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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Economy
3:30 am
Sun November 11, 2012

How The Fiscal Cliff Would Hit The Economy

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner at the White House in July 2011. They are scheduled to meet at the White House again next week to discuss the looming fiscal cliff.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 2:05 pm

This week, President Obama will meet with congressional leaders to begin working out a deal to avert a budget calamity commonly known as the fiscal cliff.

Economists are unanimous in saying that if the leaders fail to keep the country from going over the "cliff," both the stock and labor markets will fairly quickly go "splat."

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Shake A Leg Or Throw A Fist? Which Will It Be On Capitol Hill?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (left) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada during their recent interview with CBS News' 60 Minutes.
CBSNews.com

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:44 pm

Shall we dance?

That's the key question for Congress now that another budget crisis is near. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, today said he's ready to do a little two-stepping with Republicans to twirl away from the edge of the so-called fiscal cliff.

"It's better to dance than to fight," the former amateur boxer told reporters at a press conference. "Everything doesn't have to be a fight."

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It's All Politics
3:22 am
Wed November 7, 2012

After Election, Congress Turns To 'Fiscal Cliff,' Other Money Issues

If Congress fails to address the alternative minimum tax, millions of households could see their federal 2012 tax bills jump.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 8:40 pm

For months, Americans have been watching the presidential political drama play out nightly on the news. Now, with President Obama's victory, that story is ending.

But for the economy, an action thriller is just beginning.

Congress has just weeks to jump to the rescue of an economy moving closer and closer to the so-called fiscal cliff. That phrase refers to a $600 billion cluster of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes — all coming together at year's end.

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It's All Politics
12:17 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Business, Labor Groups Laud Obama Victory

Exit polls showed the economy was Issue No. 1 with voters in this presidential election. And it didn't take long for labor organizers and business leaders to start offering their thoughts on the re-election of President Obama.

Because of White House policies, the U.S. economy is "beginning to pick up steam," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. He cheered Obama's win and put congressional Republicans on notice that Democrats will focus on "ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and opposing any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits."

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Economy
1:40 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Sandy, Election Could Skew Future Jobs Reports

Workers clean up debris left by Superstorm Sandy in Long Beach Island, N.J., on Wednesday. The storm may lead to layoffs as business losses mount, but also could result in hiring related to rebuilding.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 5:20 pm

Each month, the Labor Department issues an employment report. On Friday, that report showed job creation rose in October — and it revealed something more.

With its latest unemployment assessment, the government in effect took a BEFORE snapshot of the U.S. economy. It collected all of the data before Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast and before the election outcome could be known. Each of those two events has the potential to change the AFTER outlook.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Keeping Sandy's Economic Impact In Perspective

A truck drives through a flooded street caused by Hurricane Sandy in New York City's Financial District on Tuesday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 8:32 am

When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast on Monday, the fragile U.S. economy was just sitting there, stuck in a sluggish-growth mode.

Now, as the massive cleanup begins, business owners, workers and investors are wondering what impact the megastorm ultimately will have on their wallets. Did Sandy weigh down economic activity enough to drown the recovery? Or will the rebuilding efforts boost growth over the longer term?

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy's Economic Impact Likely To Be Immense

Waves crash over a road as Hurricane Sandy comes up the coast Monday in Winthrop, Mass. Economists are predicting the storm will cost tens of billions of dollars.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Economists will need many days — maybe weeks or months — to assess the financial harm being done by Hurricane Sandy. But whatever the final figure, it will be huge, well into the tens of billions of dollars.

More than 60 million Americans are feeling the impact of the weather monster slamming New York, New Jersey, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and many other states. The howling mix of wind, rain and snow is causing massive direct losses, i.e., the destruction of private homes, stores, boats and cars.

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Business
11:36 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Mortgage Interest Deduction Could Be In Play

About 34 million taxpayers take the mortgage interest deduction, for a typical savings of approximately $600 a year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:23 pm

In coming months, Congress will begin an epic struggle to get the federal budget deficit under control. One tax break almost certain to come into play is the mortgage interest deduction.

