John Ydstie

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As the old saying goes, the stock market has predicted nine of the last five recessions. In other words, sharply falling stock markets are crying wolf about half the time.

Dyke Messinger, who runs a small manufacturing company in Salisbury, N.C., thinks stock investors have been overreacting during this sell-off.

"It is bizarre to me when we see what we believe is good core strength in the U.S. market," he says.

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The U.S. government reports another month of solid job growth. It happened in November, when employers added 211,000 jobs, according to the government. That sets the stage for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this month. NPR's John Ydstie reports.

The business community is well-represented at the United Nations climate summit underway in Paris — and it will be much more engaged in finding positive solutions than ever before.

It's a far cry from the first large-scale U.N. conference to address climate change, which took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

In the past, in fact, business often was an obstacle to action on climate change and seen more as an enemy than a partner.

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The latest report on the labor market is a really good one. Employers added 271,000 jobs in October - far more than expected. So we’re going to talk through what happened with NPR's John Ydstie who's in our studios. John, good morning.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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The idea of crowdfunding, raising money from lots of people on the Internet, got a boost from Washington on Friday. The Securities and Exchange Commission approved a system that allows small businesses and startups to solicit funding from small investors.

The first thing to realize about financial advice is that it's not free — and it often costs more than you think. That's what Morra Aarons-Mele found when she decided to find a financial adviser after she inherited an IRA from her father.

"I felt like I wanted an adviser because I was uncertain about — I never had any money before, frankly, and I really wanted to be a good steward of it," Aarons-Mele says.

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Volkswagen has for decades been one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Only recently, it outsold Toyota and General Motors to become the No. 1 car company globally.

After admitting it cheated on emissions testing, VW is virtually certain to lose that top spot. VW top managers, in their single-minded quest to be the leader, very likely sowed the seeds of the company's downfall, analysts say.

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And in other news, as an employer in Germany, Volkswagen is about as big as it gets. And a big worry now is whether VW's emissions scandal will drag down Germany's entire economy. Here's NPR's John Ydstie.

Cybercrime is costing the global economy nearly half a trillion dollars a year, according to the insurer Allianz. It's a major threat to businesses, which are looking for ways to protect themselves. One option is cybercrime insurance.

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Cyberthieves steal hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the bank accounts of U.S. businesses. And many business owners are surprised to find out their bank is not obliged to make them whole.

Dr. David Krier's Volunteer Voyages is one of the victims. Krier says he lost over $14,000 through fraudulent withdrawals from his business account, and he says his bank "refused to cover any of my losses."

There's a special significance to the monthly jobs report that will be released Friday morning. It could tip the balance for the Federal Reserve. Policymakers are weighing whether to raise the Fed's official interest rates later this month. It's something the Fed hasn't done since before the Great Recession.

Surveys of economists are predicting that job growth in August will be right around the current trend of about 220,000 new jobs a month, and they think the unemployment rate will tick down a notch to 5.2 percent.

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Oil companies are coming to terms with the prospect that oil prices could stay low for years. Today, Royal Dutch Shell announced it's laying off 1,600 workers. NPR's John Ydstie reports.

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Five years ago Tuesday, President Obama signed into law the massive overhaul of U.S. financial regulations called Dodd-Frank. But there's still a battle over whether the law has helped stabilize the financial system or whether it has harmed the economy and should be rolled back.

Congress designed Dodd-Frank to fix excesses in financial markets and mortgage lending — excesses that triggered the financial crisis and forced massive bailouts of Wall Street firms.

Since news of the Iran nuclear deal broke, lots of business clients have been calling up Washington lawyer William McGlone, a specialist in trade law and economic sanctions. He says he's been forced to give them a bit of a cold shower.

"There's this expectation, or assumption, in the business community that the sanctions are being lifted," he says, "when, in fact, the U.S. legal framework is scheduled to remain in place."

A new survey of financial professionals tends to confirm the widely held belief that the financial industry has an ethics problem.

Among the more than 1,200 financial professionals in the U.S. and Britain who were surveyed, about half the respondents believe their competitors in the industry have behaved unethically or illegally to gain an advantage in the market.

Even though it's crept up in the past couple of months, the price of a gallon of gasoline is still about $1 less than it was a year ago. That's saving drivers $15 to $20 every time they fill up.

Economists were quite convinced late last year that would boost growth because consumers would go out and spend that extra money. But things have not unfolded exactly as forecast.

There's no doubt the plunge in oil prices and the lower costs for gasoline, heating oil and natural gas gave consumers a big windfall.

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