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Money Talking


Go beyond the headlines and economic jargon for a look at what’s happening in the business world and in the workplace – and why it matters in your life.

Go beyond the headlines and economic jargon for a look at what’s happening in the business world and in the workplace – and why it matters in your life.


New York, NY




Go beyond the headlines and economic jargon for a look at what’s happening in the business world and in the workplace – and why it matters in your life.




WNYC Radio 160 Varick St. New York, NY 10013


Subway’s franchisees allege corporate mismanagement

The largest fast-food company in the world -- with about 24,000 stores -- was once known for its rapid expansion mindset. Now, Subway is closing stores faster than ever and pushing out franchise owners in the process. In a recent report by the New York Times, franchisees across the country said that seemingly tiny violations, like cucumbers cut too thick and smudges on glass doors, have cost them their businesses. And when they try appeal to Subway's corporate leadership? They rarely get a...


Is a New Space Race on the Horizon?

Next week marks fifty years since Neil Armstrong took “one small step” on the moon’s surface. The Apollo 11 mission was an historic voyage, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s goal of reaching the moon by the end of the 1960s. More than half a billion people watched the astronauts live on television. But in the years that followed, America’s interest and commitment to space exploration largely disappeared. Yet the country’s ambitions in space are far from over. In March of this year,...


From Wall Street to Walmart, Businesses Embrace Pride

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the birth of the modern gay rights movement in this country. Over the intervening years as attitudes towards LGBTQ people have changed, corporate America has taken note. Whether it's McDonald's selling special-edition “Pride Fries” or Walmart’s (online) Pride Shop, companies have very publicly been displaying support for the community over the last few years. It’s a dramatic shift from the days of Anita Bryant and Florida...


Business Leaders Find A Friend in Trump

Corporate influence is no stranger to politics, but many businesses have found more support for their priorities in the Trump administration. Up until now, one influential group has flown under the radar, the Trump Leadership Council. A recent report from Rolling Stone names members of the group. The Council dates back to the summer before the 2016 election. Though it went unnoticed at the time, the group's members consist of powerful business leaders from many of the nation's biggest...


Murder! Scandal! Bankruptcy! The History of the Plaza Hotel

The Plaza Hotel is a New York City icon. The eighteen-story white marble building is the home of Eloise, the mischievous six-year-old who lived in the "room on the tippy-top floor" in the classic children's book series. Both the Beatles and the taxicab made their statewide debuts outside the Plaza. And it’s had a featured role in more movies and television shows than some actors in Hollywood, from Home Alone 2 to The Sopranos. Since it opened in 1907, the story of the Plaza has been the...


The Debate Over Rent Regulations

The New York State legislative session is wrapping up this month. With just a few days left, lawmakers are feeling the pressure to tie up several loose ends, including rent regulation — an issue that affects millions of residents across the state. The state’s rent control and stabilization laws expire on June 15th, and legislators are racing to renew them before that deadline. For months, they focused on other issues like bail reform and congestion pricing. Now, it’s down to the wire to...


Trump Targets Huawei

As the trade fight between the United States and China intensifies, one company has found itself in the center: Huawei. Despite its humble origins, the Chinese tech giant has become the second largest cellphone maker and largest provider of telecom equipment in the world. Only Samsung sells more smartphones than Huawei. But the company’s close ties to the Chinese government have concerned U.S. intelligence officials for years. This month, President Trump issued an executive order...


'Rabbit' Runs Away With Record Sales Price

A three-foot tall, shiny, stainless steel rabbit has set the art world buzzing after it sold for $91.1 million at Christie's this month. "Rabbit" by Jeff Koons now holds the record for the highest price paid at auction for a living artist. (While the buyer was art dealer, former Goldman Sachs executive, and father of the current Treasury Secretary, Robert Mnuchin, it's since been reported that he purchased it on behalf of hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen. Cohen is well-known for his art...


Where Things Stand Between the U.S. and China Over Trade

President Donald Trump has stymied hopes of a trade deal by raising tariffs on Chinese goods. In retaliation, China put additional tariffs on U.S. goods, causing the stock market to plunge that day. The Trump administration responded to that by taking steps to implement tariffs on even more Chinese products. So, who’s winning the trade war? Trump’s approach could signal a historic shift in U.S. policy which has largely encouraged free trade around the globe. The casualties of this fight...


