7 Burst results for "Darius Roffe"
"darius roffe" Discussed on The Indicator from Planet Money
"Eighteen seventy two and the landlord of lemon farm just outside of palermo in sicily having trouble with the local mafioso the landlord is a surgeon named gaspari galati and the mafioso he was dealing with was the warden of galati's farm the guy who was supposed to be protecting it instead the warden was stealing from it himself so dr galati fires and hires a new word that new warden was promptly shot in the back and killed the police didn't seem to care so dr gladdy hires ex warden and that guy was also shot though at least he survived. Did you have trouble hiring a third. I don't think he had a chance in all throughout this drama dr galati was reporting these events to authorities. Eventually he and his family were chased out of sicily. But that is the first detailed written record. We have of the mafia and how it operated a study about the origins of the mafia reveals that the detail that matters in dr galati story is not the threats or the murder or all the other stuff. That's great for hollywood movies. The detail that matters is actually with dr gliding was trying to sell limits. I'm cardiff garcia. And i'm stacey van. This is the indicator from planet money today on the show last from the late eighteen hundreds the rise of the mafia this message comes from npr sponsor. Addin the future payments platform adian connects you with customers around the world and makes it simple to accept all kinds of payments in-app online in store touch free and beyond with a single solution. Keep customers happy and your business growing with adnan business. Not boundaries. visit a. d. y. e. n. dot com slash. Npr to learn more in the seventeen. Hundreds of british scientists named james lind discovered that lemons were an effective cure for scurvy. The british navy started requiring its ships to be stocked with lemon juice and seventeen ninety five and combined with rising global trade generally through a huge boom in demand for sicilian lemons. Sicily was already known around the world for its citrus farms and by eighteen fifty. Sicily was exporting almost twice as many cases of lemons as it had been fifteen years earlier and the expansion accelerated over the next few decades eventually. Almost three quarters of all lemons imported by the united states came from italy and most of those were from sicily but sicilian landlords had long operated under a kind of futile system. Lsu soppy is an economist at the university of manchester in the uk and she wrote a paper on the mafia with her colleagues. She says that these landlords were making a killing on these lemons. The people who worked for them noticed from that time line You can see the villas out there. Were just fantastic. In terms of painting. The arts culture was amazing because there were like having lots of prophets from their activity and just investing for themselves not redistributing who is happy says the landlords depended on a class of workers known as gab. Lottie to protect their farms and oversee their workers but in eighteen sixty sicily became part of a unified italy and these lost their jobs because the government the police the courts were now supposed to be the ones protecting the farms from thieves. Alexia says a lot of these galaxy then joined the police themselves but at the same time they also joined in early kind of proto mafia that already existed back then which meant the very people meant to protect the farms. During the days. Police officers were often the same ones extorting the landlords at night demanding money for doing air quotes here protection. He's doing our quote. This is roughly the point around the mid to late. Eighteen hundreds that the mafia really started to thrive right these early mafia groups had formed to offer protection from brigands and thieves. But of course also meant the landlords who didn't pay them would become targets and these local mafias were steadily becoming better organized. They had military structure. Less you says and they accepted recruits from all social classes. What you have to remember is that from the very beginning. The mafia is corrupt to rise by having people from all sorts of class. We can say so. The word doctors the were Judges the were policemen. So afterward wine it became quite want sprint. So did the landlords essentially just leave or did they give up their farms. Or where did they go. They lost power is basically saying and doing the same activities but they didn't have to political support from the previous Anymore by the way stacey You know that scene in the godfather there was this california film mogul who owned this beautiful horse and i. He refused to do a favor from brando. Oh yes analysis would show is going to be what you want to start shooting in a week. A little make them off again with us. I remember this guy wakes up in the morning and the lopped off head of his prize horse was at the foot of his bed so it turns out that that was inspired by something that sicilian mafioso. There's actually used to do really sometimes. You may find a dead head of an animal in front of the door. That's crazy enough. But believe it or not mutilated. Animal heads Wasn't all they did kind of the least your problems. You might get shot in