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FROM THIS EPISODE

Scientists of human behavior helped Barack Obama get to the White House. Now they're helping him "nudge" Americans to make "better" choices.  We hear the pros and cons of a new form of leadership. Also, stocks continue rebound on good news about banks. On Reporter's Notebook, will there be less outrage over tax-funded bank bailouts if small-time investors can make a profit? What if the deal goes sour?


Banner image is an experimental mosaic portrait of Senator Barack Obama made out of American State flags: Tsevis

Nudge

Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

Producers:
Gary Scott
Christian Bordal
Karen Radziner

Making News Stocks Continue Rebound on Good News about Banks 6 MIN, 13 SEC

There was a ray of light on Wall Street today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising above 8000 on some good news about banks. Adrienne Carter is Financial Editor at BusinessWeek magazine.

Guests:
Adrienne Carter, Finance Editor, BusinessWeek magazine

Main Topic The Behavioral Science behind Obama’s Politics of Change 35 MIN, 42 SEC

Barack Obama wants all Americans to change their behavior, to make "better" choices about money, health and the use of energy. In his campaign, and now in his White House, he's relied on 29 behavioral scientists to formulate ways of "nudging" us all to accomplish his goals. We talk with one of those advisors and others about how the process works.  Does it preserve or limit the opportunity to choose? Is it psychological trickery that smacks of Big Brother or a subtle new form of leadership in a complex and confusing world?

Guests:
Michael Grunwald, Time magazine (@MikeGrunwald)
Richard Thaler, Professor or Behavioral Science and Economics, University of Chicago
Ronald Bailey, Science Correspondent, Reason magazine
Noam Scheiber, New Republic (@noamscheiber)

Reporter's Notebook Plan Encourages Main Street to Invest in Toxic Assets 6 MIN, 58 SEC

Bank bailouts with taxpayer money have been a source of populist outrage. In need of public support for the massive spending it wants to stimulate the economy, the Obama Administration wants to establish a way for small investors to get in on the deal, to let Main Street sit at the table with Wall Street. We hear about the benefits and the risks. Eric Tyson, author of Investing for Dummies, formerly worked as a management consultant to Fortune 500 financial service firms.

Guests:
Eric Tyson, financial consultant and syndicated columnist

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