The Indicator from Planet Money

The Indicator from Planet Money


A little show about big ideas. From the people who make Planet Money, The Indicator helps you make sense of what's happening today. It's a quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy, and everything else. Listen weekday afternoons.

Got money on your mind? Try Planet Money+ — a new way to support the show you love, get a sponsor-free feed of the podcast, *and* get access to bonus content. A subscription also gets you access to The Indicator and Planet Money Summer School, both without interruptions.


Should we worry about another dot-com bust?

This jobs Friday, we look to the tech sector, where companies are laying off thousands of workers in a rapid reversal of their pandemic-era hiring boom. What effects could tech layoffs have on the broader economy?For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
03/12/22·9m 20s

Water works (except when it doesn't)

Water utilities in the United States could gain from economies of scale: localized infrastructure can be inefficient and lead to outages in places like Jackson, Miss. But in practice, it's complicated.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
02/12/22·9m 15s

How Elon bought Twitter with other people's money

Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion, but almost a third of it was in loans—and Twitter's on the hook to pay them back. This strategy, popular in the '80s, is called a leveraged buyout.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
01/12/22·9m 29s

The American Dream adrift

NYU professor Scott Galloway thinks America is drifting — away from investing in a strong middle class, and away from prosperity for all. Today on the show, he brings us the indicators that explain why.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
30/11/22·8m 8s

The Indicator Quiz: Crypto and GDP

Indicator fans and trivia fanatics, this one's for you. In our first ever Indicator Quiz episode, we invite a listener onto the show and test their knowledge on crypto and GDP.Are you interested in being a contestant on our next "Indicator Quiz"? Just email us your name and phone number at and put "Indicator Quiz" in the subject line. We'll pick one person at random. Just one entry please. You have until the end of the day, Monday (12/05), to enter.
28/11/22·9m 30s

Inflation hits the Thanksgiving dinner table

Thanksgiving isn't immune from inflation — an annual survey recently found that a holiday meal for four is 20 percent more expensive than it was last year. We bring the Indicator team around the dinner table for a very nerdy Thanksgiving. Indicator listeners — as the end of the year approaches, we want YOUR feedback! What were your favorite shows of 2022? Are there any stories from the past year you'd like an update on? Let us know by emailing or commenting on social media!
24/11/22·9m 43s

Test driving a four-day work week

Doing more by working less sounds like an oxymoron, but a slew of recent studies show that switching to a four-day workweek is linked with greater health, happiness and productivity for workers.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
23/11/22·9m 31s

Ticket scalpers and the Taylor Swift fiasco (Encore)

For most people, buying scalped tickets may be the only way to see Taylor Swift's Eras tour. Thanks, Ticketmaster. But economically speaking, the resale market is more complicated than it seems.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
21/11/22·8m 43s

More money, more carbon?

For this week's series finale, we explain Indonesia's climate deal, why nobody came #1 in the CCPI's climate rankings and whether it's possible to grow an economy without increasing carbon emissions.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
18/11/22·9m 29s

The carbon coin: A novel idea

What if we could engineer a path towards solving the climate crisis...with monetary policy? Kim Stanley Robinson's novel The Ministry for the Future considers this question, and the idea is catching on in real life too. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
17/11/22·9m 18s

An economic argument for heat safety regulation

Extreme heat takes a toll on workers. From heatstroke to an increased likelihood of workplace accidents, protecting employees from heat illness is a growing priority for state legislatures. We talk to an economist about how higher safety standards help businesses too.
16/11/22·9m 3s

Blue bonds: A market solution to the climate crisis?

Low- and middle-income countries are facing the worst consequences of the climate crisis, and rising global interest rates are making it harder to repay their debts. What if there was a way to solve both problems at once?For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
15/11/22·9m 44s

How electric vehicles got their juice

CATL is a hugely important company that a lot of people probably haven't heard of. It's grown from nothing to become the world's largest EV battery supplier — with some strong help from the Chinese government along the way. This story of how EV batteries became cheap kicks off The Indicator's week on the climate crisis — how markets, government and businesses can deal with growing emissions.
14/11/22·9m 28s

The midterm effect, and a crypto collapse

Crypto? Not doing well right now. But stocks? With elections soon to be behind us, history says they should be on the rise. This week's indicators explain the story behind FTX's bankruptcy and why markets love midterms.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
12/11/22·9m 44s

Hedonic adjustment: how to measure pleasure

We all need a little hedonism in our lives sometimes. A spa day, a good meal ... and modeling to account for quality change? Today, how economists model pleasure – and what it means for inflation data.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
11/11/22·9m 44s

Economists hate car dealerships too

Let's face it: buying a new car sucks. From the hidden dealership fees to the reams of paperwork, it just seems harder than it should be. Well, economically speaking, it is – and today, we explain why.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
09/11/22·9m 44s

COP-out: who's liable for climate change destruction?

As the COP27 climate conference begins, a tricky economic question is on the table: should wealthy nations compensate their lower-income neighbors who suffer most from the climate crisis? And how?For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
08/11/22·9m 24s

Unions but make them grunge

The labor union playbook just doesn't work like it used to. While unions enjoy the spotlight right now, they've faced years of declines. So advocates are deploying what one might call a grungier tactic: alt labor.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
07/11/22·9m 42s

Could foreign workers unlock America's tight labor market?

The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October, meaning there are still about two jobs available for each unemployed person. Could expanding the H2-B visa program for temporary foreign workers help America's tight labor market?For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
04/11/22·9m 22s

An end to China's rare earth monopoly?

Rare earth metals are everywhere – in cars, drones, the device you're listening on right now — and China has the market cornered. But a new laboratory breakthrough could level the playing field.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
03/11/22·9m 52s

John Taylor's formula for the Fed

Today the Fed raised interest rates to just under 4%. The Taylor Rule says this should have happened a year ago. We talk to John Taylor about letting a formula do the work instead.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
03/11/22·9m 44s

The hidden market for your location data

Your smartphone is pretty bad at keeping secrets – if it keeps track of your location, someone (or some app) almost definitely knows where you are. Today, the murky market for personal location data.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
01/11/22·9m 19s

The Grim Reaper of retail: Spirit Halloween

Spirit Halloween is known for its unique business model. On Halloween, we bring you an episode of It's Been A Minute about why this pop-up scheme is such a hit.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
31/10/22·9m 30s

GDP, LNG and Meta's Q3

How did energy-starved Europe end up with too much natural gas? New GDP numbers look strong, but how is the economy really doing? And is Meta betting too big on the metaverse? This week's indicators explain.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
29/10/22·9m 29s

What's in a name? Maybe a job

What's in a name? New research shows that for some people, employment prospects could be on the line. We hear from two economists who looked at hundreds of econ Ph.D. students to find out if the ones with harder-to-pronounce names were hurt in the job market.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
27/10/22·9m 45s

The Beigie Awards: Inflation, refrigeration and apple cultivation

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it's keeping the Fed up at night. For this month's Beigie Awards, we look at how high energy prices and a strong dollar are disrupting the global apple market.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
27/10/22·9m 39s

Productivity and workforce whiplash

Labor productivity, historically the engine of American economic supremacy, is faltering. And even in a tight labor market, some workers are feeling less valued by their employers than ever before. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
25/10/22·9m 45s

The mess at the heart of China's economy

Xi Jinping was reappointed as China's leader over the weekend. He faces a housing market crisis that could put China's overall economy at risk.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
24/10/22·9m 59s

Three international indicators

Turkish interest rates, U.K. bond yields, Chinese GDP data (or lack thereof?) ... Our indicators this week bring us around the globe in just 10 minutes. Strap on those seatbelts!For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
22/10/22·9m 25s

The UK's productivity problem

The Liz Truss era is over. Headlines blame her budget fiasco, but we talk through the deeper story: slowing economic productivity in the UK. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
21/10/22·9m 25s

Why the US cut China off from advanced chips

A week before the Communist Party of China's 20th congress kicked off, the US government announced comprehensive new rules blocking China's access to advanced semiconductor chips. It's a sign the Biden Administration can't disentangle security concerns from trade with China. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
19/10/22·9m 59s

Why you can't find a vet

Juneau, Alaska doesn't have enough veterinarians. Nate Hegyi, host of the podcast Outside/In from member station NHPR, brings us there to show how the pandemic has reshaped animal healthcare work in Alaska and across the nation.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
18/10/22·9m 39s

Can credit card codes help address gun violence?

Every time you swipe a credit card, you produce data—and now, a new tool could make it easier for the financial industry to identify suspicious gun purchases. But will companies want to use it?For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
17/10/22·9m 0s

Rents, retirees and rail strikes

It's been a busy week for the economy: our key indicators cover key topics related to social security increases, rent and its relationship with recent CPI data, and a looming rail strike. All aboard!For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
15/10/22·9m 21s

Why oil shocks are getting less shocking

Gas prices have been dropping, but production cuts from OPEC+ and new inflation data bring back memories of oil shocks of the 1970s. However, the U.S. economy is better prepared now than it was then.
13/10/22·9m 10s

The IMF, explained

The IMF has been in the news for its criticism of the UK government's recent budget. But what exactly is the organization, and how does it fulfill its mission to achieve global economic prosperity?
13/10/22·9m 44s

Bernanke, bank bailouts and the economics Nobel

Former Fed chair Ben Bernanke and two colleagues were awarded an economics Nobel for research on the role banks play in financial crises — research that's shaped the global financial system.
12/10/22·9m 45s

Jobs Friday: The problem with disability support

Social Security Disability Insurance helps support millions of Americans, but it's a slow-moving program that rejects most people who apply. This Jobs Friday: The 10 million working-age people who are neither working nor seeking a job — and they're living with a disability. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
07/10/22·9m 9s

Why are stocks and bonds both falling?

Ever had a pet turtle? Try a pet bond! They're a reliable addition to your 401k that can be valuable even when stocks are down. We discuss why bonds belong in your terrarium (or retirement plan).For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
07/10/22·9m 59s

The economics behind sorority rush

How does sorority rush relate to organ donations, doctors, and New York high schools? Put on your best pearls because we're market matching with a Nobel Prize economist today. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
05/10/22·8m 48s

A Marshall Plan for Ukraine

What will rebuilding Ukraine look like after the war with Russia ends? No one knows, but some are taking a page out of the history textbook for inspiration. Perhaps, a Marshall Plan 2.0 for Ukraine. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
04/10/22·9m 4s

AAPI and the problems of categorizing race

When confronted with racial categories, which box do you tick? For Asian Americans, the grouping called AAPI – that's Asian American and Pacific Islander – is a strangely broad and ambiguous category. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
04/10/22·9m 26s

Indicators of the Week: Markets Edition

Sound the alarms because Britain's financial markets are in turmoil. That, plus the upticking 'fear gauge,' and Porsche's vrooming public debut on indicators of the week. Markets edition. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
30/09/22·9m 30s

The financial web connecting Afghanistan, the US, and Switzerland

What happens when a country's foreign reserves are stored in another country, and then part of that is run by a third? No, it's not the start of a bad joke. It's the story of Afghanistan, the U.S., and Switzerland. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
30/09/22·9m 59s

The mighty US dollar (Encore)

According to the U.S Dollar Index, the U.S Dollar reached a twenty year peak. Today, we're revisiting a classic episode to ask: What exactly are the pros and cons to U.S dollar dominance? For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
28/09/22·7m 59s

Is your new CEO a liability?

