New Yorkers crave informed and intelligent business and economic news. WNYC's Money Talking brings you conversations about the most important business and economic stories of the week, going beyond the headlines and the jargon. Context, conversation and insight.
The Fight to Regulate Airbnb
Legislators across the country are trying to regulate companies like Airbnb, but a law passed... Show More
Legislators across the country are trying to regulate companies like Airbnb, but a law passed 20 years ago is making it tough. So lawmakers in places like New York are turning their attention to Airbnb users ? looking to penalize people who list their homes on the site.
One of the reasons users can be slapped with fines while Airbnb avoids penalties is a clause in the Communications Decency Act ? a set of federal laws passed in 1996 ? that says internet companies like Airbnb cannot be held responsible for whatever users post on their sites.
This week on Money Talking, Tony Romm, senior technology reporter for Politico, and Olivier Sylvain, a law professor at Fordham University, discuss how a law passed before Airbnb existed shaped internet companies' ability to do business, and why it's making some lawmakers very frustrated.
Remembering terrible bosses is easy. I bet you can still list everything they did wrong years... Show More
Remembering terrible bosses is easy. I bet you can still list everything they did wrong years after having worked for them.
But what about the really good bosses? How did they manage to bring out the best in you and could you become one?
There's actually a name for this kind of leader: the "superboss."
"A superboss is a leader, a boss, a manager, who helps other people accomplish more than they ever thought possible," said Sydney Finkelstein, professor of management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and the man who coined the phrase. "As a result, they accelerate the careers of those people that work for them."
Finkelstein, author of "Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Manage the Flow of Talent," spoke to Money Talking host Charlie Herman about the qualities superbosses have and why their hiring practices can make for a better workplace. Finkelstein also wrote about the subject for the Harvard Business Review, "Secrets of the Superbosses."
Here are some ways they do it:
1. They generate a talent network. They surround themselves with good people and therefore create a better work environment. And by helping other people do well and move up in their careers, they generate a network of former employees who can help them out in the future.
2. They're always on the lookout for talent. "Wherever they're going, they got their opportunity antenna up." Finkelstein said. Which also means they create jobs for people they like, even if they aren't looking to fill a specific spot. And they're not afraid to hire people who are smarter than them.
3. They hire outside the box. Superbosses, like chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, look for unusual people and talents despite experience. "She'd hire people who sometimes didn't even work as a chef in the past," Finkelstein said. "Because she thought they had that something special."
4. They move employees around. They make employees try different positions within workplace. Finkelstein said Gene Roberts, executive editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, used to move reporters from the sports desk to the investigative department. "This is in the DNA of superbosses," Finkelstein said. "And anyone can replicate that idea."
5. They look to inspire. Superbosses create an team environment where everybody counts. That keeps employees motivated and engaged.
6. They focus on performance. While managers tend to be more focused on efficiency, superbosses prioritize performance and effectiveness.
7. They don't focus on being nice or keeping thing easy. Working for a superboss isn't for everyone. "Not everybody wants to work that hard," Finkelstein said. "Not everybody has that type of aspiration."
Find out if you're a superboss with this test. Show Less
Wells Fargo, Banking Culture and What Could Be...
Another bank is in the headlines, paying millions of dollars in fines to settle charges of... Show More
Another bank is in the headlines, paying millions of dollars in fines to settle charges of illegal banking practices. This time, it's Wells Fargo.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), employees at the bank opened accounts and applied for credit cards in the name of existing customers for years without their consent.
Wells Fargo didn't admit or deny wrongdoing, but it will pay $100 million in fines to the CFPB ? the largest penalty the federal agency has ever imposed. It will also pay an extra $35 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and $50 million to the City and County of Los Angeles, according to an CFPB statement.
The fines amount to a bit more than the $124.6 million in stock and options Carrie Tolstedt, the former executive who headed the unit under question, left with when she retired this summer.
Now the bank is reported to be facing investigations by the U.S. Attorneys in New York and California. And CEO John Stumpf is to testify before the Senate banking committee next week.
This week on Money Talking, Rana Foroohar of Time Magazine and Sheelah Kolhatkar of The New Yorker look at what Wells Fargo's behavior says about the country's banking culture and what repercussions there could be for the financial sector. Show Less
Where Lower Manhattan Stands, 15 Years Later
In the years after the September 11th terrorist attacks, New York City undertook the enormous... Show More
In the years after the September 11th terrorist attacks, New York City undertook the enormous and complicated task of rebuilding the World Trade Center site and revitalizing Lower Manhattan.
