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The Takeaway

Nicholas Kristof on Occupy Wall Street

Friday, October 14, 2011

Police have arrested at least five Occupy Wall Street protesters, who continue to march toward the New York Stock Exchange. The march began after news broke that the mayor of New York had cancelled a planned cleaning of Zuccotti Park, where protesters faced eviction after living in the park for the past four weeks. Protesters were attempting to clean it up themselves to avoid leaving. The Occupy Wall Street protest is entering its second month as the movement has spread across the country. The Takeaway hears from Zucotti Park this morning.

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The Takeaway

New Technology Unearths Sunken Treasure

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In recent years, cash-strapped governments have started looking to lost cargoes as a way to raise money. They do so because the latest generation of robots, lights, cameras and claws can withstand the deep sea’s crushing pressures and have opened up a new world of shipwreck recovery. The most recent discovery? A shipwreck off Ireland with an $18 million dollar cargo of silver.

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The Takeaway

Occupy Wall Street Continues to Grow in Fourth Week

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street movement is entering its fourth week and showing no signs of slowing down. What began as a loosely organized protest against corporate greed and the growing gap between rich and poor Americans has increased dramatically in terms of supporters, media coverage, and online discussions. Thousands of people have turned out for protests in lower Manhattan, and in dozens of other places across the country, including Boston, Miami, and the District of Columbia. Many media outlets have declared the leaderless Occupy movement to be the left's answer to the Tea Party movement, and others have likened it to the Arab Spring.

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The Takeaway

Cornel West and Tavis Smiley on 'The Poverty Tour'

Monday, October 10, 2011

One in six Americans are poor, which means 50 million people are living in poverty in the United States. Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, hosts of PRI's "Smiley and West," went on "The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience," an 18-city tour of the United States in August, to speak with Americans living in poverty and get a sense of what it's like to be poor in America today. This week, PBS will air the first of five episodes of "The Poverty Tour."

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Republican Debate, Corporate Earnings, and Immigration Bills

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street protest is still growing, and it's caught on in other cities across the country. Meanwhile, last week in Alabama the strictest anti-immigration bill in the country was again challenged by the Department of Justice. California passed a state Dream Act — the most lenient immigration bill legislation in the country. And, corporations will begin announcing their quarterly earnings results this week, which may briefly distract investors from the still-faltering European economy. Plus, The Washington Post and Bloomberg News are sponsoring a Republican debate on Tuesday night.

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The Takeaway

A Past Nobel Prize for Economics Winner on His Honor

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that American economists Thomas J. Sargent and Christopher A. Sims will be awarded this year's Nobel Prize in economics this morning. University of Chicago professor Roger Myerson won the prize in 2007 for his contribution to the mechanism design theory, which allows economists to identify efficient trading mechanisms, regulation schemes, and voting procedures to keep markets vibrant. Myerson discusses what the honor means both personally, and to the field of economics.

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The Takeaway

Jeffrey Sachs on Moral Causes to America's Fiscal Problems

Friday, October 07, 2011

Economist Jeffrey Sachs has a new book, "The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity," and the heart of it is a single argument: all of the nation’s current economic, political and productive woes share a similar root cause: that America’s financial and political leaders are failing to take the moral steps necessary to restrain a society of markets, and policies run amok, and that we need to become a "mindful society."

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The Takeaway

Dissecting the President's Jobs Bill

Friday, October 07, 2011

On Thursday, President Obama spoke at a press conference from the White House on his jobs proposal, calling it "an insurance policy against a possible double-dip recession." Obama hopes to fund the plan via a plan pitched by Senate Democrats this week, to tax Americans with incomes above one million dollars per year. Senate Leader Harry Reid plans to bring the jobs bill to the Senate floor next week.

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The Takeaway

Rep. Brad Miller on Debit Card Fees

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Bank of America's decision to charge customers $5 per month to use debit cards has prompted many, including President Obama, to criticize the banking giant. Other large banks, including Chase, Wells Fargo, SunTrust, and HSBC, are following suit, with plans to charge their customers varying monthly debit card fees. This leaves many Americans wondering what steps they should take next, and where they should do their banking.

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The Takeaway

Democratic Leaders Propose New Tax on Millionaires

Thursday, October 06, 2011

On Wednesday, Senate Democratic leaders proposed a five percent surtax on Americans with incomes of $1 million or more per year. Senate majority leader Harry Reid said the surtax would raise nearly half of $1 trillion over the next decade, which is the amount necessary to cover President Obama's jobs bill. A recent CBS news poll showed that 64 percent of Americans think that those who earn more than $1 million per year should pay more in taxes, which means the public may be on board for the new tax. Now, Democrats will need to gain Republican support for the measure.

