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Why people are moving

Fri, 2014-06-06 08:52

The U.S. Census Bureau released its survey detailing how many Americans moved from one residence to another, and for what reasons. The results showed that compared to the past, fewer Americans have been moving, and those that did were motivated to move mostly due to housing related reasons like wanting a better residence.

Some of the numbers aren't surprising, as one might expect fewer Americans to move amid the economic downturn, or for housing problems to force people to move.

However, a closer look at the numbers, which track 2012 to 2013, reveals some interesting trends, as the report highlights that moves related to jobs were not as frequent as housing or family-related moves, and that some demographics are more likely to move due to job-related reasons than others. Here are some points in the report that stood out:

Coutesy of the U.S. Census Bureau

Housing-related reasons for moving

Moves related to finding housing made up the largest portion of responses in the survey, coming in at 48 percent. In that group, 15 percent of people said they moved to find new or better residences, which decreased from 21 percent in 1999.

African American respondents were the most likely to move for housing-related reasons of any race

Over half of African American respondents said their main reason for moving was housing related. This was compared to white respondents, 46.8 percent of whom said housing was their motivation for moving.

Young people were the least likely to move for housing reasons

Respondents 18 to 24 and 25 to 29 years old had the most housing-related reasons for moving, but the two groups had the lowest percentages for reasons in that category compared to other age groups. Movers 18 to 24 years old instead said reasons like moving for college were big motivators for them, while respondents 25 to 29 years old had more job-related reasons for moving.

Family-related reasons for moving

This category included reasons like changes in marital status and wanting to establish one's own household. Family reasons were the second largest category at more than 30 percent.

Married people had the least family-related reasons to move

Respondents who split up with spouses had high family-related reasons for moving at 47 percent. For those who stayed married, family was not an issue for moving, with only 26.1 percent in that category. Married respondents instead moved more for job-related reasons, with 24 percent saying a change in employment status caused them to move.

Coutesy of the U.S. Census Bureau

Job-related reasons for moving

Moving for work came in around a little under 20 percent for all respondents, a rate that has remained pretty steady since 1999.

Men were more likely to move for work than women

According to the survey, while more women moved, 20.4 percent of men said they moved for job-related reasons, compared to 18.5 percent of women. The report did not mention whether this indicates men are more willing to move for work, or if there are differences in how men and women select jobs based on location.

More educated people are more likely to move for work

Again, while housing-related reasons dominated most responses, the survey found a split according to education level. The more education a respondent had, the more likely they were to move for a job, with 28.3 percent of bachelor degree holders saying they moved for job related purposes. People on the other end of the spectrum, such as associate degree holders, had much higher percentages for housing and family related reasons for moving, with high school dropouts having 54.2 percent of their responses in the housing category.

Mona Simpson on the economics behind 'Casebook'

Fri, 2014-06-06 08:50

Success in publishing is about a lot of things. Sales, of course. Staying power. And the business of words.We've asked some of our favorite contemporary authors to share the numbers they think about as they write -- how they infuse the economic world around them into storytelling.

Listen to this installment from best-selling author Mona Simpson ("Anywhere But Here", "Off Keck Road") in the audio player above. She talks about how the economy for a fiction writer is more about time than money. She also talks about her new book, "Casebook." We've reprinted an excerpt below:

I was a snoop, but a peculiar kind. I only discovered what I most didn’t want to know.

The first time it happened, I was nine. I’d snaked underneath my parents’ bed when the room was empty to rig up a walkie-talkie. Then they strolled in and flopped down. So I was stuck. Under their bed. Until they got up.

I’d wanted to eavesdrop on her, not them. She decided my life. Just then, the moms were debating weeknight television. I needed, I believed I absolutely needed to understand Survivor. You had to, to talk to people at school. The moms yakked about it for hours in serious voices. The only thing I liked that my mother approved of that year was chess. And every other kid, every single other kid in fourth grade, owned a Game Boy. I thought maybe Charlie’s mom could talk sense to her. She listened to Charlie’s mom.

On top of the bed, my dad was saying that he didn’t think of her that way anymore either. What way? And why either? I could hardly breathe. The box spring made a gauzy opening to gray dust towers, in globular, fantastic formations. The sound of dribbling somewhere came in through open windows. My dad stood and locked the door from inside, shoving a chair up under the knob. Before, when he did that, I’d always been on the other side. Where I belonged. And it hurt not to move.

“Down,” my mother said. “Left.” Which meant he was rubbing her back.

All my life, I’d been aware of him wanting something from her. And of her going sideways in his spotlight, a deer at the sight of a human. The three of us, the originals, were together locked in a room.

