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.
Talking Politics At Work
The presidential election is dominating the news and conversations ? even if people say they... Show More
The presidential election is dominating the news and conversations ? even if people say they are tired of talking about what feels like an endless campaign.
But there is one place that's free of politics: the office.
Yeah, right. That's probably what you hope for because who wants to argue with their coworkers? In reality, though, you've probably heard someone talking about the latest debate just before a meeting starts or walked into the break room as people were talking about what's in the latest batch of hacked emails.
So if you are just dying to bring up this year's presidential campaign, how do you do it?
"I think the most important thing, first of all, is to look for and watch for the signs of people who are interested and willing to exchange in talking about politics," said Liane Davey, co-founder of 3COze Inc which works with corporate teams.
"If you start to broach it or someone else broaches it and they drop their eye contact or look at their phone, that's a good sign that they are not comfortable."
Davey spoke to Money Talking host Charlie Herman about some of the dos and don'ts when it comes to talking about politics at work (that's the presidential kind) and provided some specific steps for the Harvard Business Review. Show Less
Those calling for Hillary Clinton to release more information about her paid speeches to Wall... Show More
Those calling for Hillary Clinton to release more information about her paid speeches to Wall Street executives got a small victory after WikiLeaks published what appear to be full transcripts of three speaking engagements with Goldman Sachs back in 2013. (Read the full transcripts here.)
The documents came from a hack of the email account of John Podesta, chairman of Clinton's presidential campaign, and WikiLeaks had been releasing excerpts for a week before revealing them entirely. The Clinton campaign hasn't verified the transcripts' authenticity.
This week on Money Talking business writer William D. Cohan and Sheelah Kolhatkar of The New Yorker discuss what Clinton apparently said to wealthy financiers behind closed doors. Show Less
What Exactly is in Clinton and Trump's Tax Plans?
Tuesday, the Tax Policy Center analyzed the tax plans of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton ? and... Show More
Tuesday, the Tax Policy Center analyzed the tax plans of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton ? and as the director of the Center put it, the plans are practically mirror images of one another.
While Trump's plan would cut taxes for the top 1 percent by an average of $215,000, Clinton's would increase their taxes by about $118,000; Trump would cut taxes for business, Clinton would raise them; and over 10 years, Trump's tax cuts would total $6.2 trillion while Clinton's would increase taxes by $1.4 trillion.
This week on Money Talking, host Charlie Herman takes a closer look at each candidate's tax proposal and how it could affect Americans with Catherine Rampell of The Washington Post and Rob Cox of Reuters BreakingViews. Show Less
Sssh! They?re Listening: The Fight to be Your...
This week Google unveiled a slew of new hardware products, including it's own smartphone, the... Show More
This week Google unveiled a slew of new hardware products, including it's own smartphone, the Pixel. But the piece that most stood out was Google Assistant ? part of the growing fight for who's going to be everyone's personal digital assistant.
All the major tech companies are making big bets on artificial intelligence: Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa and Windows has Cortana. All of them all looking to get into people's home, chat with them on their phones and help them out with just about everything.
This week on Money Talking, Mike Isaac of The New York Times and Hayley Tsukayama of The Washington Post discuss how companies like Google and Amazon are looking to become more than search engines and online shopping sites ? what that means for people's privacy and how'll they'll make money in the process. Show Less
The Trials and Tribulations of Wells Fargo
John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo, faced another round of criticism, outrage and anger during a... Show More
John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo, faced another round of criticism, outrage and anger during a Congressional hearing Thursday. It was his second trip to Capitol Hill after the bank agreed to pay $185 million to settle accusations it had engaged in illegal banking activities ? specifically, opening more than 2 million accounts on behalf of customers without their knowledge.
The bank continues to deny any wrongdoing, but Stumpf is now forfeit $41 million in stock awards and any bonuses this year. Carrie Tolstedt, the executive who ran the branch in question and retired this summer with $124.6 million in stock and options, will have to give up $19 million in stock awards.
This week on Money Talking, Rana Foroohar, author of "Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance & the Fall of American Business" and Sheelah Kolhatkar, staff writer at The New Yorker, take a second look at the increasing anger towards the bank and its consequences. Show Less
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.
At Work: How to Be a 'Superboss' (or Hire Like...
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