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Planet Money
10:01 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

How Mitt Romney's Firm Tried — And Failed — To Build A Paper Empire

Mitt Romney, shown here when he was president of Bain Capital.
David L. Ryan Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 10:20 am

Mitt Romney is campaigning as a businessman who knows how to turn the economy around — a skill he says he learned during his time turning companies around, as president of the private equity firm Bain Capital.

So today, we're going to take a look at two deals that Bain did while Mitt Romney was heading the firm. This afternoon, we'll tell the story of one of Bain's successes.

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Can I Just Tell You?
5:39 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

What Enslaves Us That We Won't Give Up?

Nineteenth century bilboes typically found on slave ships are displayed at the Smithsonian's new exhibit: "Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty."
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 11:41 am

I was thinking about a conversation I had with a friend of mine who teaches very low-income kids. He talks about his kids a lot, as teachers I know often do. And he was telling me about a discussion he had with the wife of another friend.

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Oscar's Top Documentaries
5:39 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Underdog Football Team Shines In 'Undefeated'

Filmmakers Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin spent nine months in North Memphis, Tenn. with the Manassas Tigers.
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 11:55 am

All throughout the school's 110-year history, the Manassas High School football team in Memphis, Tenn., was known as a losing team. In 2009, volunteer coach Bill Courtney led the struggling Manassas Tigers to the playoffs.

Filmmakers Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin chronicle the challenges of the team — on and off the field — in the documentary Undefeated.

Lindsay and Martin talk with NPR's Neal Conan about the film, nominated for an Academy Award in the documentary feature category.

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Planet Money
5:38 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Why Are Harvard Grads in the Mailroom?

Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 10:11 am

Below is an excerpt from Adam Davidson's latest New York Times Magazine column, "Why Are Harvard Graduates In The Mailroom?" Read all of Davidson's Times Magazine columns here.

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Energy
5:38 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

What's Behind The Recent Hike In Gas Prices?

A gas station in Berlin, Vt., sold gas for $3.72 on Feb. 16. On average, regular gas is going for $3.60 a gallon nationwide.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 5:29 pm

Oil prices have jumped sharply in the past two weeks, and the price of gasoline is also moving up. Across the country, a gallon of regular costs nearly $3.60 on average, with some areas facing $4 gas. That's causing sticker shock at the pump, and concern that rising prices could derail the economic recovery.

According to Daniel Yergin of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, gas prices are up because of the West's current confrontation with Iran and sanctions over that country's nuclear program.

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