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Chicago Matters: Money Talks

Initiated and funded by The Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Matters is an annual exploration – via television, radio, print and community dialogue – of an issue of broad concern to the Chicago region. Learn More

Is it a Pyramid Scheme?
Airs Tues. and Wed., December 20 and 21, at 7pm

The internet is full of "golden opportunities" to get rich. Some are legitimate businesses; others are just new versions of old-fashioned pyramid schemes. When one company, EZ Wealth by Design, launched in March, 2005, many people signed up believing they were promised $36,000 in 28 weeks. Today some are calling it an illegal pyramid scheme. Hear what the company's founder thinks.
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
The Future of Futures
Airs Tuesday, November 29, at 7pm

Chicago was the birthplace of the modern futures markets, and today it's home to the world's busiest exchanges. But in the last few years this local icon has been undergoing a radical change. After more than a century of trading amidst the hustle and bustle of "the pits", many brokers are now doing their work electronically at computer screens. So what will this change mean to the trading floor culture that we've all seen in the movies and on TV?
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
Is Your Pension Safe?
Airs Tuesday, November 15, at 7pm

Is your pension safe? From bankrupt steel companies to bankrupt airlines, more and more companies are dumping out of promised pension benefits to their workers. Elizabeth Brackett looks at the what America's workers are facing in their retirement years as they struggle with broken promises and broken dreams.
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
Vow of Poverty
Airs Tuesday, November 1, at 7pm

Father Jim Collins' lifestyle is similar to that of a college student. He lives in what looks like a tiny dorm room. He gets a little money each month to take care of basic expenses like deodorant and haircuts. And when he recently needed to buy a new suit, he had to ask permission. But before Jim Collins became a priest, he was a self-described yuppie, who drove a Saab 900 Turbo and owned a sailboat. So why would he give it all up? We'll see how one Chicagoan is interpreting the age-old Vow of Poverty.
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
Latino Philanthropy
Airs Tuesday, October 18, at 7pm

It's no secret that Latinos now make up nearly 30% of Chicago's population. But most of the city's non-profits are still learning how to tap into the potential giving power of this booming population. And as Chicago's Latinos accumulate wealth, many are now learning how to be successful philanthropists. We'll meet some of the movers and shakers who may prove to be the future face of philanthropy in Chicago.
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
Islamic Finance
Airs Tuesday, October 4, at 7pm

Habib and Asma Shaikh have been married for two years. When they went to buy their first home, they faced an obstacle that most home buyers don’t encounter. As devout Muslims, they are prohibited from paying interest. Some Chicago financial institutions have tried to step into that market by offering Muslim home buyers options that are consistent with Islamic law.
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
The Franchise: An Immigrant's Ticket to the American Dream
Airs Tuesday, September 20, at 7pm

Franchises like Dunkin' Donuts and 7-11 are often owned by immigrants — it's a stereotype so prevalent that even the fictional TV world of The Simpsons includes an Indian convenient store owner. But why are franchises such attractive businesses to new Americans? We follow one immigrant franchise owner to see why buying a 7-11 made good business sense when he first came here, and how this franchise has been his doorway into the American economy.
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
Protecting Chicago's Money
Airs Tuesday, September 13, at 7pm

What's being done to protect Chicago's financial sector from a terrorist attack or natural disaster? Chicago is a vital financial center for the nation, so in the years since September 11th, 2001, financial institutions have teamed up with government agencies to devise elaborate security measures for our banks and exchanges. Now Chicago's financial institutions have backup facilities at undisclosed locations outside the state, they get classified information from federal agencies, and they even have a seat at the city's Office of Emergency Management, so that they can set into motion their recovery plans should a disaster strike.

Who's Helping Protect Chicago's Financial Sector
ChicagoFIRST
City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications
Illinois Terrorism Taskforce
United States Department of the Treasury Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Compliance Policy
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
Graduating Into Debt
Airs Tuesday, June 21, at 7pm
Repeats August 30
Credit card debt and increasing college tuition rates are leaving many graduates in financial ruin before they even get their first jobs. We'll take a look at this trend with the personal diary of a recent college grad struggling to keep her head above water and finances out of bankruptcy court.

Consumer Credit Counseling Services
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
"Save Up" To Buy A House
Airs Tuesday, May 24, at 7pm
Repeats August 16
Having trouble saving enough to buy a house? What if every dollar you saved for a down payment was matched 2 to 1? "Save Up!"–an innovative program in the North Lawndale neighborhood–is doing just that. It's run by the Steans Family Foundation, which puts virtually all of its money and effort into this West Side community. The goal is to help home buyers and build the economic strength of the neighborhood.

Steans Family Foundation "Save Up!" Program

"Save Up!" Partner Organizations
Center for Economic Progress
Neighborhood Housing Services
Carole Robertson Center for Learning

Other Individual Development Account Programs in Chicago
Bethel New Life's "Smart Savers" Program
Women's Self Employment Project
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
Compulsive Buying
Airs Tuesday, May 10, at 7pm
Repeats December 13, 2005 at 7pm
We jokingly call them shopaholics—people who can't seem to stop shopping. While some so-called shopaholics simply enjoy frequent trips to the mall, others suffer from compulsive buying—and it can be a serious addiction. Compulsive buyers are often tormented by their desire to make unnecessary purchases, and will overlook their basic needs. This behavior might cause buyers to fill their homes with junk or to drive themselves into serious debt. Though this phenomenon is relatively new, recent data suggests that 2 to 8% of Americans suffer from the disorder. To overcome thier addiction, some compulsive buyers are seeking help from psychologists and Debtor's Anonymous.

