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Americans Divided On Historically Low Interest Rates

Interest rates have hit record lows this summer, and they're projected to be low for some time. Audie Cornish checks in with people from around the country to find out how it's affecting them. We hear from a county in Kansas that's taken advantage of the moment to re-finance all its debt, saving the county nearly $1 million. We also hear from a small business owner about her efforts to get a new loan to expand her business. We hear from a homeowner who, despite having good credit and stable income, is unable to refinance to a lower rate. And we check in with a personal finance columnist to hear about where you might put your savings while interest rates remain rock bottom.

What Can We Do To Fix The Economy?

NPR asked four economists to dream a little. If they could set aside the partisanship in Washington and do one thing to fix what they see as the economy's biggest problem — what would it be? Of course, even the potential solutions have downsides.
WAMU 88.5

Debate Over Automatic Spending Cuts (Rebroadcast)

The White House says it's preparing federal agencies for possible year-end mandated spending cuts. Debate over how sequestration could affect the government, military and economy.

WAMU 88.5

Rising Home Prices In The U.S.

For the first time in seven years, home prices are going up. What fewer foreclosures, record low mortgage rates and renewed investor enthusiasm mean for the U.S housing market and the overall economy.

WAMU 88.5

USDA And The Future Of Food Policy

Why the National Cattlemen's Beef Association took the USDA to task over Meatless Mondays, and what it says about the future of the Farm Bill and the direction of American food policy.

WAMU 88.5

Friday News Roundup - International

The European Central Bank left its main interest rate unchanged, but ECB head Mario Draghi signaled the bank could purchase bonds and lower borrowing costs in the future. The battle for Aleppo raged on as Syrian rebels' handling of pro-government militiamen drew criticism. President Barack Obama announced new sanctions on Iran's energy sector. And India suffered the worst blackout in history, which left 670 million people without power. James Kitfield of National Journal, Susan Glasser of Foreign Policy magazine and David Ignatius of The Washington Post join Diane for analysis of the week's top international news stories.

WAMU 88.5

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy was weaker but took no new steps to help. The House and Senate remained at loggerheads over whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts. Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney returned from a week-long overseas trip. And Chick-fil-A fans and critics took to the streets following anti-gay marriage comments by the company's president. Greg Ip of The Economist, Julie Hirshfeld Davis of Bloomberg News and Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post join Diane for analysis of the week's top national news stories.


Jobless Claims Rose By 8,000 Last Week

Gauging just what's going on with claims is proving difficult, however, because of some positive news: automakers have been skipping their standard summer shutdowns. So layoffs have likely been lower than normal.