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Recession

The Brian Lehrer Show

Home-grown saves money

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Home-grown veggies
Originally uploaded by miss mass

Furyk Clark wrote in to Your Uncommon Economic Indicators about turning over a new gardening leaf: "In past years ...

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The Takeaway

Positive bank reports offer new hope for economy

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

As the nation awaits President Obama's speech on the state of the economy, some of the country's largest banks are reporting positive earnings. Both Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs reported even larger than expected first-quarter returns. Is this the hope we've been waiting for as we wait results from the other "too big to fail banks" this week? And what does it mean to be profitable when you owe the nation a multi-billion dollar debt? For some perspective on what this means for the state of banking and the public's perception of banks, The Takeaway is joined by James Surowiecki who writes The Balance Sheet blog and is a business columnist for The New Yorker.
"It's profitability with an asterisk. The one thing to remember is, every dollar these banks earn right now is, for the most part, a dollar that we're not going to have to put into them if we, say, were to take them over."
—The New Yorker's James Surowiecki on banks reporting positive earnings

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The Takeaway

Getting to "You're hired" by any means necessary

Thursday, April 09, 2009

With unemployment numbers at 8.5 percent it’s hard for anyone who gets a pink slip to look for a job through rose colored glasses. But blogger Marci Alboher says there is promise for those pounding the pavement in this slumping economy, but it may not come from the traditional job hunting methods. She runs the Yahoo blog Working the New Economy, and she joins us with some true stories about people who are finding work in creative ways, which may be a necessity when times are tough.

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The Takeaway

Recession depression and other woes of the employed

Thursday, April 09, 2009

It's not just the market that's bottoming out in this recession. There are nationwide reports of anxiety and stress in the face of these trying economic times. Reports are so widespread that the federal government was prompted to put up website warnings about symptoms of depression, substance abuse, and even suicide. Pam Belluck is covering the story for the New York Times and in her research she met Victoria Villalba, a woman who has been experiencing severe anxiety about the economy. They both join The Takeaway to share their stories.

"There are a lot of similarities here between natural disasters and what people are going through as a result of the economy."
—New York Times reporter Pam Belluck on anxiety as a result of the recession

For more, read Pam Belluck's article, Recession Anxiety Seeps Into Everyday Lives in today's New York Times.

Also, check out the government's website, Getting Through Tough Economic Times for more information on the signs of recession depression and where to get help.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

WordArt on the street: Recession

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Brian had Marc and Sarah Schiller, founders of the Wooster Collective, in to talk today about the street art that our eagle-eye listeners have posted to Your Uncommon Economic Indicators. Wooster Collective is a website dedicated to showcasing street art from around the world, so they had a pretty ...

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The Takeaway

March unemployment numbers show increase in job losses

Friday, April 03, 2009

New unemployment numbers out today reveal that the U.S. economy lost 663,000 jobs in March and jobless rate jumps to 8.5 percent, the highest since late 1983. The U.S. continued to shed jobs at an unrelenting clip in March, pushing total losses since the recession started 16 months ago past five million. The figures are a sober reality check on the economy after some mildly encouraging news on housing, automobiles and manufacturing. But on hearing the news, the markets jumped. So what do the numbers really mean? We turn to Kelly Evans, an economics reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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The Takeaway

Jobless in the U.S.A.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The unemployment numbers are cold and hard: The national unemployment rate hit 8.1 percent in February, the highest it has been in over 25 years. And there are other parts of the country where the figure is a good bit higher pushing twelve or thirteen percent. As we wait for the release of the March unemployment numbers, we talk to two of the faces behind the numbers. John Fox is from an area of North Carolina, where the unemployment rate is 15.7 percent and he has been looking for work in the construction field for over thirteen months. Also joining the conversation is Janet from New York City who just found a new job after a lengthy search. Dan Gross, senior editor at Newsweek and columnist at Slate, gives us some perspective on the numbers.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Visit those in Need

Thursday, April 02, 2009

We define the word "need" broadly in this case. It's not just the down-and-out who can use our care, but friends and neighbors who are feeling the effects of the recession. Worry over job loss or less money can be alleviated when people connect. One artist looking for community posted this text and a photo of his painting to Your Uncommon Economic Indicators.