Hey, Big Spender: Presidential Candidates And The Race to Raise Money

Recent financial reports filed by the 2020 presidential candidates show vastly different amounts of money raised in varying amounts from many different sources. Some candidates are focusing on small donors, others are turning to high-dollar bundlers and some are dipping into their own bank accounts. For example, Senator Elizabeth Warren raised raised $6 million in three months for her campaign, while Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke each raised that much in just a day. Yet with more than a year...


Field of Presidential Dreams

After months and months of speculation, former Vice President Joe Biden announced he’d be running for president in 2020. Already an early frontrunner, Biden joins a crowded field of potential Democratic nominees. There are now more than 20 candidates running, from policy wonk Elizabeth Warren to newcomer Pete Buttigieg to 2016 veteran Bernie Sanders. The Iowa caucuses are nine months away and if everyone stays in the race, it could challenging for voters to keep track of where the...


The Marvelization of Hollywood

"Avengers: Endgame" is officially opened at movie theaters across the country. It’s the most highly-anticipated movie event of the year and is expected to set a new box office record. Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, and the whole Avengers crew are back to do battle with super villain Thanos after he wiped away half of the universe’s population with a single snap of his fingers in last year’s "Avengers: Infinity War." The movie is the culmination of a groundbreaking superhero movie...


Uber Maps Out Its Future

Uber has taken its first steps to becoming a publicly traded company, following rival Lyft’s debut on the stock market last month. The initial filing from Uber reveals even more extensive details about the company's revenue, ridership and potential roadblocks. The good? Ridership is up and Uber is expanding its food delivery service. The bad? The rid-hailing company is losing huge sums of money and faces steep competition. This week on WNYC’s Money Talking, Charlie Herman talks to Aaron...


Uncovering The Secrets of the Consulting Firm McKinsey

Much of the way influential consulting firm McKinsey & Co. operates is shrouded in secrecy. But recent reporting by the New York Times has revealed some of the company’s secrets, including its involvement with controversial companies like Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, as well as foreign leaders and governments in Saudi Arabia and South Africa. Additional stories have focused on the firm’s hedge fund MIO and alleged failures to make required financial disclosures. McKinsey has...


Paying to Drive in Manhattan

New York City just became the first city in the country to implement congestion pricing. As part of the effort to ease traffic and raise money to fix public transportation, drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street could pay between $10 and $15 per day for cars and possibly double for trucks. But how the system will work technologically, who might be exempted from paying the fees and how much they will actually raise are details that have yet to be decided. Cities like London and...


Google's Advertising Monopoly

Advertising has become a big business for Big Tech—and it keeps getting bigger. Google now controls a whopping 91 percent of the search advertising market. The tech giant’s monopoly means it’s almost impossible for businesses not to advertise with Google. That’s especially true if you’re a company that exists entirely online, like the ride-sharing app Lyft, or mattress brand Tuft & Needle. Lyft, for example, spent 92 million dollars on ads placed with Google last year. As a recent article...


Deal or No Deal, Time’s Running Out for Brexit

It’s been nearly three years since a majority of people in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. One of the arguments made by many Brexit supporters was to “take back control.” Lately, however, the opposite has been true as the process spirals out of control. Britain was on track to leave the E.U. one week from today, but a last minute reprieve has given British Prime Minister Theresa May a new deadline of April 12, to come up with deal. No matter when or exactly how Brexit...


Extreme Makeover: Hudson Yards Edition

Hudson Yards is officially open to the public. What was once the site of warehouses, tenements, and rail yards is now home to the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center. From the initial idea to the opening this week, it’s taken nearly 20 years— and $25 billion — to create the sprawling 28-acre megaproject on the west side of Manhattan. The new neighborhood features supertall glass towers, luxury apartments, a high-end retail and restaurant hub, and a climbable...


Trump and Tariffs: Was it Worth The Fight?

It’s been about eight months since President Trump launched a trade war with China, and it looks like we might be approaching an agreement between the two nations. Trump says that trade relationship with China has been unfair to the U.S. To force a change, he’s put in place punishing tariffs on Chinese goods to gain leverage. But that’s also punishing some in the U.S., like farmers, automakers manufacturers and even some consumers. If the deal is made, the big question will be, was it all...


Tax Season Shocker

If you're depending on a tax refund this year to pay loans, make a down payment on a car or take a vacation, you might be out of luck. According to the IRS, average refunds have been lower compared last year. If the trend continues, many Americans will end up with a smaller refund or worse — they may owe the government. Residents in high-tax states, like New York and New Jersey could see a bigger swing because President Trump's tax code overhaul capped deductions for state and local...