My mom was nice enough looking, for a smart woman. “Pretty for a mathematician,” I’d heard her once say about herself, with an air of apology. Small, with glasses, she was the kind of person you didn’t notice. I’d seen pictures, though, of her holding me as a baby. Then, her hair fell over her cheek and she’d been pretty. My dad was always handsome. Simon’s mom, a jealous type, said that my mother had the best husband, the best job, the best everything. I thought she had the best everything, too. We did. But Simon’s mom never said my mother had the best son.

The bed went quiet and it seemed then that both my parents were falling asleep. My dad napped weekends.

NOOO, I begged telepathically, my left leg pinned and needled.

Plus I really had to pee.

But my mother, never one to let something go when she could pick it apart, asked if he was attracted to other people. He said he hadn’t ever been, but lately, for the first time, he felt aware of opportunities. He used that word.

“Like who?”

I bit the inside of my cheek. I knew my dad: he was about to blab and I couldn’t stop him. And sure enough, idiotically, he named a name. By second grade everyone I knew had understood never to name a name.

“Holland Emerson,” he said. What kind of name was that? Was she Dutch?

“Oh,” the Mims said. “You’ve always kind of liked her.”

“I guess so,” he said, as if he hadn’t thought of it until she told him.

Then the mattress dipped, like a whale, to squash me, and I scooched over to the other side as the undulation rolled.

“I didn’t do anything, Reen!”

She got up. Then I heard him follow her out of the room.

“I’m not going to do anything! You know me!”

But he’d started it. He’d said opportunities. He’d named a name. I bellied out, skidded to the bathroom, missing the toilet by a blurt. A framed picture of them taken after he’d proposed hung on the wall; her holding the four-inch diamond ring from the party-supply shop. On the silvery photograph, he’d written I promise to always make you unhappy.

I’d grown up with his jokes.

By the time I sluffed to the kitchen he sat eating a bowl of Special K. He lifted the box. “Want some?”

“Don’t fill up.” She stood next to the wall phone. “We’re having the Audreys for dinner.”

“Tonight?” he said. “Can we cancel? I think I’m coming down with something.”

“We canceled them twice already.”

The doorbell rang. It was the dork guy who came to run whenever she called him. He worked for the National Science Foundation and liked to run and talk about pattern formation.

Excerpted from Casebook by Mona Simpson. Copyright © 2014 by Mona Simpson. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

The resurgence of HELOCs

Fri, 2014-06-06 08:45

Home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, were all the rage in the early 2000s.  People borrowed against their homes to fund all types of things: New cars, college educations, even second homes.

Now, HELOCs are making a slow return to the market after all but disappearing during the recession.  

The resurgence is slow because, as financial journalist Ilyce Glink says, "The idea of a home equity line of credit is, get this, you have home equity. You don't have home equity, which is a problem for most Americans, unless you were very lucky and bought in 2009-2012.”

For those who were able to secure a HELOC back in the day, Glink says that they may find themselves in a precarious and surprising financial situation as the bill comes due for these loans. “Many of the home equity lines of credit that were set up back in the early [2000s] were interest-only for the first ten years. And then they have a little clause in them that says either you pay them off or whatever the balance is converts to a 15-year rate loan,” Glink says.

Glink says that this means that millions of people who were only paying interest on their loans will essentially be hit with a 15-year mortgage that now includes billions of dollars in principal.  Some homeowners could see their payments triple.

Refinancing is a great option for people who find themselves in this situation, but Glick says that many people wouldn’t qualify for a refi in the current market.  

“Ten million people are still functionally underwater with their mortgages. That means if they tried to [refinance] today, they wouldn’t have enough equity in the house or they literally have zero or negative equity, and there’s no way for a regular lender to refinance them.”

For a few years, at least, Glink suspects that there will be a number of people who will not be able foot the bill and this could have a larger affect on the economy.

“From now through 2017 when the big bulk of these HELOCs start to convert and come due, we’re going to see an increased amount of people who can’t pay them. So there’s going to be increasing defaults and maybe an increase in the level of foreclosures due to HELOCs…,” Glink says.

Ilyce Glink is a financial journalist and the founder of ThinkGlink.com

Friday the 13th and a full moon

Fri, 2014-06-06 08:30

Here's an extended look at the Marketplace Datebook for the week of June 9:

Let's begin with something musical. Musician, inventor, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Les Paul was born on June 9th, 1915.

On Tuesday, the Commerce Department reports on wholesale inventories and sales and the Labor Department issues its job openings and labor turnover survey for April.

June 10 is the 79th anniversary of Doctor Bob and Bill W founding Alcoholics Anonymous.

And remember that action film with the bus that would blow up if it didn't maintain 50 MPR on LA highways? "Speed" was released 20 years ago.

Mid-week we get a look at the nation's balance sheet. The Treasury Department is scheduled to release its monthly statement for May.

A House subcommittee on Communications and Technology holds a hearing on "Media Ownership in the 21st Century."

