John Ydstie

John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street and the federal budget for NPR for two decades. In recent years NPR has broadened his responsibilities, making use of his reporting and interviewing skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. His current focus is reporting on the global financial crisis. Ydstie is also a regular guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation.

During 1991 and 1992 Ydstie was NPR's bureau chief in London. He traveled throughout Europe covering, among other things, the breakup of the Soviet Union and attempts to move Europe toward closer political and economic union. He accompanied U.S. businessmen exploring investment opportunities in Russia as the Soviet Union was crumbling. He was on the scene in The Netherlands when European leaders approved the Maastricht Treaty, which created the European Union.

In August 1990, Ydstie traveled to Saudi Arabia for NPR as a member of the Pentagon press pool sent to cover the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. During the early stages of the crisis, Ydstie was the only American radio reporter in the country.

Ydstie has been with NPR since 1979. For two years, he was an associate producer responsible for Midwest coverage. In 1982 he became senior editor on NPR's Washington Desk, overseeing coverage of the federal government, American politics and economics. In 1984, Ydstie joined Morning Edition as the show's senior editor, and later was promoted to the position of executive producer. In 1988, he became NPR's economics correspondent.

During his tenure with NPR, Ydstie has won numerous awards. He was a member of the NPR team that received the George Foster Peabody for its coverage of 9/11. Ydstie's reporting from Saudi Arabia helped NPR win the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award in 1991 for coverage of the Gulf War. Prior to joining NPR, Ydstie was a reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio. While there, he was awarded the Clarion Award for his report "Vietnam Experience and America Today."

A graduate of Concordia College, in Moorhead, MN, Ydstie earned a bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude, with a major in English literature and a minor in speech communications.

Ydstie was born in Minneapolis, and grew up in rural North Dakota.

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4:12pm

Fri November 9, 2012
It's All Politics

The Upside To Plunging Off The Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

With Congress on the edge of a fiscal cliff, set to occur Jan. 1, some say a fiscal plunge is exactly what's needed to break the political logjam.
iStockphoto.com

Now that the election is over, Washington is transfixed by the fiscal cliff, the automatic tax increases and spending cuts due to take effect Jan. 1 if nothing is done.

The sudden shock could seriously damage the economy.

But some Democrats and policy analysts are suggesting that going over the fiscal cliff could help break the political logjam.

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1:26am

Thu November 8, 2012
U.S.

Opening Lines Set For A Deal To Avoid Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:50 pm

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Wednesday that House Republicans are willing to accept new revenues "under the right conditions."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

With the election over, attention in Washington has turned to the nation's debt and deficit challenges — most immediately the looming fiscal cliff. That's the $600 billion worth of expiring tax breaks and automatic spending cuts set to start taking effect Jan. 1.

The president and Congress agreed to those automatic measures to force themselves to find a more palatable compromise to rein in deficits. On Wednesday, there was an attempt to jump-start that process.

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2:53am

Tue October 9, 2012
Solve This

Romney's Jobs Plan Relies On His Tax Proposal

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:25 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands during a rainy campaign rally Monday in Newport News, Va.
Evan Vucci AP

As part of Solve This, NPR's series on major issues facing the country, we're examining the presidential candidate's approach to boosting employment. After looking at President Obama's strategy, it's time to examine the plan of GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

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2:41pm

Mon October 8, 2012
Solve This

Obama's Jobs Plan Focuses On Federal Investment

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:48 am

President Obama speaks during a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

In the next two installments of Solve This, NPR's series on the major issues facing the country, we'll examine each presidential candidate's approach to boosting employment. First, President Obama's strategy, then Mitt Romney's.

Job creation is the centerpiece of President Obama's campaign speeches.

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1:24am

Fri September 28, 2012
Economy

Easy Money May Boost Economy But At What Cost?

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 10:31 am

Specialist David Pologruto works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 13, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke holds a news conference in Washington. The world's central banks are easing credit, putting more money into the global economy.
Richard Drew AP

The world's central banks are pumping cash into their economies, pushing down interest rates in hopes the ready cash and lower rates will boost borrowing and economic activity. Everyone agrees the action is dramatic and unprecedented, but there's disagreement over whether they will do more harm than good.

Economists know very well the trillions of dollars being added by the central banks to the global economy can be risky.

"These are risks about long-term rises in inflation, housing bubbles potentially building up," says Jacob Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute.

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5:42am

Tue September 25, 2012
Economy

IMF's Lagarde: Uncertainty Slows Global Recovery

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 10:00 am

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde delivers remarks at the Peterson Institute for International Economics on Monday in Washington, D.C. Lagarde said there are a number of factors eroding growth.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde says recent actions by the European Central Bank mark a positive turning point in Europe's financial crisis. But she warned that uncertainty elsewhere will continue to slow the pace of the global recovery.

Back in July, the IMF was forecasting world growth of just under 4 percent for next year. The group's economists will issue a new forecast in a couple of weeks. Lagarde said the new projection still foresees a gradual recovery, but it will shave a few tenths of a percent off global growth.

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12:03am

Thu September 13, 2012
Economy

Fed Stimulus Expected, But Remedy May Not Be Right

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 7:02 am

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke in a hearing of the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill in June.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Federal Reserve policymakers are meeting in Washington, trying to decide whether — and exactly how — to boost the sluggish economy. Many analysts are expecting the Fed to take action, but they're also beginning to question whether another stimulus program will have any effect.

