money

Ray Kroc was peddling franchises around the country for a fledgling hamburger stand in the 1950s - McDonald’s, it was called - when he entered a St. Paul supper club and encountered a beautiful young piano player named Joan who would change his life forever.

Just as their relationship twisted and turned dramatically, the fortunes of Ray’s new business came perilously close to failure.  Ultimately Ray wrested control of McDonald’s from the original founders; in short order the successful burger stand in the desert of California would be transformed into a stock market sensation and international brand.

To the outside world, Ray and Joan were happy, enormously rich, and giving. But privately, Joan was growing troubled over Ray’s temper and dark secret, something she was reluctant to publicly reveal. And yet, this volatility paved the way for Joan’s transformation into one of the greatest philanthropists of our time.

Journalist Lisa Napoli’s new book is: Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald's Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away. 

  Charles Wheelan is the author of the best-selling Naked Statistics and Naked Economics and is a former correspondent for The Economist. He teaches public policy and economics at Dartmouth College.

Consider the $20 bill.

It has no more value, as a simple slip of paper, than Monopoly money. Yet even children recognize that tearing one into small pieces is an act of inconceivable stupidity. What makes a $20 bill actually worth twenty dollars? In Naked Money, Charles Wheelan uses this seemingly simple question to open the door to the surprisingly colorful world of money and banking.

  Money in politics — it’s widely cited as one of democracy’s biggest ills.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern, a Democrat from the second district, concludes his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

  The movies you watch, the TV shows you adore, the concerts and sporting events you attend — behind the curtain of nearly all of these is an immensely powerful and secretive corporation known as Creative Artists Agency. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash employees of a creaky William Morris office left to open their own, strikingly innovative talent agency, CAA would come to revolutionize the entertainment industry, and over the next several decades its tentacles would spread aggressively throughout the worlds of movies, television, music, advertising, and investment banking.

In Powerhouse, James Andrew Miller draws on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled with CAA, as well as financial information never before made public.

  Eight years on from the biggest market meltdown since the Great Depression, the key lessons of the crisis of 2008 still remain unlearned—and our financial system is just as vulnerable as ever. Many of us know that our government failed to fix the banking system after the subprime mortgage crisis. But what few of us realize is how the misguided financial practices and philosophies that nearly toppled the global financial system have come to infiltrate ALL American businesses,  putting us on a collision course for another cataclysmic meltdown. 

Drawing on in-depth reporting and exclusive interviews at the highest rungs of Wall Street and Washington, Time assistant managing editor and economic columnist Rana Foroohar shows how the “financialization of America” - the trend by which finance and its way of thinking have come to reign supreme - is perpetuating Wall Street's reign over Main Street, widening the gap between rich and poor, and threatening the future of the American Dream. 

A Treasury official says Secretary Jacob Lew has decided to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, making her the first woman to appear on U.S. paper currency since Martha Washington in the 1890’s.
National Museum of American History [Public Domain]

A Treasury official says Secretary Jacob Lew has decided to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, making her the first woman to appear on U.S. paper currency in 100 years.

  The villains who abuse our monetary system get what's coming to them in The Capitalist, the fifth novel in the critically acclaimed Louis Morgon series, written by cartoonist, painter, and novelist, Peter Steiner.

  Special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums of campaign cash has completely changed the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how they spend their time. The marriage of great wealth and intense political influence has rendered our country unable to address our most pressing problems, from runaway government spending to climate change to the wealth gap. 

In Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It , Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman, two vigilant watchdogs, expose legalized corruption and link it to the kitchen-table issues citizens face every day.

  Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers?

The conventional answer is that a popular uprising against “big government” led to the ascendancy of a broad-based conservative movement. But Jane Mayer shows in her book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system.

  In Getting Screwed: Sex Workers and the Law, Alison Bass weaves the true stories of sex workers with the latest research on prostitution into a gripping journalistic account of how women (and some men) navigate a culture that routinely accepts the implicit exchange of sex for money, status, or even a good meal, but imposes heavy penalties on those who make such bargains explicit.

Along the way, Bass examines why an increasing number of middle-class white women choose to become sex workers and explores how prostitution has become a thriving industry in the twenty-first-century global economy. Situating her book in American history more broadly, she also discusses the impact of the sexual revolution, the rise of the Nevada brothels, and the growing war on sex trafficking after 9/11.

On October 15th NPR's Morning Edition Host David Greene and NPR reporter Yuki Noguchi will be in Albany with Michelle Singletary, a nationally syndicated personal finance columnist for the Washington Post, and financial planner Louis Barajas for a conversation about personal finance. It is part of NPR's Family Matters Series.

They will tackle a number of topics like paying for college, buying a house, and paying for retirement. All of this happens October 15th at the University at Albany Recital Hall.

  In his new book Billion-Dollar Ball: A Journey Through the Big-Money Culture of College Football, journalist Gilbert Gaul examines how – he says - college football has come to dominate some of our best, most prestigious universities—reframing campus values, distorting academic missions, and transforming athletic departments into astonishingly rich entertainment factories, even as many university presidents look the other way.