On Thursday the Commerce Department reports on retail sales for May.

It's a bird...It's a plane...It's the 36th annual Superman Celebration getting underway in Metropolis, Illinois.

And on Friday the Labor Department issues its Producer Price Index for May. That's Friday the 13th. Sounds like a movie rental opportunity.

Lastly, look up in the sky to see the Full Strawberry Moon. The name is related to strawberry harvesting season. Now picture a giant strawberry in the sky.

Russo brothers on the numbers of branded entertainment

Fri, 2014-06-06 08:21

Hot off their success in directing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Russo brothers are diving into a type of directing not normally associated with creativity, technological innovation, and narrative storytelling. They’re starting a company that makes commercials.

The pair have launched Bullitt, a branded entertainment company that will make long-form commercials with ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise director, Justin Lin. The company is named after the Steve McQueen film from 1968 which they call a great advertisement for Ford Mustang.

Joe and Anthony Russo directed a three and a half minute commercial for Smirnoff Vodka earlier this year. The commercial ran as a 30-second spots on television while the full version was posted online, with the hopes that it would go viral.

The pair has directed commercials since they first got into filmmaking – it was something they did between TV and film projects. “We kind of fell in love with the creative possibilities that you have shooting commercials, “says Anthony. The process is faster than a feature length film or television show and there’s more freedom to be experimental.

The two draw a line between traditional product placement and what they plan to do. Joe points to FX’s Sons of Anarchy as a sort of commercial for Harley Davidson where the product is seamed into the storyline – it’s not overt product placement. “It’s finding new ways to use money to advance creativity.”

And they’re pretty sure advertisers will get on board as services like Netflix get more popular. Joe says, “these are non-advertiser based services, right? So the brands are going to have to find new ways to reach eyeballs.”

PODCAST: 217,000 new jobs

Fri, 2014-06-06 07:24

More on the numbers from the jobs report for May. Plus, despite being a prize-winning horse, California Chrome isn't expected to fetch top dollar. Why bloodline determines price more than prizes. Also, hear what businesses should learn from professional soccer teams when it comes to diversity.

3, 2, 1… 3.5 million?

Fri, 2014-06-06 06:45

Seven years ago I stupidly blew all of my savings on a backpacking trip to Asia. I was 26-years old and had planned to come back in three months. Instead I was gone for a year, returning to New York only when I was completely broke and a little tired.

I had a few contacts and started trying to make my way as a freelance writer, but I struggled at first. I was earning a pittance and moved into a crappy apartment with a couple of friends.

A year later I had landed my first full-time journalism job and was making enough to leave the place and the two roommates (who were themselves moving into their own new apartments) and move into a slightly less crappy place with just one. And two years after that, I accepted another new, much better job, which I still have now – and I could finally afford to live alone.

At the risk of sounding like a crank, I've never enjoyed living with others, so I was thrilled that the size of my household had quickly gone from three to two to one.

In a healthy economy, this would be a typical experience shared by many young adults in their 20s and early 30s as they climb their way up the employment ladder.

The economic recovery since the recession of 2008 has been profoundly unhealthy, of course, but especially for young adults. Unemployment for those without college degrees – and that’s a majority – has been brutally high. And a historically big share of recent college graduates have also been forced to accept low-paying jobs for which they’re overqualified. There simply aren’t enough good jobs to absorb them all.

This is a huge deal for the entire economy, and not just for young people.

Think about it this way. Both times that I parted ways with ex-roommates, each of us had to buy some of the usual stuff that goes with moving into a new place: furniture, kitchenware, lighting, cleaning equipment.

When enough people do this, the extra spending on these items gets money flowing through the economy, generating activity in the industries that make them. If a lot of people are moving into new homes at the same time, the construction sector also reacts by building more houses or apartments. And as neighborhoods get more crowded, restaurants and barber shops and laundromats pop up in response to serve the newcomers.

The virtuous cycle means more jobs in those peripheral sectors, higher wages, more people getting their own place, and so on.

Yet since the start of the recession, the percentage of people aged 18-34 who were still living with their parents has climbed dramatically – a result of their difficult economic circumstances. According to estimates from Goldman Sachs economists, there would have been 3.5 million fewer young adults living with their parents at the end of 2012 if that percentage had stayed the same. It started to fall very slightly just last year, but it needs to decline much further.

Young adults in the post-recession period entered a much tougher labor market than people in earlier generations. That they have little wealth and low incomes (when they even have jobs) has resulted in the abysmally slow pace at which new households have been formed.

The recovery has been poorer because of it – for all of us.

Goldman Sachs report that asks, "Will the Kids Move Out of the Basement?"

How much tech in the classroom is too much?

