Monday, June 27, 2011
Robert Gates will step down as Secretary of Defense this week, with Leon Panetta taking over. Panetta will have a lot on his plate, starting with the start of U.S. troops withdrawing from Afghanistan later this week. Noel King, managing producer for The Takeaway, looks at what obstacles are in store for Panetta as he begins his reign as Defense Secretary.
President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders to try and come to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, or face going into default. Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, looks at the economic effects this on-going debate could have if a conclusion is not reached soon.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Greece's financial woes continue to teeter on the brink of collapse as they face the possibility of becoming the first Euro-zone country to default. Finance ministers gave the fledgling nation two weeks to shape up its finances or face not receiving anymore bailout money. On top of this, Prime Minister George Papandreou faces a vote of confidence in Parliament today, and the result of that could have major consequences as to which direction the country will be going.
Monday, June 20, 2011
All the jawing and insult throwing has ceased for the time being as negotiations heat up on Capitol Hill over the debt ceiling. Vice President Joe Biden said there are four meetings scheduled, and "now we're getting down to the really hard stuff." Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent, says Congress would love to get an agreement by the 4th of July—way ahead of the deadline in August.
As Washington tries to get the debt ceiling squared away, the Federal Reserve will meet on Wednesday to discuss interest rates. Housing numbers have been consistently awful for some time now, with no sense of relief in sight. Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, looks at what we can expect from Wednesday's meeting, and whether or not it's likely that the Fed will decide to leave interest rates close to zero.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Republican presidential hopefuls debated last night in New Hampshire, one of the early states that is important to win in the primaries along with Iowa. The two states are the first to hold presidential contests. The influence of Iowa and New Hampshire have made candidates pander to those states' needs, which can be markedly different than the needs of the majority of the United States. David Leonhardt, economics columnist for The New York Times explains.
Monday, June 13, 2011
The GOP will see it's first major debate with all its prominent players in New Hampshire today. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum are all expected to participate. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, is most interested in how Bachmann and Santorum try to "out-conservative" each other to gain the following of those who don't support Mitt Romney. A topic that will surely be a key part of the debate will be the poor state of the economy. A set of key economic indicators is set to be released this week. Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, is expecting retail sales to fall, and a stock market finishing down for six weeks in a row is certainly not helping either.
Monday, June 06, 2011
Host of Freakonomics Radio (produced by American Public Media’s Marketplace, WNYC, and Dubner Productions) and the co-author, with Steven D. Levitt, of Freakonomics (2005) and SuperFreakonomics (2009), Stephen J. Dubner talks about the launch of the new radio specials with a look at the economics of family business succession.
Monday, June 06, 2011
Dominique Strauss-Kahn is scheduled to return to court today to face arraignment in New York City. He is charged with raping a Manhattan hotel maid, the allegations shocked the world, especially France, where he was expected to be a strong contender for the presidency. Callie Crossley, host of The Callie Crossley Show, on WGBH in Boston says "I think this story is going to capture a lot of headlines for a long time." Kelly Evans, "Ahead of the Tape" columnist for The Wall Street Journal, looks at some key economic data coming out this week that could give us a clue at how the economy is doing.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Vikram Mansharamani, lecturer at Yale University and a global equity investor, explains how to identify unsustainable booms and forthcoming busts. Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst gives an in-depth look at several major booms and busts and shows how to identify upcoming financial bubbles and the tell-tale signs of a forthcoming bust.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
The hunt is on for a new head of the International Monetary Fund as the organization still tries to manage both global economic troubles and sovereign debt crises. On today’s first Backstory segment, we’ll take a look at the history of the IMF, criticisms of it, and its difficult tasks in today’s economic climate. We’ll be joined by Simon Johnson, Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT and former Chief Economist for the IMF.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Supreme Court ruled Monday in Brown v. Plata that California's overcrowded prisons violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and ordered the release of 30,000 prisoners. The 5-4 decision was sharply divided. Justice Kennedy, leading for the Majority, described “telephone-booth-sized cages without toilets,” used to house suicidal inmates. Justice Scalia, offering a vigorous dissent, called the prisoners who will eventually be released “just 46,000 happy-go-lucky felons fortunate enough to be selected.”
Monday, May 23, 2011
President Barack Obama arrives in Ireland today, as he begins is week long trip to Europe. His stops include the UK, France, and Poland. Jason Stallman, editor for the national desk at The New York Times, looks at what we can expect in the week ahead on this trip.
As the president journeys through Europe, a number of key economic indicators is set to be released, including GDP figures. Charlie Herman, economics and business editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, crunches the numbers for us and tells us if good things are ahead for our economy.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Michael Spence, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, discusses the economic growth that led to enormous gaps in wealth and living standards between the industrialized West and the rest of the world. In The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World, looks at how this pattern shifted after World War II, and how that trend will reshape the world.
Monday, May 16, 2011
While Washington continues tp debate the debt ceiling, the United States is expected to reach the limit on its debt today. This means the government will no longer be able to borrow money. Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio, says it's just a mystery what will happen, because we're not seeing any deals on the table yet. There are questions about the future of the International Monetary Fund after its managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York for allegedly sexually assaulting a Manhattan hotel maid.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Poverty continues to raise questions for economists, who have differing viewpoints on its source and its solution. A new book out by two MIT Economists moves away from the question of why poverty toward looking at how poor people behave and survive. They are asking questions like, "why would a man in Morocco, who doesn’t have enough to eat, buy at television set?" and "Does having lots of children make you poorer?"
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
(New York, NY -- Kathleen Horan, WNYC) Complaints about taxi drivers refusing to take passengers to their desired destinations have increased by more than a third over the last year. So the city is moving ahead with a plan to increase fines and penalties. Officials hope expensive tickets and the risk of suspended, or even a revoked license will stop drivers from saying "no" to customers. Drivers say that while there are many reasons why they decline a trip--most agree, the overall problem is essentially a financial one.
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"Refusals stick in the craw of a lot of New Yorkers," said Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky. "It may be a small issue in terms of dollars and cents compared to other things, but it's a big issue in terms of how it feels."
It's not as if drivers loathe going to the outer boroughs — most live there. But to be successful, drivers said they have to focus on volume and not distance. For the rest of the story, click here.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely talks about the study “Building a Better America—One Wealth Quintile at a Time,” conducted together with Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton, and what it reveals about Americans’ ideas about the distribution of wealth in this country.
Monday, April 25, 2011
This week Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will go in front of reporters for his first-ever press conference. He will take questions about policy inflation and the Fed's bond-buying program in an effort to promote transparency between the Fed and the American public. What should Bernanke say to develop Americans' trust? Christina Romer, professor of Economics at University of California, Berkeley, and former chairwoman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers says she'd like the truth.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Well before the era of social security, most Americans could only dream of a life where retirement was possible. But by the early 1900s U.S. companies started mandating a retirement age. The practice of imposing a retirement age was outlawed by Congress in 1986. But some are suggesting that maybe it’s time to bring it back — all while many baby boomers are out of work and looking to get back into the labor force. Should we go back to mandatory retirement?
Monday, April 18, 2011
The countdown is underway: There's less than two weeks to go until hundreds of millions of viewers watch Prince William marry Kate Middleton in London's Westminster Abbey. But resist the urge to swoon and forget the romance for a minute as we take a closer look at the economics of the royal wedding.