WBEZ | Economy http://www.wbez.org/news/economy Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en U.S. Treasury Cracks Down on Luxury-Home Money Laundering http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-edition/2016-02-11/us-treasury-cracks-down-luxury-home-money-laundering-114816 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/istock_000059685162_large_wide-b8787d23329a096195118514038f36023577009f-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res463003839" previewtitle="Downtown Miami by night."><div data-crop-type="">Want to launder $20 million in illicit drug money? Buy a fancy penthouse in Miami with cash. It turns out, secretively purchasing luxury real estate is a popular way for the world&#39;s super-criminals to clean their dirty money.</div></div><p>&quot;You can spend a lot of money to buy a house, and then you can sell that house a year later,&quot; says Heather Lowe, a lawyer with Global Financial Integrity. &quot;And all of a sudden, all of that money is completely clean money.&quot; Her group tracks the transfer of illicit money out of developing countries.</p><p>The Treasury Department has a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.fincen.gov/news_room/nr/pdf/20160113.pdf">new approach</a>&nbsp;to step up oversight of such cash sales.</p><p>When drug kingpins from South America or organized crime figures from places like Russia buy these luxury properties with cash, they set up shell companies to purchase them. So nobody knows who is actually buying that penthouse overlooking Central Park in New York.</p><p>&quot;That shell company might be owned by another shell company &mdash; might be a Panamanian shell company &mdash; which might be owned by a Singapore trust,&quot; Lowe says. She adds that it&#39;s often easy to conceal who is buying these properties. And, she says, &quot;That is a very common way to move illegal money and illegal assets around the world.&quot;</p><p>Now, at least in Manhattan and Miami-Dade County, Fla., during this temporary and exploratory phase of the program, the government will require that title insurance companies involved in real estate sales get the shell companies to reveal who are the actual owners of the shell companies. The title companies will then report that to the Treasury Department&#39;s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. That&#39;s the plan. But will it work?</p><p>&quot;Well, that&#39;s what we&#39;re going to find out through this process,&quot; says Michelle Korsmo, the head of the American Land Title Association. She supports the effort. But she acknowledges that if a major drug kingpin is buying a mansion through a string of shell companies all over the world, that might be a bit much for a title insurance company to figure out.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re not sure we&#39;re going to be able to have access to enough information,&quot; she says. &quot;But we&#39;re going to give [the government] the information that we have.&quot;</p><p>Lowe says it would be a good thing if investigators get more information than they have now, even if it&#39;s just loose bits that still need to be pieced together.</p><p>For its part, the National Association of Realtors is supporting the move by the Treasury Department as a &quot;reasonable&quot; approach to combat the problem of money laundering.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/13/462994857/u-s-treasury-cracks-down-on-luxury-home-money-laundering?ft=nprml&amp;f=462994857"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 16:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-edition/2016-02-11/us-treasury-cracks-down-luxury-home-money-laundering-114816 Whose Budget Impasse is Worse, Illinois or Pennsylvania? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-11/whose-budget-impasse-worse-illinois-or-pennsylvania-114814 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/IL v. PA_OZinOH_Flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Next week, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will give his budget address eight months into the state&rsquo;s budget stalemate. It&rsquo;s a situation Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf found himself in early this week.</p><p dir="ltr">We examine why these two states haven&rsquo;t been able to agree on budget deals and tell us how we might be able to solve that problem.</p><p dir="ltr">Chris Mooney, Director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois and Joe McLaughlin, Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at Temple University in Philadelphia, explain some of the similarities and differences between the two states.</p></p> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 16:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-11/whose-budget-impasse-worse-illinois-or-pennsylvania-114814 Morgan Stanley Will Pay $3.2 Billion for Contributing to Mortgage Crisis http://www.wbez.org/news/morgan-stanley-will-pay-32-billion-contributing-mortgage-crisis-114810 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-505563310_wide-6c0d86142b585fc4ef3d8d5bc38b4e236b29cfd9-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="storytext"><p>Morgan Stanley has reached a $3.2 billion settlement with state and federal authorities, the New York attorney general&#39;s office announced Thursday.