We at The Takeaway are dialing (and skyping, tweeting, emailing...) furiously trying to reach reporters and aid agencies on the ground for their reports on the damage and for the tales of survival.
Alex here, on the evening shift. We're monitoring the after effects of the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, the strongest ever to hit the island nation. Right now phone communication with Port au Prince is still limited, but on the show tomorrow we're planning on checking in with reporters monitoring the story from Miami, and, as soon as we get communications, with reporters and aid workers in Haiti.
You might have heard of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and the role they played in the housing crisis, but have you heard of a 'synthetic CDO?' Gretchen Morgensen and Louise Story report in today's New York Times, ("Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won,") on how banks used this special category of bundled debt to bet against the housing market, and win. Sometimes it meant the banks profited while their clients lost out.
Louise Story joins us to explain synthetic CDOs and the three government investigations that are already underway about the practice. The government wants to know if investment firms may have exacerbated the housing crisis as they tried to hedge their vulnerable mortage positions. We also speak with Sylvain Raynes, a structured finance consultant, to give us details on how firms used synthetic CDOs and how they pitched them to clients.
Last night the storytellers at The Moth in Detroit took on the topic closest to Motor City's heart: cars. Alex Trajano, host of the event, shares the winning story with us and some observations on what happens when you make an open call to Detroiters to tell car stories in public.
It's election day, and Atlanta may be on the verge of electing their first white mayor since 1969: Mary Norwood, a city council member for eight years. Georgia Public Broadcasting's Susanna Capelouto surveys the scene and the potential for making history and joins us from outside the polls. She also explains why turnout is expected to be as low as 30% today.
Yesterday the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the symbolic threshold of 10,000. New York Times finance reporter Louise Story says the news is interesting, but it doesn't say much about the overall health of the economy. Something that might: the banking sector. Also joining the conversation is New York Times economics correponsdent Edmund Andrews with a look at how the U.S. Treasury wants some bailed-out banks to start paying back their loans.
Last week, a horrifying cell phone video put the Chicago Public School system under a national spotlight. It captured dozens of teenagers in a street brawl using wooden beams as weapons. An innocent boy named Darrien Albert was brutally beaten to death. He is one of five teenagers who have been killed in Chicago this school year.
This morning, Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be having breakfast with Mayor Daley of Chicago to discuss the high levels of youth violence in the city. Linda Lutton, a reporter with WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, talks with us about school violence in Chicago.
Key economic indicators are still giving mixed signals about the recovery of the nation's economy. Housing numbers were up, but now they are down; consumer confidence was rising, and now it's sagging. Adding to the agita, analysts still can't say if we have hit bottom or not. New York Times finance reporter Louise Story tells us what Wall Street is making of the ups and downs in housing and consumer confidence figures.
A year after short selling stocks was decried for adding fuel to the fire of the financial meltdown, the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering cracking down on the practice. But some banks are pushing back. Louise Story, finance reporter from The New York Times, explains why.
The WNBA finals begin tonight in Arizona as the fast-paced Phoenix Mercury tries to wear down the tough defense of the Indiana Fever. ESPN.com reporter Mechelle Voepel joins us from Phoenix, the site of the finals' first game.
Bonus: Takeaway listener and women's hoops superfan Helen Wheelock complained we haven't covered the WNBA enough — so we invited her on the program to make her case.
"The passion of the game, the skill of the game, the way it engages fans, the kind of fans who attend it. It is just fun to be part of."
—Helen Wheelock, Takeaway listener and WNBA fan, on why she loves women's basketball
It's a big week for baseball. The Yankees have clinched their spot in the American League East, but it's a tight race between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers in the A.L. Central. The two teams are in a four game head-to-head series right now. We get the latest on the Midwestern drama with our sports correspondent, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin.
This week, possibly even as early as today, the U.S. Treasury Department will unveil a new $35 billion mortgage relief plan to stabilize the housing market. The money will go to state agencies, not directly to banks and homeowners. New York Times reporter Louise Story looks at who the funds will go to and who could reap the benefits.
The Dallas Cowboys earned a sloppy but much needed victory in prime time last night. And after a slow starting season, the win came at a critical time for quarterback Tony Romo. We get the latest from our sports contributor, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin.
When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) meets later today, it will have to address a key question raised by the tide of bank failures: Will the the government agency run out of money? And what can they do about it? We speak with Louise Story, finance reporter for The New York Times.
What are the biggest moral challenges we face today? We're joined by two people who have given a lot of thought to cultural challenges around the world, including poverty, racism, and the systematic oppression of women. Nick Kristof is a columnist for The New York Times, and his wife Sheryl WuDunn a former New York Times correspondent.
They are authors of the new book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” and wrote the article in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, "The Women's Crusade."
All this week, we'll be hosting mini-roundtable discussions about how health care reform could affect different groups of Americans. We kick it off this week with one of the groups who stands to be the most affected by any systematic reform: doctors themselves.
With us today are Dr. Kevin Pho, a primary care physician in Nashua, New Hampshire
For more on the doctors from today's roundtable continue reading...