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The economy explained. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening.
2 days ago
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.
5 days ago
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.
Oct 9, 2020
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.
Oct 7, 2020
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.
Oct 2, 2020
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.
Sep 30, 2020
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.
Sep 25, 2020
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.
Sep 23, 2020
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 to our weekly newsletter here.
Sep 18, 2020
Apple v Everybody
When Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney sued Apple over its App Store, it started a war about antitrust and the internet.
Sep 16, 2020
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.
Sep 11, 2020
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.
Sep 4, 2020
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.
Sep 2, 2020
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.
Aug 28, 2020
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.
Aug 26, 2020
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.
Aug 21, 2020
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.
Aug 19, 2020
SUMMER SCHOOL 7: Advertising & Race
A Black ad executive figures out how to reach diverse audiences.
Aug 14, 2020
Driving a truck used to mean freedom. Now it means a mountain of debt. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Aug 12, 2020
SUMMER SCHOOL 6: Taxes & Donald Duck
The surprisingly entertaining history of the income tax. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Aug 7, 2020
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.
Aug 5, 2020
SUMMER SCHOOL 5: Trade & Santa
The economics of free trade and what happens when governments get involved. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Jul 31, 2020
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.
Jul 29, 2020
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.
Jul 24, 2020
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.
Jul 22, 2020
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.
Jul 20, 2020
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.
Jul 17, 2020
Getting Out Of Prison Sooner
Shortening prison sentences might be about morals, but it's definitely about money. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Jul 15, 2020
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 that had too many pickles and not enough pancake syrup. It's economics to the rescue. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Jul 10, 2020
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 here.
Jul 8, 2020
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 applied to things like dating and hailing a cab. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Jul 6, 2020
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 Money story, or selection of excerpts, paired with insights from our economists-in-residence for the summer. Get an understanding of the basic concepts of economics going to the beach. You can pick up your economics knowledge while you bike, stroll the sand or just lay in the grass. Amuse your friends. Win arguments. Throw the words "diminishing marginal utility" into every discussion. Wednesdays in the PM feed this summer. (Fridays will be our usual coverage of the economy). Start listening to the episodes here.
Jul 3, 2020
Reparations For Police Brutality (UPDATE)
For years, some Chicago police officers tortured suspects. Survivors fought for reparations — and got them. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Jul 1, 2020
After decades of relative stability, prices in the US may be about to go through the roof — or the floor. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Jun 26, 2020
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.
Jun 24, 2020
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.
Jun 19, 2020
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.
Jun 17, 2020
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.
Jun 12, 2020
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.
Jun 10, 2020
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.
Jun 5, 2020
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.
Jun 3, 2020
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.
May 29, 2020
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.
May 27, 2020
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.
May 22, 2020
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.
May 20, 2020
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 weekly newsletter here.
May 15, 2020
It's here! We did it! 1,000 episodes! And, to thank all our listeners for riding shotgun the whole way — we're gonna let you in on our secrets... | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
May 13, 2020
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.
May 8, 2020
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.
May 6, 2020
Georgia's Open Question
Can you safely reopen a business right now — and should you? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
May 1, 2020
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.
Apr 29, 2020
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.
Apr 24, 2020
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.
Apr 22, 2020
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.
Apr 17, 2020
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.
Apr 15, 2020
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 did they get that number? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Apr 10, 2020
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.
Apr 8, 2020
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.
Apr 3, 2020
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.
Mar 31, 2020
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.
Mar 28, 2020
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.
Mar 26, 2020
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.
Mar 25, 2020
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.
Mar 23, 2020
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.
Mar 20, 2020
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.
Mar 18, 2020
How To Test A Country
Making a test for a pandemic — which rules should you keep, and which to bend? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Mar 16, 2020
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.
Mar 13, 2020
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.
Mar 11, 2020
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.
Mar 6, 2020
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.
Mar 4, 2020
Terms Of Service
An online review turns into a fine-print nightmare — until the victims fight back. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Feb 28, 2020
Reparations In New Zealand
A wool magnate gets pulled into a fight with the government over reparations. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Feb 26, 2020
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.