</p><p>In the deal, the investment bank acknowledges that it misrepresented the risks of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.finra.org/investors/mortgage-backed-securities">mortgage-backed securities</a>&nbsp;leading up to the 2008 housing and financial crisis.</p><p>Morgan Stanley knew that it was selling securities backed by residential mortgages with &quot;material defects&quot; &mdash; such as loans that were &quot;underwater,&quot; where the loan was larger than the value of the house.</p><p>Internal emails helped document that the company was fully aware of the high risks of the loans it was securitizing, the New York attorney general&#39;s office writes:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;In a May 31, 2006 email, the head of Morgan Stanley&#39;s team tasked with doing due diligence on the value of properties underlying the mortgage loans asked a colleague, &#39;please do not mention the &#39;slightly higher risk tolerance&#39; in these communications. We are running under the radar and do not want to document these types of things.&#39;</p><p>&quot;In another email on November 21, 2006, a member of the Morgan Stanley due diligence team forwarded a list of questionable loans, seeking review and approval to purchase them and adding &#39;I assume you will want to do your &#39;magic&#39; on this one?&#39; &quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>The settlement announced Thursday was negotiated by a working group including both federal and state authorities, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.</p><p>The $3.2 billion deal represents an increase from the $2.6 billion that Morgan Stanley<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/02/25/389076222/morgan-stanley-agrees-to-2-6-billion-mortgage-backed-securities-settlement">agreed to pay last year</a>. As NPR&#39;s Yuki Noguchi reports, &quot;The final terms now include a program to help struggling homeowners. For instance, New York state alone will receive more than half a billion dollars, the majority of which will go to support local housing programs.&quot;</p><p>That additional money will be used, among other things, to help residents avoid foreclosure and fund affordable housing development.</p><p>The Associated Press helps put the value of the $3.2 billion in perspective:</p><div><p>&quot;The New York-based investment bank reported a fourth-quarter profit of $908 million. It recorded $3.1 billion in legal expenses in 2014 for settlements with state and federal regulators over its role in the housing bubble and subsequent financial crisis.&quot;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/11/466399992/morgan-stanley-will-pay-3-2-billion-for-contributing-to-mortgage-crisis?ft=nprml&amp;f=466399992"><em> via NPR</em></a></p><p>&nbsp;</p></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/morgan-stanley-will-pay-32-billion-contributing-mortgage-crisis-114810 Tesla Preparing To Charge Into Affordable Car Market http://www.wbez.org/news/tesla-preparing-charge-affordable-car-market-114796 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/tesla_wide-eef662697aaceafda5f95005764fa2d4ca6609b6-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The next Tesla car is expected to be revealed and made available for pre-order next month. And while the auto world is still waiting to see specs and drawings, one thing is already known: the price.</p><p>As promised,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-09/will-the-tesla-model-3-really-sell-for-25-000">Elon Musk tells Bloomberg</a>, the Model 3 will cost $35,000 &mdash; before any incentives.</p><p>Tax credits for purchasing electric vehicles could push the sticker price below the average cost of a new car in America ... maybe. The Model 3 won&#39;t go into production until 2017, and if it&#39;s delayed, the incentives that lower the price might not be available.</p><p>From the beginning, Tesla Motors has had its eye on the average American consumer &mdash; not the super-rich car collector or the early adopter electric enthusiast, but your mainstream buyer who wants a car they can afford.</p><p>It might not have looked that way &mdash; the carmaker&#39;s first model was the luxury Roadster, with a six-figure price tag. The second car, the Model S sedan, has a base price of around $70,000.</p><p>But in 2012, when the Model 3 was just a twinkle in Musk&#39;s eye, NPR&#39;s Sonari Glinton<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2012/09/25/161700525/teslas-big-gamble-can-the-electric-car-go-mainstream/">wrote about Tesla&#39;s dreams for the future</a>.</p><p>&quot;We did, I think, receive some unfair criticism because we had the Tesla Roadster, and people would say, &#39;Well, why are you making this expensive sports car?&#39; As though we somehow felt that there was a shortage of sports cars for rich people or something,&quot; Musk said then.</p><p>&quot;I would try to take pains to say, look, our goal from the beginning has been to drive forward the electric car revolution, and we needed time to refine the technology &mdash; get to version two, get to version three. And really, with version three &mdash; the $30,000 car &mdash; that&#39;s where it becomes mass market.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Version three&quot; has been a long time coming, though. Tesla&#39;s latest release was the Model X &mdash; an SUV that was&nbsp;more&nbsp;expensive than the Model S, not less. (The first Model X cars manufactured were packed with bells and whistles that pushed the price higher still &mdash; the Signature line, the only one available to early buyers,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/30/444721375/tesla-unveils-its-model-x-complete-with-a-bioweapon-defense-button">cost $130,000 and up</a>).