Both President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, have suggested ways to scale back the deduction's value for wealthy taxpayers. And many economists are cheering them on, saying that now — when interest rates are low — would be a great time to reduce or even phase out the deduction.

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Business
11:08 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Can U.S. Still Lead In Economic And 'Soft' Power?

A Ford Focus on the assembly line in Wayne, Mich. "We have a lot going for us; we've got our problems, but others have problems that are as bad or worse," says Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 12:28 pm

At Monday night's foreign policy debate, the first round of questions for the presidential candidates will involve "America's role in the world."

The answers from President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney likely will focus on military readiness and anti-terrorism efforts. That's what most Americans would expect to hear, given that their country has been involved continuously in overseas combat since the terrorist attacks of 2001.

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Business
2:59 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Investors' Funds Are Recovering, But Not Their Nerves

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 8:14 am

Chicken Little was running wild 25 years ago today. But one could hardly blame the poultry for panicking.

On Oct. 19, 1987, the stock market plunged a record-setting 23 percent. The next day, the New York Daily News' front page screamed "Panic!" and a New York Times headline asked: "Does 1987 equal 1929?"

Turns out, the 1987 plunge was a mere stutter step. The Dow Jones industrial average, which closed at 1,739 that day, quickly bounced back. Within a decade, the stock-price average had nearly quintupled.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Citigroup CEO's Exit Leaves Wall Street Scratching Its Head

Vikram Pandit on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on in June.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Today's announcement that Vikram Pandit had abruptly resigned as chief executive of banking giant Citigroup has left competitors, analysts and media pundits stunned and sputtering.

"This comes as a huge surprise," William George, a Goldman Sachs board member, said in an interview on CNBC.

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Economy
9:30 am
Tue October 16, 2012

5 Questions 'Real' People Might Ask At The Debate

An audience member holds up his hand at a Mitt Romney town hall meeting in Dayton, Ohio, in March. Audience members will be allowed to ask questions at the second presidential debate, being held Tuesday night in Hempstead, N.Y.
Gerald Herbert AP

As this election year began, political pundits insisted the No. 1 issue would be the economy. They expected the candidates to offer voters detailed plans for encouraging job growth.

Now, with the election just three weeks away, many Americans are still scratching their heads, wondering what exactly President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney would do to improve the economy.

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Business
9:10 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Beep If You Understand Veep Buzzwords

Wind turbines dwarf a church near Wilson, Kan. The White House wants to extend a federal wind energy credit, but the Romney campaign wants to let it expire.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:07 am

When Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep Paul Ryan face off during their only debate, tens of millions of Americans will tune in to hear them defend their running mates' records.

And that audience Thursday night also will hear lots of budget-related buzzwords, with meanings that may not be entirely clear. Those words are shorthand for policies that could have huge impacts on taxpayers and the annual $1 trillion budget deficit.

Brushing up on terms of the debate can help voters better understand what's really being said on the stage at Centre College in Kentucky.

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

JPMorgan Chase CEO: 'I Should Have Caught' $5.8 Billion Error

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:49 pm

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, wearing a dark suit possibly made of sackcloth, didn't hold back when discussing the derivative trades that led to massive losses for his company.

"We made a stupid error," he said before a lunchtime audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington on Wednesday. "We screwed up."

Then he got more specific: "I should have caught it ... I didn't."

The company estimates it lost $5.8 billion, thanks to a London-based trader, nicknamed the "London whale," who took large, risky positions in credit derivatives.

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Business
10:33 am
Fri October 5, 2012

One Jobs Report, Two Different Political Spins

Democrats say the economy is growing and jobs consistently are being added. But Republicans note that the pace is far too slow to absorb the more than 12 million people still looking for work.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:22 pm

With a new report showing the nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, the Obama administration got good news Friday: Jobs are indeed growing. But, as Republicans noted, the pace remains well below the level needed to provide paychecks for the 12.1 million people seeking them.