Gaul argues these abuses are mere symbols of something much larger and problematic: the business model that schools have created using football to brand their schools, monetizing every aspect of the game.

Gilbert Gaul twice won the Pulitzer Prize and has been shortlisted for the Pulitzer four other times. For more than thirty-five years, he worked as an investigative journalist for The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer and other newspapers.

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When it comes to bringing home the bacon, some women in the Capital Region are doing it better than men –  

    

  Carl Richards is a certified financial planner and a columnist for the New York Times, where he has a weekly “Sketch Guy” column. Carl has been featured on Marketplace Money and is the author of The Behavior Gap.

In his new book, The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way To Be Smart About Your Money, Richards shares the one question that should be at the heart of your personal finance strategy: “Why is money important to me?” The answer is different for everyone, but it’s a solid foundation for making a long-term plan. The fact is, in a single page you can prioritize what you really want in life and figure out how to get there. How much should I really save?

    

  We are all aware of the power of money - how it influences our moods, compels us to take risks, and serves as the yardstick of success. Yet, because we take the daily reality of money so completely for granted, we seldom question how and why it has come to play such a central role in our lives.

In Coined, author Kabir Sehgal casts aside our workaday assumptions about money and takes the reader on a global quest to understand the relationship between money and humankind.

Coined is not only a discussion of the concept of money, but it is also an endlessly fascinating take on the nature of humanity and the inner workings of the mind.

  In The Real Crash, New York Times bestselling author Peter D. Schiff argues that America is enjoying a government-inflated bubble, one that reality will explode with disastrous consequences for the economy and for each of us.

Schiff demonstrates how the infusion of billions of dollars of stimulus money has only dug a deeper hole: the United States government simply spends too much and does not collect enough money to pay its debts, and in the end, Americans from all walks of life will face a crushing consequence.

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New York regulators have proposed establishing a framework for commerce in virtual currency that would apply to firms involved in receiving, transmitting and storing it, as well as retail conversions.  The proposal by the Department of Financial Services would establish a so-called "BitLicense."

Merchants and consumers who use the virtual currency Bitcoin and others solely to buy and sell goods and services wouldn't need a license. However, those buying and selling virtual currency as a business would.

    From ancient currency to Adam Smith, from the gold standard to shadow banking and the Great Recession: a sweeping historical epic that traces the development and evolution of one of humankind’s greatest inventions.

What is money, and how does it work? In Money: The Unauthorized Biography, Felix Martin challenges nothing less than our conventional understanding of money.

As a lead shark on ABC’s Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary’s success with money management and in busi­ness is legendary.

We’ll welcome him to the show and talk to him about his latest book, The Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women, and Money: 50 Common Money Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Consumer Confidence rose nationally in July, but fell in New York - Numbers from a new Siena College Research institute poll show July was a disappointing month for consumer confidence with weak retail sales while economists forecast slow growth. 

Forty-nine percent of state residents say that both gasoline and food prices are having either a somewhat or very serious impact on their finances.

Here is the poll in PDF format.

  Scott Taylor Smith, a venture capitalist and lawyer, had plentiful resources, and yet after his mother died, he made a series of agonizing and costly mistakes in squaring away her affairs. He could find countless books that dealt with caring for the dying and the emotional fallout of death, but very few that dealt with the logistics.In the aftermath of his mother’s death, Smith decided to write the book he wished he’d had.

    Author Ben Hewitt’s new book is: Saved: How I Quit Worrying About Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World. When Hewitt met Erik Gillard, he was amazed.

Here was a real-life rebel living happily in small-town Vermont on less than $10,000 per year. Gillard’s no bum. He has a job, a girlfriend, good friends, and strong ties to the community.

But how he lives his life–and why–launches Hewitt on a quest to understand the true role of money. Hewitt will be speaking at the Curiosity Forum tomorrow night at Battenkill Books in Cambridge, New York.

    Alan Blinder is an esteemed Princeton professor, Wall Street Journal columnist, and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. He has written a major new book on this nation’s most recent financial crisis.

After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead is a comprehensive and coherent narrative of how the worst economic crisis in postwar American history happened, what the government did to fight it, and what we can do from here—mired as we still are in its wreckage.

CSI NY star, Hill Harper, looks to guide us through tough times and offers advice for reaping the rewards of a truly happy life. With The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place, he does more than that: He presents a revolutionary new definition of wealth; motivating readers to not only build financial security but to achieve wealth in every aspect of their lives.

New York's top court will consider reinstating the lawsuit filed by French investors who lost $43 million out of $50 million they put in two structured investment vehicles. The investors claim Barclays Bank, Standard & Poor's and two management companies were all complicit in leaving investors holding plummeting securities shortly before the Wall Street collapse. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports.

Officials at the Rutland Regional Medical Center are considering a plan to close the hospital's inpatient rehabilitation unit, one of only three in Vermont.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

If the Rutland hospital decides to close its unit, the remaining inpatient units would be at Mount Ascutney Hospital in Windsor or Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

Rutland's 12-patient inpatient rehab unit helps patients recover from strokes, head or spinal injuries, joint replacements and some long-term ailments.