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3:02pm

Tue September 11, 2012
Economy

U.S. Treasury Cuts Stake In AIG With $18 Billion Sale

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 7:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The U.S. government made a big chunk of money in the stock market today. It sold more than 630 million shares in AIG, the American International Group. The government reluctantly acquired the shares when it injected billions of dollars into the insurance giant to keep it from collapsing. The Treasury Department says the government turned a $15.1 billion dollar profit on the deal. Here's NPR's John Ydstie.

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12:59pm

Sun September 9, 2012
Election 2012

Critics Say Ryan's Record Belies Tough Deficit Talk

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 3:08 pm

Paul Ryan waves as he takes the stage at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 29. Ryan has been celebrated as a deficit hawk with bold vision, but some critics have called his record on deficit-reduction "dismal."
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Paul Ryan has a reputation as a deficit hawk. Mitt Romney's running mate has proposed budgets that cut non-defense spending significantly, and advocated controlling Medicare costs by making it a voucher program. But critics argue there's a lot in the Wisconsin congressman's record that undermines his deficit-hawk reputation.

When Ryan gave the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address last year, he restated his commitment to debt and deficit reduction.

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2:47pm

Fri September 7, 2012
Economy

New Unemployment Report Weaker Than Expected

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:18 pm

The jobs report released Friday morning came in weaker than expected. Employers added 96,000 jobs to payrolls. The unemployment rate did fall to 8.1 percent, but that was because so many people left the workforce.

2:49pm

Tue August 14, 2012
It's All Politics

Ryan's Mission For Fed: Focus On Prices, Not Unemployment

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:07 am

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shakes hands with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the close of the committee's hearing on the state of the economy in February 2011.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Mitt Romney's new running mate has authored some provocative policy proposals to cut budget deficits and overhaul Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But Rep. Paul Ryan has also been an advocate for a different course for the central banking system of the United States, the Federal Reserve.

For the past 35 years, the Fed has had a dual mandate from Congress: to set interest rates at levels that will both foster maximum employment and keep prices stable. Put another way, the Fed's goals are to get unemployment as low as possible while keeping inflation in check.

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4:30pm

Tue July 24, 2012
U.S.

Offshore Jobs Play Role In Campaigns And Economy

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:46 pm

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have been trading attacks over the issue of American jobs being moved overseas.

The president has pounded Romney for the investments made by his former firm Bain Capital in the 1990s. Not to be outdone, the Romney campaign has suggested most of the money from the president's stimulus program went to create jobs overseas.

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1:22am

Wed July 11, 2012
Economy

Euro Currency Still Faring Well, For Now

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 10:42 am

Over the last 13 years, the euro has been worth on average $1.21, only a penny less than its current price of $1.22 per euro.
Michael Probst AP

The euro touched a two-year low against the dollar Tuesday, as concerns about the eurozone debt crisis continued.

Despite a recession across much of the eurozone and even predictions of the currency's demise, however, the euro has held up relatively well during this crisis.

Over the last 13 year, it has taken on average $1.21 to buy a euro. Now, even in this midst of this crisis, it's worth virtually the same ($1.22).

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3:13pm

Wed June 27, 2012
Europe

European Union Tradeoff: Sovereignty For Stability

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:50 pm

In order to salvage its common currency, Europe is working toward a tighter fiscal union. That will require a tradeoff — sovereignty for economic stability. Over the next two days European Union leaders will try to come to an agreement to boost growth.

3:21pm

Wed June 20, 2012
Economy

Federal Reserve Cuts Back U.S. Growth Forecast

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel in Washington, D.C.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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5:06am

Wed June 20, 2012
Economy

Investors Look To The Fed For An Economic Boost

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 7:59 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the Fed in the spotlight.

U.S. stocks rallied yesterday largely on a belief among investors that the Federal Reserve will take further action to stimulate the economy. The Fed concludes a two-day meeting around noon today. Afterwards, Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a news conference to explain the Fed's strategy.

As NPR's John Ydstie reports, there are several things the Fed could do to try to boost growth, but whether they'd be effective is debatable.

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2:22pm

Tue May 29, 2012
American Dreams: Then And Now

On The Economic Ladder, Rungs Move Further Apart

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 6:45 pm

Kevin Hill, a San Diego landscape designer, was doing well financially before the downturn. Now, he says he feels "lost."
John Ydstie NPR

America is the land of opportunity — that's the bedrock of the American dream. Many expect each generation to do better than the last.

That dream of economic mobility is alive and well for Pam Krank and her husband, Brian McGee. The two are proud owners of The Credit Department Inc., a successful business in the Minneapolis suburb of Mendota Heights.

"Mostly manufacturing companies around the world will hire us to study their customers and tell them how much ... unsecured credit they should grant to each customer," Krank explains.

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1:31am

Thu May 17, 2012
Europe

'Dire Consequences' If Greece Exits Euro

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 8:46 am

People walk past the Bank of Greece headquarters in Athens.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Euros are being drained out of Greek banks at a rate of up to $1 billion a day this week. In the wake of the country's election turmoil, depositors are nervous about the heightened possibility of a Greek exit from the euro. If that were to happen, euros left in Greek banks could be worth much less than euros outside the country.

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9:04pm

Wed May 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Pew Study: Americans In The Northeast Have More Economic Mobility

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:48 am

A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts finds economic mobility differs significantly across the United States. The report finds Americans are more likely to move up the economic ladder if they live in the northeast.

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1:33am

Tue May 8, 2012
Europe

Bond Market Shrugs Off France's Presidential Vote

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:41 am

A supporter of French President-elect Francois Hollande wears a mask of outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

The arguments for growth policies as opposed to austerity are taking center stage in Europe after the French and Greek elections.

His rhetoric aside, France's President-elect Francois Hollande is not rejecting austerity. In fact, he pledged to balance France's budget by the end of his five-year term, just one year later than his opponent, outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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