Fri, 2014-06-06 06:42

Earlier this year, I audited a computer-science course at Pomona College, my alma mater. And I was shocked, when on the first day, the professor told us it would be a closed-laptop class. Computer science without the computer!

That's how concerned some teachers are about distractions created by digital devices.  But the  temptation to text, email and play Candy Crush isn’t the only concern. It’s digital note-taking itself.  A recent Princeton University study showed that students remember information more effectively through handwritten notes.

LearningCurve surveyed teachers and professors from kindergarten through graduate school to learn about their policies on laptops, tablets, smart phones and other technology in the classroom.  

Very few teachers had a blanket-ban on tech in the classroom: only 13 out of 219. By contrast, 102 said that students are allowed to freely use technology,  and 104 said they allow it "under limited circumstances."

Many college professors felt it was not their place to tell students to shut down their screens.:

College students can make the decision about whether or not it is worth their time and money to attend class, pay tuition, and then spend the class period browsing through Facebook. - Lee Cornell, professor, Computer Information Science, Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The first night of my policy analysis class, I demonstrate with a comparison of possible classroom policies on laptops and their potential impacts on learning and other outcomes. Students get the idea! - Marieka Klawitter, professor, Policy Analysis, Social policy and Statistics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Some teachers with open-use policies had mixed results:

Theoretically, I allow my 8th graders to listen to music in their headphones if they're working, but have found it almost impossible to stop them from going onto other social media aps and playing games on their phone, so often have to retract the privilege. - Gina Beavers, 8th-grade teacher, Art, Brooklyn, NY. Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but I am always surprised that students will text, or leave their ear buds in during a lecture. - Janet Peterson, professor, Nutrition and Exercise Science, Linfield College, Newberg, OR.

There were strong feelings on both sides of the issue:

Frankly, I find restrictive device policies ridiculous. If we expect college students to become mature adult thinkers, then holding them to prohibitionary rules seems to undermine that effort. - Tim Mahoney, professor, Teacher Education, Millersville University.We allow laptop/device usage only with direct, explicit teacher permission. Otherwise, students are expected to keep them closed. Frankly, any other policy, in my opinion, would be complete foolishness, no matter the educational level. As it is, the teachers at our school must police diligently the student use of devices. - Craig Copeland, teacher, Humanities, McDonogh School, Parkton, MD.

Some teachers got creative:

Laptops and tablets can be used by students only if they sit in the front row. My teaching style is to walk around as I teach, so if they are in the front row, I can see the screen from time to time as I pass their desks. - Sylvia McGeary, professor, Religious Studies, Felician College, Lodi, NJ. I know they will use them, and frequently for something that is far from chemistry. I don't wish to foster ill will; therefore, instead of banning them, I "commandeer" them using the wireless network by sending them questions that they can answer for extra credit points. - Vanessa Castleberry, professor, Chemistry, Baylor University.

One teacher feels his classroom is a good place for students to learn the life skill of appropriate technology-use behavior:

The kids need to learn when and how to use their phones appropriately. High school is the perfect place for this. If a student is clearly playing a game or having a long conversation via text, I remind them that it's disrespectful, and potentially detrimental to their learning. I frequently say "If you need to use your phone, then use it. Don't make a big deal about it, and don't take too long." - Jeff Castle, teacher, Graphic Design, Film Production, Computer Science, Albany High School, Albany, CA.

A few teachers just felt their subject was not one where technology should be used at all:

Philosophy classes call upon people to listen and discuss. It is not information driven. Technology tends to divide people's attention and draws them away from active listening and participating. Thus, it actively works against the very habits necessary to critical and philosophical practices. One might as well be holding a smart phone during ballet training--it's that diversionary - David Hildebrand, professor, Philosophy, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO.

Others though, argued that all teachers need to give students access to classroom tech:

It is a moral imperative, not only to provide equal access to all students regardless of socio-economic background, but also to prepare students for the technology skills expected in the world today. - Jerred Erickson, teacher, Social Studies, Spanaway Lake High School, Puyallup, WA.

If you are a teacher, parent or student, we want to know what you think. Tell us if you think technology should be used in the classroom in the comments section below, or tweet at us @LearningCurveED.

What the work place can learn from professional soccer

Fri, 2014-06-06 05:41

Diversity is good for team performance in soccer, according to a new study by political scientists Edmund J. Malesky and Sebastian M. Saiegh. With the World Cup just days away, we take a look at the benefits of diversity in the field and what the world's biggest businesses can learn from the sport. Sebastian M. Saiegh joins Marketplace's Mark Garrison to share more on their findings.

Click on the audio player above to hear more.

