Monday, March 06, 2017

MAKING SEN$E - Views on American Economy

"Zappos is a weird company — and it's happy that way" PBS NewsHour 3/2/2017


SUMMARY:  At Zappos, an engaging work culture comes first; the company lavishly invests in morale.  But what's the business rationale for spending generously to make employees happy?  Economics correspondent Paul Solman visits the eccentric Las Vegas headquarters of Zappos, a company that's known for its devoted customer service and philosophy of self-management rather than hierarchy.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  You might know retailer Zappos for the shoes it sells and its emphasis on customer service.  What you may not know about is its quirky corporate culture, and why the company is banking on that for its long-term success.

Our economics correspondent, Paul Solman, reports, as part of his weekly series, Making Sen$e, which airs every Thursday.

WOMAN:  Definitely the best port-a-potty experience I have ever had.

PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour):  From its Porta Party P.R. to its campus in downtown Vegas, Zappos, the online shoe monger, is devoted to different.

JASON BROWN, Zappos:  Let me give you these three rules about wearing wallflowers, as we like to call them.

PAUL SOLMAN:  Wallflowers?

JASON BROWN:  Wallflowers, because you see we have got the wall?  And we call them wallflowers.

PAUL SOLMAN:  Front desk dress code enforcer Jason Brown gives visitors three options.

JASON BROWN:  First one is to take it off if it holds sentimental value to you.  The next one is to wear it around your head in a bandana, John Rambo-style.  And then the last one is to cut, and it becomes part of the collection.

"Trump's agenda is fueling investor confidence.  Will it last?" PBS NewsHour 3/2/2017

Spin of the Roulette Wheel.  Stock markets are the world's biggest gambling casinos.


SUMMARY:  The Dow Jones and other indexes were already doing well when Donald Trump won the presidential election.  And the overall jump of recent weeks has accelerated mightily, rising from just above 18,000 on election day to breaking 21,000 this week.  For analysis of what's happening with the markets, William Brangham speaks with Neil Irwin of The New York Times.

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