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Planet Money
Description

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
  • 2023 / 5 / 26
    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...

  • 2023 / 5 / 24
    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...

  • 2023 / 5 / 19
    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...

  • 2023 / 5 / 17
    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...

  • 2023 / 5 / 12
    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...

  • 2023 / 5 / 10
    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...

  • 2023 / 5 / 6
    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...

  • 2023 / 5 / 6
    How you 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...

  • 2023 / 5 / 3
    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...

  • 2023 / 4 / 28
    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...

  • 2023 / 4 / 26
    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...

  • 2023 / 4 / 21
    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...

  • 2023 / 4 / 19
    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...

  • 2023 / 4 / 15
    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...

  • 2023 / 4 / 12
    Two mysterious bond 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...

  • 2023 / 4 / 8
    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...

  • 2023 / 4 / 5
    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...

  • 2023 / 4 / 1
    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...

  • 2023 / 3 / 30
    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...

  • 2023 / 3 / 25
    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...

  • 2023 / 3 / 23
    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...

  • 2023 / 3 / 18
    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 β€” including a...

  • 2023 / 3 / 16
    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...

  • 2023 / 3 / 11
    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...

  • 2023 / 3 / 9
    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...

  • 2023 / 3 / 3
    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...

  • 2023 / 3 / 1
    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...

  • 2023 / 2 / 25
    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 moneyβ€”$200,000β€”to benefit the cats of her hometown. When Barbara...

  • 2023 / 2 / 22
    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 β€” most of the...

  • 2023 / 2 / 18
    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,...

  • 2023 / 2 / 16
    Two Indicators: Inside the Fed, then and now

    A lot of the time, economic policy can seem pretty impersonal β€” 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...

  • 2023 / 2 / 11
    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...

  • 2023 / 2 / 8
    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...

  • 2023 / 2 / 3
    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...

  • 2023 / 2 / 1
    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...

  • 2023 / 1 / 27
    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...

  • 2023 / 1 / 26
    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 β€” the idea that anyone, with just a little bit of cash, can rise from rags...

  • 2023 / 1 / 21
    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/planetmoney

  • 2023 / 1 / 18
    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/planetmoney

  • 2023 / 1 / 13
    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...

  • 2023 / 1 / 11
    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...

  • 2023 / 1 / 6
    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,...

  • 2022 / 12 / 31
    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...

  • 2022 / 12 / 28
    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....

  • 2022 / 12 / 24
    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...

  • 2022 / 12 / 21
    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...

  • 2022 / 12 / 16
    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.

  • 2022 / 12 / 14
    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...

  • 2022 / 12 / 9
    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...

  • 2022 / 12 / 7
    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...

  • 2022 / 12 / 3
    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 β€” and your! β€”...

  • 2022 / 12 / 1
    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...

  • 2022 / 11 / 23
    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...

  • 2022 / 11 / 19
    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...

  • 2022 / 11 / 17
    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...

  • 2022 / 11 / 11
    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...

  • 2022 / 11 / 9
    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...

  • 2022 / 11 / 4
    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...

  • 2022 / 11 / 2
    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....

  • 2022 / 10 / 29
    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 episode...

  • 2022 / 10 / 27
    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 episode is part one of a series)Listen to "Inflation"...

  • 2022 / 10 / 22
    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...

  • 2022 / 10 / 19
    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/planetmoney

  • 2022 / 10 / 15
    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...

  • 2022 / 10 / 12
    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...

  • 2022 / 10 / 7
    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" β€” its powerful semiconductor industry. On today's show, the story of how one economic hero helped to...

  • 2022 / 10 / 5
    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...

  • 2022 / 9 / 30
    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...

  • 2022 / 9 / 28
    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.

  • 2022 / 9 / 23
    Econ's Brush with the Law

    What happens when you take some of the most powerful people in America β€” federal judges β€” and teach them economics? We look at the swanky econ retreats that may have changed American law forever.Subscribe to...

  • 2022 / 9 / 21
    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...

  • 2022 / 9 / 17
    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...

  • 2022 / 9 / 15
    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 β€” what's in the name ugg?...

  • 2022 / 9 / 9
    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...

  • 2022 / 9 / 8
    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...

  • 2022 / 9 / 3
    Breaking down the price of gasoline

    High gas prices have fueled speculation and investigations β€” 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...

  • 2022 / 8 / 31
    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,...

  • 2022 / 8 / 26
    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...

  • 2022 / 8 / 24
    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...

  • 2022 / 8 / 19
    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...

  • 2022 / 8 / 17
    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'...

  • 2022 / 8 / 13
    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...

  • 2022 / 8 / 11
    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...

  • 2022 / 8 / 5
    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....

  • 2022 / 8 / 4
    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...

