By The Numbers - Most Commented


5 other things reopening now

Oct 17, 2013
The government shutdown is finally over, but it wasn't the only thing reopening today.
Posted In: reopening

The Numbers for Thursday, October 17: Big, big data

27 %

The percentage of financial institutions that a Carnegie Mellon University study found were appearing to blatantly violate regulations on sharing consumer's personal data. According to the study, banks like Bank of America, Citibank, Capitol One, Chase, Discover and HSBC are sharing banking and credit card customer's data with unaffiliated outside companies, without explaining to customers how to opt out. Some smaller institutions are even breaking the law by having no opt out at all. (Forbes)


The number of traffic circles or "roundabouts" that grace streets around the world, double the number that existed 15 years ago. Transport research agencies say the growing popularity is due to the traffic system's safety and traffic flow advantages. More are popping up in the U.S. as well, and New York's own Columbus Circle just won "Best Roundabout in the World, 2013." (Marketplace)

$1 million

The most conservative estimates of mobile game maker King's daily revenues. The company behind the popular game "Candy Crush" is the latest European tech firm to strike it rich in the mobile gaming scene. Analysts say King succeeded where others have failed because the company gets its millions to spend cash on their games as well as play them. Players addicted to King's games will often pay for extra lives and will take to social media to talk about the game. (Reuters)

Oct 17, 2013

Debt deal means D.C. residents can start collecting lottery winnings again

Oct 16, 2013
Washington's lottery has stopped making payments because of the government shutdown.
Posted In: government shutdown 2013, lottery

The Numbers for Wednesday, October 16: Bits, nuts, and leaves


The price some groups are paying for high-powered computers they are using to "mine" bitcoins. The value of digital currency, used to anonymously purchase online goods ranging from electronics to illegal drugs, has surged to about $135, 10 times their value a year ago. New bitcoins are only created and released digitally by using powerful computers to solve complex software problems. Groups like the Korb & Co. Investments Mining Fund are pooling as much as $100,000 to invest in the machines, betting that currency's value will continue to rise. Computer hardware manufacturers, meanwhile, are more than happy to meet the demand. (Bloomberg)


The number of bags of peanuts Northwestern University's Ryan Field sells at a typical football game. This week, however, the stadium will forgo those sales as well as go through the trouble of hosing down seats to remove any lingering peanut residue in a bid to include fans who suffer from peanut allergies. Nut-free game days and peanut-less airline flights are becoming more common, which could spell trouble for the peanut industry. (Marketplace)

$1 billion

The amount of tourism dollars the Wisconsin Department of Tourism estimates is brought in to the state just from tourists visiting in the Fall to see the changing colors of the season. With climate change looming on the horizon, though, some are concerned those colors might not be the same in the future. (Marketplace)

Oct 16, 2013

A bill is not a bond is not a note

Oct 15, 2013
Treasuries come in all ages and levels of maturity.
Posted In: Treasuries

A debt-ceiling roadmap to ruin?

Oct 15, 2013
The paydays that could prompt a government default if a debt-ceiling deal collapses.
Posted In: debt ceiling, U.S. Treasury, default, Social Security

The Numbers for October 15: Money in unusual places


The amount one woman from Atlanta was asking for when selling her hair online. Her posting on had responses within minutes. More Americans are turning to selling parts of their bodies, like hair, eggs, and breast milk, in order to make ends meet as the economic recovery continues to lag. (Bloomberg)


The unemployment rate in Iran after years of harsh economic sanctions from an international community that wants the country to negotiate on its nuclear program. Representatives from the U.S. and Iran, along with officials from the U.K., France, Germany, Russia, and China, will meet today in Geneva to do just that. Meanwhile, the average Iranian is feeling the impact, as inflation is rising. Food prices in some cases have quadrupled over the past five years. (Marketplace)

$16 billion

The revenue that online retailers like Amazon currently bring in from just the two percent of American households who buy goods like paper towels over the web. Amazon hopes to increase both those numbers by partnering with household products giant Procter & Gamble to ramp up efficiency in shipping the staple goods to consumers. If successful, the move could disrupt traditional companies like Walmart with lower prices. (Yahoo Finance)

Oct 15, 2013

The real cost of upkeep for a TV show home

Oct 11, 2013
Ever wonder how much it would cost to keep "Downton Abbey" running? A look at the real costs of staffing, upkeep, and more for some of TV's famous homes.
Posted In: Housing, television

Quiz: What do you know about home values?

Oct 10, 2013
Does living on a dead-end street lower a home's value? What if your home has a pool? Test your knowledge of home values by taking our quiz!
Posted In: Housing, buying a home

Does income inequality stifle creativity?

Oct 9, 2013
Musician David Byrne argues that wealth inequality in New York is favoring the rich over the creative.
Posted In: income inequality, wealth gap, New York City, art, creativity


About this collection

Some of America's best known companies and largest temp agencies benefit from — and tacitly collaborate with — an underworld of labor brokers,  known as "raiteros," who charge temp workers fees for transporation and other services. The result? Workers earn pay below minimum wage.  We explore the system at work in Chicago’s main Latino neighborhood, Little Village, in this special investigation with ProPublica and the Marketplace Wealth and Poverty Desk.