Money Talking

Money Talking

From WNYC Radio

New Yorkers crave informed and intelligent business and economic news. WNYC's Money Talking brings you just that with lively conversations that go beyond the headlines and the jargon to explore the most important business stories of the week. Every Friday join Jeff Greenfield as he hosts regular WNYC contributors Joe Nocera (The New York Times) and Rana Foroohar (Time). Context, conversation and insight. That's WNYC's Money Talking.More from Money Talking »

Most Recent Episodes

EpiPen Under Fire for High Price

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.

Obamacare Faces New Hurdles

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.

Why to Hire 'Emotionally Intelligent' People

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 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.

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 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.

How to Find out If You're a Toxic Coworker

It seems like every employee has dealt with a toxic coworker — that one colleague that makes life at work miserable. "They're the kind of people you just can't stop thinking about and wishing they were gone," said Heidi Grant Halvorson, a social psychologist and associate director of the Motivation Science Center at Columbia University. "You just know that you could do so much better at your job if that person wasn't there." Now, complaining about these types of colleagues is easy — what's hard is stopping to consider if you might be the one everyone hates working with. Halvorson shared some pointers with Money Talking host Charlie Herman on spotting toxic coworkers — and finding out if you're the one ruining your colleagues' lives. 1. There's a difference between annoying and toxic. If you're toxic, you irritate everyone around you and undermine the effectiveness, well-being and productivity of employees who work with or near you. 2. You're probably really good at your job, so management can't or won't see how much you're depressing the productivity of everyone around your. (Research suggests toxic coworkers do more to hurt the bottom line than superstar employees do to boost productivity, Halvorson says.) 3. You're not warm. You come off as unsympathetic or inattentive and it's often a result of poor body language and behavior. For example, people who don't make eye contact when being spoken to come off and untrustworthy. 4. You're self-centered. If you're focused exclusively on your own goals and projects and aren't curious about the work of other colleagues, you can come off as a bad team player. 5. You don't communicate. You make people guess your intentions rather than telling people what they are. 6. You're a "Rule Nazi." You're completely inflexible and cling to the rules, often without explaining why they're important. And extra tip: Halverson says much of the way toxic coworkers are perceived comes from lack of communication and self-awareness. A good way to find out how coworkers see you is by having them complete this sentence: "If I didn't know you so well, I'd think that you were... " For more, check out Halvorson's article on toxic colleagues for the Harvard Business Review.

Is Hillary Clinton Wall Street's Candidate?

Hillary Clinton made history Tuesday when she officially became the country's first woman nominee for president for a major party. But she's going to have to fight to win the hearts (or at least votes) of Bernie Sanders supporters and defeat Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump if she wants to break the ultimate glass ceiling and become President. There is one race, though, she's is winning: campaign donations. And it's the securities and investment sector that's her biggest contributor. So far, Wall Street's donated more than $41 million to her campaign and the super PACs that support her, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This far surpasses what's been given to Trump, who's received a little more than $100,000. It's a big change from 2012, when big banks showered Republican candidate Mitt Romney with campaign donations. This has left many to wonder if Clinton is Wall Street's sweetheart, or if it has reluctantly embraced her because she's, well, not Trump. This week on Money Talking, host Charlie Herman discusses how Clinton can manage receiving Wall Street's support and still make good on her promise to rein in the big banks with Sheelah Kolhatkar of The New Yorker and Joshua Green of Bloomberg Businessweek.

GOP and the Democrats Agree: Break Up the Big Banks

The 2016 Republican Party Platform released this week held a few surprises, especially one that seems at odds with the GOP's position towards banking regulation: a call to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. This act of Congress separated commercial banking (loans, mortgages, savings accounts) from high-risk investment banking (mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, corporate debt). It was enacted after the 1929 crash, with the hopes of preventing that kind of financial crisis from happening again. But in 1999 the act was repealed after complaints from the banking industry that it was being over-regulated. And now, people still debate if that was partly responsible for the 2008 financial crash. Politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warred have been calling for regulations like Glass-Steagall in order to break up the country's big banks for years. Now, it's part of the GOP's platform. This week on Money Talking, host Charlie Herman discusses what bringing Glass-Steagall back would mean for the banking sector with Rana Foroohar of Time Magazine and Tony Fratto of Hamilton Strategies.

At Work: What Trump Can Learn About Negotiaions

If there's one thing Donald Trump seems to be most proud of, it's his ability to make deals, huge deals, and come out a winner. And on the campaign trail, this deal-making skill is one of the reasons he gives for why he would make a great president. But not everyone's convinced. "There is a difference between negotiating a business deal and negotiating an armed conflict or a peace deal," said Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra. Malhotra wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review explaining why Trump's negotiation style might not work in the Oval Office. Malhotra, who also advises businesses and governments dealing with high stakes disputes, spoke to Money Talking host Charlie Herman about what negotiating skills the next president of the United States should have, and what makes a good negotiator in general. Here are some of his suggestions: 1. Negotiation is about achieving your objectives. It's not about winning and it's not about compromising — it's about collaborating with the other side and figuring out how to knock down all the barriers standing in the way of a deal. 2. Study historically significant negotiations, like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Maholtra said every aspiring business and political leader stands to learn from the negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1962. "It's [hard] to find a negotiation that had higher stakes," he said. While there was pressure to solve the problem solely through an aggressive military approach, the Kennedy administration charted a nuanced path that involved taking the other side's perspective into account. 3. Empathy isn't weakness. The more you empathize with the other side, the more options you make for yourself. 4. Don't let toughness be your only strategy. While there's room for toughness, don't let aggression crowd out other options. 5. Walk in with a learning mindset. Work to understand the interests and perspectives of all the involved parties. 6. Be flexible. Know where you need to get, but be flexible about how to get there. 7. Don't put people in a corner. If you make the other side chose between doing what's smart and doing what makes them save face, you create a barrier to achieving your objective. Malhotra said you should get into the habit of writing the other side's victory speech for them — that will help get to a place where both sides can claim a "win." 8. Remember, negotiation is always about human interaction. "The question we're always trying to answer is the same," said Malhotra. "How do we engage with other human beings in such a way as to achieve better understandings and better agreements?"

Businesses Shy Away from Presidential Conventions

While CEOs and business executives have taken advantage of previous presidential conventions to get some quality face time with politicians, many of them have decided to stay home this year. Some of the country's biggest corporations, like Target and Hewlett Packard, won't be donating to Republicans in Cleveland or Democrats in Philadelphia this year. Companies like Apple and Coca-Cola are also not participating. It's not just big business. As of Friday, many Wall Street executives who attended the 2012 Tampa convention hadn't announced plans to attend next week's Republican Convention. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase are reportedly staying away from Philadelphia too. Neither party is required to release their donor list until 60 days after the conventions. This week on Money Talking, host Charlie Herman talks with Fredreka Schouten of USA Today and Ben White of Politico about why some business leaders are choosing to sit the convention out, and how it could affect fundraising for Republicans and Democrats.

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