Project Money

Project Money is The Current's new season-long project about money: how it shapes our world and motivates our actions. How it drives some to charitable acts, and others to betrayal, vengeance and fraud. This year, we'll follow the money and the meaning it has for all of us.




Can Mentors Help Smash the Glass Ceiling?

Can Mentors Help Smash the Glass Ceiling?
Studies show women with mentors are more likely to advance their careers and yet women are still less likely to get that mentor. And some millennials aren't convinced they need or want such connections. Today, we're asking about the merits of mentoring.

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Brad Katsuyama on the trouble with high-frequency trading and building a better stock exchange

Brad Katsuyama on the trouble with high-frequency trading and building a better stock exchange
The new hero of Wall St., Brad Katsuyama weighs in on Fair Trading, his own moral obligations and Wall Street's need to repair its relationship with society.

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Kickstarter meets Bay Street: Selling shares through crowdfunding

Kickstarter meets Bay Street: Selling shares through crowdfunding
Online pleas to crowdfund money comes from thousands looking to make a film or start a business. Now, seven Canadian securities commissions want to take that idea, to let companies sell shares to potential investors through crowdfunding portals.

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Why Michael Lewis thinks the stock market is rigged by high-frequency trading

Why Michael Lewis thinks the stock market is rigged by high-frequency trading
Brad Katsuyama never aspired to be on Wall St. but ended up as a Wall St. trader for RBC. Disturbed by the undeclared advantages of high-frequency trading, he refused to join in the secrecy and has now become a revolutionary in the world of high finance. Micheal Lewis shares Brad Katsuyama's excellent adventure and what should be done to undo the rigged market.

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Has gratuity become gratuitous? Should we end tipping in Canada?

Has gratuity become gratuitous? Should we end tipping in Canada?
A new study confirms that tipping has little to do with service and more to do with where you live, the colour of a server's hair, the use of smiley faces and the occasional touch. Today, our Project Money asks if it is time to eliminate tipping. We hear differing views on what that would do to the restaurant industry.

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Should public art be sold to pay off public debt?

Should public art be sold to pay off public debt?
From Detroit, to Madrid, from Athens to Lisbon ... debt-ridden governments that have dared to muse about selling national, historical, cultural artifacts have faced the wrath of the people and the sting of the courts. In our Project Money, we focus on Portugal where they are still eyeing the auction block.

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The hunting and hoarding of Gold

The hunting and hoarding of Gold
It's no good to eat, too soft to build with, and difficult and dangerous to find. But for thousands of years, people have kept, craved and killed for gold. From King Midas to Peter Munk , a conversation with author Matthew Hart about our fascination with the world's most seductive metal.

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Kicking an Addiction to Money: A Wall Street trader walks away from his multi-million dollar salary

Kicking an Addiction to Money: A Wall Street trader walks away from his multi-million dollar salary
Hollywood didn't create Jordan Belfort for the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, it merely found him on Wall St. The same place another young trader barely 30 years old got angry over his year-end bonus because it wasn't enough. It was 3.6 million dollars. At the time Sam Polk says he was "a Giant Fireball of Greed" suffering from what he calls Wealth Addiction a condition he believes afflicts much of Wall Street.

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How Smiths Falls Turned a Chocolate Factory into a Medical Marijuana Plant

How Smiths Falls Turned a Chocolate Factory into a Medical Marijuana Plant
The town of Smiths Falls had a puzzle: what to do when a huge employer - a chocolate factory - left for Mexico. Our Project Money tracks the transition at 1 Hershey Drive from a place where the scent of chocolate once wafted through the town to one where a medicinal marijuana operation is considered an economic cure.

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Share Economy: Band-aid solution or promoting sustainability?

Share Economy: Band-aid solution or promoting sustainability?
From Air BNB ... to Zip Car .. to the Tool Library ... we are increasingly bartering, lending, selling and borrowing items, services and skills. Some say it is creating new community. Others see desperate people needing money and being exploited.

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We spend therefore what are we? Philip Roscoe on how the science of economics threatens our humanity

We spend therefore what are we? Philip Roscoe on how the science of economics threatens our humanity
Some days it seems we are all just one calculation away from salvation or damnation. Author Philip Roscoe argues we have absorbed the language of economics, seeing too many aspects of the world through cost-benefit analysis and losing a little bit of humanity in the process. Our Project Money brings you a lament over a species, rapidly morphing into Homo-Economicus.