The truth is, each party could find evidence to support either a positive or negative spin on the labor market, which is recovering — yet weak.

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Election 2012
5:35 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Before The Debate, Brush Up On Buzzwords

The General Motors headquarters in Detroit. The U.S. government bailout of GM and Chrysler has been a key economic issue in the presidential campaign.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 6:56 am

In their first debate Wednesday night, the two presidential candidates will explain their plans for fixing the U.S. economy.

Good luck.

The problems are complicated and long-standing, so the solutions may not be easy to spell out in the two minutes allowed for each answer under the debate rules.

But President Obama, the Democratic incumbent, and former Gov. Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, will try, and about 60 million people are expected to tune in. This first debate will focus on domestic issues, with the economy topping the list of homefront problems.

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Report: If Congress Ignores 'Fiscal Cliff,' Most Americans Will Pay More Taxes

In this Nov. 19, 2011 fie photo the U.S. Capitol building is seen in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Unless Congress passes legislation in a lame-duck session, taxes will be higher by a half-trillion dollars next year, costing the average household nearly $3,500 a year, according to a just-released report by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

After studying details of the tax changes now set to take effect for 2013, the researchers were struck by "how big the tax increase is," said Eric Toder, one of those researchers. "It's a huge, huge number."

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Freddie Mac Didn't Harm Homeowners, Inspector General Says

In January, NPR and ProPublica reported on a potential conflict of interest at Freddie Mac, a mortgage giant sponsored by the federal government. The stories noted that even as Freddie Mac was writing rules making it harder for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, it also was stepping up investments in securities that gain when homeowners remain stuck in high-rate loans.

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Economy
11:48 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Two Plans For Fixing The Economy, But Few Details

Job seekers fill out applications Aug. 21 at a construction job fair in New York. Polls show voters want the presidential candidates to provide more details on how they would reduce unemployment, change tax policy and alter government spending.
Seth Wenig AP

As this presidential election year was kicking off, strategists were saying the focus would be on the economy. But now — even as absentee ballots are being filled in — the candidates are still dodging details about how to improve growth.

"President Obama doesn't have a plan," says Kevin Hassett, an economic adviser to Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Jeffrey Liebman, an economic adviser to President Obama, says Romney has revealed no plan other than "going back to the failed policies of the past decade."

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U.S.
9:14 am
Thu September 20, 2012

'Fiscal Cliff' Scenarios Leave Economists On Edge

Economists hope lawmakers can avert a "fiscal cliff" after November's election, but what if Congress runs out of time?
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:46 pm

Members of Congress are about to flee Capitol Hill, and they'll be gone until Nov. 13, one week after Election Day.

As they shift to full-time campaigning, lawmakers are leaving behind many questions about the "fiscal cliff," a massive cluster of automatic spending cuts and tax-break expirations that come together around year's end.

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Business
4:22 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Stocks Get Bounce From Europe; Focus Turns To Jobs

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 9. Economic developments on both sides of the Atlantic could have a big impact on the U.S. presidential election.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 4:32 pm

As the political conventions wrap up, talking points concerning the economy may seem locked into place: Growth is continuing, but at a slow pace.

Don't be fooled.

There's still plenty of time for big surprises, and Thursday provided a stunning example. Stock prices shot to highs not seen in years.

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U.S.
12:43 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Gas Prices Expected To Retreat As Isaac Fades

A man fills his gas tank Wednesday in Lyndhurst, Ohio. Gas prices surged as Isaac approached, but are expected to ease after Labor Day.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 4:12 pm

As a tropical storm was gathering strength last week, fears were growing that the fierce winds might knock out Gulf Coast refineries, send gasoline prices soaring and seriously damage the U.S. economy.

But when Hurricane Isaac slammed into the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, it was only a Category 1 hurricane, far weaker than Katrina, the monster storm that hit seven years ago.

