TEXT OF INTERVIEW
SCOTT JAGOW: I got an e-mail the other day from a high school business teacher. He said every day his class listens to the Marketplace Morning Report. Of course, I was pleased to hear that, but it got me wondering what young people talk about and think about when it comes to the world of business and finance. So I called up the teacher, Mr. Saints.
SPENCER SAINTS: Well primarily they talk about things that are affecting them directly, things like the minimum wage law, how much they’re getting paid, how much it’s costing to operate their vehicle. So they’re very interested in the price of gasoline and where that’s headed. Also things like the interest rates and what effects that has on their parents because indirectly that does affect them as well.
JAGOW: Are they really interested in interest rates?
SAINTS: I mean it’s not as if they’re on pins and needles waiting to find out where the interest rate is going, but when the topic does come up, you know you can hear some groans from the audience.
JAGOW: I understand that you are getting ready to have the students participate in something called the Stock Market Game. What is that?
SAINTS: The Stock Market Game is a game for high school students and they enroll by high school and by team. They’re given a portfolio of $100,000 to invest and then each day they chart their progress and they’re rated compared with other students that are participating in the game.
JAGOW: $100,000 huh?
SAINTS: Mm-hm. Play money of course.
JAGOW: Of course. And what’s the point of that game?
SAINTS: Well I think it gives the kids an awareness of what the stock market is about. I think also it will show them how the news that’s going on around them might affect their individual company. Like recently, you’ve been reporting on interest rates are rising, housing is falling, and Home Depot’s stock has decreased in price so you see that trickledown effect.
JAGOW: What do your students say about some of the things that go on in the corporate world these days? You know you’ve got the Hewlett-Packard spying scandal or Enron disaster. What are their thoughts about those things?
SAINTS: I don’t know how deeply they do think about things like this, but I think they realize that sometimes people get caught. And let me just add this, I am very concerned about not only what they learn intellectually, but also what they learn ethically and so it’s topics like that that allow me to talk about ethics.
JAGOW: OK Spencer, thanks so much.
SAINTS: Well thank you Scott, I really appreciate it and have a good day.
JAGOW: Alright take care. Spencer Saints teaches a business course at Red Lion Christian School in Bear, Delaware. In Los Angeles, I’m Scott Jagow. Have a great weekend. Oh and class, don’t give Mr. Saints too much grief.