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Checking-In: The Triple Package, Cancer Research and How stress levels affect traders

Checking-In: The Triple Package, Cancer Research and How stress levels affect traders
A Wall Street trader-turned-neuroscientist John Coates says volatile markets can trigger a surge of hormones that cause traders to fear risk and lead to financial frailty. We hear from him as we check-in on stories of the week.

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EU report says corruption costs European Union nations $180 billion yearly

EU report says corruption costs European Union nations $180 billion yearly
A new study identifies hundreds-of-billions-of -dollars lost to various forms of corruption in every one of the 28 EU countries. And the numbers would be even higher if we counted corrupt government practices built into legislation.

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Spain's Smurf Village saves a town from tourism blues

Spain's Smurf Village saves a town from tourism blues
When a money tree grew in the Smurf neighbourhood it appeared as if good times had come to the village. And in one small Spanish town their money tree relies on Smurf-themed tourism, complete with Smurf-blue buildings and that bold blue body paint.

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The income gap between tenure faculty & adjunct contract professors in Canadian universities

The income gap between tenure faculty & adjunct contract professors in Canadian universities
If you've got a university student in the family, increasingly they may be being taught by a highly educated professional who can't get full time work. Or make a living wage. Today, Project Money looks at impoverished professors.

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Checking-In: Minimum Wage Wars

Checking-In: Minimum Wage Wars
Our special on minimum wager triggered lots of emotion, lots of reaction and more questions of poverty, competitiveness, immigration and living in a parent's basement. We share some of your thoughts on our special, Project Money: Minimum Wage Wars.

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VIDEO: A Day in the Life of Acsana Fernando

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of Acsana Fernando
Meet Acsana Fernando. A refugee from Bangladesh living in Toronto. She works as a temp on minimum wage on a night shift, studies English during the day, spends hours on public transit and takes care of her family. She has been in Canada for more than a decade and fits right in to an uncomfortable Canadian statistic ... the working poor.

Listen to a day in the life of Acasana as we follow her through a typical grueling day that leaves her only four hours to sleep.

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Minimum Wage Wars: Earning Below the Poverty Line

Minimum Wage Wars: Earning Below the Poverty Line
Virtually every Canadian trying to survive on minimum wage in any province - and the wages vary - lives below the poverty line. In Ontario ... the push for a $14 minimum wage has spawned protests on the 14th of every month. We start our Project Money special, Minimum Wage Wars with a panel of guests whose earnings put them below the poverty line to discuss their challenges making ends meet.

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Minimum Wage Wars: How a rise in minimum wage can hurt small business

Minimum Wage Wars: How a rise in minimum wage can hurt small business
Many small business owners believe a rise in the minimum wage would mean a struggle for them.

Ron Spirito is the owner of the Southern Cross Grill in Ottawa. He would like to see better tax credits for people earning minimum wage, or a break on interest rates for students.

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Minimum Wage Wars: Debating Minimum Wage Increase

Minimum Wage Wars: Debating Minimum Wage Increase
Advocates for an increase in minimum wage say it will lift workers out of poverty and stimulate the economy. Those opposed say it would drag down workers and business. We convene a debate to discuss whether raising the minimum wage helps or hurts the economy.

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Minimum Wage Wars: Walmart Canada

Minimum Wage Wars: Walmart Canada
Walmart Canada is one the country's largest corporate employers. Walmart Canada says criticism of its wage policies is misdirected because it determines what it pays employees based on government minimum wage laws and by what it needs to do to be competitive with other companies in its sector.

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Minimum Wage Wars: Ralph Nader on raising the US minimum wage

Minimum Wage Wars: Ralph Nader on raising the US minimum wage
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader demanded a raise in the U.S. minimum wage -- two years ago. He believes the American economy has suffered as a result in the meantime.

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Minimum Wage Wars: Time for a global minimum wage?

Minimum Wage Wars: Time for a global minimum wage?
Around the world, wages are not keeping up with the costs of living. Countries like Cambodia are finding workers protesting against low wages. With the globalization of capital, is it time for an international minimum wage?

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Tuesday Special: Minimum Wage Wars

Tuesday Special: Minimum Wage Wars
More than one million Canadians live on minimum wage, which in most places, means living below the poverty level. Tomorrow we bring you a Project Money special on minimum wage and discuss the challenges of earning below the poverty line and what a small hike could mean for a better quality of life.

Listen to Kevin Nabess as he shares his experience trying to make ends meet.