</p><p>The Model X was delayed for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-tesla-modelx-launch-questions-20150930-story.html">nearly two years</a>, and since it was launched last fall, only<a href="http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/01/14/how-many-model-x-units-could-tesla-motors-inc-ship.aspx">a small fraction</a>&nbsp;of the pre-ordered vehicles have been delivered.</p><p>But this March, Tesla is set to reveal its long-promised mass-market vehicle. Musk has<a href="https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/639172302530215936?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">said since 2015</a>&nbsp;that the price would be $35,000, Jalopnik notes.</p><p>The average cost of a new car in America is $31,000,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-09/will-the-tesla-model-3-really-sell-for-25-000">Bloomberg reports</a>. With the nationally available $7,500 electric car tax incentive, Tesla&#39;s Model 3 would be cheaper than average.</p><p>Some states offer additional incentives. In Colorado, where the extra tax incentive is as high as $6,000, depending on the battery size, the price of a new Tesla could conceivably be $21,500 &mdash; cheaper than a new&nbsp;<a href="http://www.toyota.com/camry/">Toyota Camry</a>&nbsp;or&nbsp;<a href="http://automobiles.honda.com/accord-sedan/price.aspx">Honda Accord</a>.</p><p>But that&#39;s only true if Tesla gets the car to market on schedule,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-09/will-the-tesla-model-3-really-sell-for-25-000">Bloomberg notes</a>.</p><p>The Model 3 is set to go into production in 2017. The incentives &mdash; which are tied to the number of electric cars sold by a carmaker and then phase out over time &mdash; might start to fade out in 2018.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/10/466267066/tesla-preparing-to-charge-into-affordable-car-market?ft=nprml&amp;f=466267066"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/tesla-preparing-charge-affordable-car-market-114796 5 Things to Know About President Obama's Budget http://www.wbez.org/news/5-things-know-about-president-obamas-budget-114779 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-509158914-4f1cb8a19e6a3b899bd501a21bc94f279d7da0a1-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res466145095" previewtitle="Copies of President Obama's budget sit on a table in the Senate Budget Committee room."><div data-crop-type="">President Obama unveils his 2017 budget proposal today. It&#39;s an aspirational blueprint that details how he would set priorities if he controlled the government&#39;s checkbook ... which he doesn&#39;t.</div></div><p>&quot;This budget is not about looking back at the road we have traveled,&quot; Obama said. &quot;It is about looking forward.&quot;</p><p>But congressional Republicans are looking past the president. House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed the budget as &quot;a progressive manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans.&quot;</p><p>Here are five big things you need to know about Obama&#39;s eighth budget blueprint.</p><p><strong>1. It&#39;s his last ... and least influential</strong></p><p>The president&#39;s budget is invariably described as &quot;dead on arrival&quot; when it reaches Capitol Hill. This one got that label weeks earlier.</p><p>Republican leaders of the House and Senate Budget Committees don&#39;t even plan to hold a token hearing on the $4 trillion White House spending plan. Obama will be out of office less than four months into the budget year. And the roll-out of the budget itself is overshadowed by the New Hampshire primary.</p><p><strong>2. </strong><strong>More red</strong><strong> ink</strong></p><p>President Obama boasted in his State of the Union address of cutting the deficit as a share of the economy by three-quarters during his time in office. This year, however, the deficit is creeping up again &mdash; largely as a result of tax breaks extended by Congress at the end of 2015.</p><p>The president&#39;s budget projects that deficits will remain in a manageable range &mdash; less than 3 percent of GDP &mdash; for the next decade. That includes some rosy assumptions, though, about tax revenues, health care savings and immigration reform.</p><p><strong>3. Domestic shots across the bow</strong></p><p>The president&#39;s budget includes a variety of proposals designed to provoke a debate with Republicans. On the revenue side, these include a new $10/barrel tax on crude oil which would add up to 24 cents a gallon to the price of gasoline, higher taxes on capital gains, and a renewed push to close what the White House calls the &quot;trust fund loophole.&quot; On the spending side, the president has proposed more investments in clean energy, mass transit, summertime meal subsidies for poor children, and expanded unemployment insurance.</p><p><strong>4. Security spending, on the ground and online</strong></p><p>Obama is seeking $11 billion for the battle against ISIS, $3.4 billion to shore up European defenses and discourage Russian aggression, and $19 billion to enhance the nation&#39;s cybersecurity.