  • 2022 / 8 / 1
    BONUS: 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...

  • 2022 / 8 / 1
    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...

  • 2022 / 7 / 29
    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?...

  • 2022 / 7 / 28
    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...

  • 2022 / 7 / 22
    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...

  • 2022 / 7 / 21
    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...

  • 2022 / 7 / 16
    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.

  • 2022 / 7 / 14
    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...

  • 2022 / 7 / 8
    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...

  • 2022 / 7 / 6
    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...

  • 2022 / 7 / 1
    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.

  • 2022 / 6 / 29
    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.

  • 2022 / 6 / 25
    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...

  • 2022 / 6 / 22
    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...

  • 2022 / 6 / 17
    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:...

  • 2022 / 6 / 16
    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

  • 2022 / 6 / 11
    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...

  • 2022 / 6 / 9
    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...

  • 2022 / 6 / 3
    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...

  • 2022 / 6 / 1
    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.

  • 2022 / 5 / 28
    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...

  • 2022 / 5 / 28
    PM Live: The Most Collectible Comic Book Ever?

    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...

  • 2022 / 5 / 26
    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...

  • 2022 / 5 / 20
    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.

  • 2022 / 5 / 18
    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.

  • 2022 / 5 / 14
    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? |...

  • 2022 / 5 / 11
    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...

  • 2022 / 5 / 7
    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...

  • 2022 / 5 / 4
    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.

  • 2022 / 4 / 29
    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...

  • 2022 / 4 / 27
    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...

  • 2022 / 4 / 22
    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....

  • 2022 / 4 / 22
    Finally, our 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....

  • 2022 / 4 / 21
    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....

  • 2022 / 4 / 15
    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? |...

  • 2022 / 4 / 13
    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.

  • 2022 / 4 / 8
    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.

  • 2022 / 4 / 6
    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.

  • 2022 / 4 / 1
    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...

  • 2022 / 3 / 30
    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.

  • 2022 / 3 / 25
    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...

  • 2022 / 3 / 24
    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...

  • 2022 / 3 / 18
    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.

  • 2022 / 3 / 16
    Escape from Russia

    An American business owner with employees in Russia extracts her colleagues from the country. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2022 / 3 / 11
    Grocery delivery wars

    Behind the scenes at a new kind of grocery store that promises delivery in minutes. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2022 / 3 / 10
    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.

  • 2022 / 3 / 5
    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.

  • 2022 / 3 / 2
    '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. |...

  • 2022 / 2 / 25
    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? |...

  • 2022 / 2 / 24
    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...

  • 2022 / 2 / 18
    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...

  • 2022 / 2 / 17
    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...

  • 2022 / 2 / 14
    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...

  • 2022 / 2 / 11
    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.

  • 2022 / 2 / 10
    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...

  • 2022 / 2 / 5
    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.

  • 2022 / 2 / 2
    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.

  • 2022 / 1 / 29
    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...

  • 2022 / 1 / 26
    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...

  • 2022 / 1 / 21
    '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.

  • 2022 / 1 / 19
    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.

  • 2022 / 1 / 15
    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.

  • 2022 / 1 / 13
    No such thing as a free return

    Lenient policies have shoppers making more returns than ever β€” around half a trillion dollars worth of products. Today, we find out the fate of some of those returned goods.

  • 2022 / 1 / 8
    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...

  • 2022 / 1 / 5
    The rest of the story, 2021

    On protests, pasta and forgiven payments. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 12 / 31
    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...

  • 2021 / 12 / 30
    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.

  • 2021 / 12 / 24
    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.

  • 2021 / 12 / 23
    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.

  • 2021 / 12 / 18
    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.

  • 2021 / 12 / 15
    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.

  • 2021 / 12 / 11
    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...

  • 2021 / 12 / 8
    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...

  • 2021 / 12 / 4
    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. |...

  • 2021 / 12 / 2
    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.

  • 2021 / 11 / 26
    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.

  • 2021 / 11 / 25
    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...

  • 2021 / 11 / 20
    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. |...

  • 2021 / 11 / 17
    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.

  • 2021 / 11 / 12
    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.

  • 2021 / 11 / 11
    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.

  • 2021 / 11 / 5
    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.

  • 2021 / 11 / 3
    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?

  • 2021 / 10 / 29
    Night of the living inflation

    We look at a hidden form of inflation affecting our economy β€” we're calling it "skimpflation." The Indicator tells a spooky tale about the inflation demon. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 10 / 28
    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.

  • 2021 / 10 / 22
    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.

  • 2021 / 10 / 21
    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...

  • 2021 / 10 / 18
    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...

  • 2021 / 10 / 15
    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.

  • 2021 / 10 / 13
    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...

