Planet Money

Planet Money

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Wanna see a trick? Give us any topic and we can tie it back to the economy. At Planet Money, we explore the forces that shape our lives and bring you along for the ride. Don't just understand the economy – understand the world.

Wanna go deeper? Subscribe to Planet Money+ and get sponsor-free episodes of Planet Money, The Indicator, and Planet Money Summer School. Plus access to bonus content. It's a new way to support the show you love. Learn more at plus.npr.org/planetmoney

Episodes

A controversial idea at the heart of Bidenomics

Réka Juhász is a professor of economics at the University of British Columbia, and she studies what's known as industrial policy. That's the general term for whenever the government tries to promote specific sectors of the economy. The idea is that they might be able to supercharge growth by giving money to certain kinds of businesses, or by putting up trade barriers to protect certain industries. Economists have long been against it. Industrial policy has been called a "taboo" subject, and "one of the most toxic phrases" in economics. The mainstream view has been that industrial policy is inefficient, even harmful. For a long time, politicians largely accepted that view. But in the past several years, countries have started to embrace industrial policy—most notably in the United States. Under President Biden, the U.S. is set to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on industrial policy, to fund things like microchip manufacturing and clean energy projects. It's one of the most ambitious tests of industrial policy in U.S. history. And the billion dollar question is ... will it work? On today's show, Réka takes us on a fun, nerdy journey to explain the theory behind industrial policy, why it's so controversial, and where President Biden's big experiment might be headed.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/02/24·25m 52s

Two Indicators: Economics of the defense industry

The Department of Defense's proposed budget for 2024 is $842 billion. That is about 3.5% of the U.S.'s GDP. The military buys everything from pens and paper clips to fighter jets and submarines. But the market for military equipment is very different from the commercial market.On today's episode, we're bringing you two stories from The Indicator's series on defense spending that explore that market. As the U.S. continues to send weapons to Ukraine and Israel, we first look at why defense costs are getting so high. Then, we dive into whether bare-bones manufacturing styles are leaving the U.S. military in a bind.The original Indicator episodes were produced by Cooper Katz McKim with engineering from Maggie Luthar and James Willetts. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and Angel Carreras. They were edited by Kate Concannon and Paddy Hirsch. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/02/24·19m 22s

How the Navy came to protect cargo ships

The Genco Picardy is not an American ship. It doesn't pay U.S. taxes, none of its crew are U.S. nationals, and when it sailed through the Red Sea last month, it wasn't carrying cargo to or from an American port. But when the Houthis, a tribal militant group from Yemen, attacked the ship, the crew called the U.S. Navy. That same day, the Navy fired missiles at Houthi sites.On today's show: How did protecting the safe passage of other countries' ships in the Red Sea become a job for the U.S. military? It goes back to an idea called Freedom of the Seas, an idea that started out as an abstract pipe dream when it was coined in the early 1600s – but has become a pillar of the global economy. This episode was hosted by Alex Mayyasi and Nick Fountain. It was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler, edited by Molly Messick, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and engineered by Valentina Rodríguez Sánchez, with help from Maggie Luthar. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/02/24·19m 52s

It's giving ... Valentines

L, is for the way you Listen to Planet MoneyO, is for the Only podcast I hearV, is Very, very, fiduciaryE, is for... ECONOMICS! Every February, we dedicate a show to the things in our lives that have been giving us butterflies. Whether it's an obscure online marketplace or a piece of stunt journalism that made us green with envy. And then we go out into the world to proclaim our love...in the form of a Valentine. And we have a great roster this Valentine's Day:- A grocery store in Los Angeles with the very best produce - A woodworking supply company with an innovative approach to... innovation!- A basketball player that makes a strong case for taking risky shots- A book that catalogues the raw materials that shape our world- A play that connects the 2008 financial crisis to the sale of the island of Manhattan in the 1600s- And, a podcast that turns corporate intrigue into watercooler chit-chatSo cozy up with a special someone and hand them the second earbud as we take you through our 2024 Valentines!Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/02/24·26m 4s

A lawsuit for your broken heart

Keith King was upset when his marriage ended. His wife had cheated, and his family broke apart. And that's when he learned about a very old type of lawsuit, called a heart balm tort. A lawsuit that would let him sue the man his now ex-wife had gotten involved with during their marriage.On this episode, where heart balm torts came from, what relationships looked like back then, and why these lawsuits still exist today (in some states, anyway.) And also, what happened when Keith King used a heart balm tort to try to deal with the most significant economic entanglement of his life: his marriage.This episode was hosted by Erika Beras and Sarah Gonzalez. It was produced by Emma Peaslee and edited by Molly Messick. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and engineered by Gilly Moon. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/02/24·22m 28s

Morally questionable, economically efficient

There are tons of markets that don't exist because people just don't want to allow a market – for whatever reason, people feel icky about putting a price on something. For example: Surrogacy is a legal industry in parts of the United States, but not in much of the rest of the world. Assisted end-of-life is a legal medical transaction in some states, but is illegal in others.When we have those knee-jerk reactions and our gut repels us from considering something apparently icky, economics asks us to look a little more closely. Today on the show, we have three recommendations of things that may feel kinda wrong but economics suggests may actually be the better way. First: Could the matching process of organ donation be more efficient if people could buy and sell organs? Then: Should women seek revenge more often in the workplace? And finally, what if insider trading is actually useful? This episode was hosted by Mary Childs and Greg Rosalsky. It was produced by Willa Rubin and edited by Jess Jiang. It was engineered by Cena Loffredo. Fact-checking by Sierra Juarez. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/02/24·24m 17s

Groundhog Day 2024: Trademark, bankruptcy, and the dollar that failed

It's Groundhog Day, and the eyes of the nation have turned to a small town in western Pennsylvania. And, just like last year, all anyone can talk about is Punxsutawney Phil! It is impossible to find a news story that is not about one furry prognosticator.Well, almost impossible...Once again, our Planet Money hosts find themselves trapped in the endless Groundhog Day news cycle, and their only way out is to discover an economics story from Groundhog Day itself interesting enough to appease the capricious Groundhog Gods! So rise and shine campers (and don't forget your booties) as hosts Kenny Malone and Amanda Aronczyk scour the news of February 2nds past, to try to find the perfect story.This episode was hosted by Kenny Malone and Amanda Aronczyk. It was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Keith Romer, and engineered by Valentina Rodríguez Sánchez. It was fact-checked by James Sneed. Our executive producer is Alex Goldmark.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/02/24·26m 52s

The Chicken Tax (Classic)

Note: This episode originally ran in 2015.German families in the 60s loved tasty, cheap American-raised chicken that was suddenly coming in after the war. And Americans were loving fun, cheap Volkswagen Beetles. This arrangement was too good to last.Today on the show, how a trade dispute over frozen chicken parts changed the American auto industry as we know it.This episode was reported by Robert Smith and Sonari Glinton. It was produced by Frances Harlow. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/01/24·15m 59s

Bonus: Janet Yellen on Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Our friends at NPR's news quiz Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! recently had a very Planet Money guest on their show: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. They asked her about smoking pot, her extremely high scores in Candy Crush, and when to expect the Harriet Tubman $20 bill.Today, we're sharing an excerpt of that episode with you, along with some exclusive questions just for Planet Money listeners.You can listen to the full show and subscribe to Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! wherever you find your podcasts.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/01/24·10m 29s

Rescues at sea, and how to make a fortune

At around 1 a.m. on the morning of November 15, 1994, Captain Prentice "Skip" Strong III woke to a distress call. Skip was the new captain of an oil tanker called the Cherry Valley. He and his crew had been making their way up the coast of Florida that evening when a tropical storm had descended. It had been a rough night of 15 foot waves and 50 mile per hour winds.The distress call was coming from a tugboat whose engines were failing in the storm. Now adrift, the tugboat was on a dangerous collision course with the shore. The only ship close enough to mount a rescue was the Cherry Valley. Skip faced a difficult decision. A fully loaded, 688-foot oil tanker is hardly anyone's first choice of a rescue vessel. It is as maneuverable as a school bus on ice. And the Cherry Valley was carrying ten million gallons of heavy fuel oil. A rescue attempt would put them in dangerously shallow water. One wrong move, and they would have an ecological disaster on the order of the Exxon Valdez. What happened next that night would be dissected and debated for years to come. The actions of Skip and his crew would lead to a surprising discovery, a record-setting lawsuit, and one of the strangest legal battles in maritime history. At the center of it all, an impossible question: How do you put a price tag on doing the right thing?Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/01/24·26m 15s

Hear us out: We ban left turns and other big ideas

On today's episode, we have three big economic ideas for your consideration – ideas that could potentially improve the economy and make us more efficient. First, what if we ban left turns on roads? Then, what if we gave every new baby ... a trust fund? And lastly, what if we completely got rid of U.S. congressional districts? That's all on today's episode. This show was hosted by Sarah Gonzalez. It was produced by Willa Rubin and Emma Peaslee with help from Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Dave Blanchard and engineered by Robert Rodriguez. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Always free at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, the NPR app or anywhere you get podcasts.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/01/24·23m 25s

Econ Battle Zone: Disinflation Confrontation

After very high inflation, the United States is finally feeling some relief in the form of "disinflation." But, why exactly has inflation slowed down?Three Planet Money hosts try to answer that question while competing to be the winner of our very own reporting challenge: Econ Battle Zone! It's economics journalism meets high-stakes reality TV competition! Will our contestants be able to impress our celebrity judges? How will they manage to incorporate their mystery ingredients? Who will take home the championship belt? Tune in for the inaugural episode of...Econ Battle Zone!This episode was hosted by Keith Romer, Amanda Aronczyk, Erika Beras, and Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi. James Sneed produced this episode with help from Emma Peaslee. The show was edited by Molly Messick, engineered by Cena Loffredo, and fact checked by Sierra Juarez. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/01/24·31m 54s

Mid-East conflict escalation, two indicators

On today's show, we look at two indicators of the economic disruptions of the war in Gaza and try to trace how far they will reach. We start in the Red Sea, a crucial link in the global supply chain connecting to the Suez Canal, with around 15% of the world's shipping passing through it. This includes oil tankers and massive container ships transporting everything from microchips to furniture. With Houthi rebels attacking container ships in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, shipping lines are re-routing, adding time and cost to delivery. We look at how ocean shipping is a web more than a chain of links, and try to see which parts of the web can take up more strain as the Red Sea and the Suez Canal become too dangerous to pass. Then, we'll consider what escalation could mean for the region's most important export: oil. Five steps of escalation each mean a ratcheting up of costs that knock on to other industries, like food. Some prices are likely to rise faster than others, though. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/01/24·16m 20s

The Maine Potato War of 1976

When you think of a potato, one state probably comes to mind: Idaho. But for much of American history, Maine was home to the nation's largest potato crop. That status had changed by the 1970s, with the West growing more and more of the nation's potatoes. But Maine still had one distinct advantage: A privileged position in the commodities market. The New York Mercantile Exchange, one of the largest such marketplaces in the country, exclusively dealt in Maine potatoes. And two deep-pocketed Western potato kingpins weren't happy about it. So the Westerners waged what's now called the Maine Potato War of 1976. Their battlefield was the futures market: A special type of marketplace, made up of hordes of screaming traders, where potatoes can be bought and sold before they're even planted. The Westerners did something so bold – and so unexpected – that it brought not only the potato market, but the entire New York commodities exchange, to its knees. Today on the show, how a war waged through futures contracts influenced the kind of potatoes we eat. This episode was hosted by Dylan Sloan and Nick Fountain. This episode was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler with help from Emma Peaslee. It was edited by Molly Messick, engineered by Valentina Rodríguez Sánchez, and fact checked by Sierra Juarez. Our executive producer is Alex Goldmark. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/01/24·24m 17s

The Universal Basic Income experiment in Kenya

There's this fundamental question in economics that has proven really hard to answer: What's a good way to help people out of poverty? The old-school way was to fund programs that would support very particular things, like buying cows for a village, giving people business training, or building schools.But over the past few decades, there has been a new idea: Could you help people who don't have money by ... just giving them money? We covered this question in a segment of This American Life that originally ran in 2013. Economists who studied the question found that giving people cash had positive effects on recipients' economic and psychological well-being. Maybe they bought a cow that could earn them money each week. Maybe they could replace their grass roofs with metal roofs that didn't need fixing every so often. The success of just giving people in poverty cash has spawned a whole set of new questions that economists are now trying to answer. Like, if we do just give money, what's the best way to do that? Do you just give it all at once? Or do you dole it out over time? And it turns out... a huge new study on giving cash was just released and it's got a lot of answers.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/01/24·24m 6s

The case of the serial sinking Spanish ships

Picture the Pacific Ocean of the 16th century. Spanish Galleons sail the wide open seas, carrying precious cargo like silver, porcelain, and textiles. The waters are dangerous; ship logs show concerns over pirates. But pirates are not to blame for a mysterious event that keeps happening.For, you see, one in five of the ships leaving from the port of Manila didn't make it to Acapulco. It's a shipwrecking rate much higher than rates for other routes of the time. And the mystery of the serial shipwrecking Spanish ships remains unsolved, until today. Everyone involved with these Spanish ships were aligned in a goal: Don't wreck the Spanish ships. And yet, wreck they did. Three economists took a look at the incentives for profit and risk at the time, and found the key to unlocking this ancient booty (of knowledge).Our show today was produced by James Sneed, edited by Jess Jiang, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and engineered by Cena Loffredo. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/01/24·26m 13s

The Rest of the Story, 2023

It's that time of year again! Our annual year-end tradition of checking in on the stories we've reported and the people we met along the way.We'll hear from a Hollywood strike captain who tried to pull off one last job, an update from the data detective trying to uncover the truth in academic research, and tribute to a very special member of the Planet Money family. Check out the original stories:Vacation, and why the U.S. takes so little of itThe secret entrance that sidesteps Hollywood picket linesDid two honesty researchers fabricate their data?Planet Money Records Vol. 1: Earnest Jackson, Planet Money Records Vol. 2: The Negotiation & Planet Money Records Vol. 3: Making a Hit Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/12/23·25m 35s

The Indicators of this year and next

Today on the show, hosts from Planet Money and The Indicator debate the economic indicators of this year and next year.First up, we try to identify the figure that best captured the essence of 2023. The contenders: the possible soft landing, consumer sentiment, and the housing market.And looking ahead to 2024, what will the economic indicator of next year be? Interest rates, Bidenomics, or junk fees?Listen to our hosts make their case, and then tell us who won by submitting your vote via Planet Money's Instagram or email us with "Family Feud" in the subject line. Voting ends on December 31st.This episode was hosted by Jeff Guo, Kenny Malone and Wailin Wong. It was produced by Julia Ritchey and Willa Rubin with engineering help from Valentina Rodriguez Sanchez. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Kate Concannon edits The Indicator.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Music: Universal Music Production, "Terry And Mildred," "Decked Out For The Holidays." Audio Network - "Counting Down Seconds," "Tijuana Choo Choo."Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/12/23·15m 37s

We buy a lot of Christmas trees (Update)

*Note: This episode originally ran in 2020*'Tis the season for Americans to head out in droves and bring home a freshly-cut Christmas tree. But decorative evergreens don't just magically show up on corner lots, waiting to find a home in your living room. There are a bunch of fascinating steps that determine exactly how many Christmas trees get sold, and how expensive they are.Today on the show, we visit the world's largest auction of Christmas trees — and then see how much green New Yorkers are willing to throw down for some greenery. It's a story where snow-dusted Yuletide dreams meet the hard reality of supply and demand. We've got market theory, a thousand dollars in cash, and a "decent sized truck"... anything could happen.This episode was produced by James Sneed. It was edited by Bryant Urstadt. It was engineered by Gilly Moon. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/12/23·31m 40s

Dollarizing Argentina

Argentina has been on a decades-long search for economic stability, but it always seems to be out of reach. High inflation has been plaguing the country and just surpassed 160% a year.Over the past couple of years, the local currency has collapsed. One U.S. dollar used to be worth 20 Argentinean pesos in 2018. Today, one U.S. dollar is worth 1,000 pesos on the black market. And that means for Argentineans, the real prices of everything — from groceries to gas — have spiked.In a country where the local currency is in free fall, promising to replace that currency with the US dollar can seem like a magical solution.Argentina's new president, Javier Milei, won in part by promising to do just that - to dollarize. To scrap Argentina's peso and replace it with the relatively stable, predictable, boring United States dollar.On today's show, what does dollarizing mean? Why dollarize, how to do it, and will it even work?For more:A black market, a currency crisis, and a tango competition in Argentina (Apple, Spotify, NPR)Venezuela's Fugitive Money TradersWhy Ecuador Uses The Dollar? : The Indicator from Planet MoneyHelp support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/12/23·24m 12s

How to be better at hybrid work, according to research

The research keeps coming in on remote work. New evidence suggests working from home, at least full-time, may not be as productive as we once thought. Economist Jose Maria Barrero and his co-authors have reviewed this and other studies for a recent paper. In this episode, we hear about the challenges that come with working fully remote and some best practices for hybrid work. This episode was first published as a bonus episode for our Planet Money+ listeners. Today, we're making it available for everyone! To hear more episodes like this, and to hear Planet Money and The Indicator without sponsor messages, support the show by signing up for Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/12/23·15m 24s

What econ says in the shadows

Economics Job Market Rumors is a website that's half a job information Wiki, where people post about what's going on inside economics departments, and half a discussion forum, where anyone with an internet connection can ask the economics hive mind whatever they want. All anonymously.People can talk about finding work, share rumors, and just blow off steam. And that steam can get scaldingly hot. The forum has become notorious for racist and sexist posts, often attacking specific women and people from marginalized backgrounds. Last year, economist Florian Ederer and engineer Kyle Jensen discovered a flaw in the way the site gave anonymity to its users. The flaw made it possible to identify which universities and institutions were the sources of many of the toxic posts on the site. And helped answer a longstanding question that's dogged the economics profession: was the toxicity on EJMR the work of a bunch of fringey internet trolls, or was it a symptom of a much deeper problem within economics itself?This episode was hosted by Mary Childs and Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi. It was produced by Willa Rubin with help from James Sneed and Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Keith Romer and engineered by Josh Newell. Fact-checking by Sierra Juarez. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/12/23·26m 17s

Why '90s ads are unforgettable

Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's __________.The best part of waking up, is _______ in your cup!Got ____?If you can identify these brands based on tagline alone, it's possible you... are a 90s kid.The '90s were arguably the peak moment of advertisers trying to make an impression on us that could last for decades. They got us to sing their jingles and say their slogans. These kinds of ads are called brand or image marketing. And it became a lot harder to pull off in the 21st century. On today's show, we look back at the history of advertising, and two pretty unassuming products that totally transformed ads. This show was hosted by Sarah Gonzalez and Kenny Malone. It was produced by James Sneed, and engineered by James Willets. It was fact checked by Sierra Juarez, and edited by Molly Messick. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/12/23·26m 49s

The U.S. economy's biggest superpower, explained

What if you could borrow money on the cheap and use it to pay for just about anything? The U.S. government can, and does, with U.S. Treasuries. But the market for Treasuries might be more fragile than we know. In this episode, Yesha Yadav of Vanderbilt Law School explains why. This episode was first published as a bonus episode for our Planet Money+ listeners. Today we're making it available for everyone. To hear more episodes like this, and to hear Planet Money and The Indicator without sponsor messages, support the show by signing up for Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/12/23·13m 49s

Why do doctors still use pagers?

