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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Business
2:54 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Pressure To Act Unethically Looms Over Wall Street, Survey Finds

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 4:06 pm

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.

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Your Money
2:46 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

You've Saved Money At The Pump. Why Aren't You Spending It?

A customer fuels his car at a gas station in Pembroke, Mass. Economists say Americans have been slow to spend the money they saved from lower energy prices.
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 4:48 pm

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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Business
5:19 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Health Insurer Aetna Raises Wages For Lowest-Paid Workers To $16 An Hour

Aetna announced one of its largest pay hikes recently. CEO Mark Bertolini says he believes it largely could pay for itself by making workers more productive.
Courtesy of Aetna

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 1:56 pm

Prospects for low-wage workers at some large companies have improved recently as both Walmart and McDonald's announced pay hikes, but one of the most significant announcements came at Aetna.

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Europe
2:56 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

When Rates Turn Negative, Banks Pay Customers To Borrow

Earlier this year, the European Central Bank, headed by Mario Draghi, launched a bond-buying program to drive down interest rates and boost borrowing.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 11:13 am

So what if the bank paid you to take out a loan? That's what's happening in some European countries, where interest rates have gone negative amid efforts by central bankers to boost economic activity.

NPR's Audie Cornish spoke with NPR's John Ydstie about this unusual turn of financial events.

Audie Cornish: What's going on?

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Shots - Health News
1:58 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Many Obamacare Policyholders Face Tax Surprises This Year

Depending on the amount taken in subsidies, or changes in reported income and family status, some Obamacare policyholders this year will get a bigger refund than expected and others will owe more in taxes.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 4:54 pm

The old saying goes, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes." But the Affordable Care Act has added a new wrinkle.

For many policyholders, the ACA has introduced a good deal of uncertainty about their tax bills. That has led to surprise refunds for some and higher-than-expected tax payments for others.

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