Weekend All Things Considered

Weekends at 4pm
Guy Raz
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3:25pm

Thu December 13, 2012
Business

HSBC Critic: Too Big To Indict May Mean Too Big To Exist

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:01 pm

HSBC has agreed to pay $1.92 billion to settle a multiyear U.S. criminal probe into money-laundering lapses at the British lender, the largest penalty ever paid by a bank.
Edgard Garrido Landov/Reuters

Federal and state authorities have received criticism after deciding not to indict HSBC on accusations that it laundered money for Mexican drug cartels and conducted prohibited transactions on behalf of countries like Iran and Sudan. Instead, they entered into a $1.9 billion settlement this week with the bank.

There's no question that HSBC is a massive, sprawling operation. It markets itself as the world's local bank. But watchdogs of the banking industry say mere size should never insulate an organization from the law.

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2:28pm

Thu December 13, 2012
Food

A Sweet Bread, A Wash Basin And A Shot Of Whiskey

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 5:45 pm

Cookbook author Marilynn Brass says eating Virginia Lima's traditional Portuguese Sweet Bread is like biting into a cloud.
Andy Ryan

For the holidays, why not give a gift that tastes like a cloud? Portuguese Sweet Bread may be as close as you can get, according to Marilynn Brass, one-half of the cookbook duo the Brass Sisters.

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2:01pm

Thu December 13, 2012
Planet Money

Why Legos Are So Expensive — And So Popular

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 9:26 am

Lego minifigures are displayed on October 18, 2012 in the newly-opened store of the Danish construction toys group at the "So Ouest" shopping center in Levallois-Perret, west of Paris.
Thomas Samson Getty Images

I went to Toys R Us recently to buy my son a Lego set for Hanukkah. Did you know a small box of Legos costs $60? Sixty bucks for 102 plastic blocks!

In fact, I learned, Lego sets can sell for thousands of dollars. And despite these prices, Lego has about 70 percent of the construction-toy market. Why? Why doesn't some competitor sell plastic blocks for less? Lego's patents expired a while ago. How hard could it be to make a cheap knockoff?

Luke, a 9-year-old Lego expert, set me straight.

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10:27am

Thu December 13, 2012
The Two-Way

On 'Fiscal Cliff,' Majority Of Public Sides With Democrats, Pew Poll Says

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:01 pm

President Obama, with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) behind him, delivering his State of the Union address last January.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

As the end-of-year tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" near, "Democrats are in a strong position with the public," the Pew Research Center reports.

A new national poll Pew released this morning shows that:

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5:29pm

Wed December 12, 2012
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

Post-Sandy, Newly Unemployed Struggle To Stay Afloat

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:19 pm

Erin Kulick can see the animal clinic where she once worked from her balcony in Queens, N.Y. Six weeks after Hurricane Sandy, the clinic is still closed.
Courtesy of Scott Kulick

Hurricane Sandy's effect on the nation's unemployment figures was less pronounced than expected. The reasons are complex, but one thing is clear: Thousands of victims are still struggling to rebuild their lives and get back to work.

Danielle Siekierski was tending bar at a restaurant in Manhattan's Meatpacking District before Sandy hit. When the restaurant was damaged in the storm, the workers were told it might be a week before it reopened.

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