finance

Sikorsky Aircraft

The war in Iraq has had a profound effect on Connecticut’s economy in the last decade. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it has vastly increased the importance of the defense industry.

 

Connecticut has always had a strong reliance on the Department of Defense, but Pentagon spending here acquired a new importance in recent years.

 

“You’ve seen about a threefold increase since  2003. That’s an enormous number and it’s an enormous part of our state’s GDP.”

 

Ken Teegardin/flickr creative commons

Financial analyst Robert Kreitler is back to tell us about his tricks for protecting portfolios—he monitors the world to decide what issues could threaten our financial lives. And a talk with talented artist Myrna Burks: How does an artist work with spontaneity—her own and Faith's?

Borman 818, creative commons

So, let’s say Where We Live was like the federal budget, and because of some self-imposed deadline, our show was subject to a “sequester” -  A cut of 2.3%. 

Well, you’d lose about 1 and a quarter minutes off the show. Doesn’t seem too bad, right?  But what if it was completely arbitrary - cutting the first minute that explains what we’re talking about, or the precise moment our guest Bill Curry says something that might change your world.  Doesn’t sound the the best way to trim things, huh?

As families struggle to keep up with skyrocketing higher education costs, the Obama Administration has unveiled a new website, which shows what most families end up paying for college: school-by-school.  

In his State of the Union address, President Obama announced the release of the new College Scorecard, "... that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria – where you can get the most bang for your educational buck."

Sujata Srinivasan

Microfinance – or small-scale loans – has rapidly grown into an international business that connects investors with impoverished borrowers around the world. Currently, microfinance institutions (MFIs) operate in over 100 countries and fund more than 92 million borrowers, according to the Microfinance Information Exchange. For-profit firms like Stamford-based Developing World Markets (DWM) invest in MFIs in India, which in turn provide loans to poor entrepreneurs, primarily women.

Harriet Jones

One group that didn’t get the Christmas present they were hoping for this year is the nation’s credit unions. They want to expand their lending to small businesses, but as Harriet Jones reports, regulation – and opposition from the banks -- stands in their way.

Many credit unions have a history of humble beginnings, and the Charter Oak credit union, based in Groton, is no exception.

“We were born in the Electric Boat boatyard, out of a lunchbox where five people put in $25.” 

courtesy mberggr, Flickr Creative Commons

The state of Connecticut is offering financial incentives to small businesses to carry out research for large corporations. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, the state is acting as a matchmaker for new projects

 

Innovation is expensive and often risky. It also requires many creative thinkers to get it working. That’s why increasingly many big technology-based corporations are looking for new partnerships and ways to outsource research and development functions.

If you’re planning to buy or sell a house, changes are on the way. The creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the tightening of mortgage lending rules mean the industry is in the process of being turned upside down. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

It’s been a turbulent period for the mortgage industry and four years after the financial crisis, the debates are still going on.

Harriet Jones

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was in Connecticut Friday, bringing a two-fold message to the state’s community colleges. She promoted the $12 million the administration has invested in new programs here, but as a prominent Latina, she also spoke about the importance of training the Latino workforce. 

6SN7

President Obama has made it part of his regular education speech that the best path to the middle-class is through a college education.

And the numbers bear it out. Getting a college degree brings higher earnings over a lifetime. Today, those with a bachelor’s degree earned 84% more money over a lifetime than those with a high school diploma.

Harriet Jones

Internships are a common way for big companies to bring on new talent and to decide on possible future hires. But running an internship program can be financially impossible for many of Connecticut’s small technology companies. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on a program that aims to change that.

Strain Measurement in Wallingford is an engineering firm that makes sensors, primarily for medical devices.

Brandie, Flickr Creative Commons

I freely confess that today's show arose from my own sense of consumer exasperation. I don't buy many things, but occasionally one's cellphone breaks and one has no choice. I went to Verizon. The guy and I picked out a phone for me.

He quoted me a price of $200 plus a $50 mail-in rebate. With the feeble, ebbing strength of my dying old phone, I managed one final wheezing flickering internet browser. The MSRP for this new phone was 80 bucks. I pointed this out to my new friend.

Harriet Jones

There are widespread reports of the resurrection of the housing market. National data due out this week are expected to show a bump in sales of both existing and new homes. But for the small businesses supported by the industry, it’s been a long slow journey out of the deepest housing slump in a generation. 

Flickr Creative Commons, aprillynn77

There is well over 2 billion square feet of self-storage space in the United States. For some perspective, if every man, woman and child in the United States stood up straight, arms at sides, they would all fit into the storage space that already exists.

Last week  two ratings agencies changed their financial outlook for the city of New Haven from stable to negative. Mayor John DeStefano says he can’t disagree with that.

