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Planet Money
2:26 am
Fri October 18, 2013

I Lent $999.78 To The Federal Government*

NPR

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 12:29 pm

Earlier this week, I bought a Treasury bill.

Everybody calls Treasury bills T-bills, and they work like this: The government promises to pay holders of T-bills a specific amount on a specific day in the near future. For the T-bill I bought, the government promised to pay $1,000 on Oct. 31.

I bought the T-bill on Tuesday, before Congress had made the debt-ceiling deal, so it was unclear whether I would get paid back on time.

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StoryCorps
2:25 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Best Friends, Sharing 'Two Sides Of The Same Heart'

Starr Cookman (left) says she and Kylee Moreland Fenton have been "connected at the hip" since they were kids in Tucson, Ariz.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 11:23 am

Starr Cookman and Kylee Moreland Fenton have been inseparable since childhood. They live on the same street. Kylee, a nurse, was present for the delivery of Starr's son, Rowan. And when Rowan came home from the hospital breathing rapidly and spitting up his food, both friends were alarmed — even when the pediatrician said he was doing fine.

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Economy
2:25 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Declining Gas Prices Pump Up A Shaky Economy

A motorist fuels up at a service station in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 11:34 am

In recent weeks, economists have been worrying about the negative impact of the now-ended government shutdown and potential debt crisis.

But away from Capitol Hill, the economy has been getting a big boost: Gasoline prices have been declining, week after week. In some parts of the country, a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline is now down to less than $3 a gallon — a price most Americans haven't seen in three years.

And any time the pump price starts dropping, consumer spirits start rising.

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Author Interviews
2:18 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Greenspan: 'I Probably Could Have Caught' Economic Crises

Alan Greenspan served as chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, the second-longest tenure as chairman in the Fed's history.
Courtesy of Alan Greenspan

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 11:23 am

Alan Greenspan was celebrated as a master of monetary policy during his long chairmanship of the Federal Reserve, from 1987 to 2006. But policies put in place during Greenspan's tenure have been blamed by some for the financial crisis that began shortly after he left, and the so-called Great Recession.

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Code Switch
2:08 am
Fri October 18, 2013

The Whitest Historically Black College In America

Deirdre Guyton, the school's director of alumni affairs, is proud of Bluefield State College's history and wants to preserve it. Here, she holds up a photo of the school's football team from 1927 to 1928, when it was the best black college team.
Shereen Marisol Meraji NPR

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 4:13 pm

It opened in the late 19th century as the Bluefield Colored Institute, created to educate the children of black coal miners in segregated West Virginia. Although it still receives the federal funding that comes with its designation as a historically black institution, today Bluefield State College is 90 percent white. The road that separates those realities is as rocky as any story of racial transition in post-World War II America.

We went to the campus of Bluefield State to see what campus life was like at this unusual college.

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