Billy Fleurima: What I'm about to say is very difficult, but promotion is the key for success. I'm an artist and I'm looking to expose my work. I have a small place in Brooklyn. I would like to change to a gallery, but i need help, money,...I need to know if there is help for artists.

Well, Brian asked all of his listeners if, in fact, they are helping each other and if they had any advice for Billy. You can read the comments and listen to the audio of the segment, Sticking Together. When Billy later replied with an invitation for Brian to come see the art, Brian accepted:

While most of you sent advice about loaning money or finding friends jobs, one person wrote back with help for artists:

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The Takeaway

During this recession, everyone needs a helping hand. Do you have a recession hero?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Femi Oke introduced us to her "recession hero"--someone who resisted the temptation of a growing bubble. We're looking for more heroes out there. Do you have your own recession hero?


What's your take? Leave a comment below or record your story at 1-877-8-MY-TAKE.
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The Takeaway

Our recession hero: Behrooz the good broker

Friday, March 27, 2009

This week, we sent Senior Editor Femi Oke out to bring your stories about the economic crisis back to the show. Sam Jordan was listening in New Jersey and sent us an e-mail. He wanted us to meet a real estate broker who he describes as more or less his real estate hero. Not something you hear about brokers these days, so Femi Oke went and got the story. She found a broker who, even during the height of the real estate boom and easy mortgages, preached caution and budgetary restraint. He lost clients over his moderation and colleagues laughed, but that real estate philosophy saved families, like Sam Jordan's, from mortgage overload. Femi joins us now with the story.

The Takeaway's videographer Jennifer Hsu captured the action on film:

Trouble viewing this video? Check out the YouTube version.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Positive Reactions: Things are lookin' up

Thursday, March 26, 2009

gardening

MS 51 volunteers help with the Old Stone House garden at Washington Park

There is no doubt that a lot of the contributions we get to Your Uncommon Economic Indicators are about job loss, reduced budgets and empty store fronts. But once in awhile we encounter a Bright Spot in the recession doldrums.

One of those moments was finding Erin Barnes, co-founder of a new website IOBY (In Our Back Yards). She explained the site to Brian on Thursday's show. It will launch in April, and people will be able to ask for help with their green projects--from garden plots to waterfront clean up. Volunteers can also find places to help out. She said this is her solution to feeling overwhelmed by news of the recession or global warming.

You can listen to the segment here:

Several other people sent some good news to Your Uncommon Economic Indicators this week:

Jason wrote in with good news. He said, 'Business had dried up because our main customers were retailers, artists, and museums. Each had stopped spending for the recession. BUT! Things have finally picked up. Each of the sectors has a few projects in the works. I worked 40 hours this past week and there is work lined up for at least the next month. Knock-on-wood, but it feels like the bottom has come and gone for our business. Hopefully we can sustain this and maybe it will even repeat citywide now.'

Kate told us, 'I've been watching the National Passport Center's processing time. It has gone from 3 weeks to process non-rush orders to 4 weeks. Does this mean more people are getting passports ready for spring or summer travel?? Could be!'

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The Takeaway

A critical look at the Tata Nano

Tuesday, March 24, 2009



Tiny, affordable cars may seem like a great idea for the environment and the pocketbook. But our guest Linda Blake says putting thousands of Tata Nanos on India's roads is actually a bad idea for India's developing and smog-choked cities. She joins us now to explain.

TIMELINE: CARS FOR THE PEOPLE

Ford Model T
1909
Considered the first affordable car in America, Henry Ford's Model T sold for $850, undercutting competition priced between $2,000 and $3,000. "It will be low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one, and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces," Ford said.

AMC Rambler
1958
The Rambler's manufacturer, American Motor Corporation, was the only auto company to turn a profit during the recession of 1958. Created cheaply by conserving on steel, it became a car of choice and eventually won a Motor Trends "Car of the Year" award in 1963.

Toyota Tiara
1964
The 1960's forced American car manufacturers to face competition from abroad. Toyota's Tiara was the first of many successful Japanese imports. In 1967, the Tiara sold for $1,670, cheaper than the average American car.

