Chris Arnold

NPR correspondent Chris Arnold is based in Boston. His reports are heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. He joined NPR in 1996, and was based in San Francisco before moving to Boston in 2001.

In recent years, Arnold has spent much of his time reporting on the financial crisis, its aftermath, and the U.S. economy's ongoing recovery. He has focused on the housing bubble and its collapse. And he's reported on problems within the nation's largest banks that have led to the banks improperly foreclosing on thousands of American homeowners. For this work, Arnold earned a 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for the special series, The Foreclosure Nightmare. He's also been honored with the Newspaper Guild's 2009 Heywood Broun Award for broadcast journalism. He was chosen by the Scripps Howard Foundation as a finalist for their National Journalism Award, and he won an Excellence in Financial Journalism Award from N.Y. State's society for CPA's.

Arnold is also reporting on the now government-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In a series of stories in partnership with ProPublica, Arnold exposed investments at Freddie Mac that raised serious concerns about a conflict of interest between Fannie and Freddie's massive investment portfolios, and their mission to make home ownership more affordable. The stories generated widespread attention, and led to calls for an investigation by members of Congress.

Arnold was recently honored with a Nieman Journalism Fellowship at Harvard University during the 2012-2013 academic year. He joined a small group of other journalists from the U.S. and abroad and studied, among other things, economics and the future of home ownership in America.

Prior to that, Arnold covered a range of other subjects for NPR – from Katrina recovery in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, to immigrant workers in the fishing industry, to a new kind of table saw that won't cut your fingers off. He traveled to Turin, Italy, for NPR's coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics. He has also followed the dramatic rise in the numbers of teenagers abusing the powerful and highly addictive painkiller Oxycontin – more than 1 out of 20 high school seniors report using the drug.

In the days and months following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Arnold reported from New York and contributed to the NPR coverage that won the Overseas Press Club and the George Foster Peabody Awards. He chronicled the recovery effort at Ground Zero, focusing on members of the Port Authority Police department, as they struggled with the deaths of 37 officers - the greatest loss of any police department in U.S. history.

Prior to his move to Boston, Arnold traveled the country for NPR doing feature stories on entrepreneurship. His pieces covered technologists, farmers, and family business owners. He also reported on efforts to kindle entrepreneurship in economically disadvantaged areas ranging from inner-city Los Angeles to the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota.

Arnold has worked in public radio since 1993. Before joining NPR, he was a freelance reporter working out of San Francisco's NPR Member Station, KQED.

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Business
5:05 am
Wed July 2, 2014

T-Mobile Accused Of Billing Customers With Bogus Fees

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:04 pm

The Federal Trade Commission says the illegal charges were for premium services customers didn't order. T-Mobile says the suit is unfounded, and that it stopped billing for the services last year.

Business
5:08 am
Fri June 6, 2014

SEC To Focus Oversight On High-Speed Trading

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 11:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's Business News starts with a modest crackdown on high-speed trading. The Securities and Exchange Commission is taking new steps to regulate high-speed trading on Wall Street though it's not as if the head of the SEC is that worried as NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

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Business
5:31 am
Tue June 3, 2014

GOP Demonizes Once Favored Cap-And-Trade Policy

The Homer City Generating Station in Homer City, Pa. Republicans say the Environmental Protection Agency will kill jobs and raise electricity prices with new carbon emissions limits.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 6:04 pm

Republicans say the Environmental Protection Agency will kill jobs and raise electricity prices with new carbon emissions limits. But their tactics in fighting the proposed rules are targeting a policy that their own party championed during GOP presidencies.

Republicans are touting a letter signed by 41 GOP senators asking President Obama to withdraw what they call his "cap-and-trade rule."

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Economy
5:12 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Foreclosure Overhaul Comes Too Slowly For Many Homeowners

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:43 am

The biggest U.S. banks are still foreclosing on homeowners who qualify for new loans, according to a coalition of non-profits. That's despite settlements aimed at preventing unnecessary foreclosures.

