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For the last seven weeks, we’ve gone around the world to see how the pandemic led to more or less economic equality. There were some pleasant surprises and some devastating stories. In the season finale, we ask: what about the next crisis? How do we ensure more stability and security when something earth shattering inevitably comes along? That led reporter Jeannette Neumann to a small town in Spain’s Basque region, which boasts a strong track record of security and stability, thanks to a crisis-tested economic model. See for privacy information.
Singapore's carefully controlled housing market has been a key factor in its economic success over the last 60 years. But when the pandemic ushered in the city's worst-ever recession, property prices continued to rise, leading a younger generation to worry if it can match the social mobility enjoyed by their parents. In this episode of The Pay Check, we examine the grand housing experiment that helped Singapore to reach one of the highest rates of homeownership in the world, and recent developments that have left ordinary Singaporeans asking whether the system is still working for them. Reporter Faris Mokhtar meets the man who helped create the city's housing boom, as well as the young professionals grappling with the market today. See for privacy information.
Mexico’s handling of the pandemic has been largely driven by its president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and his desire to keep the economy open. That’s meant few restrictions and a “return to normal” even before vaccines. The approach hasn’t come without costs, particularly to the country’s health care system. During the first year of the pandemic, maternal mortality rates spiked 60%. In this episode of The Pay Check, Equality reporter Kelsey Butler travels to a rural part of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula to get to the bottom of how that happened — and find out how to fix it. See for privacy information.
One of the defining trends of the pandemic has been the creation of extreme wealth at the very top. This week on The Pay Check we take a look at the booming fortunes of the world’s growing billionaire class through one man: Larry Ellison. (Net worth, give or take $90 billion.) Ellison co-founded the tech company Oracle but he may be better known for how he spends his money: yachts, mansions, a tennis tournament. In 2012, he bought an entire Hawaiian island, Lanai — home to 3,000 people. For a decade its residents have anxiously watched Ellison slowly kill their small businesses and push up rents from afar. Then, during the pandemic, Ellison moved there. Bloomberg Wealth reporter Sophie Alexander traveled down to the island to see how the billionaire’s presence has accelerated his plans, and how locals whose families have lived there for generations are managing. See for privacy information.
Even before the pandemic, the proportion of women in India's workforce was falling. Covid made it so much worse. This episode of The Pay Check looks at where India's working women went during the pandemic, why they haven't come back to the workforce, and why that's a blow to the country's broader economic ambitions. Archana Chaudhary and Ronojoy Mazumdar travel to a girls school on the Ganges with one primary mission: Keeping girls in school, often at odds with families that would prefer to get them married. See for privacy information.
Kenya: The Lost Girls

Kenya: The Lost Girls


An increase in teen pregnancies in Kenya is part of a shadow pandemic that ripped through developing nations during Covid, setting women’s progress back generations. In this episode of The Pay Check, journalist Jill Filipovic visits a dance school in Nairobi, Kenya that’s fighting to help girls manage their lives and re-enroll in school. See for privacy information.
When the Covid-19 pandemic started, many people expected inequality to get worse in the U.S. But at least for the bottom 50% of Americans, something surprising happened: Many of the least advantaged boosted their wealth. To start to understand why, we look to cash payments. No-strings-attached money went to people in need in the form of federal stimulus, the child tax credit — and local guaranteed income programs. As pandemic rescue aid wanes, is there a path to making monthly cash payments permanent? Reporter Susan Berfield looks to Jackson, Mississippi, to find out. See for privacy information.
This season on the Pay Check, we're going to seven different countries to see how a global pandemic shifted the balance between the richest and the poorest people -- and affected everyone in between. In this first episode, Host Rebecca Greenfield and reporter Ben Steverman discuss how the effects of the pandemic on our health, wealth, safety and livelihood varied widely based on where in the world we were. Then Brazil-based reporter Shannon Sims takes us to the country's capital, Brasilia -- One of the places with the sharpest inequality in the world. Through a day in the life of a single mother who added rideshare driver to her list of side jobs during the pandemic, she explores the ways the pandemic snapped the already fragile safety nets women in this vulnerable group had strung together to stay afloat. See for privacy information.
The pandemic created a global economic crisis that economists and experts expected would lead to greater wealth inequality than ever before. Host Rebecca Greenfield along with a team of Bloomberg News reporters heads to seven countries around the world to find out what this world changing event has wrought. What they found was surprising. See for privacy information.
With the season behind us, Rebecca Greenfield and Jackie Simmons sat down during the Bloomberg Businessweek conference to go inside the making of The Pay Check. They talked about how the series came together, high points, challenges and reactions -- and even teased what might be coming from the Pay Check team in the future. See for privacy information.
For our final episode of season 3, we take a look at how reckoning with our history, collectively, and personally, can help us move forward. Closing the racial wealth gap might not be possible anytime soon. But if the U.S. wants to seriously tackle these injustices, it might need to start with the truth. A few years ago, Bloomberg colleague, Claire Suddath explored her own family’s connection to slavery and a plantation in Mississippi. Jackie sits down with Claire to explore what it was like to reckon with that past. See for privacy information.
Reparations Gone Wrong

