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Commerce & Economy

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PHIL

PHIL San Diego, CA, United States Member Since 2011
HELPFUL VOTES
328
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135
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2
  • "This sharpened my understanding"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have an informal self-education in this topic. I have, for example, a basic ready definition of what a money market fund is, and how a mutual fund works. This refreshes these basic understandings across the full range of markets, and sharpens them nicely. Alongside definitions we get well-chosen bits of background and history where appropriate. It moves briskly and held my attention well.

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    Guide to Financial Markets (6th edition): The Economist

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Marc Levinson
    • Narrated By Philip Franks
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    The definitive guide to why different financial markets exist and how they operate. This edition brings the listener right up to speed with the latest developments in financial instruments and provides a clear and incisive guide to this complex world that even those who work in it often find hard to understand. With chapters on the markets that deal with money, foreign exchange, equities, bonds, commodities, financial futures, options, and other derivatives, it looks at why these markets exist, how they work and who trades in them, and it gives a run-down of the factors that affect prices and rates.

    PHIL says: "This sharpened my understanding"
  • "Good big-picture view, not spoiled ..."

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    Performance
    Story

    This story, as the title suggests, plays out across a big canvas, with many participants. It does not conceal its general suspicions of the motives of big bankers, but the motives of self-interested big players in a political economy can profitably be viewed through such a prism. It is balanced enough not to cause me revulsion, which I feel at any crazily filered and tilted story in either direction politically. As an avid reader in this area, plenty of useful detail is to be had here. I would combine this listening with the excellent (more conservative) audiobook 'Fragile By Design,' to get a more overall balanced view. The narration is listenable if not great.
    I appreciate a good plain overview of such areas as design of the the postwar (WW2) global financial world order, the role of private bankers (whose mixing into the New Deal and WW2 US financial structure is well described) and how it fit with the emerging Cold War. This book is very good at sketching the overall structures taking shape in different eras. And true to the title, we see how the various sales pitches made by presidential candidates became the actual arrangements during each of the presidencies. Certainly such personalities as Morgan's Thomas Lamont were huge influences in the governance of this country, though private actors.

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    All the Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Nomi Prins
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    Nomi Prins ushers us into the intimate world of exclusive clubs, vacation spots, and Ivy League universities that binds presidents and financiers. She unravels the multi-generational blood, intermarriage, and protégé relationships that have confined national influence to a privileged cluster of people. This unprecedented history of American power illuminates how financiers have retained their authoritative position through history, swaying presidents regardless of party affiliation.

    PHIL says: "Good big-picture view, not spoiled by the biases"
  • "An all-time favorite: so much is here"

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    I love and devour books constantly, and this one stands out even among the best. Here, blended together, are clear and basic tutorials in business, economics, finance and trading, and plenty of the language in these fields. Grain turns out to be a great way to illustrate these ideas, deals and processes. The author reads her book, which is yet another great facet: it is just right to hear this in the voice, inflections and embodiment of a midwestern person, who grew up in that environment, then went to higher education and sharpened the tools and understandings. Her voice and content are both so wholesomely midwestern, it provides perfect packaging for these themes. This book is right in the mainstream of our economy's thinking and language, and a very fine bit of teaching, yet this is a very singular expression, all its own, unlike anything I've seen. My unqualified thanks to this author for her work.

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    Mastering the Grain Markets: How Profits Are Really Made

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Elaine Kub
    • Narrated By Elaine Kub
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Elaine Kub uses her talents for rigorous analysis and clear, approachable communication to offer this 360-degree look at all aspects of grain trading. From the seasonal patterns of modern grain production, to grain futures' utility as an investment asset, to the basic trading practices of the grain industry's most successful companies, Mastering The Grain Markets unveils something for everyone.

    PHIL says: "An all-time favorite: so much is here"
  1. Guide to Financial Market...
  2. All the Presidents' Banke...
  3. Mastering the Grain Marke...
  4. .

A Peek at Jane's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
657
 
Chicago, IL, United States 354 REVIEWS / 354 ratings Member Since 2010 82 Followers / Following 3
 
Jane's greatest hits:
  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

    "4 ½ stars. Engaging and entertaining."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But depressing at the end to see the government bailout to companies who should have been allowed to fail.

    I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did. It’s nonfiction. It’s true stories behind three groups of investors who bet against the subprime mortgage market. It was well done and kept my interest. I was fascinated watching these groups, and it was fun seeing them “win” in the end. During the story I was amazed at the arrogance, incompetence, and bad judgment of AIG (the insurance company who offered this insurance and received premiums) and the large investment firms like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. I was also angry at the two rating agencies, Moody’s and S&P. They didn’t do their job. They gave high ratings to these loans, which meant outsiders would be willing to buy them. See below for more on this.