your on your arm just as a warning. So my god. That's that's considered a warning is just is to get shot in the leg. Yes because it's still your live okay. Yeah unless he says that the week italian state the corrupt bureaucrats and police lack of societal. Trust in the government were all necessary conditions for the mafia to emerge. But they don't tell the whole story. Because those conditions apply to the entire island of sicily but in its early decades the mafia was only powerful force in specific regions. Unless you colleagues did was to look at the places where surveys of local judges were reporting high levels of mafia activity and they found those were the same places where the lemon farms were all of which suggests that even though the right circumstances already existed the global boom in the lemon trade was the necessary spark that made the mafia flourish. So here we have to ask. What is it specifically about. Lemons that led to the mafia for one thing they were hugely profitable which made them a tempting target for people to steal but also unlike other crops like wheat or something. They were really easy to steal. You could just pull them off the tree and the also needed to be transported gently to whoever was buying them because they went rotten whenever they were bruised and that meant that lemon needed to be protected and lemon farms needed security guards especially because getting into the lemon business was expensive investment. You had to dig irrigation network. Build a wall to protect the orchard. And have please the lemons. That's why lemon farms. So vulnerable and that vulnerability combined with the lack of protective institutions and the huge profits available was also the opening that the mafia exploited to become a big societal force. A word about our sourcing unless you stop these colleagues who wrote the paper with our were kenjiro. D'amico olsen that papers titles origins of the sicilian mafia the market for lemons in the paper they reference a book by john dickie called gusanos through a history of the sicilian mafia. And that's also where we found. The detailed story of dr galati finally the clips from francis. Ford coppola's the godfather. This absurd indicator was produced by darius roffe on britney cronin our editors patty hirsch in the indicator is a production of npr.
"darius roffe" Discussed on The Indicator from Planet Money
"The news about the economic impact of the Corona Virus. Outbreak has been moving incredibly fast in recent days. Stock markets have fallen throughout the world. Economists are furiously trying to predict just how much the outbreak is going to hurt. Us economic growth and businesses are obviously really worried about how this is going to affect their employees. And of course they're prophets hopefully in that order. Hopefully that order But yeah it's really hard to know. Just how bad things are getting or will get for the overall economy. Especially if you're trying to follow this in real time and to understand why it's so hard we ask. Bill McBride who runs the website calculated risk about his favourite economic indicators. Bill is like one of our favorite indicator watchers and he likes the monthly employment report. Which is what we cover on. Jobs tells us how many how many jobs economies creating and he also likes. Housing starts which just tells you how many new houses have just started being built and finally he likes new home sales which is just a sales of new homes but all of those released after the months over with a you know employment port fairly quickly but it's it's got about a two to three week. Lag in in housing starts a new home sales there. There are a few weeks after the end of the month. For example. We won't really know what happened to jobs in late. February the impact of Corona virus on the job market until next jobs Friday in early April. And so you might think well fine. I'll just follow the news to find out what's going on and there. You might read that events like the big south by southwest film and Music and Media Festival in Austin Texas has been cancelled and that's going to hurt amongst a lot of other people. The service workers like the bartenders and the people who work in restaurants who depend on the big turnout for the festival to make their money but the problem with just using stories to understand what's happening in the whole economy is that those stories are usually about individual people or individual companies or events. So what do you do if you're someone who wants to track the effects of the epidemic for the overall economy in real time like say if you're the hosts of a podcast that does very well? Bill McBride has chosen what he refers to as high frequency indicators these are indicators at all come out weekly and they give a sense of how people and companies are behaving in response to the epidemic. Sell here. We go planet money high frequency indicator number one domestic weekly box office movie sales. So these come out once a week every Friday and they just tell us how much money people have spent to see at the theater. Does it counts discount popcorn. I don't think so. I think he says movie tickets. I feel like that's that's a little indicators matter that's true are you sneaking in the milk duds or are you buying them there. Yeah The