Reparations Gone Wrong


Reparations for slavery in the U.S. aren't happening any time soon. But there are other countries that have compensated populations for persecution. This week, the Pay Check heads to the U.K., which is in the midst of what it calls a "compensation scheme" to pay back Black residents known as The Windrush Generation. Olivia Konotey-Ahulu and Brentin Mock dig into why it's less of a model and more of a cautionary tale. See for privacy information.
This week on the Pay Check, we look at the long fight for reparations for slavery in the U.S. Economists have calculated that each Black American is owed around $300,000, which would just about close the racial wealth gap. While momentum for reparations has grown, it's not likely to happen any time soon -- at least at the federal level. Meanwhile, cities and the state of California are looking into local reparations. Susan Berfield looks at how one town is repaying its Black residents for discrimination. See for privacy information.
For the last few weeks, we've talked about the origins of the racial wealth gap. This week, we're turning our attention to one of the first major efforts to create more economic opportunity for Black Americans: Affirmative action in education. Kelsey Butler takes us to California, a place that for decades had strong, successful affirmative action measures, until one day, it didn't. She explains what getting rid of the policy meant for Black and white graduates, and why reinstating it isn't enough to close the wealth gap. See for privacy information.
Homeownership has been a main source of intergenerational wealth in the U.S. But it’s one that is out of reach for many Black Americans. Decades after fair housing reforms, the dramatic disparity between Black and White homeownership isn’t getting any better. In this episode, we look at why this gap persists, with many Black homes overtaxed, undervalued and unjustly foreclosed on.  The focus of our story is one problem that's a “textbook case of institutional racism”: In thousands of U.S. counties, the method for calculating property taxes means Black Americans are experiencing unfairly high taxes. It's the reason why Di Leshea Scott is renting a home she used to own.  See for privacy information.
'The Last Plantation'

'The Last Plantation'


The top five White landowners in the U.S. own more land than all the Black landowners combined. And over the last century, Black farmers have lost nearly all of the land they once owned. But in the 1990s, tens of thousands of Black farmers sued the Department of Agriculture for discrimination, and won. In this episode, Elizabeth Rembert looks at the role of farmland in the racial wealth gap, and how one farmer's fight with his local USDA loan officer snowballed into the largest class action lawsuit in U.S. history. See for privacy information.
This week, we look at the 400 years of U.S. history that help explain today's racial wealth gap. Bloomberg economics reporter Catarina Saraiva takes co-hosts Jackie Simmons and Rebecca Greenfield from slavery to the modern era to show big economic losses to Black people in addition to moments that led to big wealth gains for White people. See for privacy information.
In the season three premiere of The Pay Check, we're switching gears. For the next eight weeks, we'll be looking at the racial wealth gap in the U.S. Why Black people, who make up around 13% of the population, hold just 3.8% of all the wealth in the richest nation in the world. This episode, we'll be exploring what wealth is, why it matters, and how you get it. Co-host Jackie Simmons explores the wealth gap through her family's attempt to hold onto land in a small town in Texas. Then, retail reporter Jordyn Holman, looks at how the gap plays out in a Black mecca. See for privacy information.
More than 150 years after the end of slavery in the U.S., the net worth of a typical white family is nearly six times greater than that of the average Black family. Season 3 of The Pay Check digs into into how we got to where we are today and what can be done to narrow the yawning racial wealth gap in the U.S. Jackie Simmons and Rebecca Greenfield co-host the season, which kicks off with a personal story about land Jackie's family acquired some time after slavery that they're on the verge of losing. From there the series explores all the ways the wealth gaps manifests and the radical solutions, like affirmative action, quotas, and reparations, that can potentially lead to greater equality. See for privacy information.
Help Wanted

Help Wanted


During World War II, the influx of women workers into the workforce solved one problem—the labor shortage—while creating another: Who would watch the kids? To address it, the U.S. government created high-quality, publicly-funded childcare centers for working moms. In this season’s final episode of The Pay Check, we explore the long term effects of this brief government experiment. We ask what it would take, short of a war, to generate a similar groundswell of public support for mothers in the workforce. And we question the assumption that mothers alone are responsible for creating the infrastructure that enables them to work. See for privacy information.
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GREAT discussion! 💙

Jun 20th
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