Mayor DeStefano says he’s pleased that Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings did not downgrade New Haven’s credit ratings. The actual ratings were affirmed. But the city’s financial outlook declined.  

Jacket design: Marc J. Cohen/Scott Biel

Generosity Unbound: How American Philanthropy Can Strengthen the Economy and Expand the Middle Class

In Generosity Unbound, Claire Gaudiani mounts a spirited defense of philanthropic freedom addressed to conservatives, liberals and centrists. She acknowledges the good intentions of those who favor greater regulation of private philanthropy, but powerfully demonstrates the dangers of this approach.

Secret Money in Politics

Jul 20, 2012
Kevin Dooley, Creative Commons

In 2011,  Aetna spent more on lobbying than any other insurance company - 11.6 million dollars.  3.3 million went to the American Action Network, and 4.5 million went to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - both organizations supporting conservative causes, both working against federal health care reform. Later, the company said this wasn’t “lobbying” money - it was “educational” - a big distinction in the world of money and politics.

Tom Thai/flickr creative commons

Join Faith and a financial analyst for a look at managing your money now.

digital cat / Creative Commons

Earlier this month Attorney General George Jepson signed off on the merger between The Hospital of Saint Raphael and Yale-New Haven Hospital. The merger between the two elm city hospitals was proposed last fall, as the Hospital of Saint Raphael faces a multi-million dollar shortfall, and Yale-New Haven is looking for more hospital beds. Here to talk about the merger is the President and CEO of the Hospital of Saint Raphael Christopher O'Connor.

Connecticut College has the highest tuition in the nation among private, not-for-profit four-year colleges, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. But experts say sometimes statistics can be misleading.  

The College Affordability and Transparency Center website is part of President Obama’s push to make the costs of higher education more transparent. Schools are ranked in several categories, including tuition sticker price, and net cost to families.

Money Rules

Jun 18, 2012
Daniel Borman/flickr creative commons

Jean Chatzky is a personal finance expert and she talks about the simple path to lifelong security in her book, Money Rules.

Sujata Srinivasan

It’s been about six months since Connecticut issued its first loan under the Small Business Express program. The aid package has proved wildly popular with business owners in the state, but as WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it’s raised some questions along the way.

What do a printing firm, a financial services company, a hardware store and a biomedical device maker have in common? They all qualify for funding under the state’s small business express program.

Chion Wolf

With everything else going on at the Capitol, it’s good someone is paying attention to the budget.

That someone is The Connecticut Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf.  Our budgetary Obi Wan Kenobi stops by to give us an update on the fiscal health of the state - along with news on the “hot button” issues like minimum wage and Sunday liquor sales.

Unless Congress acts, interest rates on certain college loans are set to double this summer.  WNPR looks at what that would mean for Connecticut students.

More than 84 thousand college and university students in Connecticut had subsidized Stafford student loans last year.  Their interest rate was 3.4% thanks to the College Cost Reduction and Access Act which locked in a low rate for four years. 

Money Rules

Apr 19, 2012
Daniel Borman/flickr creative commons

Jean Chatzky is a personal finance expert and she talks about the simple path to lifelong security in her book, Money Rules.

James Nash/flickr creative commons

Faith interviews Lilly Ledbetter, who took on the Goodyear corporation. And a financial analyst tells us what to watch for to protect and grow your assets, and what to expect from the economy.

Nancy Eve Cohen

Last year the state legislature and Governor Dannel Malloy approved a controversial land swap deal in Haddam. Now, the developer who initiated the swap has now withdrawn from the deal.

Riverhouse Properties offered 87 acres of forest land in the Higganum section of Haddam in exchange for 17 acres of state owned open space along the Connecticut River. After years of resistance from environmentalists and town officials, the state okayed the land swap deal during the 2011 legislative session.

Michael Kappel (Flickr Creative Commons)

Governor Malloy signed a bill today that caps the gross receipts tax on the wholesale price of gasoline. The law will give drivers a small break at the pump.

The legislation was unanimously approved last week by the General Assembly. The governor waited until today to sign the bill to give Connecticut businesses affected by the law time to adjust their computer systems.

The law caps the gross receipts tax at $3 per gallon wholesale. Currently the wholesale price is about $3.20 per gallon, which means a savings at the pump of a little over a penny.

Greg Robleto (Flickr Creative Commons)

With gas prices in Connecticut hovering around $4/gallon for regular unleaded, Democratic leaders in the general assembly have come up with a proposal to offer some relief at the pump.

Get the latest on the economy, and protecting and growing your money. Tips from our financial analyst. Plus a look at the novel about a real life experiment, having college students raise babies from adoption centers. Learn how it changed the lives of the children and students.

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