  • 2021 / 10 / 9
    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 β€” and a road trip β€” to find an alternative. | Subscribe...

  • 2021 / 10 / 6
    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.

  • 2021 / 10 / 2
    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.

  • 2021 / 9 / 29
    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.

  • 2021 / 9 / 24
    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.

  • 2021 / 9 / 23
    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.

  • 2021 / 9 / 18
    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...

  • 2021 / 9 / 15
    Afghanistan's Money Problem

    Afghanistan's economy changed β€” almost overnight β€” after the Taliban retook control of the country | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 9 / 10
    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...

  • 2021 / 9 / 9
    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....

  • 2021 / 9 / 3
    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....

  • 2021 / 9 / 2
    SUMMER SCHOOL 6: Crypto & Commencement

    In the last class of Planet Money Summer School Season 2, we cover one more important market β€” cryptocurrency. If you're thinking about investing in crypto, do you know exactly what it is that you're buying?...

  • 2021 / 8 / 27
    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.

  • 2021 / 8 / 25
    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...

  • 2021 / 8 / 20
    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...

  • 2021 / 8 / 18
    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...

  • 2021 / 8 / 14
    Big Little Ideas

    There are a lot of fancy terms for the things we experience β€” but are they really useful? Yes! We explain four social-science terms that can help us understand our world. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter...

  • 2021 / 8 / 11
    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...

  • 2021 / 8 / 6
    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,...

  • 2021 / 8 / 4
    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...

  • 2021 / 7 / 30
    Three Reasons for the Housing Shortage

    America's housing shortage has been decades in the making. A lot of people blame Baby Boomers β€” but is it really their fault? We unpack three big reasons for the shortage. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter...

  • 2021 / 7 / 28
    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...

  • 2021 / 7 / 24
    Banque Worms

    Last year, one of the biggest banks accidentally paid off a client's loan to its lenders β€” a $900 million mistake. Some of the recipients wouldn't give the money back. And then a surprising court ruling...

  • 2021 / 7 / 21
    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...

  • 2021 / 7 / 17
    The Great Inflation (Classic)

    For much of the 1970s inflation was bad. Prices rose at over 10 percent a year. Nothing could stop it β€” until one powerful person did something very unpopular. Today's show: How we beat inflation. | Subscribe...

  • 2021 / 7 / 14
    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...

  • 2021 / 7 / 10
    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.

  • 2021 / 7 / 7
    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.

  • 2021 / 7 / 2
    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.

  • 2021 / 7 / 1
    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...

  • 2021 / 6 / 26
    Bobby Bonilla Day

    How the worst deal in baseball explains one of the most important concepts in economics. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 6 / 23
    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...

  • 2021 / 6 / 18
    Predictions!

    Two forecasters predict the future of the U.S. economy β€” and promise to come back on the show to see who was right, and who was wrong. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 6 / 16
    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.

  • 2021 / 6 / 11
    Used Car Talk

    How supply and demand stalled out the used car industry. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 6 / 9
    How Stuff Gets Cheaper (Classic)

    In the world of consumer electronics, it pays to be cheap. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 6 / 4
    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.

  • 2021 / 6 / 2
    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.

  • 2021 / 5 / 28
    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.

  • 2021 / 5 / 26
    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.

  • 2021 / 5 / 21
    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.

  • 2021 / 5 / 19
    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.

  • 2021 / 5 / 14
    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.

  • 2021 / 5 / 13
    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.

  • 2021 / 5 / 7
    Emission Impossible

    Carbon offsets have become a popular tool to combat climate change. But how effective are they? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 5 / 5
    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.

  • 2021 / 5 / 1
    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.

  • 2021 / 4 / 28
    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.

  • 2021 / 4 / 23
    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.

  • 2021 / 4 / 21
    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...

  • 2021 / 4 / 16
    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...

  • 2021 / 4 / 14
    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.

  • 2021 / 4 / 9
    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.

  • 2021 / 4 / 7
    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.

  • 2021 / 4 / 2
    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.

  • 2021 / 3 / 31
    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...

  • 2021 / 3 / 26
    Socialism 101

    Today on the show: The critics of capitalism. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 3 / 24
    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.

  • 2021 / 3 / 19
    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.

  • 2021 / 3 / 17
    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.

  • 2021 / 3 / 13
    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...

  • 2021 / 3 / 10
    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.

  • 2021 / 3 / 6
    The Marriage Pact

    They say true love is hard to find. Whoever says that isn't an economist. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 3 / 3
    Happy Fed Independence Day (Update)

    The story of the day the Federal Reserve got its independence and the fight β€” an actual physical fight β€” to keep it. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 2 / 27
    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.

  • 2021 / 2 / 24
    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.

  • 2021 / 2 / 19
    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.