What's cooking in the executive suite? Today, delve deep into the world of corporate investigations. Learn how checking the facts can avoid some seriously salacious scandals. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
27/09/22·9m 29s

How new words get minted

Shrinkflation, yeet, supply chain, unbanked. What do these terms have in common? They're some of Merriam-Webster's newest dictionary entries! For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
26/09/22·9m 16s

Housing, yen, supply chains vs. the Fed

When interest rates are on the up and up, the housing market tends to slide down and down. That, plus the declining value of the Japanese yen, and updates about the global supply chain on indicators of the week. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
23/09/22·9m 20s

Are you being tricked into working harder?

"Gamification" as we know it has become increasingly common since the late 2000s. And proponents say adding game-like features to non-game activities — especially boring ones — can make us healthier, happier, and more productive. But Adrian Hon, who has made a career out of 'gamifying' mundane activities like jogging, says the trend has gone awry. Today on the show, Adrian argues that companies are using gamification to confuse, manipulate, or coerce people into doing things they wouldn't have done otherwise. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
23/09/22·9m 59s

Killing the economic polar bear

When Knut the polar bear was rejected by his mother at the Berlin Zoo, a debate caught fire over whether it was more humane to keep him alive or euthanize him. Today, as the Fed raises interest rates again, another polar bear is in danger: The economy. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
21/09/22·9m 10s

Patagonia's tax break, explained

Surf's up with the IRS! Patagonia's founder Yvon Chouinard recently gave his company and billionaire status away. But how he did so entails a complex tale of trusts, exemptions and a whole lot of taxes. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
21/09/22·9m 41s

The fake market in crypto

According to a Forbes report, half of all Bitcoin trades are fake. Today, we unveil crypto's cryptic facade by diving deep into a classic concept: Wash trading. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
19/09/22·9m 22s

Poverty, heists, .eth: Coulda been worse

Hands up! A bank heist with a toy gun exposes the chaos in Lebanon's financial system. That, plus declining child poverty rates, and Ethereum's "Merge" on indicators of the week. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
17/09/22·8m 54s

The Beigie Awards: Tough choices for ranchers

The September Beige Book is an emotional roller coaster. We crown the Federal Reserve bank who gave us the funniest and most poignant anecdotes about the economy. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
15/09/22·9m 36s

A super-sized labor experiment

How would you like your burger? With a side of higher wages? Today on the menu, California's FAST Recovery Act is rethinking labor relations for the fast food industry. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
14/09/22·9m 19s

The push and pull of inflation

Argentines party hard in the bustling bars of Buenos Aires, despite the stubborn cloud of inflation. Across the pond, German companies switch gears in response to high gas prices, as Russia shuts off its supply. Today on the show, the push and pull of inflation. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
13/09/22·9m 37s

A firm without its Queen (Encore)

From the aftermath of World War II to the coronavirus pandemic, Queen Elizabeth has lived through it all. But after her death, what happens to the future of the royal family... and its fortune? Today on the show, we're revisiting our classic episode to ask: Can "The Firm" really survive without its CEO? For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
12/09/22·8m 17s

Heat waves, remote work, iPhones

Crank up that AC because a record-breaking heat wave is sweeping through the American West. That, plus workplace surveys, and Apple's newest drop on indicators of the week. For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
09/09/22·9m 27s

ESG bans cost Texas

What happens to local government projects when the big banks that back them leave the state? A Texas-sized experiment in values-based financing.For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
08/09/22·9m 18s

When GDP and GDI part ways

Welcome to the Global Growth Gym, where countries are working out their economies. Over in the corner, the U.S. is standing there on a weight scale, just a tad confused... For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at
08/09/22·9m 39s

The California Effect

From Sacramento to San Diego, the state of California is a tryhard when it comes to regulations. Today, we're singing about how the nation's strictest standards affect economies across state lines.
07/09/22·9m 39s

Long COVID and the labor market

Headaches, fatigue, trouble breathing...the lingering health effects of COVID-19 continue to haunt millions of Americans, and the labor market, too.
03/09/22·9m 53s

Hits of the Dips: Songs of recessions past

A new paper in the Journal of Cultural Economics says happy songs are more popular during a recession. So we thought we'd have a little fun on today's show. Armed with a new soundtrack, what can we learn about past recessions?
01/09/22·9m 45s

The Prudent Man Rule

Ever thought of spicing up your 401k with crypto? Well, we leave it up for the Prudent Man to decide. On today's episode, learn about how wonky pension regulations from the '70s opened a new era of riskier investments.
31/08/22·9m 18s

The promise and peril of mobile home ownership

At first glance, mobile home ownership seems like the happy medium between renting and buying a house. But what happens when a tug-of-war ensues between the landlords and the residents? For the full read, click here.
31/08/22·9m 59s

Economists take on student loan forgiveness

Biden is canceling student loans for millions of Americans. Love it or hate it, one thing is for sure – many economists from the left and the right think that this plan is a not-so-good idea...
30/08/22·8m 53s

Indicators of the Week: Old problems, new solutions?

Canceled flights are the worst. So is inefficient healthcare and unaffordable college tuition. Today on the show, three indicators about new solutions to address age-old problems.
26/08/22·9m 45s

China's global lending binge

We learn about the Chinese government's global financing boom by zooming in on one country where controversy surrounding Chinese money is smoldering hot. We're going to the Pacific: The Solomon Islands.
26/08/22·9m 45s

SCOTUS: de facto pro-business?

The verdict is in: the current Supreme Court is the most business-friendly SCOTUS of the past century, according to a new study. But why the lean towards corporate?
24/08/22·9m 40s

China's slice of the US debt pie

China owns a LOT of Benjamins, greenbacks, whatever you like to call it, in the form of US treasury bonds. But it's been cutting back on some of those securities recently. So what would happen if Beijing decides to sell off all its holding of American debt, and is that the plan?
23/08/22·9m 44s

How Spotify changed the tune on IPOs

Ah, 2018, a good year in music. Don't agree? Just check out our playlist. It's also when Spotify rocked-and-rolled the finance world with its rebellious take on going public.
23/08/22·10m 0s

The Amazon, the Colorado River and a price on nature

From sea to shining sea, rivers in the United States are drying up, including the Colorado River. For indicators of the week, three environmental indicators about the state of Mother Nature.
19/08/22·9m 26s

The surprising economics of digital lending

Long gone are the days of hauling sixty books home from the local library. With eBooks, the worlds of Fahrenheit 451 to Harry Potter are at your fingertips with just a tap. But what's the price behind the click?
18/08/22·9m 51s

The drought in Europe

Even the sheep are complaining. A severe drought is drying Europe to its limits, and the effects are widespread. From crops to shipping energy, what are the economic consequences?
17/08/22·9m 30s

A market to bet on the future

Peer into the crystal ball with Will inflation stay high? Will daylight saving time become permanent? Place your bets.
17/08/22·8m 49s

AP Macro gets a makeover

Today on the show, why colleges and high school Advanced Placement Macroeconomics classes had to rip out old textbook pages and write a new chapter.
15/08/22·9m 38s

Three inflation indicators

The economy cooled off a bit, but inflation is still really, really high. But, not all goods and services respond the same to a high inflation environment. Today on the show, we're talking about sticky prices, bonds, and that old chestnut, transitory inflation.
13/08/22·9m 28s

Paying for the Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act has it all, from fighting climate change to cutting drug prices. But today, we're zooming in on one aspect of the bill. The changes to corporate taxes.
11/08/22·9m 48s

What Japan's "Lost Decade" teaches us about recessions

Not all recessions are created equal. Some look like Vs, while others look like Ks. But the scariest one of all is the L-shaped recession. Travel back to Japan's "Lost Decade" with us to understand why.
11/08/22·9m 56s

Double agents and drug discounts

The cost of pharmaceuticals has been rising for years, well before inflation became the big economic talking point. Today on the show, why some policymakers suspect an obscure middleman is partly to blame.
10/08/22·9m 59s

The secret to upward mobility: Friends

Who your friends are may be the key to your economic success story. In a groundbreaking study by Harvard researchers, find out why cross-class friendships may be the key ingredient to the American Dream.
08/08/22·9m 17s

What's really going on with unions

Baristas and warehouse workers unite! After decades of decline, we're hearing a lot about new unions starting around the country. But union membership actually declined last year. We look at what's really happening.
06/08/22·9m 59s

If the world had no accountants

We crunched the numbers (on Excel of course), and the results are in. There's not enough Certified Public Accountants right now. Can the world of finance come up with a solution to address this issue?
04/08/22·9m 59s

Climate Change Is Tough On Personal Finances

More than three-quarters of adults in the United States say they've experienced extreme weather in the last five years, according to a nationwide survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. And events like floods, wildfires and hurricanes are emptying bank accounts — especially when insurance doesn't cover the damage. Today on The Indicator, we bring you an episode of Short Wave, NPR's daily science podcast.
04/08/22·9m 46s

Lessons from the 'Pandemic MVPs'

After two long years, the results seem to be in. Which countries were the 'Pandemic MVPs,' the countries most resilient to COVID-19? And more importantly, what was the secret to their success?
02/08/22·8m 54s

The semiconductor shortage (still)

The world runs on semiconductors. From cameras to cars, tiny chips power most electronic devices. So why do we have such a shortage of them?
01/08/22·9m 45s

Drugs, electric cars, taxes

We assess the Inflation Reduction Act: Will there be unintended consequences from taking on Big Pharma? Will electric vehicles become cheap? And does the tax department need more money?
29/07/22·9m 7s

It's GDP... the remix!

Ah, GDP, the titan of all economic indicators. But are we breaking it down correctly? Today, we're remixing GDP to evaluate the true health of an economy.
28/07/22·9m 30s

Feeling inflation in the grocery store

Can you feel the inflation emanating from the milk aisle? Today on The Indicator, we explore how food prices – and who does the grocery shopping – affect how we think about inflation. Oh and don't forget your grocery list, because we're headed to the supermarket too.
28/07/22·9m 31s

Super Mario meets his match in Italy

When Mario Draghi saved the euro with a 2012 speech, the world was in awe. Then he was called in to lead Italy's six motley political parties through the pandemic, and turn around Italy's economy.
27/07/22·9m 29s

What is a 'household'?

Love is sharing a password, but maybe not anymore. With streaming services cracking down on account sharing, this got The Indicator team wondering, what exactly is the definition of a household?
26/07/22·9m 32s

Heating up the weekend with three climate indicators

The sweltering heat has us wondering, how exactly are people responding to climate change? Today on The Indicator, we're going green with three environmental indicators. Stay tuned for a sliver of hope at the end.
22/07/22·9m 30s

The alchemy behind falling metal prices

When in doubt, count on the price of metals like copper and gold to predict the economy. But what magical forces are driving prices in the metal market down?
21/07/22·9m 44s

LIVE From New York, the Beigie Awards!

Two years ago, the pandemic haunted New York City. But now the Big Apple is back in full swing, with tourists and bodegas galore. To celebrate the return to normal, join us for the Beigie Awards, live from Times Square!
20/07/22·9m 15s

The monetization of college sports

For some student athletes, taco discounts and even Lamborghini partnerships are becoming a reality. That's because last summer , the NCAA changed a decades-old precedence that banned college sports stars from pursuing lucrative brand deals. How has that decision changed the game a year on?
19/07/22·9m 55s

Here's why Black students are defaulting

Before, after, and during college, the cards are still stacked against Black students. Today, we look at how that reality translates into Black borrowers being more likely to default on their student loans.
18/07/22·9m 33s

From Earth to the cosmos, indicators of the week

On Earth and in space, economics affects us wherever we go. Today, we're looking at three indicators: The yen, copper prices, and NASA's James Webb telescope. Quite an otherworldly combination!
15/07/22·9m 57s

What broke Britain's economy?

