Small Talk - Most Commented

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Small talk: Mascots, ATMs and libraries

May 21, 2010
Marketplace's Brendan Newnam and Rico Gagliano chat with fellow staffers Matt Berger, Stacey Vanek-Smith, and Rob Schmitz about new Olympic mascots, ATM fees, and library fines.

Small talk: Apple site, pork test, women

May 7, 2010
Marketplace's Brendan Newnam and Rico Gagliano chat with fellow staffers Betsy Streisand, Dalasie Michaelis, and Stacey Vanek-Smith about a dating site for Apple lovers, a test for pork, and how beautiful women can raise your stress level.

Small talk: Prison theft, Spirit, pelicans

Apr 23, 2010
Marketplace's Brendan Newnam and Rico Gagliano chat with fellow staffers Rafael Cohen, Rod Abid, Stacey Vanek-Smith about under-the-radar stories: Robbing a prison, Spirit's pre-reclined airplane seats, and getting rid of pelicans in Idaho.

Small talk: China builds, trees, fake bills

Apr 9, 2010
Marketplace's Brendan Newnam and Rico Gagliano chat with fellow staffers Stacey Vanek-Smith, Brett Neely, and Jeremy Hobson about under-the-radar stories: A Chinese version of Times Square, miracle trees, and counterfeit $1 bills.

Small talk: Drinks, island war, divorce

Mar 26, 2010
Marketplace's Brendan Newnam and Rico Gagliano chat with fellow staffers Dalasie Michaelis, John Haas and Stacey Vanek-Smith about under-the-radar stories: The price of drinks at a New York bar, an island war, and divorce registries.

Small talk: Snowmen, faking, Phoonk 2

Feb 26, 2010
Marketplace's Brendan Newnam and Rico Gagliano chat with fellow staffers George Judson, Amy Scott and Stacey Vanek-Smith about under-the-radar stories: Protesting snowmen, fake kidnapping, and a prize for watching Phoonk 2 alone.

Small talk: Roses, McItaly, annoyances

Feb 12, 2010
Marketplace's Brendan Newnam and Rico Gagliano chat with fellow staffers Rod Abid, George Judson, and Stacey Vanek-Smith about under-the-radar stories: Cocaine bouquets, the McItaly, and what most annoys people at work.

Small Talk

Jan 29, 2010
Brendan Newnam, Rico Gagliano and select members of the Marketplace staff look at the less-than-major news of the week.

Small talk: Clothes, bosses, affairs

Jan 15, 2010
Marketplace's Brendan Newnam and Rico Gagliano chat with fellow staffers Betsy Streisand, Jeremy Hobson and Stacey Vanek-Smith about under-the-radar stories: Destroying clothing, telling off your boss, and Mrs. Robinson.

Dinner Party Download: Small Talk

Dec 31, 2009
Rico Gagliano, Brendan Francis Newnam and other Marketplace staffers look back on 2009 -- not the big stories but the some of the more fun stuff.

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About this collection

A near billion dollar company, World Finance is the largest of an often-overlooked breed of high-cost lender: installment lenders. Ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, the loans typically last anywhere from six months to three years. The industry boasts millions of customers and over 4,000 locations across at least 19 states, mostly in the south and Midwest, and touts the product as a consumer-friendly alternative to payday loans. World and its competitors gouge borrowers with unnecessary insurance products and persuade their customers to renew their loans over and over again, creating a cycle of debt that often grinds on for years.