Feb 21, 2020
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.
Feb 19, 2020
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?
Feb 14, 2020
A mysterious woman promises a financial revolution. That promise leads to greed, corruption and... a beauty pageant. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Feb 12, 2020
Our Valentines 2020
We're sending valentines to books, ideas, and other stuff we love. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Feb 7, 2020
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.
Feb 5, 2020
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.
Jan 31, 2020
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.
Jan 29, 2020
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.
Jan 24, 2020
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.
Jan 22, 2020
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.
Jan 17, 2020
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.
Jan 15, 2020
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.
Jan 10, 2020
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.
Jan 8, 2020
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.
Jan 3, 2020
Advanced Fairness At The Marathon
Four lessons for creating fairness from a big race in New York. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Jan 1, 2020
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.
Dec 27, 2019
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
Dec 25, 2019
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.
Dec 20, 2019
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.
Dec 18, 2019
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.
Dec 13, 2019
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.
Dec 11, 2019
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.
Dec 6, 2019
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.
Dec 4, 2019
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.
Nov 29, 2019
Blackbeard, a filmmaker, and a fight between two powerful forces in American law. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Nov 27, 2019
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.
Nov 22, 2019
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.
Nov 20, 2019
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.
Nov 15, 2019
Denmark is a big exporter of human sperm. And mad cow disease may have helped. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Nov 13, 2019
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.
Nov 8, 2019
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.
Nov 6, 2019
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.
Nov 1, 2019
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.
Oct 30, 2019
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.
Oct 25, 2019
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.
Oct 23, 2019
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.
Oct 18, 2019
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.
Oct 16, 2019
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.
Oct 11, 2019
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.
Oct 9, 2019
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.
Oct 4, 2019
The risk-addicted investor who made WeWork possible and changed the way startups work. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Oct 2, 2019
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.
Sep 27, 2019
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.
Sep 25, 2019
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.
Sep 20, 2019
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.
Sep 18, 2019
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.
Sep 13, 2019
The Working Tapes Of Studs Terkel
Hear what ordinary people told Studs Terkel about their jobs in the 70s — and what they have to say now. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Sep 11, 2019
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.
Sep 6, 2019
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. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Sep 4, 2019
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.
Aug 30, 2019
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 weekly newsletter here.
Aug 28, 2019
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.
Aug 23, 2019
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 weekly newsletter here.
Aug 21, 2019
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.
Aug 16, 2019
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.
Aug 14, 2019
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.
Aug 9, 2019
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.
Aug 7, 2019
The IT Guy Vs. The Con Artist
A notorious con artist offered Felipe an IT job. He took the job —and tried to con the con man. | Plus, listen to a full double feature all about cons here.
Aug 2, 2019
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.
Jul 31, 2019
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.
Jul 26, 2019
That Time We Shorted America, Part One
Today on the show, we ignore the advice of some very smart people and bet against something people love.
Jul 24, 2019
Could A Wealth Tax Work?
Elizabeth Warren wants to tax the wealth of the mega-rich to help fix inequality. Europe tried this, and failed. Can it work in the U.S.?
Jul 19, 2019
In 1960, a 12-year-old boy left mainland China, hidden in the bottom of a fishing boat. He later became one of Hong Kong's richest people. His story is the story of Hong Kong.
Jul 17, 2019
The Indicator In The House
Two highlights from our daily podcast, The Indicator, about houses. A plan to lower rents pits state against city, and a private firefighter breaks down his business for us. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Jul 12, 2019
So, Should We Recycle?
Cities might be picking up your recyclables, but there is a very good chance they aren't being recycled. And that might be a good thing...if you really care about the planet. Part two of a two-part series. ⎸Subscribe to our newsletter here.
Jul 10, 2019
A Mob Boss, A Garbage Boat and Why We Recycle
In 1987, an Alabama man had an idea. So he made a deal with the mob. And ended up with 3,186 tons of trash no landfill would take. This is the accidental birth of recycling in the U.S. ⎸Subscribe to our newsletter here.