  • 2021 / 2 / 17
    Why Printers Are The Worst

    The real money is in the ink. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 2 / 13
    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.

  • 2021 / 2 / 10
    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.

  • 2021 / 2 / 5
    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.

  • 2021 / 2 / 3
    Robinhood's Very Bad Day

    How the stock trading app works. And why it almost broke last week. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2021 / 1 / 30
    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.

  • 2021 / 1 / 27
    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 sun

  • 2021 / 1 / 23
    How Desi Invented Television

    The television was invented by Philo Farnsworth in 1927. TV was invented by Desi Arnaz in 1951.

  • 2021 / 1 / 20
    Modern Monetary Theory (Classic)

    We rethink everything we know about government spending, taxes, and the nature of money.

  • 2021 / 1 / 16
    The Great Gatsby

    All of it. Read by the staff of Planet Money.

  • 2021 / 1 / 14
    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.

  • 2021 / 1 / 11
    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.

  • 2021 / 1 / 8
    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.

  • 2021 / 1 / 7
    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.

  • 2021 / 1 / 1
    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.

  • 2020 / 12 / 30
    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.

  • 2020 / 12 / 25
    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 β€” figuring out who's going to pay β€” are much harder. | Support our...

  • 2020 / 12 / 24
    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.

  • 2020 / 12 / 19
    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.

  • 2020 / 12 / 17
    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.

  • 2020 / 12 / 11
    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.

  • 2020 / 12 / 10
    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.

  • 2020 / 12 / 5
    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.

  • 2020 / 12 / 3
    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.

  • 2020 / 11 / 27
    Hot Dog Hail Mary (Classic)

    The Falcons are trying something radical: Making their food cheaper. It could break stadium economics.

  • 2020 / 11 / 25
    Swamp Gravy (UPDATE)

    Colquitt, Georgia, was struggling. And then musical theater came along. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 11 / 21
    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.

  • 2020 / 11 / 18
    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.

  • 2020 / 11 / 13
    Biden Time

    Four things Joe Biden can do as president β€” even if the Democrats don't control Congress. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 11 / 11
    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.

  • 2020 / 11 / 6
    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.

  • 2020 / 11 / 4
    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.

  • 2020 / 10 / 30
    What Economy Are You Voting For?

    Two candidates. Two very different ways of thinking about the economy. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 10 / 28
    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.

  • 2020 / 10 / 23
    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.

  • 2020 / 10 / 22
    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.

  • 2020 / 10 / 16
    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.

  • 2020 / 10 / 14
    Caste Arrives In Silicon Valley

    For some Indian employees of big U.S. tech companies, caste discrimination is real. To combat it, first people have to talk about it. That's hard. | Today's episode is from our friends at Rough Translation.

  • 2020 / 10 / 9
    Political Ad Nauseam

    It's presidential election season, and that means it's political ad season. But who do ads target, anyway? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 10 / 7
    Rethinking Black Wealth

    Homes in Black neighborhoods are valued lower than homes in white neighborhoods. Why? This episode, Dr. Andre Perry flips the narrative of the racial wealth gap. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 10 / 2
    Call Center Call Out

    We visit life on the other side of your customer service call and get a glimpse into the troubling future of work in America. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 10 / 1
    Trump's Tiny Taxes

    A totally refreshing 20 minutes or so of infotainment related to Trump, taxes and toy wooden arrows. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 9 / 25
    Sell Me Your Climate Bombs

    There are tanks all over the U.S. that are like little climate change time bombs, ticking away. Today on the show, getting to them before they go off. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 9 / 23
    REDMAP (Update)

    The result of national elections is shaped in a big and underappreciated way by very local elections. This is the story of the man who shaped many, many local elections to tip the national scales. | Subscribe...

  • 2020 / 9 / 18
    Apple v Everybody

    When Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney sued Apple over its App Store, it started a war about antitrust and the internet.

  • 2020 / 9 / 16
    After The Plague

    The Black Death was one of the worst catastrophes to ever hit humanity. But it also helped upend feudal hierarchies, redistribute wealth, and make daily life better for a lot of medieval Europeans.

  • 2020 / 9 / 11
    Waste Land

    Recycling plastic has never worked very well. So who convinced us this was a good idea? In this episode, we might have the answer. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 9 / 9
    We Buy A Junk Bond

    Team Indicator buys Cardiff a surprise present. A terrible, extremely risky, but wildly interesting investment. Then it gets interesting. The company that issued the junk bond declared bankruptcy. But that...

  • 2020 / 9 / 5
    The Murderer, The Boy King, And The Invention Of Modern Finance

    John Law killed a man in a duel, brought the first paper money to France, and became one of the richest people in the world. Then it all collapsed.