Today, skyscrapers once again tower over the neighborhood. There's a sparkling white transit hub, an underground retail mall and a performing arts center is scheduled to open early 2020.
There are also a lot more people. Since 2000, the residential population has more than doubled ? going from just over 22,000 to 49,000 in 2014, according to city numbers. And the economy has diversified, with the financial sector no longer accounting for over half the jobs.
This week, Money Talking looks at what it took to rebuild Ground Zero and what the future holds for Lower Manhattan with Lynne Sagalyn, emeritus professor of real estate at Columbia Business School and author of "Power at Ground Zero, Politics Money and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan."
At Work: How to Pitch Your Great Idea
If coming up with a brilliant idea is hard, getting people to agree with you can prove just as... Show More
If coming up with a brilliant idea is hard, getting people to agree with you can prove just as difficult.
"We operate under this assumption that the world will magically see how great our idea is, but great ideas get rejected all the time," said David Burkus, author of The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas.
Burkus, who also teaches creativity and innovation courses at Oral Roberts University, spoke to Money Talking host Charlie Herman about how to recognize and pitch great ideas.
He suggested a five criteria checklist for structuring a pitch or judging which idea to invest time in.
1. Relative advantage: Ask yourself if your idea has an easy to see advantage over an existing product or process. "That's the thing that gets people excited even when it's our idea," Burkus said.
2. Compatibility: How much does your idea build off something people already know? If there's a huge cost to trying it because it's a totally new thing, then people won't give it a shot. But if it's seen as the next step in a process people are already familiar with, then you have a chance.
3. Complexity: "If you have to explain the punchline of a joke, it's not funny," Burkus said. Same goes for your idea. If people can't understand it, they won't buy into it.
4. Trialability: How low is the bar to trying your idea? "If there's a steep cost involved in somebody adopting or it testing it, then it's less likely [to] see the light of day," Burkus said.
5. Observability: How easy is it to see the results from people who've tried your idea out? "That's why there's a before-and-after shot on fitness products," Burkus said. People are more inclined to try something that's worked for someone else.
Extra advice: Think of your idea as a prototype. Burkus said the biggest harm you can do to yourself is thinking your idea has to be implemented 100 percent as you initially conceived it. "Let your idea change as other people get a hold of it," he said.
For more, check out Burkus' article on pitching your "crazy" ideas for the Harvard Business Review. Show Less
State of the Union: Where Labor Goes from Here
Organized labor seems to be in trouble. Union membership in the country has been on a slow... Show More
Organized labor seems to be in trouble.
Union membership in the country has been on a slow decline since its peak in the 1950s. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11.1 percent of the country's workers were unionized in 2015, compared to almost 35 percent in 1954.
For some, this is a good thing. As an example, they point to what they see as over-generous pensions that drain government budgets. But others disagree, claiming a direct link between the decline of the middle class and the disappearing union job.
This week on Money Talking, host Charlie Herman takes at look the future of organized labor, and what that could mean for all workers, with Ruth Milkman, professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center and Lydia DePillis, economics reporter with the Houston Chronicle. Show Less
EpiPen Under Fire for High Price
Another big pharmaceutical company CEO is in the hot seat. This time it's Heather Bresch of... Show More
Another big pharmaceutical company CEO is in the hot seat.
This time it's Heather Bresch of Mylan Laboratories who's explaining why the price for an EpiPen 2-Pak has gone from about $100 to nearly $600 in just a few years.
On Thursday, the company said it'd offer a savings card to cover up to $300 for the auto-injector which is used to reverse stop life-threatening, allergic reactions. But consumers and legislators are still outraged and asking Bresch to go beyond offering subsidies and lower EpiPen's cost.
Mylan joins the ranks of other drug companies like Valeant and Turing, which have been criticized for similar price hikes. Most recently, former Turing CEO Martin Shkreli came under fire for raising the price of a drug for AIDS and cancer patients from $13.50 a pill to $750.