    Then, I was depressed at the end of the book when the author talked about the bailout by the US government. Billions of taxpayer dollars were given to many different banks, brokerage firms, and companies. My personal conclusion is that SOME of these companies should NOT have been given bailout money. Some of those might have failed, but it wouldn’t kill our economy. Others could have absorbed the losses and still be around, but their management and shareholders would be a little poorer. For more on this see Wikipedia, search TARP.

    Most of my reading is fiction for relaxation and fun. This book does not fit those criteria. It’s too cerebral. But I enjoyed it as an audiobook.

    WHAT ARE SUBPRIME MORTGAGES AND THE BET:
    This book is about the subprime mortgages causing (or making worse) the real estate collapse in 2007. An immigrant migrant farm worker comes to the US. He has no past credit history. An unscrupulous mortgage loan officer gives the worker a $750,000 loan to buy a house with low payments for two years, then huge payments would begin. The bankers group a thousand of these loans into one package and call it a bond. They sell the bond to others. Michael Burry was the first person who approached an investment banking firm asking if he could buy an insurance policy that would pay him the face amount of the loans if the loans went bad. In return Michael would pay a yearly insurance premium. AIG said we’ll take your premium payments and write the insurance for you. (This insurance policy is called a credit default swap.) Michael expected the loans to go bad at the two year mark, and then be foreclosed upon. Michael had nothing to do with the loans. He was like a gambler going to Las Vegas to place a bet.

    I AM ANGRY AT THE RATING AGENCIES:
    The two biggest rating agencies are Moody’s and S&P. Moody’s assigns ratings to bonds. Aaa is the safest, A is in the middle, B is the lowest. Most companies (and investors) have policies to only buy bonds with a certain rating. If the rating agencies had done their job, many companies would NOT have bought the bad bonds and not have needed the bailout.

    Goldman Sachs (GS) and others did misleading things. That didn’t surprise me. I’m sure other companies and banks have plenty of skepticism when dealing with them. So the big problem here was S&P and Moody’s. I’m editing the following for brevity and clarity (page 171). Vinny asks the S&P analyst Ernestine for details about the loans behind one of these bonds, for example, the types of borrowers, terms, and property locations of the loans. Ernestine said she didn’t have that information. (Wall Street issuers like Goldman Sachs) “won’t give it to us.” Vinny said “You need to demand to get it!” She said “We can’t do that.” Vinny said “Who is in charge here? You’re the cop. Tell them to give it to you!!!” Vinny’s partner concluded that “S&P was worried that if they demanded the data from Wall Street, Wall Street would just go to Moody’s for their ratings.” An email was later produced in testimony to Congress from an S&P managing director (to his rating analysts) that said “Any request for loan-level tapes is TOTALLY UNREASONABLE!! Most originators don’t have it and can’t provide it. Nevertheless we MUST produce a credit estimate. It is your responsibility to provide those credit estimates and your responsibility to devise some method to do so.” (My thoughts: I was so angry at S&P and Moody’s! They are supposed to be the independent agencies telling us what we are buying. And they are not doing their job because they don’t want to upset who-is-paying-the-bill for the rating? I wonder what happened to the writer of that email?)

    NARRATOR: Jesse Boggs was excellent.

    GENRE: financial nonfiction.

  • A Conversation with Joseph Finder and Malcolm Gladwell

    "Very engaging and interesting conversation."

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    I recommend listening to this after you read Killer Instinct. They talk about various things: corporate guys, sales people, reading facial expressions, and other. They refer to characters in Finder’s book Killer Instinct. I love the way Malcolm Gladwell thinks and writes. He is just as good in this conversation as he always is.

    Genre: nonfiction.

A. Yoshida

A. Yoshida Pasadena, CA USA 11-23-13 Member Since 2013
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  • "What would we do without Google?"

    3 of 3 helpful votes

    This is great read on the history of Google, it's founders (Larry Page and Sergey Brin), and search technology. In the early days of the internet if you had typed in "newspaper," you would not have gotten "New York Times" or "LA Times" because they didn't have "newspaper" in its title. You had to know exactly what key words would generate the results you wanted. It's amazing to think how far search engines have come -- as you type, they predict what you want and populate key words for you. It is due to Google's extreme focus on technology and goals (speed, measurement, refinement, and openness). And there are many more amazing Google technologies that work seamlessly into our lives, which I have forgotten about -- Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Translate....

    There is a lot of reference to "Googley" people and culture and the company's motto of "don't be evil." I think some readers will find it as a bias towards Google. I think it simply describes a workforce obsessively dedicated to doing what they love. For example, many might argue that Google's entry into China was a major stumble and the book doesn't place much accountability on the executives of Google. I think it was daring that Google did that. Selling technology in China is a high-risk proposition. Corruption and copyright infringements turn many companies away from China. Google had to know failure was very likely. Google took a chance to do something for the people of China. Although they censored results as required by the Chinese government, the users were informed on the page whenever results were censored. It was a small step... but an important step to reflect the value of openness -- the Chinese people were told when they weren't getting everything they wanted to see because the government was censoring it.