</p><p><strong>5. A few nods to bipartisanship</strong></p><p>While the overall budget is going nowhere, a few of its more modest ideas may have legs. The White House notes there&#39;s bipartisan support for accelerating cancer research, offering more treatment to people addicted to heroin and prescription pain medication, and expanding a tax credit to help low-income workers who don&#39;t have children.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/02/09/466143593/five-things-to-know-about-president-obamas-budget?ft=nprml&amp;f=466143593"><em>&mdash; via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 15:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/5-things-know-about-president-obamas-budget-114779 Obama Administration Releases Budget Plan, but it’s Dead on Arrival http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-02-09/obama-administration-releases-budget-plan-it%E2%80%99s-dead-arrival-114778 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/0209_presidential-budget-624x429.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Although President Obama is ready to release his budget for the 2017 fiscal year, Congress has the final say on how the country&rsquo;s money can be spent.</p><p>While the legislature can allocate more or less money to certain suggestions in the $4 trillion plan, Republicans in control of the Senate and the House have already said they&rsquo;re not even considering the president&rsquo;s proposal. One sign of this: the White House budget director was not invited to present the proposal for the first time in 40 years.</p><p>The president&rsquo;s initiatives include a huge oil tax, Vice President Joe Biden&rsquo;s &ldquo;moonshot&rdquo; to cure cancer, education and employment, and Medicaid expansion.&nbsp;NPR White House correspondent&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/HorsleyScott?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Scott Horsley</a>&nbsp;speaks with&nbsp;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2016/02/09/budget-plan-obama"><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s </em></a>Jeremy Hobson to discuss what&rsquo;s next for the budget.</p></p> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-02-09/obama-administration-releases-budget-plan-it%E2%80%99s-dead-arrival-114778 Millennials Lagging Behind Boomers in Entrepreneurhsip http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2016-02-09/millennials-lagging-behind-boomers-entrepreneurhsip-114774 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/mmillennials.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Millennials may be&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/11/millennials-surpass-gen-xers-as-the-largest-generation-in-u-s-labor-force/" target="_blank">surpassing Gen X</a>&nbsp;in the workforce, but a new government&nbsp;<a href="https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/Millenial_IB.pdf" target="_blank">report&nbsp;</a>says they&#39;re not opening their own businesses quite yet.</p><p>The Small Business Administration&#39;s advocacy office found less than 2 percent of people born between 1982 and 2000 said they were self-employed, compared to 7.6 percent of Gen X-ers and 8.3 percent of baby boomers, according to 2014 census data. As the portion of employed millennials expanded steadily over the past 15 years, the portion of self-employed millennials only saw modest gains.</p><figure><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Chart via Small Business Administration" sizes="(max-width: 543px) 90vw, (max-width: 879px) 60vw, 900px" src="http://cms.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/selfemployedmils.jpg" srcset="http://cms.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/selfemployedmils.jpg 646w" style="height: 378px; width: 540px;" title="(Chart via Small Business Administration)" /></p><p>But how many entrepreneurs under 30 do you know? The Administration report notes there are many baby-faced business owners in Silicon Valley, but entrepreneurship generally doesn&#39;t peak until a generation reaches its 40s, and workers have had time to build a career. The report also compares past reports to look at how self-employment changed by age for each generation.</p><p>Though there&#39;s only data for millennials aged 32 or under, they seem to be starting their own businesses less often than previous generations did at their age. At 30 years old, less than four percent of millennials said they were self-employed, compared to 5.4 percent of Generation X and 6.7 percent of boomers.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Chart via Small Business Administration" sizes="(max-width: 543px) 90vw, (max-width: 879px) 60vw, 900px" src="http://cms.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/selfemployed30.jpg" srcset="http://cms.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/selfemployed30.jpg 646w" style="height: 378px; width: 540px;" title="(Chart via Small Business Administration)" /></p><p>So it appears that fewer millennials are becoming entrepreneurs, but does that mean snake people are less entrepreneurial? That&#39;s less clear. The report notes it&#39;s possible millennials could eventually match or surpass prior generations over the next few decades.