WRUR 88.5 Different Radio

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.