obvious reason though that box office movie sales is a good indicator of the effects of the corona virus outbreak. Is it going to? The movies is recreational activity that a lot of people enjoy and since one of the worries about the virus is that you might catch it in a crowded room. People might start avoiding movie theaters and that would obviously show up as a fall in the box office numbers. So what are those box office? Numbers show so far. Well the box office sales shows us the movie. Theater's fine It's running at about. The same rate is last year. To specific people have spent about one point. Seven billion dollars on movie tickets this year just slightly less than they'd spent at this point last year but we also know that it's going to drop because some major movies are GonNa get moved. The most recent James Bond movie got moved to the second half of the year and it was supposed to open next week or in two weeks. So if blockbuster's move towards the end of the year that's GonNa that's gonNA cause it to drop. Plus you know we should see a demand drop as soon as people start really getting a little more nervous about the spread of disease so keep an eye out for that one and now high frequency indicator number to the hotel occupancy rate which comes out every Thursday and as the name implies the hotel occupancy rate is to share of hotel rooms in the country that are occupied that are being used by people staying in hotels and it would make sense for this rate to also declined if enough people are canceling their trips. Maybe they're afraid of flying or because enough businesses are no longer sending their employees to travel for business meetings or conventions. And here's what bill says is happening to this rates Real Hotel. Occupancy is actually started to soften a little over the last couple of weeks soft and you mean. It's gotten worse right. That's like Econo- of Jargon speak for. It's gotten yes it's economy jargon for worse after another words. The occupancy rate is lower than we had expected but only by a couple percent in the airport hotel area down by probably four or five percent over the last couple of weeks. Blow what we would expect at this time of year right now. About sixty four percent of hotel rooms are being used that is lower than this time last year. Plus the number has started to fall recently so there are signs that the virus has already started affect travel and the fact that occupancy at airport hotels has fallen by even more could be assigned that a big caused the decline is that all those companies are not sending their employees to travel for business meetings and bill. Mcbride has won more high frequency indicator that he recommends and it's probably the single best indicator for knowing what's happening in the overall economy rather than in a limited number of sectors and we'll share that one with you right after this quick break this message comes from. Npr SPONSORED SHOW. Bonnie out made to taste just like milk. It's creamy frothy and great with coffee and cookies. But without the dairy because it's not milk it's almost milk new Shabani owed support also comes from colour. Intelligent toilets with smart features ranging from warm water cleansing to automatic air freshening colour. Intelligent toilets are designed to provide an elevated experience more at Kohler Dot com slash. Intelligent toilets. Okay the last high frequency indicator for tracking the effects of Corona virus outbreak on US economy courtesy of Bill McBride. And it's this initial weekly jobless claims whenever someone loses their job they can file a claim for unemployment insurance with their state government and those claims get counted every week. And that gives you kind of feel for how many people are being. Let go because those are people that lost their jobs and are aren't quitting their jobs there. They've actually lost for some other reason. So that's been running around two hundred and ten thousand a week And that's a that's a very low number historically so that's something that we should expect to see start to increase. Maybe even in the data released this Thursday which will be for last week and I really expected in the following week where we're going to start seeing people laid off in the hotel in the crews and the airline industries so far these numbers show that the overall effects of the virus have not yet started to really damage the US economy even though some individuals and some businesses have already really started to fill these effects. But as bill says the story could change quickly in the next few weeks but the overall damage becoming more clear. And if that's the case then he expects that damage to show up in these three indicators. Weekly movie Box Office Sales Hotel. Occupancy rates and especially initial weekly jobless claims by the way if you our listeners also WANNA keep up with these indicators will post links to all of them. Npr Dot org slash money and there will also post linked to bills website calculated risk e really is in my humble opinion the single best website to follow US economic indicators. And not such a bad complement to this Garcia. Yeah Wow This episode of the indicator was produced by Darius roffe on our fact. Checkers Pretty Cronin. Patty hearst is our editor. The indicator is a production of NPR..