Seems like the British people might have to cut down on their afternoon tea... food prices in the UK are going through the roof, and wages are stagnating. Can the new Prime Minister handle the heat?
15/07/22·9m 44s

The rumbles of a reverse currency war

As countries crank up their interest rates to fight inflation, the whispers of a reverse currency war are getting louder. But is this cause for concern or just political posturing?
13/07/22·9m 59s

Prime Day makes third-party sellers anxious

Amazon Prime Day, the unofficial holiday of the e-commerce enthusiast, is here. But for third-party-sellers, today might not be a day for celebration.
13/07/22·9m 59s

Copyright small claims court

A new alternative to federal court for copyright holders may provide an inexpensive route towards justice for small businesses. But is cheaper, better? How well will it work?
12/07/22·9m 55s

Jobs Friday: Gen Z and the scars of recessions past

Gen Zers, it's time to put the TikTok away and revamp those cover letters. With murmurs of an upcoming recession, what does this mean for the newest entrants into the labor market?
08/07/22·8m 33s

The artificial strength of the Russian ruble

Why is the Russian ruble so strong right now? Despite heavy sanctions, the Russian government has a special trick – a serum, if you will – up their sleeves.
07/07/22·9m 14s

The economic effects of being denied an abortion

What are the economic consequences of being denied an abortion? In a recent study, an economist looked for the answer in a pile of credit data. And the results surprised even her. The deadline to apply for an internship to Planet Money and The Indicator for fall through winter is extended to Sunday, July 17th. Come work with us! Go to to apply.
06/07/22·9m 46s

Why a gas tax holiday might not be something to celebrate

Amid daunting gas prices, President Biden's proposed federal gas tax holiday sounds like a sweet relief. But the economics behind this tax break reveals the push and pull between consumers and oil companies, and an unexpected outcome.
06/07/22·9m 36s

All roads lead to Russian indicators

After the G7 talks, we're turning our attention back to Russia. But in typical The Indicator fashion, we're zooming in on three global commodities affected by the ongoing war: gold, oil, and wheat. Planet Money and The Indicator are looking for our intern for fall through winter. Come work with us! We would love to have you. And it's paid! Go to to apply. Deadline is Sunday, July 10th.
01/07/22·9m 27s

Where 'bull market' and 'bear market' come from

Have you ever wondered where the terms 'bull' and 'bear' markets originated from? Today on the show, we're journeying back to the 1700s to find out how a particular financial event popularized these animal terms.
01/07/22·9m 29s

Russia's sanctions, graded

On a scale of 1 to 10, how effective are the sanctions on Russia? Today on the show, we're grading the hodgepodge of sanctions aimed at persuading Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
29/06/22·9m 32s

The promise and peril of crypto for Black investors

Black consumers are more likely to own crypto than white consumers and crypto enthusiasts laud the crypto world as a driver for racial equity. In today's show we explore that premise. If you're interested in learning more, listen to the episode and check out Terri Bradford's article on Black crypto ownership.
29/06/22·9m 30s

The celebrity crypto nexus

From Jimmy Fallon to Reese Witherspoon, why are so many celebrities promoting crypto? We untangle the web of connections between Hollywood A-listers, Bored Apes, and one influential talent agency, with journalist Max Read. He wrote about this in his Substack newsletter, Read Max.
27/06/22·9m 21s

Burgers in Russia, Juul vaporized, THE trademarked

This Friday, we're looking at fast-food companies who are still hanging on in Russia. Juul getting banned. And as a cherry on top, THE Ohio State University deciding to patent you guessed it, "the."
24/06/22·9m 12s

Does Bitcoin have a grip on the economy?

The crypto market has taken a beating lately, and even though Bitcoin and other crypto assets are risky, they're becoming more mainstream. How concerned do we need to be about the recent crypto collapse?
23/06/22·9m 35s

What took the Fed so long?

What took the Fed so long to address high inflation? Today on the show, we're exploring six reasons behind the Fed's hesitancy to hike interest rates, according to Bill Nelson, who spent two decades working for the Federal Reserve. For more background, check out our episode last week, Jerome Powell's ghosts.
23/06/22·9m 38s

The price of free stock trading

Everyone's a stock trader these days. With a press of a button, companies like Robinhood allow everyday people to buy and sell shares with no fee. But, this practice is just a tad bit controversial.
21/06/22·9m 40s

The housing shakeup

With rising interest rates, this economy has got us scratching our heads. To rent, or not to rent? To borrow money, or not to borrow? To qualify for a mortgage...or maybe not. Maybe our three indicators on the housing market will give clues. Hey, we're off for Juneteenth but The Indicator will be back on Tuesday!
17/06/22·9m 41s

Going backwards on child poverty

School's out, and so are pandemic-era relief measures for families with children. But when universal free lunches and expanded child tax credits roll to a halt, what are the consequences? Take NPR's annual podcast survey – especially if you're a new listener! It's short, anonymous, and will help us serve you better!
16/06/22·9m 42s

Jerome Powell's ghosts

The Fed hiked interest rates by 0.75 percentage points. But why the sudden jump now? Why not earlier? To understand the psyche of the Fed and its chair, Jerome Powell, we're turning back the clock to the 2013 Taper Tantrum, and a 2019 road trip.
16/06/22·9m 58s

Securing the (Telfar) bag

3... 2... 1... GONE? Already? The Telfar Shopping Bag's been considered the "it" bag the last few years, if you can get your hands on one. It's also making big fashion statements by redefining luxury and accessibility in the fashion world.
15/06/22·9m 59s

Mergers, acquisitions and Elon's "rude" proposal

For the corporate engagement of Elon Musk and Twitter, the road to the chapel has been unusually rocky. So how are these deals supposed to go, anyway?
14/06/22·9m 50s

A macroeconomist walks into a bar fight

Welcome to the macroeconomic bar fight. Today, fists are being thrown over the causes of high inflation. But off to the corner stands John Cochrane, an economist with a core explanation for rising prices: government borrowing and spending. Check out some of our earlier episodes on inflation: - Why some economists last year were concerned about low interest rates and high government borrowing and spending - Why the term 'transitory' inflation was banned by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as consumers spent and spent in 2021 - How the war in Ukraine raises prices around the world, including food prices, and a look at grain exports stuck in the country - Whether corporate greed is to blame for inflation
10/06/22·9m 6s

The Beigie Awards: The gallon is half full

June. School's out, the sun is shining and most importantly, the Beige Book is here again! Among the Federal Reserve Banks, which gave the best anecdote about how the economy is doing?
09/06/22·9m 23s

Are we entering a new dawn for antitrust enforcement?

For decades, antitrust agencies focused on the harm to consumers. But lately, the federal government has started paying more attention to anticompetitive behavior when it comes to workers. Could this be a major turning point for antitrust enforcement? For more on monopsony, check out the paper referenced in the show: Monopsony in Labor Markets: A Meta-Analysis.Take NPR's annual podcast survey – especially if you're a new listener! It's short, anonymous, and will help us serve you better!
08/06/22·8m 58s

The rocky road ahead for startups

What happens to the flow of venture capital when the market drops? We look at each player – from limited partners to venture capitalists to startups – and the choices they face when turbulent times are ahead.
07/06/22·9m 13s

The lopsided market for higher ed

Ah, college... the classes, the parties, the debt. Is it still worth it? While most schools are seeing their enrollment decline, 'elite' schools are receiving a jump in applications.Take NPR's annual podcast survey – especially if you're a new listener! It's short, anonymous, and will help us serve you better!
07/06/22·9m 48s

Behind the scenes of Jobs Friday

The United States added 390,000 jobs in May. Today, we go behind the scenes to find the surprisingly delightful secrets to how the Bureau of Labor Statistics collects that number.
03/06/22·9m 11s

Home prices could fall, but is it a bubble?

Housing prices all over the country are rising at historic rates. Some are concerned about a housing bubble and crash like the one in 2008. So what's happening?
02/06/22·9m 41s

How to get 20 million tons of grain out of Ukraine

Russia's blockade of Ukraine's seaports have stopped 20 million tons of grain from getting exported. Today, how Ukraine is trying to get its trapped grain to countries that rely on these crucial food supplies.
01/06/22·8m 26s

An epic proxy battle comes to Hasbro

The toy giant, Hasbro, is set for a contentious proxy vote in early June. An activist investor argues the publicly traded company is neglecting its most profitable asset. Today, how a proxy battle works and what it means for Hasbro.
31/05/22·9m 11s

The money going into and out of gun stocks

After the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, some investors are making bets on gun-related stocks while others are trying to avoid them altogether.
27/05/22·8m 41s

The pros and cons of a strong dollar

The U.S. Dollar has gotten a lot stronger in recent months compared with other currencies. Today, we dive into the economics of foreign exchange and the pros and cons of dollar dominance.
26/05/22·9m 3s

Tyler Cowen's 101 on discovering talent

Matching talent with opportunity is great for economic growth. But when it comes to Identifying talent, we have a lot to learn according to economist Tyler Cowen. He joins the show today to talk about innovative strategies for finding under the radar talent.
25/05/22·9m 40s

Why women make great bosses

Companies with more top female execs are more likely to please customers, be socially responsible, and are more profitable. But we don't know why. Today we talk to Corinne Post, who thinks she's solved the mystery.
25/05/22·9m 50s

The government program that contributed to the baby formula shortage

Baby formula is in short supply after a voluntary February recall by the manufacturer, Abbott. Today, we explain how the government helped shape the U.S. formula market, and why that structure led to a devastating shortage.
23/05/22·9m 39s

Factory boom, credit card debt defaults and housing

The economy is in a weird place right now. It seems like every day there are new numbers coming out that say economic conditions are either great or poor. Today, we bring you some indicators this week — factory output, credit card defaults and housing — and bring some clarity to the tumult.
20/05/22·9m 27s

Economists weigh in on the abortion debate

With the Supreme Court expected to overturn its landmark decision on abortion rights, more than 150 economists submitted a brief with the court saying there will be major consequences if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Today on the show: How the field of causal inference helps economists decipher the effects abortion policy has had on people's lives during the past half century, and what the likely effects will be if Roe is overturned.
20/05/22·9m 42s

Bart Simpson's American Dream

Last year, we analyzed whether or not the Simpson family's lifestyle was attainable for the middle class. A writer on the show listened to that Indicator, and decided to answer that question with an episode of their own. Today, we bring you a sneak preview of their take on America's shrinking middle class.
18/05/22·9m 34s

Tracking 1 million COVID deaths

The United States has hit a million recorded deaths from COVID-19, a likely undercount. Today, how John Burn-Murdoch from the Financial Times tracks COVID-19, and what the true death toll really is.
17/05/22·9m 43s

Lessons from a former drug dealer

Are the skills from dealing drugs transferable to the world of legal entrepreneurship? We review the evidence and meet Coss Marte, a former drug dealer who built a successful fitness routine business after a long time in prison.
16/05/22·9m 44s

Crypto crashed, stocks dropped, and Apple surpassed

On today's edition of Indicators of the Week, we bring you the top numbers to know in the stock market, cryptocurrency, and the world's second most valuable company.
13/05/22·9m 5s

Beating the bond market: Luck or skill?

Bill Gross is a retired investor known for creating and dominating the bond market. But what exactly made him so successful? Today, we talk to Aaron Brown, who created a mock portfolio to unpack the success of the Bond King.
12/05/22·9m 24s

Can inflation ... inflate away debt?

