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Recession

The Brian Lehrer Show

Tell us Your Economic Resolutions!

Monday, December 07, 2009

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Do you feel a bit wiser now that you’ve come through the 2009 financial crisis? Do you have a plan or a resolution for the new year? Perhaps you are bracing for another tough year, but this time you'll be prepared. Tell us ...

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Uncommon Economic Resolutions

Thursday, December 03, 2009

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Post your resolution under 'Tell Your Story' on the Uncommon Economic Indicators Home Page!

One year ago we introduced Your Uncommon Economic Indicators. Since then, hundreds of you have sent us stories, photos, videos…and even calls to report on the changes you see ...

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The Takeaway

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter on US Cities in Trouble

Monday, November 30, 2009

As economists declare the country to be officially heading out of recession, many are looking around them and still seeing severe economic troubles. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter joins us; he says American cities are in serious trouble, can expect little help from cash-strapped state governments, and need direct action from Washington. (click through for a full interview transcript)

 

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The Takeaway

Finding Charity, Scarcity in this Recession

Thursday, November 26, 2009

We're entering the season for charitable giving around the country. But are the rising needs outweighing the charity? We check in with Susan Bond, who works in the trenches at the Samaritan Love Food Pantry in Kokomo, Indiana; as well as Melissa Berman, president and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, about the broader picture on charitable giving. (Berman mentions the government's public service site, Serve.gov.)

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Uncommon Economic Indicators at the Dinner Table

Monday, November 23, 2009

Flickr photo by Presta

Flickr photo by Presta

Starting somewhere around Thanksgiving, here in the U.S. we enter a season of reflection and celebration. We get together with friends or family and allow ourselves some well-earned downtime to observe traditions.

Many WNYC listeners have sent in stories to Your Uncommon Economic Indicators that focus on gathering at the table. We have noticed over the past year that food--whether we talk about lunch, groceries or going out--is on everyone's mind during tough financial times. As you pause during your holiday, think of these dinner stories below from other WNYC listeners.

Mary Goddard
tells us

A small, family-owned/operated restaurant in upstate NY (Olmsteadville) has created 'Recession Buster Sundays.' Scott, the chef, and Theresa, the server, offer their Sunday meals as a 'pay as you want'. They serve what my husband and I consider to be gourmet meals.

...and in Queens, Michael noticed another restaurant offer:

A new restaurant in Forest Hills is offering 'bring a friend for free' on one day a week, and on another day, 'Pay what you think is fair.'

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WNYC News

Return to Main Street: The Bowery

Monday, November 09, 2009

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Last Spring our Main Street NYC series traveled along the Bowery checking in on the health of local businesses and institutions. We visited the Bowery Mission, a decades-old pizza supply shop, and a new eco-friendly home ...

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The Takeaway

Is the Recession Over If Nobody Can Tell?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Unemployment is rising, and the job market is painfully lean — but, hey, did you know the recession is over? GDP numbers out this morning say the economy is officially rebounding. We talk to Duke University economist Mike Munger about why a bad job market may actually be boosting company profits. We also speak with Rick Holguin, owner of the recruitment firm Latinos for Hire, and Rhoda Quick, who was recently laid off from her job as a legal assistant in Minneapolis. (A tip of the hat to MPR News' Bob Collins, who originally interviewed Quick back in August.)

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The Takeaway

The High Cost of Foreclosure

Thursday, October 08, 2009

It's no secret that more low-income American families than ever before are facing foreclosure. But there's a new problem that is making it even tougher for those families to navigate housing court: a national shortage of free legal aid attorneys to represent them. Melanca Clark is an attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice, which published a report yesterday called "Foreclosures: A Crisis in Legal Representation." The report discusses the challenges facing homeowners trying to navigate the lending system without legal representation. We also talk to Atlanta legal aid attorney Sarah Bolling about having to turn away clients.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Good Uncommon-Economic-Indicators Morning!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Brian Lehrer on Good Morning America

Brian Lehrer on Good Morning America

The Brian Lehrer Show's listener-reporter collaboration, Your Uncommon Economic Indicators, has certainly helped shape how we view the recent recession.

As Brian told the host of Good Morning America on Sunday, ...

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The Takeaway

New Unemployment Numbers Coming Out

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its monthly unemployment numbers this morning. To tell us what the numbers mean, we’ve got University of Maryland economist and business professor Peter Morici. We’ll also talk with those whose jobs and businesses are represented in these numbers. Michael Powell, the president and founder of Powell’s Books in Portland, Ore., joins us to tell us how his business is making it through the recession. We also speak with Sandy Cole, an unemployed office manager who lives in St. Joseph, Mich., and is currently looking for work.