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Countering the Counterfeit Bill

Countering the Counterfeit Bill
From paper to plastic, the evolution of Canada's currency is connected to counterfeiting. The Current's Kathleen Goldhar follows the money to find the man who - decades ago invented plastic bills we've only just begun to use.

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A Wild Invention: Saving lions and the livelihoods of the Maasai people

A Wild Invention: Saving lions and the livelihoods of the Maasai people
Great White hunters aren't admired anymore but they haven't been the only ones gunning for the lions in Kenya. The Maasai people have long targeted lions who prey on their livestock. Until a teenager named Richard found a way to save his father's cattle and fight the lions with ingenuity. We share his story in today's documentary, A Wild Invention.

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Climbing the socio-economic class ladder

Climbing the socio-economic class ladder
No one's above the law, but lots of people may be below it. A student from a poor family struggles so desperately with the expense of law school, he wonders if there's any room in the legal profession for those of modest means. His plight is typical of many bright, but poor people who struggle to seize their dreams.

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Is the Good Old Hockey Game only for the rich?

Is the Good Old Hockey Game only for the rich?
Hundreds and thousands of dollars pour out of parents' pockets toward hockey that has become more expensive for kids to play, more expensive for families to attend and some worry even more expensive to watch on TV. Today, our Project Money asks if Canada's greatest sport is becoming too rich and inaccessible.

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Switzerland considers a mandatory basic minimum income for everyone

Switzerland considers a mandatory basic minimum income for everyone
In Switzerland, they were counting coins, dumping 8-million coins before the Swiss parliament buildings in a push for a Basic Minimum Income for all citizens. The Left says it will fight poverty, the Right thinks it will reduce bureaucracy. The concept was tried in one Manitoba town in the 70s. Today, we examine Minimum Income as part of our Project Money.

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Sir Michael Marmot on Health Inequality

Sir Michael Marmot on Health Inequality
Sir Michael Marmot has spent decades trying to understand how income and socio-economic conditions relate to our long-term health. Our Project Money continues its look at the Contagion called Poverty with the epidemiologist who says better health lies within the grasp of every government.

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Health & Wealth: Prescribing money to treat low-income patients

Health & Wealth:  Prescribing money to treat low-income patients
Research shows actual medical care accounts for only about a quarter of health outcomes, while fully one-half of a person's ability to heal and recover is determined by socio-economics - income, education and living conditions. Today, our Project Money looks at the contagion called Poverty through the prism of doctors who have learned Incomes affect Outcomes.

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The business of piracy

The business of piracy
Hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom have been collected by pirates in the last decade, but the guys who actually commandeer the ships have very little to yo-ho-ho about. And a new report says the sea-going sons of Captain Blood are actually cogs in a professional vertically-integrated business that's costing us billions.

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FATCA under fire from tax experts & Canadian citizens

FATCA under fire from tax experts & Canadian citizens
A new American law set to kick in next year will demand Canadian banks hand over what in our country is private information, on clients with an American connection. Washington wants to snare tax evaders but a chorus of people in Canada say the wrong people will pay. Today, we look at the panic and anger over what's known as FATCA.

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From Starbucks to DavidsTea: Why big business is betting on Tea

From Starbucks to DavidsTea: Why big business is betting on Tea
In a world ruled by lattes and double-doubles those steeped in market research see grounds for a revival of tea. As part of our Project Money series, we look at the expected lucrative shift toward a new Tea Party ... not the one you join, the one you sip.

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How Dollars and Sex intertwine

How Dollars and Sex intertwine
The economy can do much to explain the dynamic between lovers because it affects everything from bargaining power to the market for singles. Our Project Money explores that equation with Gail Vaz-Oxlade and Marina Adshade, author of Dollars and Sex.

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Why scarcity shapes our lives in profound ways

Why scarcity shapes our lives in profound ways
Making do with less, can make you less, according to Princeton psychology professor Eldar Shafir. Less insightful. Less forward-thinking. Less control. Scarcity can force the poor into making bad decisions that only make their lives worse. Today, professor Shafir warns poverty shapes our inner lives in ways both subtle and profound.

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Nisga'a First Nation: This Land is My Land

Nisga'a First Nation: This Land is My Land
Today, our Project Money visits the Nisga'a First Nation, the first Aboriginal group ready to approve ownership of private property. Laura Lynch looks at a plan some are excited to begin and others want to stop before it starts in her documentary, This Land is My Land.