We often talk about inflation as a bad thing. But for countries in a lot of debt, inflation has an upside. But can a country try to inflate its way out of debt?
11/05/22·9m 25s

The graying of America

America is getting older which is bad news for the state of the labor market. Today, we learn how lower fertility rates and retiring seniors are contributing to shortages in the labor force.
10/05/22·10m 56s

EU leads the way on controlling big tech

The European Union is poised to pass its latest big tech legislation package. The Digital Services Act could reshape how we interact with big online platforms. Today, we go through some of the highlights of the regulation.
09/05/22·9m 10s

What the Beveridge curve tells us about jobs

Unemployment is low and job listings are at a record high: This shows up in a chart called the Beveridge curve. What's driving this? We talk to a former brewery manager to find out.
07/05/22·9m 24s

The palm oil price mystery

Prices for cooking oil have spiked around the world. You can point to drought and, more recently, the war in Ukraine for reasons why. But palm oil prices were on the rise before those production shocks. Today, we look into the palm oil price mystery.
05/05/22·8m 48s

Quantitative easing, meet quantitative tightening

To try and slow inflation, the Federal Reserve is going beyond its typical tool of raising interest rates, and adopting a policy of "quantitative tightening." So ... what is that, exactly?
04/05/22·9m 43s

A secret weapon to fight inflation

Savings bonds are known for their low yields and relative safety. However, the recent inflation spike is creating a heightened demand for the Series I Bond. Today, we learn the mechanics of the I Bond and why it might be the hottest investment of 2022.
03/05/22·9m 14s

The market for on demand trucking

The trucking industry saw a boom in the early months of the pandemic as consumer demand for goods surged. This caused a key trucking indicator known as the spot market rate to hit historic highs. Today, we learn what the recent decline in the spot rate could mean for the economy.
02/05/22·9m 48s

Econ Exploder: GDP

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released their quarterly gross domestic product report this week. It showed GDP shrank at an annualized rate of 1.4%. Not good. But there's a mix of stories in the details. We explain with the help of a bit of music.
30/04/22·9m 22s

The rising tides of global food prices

Global food prices were rising even before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but the war in Eastern Europe is putting more pressure on supply. Today, the global impact of rising food prices and how countries are attempting to make up for missing supply.
29/04/22·9m 0s

Shanghai's lockdown economy

Shanghai is enduring a strict COVID lockdown that has left many without many basic necessities, including food. So ordinary people have banded together to build their own group-buying and barter economy.
28/04/22·9m 27s

Sri Lanka's foreign exchange problem

A series of policy missteps combined with a global pandemic is putting heavy economic pressure on Sri Lanka. Today, the events that led to surging prices, power outages and violent protests in the island nation.
26/04/22·9m 28s

You should probably get your plane tickets soon

The pandemic crushed the airline industry, causing a wave of layoffs. While increased consumer demand in 2022 has analysts forecasting a profitable year for the major airlines, lingering issues are likely to make summertime travel more expensive.
25/04/22·9m 34s

Poison pill, Netflix, and Disney's kingdom explained

Media and entertainment companies had a turbulent week, which made us want to cover a few of them for Indicators of the Week! Today, indicators for Netflix, Twitter, and Disney we think should be on your radar. Come see Planet Money Live in NYC on May 10th! One night only. Tickets on sale here.
22/04/22·9m 29s

China's tech crackdown backdown

Over the past year China has enforced strict regulations on its tech platforms. But this crackdown has sparked such instability in financial markets that the Chinese government appears to be having second thoughts. | Come see Planet Money Live in NYC on May 10th! One night only. Tickets on sale here.
21/04/22·9m 52s

Russia tips into default... or does it?

Russia is on the verge of doing something it hasn't done since 1918: Default on its foreign debt. Today, we explore what's happening, and why Russia and its creditors may be headed for a long, messy legal battle.
20/04/22·9m 29s

Cracking the code on cyber insurance

In the wake of the war in Ukraine, American companies are preparing themselves for potential Russian cyber attacks. Many of them will need to rely on an insurance system that has historically looked to avoid paying out in times of war or crisis. Today, why the threat of cyber warfare has the insurance industry scrambling.
19/04/22·9m 16s

Land of opportunity (zones)

A policy designed to draw investment to economically distressed communities has clearly benefited wealthy investors in the form of tax breaks. But the benefit to the communities is less clear.
18/04/22·9m 36s

Replacing the cult of the entrepreneur

The development of the Moderna vaccine was the culmination of decades of scientific research. This research was able to flourish thanks in large part to Flagship Pioneering and its founder, Noubar Afeyan. Today, the innovative way Flagship created one of the most successful COVID-19 vaccine makers in the world.
14/04/22·8m 42s

Yield curve jitters

Part of the yield curve has been inverting. This caused panic because the yield curve has a stunning track record at predicting recessions. But wait! A familiar friend helped us calm down.
13/04/22·9m 15s

Who eats the cost of higher food prices?

Low-income households spend a disproportionate amount of their income on food and as inflation continues to spike, especially when it comes to food prices, these families are particularly vulnerable. However, research looking at how the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the consumer price index, indicates the CPI may be failing to show the extent of that harm. Today, why the CPI may be underestimating higher prices in the supermarket for low-income Americans.
12/04/22·9m 15s

Elon Musk and the fear of the activist investor

Elon Musk is not shy about the changes he'd like to see with Twitter. So now that he is the largest shareholder in the social media giant, some fear he could become an activist investor.
11/04/22·9m 52s

Inflation indicators: Fed chatter, global inflation and used cars

Inflation is one of the hottest topics in economics. So naturally, it's all we wanted to talk about in this edition of Indicators of the Week!
08/04/22·9m 41s

Insuring music venues during a pandemic

The pandemic forced the closure of music venues around the country. Owners of many of these businesses believed their existing insurance policies would help them weather the storm. But, as it turns out, many of those policies weren't designed for COVID-19.
07/04/22·9m 16s

How green laws stop green projects

America has a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Without serious changes to lifestyles, that means dramatic investments in green energy. But environmental laws are getting in the way.
06/04/22·9m 56s

How Ukraine kept banks afloat and money flowing

The Russian invasion meant Ukraine's central bank had to work to avoid financial collapse. We hear from an economist and a Ukrainian bank CEO about how they're keeping money moving.
05/04/22·9m 51s

Rationing: How it works and why it doesn't

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is forcing Germany to rethink its reliance on Russian energy, particularly natural gas. And as it looks for solutions, the nation is talking about something economists despise - rationing.
04/04/22·9m 24s

Smells like teen jobs numbers

The economic recovery is still hot with a streak of strong jobs reports over the last couple of months. One of the groups benefiting from this strong labor market are teenagers.
02/04/22·9m 27s

The weapons supply chain

Ukraine has been receiving a steady stream of weapons from the United States and NATO for the past several weeks. Like the goods that come to your door, these weapons have to go through a supply chain. Today, we learn the steps.
31/03/22·9m 59s

War: The cost to Russia

In the past, war can sometimes boost parts of the economy. After World War 2, the United States emerged as an economic superpower. The same, however, is highly unlikely for Russia in its current war with Ukraine.
30/03/22·9m 28s

Whistleblower protection program

Whistleblowers are essential tools for agencies like the SEC in their efforts to root out corporate malfeasance. Jordan Thomas knows this better than anyone, as he helped create the government agency's program.
29/03/22·9m 25s

The economic impacts of a census miscount

The census is an important tool for determining where federal funding is most needed. So what happens when those communities most in need are undercounted? Today, we cover the local economics of the census.
28/03/22·9m 44s

Russian stocks and sanctioned gold

The economic pressure on Russia continues to build a month after its Ukraine invasion. How Russia is handling its stock market reopening and how the United States plans to close more sanction loopholes.
25/03/22·9m 40s

Destroying personal digital data

The Federal Trade Commission's hammer hit a weight loss app geared towards children earlier this month. What this decision means for businesses, consumers and online privacy.
24/03/22·9m 37s

How an empty office becomes a home

One of the consequences of stronger remote work culture is the abandonment of office space. These empty buildings have created opportunities for real estate developers to create housing in American cities where residential apartments are expensive and in short supply.
23/03/22·9m 36s

Forging new links in a supply chain

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities in the global supply chain, including here in the United States. But when outsourcing failed, one textile manufacturer in Massachusetts came up with a plan.
22/03/22·9m 29s

Race, racism, and tax law

Although there is no mention of race in the U.S. tax code, tax law professor Dorothy Brown believes race and taxes are closely intertwined.
21/03/22·9m 27s

Three indicators from the $1.5 trillion omnibus bill

President Biden quietly signed a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill this week. It funds a lot of different programs, but what three are our indicators of the week?
18/03/22·9m 59s

Ukraine's warzone economy

Russia's invasion has forced Ukrainian businesses to mobilize for the broader war effort. How are the people on the ground adjusting and what are they doing to support themselves?
17/03/22·9m 31s

How mortgage rates get made

All eyes were on the Federal Reserve today as it hiked interest rates. What does the 0.25% increase mean for people borrowing money? And how exactly does the Federal Reserve raise interest rates?
16/03/22·8m 9s

Of oligarchs and silovarchs

Governments in the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom and other countries have placed harsh sanctions on Russian oligarchs. But they may have missed the most influential people in Putin's inner circle.
15/03/22·9m 27s

Conflict and high food prices (Update)

Climate change, farmworker shortages and increasing transportation costs were already driving global food prices higher and higher. What happens when you add war to the mix?
14/03/22·8m 24s

What do McDonald's stores, oil, and nickel have in common?

It's another edition of indicators of the week! Today, we take a look at the wide-ranging effects Russia's invasion is having on corporations and commodities.
11/03/22·9m 30s

Corporate greed or just pandemic pricing?

Some House Democrats continued to blame high inflation on greedy corporations this week. Today, we'll fact-check that claim.
10/03/22·9m 51s

The blunt weapons of Russia's central bank

Heavy sanctions on Russia have forced Central Bank of Russia Governor, Elvira Nabiullina, to get creative. What steps is she taking to keep Russia's economy afloat?
09/03/22·8m 9s

The curious case of odious debt

A dispute going back to 2013 involving Russia and Ukraine and $3 billion in bonds has revived a discussion about a legal concept called odious debt. What is it and how does the current conflict complicate the case?
09/03/22·9m 43s

Cryptocurrency, a safe haven?

Safe-haven assets like U.S. government bonds and gold are seeing heightened interest from investors due to the uncertainty caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So why are volatile cryptocurrencies also attracting attention?
08/03/22·9m 13s

Adding American Indians and Alaska Natives to Jobs Friday

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has finally added American Indian and Alaska Native labor data to its monthly jobs numbers. Why it's important and how the Minneapolis Fed proved it was possible.
05/03/22·9m 29s

All eyes on OPEC

OPEC produces over half of the world's internationally traded crude oil. How did this organization come about and what does it have to do with the war in Ukraine?
03/03/22·9m 48s

Will China come to Russia's rescue?

Despite ups and downs, China has become Russia's most important trading partner. And some suspect China may support Russia as it deals with the economic fallout from sanctions imposed due to its invasion of Ukraine. What could that look like?
02/03/22·9m 25s

Economic warfare vs. Fortress Russia

President Vladimir Putin spent years trying to sanction-proof Russia's economy. With recent sanctions from the West, his Fortress Russia idea is now being put to the test.
02/03/22·9m 36s

Who's gonna take care of grandma?