Remember pagers? They were huge in the 80s — these little devices that could receive short messages. Sir Mix-A-Lot even had a song about them! But then cell phones came along, and pagers more or less became obsolete.Except there's one group of people who still carry pagers: medical doctors. At a surprisingly large number of hospitals, the pager remains the backbone of communication. Need to ask a doctor a question? Page them. Need to summon a doctor to an emergency? Page them. And then... wait for them to call you back.Almost everyone agrees that pagers are a clunky and error-prone way for doctors to communicate. So why do so many hospitals still rely on them?On today's show: A story about two doctors who hatched a plan to finally rid their hospital of pagers. And the surprising lessons they learned about why some obsolete technologies can be so hard to replace.This episode was hosted by Jeff Guo and Nick Fountain. It was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Keith Romer and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. It was engineered by Robert Rodriguez with help from Maggie Luthar. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/12/23·26m 57s

Two food and drink indicators

Today on the show, we have two episodes from our daily podcast, The Indicator, about things we spend a lot of time thinking about this time of year: food and drink. First up, we explore how changes in economic conditions led to one of the U.K.'s iconic (and affordable) staple foods becoming a luxury.Then, the story of one Indigenous woman whose small business went head-to-head with Coca-Cola over a trademark dispute.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/12/23·19m 5s

Why are we so bummed about the economy?

Would you say that you and your family are better off or worse off, financially, than you were a year ago? Do you think in 12 months we'll have good times, financially, or bad? Generally speaking, do you think now is a good time or a bad time to buy a house? These are the kinds of questions baked into the Consumer Sentiment Index. And while the economy has been humming along surprisingly well lately, sentiment has stayed surprisingly low.Today on the show: We are really bummed about the economy, despite the fact that unemployment and inflation are down. So, what gives? We talk to a former Fed economist trying to get to the heart of this paradox, and travel to Michigan to check in on the place where they check the vibes of the economy. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/12/23·23m 54s

So you want to sell marijuana across state lines

In the state of Oregon, there is a glut of grass. A wealth of weed. A crisis of chronic. And, jokes aside, it's a real problem for people who work in the cannabis industry like Matt Ochoa. Ochoa runs the Jefferson Packing House in Medford, Oregon, which provides marijuana growers with services like drying, trimming and packing their product. He has seen literal tons of usable weed being left in marijuana fields all over the state of Oregon. Because, Ochoa says, there aren't enough buyers. There are just over four million people in Oregon, and so far this year, farmers have grown 8.8 million pounds of weed. Which means there's nearly a pound of dried, smokable weed for every single person in the state of Oregon. As a result, the sales price for legal marijuana in the last couple of years has plummeted.Economics has a straightforward solution for Oregon's overabundance problem: trade! But, Oregon's marijuana can only be sold in Oregon. No one in any state can legally sell weed across state lines, because marijuana is still illegal under federal law. On today's episode, how a product that is simultaneously legal and illegal can create some... sticky business problems. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/11/23·23m 49s

A very Planet Money Thanksgiving

Here at Planet Money, Thanksgiving is not just a time to feast on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casseroles and pie(s). It's also a time to feast on economics. Today, we host a very Planet Money Thanksgiving feast, and solve a few economic questions along the way.First: a turkey mystery. Around the holidays, demand for turkey at grocery stores goes up by as much as 750%. And when turkey demand is so high, you might think that the price of turkey would also go up. But data shows, the price of whole turkeys actually falls around the holidays; it goes down by around 20%. So what's going on? The answer has to do what might be special about supply and demand around the holidays. We also reveal what is counted (and not counted) in the ways we measure the economy. And we look to economics to help solve the perennial Thanksgiving dilemma: Where should each dinner guest sit? Who should sit next to whom? This episode was hosted by Erika Beras and Jeff Guo. It was produced by James Sneed with an assist from Emma Peaslee and edited by Jess Jiang. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and engineered by Josh Newell. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Always free at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, the NPR app or anywhere you get podcasts.Find more Planet Money: Facebook / Instagram / TikTok / Our weekly Newsletter.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/11/23·26m 30s

Economic fact in literary fiction

Some of the most influential and beloved novels of the last few years have been about money, finance, and the global economy. Some overtly so, others more subtly. It got to the point where we just had to call up the authors to find out more: What brought them into this world? What did they learn? How were they thinking about economics when they wrote these beautiful books? Today on the show: we get to the bottom of it. We talk to three bestselling contemporary novelists — Min Jin Lee (Pachinko and Free Food for Millionaires), Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven, The Glass Hotel and Sea of Tranquility), and Hernan Diaz (Trust, In the Distance) – about how the hidden forces of economics and money have shaped their works.This episode was hosted by Mary Childs and Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi. It was produced by Willa Rubin, edited by Molly Messick, and engineered by Neisha Heinis. Fact-checking by Sierra Juarez. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Always free at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, the NPR app or anywhere you get podcasts.Find more Planet Money: Facebook / Instagram / TikTok / Our weekly Newsletter.Music: Universal Music Production - "This Summer," "Music Keeps Me Dancing," "Rain," and "All The Time."Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/11/23·26m 22s

China's real estate crisis, explained

China's economic growth for the past few decades has been extraordinary. And much of that growth was fueled by real estate – it was like this miraculous economic engine for the country. But recently, that engine seems to have stopped working. And that has raised all kinds of questions not just for China but also for the global economy. Today on the show, we look at what's happening inside China's real estate market. And we try to answer the question: how did we get here?Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/11/23·20m 17s

The alleged theft at the heart of ChatGPT

When best-selling thriller writer Douglas Preston began playing around with OpenAI's new chatbot, ChatGPT, he was, at first, impressed. But then he realized how much in-depth knowledge GPT had of the books he had written. When prompted, it supplied detailed plot summaries and descriptions of even minor characters. He was convinced it could only pull that off if it had read his books.Large language models, the kind of artificial intelligence underlying programs like ChatGPT, do not come into the world fully formed. They first have to be trained on incredibly large amounts of text. Douglas Preston, and 16 other authors, including George R.R. Martin, Jodi Piccoult, and Jonathan Franzen, were convinced that their novels had been used to train GPT without their permission. So, in September, they sued OpenAI for copyright infringement.This sort of thing seems to be happening a lot lately–one giant tech company or another "moves fast and breaks things," exploring the edges of what might or might not be allowed without first asking permission. On today's show, we try to make sense of what OpenAI allegedly did by training its AI on massive amounts of copyrighted material. Was that good? Was it bad? Was it legal? Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/11/23·23m 44s

Never have I ever

The world of economics has these two different sides. One one side, there are the economists in their cozy armchairs and dusty libraries, high up in their ivory towers. On the other, there's the messy world we're all living in, where those economics are actually playing out. Sometimes, researchers will write about something that they themselves have never actually experienced. Sure, they've thought about it, theorized, come up with smart analyses...but that's not the same as getting out of that armchair and into the real world.So, in this episode, we play our own version of Never Have I Ever. We dare two researchers to go places and do things they have never done before, in hopes of learning something new about the economic world around us. (Okay, fine, it's maybe more like Truth or Dare...but go with us here.)Today's episode was hosted by Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi and produced by Emma Peaslee with help from Willa Rubin. It was edited by Sally Helm, fact checked by Sierra Juarez and engineered by Maggie Luthar. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/11/23·28m 51s

FTC Chair Lina Khan on Antitrust in the age of Amazon

When Lina Khan was in law school back in 2017, she wrote a law review article called 'Amazon's Antitrust Paradox,' that went kinda viral in policy circles. In it, she argued that antitrust enforcement in the U.S. was behind the times. For decades, regulators had focused narrowly on consumer welfare, and they'd bring companies to court only when they thought consumers were being harmed by things like rising prices. But in the age of digital platforms like Amazon and Facebook, Khan argued in the article, the time had come for a more proactive approach to antitrust.Just four years later, President Biden appointed Lina Khan to be the Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, one of the main government agencies responsible for enforcing antitrust in America, putting her in the rare position of putting some of her ideas into practice.Now, two years into the job, Khan has taken some big swings at big tech companies like Meta and Microsoft. But the FTC has also faced a couple of big losses in the courts. On today's show, a conversation with FTC Chair Lina Khan on what it's like to try to turn audacious theory into bureaucratic practice, the FTC's new lawsuit against Amazon, and what it all means for business as usual. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/11/23·30m 6s

Antitrust in America (classic)

Earlier this fall, the Federal Trade Commission filed a high-stakes lawsuit against Amazon.In that suit, the FTC claims Amazon is a monopoly, and it accuses the company of using anti-competitive tactics to hold onto its market power. It's a big case, with implications for consumers and businesses and digital marketplaces, and for antitrust law itself. That is the highly important but somewhat obscure body of law that deals with competition and big business.And so, this week on Planet Money, we are doing a deep dive on the history of antitrust. It begins with today's episode, a Planet Money double feature. Two classic episodes that tell the story of how the U.S. government's approach to big business and competition has changed over time.First, the story of a moment more than 100 years ago, when the government stepped into the free market in a big way to make competition work. It's the story of John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil, and a muckraking journalist named Ida Tarbell.Then, we fast forward to a turning point that took antitrust in the other direction. This is the story of a lawyer named Robert Bork, who transformed the way courts would interpret antitrust law.These episodes were produced by Sally Helm with help from Alexi Horowitz Ghazi. They were edited by Bryant Urdstadt. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/11/23·40m 17s

All you can eat economics

You might expect to find economic concepts in the pages of an economics textbook. But you know where you can really see a lot of economic concepts in action? Buffets.Here at Planet Money we believe there's a lot of economics going on at the all-you-eat buffet, tucked in between the mountains of brisket and troughs of mashed potatoes. From classic concepts like adverse selection, sunk costs, diminishing marginal returns, to more exotic economic mysteries, like the flat rate pricing bias.Today on the show, we're headed to the place where the modern buffet may have been born: Las Vegas. Our mission? To feast ourselves on all the economics we can handle at the all-you-can-eat buffet. And along the way, an economist and fellow buffet-lover will teach us his hyper-rational strategy for optimizing his buffet experience.Today's show was produced by James Sneed and Nick Fountain with help from Emma Peaslee. It was edited by Jess Jiang, engineered by James Willetts, and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/10/23·25m 2s

Cutting school... by 20%

Right now, a lot of school districts across the country are making a pretty giant change to the way public education usually works. Facing teacher shortages and struggling to fill vacant spots, they are finding a new recruitment tool: the four-day school week.Those districts are saying to teachers, "You can have three-day weekends all the time, and we won't cut your pay." As of this fall, around 900 school districts – that's about 7% of all districts in the U.S. – now have school weeks that are just four days long.And this isn't the first time a bunch of schools have scaled back to four days, so there is a lot of data to lean on to figure out how well it works. In this episode, teachers love the four-day school week, and it turns out even parents love it, too. But is it good for students?This episode was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler with help from Willa Rubin. It was edited by Molly Messick and engineered by Maggie Luthar. Fact-checking by Sierra Juarez. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/10/23·23m 48s

How unions are stopped before they start

Union membership in the U.S. has been declining for decades. But, in 2022, support for unions among Americans was the highest it's been in decades. This dissonance is due, in part, to the difficulties of one important phase in the life cycle of a union: setting up a union in the first place. One place where that has been particularly clear is at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.Back in 2008, Volkswagen announced that they would be setting up production in the United States after a 20-year absence. They planned to build a new auto manufacturing plant in Chattanooga. Volkswagen has plants all over the world, all of which have some kind of worker representation, and the company said that it wanted that for Chattanooga too. So, the United Auto Workers, the union that traditionally represents auto workers, thought they would be able to successfully unionize this plant. They were wrong.In this episode, we tell the story of the UAW's 10-year fight to unionize the Chattanooga plant. And, what other unions can learn from how badly that fight went for labor. This episode was hosted by Amanda Aronczyk and Nick Fountain. It was produced by Willa Rubin. It was engineered by Josephine Nyounai, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and edited by Keith Romer. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/10/23·27m 41s

Indicator exploder: jobs and inflation

When someone says "the economy is doing well"—what does that even mean? Like, for workers, for employers, for the country as a whole? According to what calculation? How do you put a number on it?The world of economics is filled with all sorts of "measuring sticks." GDP. Inflation. Unemployment. Consumer sentiment. Over time, all kinds of government agencies, universities and private companies have come up with different ways to measure facets of the economy. These measures factor into all kinds of huge decisions—things like government policy, business strategies, maybe even your personal career choices or investments.On today's show, we're going to lift the curtain on two of these yardsticks. We are going to meet the people tasked with sticking a number on two huge measures of our economic well being: the official U.S. government inflation report and the monthly unemployment and jobs numbers. Come along and see how the measures get made.This episode was hosted by Darian Woods, Stacey Vanek Smith, and Wailin Wong. It was produced by Julia Ritchey and Jess Kung with help from James Sneed. Engineering by Gilly Moon and James Willetts. It was fact-checked by Michael He and Corey Bridges, and edited by Kate Concannon and Viet Le. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/10/23·18m 29s

Maria Bamford gets personal (about) finance

Note: There is swearing in this episode.In 2017, The University of Minnesota asked comedian Maria Bamford to give their commencement speech. But the University may not have known what it was in for. In her speech, Bamford told the crowd of graduates how much the university offered to pay her (nothing), her counteroffer ($20,000), and the amount they settled on ($10,000), which (after taxes and fees, etc.) she gave away to students in the audience to pay down their student loans.Maria Bamford is a big believer in full disclosure of her finances, a philosophy she's adopted after decades in a Debtors Anonymous support group. In meetings, she learned important financial tips and tricks to go from thousands of dollars in debt to her current net worth of $3.5 million (a number which, true to her philosophy, she will share with anyone).She spoke with us about her financial issues, how she recovered, and why she believes in total financial transparency, even when it makes her look kinda bad.Disclaimer: Planet Money is not qualified or certified to give financial advice. And Maria is not a spokesperson for Debtors Anonymous in any way.This show was hosted by Kenny Malone and Mary Childs. It was produced by Emma Peaslee, edited by Jess Jiang, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and engineered by Neisha Heinis. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/10/23·27m 17s

Why the price of Coke didn't change for 70 years (classic)

Prices go up. Occasionally, prices go down. But for 70 years, the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola didn't change. From 1886 until the late 1950s, a bottle of coke cost just a nickel.On today's show, we find out why. The answer includes a half a million vending machines, a 7.5 cent coin, and a company president who just wanted to get a couple of lawyers out of his office.This episode originally ran in 2012.This episode was hosted by David Kestenbaum. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/10/23·19m 15s

A man, a plan, wind power, Uruguay

In 2007, Uruguay had a massive problem with no obvious fix. The economy of this country of 3.5 million people was growing, but there wasn't enough energy to power all that growth.Ramón Méndez Galain was, at the time, a particle physicist, but he wanted to apply his scientific mind to this issue. He started researching different energy sources and eventually wrote up a plan for how Uruguay's power grid could transition to renewable energy. It would be better for the climate, and, he thought, in the long run it would be the most economical choice Uruguay could make.Méndez Galain shared his plan online and in a series of informal lectures. Then, one day he received a phone call from the office of the president of Uruguay, inviting him to put his plan into action.Countries all over the world have announced lofty goals to reduce the emissions that cause climate change. But Uruguay actually did it. In a typical year, 98% of Uruguay's grid is powered by green energy. How did it get there? It involved a scientist, an innovative approach to infrastructure funding, and a whole lot of wind.Today's show was hosted by Erika Beras and Amanda Aroncyzk. It was produced by Willa Rubin with help from Emma Peaslee. It was engineered by Maggie Luthar, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and edited by Keith Romer. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/10/23·23m 5s

The flight attendants of CHAOS

When contract negotiations between Alaska Airlines and their flight attendants' union broke down in 1993, the union had a choice to make.The union — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA — knew that if they chose to strike, Alaska Airlines could use a plan. While Alaska Airlines technically couldn't fire someone on strike, they could permanently replace the striking flight attendants with new workers. Essentially, if the union went on strike, they could risk thousands of people's jobs. The flight attendants knew they needed a counter-strategy.They went with a strategy they called CHAOS: "Create Havoc Around Our System."The strategy had two phases. Phase one: The union kept Alaska guessing about when, where, and how a strike might happen. They kept everyone, even their own members, in the dark. And in turn, Alaska Airlines had to be prepared for a strike at any place and any time. Phase two was to go on strike in a targeted and strategic way.The havoc that the flight attendants created set off a sort-of labor-dispute arms race and would go on to inspire strikes today. And, it showed how powerful it can be to introduce a little chaos into negotiations.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/10/23·28m 51s

A trucker hat mystery, the curse of September and other listener questions

Ba-dee-yah! Say do you remember? Ba-dee-yah! Questions in September!That's right - it's time for Listener Questions!Every so often, we like to hear from listeners about what's on their minds, and we try to get to the bottom of their economic mysteries. On today's show, we have questions like:Why is September historically the worst month for the stock market?How did the Bass Pro Shops hat get so popular in Ecuador?Are casinos banks?What is the Federal Reserve's new plan to make bank transfers faster?Today's show was hosted by Sarah Gonzalez and produced by James Sneed. The audio engineer for this episode was Josephine Nyounai. It was fact checked by Sierra Juarez and edited by Dave Blanchard. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/09/23·26m 35s

The natural disaster economist

There seems to be headlines about floods, wildfires, or hurricanes every week. Scientists say this might be the new normal — that climate change is making natural disasters more and more common.Tatyana Deryugina is a leading expert on the economics of natural disasters — how we respond to them, how they affect the economy, and how they change our lives. And back when Tatyana first started researching natural disasters she realized that there's a lot we don't know about their long-term economic consequences. Especially about how individuals and communities recover.Trying to understand those questions of how we respond to natural disasters is a big part of Tatyana's research. And her research has some surprising implications for how we should be responding to natural disasters.This episode was hosted and reported by Jeff Guo. It was produced by Emma Peaslee and edited by Jess Jiang. It was fact checked by Sierra Juarez and engineered by Josephine Nyounai. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/09/23·23m 41s

A black market, a currency crisis, and a tango competition in Argentina

The Nobel-prize winning economist Simon Kuznets once analyzed the world's economies this way — he said there are four kinds of countries: developed, underdeveloped, Japan... and Argentina.If you want to understand what happens when inflation really goes off the rails, go to Argentina. Annual inflation there, over the past year, was 124 percent. Argentina's currency, the peso, is collapsing, its poverty rate is above 40 percent, and the country may be on the verge of electing a far right Libertarian president who promises to replace the peso with the dollar. Even in a country that is already deeply familiar with economic chaos, this is dramatic.In this episode, we travel to Argentina to try to understand: what is it like to live in an economy that's on the edge? With the help of our tango dancer guide, we meet all kinds of people who are living through record inflation and political upheaval. Because even as Argentina's economy tanks, its annual Mundial de Tango – the biggest tango competition in the world – that show is still on.This episode was hosted by Amanda Aronczyk and Erika Beras. It was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler with help from James Sneed. It was engineered by Maggie Luthar, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and edited by Molly Messick. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/09/23·23m 57s

"Based on a true story"

When a group of amateur investors rallied around the stock for GameStop back in 2021, the story blew up the internet. News outlets around the world, including us here at Planet Money, rushed in to explain why the stock for this retail video game company was suddenly skyrocketing, at times by as much as 1700% in value, and what that meant for the rest of us.When movie producer Aaron Ryder saw the GameStop story — an army of scrappy underdogs, banding together to strike back against a financial system they felt was rigged against them — he knew it had the makings for a great movie. The only problem: so did a bunch of other movie producers and Hollywood studios. So Aaron found himself in the middle of a fast and furious race to make the first Game Stop movie.On today's show, one producer's quest to claim the hottest ticket in Tinseltown and the whole hidden machinery dedicated to turning a news story into box office gold. You'll never read the word 'based on a true story' the same way again.Today's episode was reported and hosted by Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi. It was produced by Willa Rubin, edited by Jess Jiang, engineered by James Willetts, and fact-checked by Cooper Katz McKim and James Sneed. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/09/23·28m 55s

How to launder $600 million on the internet

Erin Plante is a private detective who specializes in chasing down stolen cryptocurrency. In March of 2022, she got the biggest assignment of her career: Hackers had broken into an online game called Axie Infinity and made off with over $600 million worth of digital money.It was the largest crypto heist in history. And now it was Erin's job to find that money and get it back. Erin's investigation would lead her to face off against some of the world's most formidable digital money launderers, whose actions would soon raise alarms at the highest levels of government — even threaten the nuclear security of the entire planet.This episode was hosted by Jeff Guo and Keith Romer, produced by James Sneed, edited by Jess Jiang, fact-checked by Willa Rubin & Sam Yellowhorse Kesler, and engineered by Maggie Luthar. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/09/23·26m 26s

China's weakening economy in two Indicators

In China, data on the economy is sometimes difficult to come by. The Chinese government has put a pause on releasing some of its official economic data. But many of the stories emerging from the country paint a clear picture: the second largest economy in the world is struggling.Today, our friends at The Indicator share some of their recent reporting on China. First up, it's a special edition of the Beigie Awards focused entirely on China. What can the approach of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book - i.e. looking at anecdotes that tell us something about where the economy is headed - show us about China's economy?Then, we take a deep dive into one of the most alarming indicators in China: the skyrocketing urban youth unemployment rate.This episode was hosted by Darian Woods, Wailin Wong, and Robert Smith. The original Indicator episodes were produced by Corey Bridges with engineering by Robert Rodriguez. They were fact-checked by Cooper Katz McKim and Sierra Juarez. They were edited by Paddy Hirsch and Kate Concannon.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/09/23·18m 32s

Is economists' favorite tool to crush inflation broken?

