Wealth & Poverty

Ways to Connect

Brian Krebs, a journalist and cybersecurity expert, recently published this list. It has hundreds of company names, in alphabetical order. And next to each name is a price.

This list comes from a site on the dark web where people buy and sell stolen usernames and passwords. It's a price list.

On today's show, we talk to Krebs about this list, and what it tells us about the market for your stolen passwords.

President Trump talks a big talk about protectionism and tariffs. So far, there hasn't been much action. But this week, a new tariff does kick in — one that makes it more expensive to import solar panels. President Trump also recently announced a new tariff on washing machines.

The story of these tariffs begins years ago — with policies that President Obama put in place. We dig into where they came from, and what effect they're likely to have on the economy.

As promised, here are the sources for this episode:

Note: Today's show originally ran in January 2012.

In 1978, a group of farmers in a Chinese village called Xiaogang wrote a secret contract and hid it in the roof of a mud hut.

They were afraid the document might get them executed. Instead, it wound up completely transforming the Chinese economy.

On today's show, we travel to Xiaogang, and hear the farmers' story.

Dow De Ching

Feb 6, 2018

On today's show: Michael Batnick of Ritholtz Wealth Management explains why the last few days in the stock market were normal market behavior. Also: Why the stock market drop is good for lots of people, and largely irrelevant for even more.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter/ Facebook.

A few years ago, Wells Fargo got in trouble for opening millions of accounts for its customers without their permission. Hundreds of thousands of people lost money and saw their credit scores drop.

On Friday, the Federal Reserve dropped a bomb. It said Wells Fargo would not be allowed to grow until further notice.

On today's show: Matt Levine of Bloomberg View explains why this is a big deal — and why other banks are likely to notice.

red & black

This month on Nothing Funny About Money, Matt & Michael discuss various options for limiting student debt by paying for college while you are actually IN COLLEGE!

There is a huge economy surrounding the Super Bowl. And nowhere is this more visible than in one crazed market: ticket sales. Usually, the game is a bonanza for professional ticket salesmen.

But the 2015 Super Bowl was different.

Two weeks before the big game, the Super Bowl market collapsed, catastrophically. Brokers went belly up. Tickets vanished. And companies had to spend millions of dollars to reimburse a lot of angry fans. What happened? Today on the show, we try to figure it out.

The monthly jobs report is out. The headline numbers tend to bounce around a lot, so today on the show, we take the long view. We look at three groups that got hammered especially hard during the recession and ask: How are they doing now?

Those groups are:

People who are working part time but want to be working full time:

African-American workers:

High-school graduates who did not go to college:

The U.S. added 200,000 jobs in January, continuing the trend of steady job growth for another month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

That means the economy has now added jobs for 88 months in a row. And, significantly, wages are on the rise, too.

Average hourly earnings rose by 9 cents to $26.74, with a year-over-year growth of 2.9 percent — the highest rate of growth the BLS recorded since June 2009.

The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent.

Today's indicator is $2.2 trillion. That's about how much stuff — goods and services — the U.S. sells to the rest of the world every year.

That figure captures not only airplanes and cars, but also some visits to Disney World. Also, blood. Lots of blood.

Our guest is Charles Kenny of the Center for Global Development.

When President Emmanuel Macron set out to overhaul France's notoriously rigid labor laws last fall, unions promised crippling strikes to stop him.

All of France, it seemed, was waiting for the showdown.

After all, the country's powerful unions have stopped French leaders from overhauling their cherished work code for decades. In 2016, a succession of strikes and 14 nationwide protests snuffed out President François Hollande's hopes for simplifying the 3,000-page employment code.

Each year, the World Economic Forum takes place in Davos, a small ski town in the Swiss Alps. The goal of the conference is to promote international cooperation and collaboration, and ultimately improve the state of the world. It's filled with diplomats, CEOs, billionaires, and idea gurus.

Janet Yellen chaired her final Federal Reserve policymaking meeting Wednesday. She and her Fed colleagues held interest rates steady and officially elected Jerome Powell to succeed her as chair. As Yellen steps down, she is getting high marks for her four years at the helm of the nation's central bank.

It's Janet Yellen's last week running the Federal Reserve.

On today's show, we focus on a single speech Yellen gave last year.

In the speech, Yellen lays out one of the most baffling mysteries in the American economy right now.

Also, the speech reveals a certain boldness that Yellen brought to the job. Superficially, it looks like one more speech about monetary policy. But look a little deeper and you see Yellen is asking some radical questions.

Updated at 2:09 p.m. ET

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen led her last policy meeting on Wednesday as the finale to a two-day meeting on interest rates, which began Tuesday.

Policymakers left rates unchanged, as analysts had expected. But the Fed said inflation is "expected to move up this year."

The Fed signaled that a gradual tightening of monetary policy is coming as the U.S. economy keeps expanding and job growth continues to be solid.

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