Eldercare has been hit extremely hard since the pandemic began. A severe nursing shortage is lowering the availability and quality of care for seniors. What can be done to reverse course?
28/02/22·8m 32s

How the Ukraine crisis could affect your pocketbook

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has sent markets all over the world into a frenzy. Just how widespread could the economic fallout be?
25/02/22·8m 14s

Three Russia economic indicators

With Russia's invasion of Ukraine, we break down three economic takeaways from the invasion – the impact on oil prices, the global supply chain, and the strength of the Russian economy.
25/02/22·8m 24s

2021 was the year of the cyber heist

A New York couple was recently arrested for laundering billions of dollars worth of stolen cryptocurrency assets. If the blockchain is so secure, how were federal officials able to catch them?
23/02/22·8m 53s

How to understand a trillion

Indicators are all around us — but do we really understand these numbers' size and what they mean? Today, a data teacher gives us some tips on how to put these figures into perspective.
23/02/22·9m 30s

Indicators of the week: "Clean" hydrogen, criminal records, coffee

The price of coffee beans is surging, the Biden administration wants to reduce the price of hydrogen and the surprising number of unemployed young men with a criminal record.
18/02/22·9m 25s

Backwardation in the oil market

Oil prices are on the rise, but futures markets see them lower than where they are now. This is known as backwardation. Today, we learn what's behind this phenomenon.
17/02/22·8m 53s

How Hollywood changed the US wine industry

The Academy Award-winning film, Sideways, is often credited with decimating sales for merlot and elevating taste for pinot noir. Some economists tried to prove it.
17/02/22·9m 51s

Where are all the COVID-19 bankruptcies?

For much of the pandemic, government aid helped lower the number of personal bankruptcies dramatically. With those measures ending, close observers say a sharp increase is likely.
16/02/22·9m 31s

The Indicator's bet on the Super Bowl

If sports bettors in the U.S. have a sacred holiday, it might be the Super Bowl.
15/02/22·9m 49s

Indicators of the week: International trade edition

Our indicators of the week have to do with trade. On one hand, protests against covid restrictions on the Canadian border are blocking trade with America's biggest trading partner. On the other, a historic high for the national trade deficit.
12/02/22·9m 24s

How to bring down inflation

Today, inflation hit a 40-year high of 7.5%. The Federal Reserve is expected to start raising interest rates next month, but how exactly does that affect inflation?
10/02/22·9m 29s

Nightmare on wall street?

January was a rocky month for many tech companies as earnings reports came in. Paddy Hirsch joins the show to share what's scaring many investors in this correction market.
10/02/22·9m 28s

Doing business quietly in Beijing

The 2022 Beijing Olympics are in full swing. But do many of the official sponsors seem a little quiet?
08/02/22·9m 43s

Five vital signs for scaling your big idea

The Mcdonald's Arch Deluxe is one of the most infamous product failures in history. Economist John List helps us understand what happened and how it could've been averted.
07/02/22·9m 46s

Jobs Friday: Return of the airhorn?

The January jobs report exceeded the expectations of many. Will the better-than-expected numbers merit the return of our old friend the airhorn?
05/02/22·9m 23s

Black Agenda: A conversation with Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is a rising star in the world of economics. Today, she joins us to talk about the collection of essays she edited, Black Agenda: Bold Solutions for a Broken System.
04/02/22·9m 57s

The Beigie Awards: Begging for bus drivers

Trouble attracting employees has some companies offering free pet care and "No-meeting Wednesdays." One CEO was "liberally begging" for workers.
02/02/22·9m 59s

Multimillion dollar music catalogs

An increasing number of major musicians are selling their songwriting catalogs for tens – and even hundreds – of millions of dollars. What's going on?
01/02/22·9m 51s

Is it time to control rent?

Rent control is one of the most unpopular policies among economists and policy reporters. But current housing shortages have one long-time critic rethinking her position.
31/01/22·9m 14s

Revisiting Indicators: Bitcoin, masks, GDP

The team comes together to showcase what's happened since we last checked on some previous headline-grabbing indicators.
29/01/22·9m 49s

Revenge of the venture capitalists

Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick grew the company fast, but oversaw scandal after scandal. One venture capitalist wanted Travis out. Today: The epic tug-of-war between venture capital and founders in tech.
27/01/22·9m 59s

Cheese wars

A US District Court just ruled Gruyere cheese can be made outside of the Swiss French border region – including here in the US. Today, what this court battle over a cheese has to do with global trade.
26/01/22·9m 17s

The opioid business plan

Insys Therapeutics was an opioid startup that made lots of money for its addictive nasal spray. Today, we hear from Evan Hughes, author of the book Hard Sell: Crime and Punishment at an Opioid Startup, on how the company's carelessness led to its ultimate downfall.
25/01/22·9m 44s

Overdraft fees: From perk to penalty

Banks make billions on overdraft fees every year. So why are some of them walking away now?
24/01/22·9m 17s

Indicators to watch in 2022

It's a new year so that means it's time to choose our indicators to watch! Listen to find out what we will be tracking in the economy for 2022.
21/01/22·9m 58s

How a bank messaging system could decimate Russia

Russia has the United States and its allies worried about a potential invasion of Ukraine. One of the most painful sanctions NATO could impose would cut Russia's economy from the world.
20/01/22·9m 45s

Even you can buy a house with cash

In this frenzied housing market, offering cash gives you a huge advantage. It used to be only wealthy people and investors could do it. But now some lenders will let everyday homebuyers put in a cash offer too.
19/01/22·9m 44s

Metabucks: Microsoft offers $69 billion to buy Activision Blizzard

Microsoft just announced its intention to buy video game developer, Activision Blizzard, for almost $70 billion. This has some people speculating about Microsoft's future metaverse aspirations.
19/01/22·9m 52s

TikTok made me buy it

TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, and increasingly, a powerful tool for marketing. Today, we learn why TikTok makes us buy.
14/01/22·9m 42s

What nails can tell us about the economy

Despite being fairly simple items, nails can actually reveal a lot about the greater economy. Today, we talk to economist Dan Sichel about the history of nails and what they can teach us about economic trends.
13/01/22·9m 21s

The beef over price controls

Inflation reached a 40-year high today of 7%! There's been a storm of debate about an old anti-inflation policy: Price controls. So we dust off the history books and see what happened in World War II.
12/01/22·9m 22s

Why are McDonald's ice cream machines always broken?

McDonald's is notorious for frequent malfunctions of its ice cream machine. What's behind those malfunctions and why is the government getting involved?
12/01/22·9m 41s

Inland port priority

Disruptive backlogs at west coast ports in the U.S. have caused some shippers to get creative with their routes. Today, we tell you why one vessel took the long route from Shanghai to Cleveland, Ohio.
10/01/22·9m 24s

Why full employment doesn't mean everyone has a job

Unemployment is at 3.9%. Is this full employment? Some Americans aren't so sure. We look at this complex situation through the eyes of someone who has been job hunting for a long time.
07/01/22·9m 26s

Nurses and the never ending shifts

In hospitals, it's standard for nurses to work a 12-hour shift. But research shows that may not be such a good idea for patients — or nurses.
06/01/22·9m 51s

J&J tries the 'Texas Two-Step'

For years, Johnson & Johnson has been entangled in lawsuits regarding its talcum based products being linked to causing ovarian cancer. And to save itself from future lawsuits, the company is betting big on a tricky legal move named after a famous dance.
05/01/22·8m 42s

Full (ware)house

Although there are more warehouses in the U.S. than ever before, these warehouses are running out of space. Today on the show, we go behind the scenes into the warehousing world to understand why warehouses are running out of space.
04/01/22·9m 52s

How to keep your New Year's resolutions

2022 is finally here, and many people are excited for their fresh starts. But, it's no secret that following through with New Year's resolutions can be challenging. Today on the show, behavioral economist Katy Milkman shares her tips on how you can follow through.
03/01/22·9m 39s

How do you measure inflation? (Indicator favorite)

It's Encore Week at The Indicator! We're sharing some of our favorite episodes of 2021.Today, we hear one of Stacey's favorite episodes from this year. It's a deep dive into how the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates a key economic indicator, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most widely used measure of inflation.This episode originally came out in July.
30/12/21·9m 4s

The COVID small business boom (Indicator favorite)

It's Encore Week at The Indicator! We're sharing some of our favorite episodes of 2021.Today, we hear about people who became small business owners after losing their jobs due to the pandemic. AKA the hotdog guy episode!This episode originally came out in July.
29/12/21·9m 6s

Saving birds with economics (Indicator favorite)

It's Encore Week at The Indicator! We're sharing some of our favorite episodes from 2021. Today, we hear Darian's favorite episode to work on this year. It's a story about one economist's idea to conserve wetland habitats and save birds from losing their homes. This episode originally came out in July.
28/12/21·9m 29s

The time the US paid off all its debt (Indicator favorite)

Hey Indigators! It's Encore Week at The Indicator. We're sharing some of our favorite episodes of the year.Today, we're kicking things off with a listener favorite about the time President Andrew Jackson paid off all of America's interest-bearing debt...with disastrous results.This episode originally came out in August.
27/12/21·9m 8s

One indicator to rule them all

Indicator family feud is back, and the stakes are higher than ever! Stacey is joined by our friends from Planet Money as everyone makes their case for the indicator of the year. Who will win?
23/12/21·9m 43s

The Beigie Awards: Great (inflation) expectations

It's time to award our last Beigie of the year! And we find out that reading the Beige Book from back to front makes all the difference in the world.
22/12/21·9m 38s

The semiconductor founding father

One Taiwanese company, TSMC, makes 90% of the most advanced semiconductors — the chips for your phone or car. From Hong Kong to Boston to Texas to Taipei: This is TSMC founder Morris Chang's story.
22/12/21·9m 45s

Cells for sale

You can buy almost anything online, including ... human cells. Culturing and selling cells is a multibillion dollar global industry that supports all sorts of scientific research. But where do those cells come from?
20/12/21·9m 9s

Powell pivots, COVID spikes

Concern about inflation has the Federal Reserve pivoting from its earlier plans. Meanwhile, a spike in COVID cases disrupts Broadway, ball games, and businesses.
18/12/21·9m 28s

Why economists hate gifts (Encore)

When economists see holiday gifts, they see waste: sweaters that never get worn; books that never get read. Many recommend cash or no gift at all. Economist Tim Harford proposes a different solution in this encore episode from 2019.
16/12/21·10m 0s

The growing discontent within the National Guard

The recruiting message for the National Guard, "one weekend a month, two weeks a year," is well known. But the job has changed. Today on the show, we discuss the growing discontent among Guard members and why some want to unionize.
16/12/21·9m 59s

How much did fried chicken cost in 1915?

With inflation on the rise, some of our favorite menu items have gotten a little more expensive. So we wanted to know if eating out is now cheaper or more expensive than in the past, adjusted for inflation. We look at a New York City restaurant menu from 1915 and compare it to today's.
15/12/21·9m 46s

The toymakers' (supply chain) nightmare before Christmas...

Supply chain delays are always challenging. But during the holidays, slow shipping can make or break a company's bottom line. Today on the show, a toy company that makes Tonka trucks musters a shipment tracking war room.
13/12/21·9m 29s

Inflation indicators: The dollar store, the dollar slice and SPAM

Inflation has officially reached a nearly 40-year high and some businesses have been forced to raise their prices. But it becomes a bit of a dilemma when being 'cheap' is your brand. Today on the show, how are businesses with price-centric brands dealing with inflation?
10/12/21·9m 16s

Baseball's major league monopolies

Since last week, the MLB has been in a lockout due to ongoing labor negotiations between players and owners. Today on the show, how a 100-year-old court case gave the MLB an 'antitrust exemption' and how that set the stage for the labor unrest we see today.
09/12/21·9m 47s

Becky the junk bond: Where is she now?