  • 2020 / 9 / 2
    SUMMER SCHOOL: Graduation!

    Summer School graduates take the stage to show us how we can all see our everyday world through the beautiful lens of economics. | Take the final exam and get your diploma here.

  • 2020 / 8 / 28
    The Old Rules Were Dumb Anyway

    When the pandemic hit, the old rules went out the window. What rules will stay broken when things go back to normal?Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 8 / 26
    SUMMER SCHOOL 8: Risk & Disaster

    Inside one insurance policy is a world of incentives and bad behaviors. Take the final exam and get your diploma here.

  • 2020 / 8 / 22
    Crisis At The Post Office

    The United States Postal Service is in the middle of a political firestorm. What happened, and can it be fixed? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 8 / 19
    SUMMER SCHOOL 7: Advertising & Race

    A Black ad executive figures out how to reach diverse audiences.

  • 2020 / 8 / 14
    Big Rigged

    Driving a truck used to mean freedom. Now it means a mountain of debt. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 8 / 12
    SUMMER SCHOOL 6: Taxes & Donald Duck

    The surprisingly entertaining history of the income tax. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 8 / 7
    Mask Communication

    Why won't some people wear masks? Is there anything we can do to convince them? We look to behavioral economics for help. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 8 / 5
    SUMMER SCHOOL 5: Trade & Santa

    The economics of free trade and what happens when governments get involved. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 7 / 31
    College Fails

    The pandemic is transforming college from a can't-miss into a can't-attend experience. Can colleges survive? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 7 / 29
    SUMMER SCHOOL 4: Scarcity & Pistachios

    Class 4 brings us an economic conundrum: how do you efficiently share a scarce resource? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 7 / 24
    Rest of the Story, Pandemic Edition

    Rest of the Story, Pandemic Edition We check in on the people we've met and stories we've covered since this whole thing started. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 7 / 23
    SUMMER SCHOOL 3: Profit & Cocaine

    In our third class, we take all that we've learned about decisions and markets and bring it to a former drug kingpin. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 7 / 20
    BONUS: The Kerner Commission

    In 1967, President Johnson created a commission to investigate racial unrest in America. But, the answer they came up with was not the answer he was hoping for. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 7 / 18
    Getting Out Of Prison Sooner

    Shortening prison sentences might be about morals, but it's definitely about money. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 7 / 16
    SUMMER SCHOOL 2: Markets & Pickles

    In our second class, we meet our old friends supply and demand and do graphs using only the power of the human voice. Then, we show you how markets can be created anywhere by telling the story of a food bank...

  • 2020 / 7 / 10
    Hollywood's Black List

    In 2005, an anonymous list of the best unmade scripts in Hollywood shook up the movie biz. This episode: how a math-loving, movie nerd solved Hollywood's script problem. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter...

  • 2020 / 7 / 8
    SUMMER SCHOOL 1: Choices & Dating

    First lesson: Economics is not about money. It's a lens of great power and beauty. In this episode, we meet our teachers and learn the first four fundamental concepts of economic thinking, and watch them...

  • 2020 / 7 / 6
    Planet Money Summer School

    Introducing an economics education for your ears! We're calling it Planet Money Summer School. It's all the economics you meant to learn, but didn't get around to. Each Wednesday, we'll serve up a Planet...

  • 2020 / 7 / 3
    Reparations For Police Brutality (UPDATE)

    For years, some Chicago police officers tortured suspects. Survivors fought for reparations β€” and got them. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 7 / 1
    Inflation, Deflation

    After decades of relative stability, prices in the US may be about to go through the roof β€” or the floor. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 6 / 27
    Seed Spy

    Espionage. Deceit. Theft. In this episode we follow the case of a global effort to steal top secret high technology: seeds. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 6 / 24
    Owner Of A Broken Hertz

    Rental car giant Hertz declared bankruptcy last month, which should have made their stock worthless. So how come people keep buying it? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 6 / 19
    Money And Justice

    Money and social change. We talk policing, nonprofits, reparations, and the awkwardness of brands getting woke. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 6 / 17
    The Problem Of The Root (2018)

    Wild ginseng sells for thousands. We go to a farm hidden in the Appalachian mountains to find out why. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 6 / 12
    Patent Racism

    Violence, including racist attacks, stifles innovation and the economy. Dr. Lisa Cook proved how. It took 10 years to be heard. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 6 / 10
    The Very First Vaccine

    We've only made vaccines for so many diseases. Let's look at the history. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 6 / 5
    Police Unions And Police Violence

    We look at the data connecting police unions and police violence. Today's episode comes from our daily podcast, The Indicator. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 6 / 4
    Where'd The Money Go, And Other Questions

    When the economy tanks, does money just vanish? Why are home prices still so high? You asked these and other questions. We try to answer. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 5 / 30
    Small America Vs. Big Internet

    Small towns need fast internet. One town tried to solve the problem itself, but ran into a legal firewall. What gives? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 5 / 27
    Three Big Ideas

    On today's show, ideas to fight the virus, get people money, and revive a multibillion-dollar corner of the economy. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 5 / 23
    J. Screwed

    This month, J.Crew went bankrupt. But not before inventing a whole new way of playing hardball with lenders. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 5 / 20
    How To Get Trillions To Millions

    Unemployment offices and small banks are getting money from the government to the people who need it. But it's like trying to smoosh a fifty foot pile of money through a ten foot hole. | Subscribe to our...