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    In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Steven Levy
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2921)
    Performance
    (2100)
    Story
    (2107)

    Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes listeners inside Google headquarters - the Googleplex - to explain how Google works.

    Lynn says: "A Rip Snorting Story"

What's Trending in Commerce & Economy:

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    Jill says: "Finally, I understand what happened!"
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UNABRIDGED) by Roger Lowenstein Narrated by Roger Lowenstein

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    When Genius Failed is the cautionary financial tale of our time, the gripping saga of what happened when an elite group of investors believed they could actually deconstruct risk and use virtually limitless leverage to create limitless wealth. In Roger Lowenstein's hands, it is a brilliant tale peppered with fast money, vivid characters, and high drama.

    Pankaj says: "Informative and interesting, full of suspense"
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    The fourth edition of Basic Economics is both expanded and updated. A new chapter on the history of economics itself has been added, and the implications of that history examined. Among other additions throughout the book, a new section on the special role of corporations in the economy has been added to the chapter on government and big business.

    kevin says: "Myth Buster"
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    Start-Up Nation addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel - a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources - produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the UK?

    morton says: "A Remarkable Audio!"
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    Behind the alarming headlines about job losses, bank bailouts, and corporate greed, there is a little-known story of bad ideas. For 50 years or more, economists have been busy developing elegant theories of how markets work - how they facilitate innovation, wealth creation, and an efficient allocation of society's resources. But what about when markets don't work?

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    There was no single, dramatic event that set the current financial crisis off. A whole series of very questionable decisions by many people, in many places, over a period of years, built up the pressures that led to a sudden collapse of the housing market and of financial institutions that began to fall like dominoes as a result of investing in securities based on housing prices. This book is designed to unravel the tangled threads of that story.

    Adolphe says: "Inciteful Non partisan blame"
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    James says: "Fun to listen, and sometimes I learn stuff"
  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century (






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    Kazuhiko says: "Audio format still useful to get the gist of it"
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    The international monetary system has collapsed three times in the past hundred years, in 1914, 1939, and 1971. Each collapse was followed by a period of tumult: War, civil unrest, or significant damage to the stability of the global economy. Now James Rickards, the acclaimed author of Currency Wars, shows why another collapse is rapidly approaching - and why this time, nothing less than the institution of money itself is at risk.

    Jean says: "A good review of the global financial system"
  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (






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    • By Michael Lewis
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    Jill says: "Finally, I understand what happened!"
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    Bradley says: "Great book, But Narrator Needs Technical Help"
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    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
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    • Narrated By Charles Kahlenberg
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    Mark Twain once observed, "A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on." His observation rings true: urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas (business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others) struggle to make their ideas "stick". In this indispensable guide, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds draw their power from the same six traits.

    Jeremy says: "Even Better The Second Time"
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    With over $500 million a year in sales, the Bassett Furniture Company was once the world's biggest wood furniture manufacturer. But beginning in the 1980s, the Bassett company suffered from an influx of cheap Chinese furniture as the first waves of Asian competition hit, and ultimately was forced to send its production offshore to Asia. Only one man fought back. That man is John Bassett III, a descendant of the Bassetts who is now chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co, which employs more than 700 Virginians and has sales of over $90 million.

    rightmuch says: "Simply fascinating."
  • In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (






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    In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Steven Levy
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Performance
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    Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes listeners inside Google headquarters - the Googleplex - to explain how Google works.

    Lynn says: "A Rip Snorting Story"
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    • By G. Edward Griffin
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
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    Performance
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    Story
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    This classic expose of the Fed has become one of the best-selling books in its category of all time. Where does money come from? Where does it go? Who makes it? The money magician's secrets are unveiled. Here is a close look at their mirrors and smoke machines, the pulleys, cogs, and wheels that create the grand illusion called money. A boring subject? Just wait. You'll be hooked in five minutes. It reads like a detective story - which it really is, but it's all true.

    Charyn says: "Prepare to be amazed"
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  • Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle (






UNABRIDGED) by Dan Senor, Saul Singer Narrated by Sean Pratt

    Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
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    Overall
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    Performance
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    Start-Up Nation addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel - a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources - produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the UK?

    morton says: "A Remarkable Audio!"
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UNABRIDGED) by Niall Ferguson Narrated by Simon Prebble

    The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Niall Ferguson
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
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    Overall
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    Performance
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    Story
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    Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of finance, from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it's the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it's the chains of labor. Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress.