In 2019, we bought a junk bond and named her Becky. Two years later, Becky has been on a journey that's included Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reorganization. On today's show, Becky's journey finally comes to an end as we see how much we made on our investment.
08/12/21·9m 40s

The U.K.'s most famous family firm in crisis

The last couple of years have been rough for most of us, the British royal family included. Due to a pair of scandals and Queen Elizabeth's recent poor health, the future of the royal family feels less certain than it has in years. Today on the show, the finance that drives "The Firm" and can it survive without its CEO?
07/12/21·9m 34s

The conglomerate paradox

General Electric and Johnson & Johnson are the most recent conglomerates to have a messy breakup. However, Techglomerates like Amazon and Facebook are doing just fine. Today on the show, will today's tech conglomerates eventually suffer the same fate as their predecessors?
06/12/21·9m 23s

Jobs Friday: The case for better wages

Today's jobs report found that workers received a small raise last month. And, yes, higher pay is great for attracting workers and boosting morale, but sometimes it can even pay for itself.
03/12/21·9m 31s

2021: A year in indicators

After a tumultuous 2020, we welcomed the new year by picking three indicators to watch for economic recovery. As 2021 wraps up, we revisit those indicators to see how they've fared. Our old friend Cardiff Garcia returns for this walk down indicator memory lane.
02/12/21·9m 58s

Falling down the "junk insurance" rabbit hole

If you Google "Obamacare signup," good luck finding It'll be buried under several ads trying to lure you to something less healthy. Today's show looks at a classic bait and switch.
01/12/21·9m 25s

Women, career and family: A conversation with Claudia Goldin

Caregiving responsibilities for women have drastically increased since the start of the pandemic. And with new demands at home and at work, many women have struggled to find a balance between work and family. On today's show, economist Claudia Goldin joins us to talk about that and other issues in her new book, "Career and Family: Women's Century Long Journey Towards Equity."
30/11/21·9m 39s

The rise and fall (and rise?) of organized labor

In the wake of the "great resignation", organized labor may be having a moment in the U.S. Tens of thousands of workers have protested working conditions at companies like John Deere and Kellogg's and, in recent months, workers across the country have chosen or threatened strike action. Today on the show, author Erik Loomis shares how the history of America's unions explains today's labor movement.
29/11/21·8m 54s

Indicators-giving! How much does Thanksgiving cost this year?

How much will Thanksgiving dinner cost compared to last year? Today on the show, the Indicator team gathers around the virtual Thanksgiving table to let you know how much prices have changed for each holiday favorite.
24/11/21·9m 33s

Ticket scalpers: The real ticket masters

Ticket scalpers. They're the bane of every fan's existence because they manage to snag concert tickets before fans can even get their webpages to load. An economist would tell you the story is more complicated than that.
23/11/21·8m 54s

Jeromonomics 2.0

Today President Biden reappointed Jerome Powell as chair of the Federal Reserve. So we revisit a recent episode about Jay Powell's first term and his approach to steering the economy — Jeromonomics.
22/11/21·9m 12s

BONUS: Wisdom From The Top

This episode is from our friends at the podcast Wisdom From The Top, featuring our very own Stacey Vanek Smith! Stacey Vanek Smith has reported on business and the economy for over 15 years now, first for public radio's "Marketplace," and now as the host of Planet Money's daily podcast "The Indicator." Over that time, she's seen the same barriers blocking advancement for women in the workplace again and again. Recently, she's started to recognize that a lot of tools to move past those barriers can be found in the work of Italian philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli.
21/11/21·52m 27s

An exuberant bid for the Constitution

It's that time again! A crypto group fails to buy an original copy of the U.S. Constitution, succeeds in renaming LA's Staples Center, and warnings the economy might be too exuberant.
19/11/21·9m 21s

Rumor has it Adele broke the vinyl supply chain

We're in the midst of a vinyl boom and chains like Walmart have been cashing in. But so have stars like Adele, who reportedly pressed over 500,000 records for her new album, "30." Today on the show, has Adele really clogged the fragile vinyl supply chain, or should we go easy on her?
18/11/21·9m 53s

Should Americans buy less stuff?

Americans love to shop, and consumer spending has only increased since the start of the pandemic. Even the supply chains are tired. That's why one Bloomberg columnist believes it's time for an intervention.
18/11/21·8m 58s

Toyota Camry, supply-chain hero

Toyota pioneered just-in-time production. But this lean method is dangerous when car parts are in short supply, like in a pandemic. Today: How Toyota invented and reformed just-in-time production.
16/11/21·9m 54s

'The China Shock' and the downsides of globalization

Trade with China made American goods cheaper and lifted millions of Chinese people out of poverty. At the same time, it devastated communities across America's heartland. What have we learned from the "China Shock"? And what can we do to prevent something like it from happening again?
15/11/21·9m 39s

Why quitting got so cool

This episode is all about quitters! Over 4 million people quit their jobs in September. That's a record high following another record quits rate in August. What does this trend say about America's evolving workforce, and when did so many people start saving "rest eggs?"
12/11/21·9m 47s

Indicators of the Week: Broadband, bonds, and break-ups

It's Indicators of the Week! General Electric splits into three separate companies, the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill promises faster internet speeds, and interest rates for government debt inched up.
11/11/21·9m 57s

The Money Illusion: Have Americans really gotten a raise?

Although workers across the country have seen an increase in wages, the cost of things like gas and food have also been increasing. This leaves workers wondering whether these raises are real or just an illusion.
11/11/21·9m 50s

Global food, local sauces

Adnan Durrani loved sourcing ingredients from all over the world for his food company Saffron Road. Then the pandemic hit. Now Adnan is totally reconsidering the benefits of globalization.
09/11/21·8m 53s

iBuyers, Zillow, and 'the lemons problem'

With troves of data at their disposal, iBuyers like Opendoor, Redfin and Zillow have been trying to make money buying homes online and selling them — quickly. Armed with high-tech algorithms, what could go wrong? Lemons, for one thing.
08/11/21·8m 42s

The Great Hesitation: a Jobs Friday rom-com

It's Jobs Friday, and we blow our first air horn in months! Albeit, a slightly muted one. Last month, the economy added more jobs than expected. But there are still millions of people staying out of the workforce. Why?
05/11/21·9m 19s

Landlords need help too

For renters to receive emergency rental assistance, they usually need cooperation from their landlords. This is also true vice versa. On today's show, we hear about the struggles of two mom-and-pop landlords with renters who left them holding the bag. ​​Check out some of Chris Arnold's earlier reporting on the challenges renters are facing during the pandemic:​​Why rent help from Congress has been so damn slow getting to people who need itGeorgia County Tried To Help Everyone Facing Eviction. Now A Crisis LoomsWith The Eviction Moratorium's End Looming, Black Renters Likely To Be Hit Hard
04/11/21·9m 59s

Could Elon Musk really solve world hunger?

Just 2% of Elon Musk's wealth could supposedly help solve world hunger. But how was this estimate calculated, and is solving this issue as simple as a billionaire writing a check?
03/11/21·8m 58s

Tangled up and beige: The Beigies are back!

The Beigies are here again! October's Beige Book entries captured the seismic shift in the way we live during the pandemic, and things got a little emotional.
02/11/21·9m 30s

Rage against the customer service worker

As if they don't have enough to worry about, restaurant, retail, and airline employees are still facing customer meltdowns over COVID-19 precautions. We ask a 'customer whisperer' if these explosive customers can be defused.
01/11/21·9m 26s

Are you afraid of inflation?

Boo! The Indicator team invites you to listen to a spooky episode about an invisible monster that has given our economy a fright. Listen at your own risk...
29/10/21·10m 0s

Is the economy going stag(flation)?

GDP numbers for the third quarter just dropped and they are... not awesome. With the economy experiencing slower than expected growth and rising prices, are we entering into a period of stagflation?
28/10/21·9m 52s

Can the Fed help solve climate change?

From buying green bonds to monitoring bank lending, some central banks have already created policies to help fight climate change risk. Should the Fed be next?
27/10/21·9m 31s

Revisiting the ABLE Act

When Chip Gerhardt's daughter Anne ran into some issues with Social Security disability benefits, his job as a lobbyist became very personal.
26/10/21·9m 11s

Squid Game: Debt, decisions, and the paradox of thrift

In the Netflix show Squid Game, 456 desperate players compete to the death in a series of children's games for millions of dollars. How did their debt impact their decision making?
25/10/21·8m 54s

Indicators of the Week: IPOs, ETFs, GHGs

It's Indicators of the Week! The U.S. is using a lot more coal for electricity, the first Bitcoin ETF is finally here, and WeWork officially debuted on the New York Stock Exchange.
22/10/21·9m 0s

Say my name

Repeating a customer's name is a classic sales technique used by telemarketers to car salesmen. But can a salesperson use a customer's name too much?
21/10/21·9m 49s

Keep calm, it's just the bullwhip effect

The Indicator team plays a beer game to understand how the bullwhip effect tangles supply chains. And no, it's not beer pong.
20/10/21·9m 51s

Labor market trick or treat

Trick or treat! As we all know, some indicators are sweet, but others are scary. Luckily, one economist is here to help us separate the tricks from the treats in our labor market.
19/10/21·9m 37s

BRAND new friends

In advertising, there's always been an unspoken rule — never praise your competition. But one marketing professor's research shows that approach can actually be good for businesses and their brand.
18/10/21·8m 54s

Indicators of the Week: strikes, prices, Black Friday deals

Indicators of the Week! Prices are up again, but is it fair to call this 'transitory' inflation? Black Friday deals are early at stores anticipating supply-chain shortages. And America is on strike.
15/10/21·9m 59s

Congressional game theory

For months, lawmakers have been negotiating two big spending bills with no end in sight. Game theory could explain the hidden strategies behind the congressional chaos.
14/10/21·9m 8s

Simon says we're stuck with the debt ceiling

The debt ceiling approaches. A congressional standoff ensues. It wasn't always this way. So why did the debt ceiling get built? And how do other countries control their debt?
13/10/21·9m 9s

A Nobel prize for an economics revolution

Joshua Angrist, Guido Imbens and David Card won the economics Nobel on Monday. On today's show, we talk to the Princeton professor who mentored two of the winners.
12/10/21·9m 3s

Jobs Friday: Where are all the older workers?