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The Takeaway

Occupy Wall Street Movement Gains Momentum

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street movement is gaining momentum, and not just in New York — it's spreading across the country, to places like Boston, Miami, and Seattle. As the number of people camped out in Zuccotti Park in New York and other American cities grows, so does the amount of media coverage and the number of incidents involving clashes between police and protesters. Three protesters offer their dispatches from the demonstrations.

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The Takeaway

Are Debit Card Fees for Customers Necessary?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

For millions of Americans, debit cards have become a free and easy way to make their purchases. Last week, Bank of America announced that starting next year, it will charge its customers $5 a month to use debit cards. Other banks have begun to follow suit — Wells Fargo and Chase are charging $3 monthly debit card fees, while SunTrust is also charging $5. President Obama has expressed his distaste with this decision, saying "My hope is that you're going to see a bunch of banks say to themselves, 'You know what? This is actually not good business practice.'"

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The Takeaway

Senate Passes Bill to Alter China's Currency Practices

Monday, October 03, 2011

Senate leaders say the Chinese government's practice of forcing the value of the Yuan artificially low, in comparison to the U.S. dollar, gives Chinese companies an unfair advantage in trade, and is harming the American job market. To combat this, the Senate has passed a bipartisan bill, which the White House is reviewing, to pressure Beijing to alleviate some of those financial controls.

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The Takeaway

Listener Responses: Bank of America's New Charges

Monday, October 03, 2011

Last week, Bank of America announced that it would begin imposing a $5 monthly fee for checking accounts that use debit cards. Other large banks are expected to follow suit. We asked listeners for their reactions to these new charges, and received many responses, including this from J.B. from Massachusetts:

I am a BofA customer and I am not happy about the fee. I use my debit card all the time instead of a credit card, but that will change based on principle. I wonder, how big were bonuses last year and how big will they be this year? I wish they would look inside BofA for ways to save. Maybe cutting back $1 million from the CFO would help the bottom line as well!

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The Takeaway

Bank of America to Charge Debit Card Users

Friday, September 30, 2011

For years we've been moving away from using paper and coins to pay for goods, and toward a cashless society. Now many people use debit cards as a convenient way to shop. But news from the Bank of America yesterday could change the way people feel about that. The banking giant announced it would impose a new monthly fee of $5 for checking accounts that use debit cards. Other banks are likely to follow suit. Why are we seeing increased banking charges and what can consumers do about it?

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The Takeaway

Reebok to Pay Settlement Over EasyTone Sneakers

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Some enticing advertisements for shoes by Reebok have been circulating, promising "up to 28 percent more of a work out for your butt, up to 11 percent more for your hamstrings and calves." It sounds like a lot to expect from a simple shoe, and the Justice Department is saying it's worse than just an exaggeration — the company is making false claims, and should reward disappointed customers with refunds, which could add up to $25 million.

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The Takeaway

Obama Returns to Denver to Push Jobs Act

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

President Obama journeyed to Denver, Colorado on Tuesday, three years after he visited the city to accept his party’s nomination for the White House, and spoke at the 80,000-seat football stadium to excited supporters. This time, the president was in Denver to drum up support for his $450 billion jobs plan. Obama hopes Congress will pass the bill and create jobs for the millions of Americans out of work.

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The Takeaway

Gold Prices Plunge to $1600 Per Ounce

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For months gold had been on a fantastic run, but last week gold prices plunged 9.6 percent, and then Monday another 2 percent, to $1,600 an ounce. Investors usually consider gold a safe bet, but they may not think of them that way anymore.

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The Takeaway

Senate Passes Deal to Avoid Shut Down

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Senate voted 79 to 12 last night in favor of an agreement on spending for disaster relief, that will avert the government shutdown that many feared might happen this week. Funding for government agencies like FEMA will now be extended for six weeks. Senate leaders are hoping the House will pass the deal later this week.

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The Takeaway

Wall Street Protests Continue

Monday, September 26, 2011

For over a week, groups of protestors angry at the power and greed of corporate America have been marching on Wall Street, as part of an ongoing campaign broadly known as "Occupy Wall Street." On Saturday, several hundred people took part in the march and at least 80 people were arrested. The participants are also fighting against a range of other issues, including healthcare reform and scrapping the death penalty. 

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