Silicon Tally: Tetris turns 30 and we all feel old

Fri, 2014-06-06 05:31

It's time for Silicon Tally. How well have you kept up with the week in tech news? This week we're joined by New York Times Tech columnist Jenna Wortham. var _polldaddy = [] || _polldaddy; _polldaddy.push( { type: "iframe", auto: "1", domain: "marketplaceapm.polldaddy.com/s/", id: "silicon-tally-tetris-is-30-we-all-feel-old", placeholder: "pd_1402062055" } ); (function(d,c,j){if(!document.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=('https:'==document.location.protocol)?'https://polldaddy.com/survey.js':'http://i0.poll.fm/survey.js';s=document.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);}}(document,'script','pd-embed'));

$1.7 Million can buy a lot of Monster Energy drinks

Fri, 2014-06-06 04:56

The Beastie Boys have been awarded $1.7 Million in a case against Monster Energy Corp for copyright infringement. The disputed Youtube video, posted by Monster in 2012, featured several remixed Beastie Boys hits like "Sabotage" and "Make Some Noise." Beastie Boys members Adam Horovitz "Ad-Rock" and Michael "Mike D" Diamond were on hand for much of the trial, having originally asked for $2.5 Million. While Monster claims that it was an internal mistake -- claiming an employee thought the company had permission to use the music -- the jury still sided with the Boys, awarding them an amount significantly above the $125,000 initially offered by Monster.

The Beastie Boys have long opposed the use of their music in advertisements. The group’s Adam Yauch, who died in 2012, prohibited the use of his music in advertisements in his will.

And in case you were wondering, we crunched some numbers on what $1.7 Million looks like for all parties involved:

813,397

That's how many Monster Energy Drinks you could buy with $1.7 Million

154,826

That's the number of CD copies of "Hot Sauce Committee Part II" you could purchase with the same amount of money. "Make Some Noise," one of the disputed tracks, comes from this album.

The strategy behind Hillary Clinton's book release

Fri, 2014-06-06 02:42

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's new memoir, “Hard Choices,” hits store shelves on Tuesday. It’s the latest in a string of tell-alls by former members of the Obama administration, including Robert Gates’s “Duty” and Timothy Geithner’s “Stress Test.”

You’d think memoirs like these could sell themselves. Well, think again, says Jim Milliot, editorial director at Publisher’s Weekly.

“You could say it is one of the great ironies of book publishing that the bigger the author, the bigger the publicity campaign,” he notes.

This campaign kicked off on Mother’s Day, with an exclusive excerpt in “Vogue” magazine: Hillary Clinton, reflecting on motherhood. The excerpt was share-able, the idea being each retweet or Facebook like will translate into sales.

“Social media is a big component of all this,” Milliot says.

In fact, “Hard Choices” has its own Twitter account, managed by Simon & Schuster. Plus, there are more excerpts on a website, as well as YouTube videos.

According to Josh Baran, who managed the publicity campaign for “An Inconvenient Truth,” former Vice President Al Gore’s bestseller, “You want your message out.”

That kind of message machine can cost millions. We don’t know how much this one is going to cost, because the publisher declined our request for an interview. We do know that the publicity team for a big book starts with what Paul Bogaards calls a “communications blueprint,” which includes “television, radio, newspapers, magazines, blogs, big mouths.”

Bogaards, who manages media relations for Knopf Doubleday, has drawn up blueprints for former Gates’s memoir, and for President Clinton’s autobiography, “My Life.”

Rollouts may be more intricate than ever, but one thing is still true: If a reporter gets ahold of the book early, it can throw all that timing, all that money, and all that planning off track.

Still, Journalists were eager to get their hands on Bill Clinton’s memoir before it was published.

Says Bogaards: “I mean, one had them actually had the gall to call me and say, ‘Hey, can you help me out here?’ I was like, actually no, I cannot help you out.”

Publicists play defense and offense. Leaks aren’t all bad, and sometimes they are done strategically. Politico, for example, got it hands on a chapter from Hillary Clinton’s book early, and yesterday, CBS News, which is one of Simon & Schuster’s corporate siblings, obtained a copy of “Hard Choices.”

So far, these leaks have done what every publisher wants: they ginned up interest, they got people talking, and Simon & Schuster hope, that will lead to buying.

THE ROLLOUT, planned and unplanned

Sunday, May 11

Vogue.com posts “An Exclusive Excerpt from Hillary Clinton's Upcoming Book, ‘Hard Choices’” 

Tuesday, May 27

Simon & Schuster releases Hillary Clinton’s “author’s note

Friday, May 30

A Politico reporter gets her hands on a “much-anticipated chapter” from “Hard Choices” about what transpired in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012

Hillary Clinton meets with booksellers at BookExpo America, in New York City

Wednesday, June 4

“People” publishes Hillary Clinton’s “first at-home interview since the end of husband Bill's presidency in January 2001”

Thursday, June 5

CBS News obtains a copy of the book

Monday, June 9

Diane Sawyer, of ABC News, interviews Hillary Clinton during an hour-long, prime-time special

Tuesday, June 10

“Hard Choices” hits store shelves

Hillary Clinton does her first live interview, with Robin Roberts, of ABC News, on “Good Morning America”

She kicks off her book tour at a Barnes & Noble in New York City

Tuesday, June 17

Hillary Clinton sits down with Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren of Fox News

The strategy behind Hillary Clinton's book release

Fri, 2014-06-06 02:42

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's new memoir, “Hard Choices,” hits store shelves on Tuesday. It’s the latest in a string of tell-alls by former members of the Obama administration, including Robert Gates’s “Duty” and Timothy Geithner’s “Stress Test.”