</p><p>There&#39;s also a big caveat around methodology here: the study looks a surveys in which people said their primary source of income over the past year came from self-employment, which could leave out new opportunities for entrepreneurship. The<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/08/style/this-is-her-face-this-is-her-face-in-bread-any-questions.html" target="_blank">&nbsp;copywriter with a successful Instagram account&nbsp;</a>might make some money on the side, but she&nbsp;doesn&#39;t qualify unless she quits her day job. And what about the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/current_issues/ci20-1.pdf" target="_blank">distressingly high number</a>&nbsp;of underemployed millennials who turn to the sharing economy for money? Ride-share services insist drivers are self-employed contractors, but a recent college graduate who drives Uber to make ends meet might not see himself that way.</p><p><em>Follow&nbsp;Tony Wagner&nbsp;at&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/tonydwagner">@tonydwagner</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></figure></p> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 12:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2016-02-09/millennials-lagging-behind-boomers-entrepreneurhsip-114774 States Not Waiting to Close Gender Wage Gap http://www.wbez.org/program/weekend-edition/2016-02-08/states-not-waiting-close-gender-wage-gap-114755 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/promo-map-seamus-5ff26edc77e279223fabd9c52ebce6cf20981954.png" alt="" /><p><div id="storytext"><p>Emily Martin created a&nbsp;<a href="http://nwlc.org/resources/wage-gap-state-state/">state-by-state map</a>&nbsp;of the gender wage gap in the United States. She calculated: Washington, D.C., has the smallest wage gap where women average nearly 90 cents to a man&#39;s dollar; Louisiana has the largest gap &mdash; women there earn just 65 percent of what men do.</p><div id="res465740798"><div id="responsive-embed-map-wage-gap-20160204"><iframe frameborder="0" height="650px" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/map-wage-gap-20160204/child.html?initialWidth=774&amp;childId=responsive-embed-map-wage-gap-20160204" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="620px"></iframe></div></div><p>Nationally, women earn an average 79 cents for every dollar men do. The gender wage gap is even wider for black and Hispanic women.</p><p>Martin is the vice president and general counsel of the&nbsp;<a href="http://nwlc.org/">National Women&#39;s Law Center</a>. The gender wage gap that she reported is not a new issue. It was President Obama&#39;s priority from the start, and the first piece of legislation he signed into law was the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100027479">Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009</a>. On the seventh anniversary of the signing last month, he again made headlines by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/29/464856100/to-shine-a-light-on-salary-gaps-obama-wants-companies-to-disclose-pay-data">announcing new rules</a>&nbsp;that would require companies to disclose pay data.</p><p>But the issue has gone nowhere in Congress.</p><p>There are lots of reasons for the gender gap, but Martin says a stubborn, small part is still discrimination.</p><p>&quot;There&#39;s really disturbing social science studies out there that show that supervisors, male and female alike, without realizing it, will recommend lower salaries for women with equivalent qualifications to men,&quot; she says.</p><p>Facing pressure from a growing number of activists &mdash; who point out that more women than ever are primary breadwinners for their families &mdash; states are forging ahead on their own efforts. They have passed a string of equal pay laws in recent years, and more proposals have been introduced in two dozen states so far this year.</p><p><strong>A Patchwork&nbsp;Of State Laws</strong></p><p>The measures take a variety of approaches. At least five states have banned companies from retaliating if workers talk about their pay and compare notes. Some have made it easier for workers to sue over pay, while others have made it harder for companies to justify paying men more because of a &quot;factor other than sex.&quot; Martin says some courts have interpreted that to mean just about anything. A few proposals would bar employers from asking job applicants up front or in an interview about their pay history.</p><p>&quot;Because often your pay is set with some reference to how much you made at your last job,&quot; Martin says, &quot;the impact of pay discrimination can follow people through their careers.&quot;</p><p>Another trend is moving beyond equal pay simply for the exact same job title. Nick Rathod heads the&nbsp;<a href="https://stateinnovation.org/">State Innovation Exchange</a>, a network of progressive lawmakers. He says a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/01/461674998/calif-employers-must-comply-with-new-fair-pay-law">law passed last year in California</a>&nbsp;requires companies to offer similar pay for &quot;substantially similar&quot; jobs, such as a housekeeper and a janitor.</p><p>&quot;They&#39;ll do worker-based evaluation on things like their skill, their effort, their experience, that type of thing,&quot; Rathod says.</p><p><strong>Opposition Remains Despite Bipartisan Support</strong></p><p>Although it is mostly Democrats proposing these measures, Rathod says an equal pay bill recently&nbsp;<a href="https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Senate/S2107">passed the Massachusetts Senate</a>&nbsp;unanimously with the support of the local Chamber of Commerce.