Economy
5:29 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Missing In The Housing Recovery: New Houses

De Desharnais of Ashwood Development in New Hampshire says homebuilding activity for her company has slowed sharply since the housing crash. But she's hopeful that business will pick up.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 pm

More than five years after the crash, homebuilding is stuck at half its normal level. That's a big drag on the economy. And things aren't looking much better: A report out Thursday shows homebuilder confidence is at its lowest level in a year.

This severe slump in single-family home construction has been going on across the country. We haven't seen anything close to this kind of a long-term construction slump since World War II.

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Rethinking Retirement: The Changing Work Landscape
6:07 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

One More Speed Bump For Your Retirement Fund: Basic Human Impulse

We hate losing twice as much as we love winning, behavioral researchers say. And that gets us into trouble with financial decisions.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 7:34 pm

Saving for retirement is a challenge facing most Americans. Research shows the challenge is made harder by our basic human impulses. We know we should be saving. But we don't. We consistently make bad financial decisions.

One thing that leads us astray is what behavioral economists call "loss aversion." In other words, we hate losing. And that gets in the way of us winning — if winning is making smart financial decisions.

How A Smashed Car Is Like A Smashed Nest Egg

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Business
6:13 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Big Thinkers Discuss How To Prevent Next Financial Crisis

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 8:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

People who think big thoughts about the financial system gathered in Boston yesterday. They were asking how to prevent the next financial crisis.

NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Speaking to a room full of bankers and regulators, former Senator Chris Dodd took people back to a moment in 2008. Lehman Brothers had just collapsed and he was called into a small emergency meeting with other top lawmakers and Fed Chair Ben Bernanke.

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Business
6:02 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Bipartisan Plan Reached On Fannie-Freddie Overhaul

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 7:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Senate lawmakers, this week, are announcing a bipartisan plan to overhaul the nation's mortgage market. The stock prices of the government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged on the news.

NPR's Chris Arnold has our report.

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Economy
4:57 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Signs Point To A Slowing U.S. Housing Market

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 9:59 am

After rising sharply in 2013, home prices in many areas are leveling off. An interesting and worrisome development for most Americans because their home is often their most valuable asset.

Economy
5:24 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Severe Weather Socks The Economy, But Full Impact Is Unclear

It's too cold to eat out.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 6:31 pm

The economy often absorbs the impact of snowstorms, such as this week's storm, without much trouble, but this winter the weather is doing more damage than usual.

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Around the Nation
4:42 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Grounded And Confounded, Airlines Wait For Storms To Pass

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

The snow and ice storms sweeping the East Coast have been felt not only on the ground but in the air, as well. Airlines are cancelling thousands of flights, and both the companies and their passengers have had to deal with the fallout.

Economy
9:43 am
Sat February 8, 2014

January Job Growth Disappoints, But Unemployment Drops

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 12:05 pm

The U.S. added just 113,000 jobs in January, instead of the 180,000 analysts had predicted. Despite the anemic gains, the unemployment rate inched down to 6.6 percent, the lowest level since October 2008.

Business
5:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

MIT Housing Survey Focuses On 70 Metro Areas

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 7:29 am

A new report from the MIT Center for Real Estate forecasts home prices in 60 U.S. cities. Whether housing prices are going up or down depends on where you live.

The Salt
5:54 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Small-Batch Distilleries Ride The Craft Liquor Wave

Evan Parker built the interior space of the distillery himself in a small warehouse near the coast. Parker and his business partner, Mat Perry, have desks overlooking their 400-gallon copper kettle and still.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:01 pm

Wherever you live, you're probably not too far from a local microbrewery making beer. Now, the latest trend is the spread of what you might call "micro-boozeries." Craft liquor distilleries are springing up around the country like little wellheads spouting gin, whiskey and rum.

Turkey Shore Distilleries in Ipswich, Mass., is one of them.

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Economy
11:31 am
Sat January 11, 2014

December Jobs Report Has Analysts Flummoxed

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 12:53 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Yesterday's jobs report came as something of a surprise after several months of positive economic news. Employers added just 74,000 jobs. Economists had been expecting businesses to generate nearly three times that many. A few people were heartened by the fact that the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent, the lowest since October 2008. As NPR's Chris Arnold reports, the numbers reflect that many of the long-term unemployed have simply given up looking for work.

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