You’d think memoirs like these could sell themselves. Well, think again, says Jim Milliot, editorial director at Publisher’s Weekly.

“You could say it is one of the great ironies of book publishing that the bigger the author, the bigger the publicity campaign,” he notes.

This campaign kicked off on Mother’s Day, with an exclusive excerpt in “Vogue” magazine: Hillary Clinton, reflecting on motherhood. The excerpt was share-able, the idea being each retweet or Facebook like will translate into sales.

“Social media is a big component of all this,” Milliot says.

In fact, “Hard Choices” has its own Twitter account, managed by Simon & Schuster. Plus, there are more excerpts on a website, as well as YouTube videos.

According to Josh Baran, who managed the publicity campaign for “An Inconvenient Truth,” former Vice President Al Gore’s bestseller, “You want your message out.”

That kind of message machine can cost millions. We don’t know how much this one is going to cost, because the publisher declined our request for an interview. We do know that the publicity team for a big book starts with what Paul Bogaards calls a “communications blueprint,” which includes “television, radio, newspapers, magazines, blogs, big mouths.”

Bogaards, who manages media relations for Knopf Doubleday, has drawn up blueprints for former Gates’s memoir, and for President Clinton’s autobiography, “My Life.”

Rollouts may be more intricate than ever, but one thing is still true: If a reporter gets ahold of the book early, it can throw all that timing, all that money, and all that planning off track.

Still, Journalists were eager to get their hands on Bill Clinton’s memoir before it was published.

Says Bogaards: “I mean, one had them actually had the gall to call me and say, ‘Hey, can you help me out here?’ I was like, actually no, I cannot help you out.”

Publicists play defense and offense. Leaks aren’t all bad, and sometimes they are done strategically. Politico, for example, got it hands on a chapter from Hillary Clinton’s book early, and yesterday, CBS News, which is one of Simon & Schuster’s corporate siblings, obtained a copy of “Hard Choices.”

So far, these leaks have done what every publisher wants: they ginned up interest, they got people talking, and Simon & Schuster hope, that will lead to buying.

THE ROLLOUT, planned and unplanned

Sunday, May 11

Vogue.com posts “An Exclusive Excerpt from Hillary Clinton's Upcoming Book, ‘Hard Choices’” 

Tuesday, May 27

Simon & Schuster releases Hillary Clinton’s “author’s note

Friday, May 30

A Politico reporter gets her hands on a “much-anticipated chapter” from “Hard Choices” about what transpired in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012

Hillary Clinton meets with booksellers at BookExpo America, in New York City

Wednesday, June 4

“People” publishes Hillary Clinton’s “first at-home interview since the end of husband Bill's presidency in January 2001”

Thursday, June 5

CBS News obtains a copy of the book

Monday, June 9

Diane Sawyer, of ABC News, interviews Hillary Clinton during an hour-long, prime-time special

Tuesday, June 10

“Hard Choices” hits store shelves

Hillary Clinton does her first live interview, with Robin Roberts, of ABC News, on “Good Morning America”

She kicks off her book tour at a Barnes & Noble in New York City

Tuesday, June 17

Hillary Clinton sits down with Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren of Fox News

How much is California Chrome worth?

Fri, 2014-06-06 02:40

California Chrome goes for horse racing's Triple Crown this weekend at the Belmont Stakes. Even if he wins, the horse won't likely sell for the top rates -- as high as $60 million -- that we've seen in the past.

So here's a look at some of the other numbers around the horse:

1978

The last year there was a Triple Crown winner. The horse was named Affirmed.

11

The number of horses that Daily Racing Forum says have been in a similar position to California Chrome since 1978.

$15 million

How much Peter Bradley III, one of the top bloodstock agents in the country for thoroughbred racing, guesses California Chrome is worth today. Others in the horse racing industry say he's worth a few million more, or a few million less.

$30 million

How much California Chrome's trainer, Art Sherman, says the horse is worth.

1

The number of shoe companies sponsoring California Chrome. This week, Skechers announced they were going to sponsor the horse. Though, don't get excited for a horse in sneakers -- California Chrome's trainers will be the ones sporting Skechers' shoes.