When economists and policymakers talk about getting inflation under control, there's an assumption they often make: bringing inflation down will probably result in some degree of layoffs and job loss. But that is not the way things have played out since inflation spiked last year. Instead, so far, inflation has come down, and unemployment has stayed low.So where does the idea of this tradeoff – between inflation and unemployment – come from? That story starts in the 1940s, with a soft-spoken electrical engineer-turned-crocodile hunter-turned-economist named Bill Phillips. Phillips was consumed by the notion that there are underlying forces at work in the economy. He thought that if macroeconomists could only understand how those forces work, they could keep the economy stable.On today's show, how the Phillips Curve was born, why it went mainstream, and why universal truths remain elusive in macroeconomics. This episode was hosted by Willa Rubin and Nick Fountain, and produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Molly Messick, and engineered by Maggie Luthar. Sierra Juarez checked the facts. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/09/23·23m 17s

The prince of prints and his prints of Prince

In 1981, photographer Lynn Goldsmith took a portrait of the musician Prince. It's a pretty standard headshot — it's in black-and-white, and Prince is staring down the camera lens.This was early in his career, when he was still building the pop icon reputation he would have today. And in 1984, shortly after Prince had released Purple Rain, he was chosen to grace the cover of Vanity Fair. The magazine commissioned pop culture icon Andy Warhol to make a portrait of Prince for the cover. He used Lynn Goldsmith's photo, created a silkscreen from it, added some artistic touches, and instead of black-and-white, colored the face purple and set it against a red background. Warhol was paid, Goldsmith was paid, and both were given credit.However, years later, after both Prince and Warhol had passed away, Goldsmith saw her portrait back out in the world again. But this time, the face was orange, and Goldsmith wasn't given money or credit. And what began as a typical question of payment for work, led to a firestorm in the Supreme Court. At the center of it, dozens of questions of what makes art unique. And at what point does a derivative work become transformative? The answer, it seems, has to do less with what art critics think, and more with what the market thinks.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/09/23·28m 46s

How to fight a patent pirate

Back in the 1990s, Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar was in his office in New Delhi when he came across a puzzling story in the newspaper. Some university scientists in the U.S. had apparently filed a patent for using turmeric to help heal wounds. Mashelkar was shocked, because he knew that using turmeric that way was a well known remedy in traditional Indian medicine. And he knew that patents are for brand new inventions. So, he decided to do something about it – to go to battle against the turmeric patent.But as he would soon discover, turmeric wasn't the only piece of traditional or indigenous knowledge that had been claimed in Western patent offices. The practice even had its own menacing nickname - biopiracy. And what started out as a plan to rescue one Indian remedy from the clutches of the U.S. patent office, eventually turned into a much bigger mission – to build a new kind of digital fortress, strong enough to keep even the most rapacious of bio-pirates at bay.This episode was produced by Willa Rubin with help from James Sneed and Emma Peaslee. It was edited by Molly Messick. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Our engineers were Josh Newell and James Willetts. Planet Money's executive producer is Alex Goldmark.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/09/23·25m 18s

Summer School 8: Graduation and the Guppy Tank

Congratulations to the Planet Money Summer School Class of 2023! Today, you become masters of business administration... spelled with lower-case letters for legal purposes. Your diploma is waiting for you just across the stage.But first, there's one final skill to impart: the pitch. We wouldn't be doing our job as a half-baked parody of a business school if we didn't leave you with the confidence and opportunity to stand in front of an investor and ask for money. We understand what you ambitious business school graduates really want is the chance to launch something and get rich.So we're combining graduation with a little test of ideas, a showdown of startups, a competition of companies. We are going to put our own spin on a pitch competition like you see on Shark Tank. We hear from five listeners with real ideas for startups.Can they make a successful pitch? What will investors be looking for in their presentation? Can they come prepared with persuasive total addressable market analyses? Who will have the sharpest customer pain points to solve? We shall see.Our business expert will give us a rare glimpse into the mind of investors and what they're looking for. Only one graduate will be crowned the winner as this year's valedictorian. If you want to get your diploma right now, take the 2023 Planet Money Summer School Quiz to earn your diploma!If you share it on social media, tag us so we can celebrate with you.Find all episodes of Planet Money Summer School here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/08/23·31m 50s

The secret entrance that sidesteps Hollywood picket lines

Across Hollywood right now, writers and actors are picketing in front of studio lots. They're walking back and forth, holding up signs demanding concessions on things like pay, how many writers work on projects, and the use of AI in TV and movies.But, on some of these lots, there are these strange alternate entrances where there are no picketers. Here drivers can come and go as they please without ever encountering any sign of a strike.Behold the neutral gate. An entrance intended for people who work at these lots but don't work for production companies that are involved with these particular strikes. (Usually that means things like game shows or TV commercials.)But, as one group of picketers recently experienced, it's hard to know if these entrances are, in fact, only being used by neutral parties or if the entrances might be being abused.On today's episode, the question of whether one Hollywood production was taking advantage of the neutral gate, and what the fight over a driveway can teach us about the broader labor battles in Hollywood and across the country.This episode was hosted by Dave Blanchard and Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi, with reporting from Kenny Malone. It was produced by James Sneed and engineered by James Willetts. It was fact checked by Sierra Juarez and edited by Keith Romer. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/08/23·21m 57s

Summer School 7: Negotiating and the empathetic nibble

How do you get the best deal? How do you know you're getting the best deal? Whether you're talking down the price of a car or talking up your salary, you don't have to be a jerk to get what you want. Negotiations can be win-win – if you know what to ask for and how to grow the pie.We have three stories in today's episode about how to negotiate tactically. First, a hostage negotiator tries to buy a car. Will he get far? Then, one man's encounter at the airline ticket booth may inform how you respond to your next job offer. Finally, how to avoid a food fight and make a deal that benefits everybody.We'll learn about something called BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, which can tell you when to stand firm and when to walk away. We'll find out how to shift our thinking about what success can look like in a negotiation, and shift your counterpart's thinking too.Come learn the techniques of expert negotiators in the penultimate episode of Planet Money Summer School, MBA edition. Next week: Graduation! So, you have one week to negotiate the cost of your cap and gown.Our Summer School series is hosted by Robert Smith and produced by Max Freedman. Our project manager is Julia Carney. This episode was edited by our executive producer, Alex Goldmark, and engineered by James Willetts. The show was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/08/23·33m 44s

Vacation, and why the U.S. takes so little of it

Do you work more for more money? Or work less for more time? For some, this is the ultimate economic choice.Every single worker in the European Union is guaranteed four weeks of paid vacation. No matter how long they've been at a company. No matter how low paying the job is. Vacation is a right.In fact, all but one of the richest countries in the world guarantees paid vacation, except: the U.S.According to a 2019 study, people in Japan get 10 paid vacation days and 15 paid holidays; in Australia it's 20 paid vacation days and 8 paid holidays; and in Spain it's 25 paid vacation days and 14 paid holidays.And it's not just a rich country thing: Mexico, Afghanistan, Thailand, Tanzania - they all guarantee paid vacation from work, at least in the formal job sector.In the U.S: Zero paid vacation days and zero paid holidays. So, why is the United States the outlier? We go to several labor economists and historians, to find out what makes Americans different from Europeans. It's a winding journey, so maybe put in a request for some paid time off and take a listen!This episode was hosted by Sarah Gonzalez, produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler, edited by Jess Jiang, engineered by Maggie Luthar, and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/08/23·25m 12s

Summer School 6: Operations and 25,000 roses

"It's difficult to control everything," says our guest professor for this week, Santiago Gallino. "What is not difficult is to plan for everything." Today we venture into the sphere of business that masters the planning, and backup planning: operations management.It's more than just predicting a bottleneck and imagining a solution, because there's always a bottleneck to clear. It's about modeling, and weighing the costs of messing up vs. missing out. For instance, take a newspaper vendor who has to decide how many newspapers to sell tomorrow morning. Do they buy fewer, knowing that they'll sell out–and then miss out on potential revenue from papers not sold? Or do they order more than they expect to sell, just in case–and eat the cost of a few unsold papers? This type of trade-off applies to all kinds of businesses, and Gallino talks us through how to choose.The only certainty in this life is uncertainty. But we are certain you will come out of this episode feeling better prepared for your future business. And fortunately, there are no bottlenecks in podcasting.The series is hosted by Robert Smith and produced by Max Freedman. Our project manager is Julia Carney. This episode was edited by Alex Goldmark and engineered by James Willetts. The show is fact-checked by Sierra Juarez.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/08/23·32m 17s

The new Biden plan that could still erase your student loans

This summer, the Supreme Court struck down Biden's plan to forgive student loan debt for millions of borrowers. Except, on the same day Biden first announced that plan, he also unveiled another, the SAVE plan. And though SAVE sounded less significant than Biden's big forgiveness pledge, it's still alive and could erase even more student debt.SAVE is officially a loan repayment plan. But through a few seemingly minor yet powerful provisions, many more low-income borrowers will end up paying little or nothing until, eventually, their loans will be forgiven. Even many higher-income borrowers will see some of their debts erased.In this episode, we explain the history of income-driven repayment. And how borrowers could end up paying less than they might expect once payments resume in October. You can read more from NPR's Cory Turner's here.This episode was hosted by Cory Turner and Kenny Malone. It was produced by Emma Peaslee, and edited by Molly Messick. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and engineered by Robert Rodriguez. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Always free at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR One or anywhere you get podcasts.Find more Planet Money: Facebook / Instagram / TikTok / Our weekly Newsletter.Music: Universal Production Music - "Nola Strut," "Funky Ride," and "The Down Low Disco King"Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/08/23·27m 1s

Summer School 5: Tech and the innovator's dilemma

For anyone running a business, technology is both threat and opportunity. Today, we run through techniques entrepreneurs can use to take advantage of new tech or defend against the dangers. It's not just about the product you're selling. It's about consumer psychology, and ethics, and taking calculated risks to navigate uncertainty.But, since this is Planet Money Summer School and we want to set your business on the path to riches, we're going to talk about how to use tech to dream big. Maybe more than anything, technology creates opportunities for the little guys where the big established companies can't be so nimble or have too much to lose. Take the classic concept of the innovator's dilemma: a company that innovated and succeeded, now faces a choice about any disruptive new technology. Do they risk tossing out their existing advantage and switch to the new tech, or play it safe and risk becoming obsolete?Most new technologies don't end up disrupting an industry. So it is totally rational for the big existing companies to ignore each new flash in the pan. But nobody wants to end up like Kodak: sticking with film while the digital camera takes off. So what to do? Our friendly professor has a few ideas – for the little guy and the big old company. He'll explain the shape of how new technology gets adopted, sometimes called the S curve. We'll also hear examples of what stops promising new tech from taking off: from dishwashers to driverless cars, and even the humble elevator.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/08/23·34m 13s

A tarot card reading for the U.S. economy

Predicting the future of the economy is always a dicey proposition. That is especially true after more than three years of pandemic-related economic weirdness. No one quite knows what will happen next.Will the Fed be able to pull off a soft landing and bring down inflation without causing either a recession or a big jump in unemployment? Or will we end up with a hard landing, in which inflation comes down, but at the price of the country's economic health? Or, a third possibility, will the Fed not successfully bring inflation down at all?On today's show, three economic experts explain what they look for when trying to make predictions about what might come next for the U.S. economy. And how those indicators lead them to very different conclusions. We will also consult a tarot card reader...to see if her reading of the future can help us know which outcome is the most likely.This episode was hosted by Keith Romer, Sarah Gonzalez, and Jeff Guo. It was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler and edited by Jess Jiang. It was engineered by Kwesi Lee with help from Maggie Luthar and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Alex Goldmark is our Executive Producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/08/23·25m 40s

Summer School 4: Marketing and the Ultimate Hose Nozzle

In this session of Planet Money Summer School, we are getting the word out about your brand. How do you convince consumers to buy your product, even if they are only just hearing about it? It's time for sales and marketing!If you've watched a show like Mad Men or The Office, you know the importance of a strong pitch. It's precision-crafted to show how what you're selling can solve a problem your customer needs solved. Sometimes it even creates the need. Once you've got your sales pitch, it's time to get the word out: marketing. Where to spread that message? How to make it unforgettable? Instantly recognizable? What is going to be your Just do it? Your Think different? Your Where's the beef?In our case studies today, we look at a product so cleverly marketed, the company doesn't need to market it at all anymore and customers wait years to get it: the Birkin bag. And we hear lessons from some of the world's most time tested salespeople who can and do sell anything, literally. It's all about the four P's: Product, place, promotion and price. Also, a few other tricks we test out. Find all episodes of Planet Money Summer School here.This series is hosted by Robert Smith, and produced by Max Freedman. Our project manager is Julia Carney. This episode was edited by Sally Helm and engineered by Josephine Nyounai. The show is fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Planet Money's executive producer is Alex Goldmark.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/08/23·32m 54s

Tackle your medical debt with Life Kit

There's an estimated $195 billion of medical debt in America. But just because a medical bill comes in the mail doesn't mean you have to pay that exact price. In this special episode from our friends at Life Kit, you'll learn how to eliminate, reduce or negotiate a medical bill.If you liked this episode, you can check out more Life Kit here. They have episodes on how to choose a bank, and how to save money at the grocery store.This episode of Life Kit was produced by Sylvie Douglis. Their visuals editor is Beck Harlan, and their digital editor is Danielle Nett. Meghan Keane is their supervising editor, and Beth Donovan is their executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/07/23·17m 49s

Did two honesty researchers fabricate their data?

Dan Ariely and Francesca Gino are two of the biggest stars in behavioral science. Both have conducted blockbuster research into how to make people more honest, research we've highlighted on Planet Money. The two worked together on a paper about how to "nudge" people to be more honest on things like forms or tax returns. Their trick: move the location where people attest that they have filled in a form honestly from the bottom of the form to the top.But recently, questions have arisen about whether the data Ariely and Gino relied on in their famous paper about honesty were fabricated — whether their research into honesty was itself built on lies. The blog Data Colada went looking for clues in the cells of the studies' Excel spreadsheets, the shapes of their data distributions, and even the fonts that were used.The Hartford, an insurance company that collaborated with Ariely on one implicated study, told NPR this week in a statement that it could confirm that the data it had provided for that study had been altered had been altered after they gave it to Ariely, but prior to the research's publication: "It is clear the data was manipulated inappropriately and supplemented by synthesized or fabricated data." Ariely denies that he was responsible for the falsified data. "Getting the data file was the extent of my involvement with the data," he told NPR.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/07/23·25m 57s

Summer School 3: Accounting and The Last Supper

Usually, the first class that an MBA student takes is accounting. That involves, yes, equations and counting widgets...but it's more than that. Inside the simple act of accounting is a revolutionary way of thinking not just about a business, but about the world. A universe where all the forces are in balance. Accounting gives you a sixth sense–one that can help you determine whether your business will survive or fail.In this class, you'll learn the basics of accounting, and uncover its origins. We'll introduce you to the man who helped it spread around the world. He was a monk, a magician, and possibly the boyfriend of Leonardo da Vinci.Is accounting... sexy?Yes. Yes it is.Find all episodes of Planet Money Summer School here.This series is hosted by Robert Smith, and produced by Max Freedman. Our project manager is Julia Carney. This episode was edited by Sally Helm and engineered by Robert Rodriguez. The show is fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Planet Money's executive producer is Alex Goldmark.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/07/23·34m 30s

Planet Money Paper Club

We here at Planet Money love economics papers. And that is also the case for so many of the economists we speak with. For them, new research can explain something they have always wondered about, or make them see something they have never noticed before. And it inspires their own work. So, to bring that same sense of discovery to you, the listener, today we are dedicating our show to a special experiment. A new way to share some of the most fascinating, clever and surprising economics papers in a segment we're calling: The Econ Paper Club.On today's show, we read the econ papers so you don't have to. We take a joyous romp through some of the most fascinating ideas floating around economics right now. And we find that some of those fascinating ideas are about some of the biggest things in life: the careers we choose, the expectations that come with parenting and what one eminent economist calls 'greedy jobs.' This episode was hosted by Erika Beras and Kenny Malone. It was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler and James Sneed. It was edited by Molly Messick. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and engineered by Robert Rodriguez. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Always free at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR One or anywhere you get podcasts.Find more Planet Money: Facebook / Instagram / TikTok / Our weekly Newsletter.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/07/23·23m 24s

Summer School 2: Competition and the cheaper sneaker

For episode 2 of Planet Money Summer School, we are talking strategy. You have your million dollar business idea, and maybe some money in your pocket to get it up and running. But now you enter into a crowded market. You have to deal with competition. So, what can you do to make sure your product is a success? That was the conundrum facing the Starbury. It was a basketball shoe with a celebrity endorsement, that had to go up against THE basketball shoe with THE celebrity endorsement: the Air Jordan. Our first story is about the ways in which the Starbury succeeded and failed in taking on a juggernaut.Then, we will hear a story about trying to avoid the dangers of "perfect" competition. Two companies making almost identical handbells learn that the key to their success lies in convincing customers how different they really are.Find all episodes of Planet Money Summer School here.The series is hosted by Robert Smith and produced by Max Freedman. Our project manager is Julia Carney. This episode was edited by Keith Romer and engineered by Robert Rodriguez. The show is fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Planet Money's executive producer is Alex Goldmark.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/07/23·31m 27s

