What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

Mitchell Hartman

Senior Reporter


I am a staff reporter for Marketplace covering the economy, economic indicators, employment, labor and workforce.

What was your first job?

I had a job every summer during college running the receiving dock in a large sheet metal factory in North Jersey that made cans. My first job in journalism was as an editorial clerk at the Philadelphia Inquirer after graduating college in 1985.

What do you think is the hardest part of your job that no one knows?

Marketplace has among the tightest deadlines and the most demanding expectations for daily news stories of any national public radio newsroom IMHO.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before you started this career?

If you love your job, stick with it. If you're really good at something, keep doing it.

In your next life, what would your career be?

Bodhisattva (in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, a being on the brink of enlightenment who could end the cycle of rebirth and gain nirvana but chooses to return out of compassion for other beings). Seriously, if I came back in a next life, it would confirm this teaching and I would care more about being in harmony with the universe than having another career. If I had to choose a career (and just be a bodhisattva on the side, I guess), I'd be a public radio reporter again.

Fill in the blank: Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you ______.


What is something that everyone should own, no matter how much it costs?

Health insurance.

What’s something that you thought you knew but later found out you were wrong about?

Being a parent would constrain my choices and box me in. It did, but I didn't care.

What’s your most memorable Marketplace moment?

Emceeing a Sotheby's auction of literary memorabilia from the Beat Generation — I sold Jack Kerouac's last shot glass for high six figures. (As David Brancaccio was oft-required to say on air after segments like this: “It was a joke!”)

What’s the favorite item in your workspace and why?

Eve Epstein, my former editor and now office mate in the Marketplace Portland bureau at All Classical Portland.

Latest Stories (1,600)

Inside the credit crunch

Oct 1, 2008
Money for loans is available; it's just that it costs a lot of money to borrow it. So, for many businesses, the credit crunch is very real. Mitchell Hartman reports.

Start-ups are slowing down

Oct 1, 2008
A new report says these days we're seeing fewer start-ups go public. Mitchell Hartman looks into what's causing the lack of willing venture capitalists and why they're not backing up IPOs.

Tainted milk renews safety concerns

Sep 25, 2008
Melamine, the industrial chemical that was added to Chinese milk and baby formula, has now been found in food outside China. Mitchell Hartman reports on whether this is another Chinese product safety scare about to go global and land in the U.S.

GM opens Volt engine plant in Michigan

Sep 25, 2008
Today GM executives will announce a new $359 million auto plant opening in distressed Flint, Mich. Workers there will build fuel-efficient engines for the Volt and Cruze models. Mitchell Hartman reports.

Sovereign funds could give U.S. a pass

Sep 22, 2008
Sovereign wealth funds were investing heavily in distressed U.S. banks. Mitchell Hartman learns that, like the Abu Dhabi group that bought Manchester's soccer team Friday, these funds could now be looking elsewhere.

How does financial crisis strike you?

Sep 19, 2008
After all the screaming headlines and doom and gloom of the last few days, we got to wondering whether the government's bailout plans have made people feel better. Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman went to find out.

Portland business owners anxious too

Sep 18, 2008
Wall Street is in the headlines, but the financial crisis affects businesses everywhere. Mitchell Hartman took a walk around Portland, Ore., to find out how business owners there are faring.

Will meltdown's impact hit Main Street?

Sep 16, 2008
With the nation's biggest investment banks taking body blows and the world's biggest insurer on the ropes, it's not surprising people in the financial markets are a bit hysterical. But what about Main Street and regular people's livelihoods? Mitchell Hartman reports.

Gov't takeover may ease housing pains

Sep 12, 2008
With the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, homebuyers and homeowners may have an better luck making a connection. Mitchell Hartman reports from Portland, Oregon.

Is it worth going after natural gas?

Sep 12, 2008
The Department of Energy today weighs the pros and cons of extracting natural gas from shale and coal seams. Oil companies say they can make it work financially, but what about the environment? Mitchell Hartman reports.