Money is a useful collaborative fiction to exchange and transfer value.
The 2020 book from former NPR Planet Money podcast co-host and economics reporter Jacob Goldstein is a fun and approachable social history of what we call money. It is light and breezy, full of familiar themes to those already interested in finance and economics while also a good starting point for someone who isn’t.
I captured notes for myself below. Go buy the book yourself.
Continue reading Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing
The best way to get things done is to rule authoritatively. Demand and conquer.
The best way to save money is to cut back, cut back, cut back. Always do more with less.
You can create a trim, powerful, successful, lean and mean and impactful organization.
But what happens when no one wants to work there anymore?
After writing this, I came across a somewhat similar post from Seth Godin, in which he calls for leaders to ask for ‘better’ not for ‘more.’
It’s all about alternative revenue.
Newspapers, large and small, have served for generations as a gateway for providing information about the deaths of loved ones.
Without any real numbers to back this up, it sure seems that unlike things like job listings and other classifieds, obit profits haven’t been eaten away nearly as much.
When I look at highly targeted community Web sites — successful ones like Howard Owens’s The Batvian and My Missourian (read about if they are sustainable) — I don’t see them trying to do the same. Any site that has any meaningful geographic focus and critical mass of readership there needs to see this as an important monetization strategy.
Continue reading Obituaries: a newspaper staple that should find a way into community news sites
Updated: 3/9/09 at 8:56 p.m.
Newspapers and many magazines don’t cover freelance expenses, like telephone calls.
What gives? Doing some quick math – and the 15 cents per minute phone call I use from my cell-phone plan to charge those publications that do accept my charges – I expect to spend at the very least more than one hour on the phone per story. Yeah, that’s about $10.
Ten bucks isn’t a chunk of change in the eyes of even the most crippled newspaper, but that does mean I spent more than $100 in additional phone charges last month.
Continue reading The cost of the phone interview for freelance journalsits: how do you charge, what do you use?
What is writing, reporting and editing worth to you?
Everyone says he didn’t get into journalism to be rich – particularly not the print field – but rather it’s what he wants to do.
But when you really face the numbers it may seem even more daunting.
Continue reading Your new journalism job: what do reporters, editors get paid?
With some business reporting background, I really should have a better, more fuller grasp on the complexities of what caused today’s growing financial meltdown. But lots of smart people are having trouble understanding.
For the Philadelphia Business Journal in April, I put together an interesting Q&A on the mortgage crisis with E. Robert Levy, the executive director of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey.
If only we knew then that that was just the beginning. Now those failing mortgages have collapsed other parts of the global economy, and everywhere – perhaps outside of North Dakota – is feeling the pinch.
A friend forwarded me a good video from American Public Media discussing collaterized debt obligations – the financial products that brought last spring’s mortgage foreclosure surge to the world.
It helps, seriously. See it below.
Continue reading Help me understand the credit crisis