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The Takeaway

Finance: Mixed Signals on the Economic Recovery

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

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.

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The Takeaway

Housing Sales: Snapshots, National and Personal

Friday, September 25, 2009

The numbers are out: After four months of steadily increasing, home sales tapered off in August. We speak to Nicholas Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, for a look at the national housing scene. Then, we take a look at the market from the perspective of three local players: Behrooz Shahidi, a realtor in New Jersey; Ken Ebaugh, a senior mortgage banker with Paramount Bank near Detroit; and Eric Mattinson, who is a first-time home buyer from Greensboro, N.C.

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The Takeaway

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (Say it Five Times Fast)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Today the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission conducts its first public meeting. The commission is a bipartisan commission tasked with finding the root cause of the nation's financial meltdown. Louise Story, finance reporter for The New York Times, explains why we need yet another commission and what this group is hoping to uncover that we don't already know.

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The Takeaway

Cleveland's Plan to Fight Foreclosures

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cities across the U.S. are facing devastating rates of foreclosure. As the numbers of vacant houses increase, another problem has cropped up: banks don't want to keep all those foreclosed properties. In Ohio, Cleveland's Cuyahoga County expects at least 13,000 new foreclosures this year, but state Treasurer Jim Rokakis has a plan – he wants to buy up bad mortgages and sell them back to homeowners in order to keep people in their homes. We ask Rokakis about his plan and speak to Dan Moulthroup, reporter with WCPN in Cleveland, and the host of Sound of Ideas.

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The Takeaway

Economic Indicators: Saving Jobs and Trying Times

Friday, September 11, 2009

The White House announced this week that its $787 billion economic stimulus package has saved or created more than 1 million jobs since it was enacted in February. To help us parse these and other economic indicators, we talk with Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, a market analysis company in New York. We also speak with Louise Story, a Wall Street and finance reporter with the New York Times, about what financial troubles at Harvard and Yale mean for higher education and the economy as a whole.

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Studio 360

9-To-5 No More

Friday, September 11, 2009

Last March we heard from laid off finance workers who’d switched gears into creative careers. Christine Marchuska launched a clothing label after receiving the pink slip at an investment bank; Michael Terry became a full-time comedian after years at Morgan Stanley. Six months later, ...

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The Takeaway

One Year On: Banks After the Bailout

Thursday, September 10, 2009

All week we are reviewing the year that was — the year that marked the beginning of the financial meltdown and the recession that we continue to live through. Today we’re taking stock of how the nation’s banks are managing, one year after the government spent billions of taxpayers' dollars to bail them out. For a look at what regulations need to be in place to avoid future financial disasters, we talk with Eliot Spitzer. He was New York's attorney general before being elected governor; he first made a name for himself for keeping an eagle eye on the banking industry. We are also joined by Tyler Cowen, professor of economics at George Mason University and author of the new book, Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World. (click through for the interview transcript.)

"Look, let’s be very clear. The Fed failed. Everyone says the Fed has saved us by printing trillions of dollars. The Fed is the very institution that was supposed to be monitoring this along with the Treasury Department. They utterly failed to do it."
—Former Attorney General of New York Eliot Spitzer

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The Takeaway

One Year On: The Fall of Lehman Brothers

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

All week long we are reviewing the year that was: the year that marked the beginning of the financial meltdown and the recession that we continue to live through. Today we are focusing on the $600 billion collapse of Lehman Brothers — the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. It’s a moment that many believe sent the global economy into crisis. To get a sense of the forces leading up to that day we speak with a Lehman Brothers’ insider, former vice president of distressed debt and convertible securities at Lehman Brothers, Lawrence McDonald. He's the author of the new book, A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers.

We also talk to our contributor Louise Story, finance reporter for the New York Times, about the collapse of Lehmann and the ensuing global financial crisis. Louise also tells us about the new spate of corporate mergers that could indicate the nation's economy is making the slow turn towards recovery.

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The Takeaway

Emotional Depression, Economic Recession

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The World Health Organization said last week that within the next 20 years, depression will become the largest health burden on society. But treatment for mental health is often underfunded, despite the fact that it drastically affects productivity in many countries.  We talk to Professor Cary Cooper, who teaches psychology and health at Lancaster University in Britain. We also speak with Dr. Shekhar Saxena, program manager of the WHO's Department of mental health and substance abuse.

 

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The Takeaway

Worker Productivity Up, but Worker Morale?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

New economic indicators are out this morning. Worker productivity grew at the fastest pace in almost six years—up 6.6%. Labor costs showed the biggest drop since 2000. New York Times reporter Jack Healy explains why these numbers are great for corporations, but may not be such good news for workers.

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