When 40 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, you have to wonder why saving money is so difficult. Marketplace Money’s Carmen Wong Ulrich points to declining wages, but she also says the culture of saving was lost.
“When you have a job market that was doing so well, there wasn’t this pressure to have an emergency fund of six months,” she says. “Who would need that? You could get a job in a couple months.”
Click the player above to hear some of Carmen’s tips to get you in the saving habit, even amid today’s low interest rates.
Lots of people will lose sleep tonight as they worry about whether their Thanksgiving feast will turn out as they hoped. We wanted to talk turkey with a techie. So we called up Scott Heimendinger. He used to work for Microsoft and IBM, but these days he's the director of applied research for the Modernist Cuisine cookbooks. The cookbooks are gorgeous, and the app and e-book -- with, we should note, a whole section on cooking turkey, is also impressive. Heimendinger tells us how to cook a turkey sous vide, caramelize sweet potatoes in a pressure cooker, and use technology to spice up your home cooking.
Check out these Modernist Cuisinces recipes, download a free chapter of the e-book and change the way you do Thanksgiving:
In the U.S. smart phone market, the Windows Phone seems firmly stuck in third place, far behind the likes of Android and Apple. But it's a different story in Latin America. New data show, for the second straight quarter, sales of phone with the Microsoft system surpassed Apple's iPhone and trailed only Android-based phones. In Chile alone, Windows Phone is up 50 percent over last quarter.
As Latin America's middle class has grown, so has demand for internet access and smart phones. Through its partnership through Nokia, Microsoft has been been able to capitalize on the Latin American market, says Univision's Stephen Keppel.
Nokia's Windows Phones are among "the more affordable smart phones on the market, and Latin Americans are just buying them right up," Keppel says. "A lot of economists for a while have been really looking at what's the sort of magic price for smart phones in the developing world. And for a while, they've kind of said it's around $100. The Nokia Lumia 520 is priced right around $100, sometimes even a little bit less, down to around $70."
Fewer Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week. But fewer orders were placed for equipment and other so-called durable goods in October.
The U.S. government has announced a $253 million fine against Weatherford, a Swiss oil and gas services company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange. The penalty settles charges by the U.S. government that Weatherford violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Here, we’re talking all sorts bad behavior; bribery, kickbacks, and selling products to countries with economic sanctions in place like Iran, Cuba, Syria, and Sudan.
“It’s a fairly typical FCPA enforcement action,” says Southern Illinois University law professor Mike Koehler. Typical, he says, except for the $253 million dollar fine, which lands it in the top-10 list of FCPA enforcements.
The settlement comes on the heels of a newly negotiated agreement with Iran. But, Koehler says, that’s a coincidence.
“This Weatherford enforcement action has been expected for a couple of years now,” he says.
The company says in a statement: “this matter is now behind us.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrat Party and its sister party, the Bavarian Christian Social Union, cut a deal on Wednesday with the center-left Social Democrats to form a coalition government that is pledging some serious new spending in Germany.
"There's going to be more spending on what's called the energiewende here in Germany -- that's switching from nuclear to solar and wind," says the BBC's Steve Evans in Berlin of what changes Germans can expect under the new government. "Chancellor Merkel, just after Fukushima, said the country's nuclear power stations would close. And, that is obviously a huge job -- a reengineering of the whole economy. There's been some criticism of rising costs, but she's said, right out, 'We're going to keep balancing the budgets.' And then she said again, 'We're going to keep balancing the budgets. Point three: There will be no rise in taxes on the rich. So, some spending, but no real change in economic policy."
To hear how the German government plans to pay for energiewende, click the audio player above.
Valdis Dombrovskis is taking "political responsibility." More than 50 people died last week when when the store's roof collapsed. Corruption, design flaws and substandard work all may have played roles.
Beijing announced it was creating an "air defense identification zone" in a disputed area, but the U.S. flights challenge China's claim. In other news, Russia detains alleged Islamist militants. And a school exam question on rape prompts complaints in South Africa.