    Ethan M. says: "A mostly successful and interesting history"
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UNABRIDGED) by Michael Hyatt Narrated by Michael Hyatt

    Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Michael Hyatt
    • Narrated By Michael Hyatt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (154)

    To be successful in the market today, you must possess two strategic assets: a compelling product and a meaningful platform. In this step-by-step guide, Michael Hyatt, former CEO and current Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, takes readers behind the scenes, into the new world of social media success. He shows you what best-selling authors, public speakers, entrepreneurs, musicians, and other creative minds are doing differently to win customers in today’s crowded marketplace.

    Abraham says: "Lots of Quality Info, Not-So-Great Voice Over"
  • I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 (






UNABRIDGED) by Douglas Edwards Narrated by Douglas Edwards

    I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Douglas Edwards
    • Narrated By Douglas Edwards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (965)
    Performance
    (781)
    Story
    (777)

    Comparing Google to an ordinary business is like comparing a rocket to an Edsel. No academic analysis or bystanders account can capture it. Now Doug Edwards, Employee Number 59, offers the first inside view of Google, giving readers a chance to fully experience the bizarre mix of camaraderie and competition at this phenomenal company. I'm Feeling Lucky captures for the first time the unique, self-invented, yet profoundly important culture of the world's most transformative corporation.

    Stephen says: "Definitely worth a credit"
  • Marketplace Weekend, August 29, 2014  by Lizzie O'Leary Narrated by Lizzie O'Leary

    Marketplace Weekend, August 29, 2014

    • ORIGINAL (51 mins)
    • By Lizzie O'Leary
    • Narrated By Lizzie O'Leary
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    On American Public Media’s Marketplace Weekend™ host Lizzie O’Leary guides listeners through the most fascinating economic stories of the week, exploring what happened, why it matters, who it affects and what happens next.

  • Forbes, August 25, 2014  by Forbes Narrated by Ken Borgers

    Forbes, August 25, 2014

    • HIGHLIGHTS (1 hr and 13 mins)
    • By Forbes
    • Narrated By Ken Borgers
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    Welcome to Forbes for August 25th, 2014 from Audible. This edition contains seven feature articles. In the cover story, "Inside Hermès: Luxury's Secret Empire" - Quietly and diligently, the family behind Hermès has become one of the world's richest, to the tune of more than $25 billion. They've done it not only by selling beautiful luxury items but also by selling aura as beautifully as any company on the planet.

  • Marketplace Weekend, August 22, 2014  by Lizzie O'Leary Narrated by Lizzie O'Leary

    Marketplace Weekend, August 22, 2014

    • ORIGINAL (50 mins)
    • By Lizzie O'Leary
    • Narrated By Lizzie O'Leary
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    On American Public Media’s Marketplace Weekend™ host Lizzie O’Leary guides listeners through the most fascinating economic stories of the week, exploring what happened, why it matters, who it affects and what happens next.

  • Creditocracy: And the Case for Debt Refusal (






UNABRIDGED) by Andrew Ross Narrated by Stephen McLaughlin

    Creditocracy: And the Case for Debt Refusal

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Andrew Ross
    • Narrated By Stephen McLaughlin
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    It seems like pretty much everybody - homeowners, students, those who are ill and without health insurance, and, of course, credit card holders - is up to their neck in debt that can never be repaid. 77% of US households are seriously indebted and one in seven Americans has been pursued by debt collectors. The major banks are bigger and more profitable than before the 2008 crash, and legislators are all but powerless to bring them to heel.

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  • Marketplace Weekend, August 15, 2014  by Lizzie O'Leary Narrated by Lizzie O'Leary

    Marketplace Weekend, August 15, 2014

    • ORIGINAL (50 mins)
    • By Lizzie O'Leary
    • Narrated By Lizzie O'Leary
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    On American Public Media’s Marketplace Weekend™ host Lizzie O’Leary guides listeners through the most fascinating economic stories of the week, exploring what happened, why it matters, who it affects and what happens next.

  • Marketplace Weekend, August 08, 2014  by Lizzie O'Leary Narrated by Lizzie O'Leary

    Marketplace Weekend, August 08, 2014

    • ORIGINAL (51 mins)
    • By Lizzie O'Leary
    • Narrated By Lizzie O'Leary
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    On American Public Media’s Marketplace Weekend™ host Lizzie O’Leary guides listeners through the most fascinating economic stories of the week, exploring what happened, why it matters, who it affects and what happens next.

  • Forbes, August 4, 2014  by Forbes Narrated by Ken Borgers

    Forbes, August 4, 2014

    • HIGHLIGHTS (1 hr and 12 mins)
    • By Forbes
    • Narrated By Ken Borgers
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    Welcome to Forbes for August 4th, 2014 from Audible. This edition contains seven feature articles. In the cover story, we'll tell you about "The Recession Generation: How Millennials Are Changing Money Management Forever" - They're richer than you think. They're more scared than their elders. And they're ripe for the picking. Inside the race to cash in on Millennials' trillions.