Joel Schectman

Stories by Joel Schectman

  • Marriott Hotels Go Porn-Free

    The U.S. porn industry began vibrating last week when a market-research group reported that Marriott, one of the country's biggest hotel chains, would phase out in-room porn channels--a mainstay of the adult industry. In a press release, Marriott cited changing technology trends, and admitted that revenue from the movies was down.
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    New Chinese Fighter Jet May Erase U.S. Air Invincibility

    In future wars America's nearly radar-invisible Boeing F-22 Raptor was supposed to allow U.S. pilots to shoot down an enemy jet from 50 miles away, before the opposing pilot could see even a speck on his screen. But that dream of the easy score was dashed this month, after China introduced its own stealth fighter jet, the J-20.
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    No Cause for Cheer in Unemployment Drop

    The number of jobless Americans went down last month, but it was mainly because people stopped looking for work, although some more jobs were being filled.
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    Buying Facebook Stock on the Shadow Market

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company probably won't be offering shares to the public until 2012, at the earliest. So it will be tough to get a piece of America's fastest-growing tech company. Unless you're rich.
  • Vermont’s Tax Test

    Odds are that tax reform will soon get a real hearing in Washington, D.C. President Obama has called for it, and both Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and a bipartisan deficit-reduction committee have endorsed the idea. A simplified system—one that lowers the overall rate but eliminates exemptions—could help attract foreign investment and shrink the deficit, recouping an estimated trillion dollars a year now lost to creative accounting. Or that’s the argument.
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    Technology Bumps Workers Off the Job Line

    The crush of the recession and the lagging recovery have forced factories to accelerate their use of technology, as they've chopped 15 percent of their workforce—or more than 2 million jobs—since 2007.
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    Is the Cost of College a Bargain?

    For more than two decades, as the cost of college has climbed at twice the rate of inflation, critics have argued that bloated bureaucracies, overpaid faculty, and unnecessary amenities are inflating tuition.
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    Texas Verdict Brings Long-DeLayed End to Hammer Time

    Former Republican majority leader Tom DeLay’s conviction on a money-laundering charge in Texas has a vintage feel to it. That's because it reminds us of a political style and philosophy that seem to have fallen out of favor.
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    The Unstoppable Infomercial

    The recession may have forced Americans to cut back on trips to shopping malls, but it was a boon to infomercial marketers, with their late-night pitches for thinner bodies and fatter bank accounts, and butt toners and wonder drinks.
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    Those Notorious Late-Night Infomercials

    Extended ads that pop up in the wee hours have a fun, camp value. Some offer what appear to be panaceas for life’s important challenges, like molding Hercules-like biceps. Others offer solutions to problems you may not have even known you had. We offer some of the more notorious ones.
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    Is the United States Playing Games With Money?

    No one doubts there will be lots of sparring over the value of China's yuan at this week's G20 conference, where a score of prominent and developing countries are meeting in Seoul. But some say America is the country that’s manipulating currency.
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    The Fed's $600 Billion in New Money

    So you may have heard that the Federal Reserve printed $600 billion in new currency last week to help get the economy moving again. You should be asking how you can get a chunk of that money.
  • Stop Worrying About China’s Currency

    As leaders from the world’s 20 major economies prepare to meet in Seoul this week, tensions continue to flare over trade imbalances and currency rates, particularly when it comes to China. Some analysts even say a trade war is underway. In the meantime, Germany and Britain are creating a group of experts to promote trade liberalization across the globe. Co-heading this group will be Jagdish Bhagwati, 76, a Columbia University economist. In the lead-up to the G20, NEWSWEEK’s Joel Schectman spoke to Bhagwati about the meeting’s prospects for success.
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    A Pawn Shop for the Affluent

    Forget the old stereotype of pawn shops as dives that draw mostly lower-income people seeking quick cash in return for a few trinkets. Instead of accepting a boom-box and handing back $60 for gas, a new kind of pawn shop is taking in Picassos and Rolexes and doling out thousands of dollars.
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    Should Obama Halt Foreclosures?

    A growing number of politicians, advocacy organizations, and even state attorneys general have called on banks to put a halt on further foreclosures, but the banks are not prepared to go along.
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    'McHealthcare' Giving the White House Indigestion

    Health-care plans that offer limited benefits may have dubious value, but they are causing the Obama administration a massive headache as the health-care bill begins phasing in.
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    Who Won, Lost Under TARP?

    Whether the bailout helped to prevent another depression or did nothing at all, taxpayers were out a lot of money. Where did it all go and who made out the best?
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    How to Be a Social Entrepreneur

    Is it possible to do good and do well? Businesspeople with a goal to better society—known as social entrepreneurs—think so. Unlike traditional nonprofits, these do-gooder companies turn a buck while pushing for environmental and social goals, like helping people out of poverty or reducing the use of harmful pesticides. And the idea seems to have caught on; the sector is currently pumping out millions of dollars in revenue each year. So how can aspiring social entrepreneurs get in on the success? Newsweek spoke to Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, a company that gives away a pair for every pair it sells, and to George Siemon, a founding farmer of Organic Valley, a dairy co-op, to find out. Their advice:
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    The Recession, Debtors' Prisons, and Louisiana

    Inmate isn’t a money-making profession, which helps explain why states outlawed debtors’ prisons in the 1830s. More recently, the Supreme Court added protections for the destitute, ruling that a judge can’t revoke probation for or heap prison time on an inmate merely because he can’t afford fines or court fees. But while poverty is no longer a crime, at least not officially, two new studies suggest that the practice of locking up debtors is becoming more common. In separate efforts, the American Civil Liberties Union and Brennan Center for Justice at New York University spent a year observing court cases and interviewing hundreds of defenders, prosecutors, and the accused. The results, copies of which were released early to NEWSWEEK, show a troubling pattern of incarceration in at least 16 states, where even minor, nonviolent offenses such as speeding and loitering result in prison time for the poor.
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    What Does Deflation Actually Deflate?

    t’s complicated. Deflation and inflation are defined as cycles of falling and rising prices, respectively. Experts disagree on which force is more likely to overtake the economy, but either way, not every good or service will move in the same direction—creating confusing exceptions that make it hard to plan a family budget. To help make sense of it all, here are economists’ predictions—for both scenarios—about prices in five everyday areas:
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    New Bank Rules May Not Prevent More Meltdowns

    The world’s financial watchdogs hammered out new rules last week to stop banks from causing another financial catastrophe. But the new measures may not really prevent more financial calamity.
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    Congress Finally Helps Small Businesses Get Loans

    While the government delivered giant loads of cash to America’s biggest banks at the height of the economic crisis, the credit needs of small businesses were largely ignored. Two years after the start of the crisis, the Senate votes to help the little guy.

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