Jul 5, 2019
Stuck In China's Panopticon
China is building a high-tech surveillance state to capture minorities' every move and word. We go inside it and find that some Americans are involved. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter npr.org/planetmoneynewsletter
Jul 3, 2019
Eagles vs. Chickens
A farmer in Georgia became more in tune with nature. Then eagles started killing his chickens. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter: npr.org/planetmoneynewsletter
Jun 28, 2019
Good Teachers, Bad Deal
Teachers made a deal with the Department of Education. They kept their end of the bargain. Why didn't the government?
Jun 26, 2019
The Cost of Getting Your Money Back
Accidentally sending $1,500 to a stranger on Venmo reveals just how hard it is to get your money back in the new economy.
Jun 21, 2019
Tales From The Parking Lot
Three stories: A tire-booting vigilante, a surge price conspiracy, and the civil rights fight over parking tickets.
Jun 19, 2019
What Should We Be Worried About?
The economic recovery turns 10 this month. Don't get too comfortable. There's plenty to be worried about.
Jun 14, 2019
Are Cities Overrated?
Big cities used to be the land of opportunity for most people. But with changes in work, some economists are wondering: Are cities overrated?
Jun 12, 2019
The Planet Money Workout
Gyms don't want you to workout. Or at least, not often. It's better for business that way. Economics explains why.
Jun 7, 2019
The Day Of Two Noons
People didn't always know what time it was. But in the nineteenth century, a high school principal, a scientist, and a railroad bureaucrat synchronized the nation.
Jun 5, 2019
The Salmon Taboo
In Japan, salmon used to be garbage fish. Today, it's a delicacy. How one Norwegian with a lot of extra fish changed the tastes of a nation.
May 31, 2019
Sometimes an economy can get so strong the power dynamic between bosses and workers flips: Full employment. Are we there yet?
May 29, 2019
The Whistleblower Whisperer
Jordan Thomas is a lawyer who represents some of Wall Street's biggest whistleblowers. The life that led him here is extraordinary.
May 24, 2019
How To Meddle In An Election
In which someone runs a science experiment on an actual election, on actual voters, to test the persuasive power of ethically sketchy methods.
May 22, 2019
Trump and Deutsche, A Long Affair
After Donald Trump's companies declared four bankruptcies, several major banks stopped loaning him money. But Deutsche Bank didn't.
May 17, 2019
Counting The Homeless
From renting hotels to a jobs report-like census in the night, we look at ways communities are helping the homeless.
May 15, 2019
A Mathematician, The Last Supper, And The Birth Of Accounting
The story of an innovation that changed the way the world works, and of the man who made this innovation possible: Luca Pacioli.
May 10, 2019
How Uncle Jamie Broke Jeopardy
James Holzhauer took data, probability and a lot of practice with a fake buzzer, and turned it into a fortune on a game show.
May 8, 2019
You Asked The Listener Question Hotline
We answer a bunch of the questions you asked — and even one you *didn't* ask.
May 3, 2019
Economics, Sexism, Data
A young economist holds a mirror up to her field. And starts a national conversation about women in economics.
May 1, 2019
Why The Price of Coke Didn't Change For 70 years
For 70 years, the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola stayed a nickel. Why? The answer includes a half a million vending machines and a 7.5 cent coin.
Apr 26, 2019
Dollar Stores Vs Lettuce
Every six hours a new dollar store opens in the U.S. Are they killing grocery stores?
Apr 24, 2019
I Am Not A Robot
The remarkable story of the online "CAPTCHA" tests we've all taken to prove that we're not robots.
Apr 19, 2019
Two Spring Indicators
The Indicator from Planet Money explores trade wars, peanuts, hurricanes, and happiness.
Apr 17, 2019
How Much Does This Cow Weigh?
We wanted to understand an eerie phenomenon that drives everything from the stock market to the price of orange juice. So we asked you to guess the weight of a cow.
