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.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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.

Let's introduce the players. There's Quicken Loans, the mortgage company that's sponsoring the contest. And there's investor Warren Buffett — he's the insurance man here, willing to pay out the $1 billion if someone wins.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

If you have a savings account you probably already know this: Your money there is losing value to inflation. Yields are so low that returns are not even keeping up with the cost of living.

I've been watching some of my own savings dwindle. And that prompted me to take up a challenge: I'm taking $5,000 from personal savings and putting it to work. I'm not a financial whiz, pundit or any kind of guru.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Throughout the debate over taxes and the "fiscal cliff," there's been a lot of looking backward — to the 1990s. The economic expansion of the 1990s was the longest in recorded American history.

Democrats say the economy thrived under the leadership of President Bill Clinton, including his tax rate increase on high earners. Republicans say government didn't spend as much then and that growth didn't really take off until the GOP took control of Congress in 1995.

So what actually happened in the '90s? What made them tick?

A Unique Boom

Pages