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Squandering Aimlessly

My Adventures in the American Marketplace

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What would you do if you received a sudden financial windfall? David Brancaccio, whose ability to clarify economic matters has made public radio's Marketplace a hit, set out to discover where, why, and how people are spending their riches -- whether it's proceeds from stock options, profits from the sale of a house, or an unexpected inheritance or bonus.
His journey takes readers from Minnesota's Mall of America to the
financial caverns of Wall Street, to a college set among the oil wells of West Texas. He gathers wisdom on money and its uses from California entrepreneurs, a drifter in the desert, a U.S. treasury secretary, and many others from all walks of life. The result is at once a delightful adventure and an eye-opening report on America's attitudes about spending, saving, and investing.

David Brancaccio is host and senior editor of Marketplace, the half-hour business and finance magazine program produced by the University of Southern California and distributed nationwide by PRI Public Radio International. Putting a human face on the global economy, the program illuminates the ways that international business and finance relates to listeners' daily lives. It is the fastest-growing public radio program in America, quadrupling its audience in the five years Brancaccio has been host. In 1998 it won broadcast journalism's top honor, the Dumont-Columbia Award for excellence. Brancaccio received his Bachelor's degree in history and African studies from Wesleyan University, in Connecticut. He received his Master's degree in journalism from Stanford University, where he also taught a graduate level course in broadcast news writing. The son of a Colby College English professor, Brancaccio also had the experience of attending schools in Italy, Madagascar and Ghana. He speaks French and some German and Italian.
Brancaccio began his broadcasting career in Maine, where he served as newscaster, reporter and announcer for Waterville's WTVL-AM/FM for six years. Since then, Brancaccio has gained experience in several major markets, including newscasting and reporting positions at KQED-FM, San Francisco, and WASH-FM, Washington, D.C. In addition to these staff positions he did freelance reporting assignments for Marketplace, National Public Radio, Monitor Radio, Calnet and Voice of America.
During his three years at KQED, Brancaccio caught the ear of Marketplace' international editor George Lewinski, who, with the support of Marketplace executive producer Jim Russell, ultimately offered him a freelance assignment: to set up and maintain an informal news bureau in London. The bureau soon became a full-fledged operation. Brancaccio served as London bureau chief for three years before being promoted to his current position in September 1993. During his three years of reporting for Marketplace and Monitor Radio programs, Brancaccio covered Europe's rocky path toward economic and political union. He rode the gauntlet with British truck drivers while under attack from French farmers protesting the low price of British meat, and he reported on British consumers' attempt to take advantage of the single European market by importing liquor and cigarettes cheaply from neighboring countries. He also covered historic losses at Lloyds of London insurance market, described the effect of BCCI's collapse on Asian businesses in Britain, and documented Eastern Europe's bid to become part of the European Community.
"Brancaccio's international reporting and considerable travel overseas give him the kind of global perspective on news that the Marketplace host must have," noted Marketplace Productions' general manager, Jim Russell.

David Brancaccio is host and senior editor of Marketplace, the half-hour business and finance magazine program produced by the University of Southern California and distributed nationwide by PRI Public Radio International. Putting a human face on the global economy, the program illuminates the ways that international business and finance relates to listeners' daily lives. It is the fastest-growing public radio program in America, quadrupling its audience in the five years Brancaccio has been host. In 1998 it won broadcast journalism's top honor, the Dumont-Columbia Award for excellence. Brancaccio received his Bachelor's degree in history and African studies from Wesleyan University, in Connecticut. He received his Master's degree in journalism from Stanford University, where he also taught a graduate level course in broadcast news writing. The son of a Colby College English professor, Brancaccio also had the experience of attending schools in Italy, Madagascar and Ghana. He speaks French and some German and Italian.
Brancaccio began his broadcasting career in Maine, where he served as newscaster, reporter and announcer for Waterville's WTVL-AM/FM for six years. Since then, Brancaccio has gained experience in several major markets, including newscasting and reporting positions at KQED-FM, San Francisco, and WASH-FM, Washington, D.C. In addition to these staff positions he did freelance reporting assignments for Marketplace, National Public Radio, Monitor Radio, Calnet and Voice of America.
During his three years at KQED, Brancaccio caught the ear of Marketplace' international editor George Lewinski, who, with the support of Marketplace executive producer Jim Russell, ultimately offered him a freelance assignment: to set up and maintain an informal news bureau in London. The bureau soon became a full-fledged operation. Brancaccio served as London bureau chief for three years before being promoted to his current position in September 1993. During his three years of reporting for Marketplace and Monitor Radio programs, Brancaccio covered Europe's rocky path toward economic and political union. He rode the gauntlet with British truck drivers while under attack from French farmers protesting the low price of British meat, and he reported on British consumers' attempt to take advantage of the single European market by importing liquor and cigarettes cheaply from neighboring countries. He also covered historic losses at Lloyds of London insurance market, described the effect of BCCI's collapse on Asian businesses in Britain, and documented Eastern Europe's bid to become part of the European Community.
"Brancaccio's international reporting and considerable travel overseas give him the kind of global perspective on news that the Marketplace host must have," noted Marketplace Productions' general manager, Jim Russell.