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Project Money Special: Gail Vaz-Oxlade on family finances & unmanageable debt

Project Money Special: Gail Vaz-Oxlade on family finances & unmanageable debt
We hand the show over to self-described financial crusader, Gail Vaz-Oxlade for a special Project Money edition of The Current about your money. Gail brings her personal finance skills to solve some tough problems on how to manage the family finances and manage unmanageable debt.

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Gail Vaz-Oxlade's Live Web Chat

Gail Vaz-Oxlade's Live Web Chat

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Financial Crusader Gail Vaz-Oxlade, host of Money Moron, Til Debt Do Us Part & Princess, kicks off Financial Literacy Month, as guest host of a special Project Money edition of The Current on November 1st.

Money issues weighing you down? Got a question for Gail about your finances?

Maybe you are debt-free and unsure what money goals to aim for next?

Send us your question below in our comments section and be sure to include your full name and city. As well, please note that questions may need to be edited for time constraints.

Join Gail Vaz-Oxlade for a live web chat on Wednesday October 30th at 10am Pacific and 1pm Eastern here on our website.

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The Third Rail: Building A Better Pension System

The Third Rail: Building A Better Pension System
Today, as part of Project Money, we hear from two people who offer ways to keep Canadian pensions strong not only for the bubble-of-boomers ready to cash in but for their grandchildren. They say politicians, businesses, unions and taxpayers need to stop sniping and start re-thinking.

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A peek into financial crusader Gail Vaz-Oxlade's financial literacy tool kit

A peek into financial crusader Gail Vaz-Oxlade's financial literacy tool kit
We have some tough love from a woman who's relieved the tortured finances of many worried Canadians. Gail Vaz-Oxlade is hosting this Friday's edition of The Current, and a special live webchat today at 1 pm Eastern. She tells us why people are so lost financially.

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Former head of the U.S. Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan on free-market philosophy

Former head of the U.S. Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan on free-market philosophy
The former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve joins us to talk about the unpleasantness of 2008, why his free-market philosophy needed to be rethought, about changing his mind and something he calls animal spirits. Not your typical economic conversation.

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Are the rich less feeling? Research suggests wealth reduces compassion

Are the rich less feeling? Research suggests wealth reduces compassion
The image of the wealthy, self-interested "Scrooge-of-a-guy" wasn't only in Charles Dickens' imagination ... a series of psychological studies out of the University of California illustrate that as people gain wealth, they lose ethics, empathy and compassion.

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Battle Bug: The Future in a Frying Pan

Battle Bug: The Future in a Frying Pan
For some people, insects have been a novelty food for some time but there's an entire new industry ready to infest the food market. Today we bring you into the world of Insect Farming ...crickets, beetles ... tiny livestock with big protein potential and a plan to get past the YUCK factor.

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High River flooding at the 100-day mark

High River flooding at the 100-day mark
For far too many homeowners in High River, Alberta, the stories of damage to their beloved homes are disturbingly similar. Today, as part of Project Money, we revisit what is called the most costly natural disaster in Canadian history, where both the Insured and the Insurers are stymied by the calculations.

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Sal Randolph: The Art of Cash

Sal Randolph: The Art of Cash
Today we are exploring the artist side of cold hard cash as our Project Money follows the work of a sculptor and photographer who realized she could create art inside a person's mind by handing them unexpected gifts of money.

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Coming up on Project Money

Coming up on Project Money
We're starting our 12th season in September and another season-long project is about to begin. This season we're following the money in our series, Project Money.. We'll delve into how money motivates us and shapes our world. From family fights and personal finances to misuse of public funds, all this season, The Current follows the money.

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The slippery slope of civil forfeiture

The slippery slope of civil forfeiture
Civil forfeiture cases in the U.S. are rife with abuse stories. In Canada we have a few more restrictions on civil forfeiture but critics warn we may not have enough. Today we're looking at the legislation and find out how U.S. police are extracting amounts of cash from people they often don't charge.

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The personal cost of the garment industry

The personal cost of the garment industry
Last spring the world was stunned to witness the panic and death as a Bangladesh building full of factories collapsed into a killing field. And the move to compensate injured workers and the families of the dead has not been quick. Today, as compensation talks begin in Geneva our Project Money looks at the personal cost of the garment industry's irresistible pull.

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The Quest to End Poverty: Nina Munk

The Quest to End Poverty: Nina Munk
Economist Jeffrey Sachs believes the poor nations of the world can get out of poverty with the help of massive foreign aid. We talk to journalist Nina Munk who's examined projects championed by Sachs and says sometimes good intentions have left people even worse off than before.

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