Volkswagen Beetle
1960's
The Volkswagen Beetle, another car in the new wave of imports, sold at around the same price as the Tiara, $1,675. But by 1973, Beetles were selling much better than the Tiara, surpassing sales records of the previous record holder, the Ford Model T.

Zastava Yugo
1985
Just 141,500 of Zastava's Yugos sold in the United States from 1985 to 1991, making it one of the worst-selling cars ever. However, priced at $4,000 when it was first introduced, it was the cheapest car available at the time. In 1991, due to United Nations sanctions on Yugoslavia, the car had to be pulled from the U.S. market. An updated version of the car is still sells in several countries, including Egypt and Poland.

Chevrolet Aveo
2009
Priced at $11,965, the Aveo is currently the cheapest small car produced by a U.S. automaker. "Well, the Aveo is cheap, but, well, it's cheap," read a recent review of affordable small cars in U.S. News & World Report.

Tata Nano
2009
The Nano, produced by India's Tata Motors, is small. It's 10 feet long and five feet wide, and runs at a top speed of about 60 mph. In India, one can purchase the basic model, without radio, air conditioning or air bags, for $2,500 — It meets Indian safety standards and gets an admirable 50 miles to the gallon.

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The Takeaway

Internet cafes aren't that comfortable: A firsthand look at Japan's recession

Friday, March 20, 2009

America is hurting. We hear about it and report on it every day. But so is the world’s second largest economy, Japan. Matt Frei became the BBC’s Asia correspondent just as Japan's economy sank in the 1990s and found himself covering economic collapse across the region. He now hosts BBC World News America and is re-visiting Japan and its economy. He joins The Takeaway this morning from Tokyo.

For a look at an internet cafe that several unemployed Japanese people call home, watch the video below.

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Studio 360

Recessionista

Friday, March 20, 2009

Late last year, after getting laid-off from her investment bank job, Christine Marchuska decided to dive into a creative career as a fashion designer. Produced by Gretta Cohn.

Weigh in: Short of work and pursuing a new passion?

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Help Wanted: Advice for the Jobless or Overworked

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One of the words that comes up most frequently on Your Uncommon Economic Indicators is 'work.' Some have it, some want less of it, some are happy and others are trying not to panic.help-wanted

*Caroline is a senior in college and is trying to keep ...

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The Takeaway

We're all Swedes now: Bo Lundgren heads to the Hill

Thursday, March 19, 2009

In the 1990s, Sweden was facing a financial crisis that is eerily similar to what the U.S. now faces. To recover from that, they nationalized the banks and bought up the bad debt. The man who led that charge and brought Sweden back to financial stability was Bo Lundgren, the former minister for fiscal and financial affairs, who is now the director general of the Swedish National Debt Office. Mr. Lundgren is set to testify in front of the Congressional Oversight Panel today to discuss how he helped nationalize the Swedish banking system and turn around their economy. Before he goes to the Hill, he stops by The Takeaway.

Bank nationalization or Viking economics? For another look at the Swedish banking model watch this clip from The Colbert Report.

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The Takeaway

In protest, the French take to the streets

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Over one million French workers are expected to join the country's second nationwide strike in two months. They are protesting French President Sarkozy's handling of the economic downturn. As unemployment has reached almost two million, organizers predict the protest will be even bigger than the last one in January. For more we turn to Hugh Schofield, the BBC's Paris correspondent.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Confession of a Sugar Scammer

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dana sent this post to Your Uncommon Economic Indicators. We can only hope she feels better getting the news off her chest, but we have to wonder: is it really helping anyone through this recession to save on sweetener?

Tell us what you think with a comment below, or add ...

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The Takeaway

A look at one square mile of the recession

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Takeaway is drilling down into the recession with our friend and contributor Paddy O’Connell, the host of BBC’s Broadcasting House. Paddy has been looking at how the recession is affecting people and businesses in one square mile of the city of Chicago.

For a closer look at the map, click here and here.

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The Takeaway

Charity as an ethical obligation

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wrapped up as we are in our current recession, it’s hard for many of us to think about giving to charity. But Professor Peter Singer says that it is our ethical duty to give to charity even, maybe especially, now. He joins us in studio to talk about his latest book, The Life You Can Save.

Watch Peter Singer discuss the country's foreign aid spending.

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