Surprise, you just signed a contract! How hidden contracts took over the internet

When you make an account online or install an app, you are probably entering into a legally enforceable contract. Even if you never signed anything. These days, we enter into these contracts so often, it can feel like no big deal.But then there are the horror stories like Greg Selden's. He tried to sue AirBnB for racial discrimination while using their site. But he had basically signed away his ability to sue AirBnB when he made an account. That agreement was tucked away in a little red link, something most people might not even bother to click through. But, it wasn't always like this. On today's show, we go back in time to understand how the law of contracts got rewritten. And why today, you can accept a contract without even noticing it. This episode was hosted by Emma Peaslee and Jeff Guo, and was produced by James Sneed. It was edited by Jess Jiang and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. It was engineered by James Willetts. Alex Goldmark is our Executive Producer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney. Always free at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR One or anywhere you get podcasts.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/07/23·23m 37s

Summer School 1: Planet Money goes to business school

Find all episodes of Planet Money Summer School here.Planet Money Summer School is back! It's the free economics class you can take from anywhere... for everyone! For Season 4 of Summer School, we are taking you to business school. It's time to get your MBA, the easy way!In this first class: Everyone has a million dollar business idea (e.g., "Shazam but for movies"), but not everyone has what it takes to be an entrepreneur. We have two stories about founders who learned the hard way what goes into starting a small business, and getting it up and running.First, a story about Frederick Hutson, who learned about pain points and unique value propositions when he founded a company to help inmates and their families share photos. Then, we take a trip to Columbia, Maryland with chefs RaeShawn and LaShone Middleton. Their steamed crab delivery service taught them the challenges of "bootstrapping" to grow their business. And throughout the episode, Columbia Business School professor Angela Lee explains why entrepreneurship can be really difficult, but also incredibly rewarding, if you have the stomach for it.(And, we should say, we are open to investors for "Shazam but for movies." Just sayin'.)Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/07/23·32m 26s

The quest to save macroeconomics from itself

When it comes to big questions about the economy, we're still kind of in the dark ages. Why do some economies grow so much faster than others? How long is the next recession going to last? How do we stop inflation without wrecking the rest of the economy? These questions are the domain of macroeconomics. But even some macroeconomists themselves admit: While we have many theories about how the economy works, we have very few satisfying answers.Emi Nakamura wants to change all that. She's a superstar economist who is a pioneer in the field of "empirical macroeconomics." She finds clever ways of using data to untangle some of the oldest mysteries in macroeconomics, about the invisible hand, the consequences of government spending, and the inner workings of inflation.Recently we called her up to ask her why the economy is so difficult to understand in first place, and how she's trying to find answers anyway. She gets into all of that, and how Jeff Goldblum shaped her career as an economist, in this episode. This show was hosted by Jeff Guo and Nick Fountain. It was produced by Dave Blanchard with help from Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was engineered by Josephine Nyounai and fact checked by Sierra Juarez. Keith Romer edited the show. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/07/23·18m 53s

Two Indicators: After Affirmative Action & why America overpays for subways

Two stories today.First, as we start to understand post-affirmative action America, we look to a natural experiment 25 years ago, when California ended the practice in public universities. It reshaped the makeup of the universities almost instantly. We find out what happened in the decades that followed.Then, we ask, why does it cost so much for America to build big things, like subways. Compared to other wealthy nations, the costs of infrastructure projects in the U.S. are astronomical. We take a trip to one of the most expensive subway stations in the world to get to the bottom of why American transit is so expensive to build.This episode was hosted by Adrian Ma and Darian Woods. It was produced by Corey Bridges, and engineered by Robert Rodriguez and Katherine Silva. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Viet Le is the Indicator's senior producer. And Kate Concannon edits the show. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/07/23·19m 46s

Supply, demand, extinction

Back in the 90s, Ivan Lozano Ortega was in charge of Bogota's wildlife rescue center. And he kept getting calls from the airport to come deal with... frogs. Hundreds of brightly colored, poisonous frogs.Ivan had stumbled upon the poisonous frog black market. Tens of thousands of frogs were being poached out of the Colombian rainforest and sold to collectors all around the world by smugglers. And it put these endangered frogs at risk of going extinct.Today on the show, how Ivan tried to put an end to the poison frog black market, by breeding and selling frogs legally. And he learns that it's not so easy to get a frog out of hot water.This episode was hosted by Stan Alcorn and Sarah Gonzalez, and co-reported and written with Charlotte de Beauvoir. It was produced by Willa Rubin with help from Emma Peaslee. It was edited by Jess Jiang. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. It was engineered by Josh Newell. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/06/23·28m 57s

Planet Money Live: Two Truths and a Lie

The shocks of the pandemic economy gave us a bunch of enormous natural experiments, which helped to prove or disprove conventional economic thinking.Take, for example, the bullwhip effect, the idea that the further away from the customer you are in the supply chain, the more volatile your orders are likely to be. This theory played out at an enormous scale, in the pandemic. Consumers and companies overreacted to the risk of shortages by ordering more products and hoarding them, causing massive shifts in the supply chain – just like the theory says.And the pandemic gave us a lot of natural experiments like this. So, on this special live edition of Planet Money, we looked for other big economic lessons from the past three years, and we took this information and turned it into... a gameshow! It's Two Truths and a Lie: Econ Edition. We get into questions about the workforce and labor market during the pandemic, and how it affected how economists view the world.This episode was hosted by Mary Childs. It was produced by Dave Blanchard, and edited by Jess Jiang. It was engineered by Josh Newell with help from Robert Rodriguez. Original music by Jesse Perlstein.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/06/23·23m 39s

Mike The Mover vs. The Furniture Police

In 1978, a young man named Mike Shanks started a moving business in the north end of Seattle. It was just him and a truck — a pretty small operation. Things were going great. Then one afternoon, he was pulled over and cited for moving without a permit.The investigators who cited him were part of a special unit tasked with enforcing utilities and transportation regulations. Mike calls them the furniture police. To legally be a mover, Mike needed a license. Otherwise, he'd face fines — and even potentially jail time. But soon he'd learn that getting that license was nearly impossible.Mike is the kind of guy who just can't back down from a fight. This run-in with the law would set him on a decade-long crusade against Washington's furniture moving industry, the furniture police, and the regulations themselves. It would turn him into a notorious semi-celebrity, bring him to courtrooms across the state, lead him to change his legal name to 'Mike The Mover,' and send him into the furthest depths of Washington's industrial regulations.The fight was personal. But it drew Mike into a much larger battle, too: An economic battle about regulation, and who it's supposed to protect. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/06/23·25m 35s

Twins (classic)

Twins are used to fielding all sorts of questions, like "Can you read each other's minds?" or "Can you feel each other's pain?" Two of our Planet Money reporters are twins, and they have heard them all.But it's not just strangers on the street who are fascinated by twins. Scientists have been studying twins since the 1800s, trying to get at one of humanity's biggest questions: How much of what we do and how we are is encoded in our genes? The answer to this has all kinds of implications, for everything from healthcare to education, criminal justice and government spending.Today on the show, we look at the history of twin studies. We ask what decades of studying twins has taught us. We look back at a twin study that asked whether genes influence antisocial behavior and rule-breaking. One of our reporters was a subject in it. And we find out: are twin studies still important for science?(Note: This episode originally ran in 2019.)Our show today was hosted by Sally Helm and Karen Duffin. It was produced by Darian Woods and Nick Fountain. It was edited by Bryant Urstadt. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/06/23·20m 36s

The 60-day job race

People come from all over the world to work in U.S. tech. And during the tech boom years, the industry relied heavily on foreign workers. This is how we built Silicon Valley – with great minds coming from everywhere to work in the U.S.But when the industry started to shrink, all of these people who moved here for work are finding that linking their jobs to their residency is really complicated. That was the case for Aashka and Nilanjan. Aashka was a product engineer at Amazon, and Nilanjan worked in digital advertising for Google. They both lost their jobs in the layoffs each company announced earlier this year.When Aashka and Nilanjan got the news, a clock started ticking. Because they are both H-1B recipients, they only have 60 days to find new jobs before they risk being sent home. And they can't get just any job – they need new employers in their field willing to sponsor their visa.On today's show, we followed two tech workers as they tried to find jobs before their visas expired, and what they went through as H-1B recipients trying to stay in the country.This episode was hosted by Alyssa Jeong Perry and Amanda Aronczyk, produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler, engineered by James Willetts, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and edited by Molly Messick and Jess Jiang.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/06/23·26m 19s

Two Indicators: The economics of innovation

Innovation is crucial for game-changing advancements in society, whether it's treatments for serious diseases, developments in AI technology, or rocket science.Today on the show, we're airing two episodes from our daily economics show The Indicator. First, a new paper suggests that breakthrough innovations are more likely at smaller, younger companies. We talk to an inventor who left a big pharmaceutical company to start afresh, leading to some incredible treatments for serious diseases.Then, it's off to Mars — or at least, on the way. Elon Musk's company SpaceX did a first test launch of a rocket meant to go all the way to the red planet. The rocket made it up off of the launch pad and lumbered briefly through the sky before self-destructing over the Gulf of Mexico. Suffice it to say, it's not quite ready. NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel walks us through SpaceX's business plan as we try to figure out if this company has the funding and business acumen to reach its moonshot goal.These two Indicator episodes were originally produced by Corey Bridges & Brittany Cronin, engineered by Katherine Silva & James Willets, and fact-checked by Dylan Sloan & Sierra Juarez. Kate Concannon edits the show.The Planet Money version of this episode was produced by Willa Rubin, engineered by Robert Rodriguez, and edited by Keith Romer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/06/23·19m 42s

The town that changed economics

In the early 90s, when a young economist named Michael Kremer finished his PhD, there had been a few economic studies based on randomized trials. But they were rare. In part because randomized trials – in which you recruit two statistically identical groups, choose one of them to get a treatment, and then compare what happens to each group – are expensive, and they take a lot of time.But then, by chance, Michael had the opportunity to run a randomized trial in Busia, Kenya. He helped a nonprofit test whether the aid they were giving to local schools helped the students. That study paved the way for more randomized trials, and for other economists to use the method. On today's show, how Busia, Kenya, became the place where economists pioneered a more scientific way to study huge problems, from contaminated water to low graduation rates, to HIV transmission. And how that research changed government programs and aid efforts around the world. This episode was produced by James Sneed with help from Willa Rubin. It was engineered by James Willetts. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and Emma Peaslee. It was edited by Molly Messick. Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/06/23·24m 43s

The Spider-Man Problem (update)

(Note: This episode originally ran back in 2022.)This past weekend, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse had the second largest domestic opening of 2023, netting (or should we say webbing?) over $120 million in its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada. But the story leading up to this latest Spider-Man movie has been its own epic saga.When Marvel licensed the Spider-Man film rights to Sony Pictures in the 1990s, the deal made sense — Marvel didn't make movies yet, and their business was mainly about making comic books and toys. Years later, though, the deal would come back to haunt Marvel, and it would start a long tug of war between Sony and Marvel over who should have creative cinematic control of Marvel's most popular superhero. Today, we break down all of the off-screen drama that has become just as entertaining as the movies themselves.This episode was originally produced by Nick Fountain with help from Taylor Washington and Dave Blanchard. It was engineered by Isaac Rodrigues. It was edited by Jess Jiang. The update was produced by Emma Peaslee, with engineering by Maggie Luthar. It was edited by Keith Romer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/06/23·30m 58s

AI Podcast 3.0: Dial M for Mechanization

It's the thrilling conclusion to our three-part series on AI — the world premiere of the first episode of Planet Money written by AI. In Part 1 of this series, we taught AI how to write an original Planet Money script by feeding it real research and interviews. In Part 2, we used AI to clone the voice of our former colleague Robert Smith.Now, we've put everything together into a 15-minute Planet Money episode. And we've gathered some of our co-hosts to listen along.So, how did the AI do? You'll have to listen to learn what went surprisingly well, where it fell short, and hear reactions from the real-life hosts whose jobs could be at risk of being replaced by the machines. This episode was produced by Emma Peaslee and Willa Rubin. It was engineered by James Willetts and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Keith Romer edited this series and Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer. In the radio play, Mary Childs voiced Ethel Kinney; Willa Rubin voiced Alice; and Kenny Malone voiced Dr. Jones and Dial Doom 5000.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/06/23·33m 20s

AI Podcast 2.0: The host in the machine

In Part 1 of this series, AI proved that it could use real research and real interviews to write an original script for an episode of Planet Money. Our next task was to teach the computer how to sound like us. How to read that script aloud like a Planet Money host.On today's show, we explore the world of AI-generated voices, which have become so lifelike in recent years that they can credibly imitate specific people. To test the limits of the technology, we attempt to create our own synthetic voice by training a computer on recordings of former Planet Money host Robert Smith. Then we introduce synthetic Robert to his very human namesake.There are a lot of ethical, and economic, questions raised by a technology that can duplicate anyone's voice. To help us make sense of it all, we seek the advice of an artist who has embraced AI voice clones: the musician Grimes.This episode was produced by Emma Peaslee and Willa Rubin, with help from Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Keith Romer and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Engineering by James Willetts. Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer. We built a Planet Money AI chat bot. Help us test it out: Planetmoneybot.com.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/05/23·31m 46s

AI Podcast 1.0: Rise of the machines

We used to think some jobs were safe from automation. Though machines have transformed industries like agriculture and manufacturing, the conventional wisdom was that they could never perform what's called "knowledge work." That the robots could never replace lawyers or accountants — or journalists, like us.Well, ever since the release of artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT, it feels like no job is safe. AI can now write essays, generate computer code, and even pass the bar exam. Will work ever be the same again?Here at Planet Money, we are launching a new three-part series to understand what this new AI-powered future looks like. Our goal: to get the machines to make an entire Planet Money show. In this first episode, we try to teach the AI how to write a script for us from scratch. Can the AI do research for us, interview our sources, and then stitch everything together in a creative, entertaining way? We're going to find out just how much of our own jobs we can automate — and what work might soon look like for us all.(And, in case you're wondering... this text was not written by an AI.)This episode was produced by Emma Peaslee and Willa Rubin. It was edited by Keith Romer. Maggie Luthar engineered this episode. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Jess Jiang is Planet Money's acting executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/05/23·34m 3s

Green energy gridlock

Lyle Jack wants to build a wind farm on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. But to make the project work, he has to connect that wind farm to the electric grid. Which is easier said than done. On today's show - how the green energy revolution may live, or die, by bureaucrats trying to untangle a mess of wires. This episode was produced by Willa Rubin. It was edited by Sally Helm, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and engineered by Katherine Silva. Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/05/23·22m 23s

Predictions: Jobs!

It's time for another installment of ... Planet Money Predictions! *air horn* Last year, we invited two economic forecasters to tell us what they saw coming for jobs, the housing market, and inflation. And now they're back. Which means it's time to find out whose predictions were more on the money, and send the victor to the next round, where they face off against a new forecasting phenom. Since our last game, housing and inflation have cooled, but the job market keeps going strong. And the possibility of a recession still looms large. Our forecasters tell us what they see in the economy now, and what they expect in the months ahead.This episode was produced by James Sneed. It was engineered by Katherine Silva. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and edited by Molly Messick. Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/05/23·20m 45s

How AI could help rebuild the middle class

For the last four decades, technology has been mostly a force for greater inequality and a shrinking middle class. But new empirical evidence suggests that the age of AI could be different. We speak to MIT's David Autor, one of the greatest labor economists in the world, who envisions a future where we use AI to make a wider array of workers much better at a whole range of jobs and help rebuild the middle class.This episode was produced by Dave Blanchard and edited by Molly Messick. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and engineered by Katherine Silva. Jess Jiang is Planet Money's acting executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/05/23·21m 22s

Inflation and the Profit-Price Spiral

Economists say that inflation is just too much money chasing too few goods.But something else can make inflation stick around.If you think of the 1970s, the last time the U.S. had really high sustained inflation, a big concern was rising wages. Prices for goods and services were high. Workers expected prices to be even higher next year, so they asked for pay raises to keep up. But then companies had to raise their prices more. And then workers asked for raises again. This the so-called wage-price spiral.So when prices started getting high again in 2021, economists and the U.S. Federal Reserve again worried that wage increases would become a big problem. But, it seems like the wage-price spiral hasn't happened. In fact wages, on average, have not kept up with inflation.There are now concerns about a totally different kind of spiral: a profit-price spiral. On today's show, why some economists are looking at inflation in a new light.This episode was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler and engineered by Katherine Silva, with help from Josh Newell. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and edited by Jess Jiang.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/05/23·26m 39s

The Day of Two Noons (Classic)

(Note: this episode originally ran in 2019.)In the 1800s, catching your train on time was no easy feat. Every town had its own "local time," based on the position of the sun in the sky. There were 23 local times in Indiana. 38 in Michigan. Sometimes the time changed every few minutes. This created tons of confusion, and a few train crashes. But eventually, a high school principal, a scientist, and a railroad bureaucrat did something about it. They introduced time zones in the United States. It took some doing--they had to convince all the major cities to go along with it, get over some objections that the railroads were stepping on "God's time," and figure out how to tell everyone what time it was. But they made it happen, beginning on one day in 1883, and it stuck. It's a story about how railroads created, in all kinds of ways, the world we live in today.This episode was originally produced by Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi and edited by Jacob Goldstein. Jess Jiang is Planet Money's Acting Executive Producer.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/05/23·18m 54s

How to fight a squatting goat

Back in 2005, Burt Banks inherited a plot of old family land in Delaware. But when it came time to sell it, he ran into a problem: his neighbor had a goat pen, and about half of it crossed over onto his property. Burt asked the goats' owner to move the pen, but when neighborly persuasion failed to get the job done, he changed his strategy. He sued her. And that is when things got complicated.Protecting private property is one of the fundamental jobs of the American legal system. If you hold a deed saying you own a plot of land, it's your land. End of story. Right?But, as Burt would soon learn, the law can get really complicated when it comes to determining who actually owns something. And when goats are involved ... anything can happen.This episode was produced by Willa Rubin and Dylan Sloan and edited by Molly Messick. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Katherine Silva engineered this episode. Jess Jiang is Planet Money's acting executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Always free at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR One or anywhere you get podcasts.Find more Planet Money: Facebook / Instagram / TikTok / Our weekly Newsletter.Music: "Fruit Salad," "Keep With It" and "Purple Sun." Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/05/23·28m 38s

Two Indicators: the influencer industry

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? An astronaut, a doctor or maybe a famous athlete? Today one of the most popular responses to that question is influencer – content creators who grow their following on Tik Tok, Instagram and YouTube and monetize that content to make it their full-time job.In a lot of ways influencing can seem like the dream job - the filters, the followers, the free stuff. But on the internet, rarely is anything as it appears. From hate comments and sneaky contracts to prejudice and discrimination, influencers face a number of hurdles in their chosen careers.This week we're bringing you two stories from our daily show The Indicator on the promise and perils of the multi-billion dollar influencer industry.This episode was produced by Corey Bridges and Janet Lee. It was engineered by Robert Rodriguez and Katherine Silva. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and Dylan Sloan. Emily Kinslow was the podcast coordinator for this series. Viet Le is The Indicator's senior producer. Kate Concannon edits the show. Our acting executive producer is Jess Jiang.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/05/23·19m 39s