</p><p>&quot;It is a bipartisan issue,&quot; he says. &quot;And I think it&#39;s hard to be on the side of arguing that mothers and daughters should be paid less than men.&quot;</p><p>But that doesn&#39;t mean there isn&#39;t opposition.</p><p>&quot;When we look at each one of these bills, I&#39;m not sure if they&#39;re accomplishing the end goal,&quot; says Loren Furman, chief lobbyist with the&nbsp;<a href="http://cochamber.com/">Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry</a>. She finds the newly proposed legislation redundant given all the other regulations that are already in place.</p><p>&quot;We have a state wage act,&quot; she says. &quot;We have an anti-discrimination act. We have the federal NLRB (National Labor Relations) Act.&quot;</p><p>Furman says companies worry more laws could mean more lawsuits. She says they also worry about a Colorado measure that would ban them from asking job candidates up front about their pay history. Employers tell her they need that to know who is serious about a particular job, and who may be looking for anything they can get.</p><p>&quot;The worst thing for an employer is to hire somebody and then lose that person because they ultimately wanted (for example) $100,000,&quot; she says.</p><p>Whatever laws are enacted, states will be looking to see if they have any impact on a gender wage gap that has hardly budged for a decade.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/02/06/465587253/states-not-waiting-to-close-gender-wage-gap?ft=nprml&amp;f=465587253"><em>&mdash; via NPR</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/program/weekend-edition/2016-02-08/states-not-waiting-close-gender-wage-gap-114755 Britain to Foreign Workers: If You Don't Make $50,000 a Year, Please Leave http://www.wbez.org/news/britain-foreign-workers-if-you-dont-make-50000-year-please-leave-114730 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ukjobs.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Britain&#39;s Prime Minister David Cameron promised back in 2010 to bring net migration down to 100,000 people a year. Six years later, it&#39;s more than three times that number.</p><p>That&#39;s one reason the government&#39;s Home Office decided that non-Europeans on skilled worker visas &mdash; known as Tier 2 visas &mdash; are not welcome to stay unless they are making at least 35,000 British pounds (about $50,000 a year).</p><p>The message is aimed at slashing migration to Britain and goes into effect in April. But critics call the new rule discriminatory and say it will strip Britain of lower-paid artists, health care workers and tradespeople.</p><p>&quot;The estimates put the GDP loss at 181 million [pounds, equivalent to $264 million] to 761 million [pounds, equivalent to $1.1 billion], so that&#39;s a massive blow in the first year alone, for starters,&quot; Joshua Harbord says.</p><p>Harbord, who rattles off facts and figures about why he thinks this move will hurt Britain, might sound like an expert on immigration. But he&#39;s not. Harbord performs at kids&#39; birthday parties as a pirate. And when he heard his friend Shannon Harmon might be forced to leave, he got angry.</p><div id="res465451252" previewtitle="Joshua Harbod started a petition opposing the new rules that would set a minimum income requirement for workers from outside the E.U."><div><div><p>&quot;It was scaring Shannon and everybody it was affecting, and it felt like a massively mean policy that was apparently convincing my friends that they were worthless and unwanted,&quot; Harbord says.</p></div></div></div><p>Since no one else was doing anything about it, Harbord started a petition,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stop35k.org/">Stop 35K</a>, to try to change the government&#39;s mind. Harmon, who is from Chicago, has a work visa and has been in the U.K. more than seven years. But she makes less than the amount needed to stay under the new rules.</p><p><img alt="Joshua Harbod started a petition opposing the new rules that would set a minimum income requirement for workers from outside the E.U." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/02/03/british-1-5fa81121fdccc114834ac5d1a4d5c5071a02511a-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 232px; width: 310px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Joshua Harbod started a petition opposing the new rules that would set a minimum income requirement for workers from outside the E.U. (Leila Fadel / NPR)" /></p><p>&quot;It feels pretty horrible and unfair; that&#39;s why we&#39;re trying to fight it,&quot; she says. &quot;I don&#39;t think we should be valued on an arbitrary number that they&#39;ve made up. I mean, not that many people make that much money.&quot;</p><p>Harmon works for a nonprofit and says charity workers, who aren&#39;t paid well, contribute more than those in the finance industry. The changed rules will also affect health care workers, public transport workers and the many artists, musicians and actors who are drawn to London as a cultural hub.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s just going to make places like London less dynamic, less cultural; it&#39;s just going to change the whole atmosphere,&quot; Harmon says. Come April, she will very likely have to leave her British life partner, her career and the U.K.