May Jobs Report likely to show moderate hiring

Fri, 2014-06-06 02:36

Employers likely added 213,000 new jobs in May, according to the consensus estimate of economists cited by Bloomberg, while April’s job gain was 288,000. The unemployment rate likely increased 0.1 percent in May to 6.4 percent, after sharply declining in April (from 6.7 percent to 6.3 percent).

If these expectations pan out, May’s performance would confirm a return to steady, modest growth in the economy and the labor market. That follows a volatile winter with multiple severe storms that pushed the overall economy into a surprising quarterly decline in GDP. A projected increase in the unemployment rate in May would likely be caused by people returning to the workforce as job-hunters. April’s drop in unemployment was attributed to a steep decline in the size of the workforce.

“We’re back on track right now,” says Bernie Bauhmolh at the Economic Outlook Group in Princeton, New Jersey.

The economy has now been creating an average of 237,000 jobs per month since February. First-time claims for state unemployment benefits are at a seven-year low.

“The economy is looking better,” says Baumohl. “We’ve seen better performances in manufacturing and services and auto sales. Confidence levels are also higher among consumers and business leaders. It’s going to encourage employers to accelerate hiring.”

Paul Osterman at the MIT Sloan School of Management says the next signs of significant progress in the employment recovery would be improvement in workers’ real wages, and an increase in the employment-to-population ratio, which measures how many adults are working compared to the total population of potential workers. That ratio fell sharply in the recession and has not rebounded significantly since.

As jobs get more plentiful at all wage levels, employers can be expected to compete to attract and retain workers. In response, they might begin raising wages.

“Over the last twelve months real wages have gone up by a little bit under 2 percent," says Osterman. "That’s better than zero, but it’s below productivity gains.”

In other words, employees have been producing more for their bosses, driving profits up, without getting much extra in their paychecks in return.

Do you still call yourself middle class?

Thu, 2014-06-05 23:31

Do you still call yourself middle class?

I put that question to an online network of people willing to be interviewed on Marketplace. It's a fascinating question to me, because it gets at both where we are five years after the recession, and to our definition of "middle class" itself. Recent research shows that while the economy as a whole is improving, more and more of us aren't using the term "middle class" anymore.

One woman, DeeDee in San Diego, wrote that she now considered her family poor. She said her income has been declining since 2002. Here's what being middle class would look like to DeeDee:

"I could step into the 21st century and get a cell phone; it would mean that I could spring for my children's meal at In-N-Out Burger instead of saying, 'If you pay for it, you may go.'"

Across the six dozen or so responses I received, most people felt that being in the middle class meant the ability to educate children, provide a home for them, and plan for a comfortable retirement. And many said they're not sure they can get there.

Jamie from New Hampshire wrote:

"If I had kids, we'd be poor, but since I don't, I'm somehow able to get by and have an occasional social life and such."

I posed the question and I still want to hear from people in the form below.

A Pew poll that came out in January shows a decline in Americans who call themselves middle class. Personally, I think there's more here than just the hangover from the recession. It's a wariness, perhaps, about what it takes to pay for a life better than the one your parents had. It's tangled up with the cost of college and health care. 

It's something that we're going to be exploring on my new show, Marketplace Weekend, both from an economic and fiscal angle, and from a psychological one. It also touches on the nature of work.

I came back to this idea again Thursday when I saw this great New York Times visualization about the industries that have suffered (and thrived) since the recession. I suspect buried in here are the keys to what a new middle class might look like. Or perhaps whatever our new term is that someday becomes both simultaneously aspirational and everywhere.

 

 

So, who's picking up the doughnuts?

Thu, 2014-06-05 13:35
Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 14:31 Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images

Salvation Army canteen workers in Brighton operating a doughnut machine flown in from Canada to satisfy Canadian troops appetites for donuts on January 1, 1941.

From the Marketplace Datebook, here's a look at what's coming up Friday, June 6:

It's the first Friday of the month which means all eyes will be on the May jobs report.

Has word gotten around your office that it's National Doughnut Day? It was established in 1938 as a fundraiser for The Salvation Army in Chicago to help those in need during the Great Depression.

The Federal Reserve is scheduled to issue consumer credit data for April.

On June 6, 1998, HBO's "Sex and the City" premiered. It ran for six seasons and fortunately remains in syndication.

It's also the anniversary of the first federal gasoline tax, enacted in 1932. One penny per gallon. That's where it began. Today we pay 18.4 cents per gallon, and state tax too.

And the Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival gets underway in Little Chute. That's right, people: cheese and doughnuts.