Sure, some seniors took the pandemic as an opportunity to ride an RV into the sunset, but there's a darker story unfolding in today's jobs report. Today's show looks at the challenges many older worker can face as they try to reenter the workforce.
08/10/21·9m 45s

A new decade for Bond

Daniel Craig's tenure as James Bond is coming to an end with the release of No Time To Die. With Amazon acquiring MGM, where does the 007 franchise go from here?
07/10/21·9m 48s

Technology brought to you by the s-curve

A lot of things grow slowly, then fast, then slow again. From the growth in smartphone users to the rise of vaccinations, the s-curve explains a huge part of technological, scientific and economic change.
06/10/21·9m 41s

Facebook tries to save face

Facebook's status hasn't been so hot of late. From internal documents leaked by a whistleblower to outages of hours. How does a company with millions of dissatisfied customers turn its image around?
06/10/21·8m 21s

Revenge of the math club

In the high school lunchroom version of business school, finance majors were the popular jocks and logistics majors were... the math club. But nowadays, they're sitting at the cool kids' table.
04/10/21·9m 40s

No Dental, No Power, No Agents: Indicators Of The Week

Indicators of the Week! Dentists resist the Biden administration's spending plan. China is rationing electricity. And Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson negotiates his own contract, agent-free.
01/10/21·9m 53s

Japanese Anime, Made In China

Anime is a twenty-billion-dollar industry and it is growing fast. But traditionally, anime is produced in Japan. What happens when other countries try producing Japanese-style animation?
30/09/21·9m 58s

Rebuilding Paradise

The 2018 Camp Fire burned down much of the town of Paradise, Calif. Over the years, wildfires in the West have become more frequent and intense. But Paradise is rebuilding for a more resilient future.
29/09/21·9m 31s

How WhatsApp Broke Lebanon

Lebanon's economy is in freefall. The World Bank calls it one of the worst financial crises in a century. We look back at Lebanon's optimistic years, zooming in on the one key decision that started this house of cards. And we ask what this can teach us about booms and busts in general.
28/09/21·9m 7s

The College Admissions 'Melt' Down

What is "melt" and why are college admissions departments sweating over it this year?
27/09/21·8m 58s

Indicators Of The Week: Evergrande, Stuck Ships, Town Managers

From ghost apartments empty in China, to a backlog of ships in Los Angeles, to towns struggling to find city managers... yes, it's time for Indicators of the Week!
24/09/21·9m 45s

Why An Aging China Matters

For decades China exported better and cheaper stuff. But now China's experiencing a factory worker crunch. It's been a long time coming.
23/09/21·9m 42s

The Unicorn Next Door

A real estate startup says it's the fastest company in American history to achieve a billion-dollar valuation, but the neighbors aren't buying what they're selling: fractional home ownership.
22/09/21·9m 39s

Trust Us, 2020 Brought Us Together

Political upheaval! Conspiracy theories! Global spread of disease! Sounds like a recipe for... trust? Today on the show, how 2020 increased trust, and how that trust underpins so much of our economy.
21/09/21·9m 32s

All In On Malls

With the pandemic shutting down in-person life, thousands of retail stores closed up shop. But, some retailers see an opportunity for growth by moving into American malls. Let's go to the mall.
20/09/21·9m 39s

Indicators Of The Week: Colleges, Poverty, Airlines

It's that time of the week again! On today's show, we bring the indicators on airline vaccine mandates, U.S. poverty after all that pandemic aid and a surprising shakeup in college rankings.
17/09/21·9m 28s

Gas Power To Electric Power To... Foot Power?

Auto companies needing to lower emissions while facing car bans in some cities, are turning their focus toward a familiar, two-wheeled competitor. Today on the show, the rise of the e-bike.
16/09/21·9m 58s

Child Care Conundrum

Millions of mothers left work during the pandemic. Decades of progress seemed lost. Is it time to reconsider how our economy handles child care and the workplace?
15/09/21·9m 34s

Do High Food Prices Mean Unrest?

Climate change, farmworker shortages and increasing transportation costs are driving global food prices higher and higher. What happens when food costs too much?
14/09/21·8m 7s

The Beigie Awards: From Coasting To Ghosting

Restaurant owners washing their own dishes? Shipping containers changing all prices mid-delivery? The rise of the spooky, surf-happy employee? It's the Beigie Awards!
13/09/21·9m 37s

Indicators Of The Week: From Bitcoin To Solar To Feelings

It's time for Indicators Of The Week! This week: The confidence of consumers takes a hit, El Salvador makes it official with Bitcoin, and our future's so bright, we might just need those shades.
10/09/21·9m 13s

Do You Want To Live In A Bounty Economy?

The Texas abortion law includes an unusual provision: a financial incentive to report others. On today's show, we look into another time in U.S. history where the government tried bounties.
09/09/21·9m 23s

A Quest To Support Women-Led Businesses

A reporter frustrated by the gender and race gap in company CEOs sets out to buy products only from companies led or owned by women. Today on the show, what it takes to advance women in business.
08/09/21·9m 35s

Did Ending Pandemic UI Benefits Push Americans Back To Work?

Early this summer, the U.S. inadvertently launched one of the largest unemployment experiments in history to see if unemployment benefits impact worker shortages. Today on the show, we find the answer.
07/09/21·9m 11s

When A Drought Boils Over

As our week on water ends, we go to the heart of the conflict. On today's show, the ranchers on the frontlines of the Western drought are caught between a political battle and the climate crisis.
03/09/21·9m 57s

Should The Lawns In Vegas, Stay In Vegas?

An epic drought and population explosion is draining Lake Mead and the Colorado River, which millions rely on. And then there's the lawns. Today on the show, what happens if the water runs dry?
02/09/21·9m 7s

Water's Cheap... Should It Be?

As we grapple with the climate crisis, there's less and less water to go around. But in the U.S. water is cheaper than dirt. Today on the show, the reason we're willing to flush something so valuable down the drain.
01/09/21·9m 36s

Liquid Markets

Economists often say we should put prices on scarce resources. So that's what Australia did with water. On today's show, how that turned out.
31/08/21·9m 56s

Water In The West: Bankrupt?

Water is one of the West's most precious resources, but it's drying up. We begin a week of the economics of water. Today: Who has the rights? When there isn't enough, could the answer be bankruptcy?
30/08/21·9m 59s

Jeromonomics: Indicator Of The Week

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has radically changed the Fed's approach to supporting the economy. Today for our Indicator Of The Week we explain "Jeromonomics".
27/08/21·9m 30s

The Taliban Controls The Afghan Economy. Now What?

As the Taliban assumes control of Afghanistan, uncertainty looms over an already-fragile financial system. Today on the show, we look into Afghani currency and the Afghan central bank, how it worked before and the questions of this precarious present moment.
26/08/21·9m 0s

China's Big Tech Crackdown

When a Chinese tech CEO shared a poem over a thousand years old, his company's stock plummeted. Investors are on a knife's edge as the Chinese government cracks down on big tech.
25/08/21·9m 36s

Enough With Bachelor's Degrees

There are millions of job openings, but there are also many jobs that shut out qualified candidates simply because they don't have a bachelor's degree. Today on the show, we explore this phenomenon.
24/08/21·9m 8s

How To Trade-up From A Bobby Pin To A House

TikTok deal-maker Demi Skipper is on a quest to get a house one trade at a time. Starting with just a bobby pin, Demi gives us a crash course on the economics of bartering.
23/08/21·9m 18s

Jabs And Retail: Indicators Of The Week

It's that time of the week again! Today on the show, our Indicators of The Week about the insufficient number of global vaccinations and a dip in retail spending.
20/08/21·8m 46s

The Electric Grid-Lock

So many players in the U.S. electrical game, but maybe less is more? A look into energy grids, how monopolies could topple, blackouts stop, and the climate impact of it all. On today's show, who controls the power?
19/08/21·9m 6s

Who Owns The Moon?

Location, location, location! As private companies race to control space travel, a conversation around spatial real estate gets reignited. Today on the show, can you buy the moon? If so, how much?
18/08/21·9m 59s

The Spit Queen, The Economist And The NBA

Yale's Anne Wyllie pioneered saliva coronavirus testing, but wasted a lot of precious time worrying about funding. Until she met her fairy godmother, an economist funding covid-fighting ideas fast.
17/08/21·9m 41s

Holy Cow, It's Fake Meat!

In recent years, meat alternatives have grown in popularity. But they remain more expensive than the real thing. Why?
16/08/21·9m 51s

Indicator Of The Week: 4.5 Trillion

The recent updates on the Biden Administration's infrastructure bills raise a serious question: what counts as infrastructure? Today on the show, we speak with two economists on the topic.
13/08/21·9m 24s

R.I.P. Office

Not every job can be done remotely, but will those that can stay remote? Today on the show, we discuss the current trends in remote work with an economist.
12/08/21·9m 50s

Long Live The Office

The rise of remote work and telecommuting during the pandemic raises questions about the future of the office. Today the argument for why offices are here to stay.
11/08/21·9m 59s

Too Much Import, Too Little Export

The transportation industry has a bottleneck right now, not only with imports, but also exports. Still many container ships are leaving American shores empty. Why is that?
10/08/21·9m 39s

An Economist's Advice On Digital Dependency

American adults on average spent more than four hours on their phones in 2020. Can we reduce our phone usage if we want to? Some recent research says yes.
09/08/21·9m 37s

Return Of The Air Horn? Jobs Friday July Edition

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released the jobs report for July. The economy added nearly one million jobs. An economist helps us analyze these numbers.
06/08/21·9m 21s

Why Host The Olympics?

The Tokyo Olympics will cost tens of billions of dollars, making it one of the most expensive Olympic games in history. So why do cities want to host the Olympics?
05/08/21·8m 20s

The Origin of Value: The Greater Fools Theory

History is full of financial bubbles. People speculate on real estate, stocks, coins, even flowers. Why do bubbles happen? The answer may lie in a concept known as the greater fools theory.
04/08/21·9m 49s

The Time the US Paid Off All Its Debt

President Andrew Jackson was ruthless in reducing federal debt. The administration paid off all interest-bearing debt in 1835, but the results were not as rosy as people expected.
03/08/21·9m 57s

The Rise And Fall Of WeWork

WeWork was one of the most valuable startups in the world, until it wasn't. Today we speak with journalist Maureen Farrell, who covered WeWork extensively and recently wrote a book on its history.
02/08/21·9m 36s

Indicators of the Week: Family Feud Edition

There are so many indicators this week, so we invited our friends from Planet Money to compete for the best Indicator of The Week.
30/07/21·9m 44s

Marriage Boom: Sin City Edition

The wedding industry lost tens of billions of dollars in 2020. Now the numbers are roaring back, especially in Las Vegas. Today on the show, we explore the marriage boom in Las Vegas and elsewhere.
29/07/21·9m 34s

BTS: The Band That Moves The Economy

Korean boy band BTS is a global music phenomenon. The group has millions of fans called A.R.M.Y., who happily support the group with their wallets. Today on the show, we dive deep into the economic impacts of BTS and what makes the group special.
28/07/21·9m 41s

Nudge Vs Shove: A Conversation With Richard Thaler

Nobel Prize laureate Richard Thaler is a rockstar in the world of economics. His book Nudge introduced many of us to the field of behavioral economics and how it could be used in public policy. Today we speak with Professor Thaler on his latest and final edition of Nudge, and go beyond nudge to the land of sludging and shoving.
27/07/21·9m 44s

Relax, Millennials! You're Doing Great.

According to new data from the Federal Reserve millennials are struggling. A closer examination of economic data, however, paints a different picture.
26/07/21·9m 58s

Mailbag: Children Edition

On today's show, kids ask everything you were too afraid to admit you didn't know about money — what is it, where did it come from, what happens if a government goes bananas printing it.
23/07/21·9m 36s

Saving Birds With Economics

The Pacific Flyway, one of the major bird migration routes in North America, has lost over 90% of its original wetland habitat in California. Purchasing and restoring these lands would cost a lot of money. But one economist had an idea: What if we paid rice farmers to flood their fields?
22/07/21·9m 54s

The Tequila Boom And Agave Bust

The demand for tequila is booming, but it wasn't always the case. We speak with a fifth generation tequila distiller and a tequila scholar on the history of tequila and what will happen with this current boom.
22/07/21·9m 40s

Burnout, Poaching And Robots Taking Our Jobs: The Beigie Awards!

The Beigie Award is out for July! This time our winner talks about employee burnout, increased talent poaching, and a special cameo from someone we all know and love.
20/07/21·9m 29s

Should Business Mandate Covid Vaccines For Employees?