Financial advising while Black

After a successful career in advertising, Erika Williams decided it was time for a change. She went back to school to get an MBA at the University of Chicago, and eventually, in 2012, she got a job at Wells Fargo as a financial advisor. It was the very job she wanted.Erika is Black–and being a Black financial advisor at a big bank is relatively uncommon. Banking was one of the last white collar industries to really hire Black employees. And when Erika gets to her office, she's barely situated before she starts to get a weird feeling. She feels like her coworkers are acting strangely around her."I was just met with a lot of stares. And then the stares just turned to just, I mean, they just pretty much ignored me. And that was my first day, and that was my second day. And it was really every day until I left."She wasn't sure whether to call her experience racism...until she learned that there were other Black employees at other Wells Fargo offices feeling the exact same way.On today's episode, Erika's journey through these halls of money and power. And why her story is not unique, but is just one piece of the larger puzzle.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/04/23·27m 37s

The zoo economy (classic)

Note: This episode originally aired in September, 2014.Zoos follow a fundamental principle: You can't sell or buy the animals. It's unethical and illegal to put a price tag on an elephant's head. But money is really useful — it lets you know who wants something and how much they want it. It lets you get rid of things you don't need and acquire things that you do need. It helps allocate assets where they are most valued. In this case, those assets are alive, and they need a safe home in the right climate.So zoos and aquariums are left asking: What do you do in a world where you can't use money?This episode was originally produced by Jess Jiang.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/04/23·16m 43s

The quest for the factory-built house

Imagine if we built cars the same way we build houses. First, a typical buyer would meet with the car designer, and tell them what kind of car they want. Then the designer would draw up plans for the car.The buyer would call different car builders in their town and show them the blueprints. And the builders might say, "Yeah, I can build you that car based on this blueprint. It will cost $1 million and it will be ready in a year and a half."There are lots of reasons why homes are so expensive in the U.S., zoning and land prices among them. But also, the way we build houses is very slow and very inefficient. So, why don't we build homes the way we build so many other things, by mass producing them in a factory?In this episode, the century-old dream of the factory-built house, and the possibility of a prefab future.This episode was produced by Emma Peaslee. Molly Messick edited the show, and it was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Brian Jarboe mastered the episode. Jess Jiang is our acting Executive Producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/04/23·26m 44s

Tax Code Switch

This past January, researchers uncovered that Black taxpayers are three to five times as likely to be audited as everyone else. One likely reason for this is that the IRS disproportionately audits lower-income earners who claim a tax benefit called the earned income tax credit. And this, says law professor Dorothy Brown, is just one example of the many ways that race is woven through our tax system, its history, and its enforcement.Dorothy discovered the hidden relationship between race and the tax system sort of by accident, when she was helping her parents with their tax return. The amount they paid seemed too high. Eventually, her curiosity about that observation spawned a whole area of study.This episode is a collaboration with NPR's Code Switch podcast. Host Gene Demby spoke to Dorothy Brown about how race and taxes play out in marriage, housing, and student debt.This episode was produced by James Sneed, with help from Olivia Chilkoti. It was edited by Dalia Mortada and Courtney Stein, and engineered by James Willets & Brian Jarboe.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/04/23·24m 53s

The life and possible death of low interest rates

Right now, the economy is running hot. Inflation is high, and central banks are pushing up interest rates to fight it. But before the pandemic, economies around the world were stuck in a different rut: low inflation, low interest rates, low growth. In 2013, Larry Summers unearthed an old term from the Great Depression to explain why the economy was in this rut: secular stagnation. The theory resonated with Olivier Blanchard, another leading scholar, because he had made similar observations himself. Larry and Olivier would go on to build a case for why secular stagnation was a defining theory of the economy and why government policies needed to respond to it. They helped reshape many people's understanding of the economy, and suggested that this period of slow growth and low interest rates was here to stay for a long time.But today, Larry and Olivier are no longer the duo they used to be. As inflation has spiked worldwide, interest rates have followed suit. Earlier this year, Larry announced that he was no longer on the secular stagnation train. Olivier, meanwhile, believes we're just going through a minor blip and will return to a period of low interest rates within the near future. He doesn't see the deep forces that led to a long-run decline in interest rates as just vanishing. Who's right? The future of the global economy could depend on the answer.Help support Planet Money by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/04/23·25m 56s

Two innovation market indicators

Right now, the economy is all over the place. And when things get confusing, we look to basic economic indicators to help explain what's going on. Today, we're bringing you two episodes of our daily show The Indicator that focus on the bond market.The market for U.S. treasury bonds is generally safe, predictable and pretty boring. Recently, though, it's been anything but. We look into the fluctuations in bond prices and the yield curve (one of our favorite indicators) to try to help us understand where the economy stands right now.These two Indicator episodes were originally produced by Brittany Cronin and Noah Glick. They were fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and engineered by Gilly Moon and Katherine Silva. Kate Concannon edits The Indicator.The Planet Money version was produced by Dylan Sloan and edited by Dave Blanchard. Music: "Funk Lounge," "A Fulltime Job" and "Velvet Groove." Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/04/23·18m 15s

Your banking questions, answered

It's been a month since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank touched off the worst episode of banking turmoil since 2008. While the financial system appears to have stabilized, we're still reckoning with what happened. Regulators are getting dragged before Congress. The Federal Reserve and the FDIC have promised reports on what went wrong with bank oversight. And judging by our inbox, you, our listeners, have a lot of lingering questions.Questions like: Was it a bailout? Where were the regulators? Is it over yet? And what about those other banks that were teetering on the edge?Today on the show, some answers for you.This episode was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler with help from Willa Rubin. It was engineered by Brian Jarboe. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and edited by Molly Messick. Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/04/23·26m 59s

The battle for Puerto Rico's beaches

Puerto Rico's beaches are an integral part of life on the island, and by law, they're one of the few places that are truly public. In practice, the sandy stretch of land where the water meets the shore is one of the island's most contested spaces.Today we're featuring an episode of the podcast La Brega from WNYC Studios and Futuro Studios, a show about Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican experience. On the island, a legal definition dating back to the Spanish colonial period dictates what counts as a beach. But climate change, an influx of new residents and a real estate boom are all threatening legal public access to some of Puerto Rico's most cherished spaces. The debate all comes down to one question: what counts as a beach?You can listen to the rest of La Brega (in English and Spanish) here. They have two full seasons out, which explore the Puerto Rican experience through history and culture. Check it out.This episode was reported by Alana Casanova-Burgess and produced by Ezequiel Rodriguez Andino and Joaquin Cotler, with help from Tasha Sandoval. It was edited by Mark Pagan, Marlon Bishop, and Jenny Lawton and engineered by Joe Plourde. The zona maritimo terrestre was sung as a bolero by Los Rivera Destino.The Planet Money version was produced by Dave Blanchard, fact checked by Sierra Juarez, edited by Keith Romer, and engineered by Brian Jarboe.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/04/23·23m 6s

The safety net for banks

In the first half of March, three banks - Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and Silvergate - all had relatively classic bank runs and collapsed. Which sparked some major banking stress. As a result, the Federal Reserve got a lot of requests to use one of its oldest and most important tools for soothing such troubles: the discount window.The discount window is like a safety net for banks. And recently, a lot of banks have needed it. So, what is the discount window, where did it come from, and how does it work? And, amidst all the recent banking turmoil, has it been working the way it should? In this episode, we crack open the discount window.This episode was produced by Emma Peaslee with help from Willa Rubin. It was engineered by Katherine Silva. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and edited by Sally Helm. Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/04/23·23m 19s

A Great Recession bank takeover

Earlier this month, we saw the largest bank collapse since the 2008 financial crisis. For many of us, seeing Silicon Valley Bank's meltdown brought us right back to that time 15 years ago, at the beginning of what would become the Great Recession. In early 2009, one or two banks were failing every week. That's when Planet Money reporter Chana Joffe-Walt went inside one of those banks: the Bank of Clark County, in Washington State. Her reporting on the inner workings of a bank collapse and government takeover helps explain exactly what happens when a bank goes under, minute-by-minute. This story originally aired in March 2009 on This American Life, from WBEZ Chicago. We're airing it for the first time in full on our podcast.This version of the story was produced by Dylan Sloan and edited by Dave Blanchard. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and engineered by Katherine Silva. Jess Jiang is Planet Money's acting executive producer.Music: "Butter" "Bassline Motion" and "Fantasmi." Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/03/23·18m 42s

The battle over Osage headrights

Richard J. Lonsinger is a member of the Ponca tribe of Oklahoma, who was adopted at a young age into a white family of three. He eventually reconnected with his birth family, but when his birth mother passed away in 2010, he wasn't included in the distribution of her estate. Feeling both hurt and excluded, he asked a judge to re-open her estate, to give him a part of one particular asset: an Osage headright.An Osage headright is a share of profits from resources like oil, gas, and coal that have been extracted from the Osage Nation's land. These payments can be sizeable - thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars a year. Historically, they were even larger – in the 1920s the Osage were some of the wealthiest people in the world. But that wealth also made them a target and subject to paternalistic and predatory laws. Over the previous century, hundreds of millions of dollars in oil money have been taken from the Osage people.On today's show: the story of how Richard Lonsinger gradually came to learn this history, and how he made his peace with his part of a complicated inheritance. This episode was produced by Willa Rubin with help from Alyssa Jeong Perry and Emma Peaslee. It was engineered by Brian Jarboe and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. It was edited by Keith Romer, with help from Shannon Shaw Duty from Osage News.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/03/23·23m 44s

Inside a bank run

Sometimes you hear these stories about an airplane that suddenly nosedives. Everyone onboard thinks this is it, and then the plane levels out and everything is fine. For about 72 hours, people and companies that had deposited millions of dollars at the Silicon Valley Bank — many of whom were in the tech industry — thought they had lost absolutely everything to a bank collapse.Two weeks later, the situation at Silicon Valley Bank has leveled off. The FDIC seized the bank and eventually made all of its depositors whole. But to understand what that financial panic felt like, we retrace the Silicon Valley Bank run and eventual collapse. We hear from four people who were part of the bank run — when they realized early rumblings, what it felt like in the full stampede, what hard decisions they faced, and what the aftermath felt like. And along the way, we uncover the lessons you can only learn when you think the entire world is ending. This episode was reported by Kenny Malone, produced by Alyssa Jeong Perry with help from Dave Blanchard, engineered by Brian Jarboe, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and edited by Jess Jiang. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/03/23·33m 39s

Planet Money Records Vol. 3: Making a hit

Since we started Planet Money Records and released the 47-year-old song "Inflation," the song has taken off. It recently hit 1 million streams on Spotify. And we now have a full line of merch — including a limited edition vinyl record; a colorful, neon hoodie; and 70s-inspired stickers — n.pr/shopplanetmoney. After starting a label and negotiating our first record deal, we're taking the Inflation song out into the world to figure out the hidden economics of the music business. Things get complicated when we try to turn the song into a viral hit. Just sounding good isn't enough and turning a profit in the music business means being creative, patient and knowing the right people.This is part three of the Planet Money Records series. Here's part one and part two. Listen to "Inflation" on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Tidal, Amazon Music & Pandora. Listen to our remix, "Inflation [136bpm]," on Spotify, YouTube Music & Amazon Music. "Inflation" is on TikTok. (And — if you're inspired — add your own!) This episode was reported by Erika Beras and Sarah Gonzalez, produced by Emma Peaslee and James Sneed, edited by Jess Jiang and Sally Helm, engineered by Brian Jarboe, and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Music: "Inflation," "Superfly Fever," "Nola Strut" and "Inflation [136bpm]." Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/03/23·29m 31s

How Silicon Valley Bank failed

Silicon Valley Bank was the 16th largest bank in America, the bank of choice for tech startups and big-name venture capitalists. Then, in the span of just a few days, it collapsed. Whispers that SVB might be in trouble spread like wildfire through group texts and Twitter posts. Depositors raced to empty their accounts, withdrawing $42 billion in a single day. Last Friday, after regulators declared that SVB had failed, the FDIC seized the bank.As the dust settles on the biggest bank failure — and bank rescue — in recent memory, we're still figuring out what happened. But poor investment choices, weak regulation, and customer panic all played their parts. We'll look into the bank's collapse to understand what it can teach us about the business of banking itself.This episode was produced by Willa Rubin, with help from Dave Blanchard. It was edited by Keith Romer, and engineered by Brian Jarboe. Fact-checking by Sierra Juarez. Our acting executive producer is Jess Jiang.Music: "I Don't Do Gossip," "Groovy Little Penguins" and "Vision." Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/03/23·21m 2s

Dude, where's my streaming TV show?

Over the past year, dozens of shows have been disappearing from streaming platforms like HBO Max and Showtime. Shows like Minx, Made for Love, FBoy Island, and even big budget hits like Westworld have been removed entirely.So why did these platforms, after investing millions of dollars in creating original content, decide not just to cancel those shows, but to make them unavailable altogether?We dive into the economics of the television industry looking for answers to a streaming mystery that has affected both fans and creatives. And we find out what happens when the stream runs dry.This episode was produced by Willa Rubin with help from Emma Peaslee. It was edited by Keith Romer. Engineering by Josh Newell. Sierra Juarez checked the facts. Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer.We want to hear your thoughts on the show! We have a short, anonymous survey we'd love for you to fill out: n.pr/pmsurveyHelp support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/03/23·26m 2s

The value of good teeth

As a kid, Ryanne Jones' friend accidentally hit her in the mouth with a hammer, knocking out her two front teeth. Her parents never had enough money for the dental care needed to fix them, so Ryanne lived much of her adult life with a chipped and crooked smile. Ryanne spent a while as a single mom working low-wage jobs, but she had higher aspirations: she interviewed dozens of times a year for higher-paying roles that she was more than qualified for. But she never landed any of them. And to her, it really seemed like the only thing standing between her and a better job was her rotting, brown front teeth. Our physical appearances can communicate a lot about our financial status. There are some things, such as clothing, that we have more control over. But there are other things that we don't — and they can have serious long-term economic consequences.This episode was originally run as part of Marketplace's This is Uncomfortable podcast.Reported by: Reema KhraisEdited by: Micaela Blei. Produced by: Zoë Saunders, Peter Balonon-Rosen, Megan Detrie, Hayley Hershman and Daniel Martinez. The Planet Money version was produced by Alyssa Jeong Perry.Mastered by: Charlton ThorpMusic: WonderlyHelp support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/03/23·22m 10s

Seinfeld-onomics

The 90s sit-com Seinfeld is often called "a show about nothing." Lauded for its observational humor, this quick-witted show focussed on four hapless New Yorkers navigating work, relationships...yada yada yada.Jerry, George, Elaine & Kramer set themselves apart from the characters who populated shows like Friends or Cheers, by being the exact opposite of the characters audiences would normally root for. These four New Yorkers were overly analytical, calculating, and above all, selfish.In other words, they had all the makings of a fascinating case study in economics.Economics professors Linda Ghent and Alan Grant went so far as to write an entire book on the subject, Seinfeld & Economics. The book points readers to economic principles that appear throughout the show, ideas like economic utility, game theory, and the best way to allocate resources in the face of scarcity.On today's show, we make the case that Seinfeld is, at its heart, not a show about nothing, but a show about economics. And that understanding Seinfeld can change the way you understand economics itself.This episode was produced by Alyssa Jeong Perry with help from Emma Peaslee. It was edited by Keith Romer. It was mastered by Robert Rodriguez and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/03/23·18m 34s

CBOhhhh, that's what they do

If you are a congressperson or a senator and you have an idea for a new piece of legislation, at some point someone will have to tell you how much it costs. But, how do you put a price on something that doesn't exist yet?Since 1974, that has been the job of the Congressional Budget Office, or the CBO. The agency plays a critical role in the legislative process: bills can live and die by the cost estimates the CBO produces.The economists and budget experts at the CBO, though, are far more than just a bunch of number crunchers. Sometimes, when the job is really at its most fun, they are basically tasked with predicting the future. The CBO has to estimate the cost of unreleased products and imagine markets that don't yet exist — and someone always hates the number they come up with.On today's episode, we go inside the CBO to tell the twisting tale behind the pricing of a single piece of massive legislation — when the U.S. decided to finally cover prescription drug insurance for seniors. At the time, some of the drugs the CBO was trying to price didn't even exist yet. But the CBO still had to tell Congress how much the bill would cost — even though the agency knew better than anyone that its math would almost definitely be wrong.We want to hear your thoughts on the show! We have a short, anonymous survey we'd love for you to fill out: n.pr/pmsurvey Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/03/23·24m 20s

Meow Money Meow Problems

More than 20 years ago, something unusual happened in the small town of Dixfield, Maine. A lady named Barbara Thorpe had left almost all of her money—$200,000—to benefit the cats of her hometown. When Barbara died in 2002, those cats suddenly got very, very rich. And that is when all the trouble began.Barbara's gift set off a sprawling legal battle that drew in a crew of crusading cat ladies, and eventually, the town of Dixfield itself. It made national news. But after all these years, no one seemed to know where that money had ended up. Did the Dixfield cat fortune just...vanish?In this episode, host Jeff Guo travels to Maine to track down the money. To figure out how Barbara's plans went awry. And to understand something about this strange form of economic immortality called a charitable trust.This episode was produced by Willa Rubin with help from Dave Blanchard. It was engineered by Josh Newell. Sally Helm edited the show and Sierra Juarez checked the facts. Jess Jiang is Planet Money's acting Executive Producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/02/23·27m 20s

Hollywood's Black List (Classic)

This episode originally ran in 2020.In 2005, Franklin Leonard was a junior executive at Leonardo DiCaprio's production company. A big part of his job was to find great scripts. The only thing — most of the 50,000-some scripts registered with the Writers Guild of America every year aren't that great. Franklin was drowning in bad scripts ... So to help find the handful that will become the movies that change our lives, he needed a better way forward.Today on the show — how a math-loving movie nerd used a spreadsheet and an anonymous Hotmail address to solve one of Hollywood's most fundamental problems: picking winners from a sea of garbage. And, along the way, he may just have reinvented Hollywood's power structure.This episode was produced by James Sneed and Darian Woods, and edited by Bryant Urstadt, Karen Duffin and Robert Smith. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/02/23·23m 7s

Jay & Shai's debt ceiling adventure

Every year, the U.S. government spends more money than it takes in. In order to fund all that spending, the country takes on debt. Congress has the power to limit how much debt the U.S. takes on. Right now, the debt limit is $31.4 trillion dollars. Once we reach that limit, Congress has a few options so that the government keeps paying its bills: Raise the debt limit, suspend it, or eliminate it entirely. That debate and negotiations are back this season. One thing that is in short supply, but very important for these negotiations, is good information. Shai Akabas, of the Bipartisan Policy Center, knows this well. Right now, he and his team are working on figuring out when exactly the U.S. government could run out of money to pay its obligations — what they've dubbed: the "X Date." Shai is determined to help prevent the U.S. government from blowing past the X Date without a solution. But this year's debt-ceiling negotiations are not going very well. Which is daunting, because if lawmakers don't figure something out, the ramifications for the global economy could be huge. So, how did Shai become the go-to expert at the go-to think tank for debt ceiling information? It started in 2011, back when he and current Chair of the Federal Reserve Jay Powell, armed with a powerpoint and the pressure of a deadline, helped stave off economic disaster. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/02/23·26m 6s