Apr 12, 2019
The Chicago Boys, Part II
How a ruthless dictator, and a bunch of economists known as the Chicago Boys, took Chile from socialism to capitalism.
Apr 10, 2019
The Chicago Boys, Part I
In the late 1950s and early '60s a handful of Chilean students went to study economics at the University of Chicago. What they learned changed their country.
Apr 6, 2019
Copyrighting comedy is expensive. So comedians have devised an informal system of sanctions to protect their jokes from theft. Sometimes it works.
Apr 3, 2019
Joe Bankman, professor at Stanford, figured out a way to make filing your taxes easy and painless. Then the tax lobby found out about it.
Mar 29, 2019
A New Way To Pay For College
Some colleges are offering students a new way to pay. It's not a scholarship. It's not a loan. It's more like the students are selling stock in themselves.
Mar 27, 2019
The Phoebus Cartel
The story behind two sneaky forces that drive us to buy more products, more often: Planned obsolescence and psychological obsolescence.
Mar 22, 2019
Bad Cops Are Expensive
There's an industry of people working to eliminate bad police behavior. They're not activists or protestors. They're insurers.
Mar 20, 2019
Why A Dead Shark Costs $12 Million
Today's show is about the fickle market for art. What makes a dead shark cost $12 million, and a photo of steel wool that looks like a tornado cost only $1,265?
Mar 15, 2019
The Stolen Company
When an American company named ABRO learns their goods are being counterfeited in China, they start their own trade war.
Mar 13, 2019
The internet was supposed to get rid of middlemen--but instead they are taking over the global economy.
Mar 8, 2019
Mexico Fights The Fuel Pirates
Thieves are stealing billions of dollars worth of gasoline in Mexico. The President is taking drastic action to cut them off, and it comes at a serious cost. Content warning: Audio of deadly pipeline explosion.
Mar 6, 2019
The story of an NBA All-Star and an experiment: To make a desirable basketball shoe cheap enough for anyone.
Mar 1, 2019
Happy Fed Independence Day
The story of the day the Federal Reserve got its independence and the fight—an actual physical fight—to keep it.
Feb 28, 2019
New Orleans Vs. Airbnb
Airbnb has changed New Orleans. And now landlords and preservationists are fighting over the future of the city.
Feb 22, 2019
Antitrust 3: Big Tech
What does the rise of dominant tech companies say about competition and the state of antitrust law? Third in a series.
Feb 20, 2019
Antitrust 2: The Paradox
How Robert Bork won the fight over the very meaning of competition in America, and paved the way for some of the biggest companies we've ever seen.
Feb 15, 2019
Antitrust 1: Standard Oil
At the turn of the 20th century, Ida Tarbell investigated John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil. What she discovered changed the economy of the United States.
Feb 13, 2019
A Fake Bank For Money Laundering Run By The Government
To catch drug traffickers, the U.S. government tried something it had never tried before. It set up and ran a fake offshore bank for money laundering. Fake name. Fake employees. Real drug money.
Feb 8, 2019
Our Valentines 2019
We give a shout out to the stuff we've been obsessing over in the office — those stories that were so good, we wished we had thought of them ourselves.
Feb 6, 2019
The Lost Plane
In December, a commercial flight had to make an emergency landing in Iran. They discovered that landing there would be easy. Getting out – much, much harder.
Feb 1, 2019
Who Won The Bet Over Bitcoin?
Five years ago, two sides met on our show to make a bet about the future of bitcoin. Today, we announce the winner.
Jan 30, 2019
Who Started The Wildfire?
After a wildfire, teams of investigators start combing the wreckage for clues. Finding the cause means, maybe, finding someone to pay. But where's the line between a natural disaster and a human one?
Jan 25, 2019
The Division Problem
Today on the show, we take on one of life's most vexing problems: Sharing.
Jan 23, 2019
Brilliant Vs. Boring
John Bogle died last week. His creation — the index fund — changed investing. Today, how his invention set off a million dollar bet between some of the biggest brains on Wall Street, including Warren Buffett.