This week on Money Talking, host Charlie Herman talks to Business Insider's Linette Lopez and Rob Cox of Reuters Breakingviews about the EpiPen price hike and the effect expensive drugs have on the country's healthcare system. Show Less
Obamacare Faces New Hurdles
Obamacare seems to be in trouble again ? but this time it's not because another legal challenge... Show More
Obamacare seems to be in trouble again ? but this time it's not because another legal challenge is before the Supreme Court or Republicans in Congress are voting to repeal it. Aetna, one of the nation's largest healthcare companies, announced this week it's going to dramatically cut back its participation in the law because it's costing the company too much money.
The Obama administration may have seen this decision coming. Wednesday, the Huffington Post reported Aetna had threatened to stop offering insurance through Obamacare if the Justice Department blocked its plan to merge with health insurer Humana ? which it did in July.
If Aetna follows through, thousands of people who currently have health care will to have to scramble to find coverage next year.
This week on Money Talking, Jonathan Cohn of the Huffington Post and Tami Luhby of CNNMoney discuss whether Aetna's move means real trouble for one of President's biggest legacies, or if the Affordable Care Act is merely suffering growing pains. Show Less
Why to Hire 'Emotionally Intelligent' People
When looking to hire new employees, people who can manage their emotions and read those of... Show More
When looking to hire new employees, people who can manage their emotions and read those of others might be better picks than people with impressive résumés.
"If I were faced with those two candidates, hands down I'd pick the one with emotional intelligence," said Annie McKee, a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education who wrote about emotional intelligence for the Harvard Business Review.
The reason, McKee explained, is that teaching people self-awareness, self management and empathy (qualities emotionally intelligent people have) is much harder than teaching business and organizational skills.
McKee shared some advice with Money Talking host Charlie Herman about how to hire emotionally intelligent people:
1. Get candidates to tell stories of when they've been successful and not successful. Focus the conversation on relationship and people ? because the skills related to people are the ones that are related to emotional intelligence (EI).
2. Talk to references. Ask references about specific concrete behaviors they observed. For example, what was their experience like with the job candidate in a team meeting or how did the person handled stress or conflict at work. Then ask them to tell you a couple brief stories.
3. Don't ask them flat out if the have EI. It's common enough that people will understand it's important and they'll just say they do.
4. Don't use personality tests. McKee says they don't work. "If you don't have self awareness how can you possibly take a self-report test to measure your emotional intelligence," she said.
Extra tip: If you need to approach employees about their lack of EI, make sure to watch their behaviors carefully for a while so you have specific information to share. This kind of feedback can hurt, so it takes care and practice.
The End of the Summer Job
This summer, who's been scooping your ice cream? Who's blown the whistle when you've swum too... Show More
This summer, who's been scooping your ice cream? Who's blown the whistle when you've swum too far from shore? Sasha Obama may be serving seafood on Martha's Vineyard, but the percentage of American teens working summer jobs is down ? a lot.
While teen unemployment has decreased since 2008 (hovering around 16 percent this year) fewer than a third of the country's teens are working summer gigs. That's half of what the country saw in the 1980s, according to a recent study by the firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas
This week on Money Talking, host Ilya Marritz discusses the shrinking numbers and what they mean for the economy with Ben Casselman of FiveThirtyEight and Lazar Treschan of the Community Service Society of New York. Show Less
Why Americans Let Paid Vacation Days Go to Waste
Nothing like the middle of summer to get you thinking about all the ways you're going to use... Show More
Nothing like the middle of summer to get you thinking about all the ways you're going to use those remaining vacation days. But, if the overall trend in the country is any indicator, you'll probably let those paid days off go to waste.
According to a recent study by the U.S. Travel Association, 55 percent of the country's workers didn't use all of their paid time off in 2015 ? a trend that's been steadily increasing for more than three decades.
American workers left 658 million vacation days unused, 222 million of which were completely lost because workers can't use them in 2016. This adds up to "$61.4 billion in forfeited benefits," according to the report.
And while taking less time off might seem conducive to a raise or promotion, the report found workers who took at least 11 days off a year were more likely to have received a raise or bonus in the past three years than those who took less than 10 vacation days.
This week on Money Taking, host Ilya Marritz discusses why so many workers are reluctant to take time off, what it means for productivity and what can be done about it with Sarah Green-Carmichael of the Harvard Business Review and Andrew Mason, co-founder of Detour and former CEO and founder of Groupon. Show Less