"darius roffe" Discussed on The Indicator from Planet Money
"Okay Darius everything's looking good right now. Stocks are going up. People are quitting their jobs as doctors or engineers or whatever to trade on the stock market. Obviously this could not last well. As you'll recall people were using the system post dated cheques to create this market but then as the stocks started to go down people started trying to call in those checks they went down to the bank and said I wanNA cash this check check because I'm not sure that this is going to be worth anything soon. And it quickly became clear that there was not enough cash to cover all of these checks and so the government stepped stepped in. They put together this committee and said we're going to look at this and everyone said great. The government's got it under control and they met over a weekend Monday. They made an announcement. There would be no bailout and at that point. All trading stopped. Just a stunned reaction paralysis. I imagine this. The third largest stock market in the world in an instant grinds to a halt suddenly worthless. Nobody knows who owes always what to WHO who is bankrupt. Who is solvent? It's just this this mess. They could all of the dealers under house arrest and and everyone was told no capitals Louts League Kuwait until it's all sorted out so the government scrambling and the collapse of the sugamo stomach. It destroyed the Kuwaiti economy. I mean it plunged the country into a recession that lasted almost ten years. All but one of the country's banks were insolvent in the end all of the losses adjusted for inflation totalled nearly two hundred and fifty billion dollars which for reference with five times the size of the Kuwaiti economy. At the time so this would be the equivalent of losing one hundred trillion dollars if it had happened in the US Suba Araya's who was a prominent businessman man. Like I said he says when it crashed just affected everyone. That was the biggest thing that ever happened. In Kuwait everything went went when and whether it's a stock or whether it's appropriate to everything thing when when I think there's an interesting lesson in all this and I think it demonstrates demonstrates the two forces that are kind of battling each other at the center of capitalism which is you know the forces of financial innovation and sort of human. I'm an engineer. That can't be stopped and the forces of financial regulation and trying to earn a bend that ingenuity so that it fits into some kind of master plan and I don't think Kuwait's mistake was seeing the value in financial innovation. I think the mistake was thinking that they could somehow separate that from the rest of the economy. You're never gonNA be able to contain human ingenuity. I think that the most you can hope for is to try to find some balance between control all in chaos very nicely said Darius how the Sukhoi menaka explains the world for at least financial history. thanks man. PODCAST was produced by Darius roffe on edited by Paddy Hirsch. The indicator is a production of N._P._R...
"darius roffe" Discussed on The Indicator from Planet Money
"Support for this podcast comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation helping NPR advanced journalistic excellence in the digital age. These days we think of the economy as something to be managed so for example if the economy starts slowing down going into a recession we want policymakers to give give it a boost historian. Colin Elliott says that is not really how the Romans thought of the economy. They don't seem to have actually conceived of the idea of an economy to me as kind of external thing that needs to be stimulated or that can become You know that can run rampant. That has booms and busts but collins says that the ancient Romans and did at least have a banking system and they did have lending and credit it systems mostly for elites for people who already had money and status Colin refers to it as a relational banking system the banking institutions. Were for the most part quite personal. That is these are individual families or even in many cases just individuals else who have access to capital or they have quite good social relationships but on the whole the it is elites that are that are using the vast majority of the credit system and that is because security in the Roman world is primarily land the crisis of eight thirty three happened under the watch of the Emperor Tiberius serious. He was the second Roman emperor after Augustus. And here's what you need to know about him about Tiberius. He kind of nailed it in. Tiberius is Quite distant as an emperor he spends the latter years of his reign in kind of voluntary exile at the island of Capri. He is somewhat disinterested and and Uninvolved in in Roman Politics Tiberius left Rome for Capri in a D. Twenty six collins says this created a power vacuum in Rome it especially among the elites and the Roman Senate the Senate kind of is is headless and is is acting in sort of confused and incoherent way. And so all these elites these senators. They started backstabbing each other trying to position themselves for advancement into