Only 3 to 4 percent of small businesses in many states require workers to show proof of vaccination but in Puerto Rico, the number is 20 percent. Why? We speak with an economist and two business owners to find out.
19/07/21·9m 45s

In Tech We Antitrust: Indicators of The Week

President Biden signed an executive order promoting competition and large technology firms came under fire. We speak with economists Luigi Zingales and Carl Shapiro on the history and implications of antitrust.
16/07/21·9m 58s

The COVID Small Business Boom

After millions of people lost their jobs during the pandemic, many of them started their own businesses. In June people started over 440,000 new businesses. We speak with a hot dog stand owner about his journey and an economist on this trend.
15/07/21·9m 55s

Australian Wine: Political Football

Australian wine exports to China have gone from about $1 billion a year to nearly nothing overnight. Australia blames geopolitics, saying the Chinese government wants to send a message to the world.
14/07/21·9m 43s

How Do You Measure Inflation?

The Consumer Price Index helps to understand prices and inflation, but where do the numbers come from in the first place? We tagged along with an economist to find out the prices of socks, butter, and daycare.
13/07/21·9m 58s

Keeping Up With The Kandasamys

Streaming services have changed how people consume films and TV shows, but they've also changed what viewers are able to consume. For example, a rom-com about two Indian families who live next to each other in South Africa, is now available to a global audience.
12/07/21·9m 53s

Used Car Silver Lining: Indicators Of The Week

Used cars are expensive right now. Bloomberg writer Conor Sen thinks it might be a reason behind recent inflation. We explore how used cars got so expensive and used cars' relationship with the CPI.
09/07/21·9m 48s

Shrinkflation: Inflation's Sneaky Cousin

Inflation is the talk of the town recently, but some companies are shrinking the size of their products and charging the same price, aka "shrinkflation". Today we explore the booming market of inflation's sneaky cousin.
08/07/21·9m 59s

How Do You Reduce Child Poverty?

The Biden Administration and Congress have introduced expanded child tax credits for families in 2021. Senator Michael Bennet, the author of the original plan, hopes to make the bill permanent. We speak with him and economist Hilary Hoynes on the implications of child tax credits.
07/07/21·9m 28s

Beach Reads For Econ Nerds

It's summer, which means time to read at the beach. We asked professor Tyler Cowen for his picks. His three books cover scientific progress, the rocket business, and how to cope with doomsday.
06/07/21·9m 26s

Are We Looking At The Wrong Jobs Numbers?

The world of unemployment rates can get confusing. We are here to help. What is U-3 and what is U-6? Of course, U-2 is here as well. And now, the Indicator presents... the U-Blend!
02/07/21·9m 45s

Desperately Seeking Construction Workers

Demand for homes has increased dramatically this year and supply can't keep up. One of the biggest issues is a labor shortage in the construction industry. So employers are increasing wages and getting creative to entice people into the trades.
02/07/21·9m 33s

That Time America Paid For Universal Day Care

When millions of women entered the workforce during World War II, what happened to the children? The government stepped in and created the first federal child care program. What happened to it?
30/06/21·9m 42s

Can TikTok Cancel Your Hospital Bills?

TikTok videos are entertaining and sometimes... life-saving. Earlier this year, a video on hospital bill cancellation went viral. We speak with the creator to find out how he got into charity care.
29/06/21·9m 54s

The Jobless Benefits Experiment

In a few weeks, more than half of the fifty states will terminate the pandemic assistance unemployment benefits. What does this reveal about the current state of the economy?
28/06/21·9m 14s

Crypto Crash, Labor Shortage and Leggings vs. NFTs: Indicators Of The Week

There are big changes in the crypto and the retail world. Bitcoin's price declined from recent highs, as mining activities stopped in China. Meanwhile, the retail sector cannot keep up with booming demand...
25/06/21·9m 57s

The Line Americans And Canadians Can't Cross

Sixteen months have passed since the closure of the US-Canada border. What are the economic impacts on border towns, local residents, businesses and cross border tourism?
24/06/21·9m 30s

Traffic Jam: Cargo Style

Residents of a small town in Washington state are troubled by something big... container ships. Why are they there? What does this say about the state of the global shipping industry?
23/06/21·9m 49s

The Vet Clinic Chow Down

We love our pets, but do you know what Corporate America loves even more? Veterinary clinics. Today on the show, we explore the explosion of corporate investment in the vet clinic world.
22/06/21·9m 59s

Kit Kat, Puppies, And Masks: Anthro-Vision

What do Kit Kat, dog food, and mask wearing have in common? You'll find the answer in the new book Anthro-Vision. We speak with its author, journalist and anthropologist, Gillian Tett.
21/06/21·9m 45s

Bluer Skies Ahead

Covid-19 has brought so much loss and hardship, but there was at least one pleasant surprise for Beijing - less hazy skies and air pollution. Today on The Indicator, the concept of experience goods. How you don't know the value of something until you actually experience it. And how in Beijing there were blue skies during the COVID lockdown.
17/06/21·9m 58s

Millennial Myth-Busters: Housing Edition

It's time to bust some myths about millennials... real estate edition! Millennials are a big part of the real estate boom this year. How did that happen? We speak to an industry insider and an economist to find out more.
16/06/21·9m 52s

Why Is The Fed So Boring?

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak tomorrow. His words will likely be boring, but the financial markets are watching carefully. Such words seem to have serious implications. Why is that?
15/06/21·9m 39s

Is Movie Night Back?

Many people will watch movies on a big screen this summer, but the pandemic fundamentally changed the industry. How can movie theaters survive and possibly thrive post-pandemic?
14/06/21·9m 59s

Taxes, Oil Prices And Why We're All Quitting Our Jobs: Indicators Of The Week

It's time for the Indicators Of The Week! Our three indicators are: tax, oil, and jobs. We will cover their importance and how they are relevant to Bono, the Ford F-150, and Kim Kardashian.
11/06/21·9m 14s

The Case For Inflation

The latest Consumer Price Index reveals 5% inflation over the last year. Should we be worried? Treasury Secretary Yellen says no. Two economists argue yes. The Indicator presents... the inflation hawks!
10/06/21·9m 50s

Women, Work And The Pandemic

Millions of women left the workforce during the pandemic. Today, a story about a mother's tough decision to leave work and an economist's view on the labor market for women during the pandemic.
09/06/21·9m 48s

Wagyu Steaks And Worker Shortages: The Beigie Awards

The Indicator gives out the special Beigie Award eight times each year, and it's that time today! We are honoring the Federal Reserve branch that told the story of beef. Yes, premium cuts!
08/06/21·9m 32s

A Technology Tale: David Beats Goliath

Zoom is the most popular video conferencing software and many people's communications lifeline during COVID. How did the tiny company beat tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Cisco?
07/06/21·9m 44s

Jobs Friday: Rise Of The Self Employed

It's Jobs Friday! It's not exactly the jobs report we wanted, but there were some bright spots. On the Indicator, we discuss the rise in self employment.
05/06/21·9m 1s

Have A Missing Matisse? Call The Art Detective

Art crime is a big business, and it requires special skills to investigate. Enter Christopher Marinello, one of the world's foremost experts in art recovery.
03/06/21·9m 58s

Dear Class Of 2021...

Dear graduating college classes of 2021: Congratulations! On The Indicator, Stacey and Cardiff present an economic guide to the future that awaits you.
03/06/21·9m 42s

Leveling The Playing Field

Several schools have cut women's sports teams during the pandemic, and some of the teams have lawyered up in response. Ultimately, these lawsuits ask the question: how do we measure equality?
01/06/21·9m 54s

Unpacking President Biden's Big Budget

President Biden unveiled a massive budget proposal on Friday. We discuss the hefty price tag and ask two economists to weigh in on his plan.
28/05/21·9m 50s

Fighting A Racist 184-Year-Old Law

The Chehalis Tribe had a plan to create jobs and revenue. The only problem? A racist law from 1834.
27/05/21·9m 6s

What Does It Take To Get Us To Try Something New?

You may have the best product in the world, but that doesn't mean people will try it. What does it take to get consumers to try something new?
26/05/21·9m 48s

Who Let The Dogs Out?

When people were stuck at home during Covid lockdowns, the pet sitting business slowed to a trickle. But recently traveling has picked up and now pet sitters can barely keep up with demand.
25/05/21·8m 49s

The Growing Racial Divide In Millennial Wealth

Many white millennials have made amazing progress in building wealth in recent years. Meanwhile, Black millennials keep falling further and further behind.
24/05/21·9m 28s

Dogecoin, Retail And The Cafe Table Indicator

For this edition of Indicators of the Week, we hear from economists Kate Waldock and Ben Ho about what they're looking at to signal the health of the economy: the strength of retail and Dogecoin.
21/05/21·9m 16s

America's Best-Selling Truck Goes Electric

The Ford Lightning is the first electric F-150 pickup truck, and it could be a historical tipping point for the US auto industry. The only problem? Selling it to old-school drivers.
20/05/21·9m 50s

We're Bad At Calculating Risk

Life constantly requires us to calculate risk, and we're just not very good at it.
19/05/21·9m 48s

Blood And Treasure

Obsessing over hidden treasure isn't just for pirates and conquistadors. In 2010, an eccentric art dealer launched a modern day treasure hunt that lasted ten long years.
18/05/21·9m 59s

The Great Vaccine Patent-Off

The US just backed calls by South Africa and India to waive intellectual property protection for COVID-19 vaccines, but that may not be enough to ramp up vaccine production.
17/05/21·9m 47s

Brood X Economy: Indicators Of The Week

The Brood X cicadas are finally back this summer, but what was life like 17 years ago when they first went underground?
14/05/21·8m 22s

How Do You Get People To Get A Vaccine?

What's the best way to persuade people to get a vaccine? A new study from the University of Pennsylvania may have the answer.
13/05/21·9m 58s

The Rise And Fall Of The Skinny Jean

Skinny jeans have reigned supreme for two decades, but now their rule seems to be ending.
12/05/21·9m 56s

Pay Taxes Less Frequently? We're Interested...

Taxes can be a nightmare for taxpayers and also for the under-resourced IRS. But there's an idea that could make taxes easier for everybody: only pay taxes once every two years.
11/05/21·9m 55s

The Hacking Business

A cyberattack forced the shutdown of a major U.S. fuel pipeline, and the hackers wrote ... a press release? We discuss the business of hacking, and why hackers would give a press statement.
10/05/21·9m 38s

Jobs Friday And The Labor Market Mystery

Unemployment is still above 6%, but companies across the US are saying they can't find people to fill their jobs. What's going on?
07/05/21·9m 43s

Pepsi's Number Fever

Sometimes companies offer sales promotions that are TOO good, ending in livid customers and a disaster for the company.
06/05/21·9m 56s

The VITA(L) Role Of Free Tax Prep

The IRS helps millions of people do their taxes FOR FREE every year. But, as with many things in the past year, covid has made this a little more complicated.
05/05/21·9m 28s

Confusion In The Health Insurance Marketplace

Millions of Americans are eligible for huge savings on health insurance due to Biden's stimulus plan, but many haven't taken up the offer. Why is it so hard to give people a break on health insurance?
04/05/21·9m 55s

A 21st Century Union

A new union was formed earlier this year. Why has it caught our attention? Some of its members make more than $300,000 a year, and they all work at Alphabet, Google's parent company.
03/05/21·9m 55s

Shortages: Inflation In Disguise?

The pandemic spurred a year full of shortages, so why haven't producers responded by raising prices in most cases?
30/04/21·9m 46s

Inflation, Unemployment And The Phillips Curve

For decades, policymakers chose to put millions of people into either a frying pan (inflation) or a fire (unemployment). An idea called the Phillips Curve was influential. But is it still?
29/04/21·9m 37s

Confused When Online Shopping? It Might Be A Dark Pattern

Dark patterns are online tricks used by retailers and marketers that cause you to do things that you didn't mean to do. And they're becoming more and more common.
28/04/21·9m 11s
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