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 NPR's mid-day show 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 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 business reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal.

Over the years, she has filed news stories from China, Japan, South Africa and Europe. Recently, she headed to Europe to participate in the RIAS German/American Journalist Exchange Program.

Geewax was a 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 from The Ohio State University.

She is a member of the National Press Club's Board of Governors and serves on the Global Economic Reporting Initiative Committee for the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

This past week brought so many strange and depressing political stories that you may not have had time to read business news.

So let's catch up. Here are three business-news stories you might find interesting:

Family, Food And Football Beat Out Shopping

Here's a turkey of an idea: Urge Americans to gobble down Thanksgiving meals and then rush to the mall.

After last month's televised congressional hearings, Wells Fargo's top executive, John Stumpf, had become the face of the company's sham-accounts scandal. He retired Wednesday.

Stumpf's downfall was the latest twist in a strange, yearlong tale about huge corporations taking their sterling reputations, tarnishing them and then frantically trying to restore luster.

Experts say undoing the harm won't be easy; great reputations can take decades to build.

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday rolled out a new tax break that, if enacted, would put more money into the pockets of working parents with very young children.

The Democratic presidential candidate said she would push for a doubling of the current $1,000 tax credit for children ages 4 and under. An estimated 15 million children would be eligible.

When the Labor Department announces the September job-creation numbers on Friday, presidential candidates will pounce, hoping to find data to support their talking points on the economy.

For the last three months, the numbers have been favoring the incumbent Democratic Party. Candidate Hillary Clinton could point to a steady, low unemployment rate of 4.9 percent and average growth of 232,000 jobs per month, a robust pace.

Speculation that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump went years — maybe decades — without paying federal income taxes has generated questions about "loopholes" available to real estate developers.

Experts say the tax code is indeed riddled with tricky ways to dodge taxes through sophisticated uses of trusts, partnerships, S corporations and so forth. Because Trump refuses to release his tax records, no one can know for sure which strategies he has used to determine his tax burden.

Most Americans remember the 1990s as a prosperous time when companies were expanding, wages rising and stock prices soaring. In 1997, Fortune magazine published a story headlined: "These Are The Good Old Days ... The U.S. Economy Is Stronger Than It's Ever Been Before."

It's October now, a month known for apple cider, colorful leaves — and hideous stock-price plunges.

This is the month that brought Americans such horrors as: The Panic of 1907; The Crash of 1929; The Black Monday of 1987; The Asia Market Crash of 1997 and The Financial Crisis of 2008 when the Dow Jones industrial average plunged.

So yes, October, you have a terrible reputation, and we are wary. Especially in this presidential election year — with so much political anger and uncertainty swirling — retirement savers may be wondering: Will you bring us another nightmare?

Americans who endured the brutal 2007-2009 recession and slow recovery now are seeing an economic sunrise: Wages are up, jobs are growing and more families are lifting themselves up out of poverty.

And yet, dark clouds are still hanging over millions of Americans.

No set of sunny statistics can help an unemployed coal miner in Kentucky pay the mortgage. Upbeat wage data won't reassure a Michigan factory worker who is nervously watching robots replace his co-workers.

Ah, 2012. You seem so long ago.

Back then, the economy was the star of the presidential election season, with more than 9 in 10 voters ranking it as Issue No. 1.

Voters worried about scarce jobs, expensive gasoline and a huge federal deficit.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump laid out his plan for the economy on Monday; Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will take her turn on Thursday.

While candidates are talking about tax rates, tax breaks and trade, they are ignoring an economic issue that soon may matter far more to working Americans: robots.

At their party's convention this week, Democrats highlighted positive economic news from the Obama era, including the dramatic plunge in unemployment and persistent growth in output.

But then on Friday, after the gathering had ended, the Commerce Department said the economy grew at only 1.2 percent during April, May and June. Most economists had believed that the gross domestic product, a measure of all goods and services, had been growing at about 2.6 percent this spring.

In so many ways, 1968 was a great year for middle-class Americans' wallets — and terrible for politics.

On the one hand, gasoline was cheap and unemployment was low. Real estate values were rising, helping average homeowners build wealth. Good times!

Still, many people were not feeling good — at all. In 1968, the tumultuous presidential-election year brought strident clashes at political events, third-party disruptions, calls for "law and order," racial discord and worries about foreign enemies.

Sound familiar?

Ever feel as though you're not getting ahead financially?

Join the club. The very big club.

A new study shows that across the world's 25 advanced economies, two-thirds of households are earning the same as, or less than, they did a decade ago.

When the Labor Department released its monthly jobs report Friday, it showed a hiring surge in June, with 287,000 new jobs popping up.

And the report suggested something else: we're spending more to have fun.

When Britain's voters decided last month to exit the European Union, they created huge legal and economic uncertainties. Those unknowns have pushed up investors' fears — and driven down demand for goods and services.

Less demand equals lower prices.

With the Great Recession now over for seven years, how is job growth coming along in the world's wealthiest countries?


In fact, it has been "painfully slow," according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Labor markets have been held down by a "low-growth trap characterized by low investment, anemic productivity gains and weak job creation with stagnant wages," it said Thursday.

Whenever July 4th lands on a Monday, travel surges as Americans take advantage of the long weekend. And you might assume the extra demand for gasoline would send pump prices higher.

But this year, drivers are discovering that prices have been falling in the run-up to the holiday — down to the lowest mid-summer levels in more than a decade.

From Thursday through Monday, about 3.3 million Americans will head to airports for the July 4 holiday travel period. They'll be flying during the peak of a record-breaking summer travel season.

Those passengers can expect to see heavier-than-usual security in the aftermath of recent deadly attacks on airports in Belgium and Turkey.

This much is certain: Friday was a lousy day to be a saver.

Thanks to United Kingdom voters who decided Thursday to exit the European Union, stock prices plunged all over the world.

Analysts said the so-called Brexit generated massive "uncertainty" that killed the appetite for stocks. No one knows what happens next as the entire U.K. — including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — pulls away from the EU.

If you're on the economic development team for your state, you are happy – dancing-in-the-street happy – when you can attract foreign investments.

You see a globalized world, bursting with opportunities, and you want your state to win a slice of that big pie.

Sure, the U.S. economy has problems: income inequality, aging infrastructure and slowing entrepreneurship.

But cheer up, Americans. The latest figures on developed economies show the United States is in far better shape than other countries.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international group that tracks global growth, said Thursday that the United States is making one of the strongest comebacks in the developed world.

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET with comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen

The Federal Reserve Board's policymakers on Wednesday ended a two-day meeting by leaving interest rates unchanged. They cited a weaker jobs market as a key reason for taking no action.

"Although the unemployment rate has declined, job gains have diminished," the Fed said in a statement.

How many countries are in the European Union?

If you're like most Americans, you can only guess. Maybe it's a dozen. Maybe twice that. Who cares, really?

Economists do. They care a lot.

Most say the EU's current collection of 28 members adds stability to the global economy. If membership were to decline by just one — thanks to the proposed exit of the United Kingdom — then workers and companies all around the world would suffer, they argue.

Say you are one of the roughly 15,000 American steel workers who have been laid off — or received notice of coming layoffs — in the past year.

You and your boss would cheer any reduction in China's massive steelmaking capacity. Chinese steel has been flooding global markets and hurting profits for U.S. companies.

The Labor Department's May jobs report, released Friday, was surprisingly bad.

Economists scrambled to explain why they hadn't seen a hiring dropoff coming. Most had predicted about 160,000 new jobs for May, but in fact, only 38,000 materialized. That was the smallest increase since September, 2010.