better jobs within the Roman government for example Collins says that even though Rome was by yeah then in empire the Roman Senate still mattered a lot and there were a lot of public jobs still had to be done that were important in which also granted a lot of prestige to the people who got those jobs. For example there was a job of overseeing games and festivals in Rome or the job of managing the courts in the city or sometimes leading armies. And those jobs. Were only the middle rungs on this ladder of honors as it was called and then at the very top of the ladder was the consul ship and there were two Roman consuls. That ruled the the Roman state they had the a power called imperium which was really the right to give a command and expect immediate an an automatic compliance. They had the power over life and death of an individual outside the city of Rome. They could manage courts they called assemblies. They led army's they were sent off after their one year term in office to go and govern provinces so basically these senators and other Roman elites were jockeying for these great jobs jobs sometimes accusing each other of treason to the emperor and again the emperor was not there himself to judge these accusations. He was on the island of Capri and so it was all just a mess. And then some of these elite Roman senators as a way to target their rivals came across an idea they look on the books and some of them them realize that there are these laws that have been on the books for for decades. That are That are that require them to not lend it interest and also require them to to have their land portfolios dominated by land in Italy and they so some senators and other elites a landowning elites had just outside of the Senate are using these laws to bring each other to trial in hopes of knocking their rivals. Down A peg. This sudden force of these two laws which had been ignored for decades is what plunged the Roman empire into a financial crisis. Here's how settle in the bankers. who had lent out money? They demanded they be paid back on all of their loans immediately as they believed was required by the law the problem was that the people who owed the money had already invested that money in land so they had to rush out and sell that land to pay back the loans and when everybody is selling land at the same time the price of land of course collapses and making things worse the Romans who had lent money to the banks now also needed cash themselves to buy land within Italy so that they would be in compliance with the law except the banks. Were not getting their money back fast enough. So there was a kind of ancient run on the banking system. There was a shortage of cash. Nash Land Values collapsed. Fortunes were being lost and even more important to the Roman elites their status their reputations hung in the balance but wait enter Tiberius key orders a bailout. He makes a hundred million sister sees available to be lent out by the government to the elites. Who Need It? And don't worry one hundred million sister sees just take our word for it. It's a lot of money loans. This out interest free to fellow elites for three years so that they can pay back their debt. What they have to do insecurity provide some land as security to the state? So that if they don't won't pay back those loans The state would then presumably confiscate their land and it worked basically the bailout was an injection of money for the people who needed had to pay off their loans to buy them time to comply with the law which is exactly the stabilizing economic policy. That Roman leads needed from their main policymaker the emperor her so land prices stabilized themselves reputations. Were preserved. It's true that it solved this financial problem in in that it allowed elites to To pay back their debts and then private lenders were eventually found as well and the credit market itself Alf was restored feed as was restored but of course also the status of these elites was restored. And that's what this crisis crisis is all about. Colin says people who try to draw modern lessons from this Incheon crisis to argue for example. That injecting money into the economy when there's a bank run on or when loans are being called in or there's a bubble crashing. They're not necessarily wrong. But they're kind of missing the point back then. Tiberius wasn't trying to stabilize this thing. We now referred to as the economy. He was trying to help out his fellow elites and in doing so maybe reminding everybody that he himself was the most elite Roman of all and I think what I think is really important about this crisis is that we remember that that was its principal. Aim that was the principal. Aim of the rescue package. It was not necessarily to restore the entire financial system so into us sort of modern jargon. This was not a Keynesian countercyclical policy. This was bail out for the Roman one percent it was and it it was a status bailout. It was it was a financial base bail allowed but it was also a and most importantly a status bailout. This podcast was produced by Darius roffe on edited by Paddy Hirsch Indicators of production of N._p._R...