Two Indicators: Inside the Fed, then and now

A lot of the time, economic policy can seem pretty impersonal — cold, hard, data-driven. But at the heart of the Federal Reserve are people: fallible, complicated people who are just doing their best to steer the economy in the right direction. Often, we remember them just for their economic decisions. But today, we're airing two episodes from our daily economics show The Indicator that profile the people inside the Fed. First, we're heading back to the 1970s to revisit Arthur Burns' oft-criticized stint as Fed chair. Next, we have a conversation with Mary Daly, the current president of the San Francisco Fed, about her remarkable path from high school dropout to one of the most important economic voices in the nation.These two Indicator episodes were originally produced by Viet Le and Brittany Cronin. They were fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and Dylan Sloan and edited by Kate Concannon. The Planet Money version was produced by Dylan Sloan, engineered by Josh Newell and edited by Dave Blanchard.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/02/23·18m 47s

Our 2023 valentines

Every Valentine's Day, we at Planet Money consider the things that we love, the things that we can't stop talking about, the things that get our hearts racing...in a good way. And we give them valentines!This year our valentines go out to:ImportYeti, a website that lets you see exactly where U.S. companies are importing goods from.Economic data revisions, those tweaks to the data that make things like the jobs numbers even more accurate.The office (the place, not the show).Audio description, narration designed to make TV and movies more accessible to people who are blind or low-vision, but which offers benefits to the sighted as well.This show was produced by Emma Peaslee. It was edited by Keith Romer, and engineered by Robert Rodriguez. Jess Jiang is our acting Executive Producer.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/02/23·26m 33s

The ice cream conspiracy

Take a look in any supermarket ice cream freezer section and you may see a mystery. There are big containers of the typical ice cream brands: Breyers, Turkey Hill, and Edy's. And there are specialty brands that make gelato, low-fat and vegan ice creams. And then there are the fancy pints: which is mostly Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs.Häagen-Dazs has flavors like vanilla, chocolate, pistachio—the sort of flavors that run smooth. And then Ben & Jerry's specializes in chunky flavors: Cherry Garcia, The Tonight Dough, Chunky Monkey, etc. The two hardly ever cross into the other's turf. Why?It's possible they are experiencing something common to natural competition—they are specializing in what works best for them. But, as Christopher Sullivan of the University of Wisconsin-Madison suspects, the two companies may be engaging in what is known as "tacit collusion," where two parties silently agree to... stick to their own territory.We try to get to the creamy core of what makes up a conspiracy, and how the consumer eventually loses out in this cold, cold war.Today's episode was produced by Willa Rubin and Alyssa Jeong Perry. It was engineered by Josh Newell and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. It was edited by Jess Jiang.Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/02/23·24m 12s

Baby's first market failure

Anyone who has tried shopping for day care knows that it is tough out there.For one, it is hard even to get your hands on information about costs, either online or over the phone – day cares will often only share their prices after you have taken a tour of their facilities. Even once you find a place you like, many day cares have waitlists stretching 6 months, 9 months, a year.Waitlists are a classic economic sign that something isn't right, that prices are too low. But ask any parent and they will tell you that prices for day cares are actually too high. According to a recent report from the U.S. Treasury, more than 60% of families can't afford the full cost of high quality day care. Meanwhile, day care owners can barely afford to stay open. No one is happy.On today's show, we get into the very weird, very broken market for day care. We will try to understand how this market can simultaneously strain parents' budgets and underpay its workers. And we will look at a few possible solutions.This show was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. Emma Peaslee helped book the show. It was mastered by Gilly Moon. Keith Romer edited this episode. Jess Jiang is our acting Executive Producer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/02/23·23m 14s

Groundhog Day 2023

It's Groundhog Day, and once again, the eyes of the nation have turned to a small town in Western Pennsylvania. Every February 2nd, the only story anyone can talk about is whether or not Punxsutawney Phil will see his own shadow. If he does: six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't: spring is on its way.This year, in a cruel twist of fate reminiscent of the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, two Planet Money hosts have found themselves facing a curse. They'll be trapped in this never-ending groundhog news cycle until they can find a new February 2nd story to tell...something that has nothing to do with one furry prognosticator... something that changed the economy forever.So rise and shine campers, and don't forget your booties as we journey through a series of Groundhog Days past to try to find a historical scoop.This show was produced by Dave Blanchard and edited by Sally Helm. It was engineered by Robert Rodriguez and Gilly Moon and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Planet Money's acting executive producer is Jess Jiang.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/02/23·24m 2s

To all the econ papers I've loved before

A great economics paper does two things. It takes on a big question, and it finds a smart way to answer that question.But some papers go even further. The very best papers have the power to change lives.That was the case for three economists we spoke to: Nancy Qian, Belinda Archibong, and Kyle Greenberg.They all stumbled on important economics papers at crucial moments in their careers, and those papers gave them a new way to see the world. On today's show - how economics papers on the Pentecostal church in Ghana, the Vietnam war draft, and the price of butter in Sweden shaped the courses of three lives.This episode was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Keith Romer. Sierra Juarez checked the facts, and it was mastered by Natasha Branch with help from Gilly Moon. Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/01/23·24m 29s

The story of "Monopoly" and American capitalism

Monopoly is one of the best-selling board games in history. The game's staying power may in part be because of strong American lore — the idea that anyone, with just a little bit of cash, can rise from rags to riches. Mary Pilon, author of The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game.But there's another origin story – a very different one that promotes a very different image of capitalism. (And with two sets of starkly different rules.) That story shows how a critique of capitalism grew from a seed of an idea in a rebellious young woman's mind into a game legendary for its celebration of wealth at all costs. This episode was made in collaboration with NPR's Throughline. For more about the origin story of Monopoly, listen to their original episode Do Not Pass Go. This episode was produced by Emma Peaslee, mastered by Natasha Branch, and edited by Jess Jiang. The Throughline episode was produced by Rund Abdelfatah, Ramtin Arablouei, Lawrence Wu, Laine Kaplan-Levenson, Julie Caine, Victor Yvellez, Anya Steinberg, Yolanda Sangweni, Casey Miner, Cristina Kim, Devin Katayama, and Amiri Tulloch. It was fact-checked by Kevin Volkl and mixed by Josh Newell.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/01/23·22m 25s

Charles Ponzi's scheme

Some of history's biggest financial scams owe their name to Charles Ponzi. Here's the story of the man behind the eponymous scheme.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/01/23·22m 53s

Big Rigged (Classic)

Driving a truck used to mean freedom. Now it means a mountain of debt.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/01/23·24m 7s

Two Indicators: The 2% inflation target

If the Fed had a mantra to go along with its mandate, it might well be "two percent." We look into how that became the target inflation rate, why some economists are calling for a change and how the inflation rate becomes unanchored.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/01/23·18m 21s

Planet Money Movie Club: It's a Wonderful Life

Welcome to the Planet Money Movie Club, a regular series from Planet Money+ in which we watch an economics-related movie and discuss! On today's episode, Kenny Malone, Wailin Wong, and Willa Rubin talk about Frank Capra's 1946 classic 'It's A Wonderful Life.' They discuss CPI adjustments, how a copyright lapse helped make the film more popular, and what exactly a 'Building and Loan' is.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/01/23·22m 47s

The economics lessons in kids' books

All sorts of lessons (even about economics) can be learned from kids' books. On today's show, we visit an elementary school to try to teach third graders econ using some beloved childrens' classics. And, along the way, we learn a few things ourselves.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/01/23·28m 37s

The Rest of the Story, 2022

It's that time of year again! Our annual year-end tradition of checking in on previous stories to hear what happened after the microphones stopped running.We'll hear from a CEO who was trying to get her company out of Russia amidst the war in Ukraine, check in with an organizer who was trying to turn his community into a city, follow-up on our experiment in polling, and get the latest from our record label — Planet Money Records. Plus, we learn of a romance sparked by a podcast episode!Check out the original stories:Eagles vs. ChickensEscape from RussiaA tale of two cityhoodsPlanet Money tries election pollingThe $100 million deliPlanet Money Records Vol. 1: Earnest JacksonPlanet Money Records Vol. 2: The NegotiationSubscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/12/22·24m 25s

Which economic indicator defined 2022?

2022 was a year of big economic changes. But what economic story most defined the year? Our hosts from Planet Money and The Indicator battle it out over what should be crowned the indicator of the year. Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/12/22·10m 34s

In defense of gift giving

Cold economic reasoning says, supposedly, that gifts are inefficient transfers of wealth. But Planet Money host Jeff Guo believes in the economic virtues of gift giving. On today's show, Jeff tries to win over Planet Money's resident Scrooge, Kenny Malone, by going on a quest to find him the perfect gift. Along the way, they're visited by the spirits of three Nobel prize-winning economic theories that can explain why gift-giving is actually good. And by the end, Kenny's heart may just grow three sizes larger. Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/12/22·21m 38s

Two Indicators: The fight over ESG investing

"ESG" investing – Environmental, Social, Governance – has attracted a lot of attention from investors, and from Republican politicians who call it "woke investing." On today's show, what the fight over ESG reveals about the potential and limitations of sustainable investing.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/12/22·21m 38s

The sports ticket price enigma

Inflation is making prices go up, except not for...sports tickets? So, we set out on a daylong sporting event marathon to learn why.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/12/22·28m 32s

Spam call bounty hunter

Telemarketing calls are not only annoying; in some cases, they are illegal. Congress even gives you the right to sue scofflaw telemarketers for $500 a call. Today, the story of one man who collected a surprising amount of money bringing telemarketers to justice. Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/12/22·26m 34s

The case of the missing cheese racks

Jelle Peterse's company ships cheese all over the world, but they don't always get their cheese racks back. In this episode, we try to fix a supply chain problem. Gouda grief!Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/12/22·27m 31s

When women stopped coding (Classic)

A lot of computing pioneers were women. For decades, the number of women in computer science was growing. But in 1984, something changed.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/12/22·17m 0s

My Favorite Tax Loophole

There's a big difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. But sometimes even avoiding taxes (legally) can feel like you're getting away with something. Today, we share some of our — and your! — favorite loopholes in the U.S. tax code.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/12/22·26m 10s

Messi economics

Soccer star Lionel Messi is currently hoping to lead Argentina to victory in the World Cup. His path to global fame was shaped by a crisis in Argentina's economy.This episode was made in collaboration with NPR and Futuro Studios's The Last Cup podcast.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/12/22·27m 39s

One economist's take on popular advice for saving, borrowing, and spending

This episode was first released as a bonus episode for Planet Money+ listeners last month. We're sharing it today for all listeners. To hear more episodes like this one and support NPR in the process, sign up for Planet Money+ at plus.npr.org. Planet Money+ supporters: we'll have a fresh bonus episode for you next week! "Save aggressively for retirement when you're young." "The stock market is a sure-fire long-term bet." "Fixed-rate mortgages are better than adjustable-rate mortgages." Popular financial advice like this appears in all kinds of books by financial thinkfluencers. But how does that advice stack up against more traditional economic thinking? That's the question Yale economist James Choi set out to answer in a paper called Popular Personal Financial Advice Versus The Professors. In this interview, he tells Greg Rosalsky what he found. Their talk marks another edition of Behind The Newsletter, in which Greg shares conversations with policy makers and economists who appear in the Planet Money newsletter. Subscribe to the newsletter at https://www.npr.org/newsletter/money. Read more about James Choi's paper here: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2022/09/06/1120583353/money-management-budgeting-tipsLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/11/22·32m 57s

How the cookie became a monster

30 years ago, Lou Montulli set out to solve a fundamental problem with the internet, and accidentally created an entirely different one. On today's show, how the cookie went from an obscure piece of code designed to protect anonymity, to an online advertiser's dream, to a privacy advocate's nightmare.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/11/22·26m 44s

Sam Bankman-Fried and the fall of a crypto empire

Sam Bankman-Fried built a reputation as the one reliable crypto bro. But within the span of days, his empire came crashing down. What the rise and fall of crypto's 30-year-old elder statesman says about the story of crypto so far.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/11/22·23m 48s

The E-Book Wars

In 2019, a group of librarians (quietly) stormed the offices of a major publisher, Macmillan, to protest a controversial policy on e-books. On this show, how a tiny change - a book on a screen - threw an industry into war with itself.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyaLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/11/22·25m 57s

Peak Sand (classic)

Sand. It's in buildings, windows, your cell phone. But there isn't enough in the world for everyone. And that's created a dangerous black market.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/11/22·17m 53s

Planet Money tries election polling

Polling is facing an existential crisis. Few people are answering the phone, and fewer people want to answer surveys. On today's show, we pick up the phones ourselves to find out how polling got to this place, and what the future of the poll looks like.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/11/22·28m 13s

Two Indicators shaking China's economy

Xi Jinping recently secured his third term as China's president – so we're looking at two shocks to the world's second-largest economy. First: How China's housing boom turned into a real estate crisis. Second: How the recent U.S. ban on selling advanced semiconductor chips to China could affect China's technology industry.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/11/22·19m 25s

Planet Money Records Vol. 2: The Negotiation

We got our hands on the long-lost "Inflation" song, and now it's time to put it out into the world. So, we started a record label, and we're diving into the music business to try and make a hit.This is part two of the Planet Money Records series. Here's part one and part three.Update: We now have merch! We released a line of Inflation song gear — including a limited edition vinyl record; a colorful, neon hoodie; and 70s-inspired stickers. You can find it here: n.pr/shopplanetmoney.Listen to "Inflation" on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Tidal, Amazon Music & Pandora.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/10/22·26m 46s

Planet Money Records Vol. 1: Earnest Jackson

We try to start a real record label. Just to put one song out there. It's a song about inflation, recorded in 1975... and never released. Until now.This is part one of the Planet Money Records series. Here's part two and part three.Update: We now have merch! We released a line of Inflation song gear — including a limited edition vinyl record; a colorful, neon hoodie; and 70s-inspired stickers. You can find it here: n.pr/shopplanetmoney.Listen to "Inflation" on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Tidal, Amazon Music & Pandora.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/10/22·25m 29s

The high cost of a strong dollar

When it comes to international trade and finance, everyone pretty much speaks one language: the U.S. dollar. So when the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates and the dollar suddenly gets strong, it can cause huge headaches all over the world.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/10/22·27m 41s

The money fixers (classic)

How do you mend a broken bill? On this classic episode, we visit the Mutilated Currency Division.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/10/22·17m 39s

You asked for coupons, Delaware, and the truth about goldfish

On today's show, we're answering listener questions from the Planet Money inbox. Like, who really benefits from retail coupons? And why are goldfish so cheap?Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/10/22·23m 5s

Two Indicators: back to school

It's fall, so on this episode, we're taking you back to school. First, what sorority rush can teach us about a particular kind of market. Then, how two economists fixed the way macroeconomics was taught in high schools. It's econ, inside and outside the classroom.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/10/22·17m 55s

Forging Taiwan's Silicon Shield

Taiwan is at the center of a global feud. Its main defense may be what some call its "Silicon Shield" — its powerful semiconductor industry. On today's show, the story of how one economic hero helped to transform Taiwan's economy and create the "Taiwan Miracle."Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/10/22·30m 38s

Economic anarchy in the UK

Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister of the UK, was determined to change the British economy. Instead, her government's mini-budget helped kick off a mini-financial crisis.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/10/22·21m 36s

Would you like a side of offshoring with that?

A lot of restaurants took a hit during the pandemic. And when they struggled to find workers, some found surprising solutions. On today's show, what happens when you offshore cashiers.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/09/22·22m 44s

The miracle apple (Classic)

Today on the show, how we got from mealy, nasty apples to apples that taste delicious. The story starts with a breeder who discovered a miracle apple. But discovering that apple wasn't enough.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/09/22·13m 52s

Econ's Brush with the Law

What happens when you take some of the most powerful people in America — federal judges — and teach them economics? We look at the swanky econ retreats that may have changed American law forever.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/09/22·22m 0s

The Midnight Connection

Texas's energy grid is largely disconnected from the rest of the U.S. That led to disastrous consequences last year when the state's grid was overloaded during a winter storm. Back in the 1970s, one company attempted to change the system in a secret, middle-of-the-night operation. Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/09/22·33m 25s

Vibecession Vibes Session

We're not in a recession, but why are the vibes feeling so off? We put the question to an economist and one expert on "vibes" and also hire a jazz band to take a pun way too far.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/09/22·26m 49s

The Good, the Bad, and the Uggly

Eddie Oygur is an Australian businessman who's sold sheepskin ugg boots for years. But one day, he was hit with a lawsuit for breaking American trademark law. On today's show — what's in the name ugg? Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/09/22·30m 22s

Two Indicators: unlikely economic relationships

On today's show - how your social circle is one of the strongest predictors of economic mobility and how pop music reflects the economy.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/09/22·18m 49s

The salvage car Silk Road

A practically brand new Lexus with a New Jersey inspection sticker lands on an auto body lot in Turkmenistan. How did it get there? To find out, we journey into the bizarro economy for misfit cars. And we follow a very different kind of journey – of the auto body repairman from Turkmenistan who brought us this story in the first place. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/09/22·28m 8s

Breaking down the price of gasoline

High gas prices have fueled speculation and investigations — is anyone raising prices and keeping prices high for profit? To find out, we break down the price of gas, piece by piece, to show you how we get to the price we see at the pump and how much everyone profits at each step of the way. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/09/22·28m 14s

SUMMER SCHOOL 8: Productivity & Getting Lit

Productivity is our economic measure for how far our work goes, as individuals and as a society over all. It plays an important role in determining our quality of life, the prices of our goods and services, and, to some extent, the amount of free time we have. Today, we explore how thousands of years of productivity advancements transformed something now so standard that we take it for granted: light. | At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/08/22·30m 12s

Wake up and smell the fraud

Sometimes online shopping can feel a little unsavory. There are the listings that make you question if you'll really be getting exactly what's advertised. And there's no worse feeling than paying for something and then not getting it. But when Nina Kollars ordered coffee pods and got WAY more than she asked for, it made her feel just as uneasy. Her quest for answers and what it teaches us about a new generation of online fraud. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/08/22·22m 8s

SUMMER SCHOOL 7: The Fed & Volcker's Socks

The Federal Reserve plays a very important role in the economy. When things start to look uncertain, the central bank is tasked with stepping in to restore people's confidence in the economy. But how do they do it? On today's episode we dive deep on monetary policy and the role of the fed. |At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/08/22·31m 46s

Inflation Reduction Actually

Congress just passed the biggest, most ambitious climate bill in history. And it's called ... the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. What's with that branding? And what can the bill teach us about actually fighting inflation? | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/08/22·21m 14s

SUMMER SCHOOL 6: Trade & The Better Life

International trade is the web of cross-border relationships that binds economies together. Because of trade we have access to cheaper, higher-quality goods, and we get to benefit from other countries' cultures. Economics tells us trade makes society, overall on average, better off, but that doesn't mean everyone wins. Today, the good and bad of trade through the eyes of workers in developing economies who make the things sold around the world. We follow them as they navigate the ever-shifting international trade environment. |At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/08/22·32m 35s

Carried interest wormhole

The carried interest tax loophole is a way that wealthy Americans – often the people who manage hedge funds or private equity firms – avoid paying billions of dollars worth of taxes. It has been one of the most controversial yet durable features of the U.S. tax code. But where did it come from? Today we romp through space and time to piece together the origins of this loophole. There will be pirates and mutiny. A 50s tax-dodge-a-palooza. And perhaps the Michelangelo of tax lawyers. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/08/22·26m 23s

