Joe Nocera is an op-ed columnist with The New York Times and a regular contributor to WNYC. He has been reporting on business and finance for three decades in such publications as Fortune, Esquire, Texas Monthly, Newsweek, and joined the Times as a business columnist in April 2004. His most recent book, co-written with Bethany McLean, is All The Devils: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis, their best-selling account of the financial crisis.
A group of football players at Northwestern University are attempting to organize and join a labor union. It’s the latest move in the complicated relationship between the NCAA and its athletes, some of whom believe they should be payed and protected as workers. Joe Nocera, columnist for our partner The New York Times, says these student athletes should be able to form a union. Former NCAA athlete Ibrahim Abdul-Matin agrees. Ibrahim is a former linebacker at the University of Rhode Island and an NCAA scholar-athlete.
For a period of time after December's elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Americans felt a collective sense of outrage that something had to be done about gun violence in this country. But that support appears to have waned. Joe Nocera, author of the the Gun Report in The New York Times, explains why.
The New York Times debuted their new CEO recently. The addition of Mark Thompson has raised questions however because of a a scandal that emerged out of the BBC. Times columnist Joe Nocera gives us an update from inside the paper.
A committee of university presidents has approved a new playoff system for college football. After this year, the much-derided Bowl Championship Series will come to an end, and be replaced by a four-team playoff and a Super Bowl-style title game.
Last night in Wisconsin, voters weighed in on whether Governor Scott Walker would stay in office. The recall began with protests over Governor Walker's attempts to curb union bargaining power in Wisconsin. However, as the election approached it grew into a divisive political fight, with $60 million on both sides. Whether or not the Wisconsin recall will prove to be a bellweather for the 2012 presidential election, it's certain to have implications for the future of labor unions throughout the country.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced last week that he will defy a federal ban on sports gambling and that he hopes to let New Jersey residents legally bet on sporting events by fall of this year. His chances of success seem slim, but his outspokenness has reinvigorated national debate on the topic. Sports gambling: should it be legal?
Yesterday the U.S. Department of Justice sued Apple and five major publishers on antitrust grounds, alleging they fixed prices of e-books throughout 2010. According to the Department, consumers may have been paying as much as $5 too much for e-books. Three of the publishers have settled. Joe Nocera is an Op-Ed Columnist at the New York Times, and joins us to talk about how book pricing works, and what yesterday's legal actions mean for the future pricing of e-books.
"Do you Yahoo?" was the web giant's catchphrase, but not enough people are answering in the affirmative these days. Yahoo has announced that it is laying off 2,000 employees in the hopes of turning around the company. Joe Nocera, Op-Ed columnist for our partner The New York Times, says Yahoo should be a cautionary tale for other tech companies like Google and Facebook, who might be next in line.
All this week, the Supreme Court has heard arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The centerpiece of President Obama's health care reform legislation — and the focus of the debate at the Court — is the individual mandate, which requires all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a fine. The Court won't issue a ruling until June, but if they do declare the mandate unconstitutional, how much of a real difference will it make for you and your health care?
There's a lot of money to be made off March Madness. At $122 billion, the amount of spending the NCAA's annual basketball tournament generates is equal to Iceland's GDP. That total includes $614 million in TV advertising, $300 million in NCAA merchandise, and $185 million in corporate sponsorship. So why aren't the athletes paid?
Most economic indicators point to America being on the upswing in 2012. The stock market is up. Unemployment is down. And the strains in the global financial markets have eased. Yet 59 percent of voters rate President Obama negatively when it comes to the economy, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll.
Could it be because of the one economic indicator that’s stubbornly not improving: gas prices?
As voters in Michigan prepared to head to the ballots Tuesday, President Obama delivered a rousing speech to the United Auto Workers Union in Washington D.C., taking the opportunity to campaign on the success of the auto-bailout. Three years and some $80 billion later, the rescue of Chrysler and GM has remained fresh in the minds of voters in Michigan. However, the significance of the bank and auto bail-outs may mean something else — or perhaps nothing at all — to voters in other parts of the country.
Greece has once again narrowly avoided defaulting on their $172 billion debt by agreeing to more austerity measures and selling off profits to euro zone countries. However, it's unlikely this development will ease the dire situation of its population: nearly 20,000 Greeks are homeless and 21 percent are unemployed. Stateside, there were signs of recovery when on Tuesday the Dow hit 13,000 for the first time since 2008. But if the last four years have proved nothing else, it's that what happens across the globe can directly impact a market at home.
The theme of last night's State of the Union was "an economy built to last." Vowing to protect the middle class and correct economic inequality, President Obama laid out his plans for financial reform: regulating home prices, penalizing banks that participated in the housing crash, imposing the "Buffet rule," and tightening regulations on private equity and Wall Street.
The issue of how to keep big banks in check is the topic of national conversation as the country slowly climbs out of the recession. Questions on how to prevent another economic recession and regulate the financial sector are part of the heated debate. Joe Nocera, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times explains how "complexity risk" — what results when there are too many regulations — could pose a threat to the financial system.
Be it from ticket sales, memorabilia, television rights, or donors, college sports generate over $6 billion in annual revenue. Yet while coaches are receiving larger and larger contracts — the average college football coach's salary in 2010 was $1.36 million — the money doesn't trickle down to the players. The discrepancy has led many to call for stipends or other methods of paying college athletes for their work on the field. On January 14, the National Collegiate Athletic Association will review the issue.
Stephen Glass is now a 39-year-old law clerk at a firm in Beverly Hills, California. But more than decade ago, he was a young reporter on the rise. Glass's career in journalism came to an abrupt halt after it was discovered that over 40 of his articles — written for The New Republic, Harpers, Rolling Stone and other well-regarded magazines — were largely fabricated. Glass made up quotes, invented sources, and backed up his work with elaborate fake notes, fake websites, phony email addresses, phone numbers, and voicemail messages.
A series of recent filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission bring new charges against executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The SEC claims executives misled investors about Fannie and Freddie's exposure to subprime mortgages in the two years leading up to the housing market collapse. It is unusual to hear a defense of the mortgage giants — conventional wisdom holds that their risky loans were at the heart of the financial crisis from the beginning. But writing in his New York Times op-ed column, Joe Nocera argues that the SEC's latest complaint shows "how desperate the SEC has become to bring a crowd-pleasing case."
There's no question that our American health care system needs fixing. Dr. Donald Berwick, the man who was in charge of Medicare and Medicaid until last Thursday, was committed to ending waste. "Much is done that does not help patients at all," Dr. Berwick recently told The New York Times, "and many physicians know it." Dr. Berwick's quest to reform Medicare and Medicaid, the result of a temporary appointment made by President Obama last year, came to an end after just 17 months.
Much of the political turmoil surrounding the euro zone crisis has centered around the question of whether fiscally stronger nations, such as Germany and France, should have to bail out Greece and other struggling economies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has held the purse strings along with other leaders who have demanded strict austerity measures in those countries receiving assistance. Merkel is under political pressure at home with many in her government feeling that the Greeks, like the German people, should have lived within their means.