</p><p>&quot;I leave everything, my whole life,&quot; she says.</p><p>Harbord and Harmon spend their nights brainstorming, working on their website and checking on the electronic petition. Every few minutes, the signatures increase. They are approaching the 100,000 they need for Parliament to consider debating the issue.</p><p>At present, immigration is a hot-button issue in Britain. There is another petition calling on the government to completely close the U.K.&#39;s borders. And last weekend, rival protests supporting and opposing immigration turned violent.</p><p>David Metcalfe, chairman of a committee that advises the government on immigration, recommended the plan that is scheduled to take effect in April.</p><p>&quot;It seems to me absolutely right,&quot; he says. &quot;They&#39;ve been here five years. If they&#39;re going to settle, they should be making a proper contribution in terms of productivity, which will be reflected in their pay.&quot;</p><p>Asked about critics who say it&#39;s an arbitrary measure that values money over other contributions to British society, he says: &quot;Pay, in my view, is the best measure of skill and contribution, but you are right, it&#39;s not a perfect measure.&quot;</p><p>Metcalfe says there will be temporary exceptions for people with skills such as nursing, because there is a shortage in the U.K.</p><p>Susan Cueva, however, has been trying to stop the new rules. She works with UNISON, a trade union that represents the public sector &mdash; people who work in education, health care and transport.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a policy that is not really based on sound judgment,&quot; Cueva says. &quot;I think from our point of view as a union, we always look at migrant workers as an asset and a resource in the country.&quot;</p><p>She says migrant workers make up at least 15 percent of the public sector workforce. And without them, she says, services will decline.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/02/03/465407797/britain-to-foreign-workers-if-you-dont-make-50-000-a-year-please-leave?ft=nprml&amp;f=465407797"><em>&mdash; via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/britain-foreign-workers-if-you-dont-make-50000-year-please-leave-114730 Chinese-Led Investors Plan to Buy Chicago Stock Exchange http://www.wbez.org/news/chinese-led-investors-plan-buy-chicago-stock-exchange-114727 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/flickr_GeorgeTziralis.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Stock Exchange, founded more than a century ago, said it has agreed to be acquired by a Chinese-led investor group.</p><p>The buyers are considering opening a stock exchange in southwest China and also hope to list Chinese stocks in the U.S.,&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Stock Exchange CEO John Kerin said in an interview Friday. The exchange needs the cash from the buyout to launch its new trading products and platforms, Kerin said.</p><p>Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Kerin will continue as CEO after the deal closes.</p><p>Leading the investor group is Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group, a holding company based in Chongqing, China. Efforts to reach Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group were unsuccessful.</p><p>Kerin said the other investors are mostly based in China but their names are not being made public.</p><p>The&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Stock Exchange was founded in 1882, about 90 years after the New York Stock Exchange. It trades 8,300 stocks and exchange-traded funds that are also traded on other exchanges, such as the NYSE.</p><p>Companies don&#39;t exclusively list stocks on the&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Stock Exchange as they do on the NYSE, Kerin said. But after the buyout is complete, the&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Stock Exchange has plans to allow small companies that don&#39;t meet NYSE requirements to list stocks on the exchange.</p><p>The exchange has been also working on an on-demand auction product that is expected to be released in the spring.</p><p>The buyers said they plan to keep the&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Stock Exchange&#39;s business operations and trading platform in place. The exchange said the deal is expected to close in the second half of the year and needs to be approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.</p><p>If the deal is approved, it may be the first time a U.S. stock exchange is owned by Chinese companies. The World Federation of Exchanges said none of its U.S. members, which include the owners of the NYSE,&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Mercantile Exchange and others, have ever been owned by Chinese interests.</p><p>The&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Stock Exchange is not a member of the World Federation of Exchanges.</p><p><em>Follow Joseph Pisani at&nbsp;</em><a href="http://twitter.com/josephpisani"><em>http://twitter.com/josephpisani</em></a><em>&nbsp;.</em><em> His work can be found </em><em>at</em><em><a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/author/joseph-pisani">http://bigstory.ap.org/author/joseph-pisani</a></em><em>&nbsp;.</em></p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chinese-led-investors-plan-buy-chicago-stock-exchange-114727