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Economy
9:05 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Who Really Changes The Economy?

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates
AP

With Election Day drawing closer, each presidential candidate is pushing harder to make the case that he would be a better leader for the economy.

And voters are listening to the pitches. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll showed that nearly 3 in 4 Americans say the candidate's approach to the economy will be a "major factor" in deciding between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney.

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Business
8:04 am
Mon August 27, 2012

As Conventions Begin, Where Is The U.S. Economy?

Sales of new homes, like this one in Palo Alto, Calif., rose 3.6 percent in July.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 12:52 pm

In late August of 2008, just as delegates were coming together for their political-party conventions, the U.S. economy was falling apart. Home sales were shutting down, employers were slashing payrolls, and financial institutions were lurching toward chaos.

Subsequent weeks saw political leaders and regulators fighting through one gut-wrenching day after another, trying to avert a complete collapse of global markets. On Sept. 24, Republican presidential candidate John McCain temporarily suspended his campaign to help Congress develop financial bailout plans.

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Economy
12:50 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Back-To-School Shoppers Open Wallets, But Carefully

Shoppers walk along Chicago's Michigan Avenue last month.
Sitthixay Ditthavong AP

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:29 pm

After months of sitting on their wallets, Americans went shopping in July. The uptick reported Tuesday is boosting economists' hopes for a reasonably strong back-to-school season. And retailers are looking for clues about how the holiday shopping season will turn out later in the year.

"This is a good report," Chris Christopher, an economist with IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm, wrote in an assessment of the latest report. "It indicates that consumers came back after hunkering down" during the year's first half when sales were "dismal."

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Economy
1:57 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Will A Slowing GDP Nudge The Fed To Do More?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke appears before the House Financial Services Committee July 18. Economists expect Fed policymakers to consider further steps to boost growth when they meet next week.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The Commerce Department's latest report confirms that economic growth was as lousy this spring as you suspected it was.

Now the question is: Can anyone do anything to make it better in the year's second half?

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Economy
12:42 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Pray For Rain: Food Prices Heading Higher

A "historically low inventory" of cattle and hogs is driving up meat prices, a trend that's expected to continue next year, USDA economist Richard Volpe says.
Justin Lane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:30 pm

A fierce drought has been scorching crops this summer, but it's still too soon to know exactly how much of a hole it will burn in your wallet.

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Business
2:22 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Romney's 1040: Tax Terms An Accountant Would Love

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 3:17 pm

For weeks, Democrats have been trying to call voters' attention to the financial dealings of Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Supporters of President Obama, the Democratic Party's candidate, have been suggesting that Romney has exploited tax shelters and offshore accounts to build and protect his wealth in ways that average taxpayers would never be able to do.

They are demanding Romney release many years of tax returns.

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Is American Stalling On A Merger With US Airways?

US Airways CEO Doug Parker waits to be introduced prior to his address to a National Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:05 pm

Could it be that American Airlines CEO Tom Horton is resisting the warm embrace of US Airways CEO Doug Parker over a little thing like money?

During a National Press Club luncheon Wednesday, Parker didn't exactly shoot down suggestions that American's leadership has been stalling on a merger of the two carriers because of the potential for personal gain.

Asked whether Horton is focused on the payday he would get if American were to remain independent a while longer, Parker hesitated. For more than 8 seconds, his answer was: "Um. The. Uh. Let's see."

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Business
10:37 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Debt, Debt And More Debt: Is Democracy To Blame?

The marble statue of Plato stands in front of the Athens Academy in Athens. The ancient Greek philosopher had his doubts about democracy.
Dimitri Messinis AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 11:03 am

High-profile experts are staging two separate Washington press conferences Tuesday to demand action on public-debt problems. One group is targeting state budget crises; the other, the federal budget mess.

If the ancient Greek philosopher Plato were still alive, he might hold a third press conference to declare: "It's hopeless. I told you so. Democracy will always degenerate into chaos because people will vote for their immediate self interests, not the long-term good."

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