"darius roffe" Discussed on NPR's Business Story of the Day
"Dot com restrictions apply all right the S. and P. Five hundred hit another record high. This week it's up almost twenty five percent for the year but but the SMP's index of oil and gas stocks. This is down more than twenty percent. It's a sign of trouble for this country's oil industry Darius Roffe on has the story some of the most successful companies in the oil business business are household names thing Exxon Mobil or Chevron but the boom in shale drilling that has helped turn the US into the world's largest oil producer that that has been driven by smaller independent operators companies that have pushed the limits of drilling technology and taking big risks on unproven oilfields today day shale accounts for about two-thirds of US oil production and nearly all of the industry's growth but many of the companies that made that growth possible are now struggling to stay stay afloat. David Dacko bomb analyst at Investment Bank. Callan says that has a lot to do with the business model of US shale. This isn't industry. The you know for every dollar that they brought in they would spend two for years. Operators focused on drilling lots of new wells very fast prioritizing explosive growth over profitability. And until now now they've been able to rely on deep pocket. Investors who are willing to pour fresh capital into the industry despite years of lackluster returns. It's a story that may be familiar to anyone. He's been following the tech industry in recent years. Dekel bomb compares it to a kind of prospector mentality. There's a lot of romance I think. Because there's always this idea of this this brand's new play. That's going to have billions of barrels of upside. And if you know you can just get in early than it will pay off in the long run. Of course oil has always been a boom and bust I industry in two thousand fourteen for instance a catastrophic price crash left the industry reeling but even then billions in new investment flowed into US shale today today shrinking global demand for oil is driving the price down once again. What's different this time around? Investors no longer seem willing to write the industry a blank check. I think now. Oh you've seen a lot of pressure of we want you to be a real business. Your cost structure is too high. You have too much that I'm not funding. You're drilling anymore with external capital. You have to live within your means without access to fresh cash. Many producers are pulling back on new exploration. The number of rigs drilling for new oil is at its lowest point in two years. That's bad news is for people like Ron Fountain who works on a drilling rig. In the Balkan Shale of North Dakota. He thinks back to a few years ago when the price of oil was over. One hundred dollars a barrel and companies. These were drilling with abandon. That's when we were still booming. There was rigs coming out every month. We couldn't keep up. There were so many so much work going on today. Though with more and more rigs sitting idle life has become uncertain for fountain and his fellow. Drillers we went from having you know three year contracts to well to well contracts which means you drill one hole and if you did a good job then they'll give you another one or may drop you and we gotta figure it out from there and he's not the only one feeling. The Pinch Halliburton one of the biggest players in. US shale drilling has laid off nearly three thousand workers in the Permian Basin. The country's trees most prolific oilfield employment has almost completely stalled out. That's after going more than eleven percent last year. Meanwhile many of the smaller producers who loaded up on debt are struggling to pay it back leading to a wave of bankruptcies more than three dozen so far this year all of this adding up to slower oil output data from the department energy shows that production was flat in the first half of twenty nineteen after growing more than twenty percent last year in theory as production slows and supply shrinks. The price royal should go back up which could provide a much-needed boost. The question. Says Ron Fountain is how many companies will be able to survive. Until then I think as an industry we're we're GONNA be okay but I think there's a lot of people That are kind of holding their breath. Dr Rafi on N._p._R. News Washington..
As Oil Prices Drop And Money Dries Up, Is The U.S. Shale Boom Going Bust?
