Tag Archives: fellows

Lighten up

News about the economy’s potential for 2010 may be mixed, but some people who’ve faced the brunt of losing a job are looking on the bright side.

Reporter Julie Rose at WFAE in Charlotte, NC, found several friends and acquaintances who were enjoying their “time off” after losing a job. She reported for Marketplace:

The subject line of the e-mail read “LAID OFF!!” — all caps, two exclamation points. It was from my friend Jenny Van Stone, an interior designer. I felt terrible thinking of her down in the unemployment line. But a few weeks later, I started getting e-mails from her that were like, “Hey, can’t write now. Off to meet a friend for coffee.” Or “Headed to the park. We’ll talk later.

EconomyStory’s partner blog EconomyBeat found a great collection of humorous music videos by C.H.A.Z.Z., including this one, about getting laid off.

But serious questions about the job recovery still loom large as we start the new year. Maureen from Albany, New York asked NewsHour’s Paul Solman asking about how the recovery can happen if the jobs that get created are lower paying than the old ones.

The answer to that complex question is, unfortunately, both yes and no, according to Solman.

Can a country live with greater inequality than we have in the United States right now? Well, some countries certainly do. Can a country prosper in such an environment? It remains to be seen.

Financial field trips

Ever see millions of dollars get shredded into the trash? When does a dollar bill not, well, fit the bill anymore? Yesterday, EconomyStory took a field trip to the Federal Reserve branch in downtown LA with a group of NPR reporters here for the week from across the country to learn from experts about expanding their coverage of the economy.

The training program (more on that here) is taking reporters from places as remote as Rapid City, South Dakota and as bustling as New York City to hear from professors, researchers, and other journalists about concepts and issues like the mortgage crisis, securities regulation, and financial literacy.

At the Federal Reserve, one of 12 branch offices of the country’s central bank around the country, we learned how cash is transported and stored for banks around the country, what circumstances take a bill out of circulation, and even saw a real-live $10,000 bill. Most of our trip was off the record, so no pictures from the vault…sorry!)

Currency does seem to be the name of the game this week. Fittingly for our location in LA, Nightly Business Report tells us the True Hollywood Story of the dollar.

And NPR’s Planet Money blog shows us how one artist is taking coinage matters into his own hands.