SUMMER SCHOOL 5: Car Parts, Celery & The Labor Market

You can learn a lot about a person from their job. The same can be said of an economy. The market for jobs can us a lot about how the economy is doing, but more importantly, it is where we look to see who the economy is working for, and who is left behind. In today's lesson we'll visit two workplaces each facing a different labor puzzle. At one end, there's the question of when to replace a worker with a robot, and what it is like to be that worker waiting for the robots to come. We'll also visit a farm where raising wages aren't enough to attract the workers needed to do the work. How wages are set, and who gets the raises on this session of Summer School. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney. |At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/08/22·32m 47s

A new way to pay for college (Update)

College has gotten incredibly expensive. And some colleges are offering students a new way to pay. It's not a scholarship. It's not quite a loan. It's more like the students are selling stock in themselves. We check in on how income share agreements at one school have been working. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/08/22·26m 48s

SUMMER SCHOOL 4: Inflation & Drinking Buddies

Inflation can be one of the scariest forces in the economy. As prices rise and your dollar doesn't go as far, you feel poorer, and it's all out of your control. To better understand inflation, we turn to the story of Brazil, where, in the 90s, hyperinflation threatened to derail the whole economy until the country turned to a group of unlikely heroes: four drinking buddies. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney. |At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/08/22·30m 3s

We Buy a Superhero 8: Micro-Face: The Musical

This episode, Micro-Face: The Musical. A full concert recording of a one-of-a-kind Planet Money superhero musical, taped during our recent live show at the Roulette Theater in Brooklyn, New York. Here's more from our project We Buy A Superhero.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/08/22·45m 8s

Two recession Indicators

So are we in a recession or not? The jury is still out, but there are some warning signs. GDP is down and inflation is up. But how much do we know about the 'indicators' that tell us how the economy is doing? Today, the stories of two of our most important indicators, the Consumer Price Index and GDP, and what they can and can't tell us about our current economic predicament.| Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/07/22·20m 11s

SUMMER SCHOOL 3: Booms, Busts & Us

Life has its ups and downs. Same for the economy. Today we ask, can the business cycle be tamed? Two stories of recession and techniques for moderating the ferocity of booms and busts. Plus, how bankruptcy is a secret weapon of the American economy. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney. | At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/07/22·32m 13s

Little House on the Blockchain

It has great bones, three bedrooms and one and half baths, and it comes with its own machine that mines cryptocurrency. But in a year of reckoning for crypto, how interested are potential buyers? | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/07/22·21m 25s

SUMMER SCHOOL 2: GDP & What Counts

What even is "the economy"? And how do you measure it? Our path out of the economic darkness and into the light has been guided in large part by one single statistic: GDP. This week: the origins, history, and problems with the economic indicator to rule them all. | At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/07/22·25m 5s

Best by, sell by, use by

Wait, wait...don't throw that out! What if much of what you've been told about food expiration dates is... wrong? | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/07/22·25m 8s

SUMMER SCHOOL 1: Recessions & Rap Battles

It's macro time! Today: Keynes vs. Hayek. Season 3 of summer school is here asking the biggest economic questions about what makes an entire economy grow or contract? Things like, is there a "right" level of unemployment? Who gains from trade? What rhymes with 'paradox of thrift'? Also, inflation, we'll get to inflation. Episode 1 begins with the rise of macroeconomics as a field, with one of the great economic debates of the 20th century: what causes booms and busts, and what can the government do about it? How free should a free market be? It's a debate (over beats and with an actual rap battle) between John Maynard Keynes and F.A Hayek.Watch this Tik Tok to learn more. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here. | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here. | Listen to our econ songs of the summer on Spotify. |Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/07/22·31m 7s

A tale of two cityhoods

There's a movement underway in Georgia. More and more communities around Atlanta are choosing to keep their tax dollars very local, and become their own cities. It's a story about equity and exclusion – and also potholes. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/07/22·24m 30s

Two crypto crash Indicators

Two stories of consternation from inside the crypto world. Can a crypto crash spread to the wider economy? How does contagion work? And ... why has crypto had such appeal with Black investors? | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/07/22·18m 40s

Suitcases, secret lists, and Citizens United

On today's show: the Watergate scandal you haven't heard about – that led directly to Citizens United and multi-billion dollar elections. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/07/22·26m 17s

When Subaru came out (Classic)

In the early 90s, Subaru was struggling to stand out in a crowded automobile market. In their greatest time of need, they turned to an unlikely ally: lesbians | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/06/22·19m 31s

Recession referees

Whenever the economic data start to look rough, we're forced to confront a familiar question: Are we in a recession, or about to be? But there are actually only eight opinions in the country that officially matter. Today on the show, we meet the committee that calls recessions. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/06/22·23m 3s

The tale of the Onion King (Update)

How one man's quest to dominate the onion market changed commodities trading, and potentially how much you pay at the grocery store, forever. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/06/22·19m 14s

The debate over what's causing inflation

The last few months have made us acutely aware of inflation. We all agree that it's making our lives harder, but economists disagree about what's causing it. | Fill out our listener survey: npr.org/podcastsurvey Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/06/22·19m 4s

Let them eat lunch

For many Americans, desk lunches are the norm. You might even be having one right now. But what if it didn't have to be this way? | Fill out our listener survey here Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/06/22·22m 1s

The Gecko Effect

Years ago advertising was dominated by cars and beer. Today on the show, how a simple slogan and a talking gecko helped the insurance industry become one of the most dominant forces in advertising. Now, we're all living with the consequences. | Fill out our listener survey hereLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/06/22·27m 38s

On the case: Recession, formula, and greenbacks

It was just another day at the office. Then the phone started ringing and the caseload kept growing...on today's show, your favorite Planet Money gumshoes investigate your listener questions. | Fill out our listener survey here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/06/22·20m 4s

Homer Simpson vs. the economy

When the beloved Simpsons family made its TV debut in 1989, it squarely represented middle-class America. Today ... not so much. That house, those two cars, those three kids all on one salary doesn't seem so believable anymore. Today we examine the changing reality of what middle-class means in America through the Simpsons. It's a wild, musical journey into the heart of the US economy. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/06/22·19m 57s

The bank war (Classic)

In the 1800s, populist president Andrew Jackson went head-to-head with the most powerful banker in America over who should control the country's money. This clash ended in disastrous results.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/06/22·20m 24s

We Buy a Superhero 7: Collectibles (Live Show!)

What transforms a regular object into a collectible? At our live show earlier this month, we went on a journey through collectibles history. And we had a goal: to turn our Micro-Face comic book into the most collectible item of all time. | Bid on our collectible Micro-Face comic book here!Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/05/22·28m 15s

The NRA's Secret Tapes

Soon after the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, leaders of the National Rifle Association held a conference call to craft their response. Secret tapes from this call obtained by NPR's Investigations team reveal how the NRA developed what would become their standard response after decades of school shootings. | Listen to the original Up First episode: n.pr/nratapesLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/05/22·31m 31s

Investing in mediocrity

Is the key to success in financial markets a matter of luck or skill? One former bond manager shares his strategy: Win big by avoiding winning. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/05/22·24m 32s

How the burrito became a sandwich (Classic)

A sandwich is generally defined as something delicious slapped between two slices of bread. New York tax code would beg to differ. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/05/22·15m 53s

Buy now, pay dearly?

A wave of companies that allow customers to pay for items from their favorite stores in four interest-free installments has taken over the country. But is "buy now, pay later" lending too good to be true? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/05/22·21m 27s

A 12-year-old girl takes on the video game industry (UPDATE)

When Maddie Messer was 12 years old, she noticed an unfair dynamic in the video games she loved: playing as a man was often free, but she had to pay to play as a woman. So ... she decided to take on the video game industry. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/05/22·18m 52s

The day Russia adopted the free market

In the early 90s, American economist Jeffrey Sachs was a part of a team that tried to transform Russia's economy. It did not go as planned. He tells us what he thinks went so wrong. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/05/22·30m 57s

Escheat show (Classic)

If you're looking for money you've forgotten about, there's a chance the government might have it. The good news is that you can get it back. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/05/22·21m 13s

Planet Money book club

Behind every Planet Money episode is a ton of reading. Today, we share some of our favorite books from along the way. Here are our picks:From Mary, American Bonds: How Credit Markets Shaped a Nation by Sarah L. QuinnFrom Erika, The End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression by Harold JamesFrom Alexi, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth KolbertLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/04/22·16m 29s

Risky business

Two stories on how businesses are using insurance to navigate new kinds of risks. First, how music venues are handling pandemic-related risks. And how Russia's invasion of Ukraine is affecting cyber insurance. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/04/22·18m 27s

We Buy a Superhero 6: The Comic Book

After many, many delays, the Micro-Face comic book is here! And we answer the burning question: Why did it take so long to make a comic book? | Come see Planet Money Live in NYC on May 10th! One night only. Tickets on sale here. And buy our now-ready Micro-Face comic book.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/04/22·25m 49s

TikTok to the top

Thanks to TikTok, Tai Verdes went from struggling musician to Top 40 hitmaker. But first, he had to crack the algorithm of how to go viral. | Come see Planet Money Live in NYC on May 10th! One night only. Tickets on sale here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/04/22·21m 38s

The student loan paaaaauuuuuse

The pause on federal student loan payments was just extended for the sixth time in two years. So...what's that been like for the borrowers, and what's in store for them when the system eventually restarts? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here. | Planet Money TikTok has been nominated for a Webby award! Cast your vote for us here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/04/22·20m 31s

Peanuts and Cracker Jack (Classic)

Ballpark vendors share their strategies and other secrets to selling the most hot dogs at baseball games. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/04/22·21m 31s

How manatees got into hot water

While on the brink of extinction in the 1970s, manatees found sanctuary in the warm waters of Florida power plants. Now, they're hooked on fossil fuels. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/04/22·23m 36s

Turkey's runaway inflation problem

Turkey is facing really high inflation, over 60 percent. Its president is taking an unorthodox approach to dealing with it. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/04/22·20m 49s

When bricks were rubles

For a brief, strange period after the U.S.S.R. collapsed, "real" money was less valuable than tradeable objects like bricks or towels. We look back at the Russian barter economy and we see the nature of money and value underneath all currency. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/04/22·23m 22s

The Bond King

Investing legend Bill Gross revolutionized the bond market, built an empire, and lost it all. Our very own Mary Childs talks about her new book, The Bond King. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/03/22·21m 52s

Fashion Fair's makeover

Fashion Fair was the first big national brand to make makeup for Black women, but it slowly faded into obscurity. Now that it's relaunched, can it compete in an industry it helped create? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/03/22·24m 28s

Two inflation Indicators: Corporate greed and mortgage rates

Corporate profits are soaring. So are prices. Can corporations just not raise prices? Would that fight inflation? We examine this theory making the rounds. Then, we go inside the pipes of the economy to see how mortgage rates connect to that recent rate hike by the Federal Reserve. | Subscribe to our sister podcast, The Indicator from Planet Money. It's daily, and always less than 10 minutes.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/03/22·18m 17s

Tech giants and tiny dogs

What a business that makes ramps for wiener dogs teaches us about the massive power of tech giants. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/03/22·19m 30s

Escape from Russia

An American business owner with employees in Russia extracts her colleagues from the country. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/03/22·23m 56s

Grocery delivery wars

Behind the scenes at a new kind of grocery store that promises delivery in minutes. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/03/22·16m 55s

The dollar at the center of the world (Classic)

After World War II devastated the global economy, there was a push for a new universal currency. This is the story of how the U.S. dollar won. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/03/22·21m 21s

Of oligarchs, oil and rubles

Three stories about how the sanctions imposed on Russia are playing out – for regular Russian people, for Russia's super-rich, and for Russia's energy exports. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/03/22·18m 21s

'Fortress' Russia put to the test

The U.S. is putting Russia's defense plan against sanctions to the test. Meanwhile, Russia's role as a huge exporter of oil and natural gas could cause ripple effects throughout the global economy. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/03/22·17m 49s

Putin's big bet: Sanction-proofing Russia

The U.S. is imposing economic sanctions on Russia to punish it for invading Ukraine. But Russia has spent years trying to make its economy immune to sanctions. So, will these new sanctions be enough? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/02/22·14m 7s

How bad is inflation?

Two stories about the effects of inflation on the economy. We meet a gig worker who's seen an increase in wages, but because of inflation, how much of that increase in earnings is an illusion? Then, we break down how the Federal Reserve is planning to fight inflation. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/02/22·19m 2s

Predictions: Inflation!

It's time for another round of "Planet Money Predictions!" Economic forecasters square off to predict the future of inflation and explain what's going on in the economy.| Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/02/22·16m 34s

SPAM strikes back

Hormel Foods makes SPAM, and for generations, the company also created jobs for families in Austin, Minnesota. Today, the story of a labor strike that threatened to tear one small town apart. (This episode was made in collaboration with The Experiment podcast.) | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/02/22·28m 15s

Waste land (Bonus)

Recycling most plastic doesn't work. It never has. In 2020, we ran an episode showing how big oil companies misled the public into thinking plastic would be recycled. That episode just won a duPont-Columbia award. Here it is. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/02/22·23m 25s

Our Valentines 2022

We profess our love for our curiosities, obsessions, and the things we wish we'd thought of first. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/02/22·26m 4s

A SWIFT getaway

In 2016, thieves tried to steal nearly a billion dollars from the Bank of Bangladesh's reserves without ever entering the building. And six years later, justice hasn't been so SWIFT. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/02/22·21m 1s

Uncle Sam wants YOU to fight inflation

How war bonds, controlled prices, and a national network of nosy neighbors helped beat inflation during WWII. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/02/22·21m 27s

The M&M anomaly (Classic)

Despite costing the same price, a pack of peanut butter M&M's weighs 0.06 ounces less than a pack of milk chocolate M&M's. A trade secret explains why. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/02/22·13m 17s

The Spider-Man Problem

Spider-Man isn't the first film franchise to be rebooted over and over again. But the infamous off-screen drama between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures explains why it happens so frequently. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/01/22·25m 41s

Two indicators: supply chain solutions

Two stories about people trying to overcome supply chain challenges. We follow a ship that is forced to get creative to bypass clogged ports, and we visit a warehouse that is running out of space. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/01/22·18m 51s

'Soul Train' and the business of Black joy

When Soul Train first launched in 1970, Black audiences weren't understood as a viable target market. Don Cornelius changed that forever with his weekly TV dance show. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/01/22·26m 14s

Patent racism (classic)

Economist Lisa Cook has been nominated to serve on the Federal Reserve board. In 2020, she talked to us about proving that racism stifles innovation. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/01/22·25m 49s

The rapid testing show

The Planet Money team fans out across the nation with one goal: to get a Covid test in 24 hours. It is easier said than done. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/01/22·20m 38s

No such thing as a free return

Lenient policies have shoppers making more returns than ever — around half a trillion dollars worth of products. Today, we find out the fate of some of those returned goods.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/01/22·22m 1s

HBO 2.0

What happens when the iconic symbol of your brand no longer makes sense? Today, HBO tries to evolve their sonic brand. This episode was adapted from the podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/01/22·18m 49s

The rest of the story, 2021

On protests, pasta and forgiven payments. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/01/22·28m 43s

The holiday industrial complex (Classic)

Where do holidays like National Potato Chip Day and Argyle Day come from? We trace the roots of one made-up holiday until we find out who is running the global holiday machine. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/12/21·17m 56s

The economic indicator of the year

Will it be inflation? Striketober? The supply chain? Our hosts make their case, and the choice is up to you.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/12/21·15m 51s

Bell wars (Classic)

The two biggest handbell companies in the world have been locked in a feud for decades. Why? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/12/21·19m 17s

Planet Money's Supply Chain Holiday Extravaganza

Planet Money's Supply Chain Holiday Extravaganza Did the supply chain wreck your holiday shopping? Planet Money comes to the rescue. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/12/21·26m 58s

No shortages of labor stories

We asked for your dispatches from the labor market, and boy did we hear back. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/12/21·25m 47s

We buy a lot of Christmas trees (Classic)

Nick and Robert head to the world's largest Christmas tree auction with $1,000 and a truck. And get schooled in the tree market. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/12/21·29m 3s

Two music indicators

Ticket scalping frustrates fans, but it fascinates economists. It's been a favorite topic of ours in the past. This time, Darian turns to friends and experts to navigate the world of concert tickets like an economist who is also a music fan. Then we find out just how big Adele is on vinyl. So big her latest album disrupted the whole market for vinyl, the material itself. | These stories come from our daily podcast The Indicator. Go subscribe if you haven't already.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/12/21·18m 12s

Is a Stradivarius just a violin? (Classic)

Many music aficionados will tell you that violins and violas made by legendary craftsman Antonio Stradivari represent the pinnacle of the instruments. But what if it's all just an example of really good branding? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/12/21·19m 25s

Consider the lobstermen

A tense conflict between Indigenous fishermen and commercial lobstermen flared up in Nova Scotia in the fall of 2020. Today, how it all got started and how the Canadian government added fuel to the fire. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/12/21·23m 53s

A locked door, a secret meeting and the birth of the Fed (Classic)

The story of the back-room dealings that created America's central bank. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/12/21·15m 24s

Day of the Debt

We make a loan to the U.S. government, and it does not go the way we thought it would. Plus: the story of that one time the U.S. defaulted. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/11/21·21m 10s

You asked for real raises, free shipping, and a special delivery

It's listener question time. We've got answers about "free" shipping, full employment, when a raise isn't a raise, Taylor Swift, crypto seizures and our very own Micro-Face comic. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/11/21·27m 47s

A trunk full of truffles (Update)

Truffles are one of the most expensive and sought after ingredients in the world. Today, we look back at our NYC adventure with a truffle smuggler and how the market has changed since we last talked to him. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/11/21·24m 53s

Of boats and boxes

We take a trip to ports on the east and west coasts to ask what's on everyone's mind: why are they so clogged? And how can we fix it? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/11/21·22m 27s

Auction fever (Classic)

Today, we go on a Planet Money roadtrip to learn the secrets of the auction world. We find some amazing bargains, some shady strategies and a giant big digger. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/11/21·14m 42s

Planes, trains and bad bridges

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill has passed Congress, but what exactly is in it? Today, the important, surprising, delightful line items. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/11/21·21m 1s

Moonshot in the arm

COVID-19 prompted the quickest vaccine development in history. An inside look at how the government and pharmaceutical companies joined forces to make it happen.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/11/21·27m 16s

The Wheat Whisperer

Southeast Asia is one of the biggest growth markets for American wheat. Where did this taste for wheat come from and who is responsible?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/11/21·19m 52s

Night of the living inflation

We look at a hidden form of inflation affecting our economy — we're calling it "skimpflation." The Indicator tells a spooky tale about the inflation demon. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/10/21·13m 17s

Nice work week, if you can get it

The 40 hour work week has been the standard for 80 years. What will it take to lower that? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/10/21·20m 34s

Two indicators: Congressional Game Theory and the Debt Ceiling

We bring you two stories from The Indicator on the recent battles being fought in Congress. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/10/21·16m 27s

Burnout (Classic)

All types of companies are struggling with burnout. Many try to fix it. Most of them fail. One exception: A 26-year-old call center manager, with stress balls and costumes in her arsenal. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/10/21·17m 16s

Bonus: Janet Jackson's 'Control'

On the 35th anniversary of Janet Jackson's first No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit, our friends at It's Been A Minute look back at Control, her career-defining album that changed the trajectory of pop music in the late '80s and '90s.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/10/21·41m 22s

Hire power

Noncompete agreements have become an integral part of job contracts. A show about what they are and how we got here. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/10/21·19m 4s

How Do You Feel? (Classic)