To contact Irene Tobis, a psychologist who specializes in compulsive buying:
mail@irenetobis.com

For more information on Debtor's Anonymous
http://www.debtorsanonymous.org/

To find a Debtor's Anonymous meeting near you
http://www.glada.org/locate.html

Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
Reba Place Fellowship: Christian Income Sharing since 1957
Airs Tuesday, April 26, at 7pm
Repeats August 2
In most ways, Lisa and Doug Selph are not unusual. But this Rogers Park couple has made one choice that many of us couldn't imagine: their family is part of the Reba Place Fellowship, a community that practices total income sharing. So, while Doug earns more than $100,000 a year–the highest salary in the community–his paycheck goes into a common treasury. Then, like all families in the Fellowship, the Selphs receive a modest monthly allowance check based on family size. The reason, they say, is simple: it's the way Jesus lived, and what he taught.

Reba Place Web site
Intentional Community Directory
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
Payday Loans
Airs Tuesday, April 12, at 7pm
Repeats July 19
Payday lenders did not exist in Illinois until ten years ago. Today there are more payday loan locations in the state than McDonald's restaurants. This thriving industry claims it offers small, short-term loans to its customers to help tide them over until their next paycheck. But critics contend that the payday lenders' high interest loans are putting low-income borrowers into significant debt.

For more on the Payday Loan Reform Act, signed into law on June 9, 2005, click here.

Read Reinvestment Alert 25: New Terms for Payday Loans – High Cost Lenders Change Loan Terms to Evade Illinois Consumer Protectionsclick here

Read Affordable Alternatives to Payday Loans: Examples from Community Development Credit Unionsclick here

Financial Institutions Offering Alternatives

North Side Community Federal Credit Union
LaSalle Bank, in partnership with the Centers for Working Families. Please call O.S. Owen
at 312-630-0252

Other Links
Illinois Small Loan Association
North Side Community Federal Credit Union
The Woodstock Institute
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
Personal Bankruptcy
Airs Tuesday, March 29, at 7pm
More than a million and a half Americans are expected to file for personal bankruptcy this year, even if Congress passes a tough new bankruptcy law. Now that Americans accept credit and debt as a fact of life, are we coming to feel the same way about personal bankruptcy? These days, is filing for bankruptcy as much a strategy as a tragedy?

Information on personal bankruptcy and bankruptcy laws
American Bankruptcy Institute
More detailed info on personal bankruptcy laws

Finding a bankruptcy lawyer
www.bankruptcyaction.com
www.legalresource.com

Info on consumer credit
www.federalreserve.gov/releases

Data on household income
www.census.gov/hhes/income

Data on gross product consumption expenditures
www.economagic.com/em-cgi/data.exe
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
A Play on Money
Airs Tuesday, March 15, at 7pm
Moorad Farhan is budding teenage actor with a story to tell. This year, he and his Lookingglass Theatre classmates are creating a play about wealth and poverty in America. While other teens in the program can only imagine financial hardship, Moorad, the son of Jordanian immigrants and scholarship recipient, knows first-hand what it means to struggle for the American dream.
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
The Lathrop Homes
Airs Tuesday, March 1, at 7pm
As the Roscoe Village and Bucktown neighborhoods experience a boom in real estate development, the area surrounding the Lathrop Homes has evolved into a hot property. With economic prosperity and new neighbors entering the community, what will become of this CHA development and its residents?
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
A Visit to your Friendly Neighborhood Fed
Airs Tuesday, February 15, at 7pm
Repeats July 5
It's not just Alan Greenspan and his interest rate pronouncements from Washington. The Federal Reserve system has a huge presence in Chicago, recirculating the nation's currency, but also analyzing what's taking place in the heartland's economy and advising Washington on monetary policy. And now the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank is putting new emphasis on educating Chicagoans—even inviting you to "Stop on by!".

Info on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
www.chicagofed.org

Info on interest rates
www.bankrate.com

History of the nation's financial system
www.gilderlehrman.org

General fun info on money and the Fed
money.howstuffworks.com
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]
Portrait of a Panhandler
Airs Tuesday, February 1, at 7pm
Tyrone King graduated from Paul Robeson High School twenty-six years ago. Today he's staying at the Pacific Garden Mission. He doesn't much like the food there and, more importantly, he likes to choose what he eats. So everyday, all day, he panhandles on the streets of the Loop. He has his favorite spots, but he prefers to keep moving and ask for money as he walks. He says that on a very good day he can make $30. But on the day we spent with him, he only made a few bucks. Throughout the day, Tyrone talked about his techniques, his experiences on the street, and how he got there.
Video: [56K] [Hi-Speed]

Money Talks
In its 15th year, Chicago's award-winning, multimedia public affairs series returned in 2005 with Chicago Matters: Money Talks to explore the role of money in the Chicago region and the profound affect money has on every aspect of our everyday lives.

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Other Series
View information from past and current  Chicago Matters series:

Chicago Matters: Our Next Generation

Chicago Matters: Inside Housing

Chicago Matters: Valuing Education

Chicago Matters: Beyond Borders

Chicago Matters: Growing Forward

       
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