  • 2020 / 5 / 16
    Episode 1,000

    It's here! We did it! 1,000 episodes! And, to thank all our listeners for riding shotgun the whole way β€” we're gonna let you in on our secrets... | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 5 / 13
    The Restaurant From The Future

    With over 5.5 million workers unemployed or furloughed, no other industry has been hit harder than restaurants. Yet one guy is thinking about expanding. Huh? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 5 / 8
    Journey To The Center Of The Fed

    We get on a boat and go to the Federal Reserve to talk about why it may be the most important institution in the world right now. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 5 / 7
    Georgia's Open Question

    Can you safely reopen a business right now β€” and should you? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 5 / 1
    About That Hazard Pay

    We spend a morning at a grocery store and we ask: How much is essential work worth? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 4 / 30
    Buybacks And Bailouts

    Over the past decade, American companies spent billions buying back their own shares. Now they need a taxpayer rescue. Do they deserve it? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 4 / 24
    Making It Work

    Since lockdown began, some companies are doing unexpectedly well. This episode: Farm animals, a crafty comeback, Clint Eastwood, and a story with a twist. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 4 / 23
    Negative Oil

    On Monday, the price of a barrel of oil in the United States fell to negative $37. That's never happened before. What's going on with the price of oil? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 4 / 17
    The Mask Mover

    States are scrambling to find any way to get more masks, gloves, anything. Including mass emailing people who have nothing to do with it. Enter, a man with a van. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 4 / 15
    Lives Vs. The Economy

    Is it worth it to shut down the economy to save lives? How do you know when to reopen it? Should we let people die to save the economy? Economists say each human life is worth about $10 million dollars. How...

  • 2020 / 4 / 11
    The Big Small Business Rescue

    There's a brand new government program with $349 billion in aid for small businesses. The problem? It was thrown together in a week. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 4 / 9
    What If No One Pays Rent?

    We follow the distress from a laid-off worker, to her landlord, to the multi-trillion-dollar mortgage market. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 4 / 4
    The Economics Of Hospital Beds

    Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in the nation, has seen everything and survived everything. But even they might not have enough beds. Here's why. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 3 / 31
    The Race To Make Ventilators

    Ventilators are the supply and demand problem of the COVID pandemic. We go inside the scramble to build more, fast. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 3 / 28
    America Unemployed

    A record number of Americans filed for unemployment this week. The system isn't designed for this. What's next? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 3 / 26
    Where Do We Get $2,000,000,000,000?

    The COVID-19 rescue bill is the largest ever. Where will that money come from? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 3 / 25
    Food And Farmworkers

    To find out what's happening with our food, we talk to an economist, a farmer, and, of course, farmworkers. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 3 / 24
    You Asked About The Virus Economy

    Some answers: The deal with toilet paper; stock market circuit breakers; coronabucks; corporate paper & how to help. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 3 / 20
    How To Save The Economy Now

    Neel Kashkari is the President of the Minneapolis Fed. And he's run a bailout of an economy already. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 3 / 19
    How To Test A Country

    Making a test for a pandemic β€” which rules should you keep, and which to bend? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 3 / 16
    The Fed Fights The Virus

    The central bank is trying to prevent a health crisis from becoming a financial crisis. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 3 / 14
    Medicine For The Economy

    COVID-19 is hammering our economy. We ask three super smart economists what we should do about it. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 3 / 11
    Coronavirus, Oil, and Kansas

    Oil prices are way down. We follow the story from an outbreak in China, to a meeting in Vienna, to a small-time oilman in Kansas. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 3 / 7
    Where's The Vaccine?

    Coronaviruses didn't come out of nowhere. They've actually been around for years. But economics makes it hard to find a vaccine. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 3 / 5
    Terms Of Service

    An online review turns into a fine-print nightmare β€” until the victims fight back. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 2 / 28
    Reparations In New Zealand

    A wool magnate gets pulled into a fight with the government over reparations. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 2 / 26
    Vodka Proof

    Vodka is the best-selling spirit in the United States, and there are zillions of brands. But is there any difference between them? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 2 / 21
    Michael Milken

    Michael Milken once made $550 million in one year. Then, he went to prison. This week, the President pardoned him. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 2 / 19
    Indicate This

    From our daily podcast The Indicator: How Amazon Prime packages reach you so damn fast? And why Lancaster, PA became the refugee capital of America?