We tend to think of economists as cold, unfeeling, attempting to be as rational as possible. But once a month, economists pick up the phone to just... check in with us. How are we feeling? Good, bad, worse than a year ago? It's a very specific phone call with very specific questions and a few years ago we looked into the origins of this very important survey that factors into economic decision making. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/10/21·19m 15s

LIBOR pains

For decades, banks used one rate to help set all other rates: LIBOR. After it came out that it'd been rigged, regulators said: no more. Now it's a race — and a road trip — to find an alternative. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/10/21·26m 27s

We set up an offshore company in a tax haven (Classic)

The Pandora Papers released this week reveal how many world leaders allegedly hold wealth through the use of shell companies. We listen back to when we set up our very own Planet Money shell companies.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/10/21·31m 0s

The Rent Help Is Too Damn Slow

Congress created a massive pile of money to help people pay rent during the pandemic. Why have so few people gotten help? We follow the money. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/10/21·23m 42s

When The U.S. Paid Off The Entire National Debt (Classic)

There was one time the U.S. federal government stopped borrowing and paid off every penny of national debt. It did not end well. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/09/21·18m 58s

When Luddites Attack (Classic)

A couple centuries ago, a group of English clothworkers set out to destroy the machines that had been taking their jobs. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/09/21·18m 47s

Original Sign

A request for dozens of stop signs flummoxes a town and angers a resident. A show about infrastructure, decision making and stop signs. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/09/21·21m 45s

Two Indicators: Women And Work

Women start a lot of businesses, but when it comes time for them to grow, many hit a wall, or the women founders end up losing control. Why? We bring you two indicators on women and work from our daily podcast The Indicator. Also, Amanda and Stacey go on a picnic to prove a point. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/09/21·22m 44s

Afghanistan's Money Problem

Afghanistan's economy changed — almost overnight — after the Taliban retook control of the country | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/09/21·17m 22s

Flood Money (Classic)

Bill Pennington's house floods a lot: Three times over the course of three years. And every time his house floods, the government pays to help him repair the damage. Is something wrong here? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/09/21·20m 6s

This Is Your Brain On Drug Ads

Apologies to listeners who received two episodes in their feed today. The U.S. is one of two countries in the world that allows pharmaceutical companies to advertise prescription drugs directly to consumers. Why? And what does that do to us Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/09/21·20m 19s

Two Indicators: Water Pressure

It's another extremely dry, hot summer for the American West. Our daily podcast, The Indicator from Planet Money, brings us two stories about the water shortage in the West with economic ideas that may help. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/09/21·18m 17s

SUMMER SCHOOL 6: Crypto & Commencement

In the last class of Planet Money Summer School Season 2, we cover one more important market — cryptocurrency. If you're thinking about investing in crypto, do you know exactly what it is that you're buying? Or how it should (if at all) fit alongside the rest of your investments? | Watch this Tik Tok to learn more and subscribe to our weekly newsletter here. | Don't forget to take the Summer School Final Quiz.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/09/21·34m 27s

The Lost Archives of Sadie Alexander

The work of our first Black economist was lost to history. Professor Nina Banks set out on a quest to find it. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/08/21·22m 45s

SUMMER SCHOOL 5: Bubbles, Bikes, & Biases

Investing during a bubble can leave you bust. But how to tell the difference between a bubble before it bursts and an investing rocket ship taking off? We'll run through a historical example and look inside our own thinking to find the mental biases that can contribute or exacerbate bad bubble thinking. | Watch this Tik Tok to learn more and subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/08/21·27m 57s

Two Indicators: Will Remote Work Kill The Office?

It's Stacey vs Greg in a face off on the future of the office. Each takes a side, armed with studies, historical examples, theories on efficiency and happiness and from their closet studios, they bring their indicators for the future of the office. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here. And our daily podcast The Indicator hosted by Stacey here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/08/21·16m 53s

SUMMER SCHOOL 4: Bonds & Becky With The Good Yield

A few years back, Cardiff asked for an unusual Christmas present: a junk bond... Parallel to the stock market, the bond market offers different levels of risk and reward. In this class, what is a bond, how do they differ from stocks, and how do they help companies grow? | Watch this Tik Tok to learn more and subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/08/21·31m 47s

Big Little Ideas

There are a lot of fancy terms for the things we experience — but are they really useful? Yes! We explain four social-science terms that can help us understand our world. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/08/21·21m 27s

SUMMER SCHOOL 3: Smooth Spending & The 401K

Even if you don't own stocks, there are a lot of reasons to care about investing. We meet some of the folks left out of the stock market who deploy sophisticated economic thinking, even creating their own alternate financial systems. Our professors help us understand how consumption smoothing and life-cycle hypothesis apply to personal finance. And we meet the creator of the 401(k). | Watch this Tik Tok to learn more and subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/08/21·32m 5s

Mobile Home Parked

We find out what happens when big investors spend billions of dollars buying mobile home parks and make them less affordable for the people who live there. Then we learn how the government helps them do it, with super low-cost loans that were meant to support affordable housing. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/08/21·19m 46s

SUMMER SCHOOL 2: Index Funds & The Bet

In 2006, Warren Buffett bet a million dollars that the most brainless, boring investment around would do better than the researched, handpicked investments of some of the smartest hedge fund managers in the world. The second class of Summer School looks at how that bet played out, the origins of the index fund, and why it's so hard to beat the market. Returning to the underlying theme of risk and reward, we also discuss how diversification reduces risk. | Watch this Tik Tok to learn more and subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/08/21·32m 21s

Three Reasons for the Housing Shortage

America's housing shortage has been decades in the making. A lot of people blame Baby Boomers — but is it really their fault? We unpack three big reasons for the shortage. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/07/21·14m 37s

SUMMER SCHOOL 1: The Stock Market & Penelope The Cow

The first class of Planet Money Summer School starts off with a field trip. With the help of a cow, two economists, and three cute animals, we learn what a stock is and how stocks are priced, and we begin to see the psychological forces that make prices move up and down on the stock market. Keep an eye out throughout for our big theme for the course this summer: risk and reward. | Watch this Tik Tok to learn more and subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/07/21·36m 37s

Banque Worms

Last year, one of the biggest banks accidentally paid off a client's loan to its lenders — a $900 million mistake. Some of the recipients wouldn't give the money back. And then a surprising court ruling affirmed their no give-back. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/07/21·19m 7s

Video Gaming The System

Two groups of people who would never meet in real life collide in a world of wizards and dragons. They battle it out in a low-tech video game, and it shakes the lives of a lot of real people living in a collapsing economy. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/07/21·20m 26s

The Great Inflation (Classic)

For much of the 1970s inflation was bad. Prices rose at over 10 percent a year. Nothing could stop it — until one powerful person did something very unpopular. Today's show: How we beat inflation. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/07/21·26m 39s

100 Years Since Sadie Alexander

In 1921, Sadie Alexander became the first Black person in America to receive a PhD in economics. Then, she was functionally shut out of economics jobs, got a law degree, and became an attorney instead. A century later, economics has made notably little progress bringing Black women into the field. We work with The Sadie Collective to bring you three stories from three eras of recent history that show us how the field has changed, where it still falls short, and the unique joys of being a Black woman and loving economics. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/07/21·21m 57s

Of Memestocks and Milk Bags

We answer your questions about memestocks, milk in bags, the size of cereal boxes, and products exclusive to the rich, but not for long? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/07/21·22m 7s

Two Indicators: Clogged Ports And Corporate Vets

We bring you two stories from The Indicator on two industries that are undergoing rapid change: vets and container shipping. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/07/21·19m 37s

The Rest Of The Story, Summer 2021

We follow up on takeout cocktails, college athletes at the Supreme Court, bankrupt Hertz, and the new shape of pasta. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/07/21·16m 39s

What's A Bubble? (Classic)

Can you tell if the economy is in a bubble? How? And why do bubbles happen? Robert Shiller and Eugene Fama shared the economics Nobel back in 2013 despite fundamentally disagreeing over the meaning of a bubble. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/07/21·13m 38s

Bobby Bonilla Day

How the worst deal in baseball explains one of the most important concepts in economics. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/06/21·19m 49s

Corporate Fugitive: Carlos Ghosn

Japan once served sushi in the shape of Carlos Ghosn's face. Then Japanese authorities arrested the celebrity CEO who remade Nissan. We bring you first hand accounts of his spectacular rise, sudden fall and dramatic escape. | This episode is a collaboration with HBR IdeaCast.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/06/21·26m 22s

Predictions!

Two forecasters predict the future of the U.S. economy — and promise to come back on the show to see who was right, and who was wrong. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/06/21·15m 8s

How Uncle Jamie Broke Jeopardy (Update)

James Holzhauer took a math degree, a gambling career, and a buzzer, and turned it into a fortune on a game show. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/06/21·29m 6s

Used Car Talk

How supply and demand stalled out the used car industry. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/06/21·23m 7s

How Stuff Gets Cheaper (Classic)

In the world of consumer electronics, it pays to be cheap. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/06/21·14m 49s

Amateur Hour at the Supreme Court

College athletes are considered amateur players. And amateurs don't make any money. But can they get more education paid for at least? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/06/21·22m 1s

Black Wall Street

100 years ago, Black Wall Street was destroyed. But how was it built? And what does it take to get restitution? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/06/21·23m 9s

One Hack to Fool Them All

How a single hack pried open the networks of giant corporations and the U.S. government itself. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/05/21·21m 35s

Runaway Recommendation Engine

Recommendation systems have changed how we choose what we want. But are they choosing what we want? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/05/21·19m 52s

Big Government Cheese (CLASSIC)

That time the U.S. government accidentally created a cheese surplus so large it had to be stored in a ginormous cave. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/05/21·19m 16s

Get The Vaccine, Lose The Skinny Jeans

Two stories from our Indicator team about the sometimes-unlikely people who shape what we buy and what we do. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/05/21·20m 6s

Blood Money

The United States is one of the few countries that lets companies pay people for their blood plasma. Why? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/05/21·24m 29s

Hot Cheetos

A janitor walks out of a chip factory with a bag of dustless Cheetos and changes the global snack game forever. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/05/21·25m 52s

Emission Impossible

Carbon offsets have become a popular tool to combat climate change. But how effective are they? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/05/21·22m 20s

DIY Reparations

Some Vermonters were tired of waiting around for reparations. So they decided to take matters into their own hands. | This episode was produced with our friends at Invisibilia. Check out their new season here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/05/21·25m 29s

We Buy A Superhero 5: Hollywood

In the last and greatest chapter to our superhero saga, Micro-Face tries to make the jump from comic books to movies. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/05/21·28m 44s

The $100 Million Deli

Why is a single New Jersey deli worth so much? And what does it tell us about how the stock market works? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/04/21·22m 28s

We Buy A Superhero 4: Sellout

Two months ago, Planet Money got its own superhero. Today, we sell him out. | Find the full Planet Money Superhero series here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/04/21·25m 39s

The Writers Revolt (UPDATE)

We have a winner in an epic Hollywood story. A couple years back, 7,000 TV writers across the U.S. fired their agents. All on the same day. It was part of a battle over how creative work gets valued and compensated in TV and film. Now, we have the dramatic resolution. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/04/21·25m 28s

India, Farming, and the Free Market

For decades, India has shielded its agricultural sector from the free market. Now, the government wants to let it in. Millions and millions of farmers are not happy about it. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/04/21·21m 59s

Workin' 9 To 5

The movie "9 to 5" used humor to highlight the struggles of women in the workplace 40 years ago. Where are we now? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/04/21·22m 11s

About Your Extended Warranty

Calls about "extended auto warranties" blow up our phones over and over. But what are these robocalls actually offering? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/04/21·23m 10s

How Jacob Loud's Land Was Lost

Today's show: the arcane laws that have cost Black landowners their property, and the lawyer who is trying to fix those laws. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/04/21·23m 0s

Two Indicators: Boomtown & Bye Bye

We look at housing prices in Montana, an oil market milestone, and give a fond farewell. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/04/21·15m 25s

The Curse Of The Black Lotus (Update)

When the popular card game Magic: The Gathering entered a speculative bubble, its creators found a way to keep it from bursting. We check in to see if their strategy is still working. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/03/21·19m 41s

Socialism 101

Today on the show: The critics of capitalism. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/03/21·23m 5s

You Asked For Shots, Tuna, Metal, and Money

Listeners send us questions every day. It's about time we answer a few of them. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/03/21·23m 33s

The New Shape Of Pasta

What do you do when you can't find the perfect pasta shape? You invent a new shape. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/03/21·23m 7s

The Even More Minimum Wage

The tipped minimum wage hasn't changed for decades. Is now finally the time? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/03/21·19m 58s

The $69 Million JPEG

An artist called Beeple just sold a piece at Christie's for millions. But it wasn't a painting... it was a kind of crypto. We speak with him and the others behind the first NFT auction. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/03/21·20m 42s

Nigeria, You Win! (Update)

Nigerians heard a radio ad offering millions of dollars for people with business proposals. They thought it was a scam. It wasn't. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/03/21·18m 48s

The Marriage Pact

They say true love is hard to find. Whoever says that isn't an economist. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/03/21·19m 34s

Happy Fed Independence Day (Update)

The story of the day the Federal Reserve got its independence and the fight — an actual physical fight — to keep it. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/03/21·21m 12s

We Buy A Superhero 3: Resurrection

We have found the perfect superhero. Now we just have to make him our own. | Find the full Planet Money Superhero series here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/02/21·30m 31s

Bond Voyage

The government used to be afraid to borrow too much money. Today, it borrows hand over fist. And it's ... fine? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/02/21·20m 59s

We Buy A Superhero 2: Loophole

Marvel was not interested in selling us Doorman. But there is another way to jumpstart our superhero empire. | Find the full Planet Money Superhero series here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/02/21·22m 7s

Why Printers Are The Worst

The real money is in the ink. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/02/21·19m 9s

We Buy A Superhero 1: Origins

Marvel has 7,000 characters, many of them forgotten. We want to buy one from their vault and launch our own little Planet Money franchise. | Find the full Planet Money Superhero series here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/02/21·21m 24s

Can't Let It Go

Irrational decisions. Things we can't let go. Friend of the show Sam Sanders comes by to talk obsessions. We turn to economics for advice, clarity and comfort. | Subscribe to Sam's podcast, It's Been A Minute. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/02/21·18m 31s

Fine and Punishment

When you get out of prison, you have to start paying off fees. Some are related to committing a crime. Others are not. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/02/21·20m 20s

Robinhood's Very Bad Day

How the stock trading app works. And why it almost broke last week. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/02/21·19m 20s

Can't Stop GameStop

Video game stores. Hedge Funds. Reddit forums. How this mad lib resulted in the biggest short squeeze in years. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/01/21·25m 59s

The World's Biggest Battery (Classic)

California has a ton of solar power. But as soon as night falls, it's gone. Today on the show: how to bottle the sunLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/01/21·20m 29s

How Desi Invented Television

The television was invented by Philo Farnsworth in 1927. TV was invented by Desi Arnaz in 1951.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/01/21·26m 59s

Modern Monetary Theory (Classic)

We rethink everything we know about government spending, taxes, and the nature of money.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/01/21·22m 53s

The Great Gatsby

All of it. Read by the staff of Planet Money.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/01/21·4h 27m

Nervous TikTok

The U.S. was going to ban TikTok... and then it didn't. We break down the beef with TikTok, and see what life would have been like without it. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/01/21·23m 28s

Planet Monet (Classic)

Investors are pouring money into art, but a lot of it is disappearing into storage. We find out why. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/01/21·16m 24s

The Bees Go To California (Classic)

Almonds taste great. And the logistics behind pollinating almond trees are un-bee-lievable. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/01/21·22m 21s

Chaos At The Capitol

With an insurrection at the Capitol, we interrupt Planet Money and turn the feed over to tonight's episode of the NPR Politics podcast. | Subscribe to Planet Money's weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/01/21·16m 0s

Bitcoin Losers (Classic)

The Bitcoin market is still crazy, but a lot of people can't even find their Bitcoins. We go looking for lost billions. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/01/21·21m 54s

The Rest Of The Story, 2020

We check in on The Fed, a vaccine scientist, and the mixed martial arts. Oh, and a bunch of escheaters. So long, 2020! | Support our show here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/12/20·23m 48s

How To Stop An Asteroid (UPDATE)

Some smart people say we should be doing more to protect the Earth from asteroids. The technical issues are relatively easy. The economics — figuring out who's going to pay — are much harder. | Support our show here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/12/20·22m 37s

Fork The Government

A global pandemic might not be the best time to try something new with technology. But Taiwan decided to do it anyway. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/12/20·23m 19s

The Mixtape Drama

Mixtapes were the heart of hip-hop culture in the 90s. Until an arrest in 2007 brought it all down. | Today's episode is from our friends at Louder Than a Riot.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/12/20·28m 31s

The Case Against Facebook

The government just filed one of the largest antitrust cases in history against Facebook. Why now? And what will it mean? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/12/20·19m 31s

We Buy A Lot Of Christmas Trees

Nick and Robert head to the world's largest Christmas tree auction with $1,000 and a truck. And get schooled in the tree market. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/12/20·28m 10s

The Stolen Company (Classic)

When an American company named ABRO learns their goods are being counterfeited in China, they start their own trade war. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/12/20·22m 17s

How The Rat Blew Up

Unions have been putting giant inflatable rats in front of businesses for years. Now businesses are trying to deflate them, in court. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/12/20·21m 5s

Before The Shot In The Arm

Inventing a vaccine for COVID-19 was hard, but getting billions of doses to billions of people is going to be even harder. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/12/20·22m 44s

Hot Dog Hail Mary (Classic)

The Falcons are trying something radical: Making their food cheaper. It could break stadium economics.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/11/20·19m 17s

Swamp Gravy (UPDATE)

Colquitt, Georgia, was struggling. And then musical theater came along. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/11/20·29m 16s

All Your Genes Are Belong To Us

Who owns your genes, anyway? For a while, Big Biotech patented 20% of the human genome. Then a lawyer took them to the Supreme Court. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/11/20·23m 32s

Trade Show (UPDATE)

It's been a rough four years for free trade. Today on the show, we present 244 years of trade in 22 minutes. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/11/20·20m 20s

Biden Time

Four things Joe Biden can do as president — even if the Democrats don't control Congress. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/11/20·17m 58s

Worst. Tariffs. Ever. (Classic)

One of the few things a new president has a lot of control over is tariff policies. But it wasn't always that way. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/11/20·20m 43s

Hacking The Perfect Auction

A Nobel-Prize winner spent years designing an auction to sell off the airwaves, which are owned by the public. But Wall Street found a tiny flaw. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/11/20·23m 4s

What's Next for the Economy?

A research group at Harvard came up with a faster way to check the economy's pulse. It may change how we fight recessions. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/11/20·20m 22s

What Economy Are You Voting For?

Two candidates. Two very different ways of thinking about the economy. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/10/20·16m 21s

Who Gets To Vote In Florida?

Angel Sanchez was 17 and in prison when he learned felons couldn't vote in Florida. When he got out, he tried to change that. It was working – until money got involved.| Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/10/20·22m 7s

Frame Canada

For years, Wendell Potter ran a campaign to terrify Americans... about health care in Canada. Now he explains how he did it, and why. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/10/20·24m 13s

Hey Google, Are You Too Big?

The government just filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. In this episode, we talk about why, and why it matters. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/10/20·16m 33s

Opening Schools And Other Hard Decisions

Emily Oster wanted to understand the risks of opening schools. So she started a massive data collection campaign. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/10/20·16m 5s
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