"All right the S. and P. Five hundred hit another record high. This week it's up almost twenty five percent for the year but but the SMP's index of oil and gas stocks. This is down more than twenty percent. It's a sign of trouble for this country's oil industry Darius Roffe on has the story some of the most successful companies in the oil business business are household names thing Exxon Mobil or Chevron but the boom in shale drilling that has helped turn the US into the world's largest oil producer that that has been driven by smaller independent operators companies that have pushed the limits of drilling technology and taking big risks on unproven oilfields today day shale accounts for about two-thirds of US oil production and nearly all of the industry's growth but many of the companies that made that growth possible are now struggling to stay stay afloat. David Dacko bomb analyst at Investment Bank. Callan says that has a lot to do with the business model of US shale. This isn't industry. The you know for every dollar that they brought in they would spend two for years. Operators focused on drilling lots of new wells very fast prioritizing explosive growth over profitability. And until now now they've been able to rely on deep pocket. Investors who are willing to pour fresh capital into the industry despite years of lackluster returns. It's a story that may be familiar to anyone. He's been following the tech industry in recent years. Dekel bomb compares it to a kind of prospector mentality. There's a lot of romance I think. Because there's always this idea of this this brand's new play. That's going to have billions of barrels of upside. And if you know you can just get in early than it will pay off in the long run. Of course oil has always been a boom and bust I industry in two thousand fourteen for instance a catastrophic price crash left the industry reeling but even then billions in new investment flowed into US shale today today shrinking global demand for oil is driving the price down once again. What's different this time around? Investors no longer seem willing to write the industry a blank check. I think now. Oh you've seen a lot of pressure of we want you to be a real business. Your cost structure is too high. You have too much that I'm not funding. You're drilling anymore with external capital. You have to live within your means without access to fresh cash. Many producers are pulling back on new exploration. The number of rigs drilling for new oil is at its lowest point in two years. That's bad news is for people like Ron Fountain who works on a drilling rig. In the Balkan Shale of North Dakota. He thinks back to a few years ago when the price of oil was over. One hundred dollars a barrel and companies. These were drilling with abandon. That's when we were still booming. There was rigs coming out every month. We couldn't keep up. There were so many so much work going on today. Though with more and more rigs sitting idle life has become uncertain for fountain and his fellow. Drillers we went from having you know three year contracts to well to well contracts which means you drill one hole and if you did a good job then they'll give you another one or may drop you and we gotta figure it out from there and he's not the only one feeling. The Pinch Halliburton one of the biggest players in. US shale drilling has laid off nearly three thousand workers in the Permian Basin. The country's trees most prolific oilfield employment has almost completely stalled out. That's after going more than eleven percent last year. Meanwhile many of the smaller producers who loaded up on debt are struggling to pay it back leading to a wave of bankruptcies more than three dozen so far this year all of this adding up to slower oil output data from the department energy shows that production was flat in the first half of twenty nineteen after growing more than twenty percent last year in theory as production slows and supply shrinks. The price royal should go back up which could provide a much-needed boost. The question. Says Ron Fountain is how many companies will be able to survive. Until then I think as an industry we're we're GONNA be okay but I think there's a lot of people That are kind of holding their breath.
"darius roffe" Discussed on The Indicator from Planet Money
"For this episode of the indicator and the following message come from capital one Ken Dolan and his team built no the intelligent assistant who proactively alerts customers to fraud and other account activity we know people are just trying to live their lives and we try to empower E-e-e-e-no to only interrupt them from their life when absolutely necessary just like you would want a human assistant to do stay tuned after the episode to learn how can and his team at capital one programmed to proactively help customers manage their finances okay so mary this story of nuns who are trying to get their way on gun control. Where does it start. It starts with a group called the interfaith center on corporate responsibility. It is yeah. You showed me their website earlier mary. It's like this coalition of some three hundred groups and it includes members who are like just traditional financial institutions but it also has these faith-based groups and that's where the nuns come in yes mary. What is the story about? ICR that you wanNA tell us so back in two thousand twelve there was a mass mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut and Twenty Six people died twenty of whom were children and when politicians failed to do really anything anything in response to that ICCPR felt like they had to do something about it so I spoke with Mr Judy Byron. She is the director of a regional group within ICCPR and I remember Sandy Hook and thinking. You know if we don't do something now as a country we never will. I mean these are little kids and we know that you you know there