers, Treasury officials and lawmakers eventually did manage to reassure investors enough to restore order in the financial system. However, the aftershocks of the crisis are still being felt today.

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Politics
4:09 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Tax Winners And Losers Under Obama's Deficit Plan

Specialists on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange watch President Obama's televised speech on debt reduction Monday. Obama wants to require investment fund managers to pay at least the same percentage in taxes as middle-income Americans.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 8:20 pm

If enacted, President Obama's deficit-reduction plan would increase tax revenues by about $1.5 trillion over the coming decade. The wealthiest taxpayers could see significantly higher taxes, but the vast majority of Americans would pay less, at least through 2012.

These are some of the groups that could see higher tax bills starting in 2013:

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Europe
12:55 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

How The European Debt Crisis Could Spread

A giant logo of the euro can be seen outside the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.
AFP/Getty Images

The world's major central banks are so worried about Europe's debt crisis that they are moving to shore up eurozone banks. The troubled banks hold billions in sovereign debt of Greece, Spain, Portugal and other struggling countries.

Left unchecked, this crisis could spill over into the U.S. economy. Here's how Europe's troubles could migrate to the U.S. and the rest of the world.

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Economy
2:04 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

Economists Weigh Effectiveness Of Obama Job Plan

President Obama delivers a speech about creating jobs to a joint session of Congress Thursday as Vice President Biden (left) and House Speaker John Boehner look on.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri September 9, 2011 2:05 pm

Economists have been looking over the $447 billion job-creation package President Obama proposed to Congress Thursday night. Predictably, the reaction was mixed, with most economists giving it a thumbs up, and many conservatives turning thumbs down.

Here are a few of the economists' opinions that were blogged, tweeted, reported or emailed around.

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