Marketplace for Thursday June 5, 2014by Michelle PhilippePodcast Title Datebook: So, who's picking up the doughnuts?Story Type BlogSyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

Fewer homeowners drowning in mortgage debt

Thu, 2014-06-05 13:22

The Tampa area has more underwater mortgages than anywhere else in America: roughly 30 percent. But even there, things are getting better fast. That’s down from nearly 41 percent this time last year, according to CoreLogic

“We’re seeing fewer people who are underwater. Prices have come back up,” says Brad Monroe, director of the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors. 

Homeowners are telling his members they’re finally out from under their mortgages and ready to move. “Calling them back and saying, 'It’s time now. Prices are there and we can do it,'” he says. 

Data from CoreLogic show that nationally, about 12 percent of homeowners owe more than their homes are worth. That’s a big drop from the first quarter last year when the number was around 20 percent. 

“Which is really good news for the housing market,” says Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist. 

“So many homeowners didn’t have equity or were under equity and didn’t participate in listing their homes for sale. And that’s why house prices increased over the last year or two so dramatically in those markets,” Fleming says.  

This is a virtuous cycle. Rising home values brought back equity to a lot of homeowners. That means more people can move if they want to. And, more homes on the market keeps prices from rising too fast. 

But just because people are no longer underwater in their mortgages doesn’t mean they can move right away. They need enough equity to pay for the expense of selling one home and a down payment on a new one.

“Paying broker’s fees, for example,” says Kostya Gradushy, project manager at Black Knight Financial Services. “And, if you only have 5 percent equity in your house, you’re not going to be able to cover those costs.” 

Black Knight says one in five homeowners today doesn’t have enough equity in their current home to afford a new one.

Vehicle ignitions aren't the only problem at GM

Thu, 2014-06-05 13:17
Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 14:10 Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra (center), Mark Reuss (left), Executive Vice President, and Dan Ammann (right), President, hold a press conference at the General Motors Technical Center on June 5, 2014 in Warren, Michigan. Barra spoke to provide an update on GM's internal investigation into the ignition switch recall at the General Motors Technical Center. 

General Motors CEO Mary Barra has responded to the auto recalls by firing 15 employees. She also ordered a compensation plan for the victims of the deadly auto defects.

After a report from an internal investigation was released, Barra said the company has some culture issues.

"Mary Barra has made this point that General Motors used to be a cost-focused culture, and now it’s becoming more customer-focused," says Micki Maynard, Director of the Reynolds Center for Business Journalism at the Cronkite School at Arizona State. "But if you read the report, things were going on in 2012 and 2013. It’s not like all of this was ten or fifteen years ago, this is very recent stuff. So I think there’s going to be a lot of work to do."

So if GM culture hasn’t improved in the last few years, what will it take for it to change?

"Maybe nothing can change it," says Maynard. "It might be that General Motors is the way it is, and you have to manage around that. In a good financial situation, you do just fine. But when things go bad, you end up in bankruptcy and need a bailout."

Marketplace for Thursday June 5, 2014Interviewed By Kai RyssdalPodcast Title Vehicle ignitions aren't the only problem at GMStory Type InterviewSyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

What negative interest rates mean for the Eurozone

Thu, 2014-06-05 13:17

Remember when bottled water first came out? I remember thinking, "Who would actually ever pay for water?" I also remember balking at a 75 cents ATM fee years ago.

I imagine that's exactly how European banks are feeling right about now. The European Central Bank's new policy of negative interest rates is, essentially, charging banks for something that it used to pay banks for. 

"Negative interest rates. What that means is that they are now charging commercial banks for leaving money at the central bank," says Beth Ann Bovino, U.S. chief economist at Standard and Poor's.

You know how banks usually pay you for storing your money with them? Now the ECB is actually charging European banks for the privilege. 

So... how does this help the European economy?

"The ECB... is trying to create a hot seat," says Paul Kedrosky, a partner at SK Ventures. "They just want to make it so darn uncomfortable to continue sitting there with your deposits, that you say, 'Oh, screw it! I’ll lend it out.'"

Lending is exactly what European banks haven’t been doing. They’ve been playing it safe and stashing their money at the ECB. Businesses and individuals aren’t getting loans, so they aren’t hiring or buying and Europe’s economy is grinding to a halt.

"The Central Bank, their business is to get the real economy going," says Bovino. To do that, The ECB is making it expensive for banks to save. "Hopefully that means more lending to households and businesses."

So… will it work?

"Many banks in Europe are still fragile and recovering from the trauma of the world financial crisis," says Matthew Slaughter, a professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. "How much more likely they will be to make a lot more loans is an open question."

Slaughter says banks might just put their money in another safe haven, like U.S. Treasury Bonds. That would be good for the U.S., but wouldn’t help Europe much.

The ECB can only make the seat hot, now it’s up to the banks to decide where to move their assets.

And maybe Marketplace will convince me to pay them one of these days...

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