was a movement that we basically did nothing. Here's where the story takes a turn into our world finance. Normally investors who consider themselves socially responsible like these nuns would not by what are called sin stocks shares of companies that do bad stuff like make guns are cigarettes or whatever on the other hand these is not also realized that being shareholder of these companies means corporate management should have to listen to them because they're the owners yeah. I mean you would think that being a shareholder is at least supposed to give you access to the managers right. You can attend shareholder meetings and speak you can request a meeting and you might even get one so since relying on politicians nations didn't really work. Iccpr decided to turn to the markets because it markets at least have these rules and lovers that actually can work so in the fall of twenty sixteen. They started buying lying shares. They bought shares in two of the major gun makers. Sturm Ruger and American outdoor brands not a huge number of shares but some okay so these nuns the ICR Dr the coalition of Religious Groups they've started putting their money where their principles are so to speak and then one so the next summer this we're now into twenty seventeen. They privately wrote the company's trying to kind of engage them in conversation notice a little time goes by and in January of last year they quietly begin to file oh shareholder resolutions which are basically cordial corporate requests from shareholders for management to please consider something so the nuns wanted basically three things I for these gun companies simply to report on their efforts to make their product safer second for the gun companies also to prepare reports on the reputational and financial risks from from their products and third for them to monitor violent events like mass shootings but not much came of these resolutions okay and then came Parkland to park of course this was is the very tragic mass shooting from early last year that I think a lot of people remember that's right February fourteenth two thousand eighteen shooter killed seventeen students and faculty and injured seventeen nineteen more at Marjory stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida and that catalyze this huge wave of outrage right over gun violence and gun control but once again a lot of if people were disappointed by the political response disappointed that no new laws were passed here sister judy again we just can't let the kids do the heavy lifting in our society we we really need to step up and be with them and also show leadership so the nuns and ICR decided to act more forcefully so I they joined other activists in criticizing the banks that lend money to the gun companies but second remember those shareholder resolutions that they'd quietly gently sent to the companies companies asking them to report on how they were making gun safer in the company's kind of blew him off this time. ICCPR went public with those resolutions and put them into a shareholder vote and the shareholder resolutions passed with huge support okay so I mean in that case. It kind of sounds like they kind of yeah. They did get their reports. in the reports the companies defend themselves by saying that the problem isn't the people who buy their products. It's criminals doing bad things but the truth is the reports themselves solve our kind of toothless. They don't really compel the companies to change anything that they actually do. They're just a sign that they've complied with what shareholders asked but it's something. ICR did show that they could get something from the gun companies. Yeah it sounds from the way you're describing that this is a kind of symbolic victory. I mean these reports as you described them are toothless but you still have a situation where this group of nuns and these other religious groups did compel companies to do something right and they compelled them to do something using the markets rather than other forms of of persuasion so what's happening now so for the nuns it seems like some of the momentum has dissipated this past. Tuesday the annual shareholder meeting for American outdoor brands. ICCO had another resolution up for a vote vote it was asking the company to adopt a human rights policy in line with the UN's guiding principles but that vote did fail so our UCR still add. They're hoping that the more more noise they make the more reputational pressure they put on the companies will have some impact on the shares on the company's trajectory and maybe someday that will lead to a bigger change but sister. Judy says they're in it for the long haul we started with the issue of apartheid in South Africa and you know that was in nineteen seventy one and finally it was in nineteen ninety four when there were free elections so this issue of gun violence. We hope it's not that long but you know we're not going to go away away because we really believe that they have a critical role in this in solving this very the story's interesting because I think that when a lot of folks folks try to influence the way a company does business they think of maybe boycotting the product and showing they're not interested. This was totally different. These nuns actually bought shares in the company. They actually decided that by owning a part of the company that that was the approach that they would take instead yeah and and it's kind of in concert with this broader movement. I think this becomes more effective in in that broader context of people saying now that corporations have a bigger responsibility. It's not just to generate profits. It's also responsibility to the society in which they operate Mary Tiles. Thanks so much. Thank you this episode. The indicator was produced by Darius roffe on it was edited by Paddy Hirsch in fact check by Nadia. Lewis indicator is a production of NPR.