  • 2020 / 2 / 15
    The CryptoQueen

    A mysterious woman promises a financial revolution. That promise leads to greed, corruption and... a beauty pageant. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 2 / 12
    Our Valentines 2020

    We're sending valentines to books, ideas, and other stuff we love. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 2 / 7
    Raw Milk Deal

    A farmer in California built an empire dealing raw milk. And then the Feds showed up. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 2 / 5
    Small Change

    How fast is the world really changing? The answer affects everything from how we live, to whether robots really will take all our jobs. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 2 / 1
    The Island No One Owns

    In Barbuda, land isn't a thing you buy. It's something you just... have. Put up a fence and it's yours. But all that might change. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 1 / 30
    The Trouble With Table 101

    We re-engineer a restaurant with a consultant so good, she can move a table a few inches, and make thousands of dollars. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 1 / 24
    Escheat Show

    You may be owed money. The government may decide to just use it. So we go looking for it inside a little-known "lost and found" of forgotten fortunes. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 1 / 23
    The Rise Of Putin

    Our friends at Throughline dive into the life of Vladimir Putin and try to understand how he became Russia's new "tsar." | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 1 / 17
    Das Green Old Deal

    We team up with Vox's The Impact, to tell the story of how one man changed the way Germany – and arguably the world – uses energy. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 1 / 16
    BILLBOARDS

    We are dedicating an entire show to billboards: good and old-fashioned, or fancy and high-tech. And we put up our own. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 1 / 10
    13,000 Economists. 1 Question.

    We went to the American Economic Association's annual conference and asked: What's the most useful idea in economics? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 1 / 8
    The Cost Of Free Doughnuts

    Free is cool, but it can backfire. On today's show, what happens when you take something that's free and give it a price. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 1 / 4
    Advanced Fairness At The Marathon

    Four lessons for creating fairness from a big race in New York. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2020 / 1 / 1
    How Four Drinking Buddies Saved Brazil

    Inflation in Brazil was out of control for a decade. Four former drinking buddies from grad school fixed it. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 12 / 27
    The Rest Of The Story, 2019

    A lot can happen after we put an episode out into the world. In The Rest Of The Story, we check-in on stories we've reported. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here

  • 2019 / 12 / 25
    The Writers Revolt

    In April, 7,000 TV writers across the U.S. fired their agents. All on the same day. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 12 / 21
    Things We Learned in 2019

    Tom Whitwell made an amazing list of 52 things he learned this year. We dig into our favorite items. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 12 / 19
    When Reagan Broke the Unions

    When air traffic controllers went on strike in 1981, Reagan gave them 48 hours to return. Labor would never be the same. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 12 / 14
    You're Giving Your Boss A Loan

    Getting paid twice a month is like loaning money to your boss. What if you got paid every day? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 12 / 11
    The Bell Wars

    The two biggest handbell companies in the world have been locked in a feud for decades. Why? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 12 / 7
    The Carriage Tax

    People have been arguing over the constitutionality of wealth taxes since 1794, when Washington put a tax on carriages.| Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 12 / 4
    Slot Flaw Scofflaws

    Where there are casinos, there are people trying to cheat. And now, they're using iPhones. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 11 / 29
    Pirate Videos

    Blackbeard, a filmmaker, and a fight between two powerful forces in American law. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 11 / 27
    We Cooked A Peacock

    In the 1600s, a good spice rub was the ultimate display of wealth. People would risk their lives for a sack of cloves. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 11 / 22
    What Is Foreign Interference, Anyway?

    We've heard a lot about illegal foreign meddling in the United States elections. But what about legal foreign participation? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 11 / 20
    Three Sides Of A Car Loan

    7 million Americans are at least 3 months behind on car payments. It's a record but is it a crisis? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 11 / 16
    Sperm Banks

    Denmark is a big exporter of human sperm. And mad cow disease may have helped. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 11 / 13
    Snakebite

    Snakebites are common but antivenom is expensive to develop. So a doctor goes to extreme lengths to find a solution. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 11 / 8
    Overrated Or Underrated?

    Today on the show, economist Tyler Cowen rates the NBA, Karl Marx, Adam Smith, the humanities, your neighbors, and more. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 11 / 6
    Free Love, Free Market

    A free-love commune of perfectionists in upstate New York embraced the free market, and became a blockbuster brand. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 11 / 2
    The Pigou Club

    A hundred years ago, economist Arthur Cecil Pigou explained how to tax things like pollution. Countries are starting to do it. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 10 / 31
    A Series Of Unfortunate Recessions

    A Halloween journey into the economists' worst nightmare, an endless time loop of recession after recession after... | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 10 / 25
    Some-of-the-Money Ball

    Income pools could change the way baseball players, and maybe the rest of us, think about how we get paid. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 10 / 23
    Fries Of The Future

    Fast food delivery is threatening the french fry. So a band of potato scientists go to work. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 10 / 19
    The Liberty City

    A man in Texas had a dream: To build a whole new kind of city, with no property tax, no debt, and a whole lot of freedom. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 10 / 16
    Blockchain Gang

    Charlie Shrem went from living in his parents' basement, to bitcoin millionaire, to federal prison in just a few years. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 10 / 11
    We Should Have Mentioned That

    Sometimes we forget to mention something. And our listeners always let us know. Today on the show, we make good. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 10 / 9
    BOTUS

    Two years ago, we built a machine that bought and sold stocks automatically based on President Trump's tweets. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 10 / 4
    Unicorn Cowboy

    The risk-addicted investor who made WeWork possible and changed the way startups work. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 10 / 2
    Capitalism In The Courtroom

    Investors can fund lawsuits for profit, which gives more people access to the courts. But some worry it will warp the justice system. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 9 / 28
    Three Bets

    We jog to New Jersey to bet on tennis, we solve a mystery in Las Vegas, and we venture into the world of video game loot. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 9 / 25
    When India's Cash Disappeared

    When India suddenly got rid of most of its cash, in an effort to end corruption and modernize its economy, chaos ensued. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 9 / 20
    Interest Rates... Why So Negative?

    All over the world, interest rates are very, very low. In some places, they're negative: you lend out money, and get less back. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 9 / 18
    Strike One

    Strikes these days are pretty boring. But they weren't always like this. In the past, strikers risked their lives. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 9 / 13
    The Working Tapes Of Studs Terkel

    Hear what ordinary people told Studs Terkel about their jobs in the 70s β€” and what they have to say now. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 9 / 11
    How To Make It In The Music Business

    The hidden economy of producers buying and selling sonic snippets, texting each other beats, and angling for royalties. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 9 / 7
    The Marshall Plan

    Sometimes the way to help yourself is to help your enemy. After WWII, the U.S. launched what might be the most successful intervention in history, rebuilding Germany and also the rest of Western Europe. |...

  • 2019 / 9 / 4
    Where Dollar Bills Come From

    Every dollar bill in the world comes from the same paper mill in Massachusetts. Today on the show, we get a front-row seat to the dollar-making process. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 8 / 30
    Moving To Opportunity?

    In the 90s, the government ran an experiment: What happens if we move people out of high-poverty neighborhoods and into low-poverty ones? Housing policy as hope? The results surprised them. | Subscribe to our...

  • 2019 / 8 / 29
    The Modal American

    Kenny takes Jacob on a nerdy quest to find the "typical American." Naturally, it ends up harder⁠—and nerdier⁠—than we planned, and the answer is more subtle than we expected. | Subscribe to our newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 8 / 23
    You Asked For A Food Show

    The top producer of Top Chef helps us spice up this food edition of listener questions. How do you master the salad bar? Why do Americans refrigerate eggs? The story of Choco Pies and more. | Subscribe to our...

  • 2019 / 8 / 21
    Two Yield Curve Indicators

    An inverted yield curve has predicted recessions for the past six decades. The curve is inverted right now. What does that tell us? | Subscribe to our newsletter here.

  • 2019 / 8 / 16
    Find The Helium

    Helium is so special, and so rare, that the U.S. government once tried to buy it all up. And hide it. But the government's helium stockpile is running low. And we need it for MRI machines and NASA rockets.

  • 2019 / 8 / 14
    How Solar Got Cheap

    For a long time, only rich people could afford to put solar panels on the roof. Not anymore. Here's what changed.

  • 2019 / 8 / 9
    Deep Learning With The Elephants

    Elephants are in danger. Counting them is crucial to saving them. But they're hard to see in the rainforest. So scientists are enlisting the help of AI technology.

  • 2019 / 8 / 7
    The IT Guy Vs. The Con Artist

    A notorious con artist offered Felipe an IT job. He took the job β€”and tried to con the con man. | Plus, listen to a full double feature all about cons here.

  • 2019 / 8 / 3
    Twins

    Scientists have studied twins for years, hoping to figure out how big a role genes play in human behavior. Our very own pair of twin reporters are on the case.

  • 2019 / 7 / 31
    That Time We Shorted America, Part Two

    Everyone said betting against the entire stock market was a terrible idea. We did it anyway. Today, we find out the results, and revisit the first short ever done in the 17th century.