Jan 18, 2019
The Pay-What-You-Want Experiment
In 2010, Panera launched several pay-what-you-want cafes. On today's show: How this charitable experiment worked out.
Jan 16, 2019
The First Shutdown
In 1879, Congress and the President were locked in a battle over the rights of African-Americans. It led to the first government shutdown.
Jan 11, 2019
You Asked For It, Yet Again
On today's show we answer questions about silver dollars, Venmo, and Brexit. Why? Because you asked!
Jan 9, 2019
We go inside a professional poker tournament, where some of the smartest betting takes place behind the scenes.
Jan 4, 2019
The Price of a Hack
Hackers are an expensive headache for companies. But there might be a simple economic fix.
Jan 2, 2019
Do It For Your Country
People are the engine that fuels an economy. But what happens when you start running out of people?
Dec 28, 2018
The Rest Of The Story, Winter 2018
We check in on some stories we did this year to see what's changed. Find a full list of the episodes we referenced at our website, NPR.org/money.
Dec 26, 2018
The Curse Of The Black Lotus
How the card game "Magic: The Gathering" deflated a speculative bubble. You can support our show at donate.npr.org/planetmoney.
Dec 24, 2018
BONUS INDICATOR: The Calculator That Time Forgot
Most products in this world are vulnerable to creative destruction: as new products are developed, they make old ones obsolete. But there are some exceptions — products that persist, resisting change while economic evolution continues without them. For instance: the graphing calculator. (This episode is from our other podcast, The Indicator from Planet Money. Subscribe to it wherever you get your podcasts.)
Dec 21, 2018
A Very Planet Money Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens wanted to pick a fight with economists. So he invented Ebenezer Scrooge. But did he get it all right? Also: If you want to support our show, head over to donate.npr.org/planetmoney. We appreciate it.
Dec 19, 2018
Synthetic Reefer Madness
How a professor invented a formula for synthesizing cannabinoids and unintentionally helped launch a drug revolution.
Dec 17, 2018
BONUS INDICATOR: The Measure Of A Tragedy
Ricardo Hausmann, a Harvard-based Venezuelan economist, has constructed his own indicator, one that captures the horrifying scale of the economic catastrophe in Venezuela. (This episode is from our other podcast, The Indicator. Subscribe to it wherever you get your podcasts.)
Dec 14, 2018
The Prisoners of the Trade War
A truce in the U.S.-China trade war seemed close. The leaders of China and the United States were meeting to discuss a fix. And then arrests started. It got even more confusing, so today, we call up our man on the ground in Shanghai to make sense of it all. The key to understanding the latest turn in the trade war centers around a giant company most Americans haven't heard of called Huawei. Its rise traces the rise of China's economy and Chinese-style capitalism.
Dec 12, 2018
What's A Penny Worth?
We try to figure out what makes cents.
Dec 7, 2018
Is Amazon Good For New York?
It feels like all of New York City is arguing about Amazon's new office in Queens. But what do the people in Long Island City think?
Dec 5, 2018
Why Car Safety Is A Trade Barrier
The U.S. and Europe just can't agree on car safety standards. That puts car companies in a weird position, makes cars cost more and just seems kind of random and wasteful.
Nov 30, 2018
The Secret Target
Their plan was dangerous, risky, and extremely unpopular. But America copied them anyway. Today on the show: how a tiny country on the other side of the world changed how America runs its economy.
Nov 28, 2018
Kid Rock Vs. The Scalpers
We talk to Kid Rock about how he tried to cut scalpers out of the business — and still sell cheap tickets to his shows.
Nov 23, 2018
Mugshots For Sale
We go deep inside the market for online mugshots. Is it extortion? Or is it a First Amendment right?
Nov 21, 2018
The Laws of The Office
You get what you measure. Work expands to fill the time allotted. Who comes up with this stuff? And is it true?
Nov 16, 2018
Kansas City Vs. Kansas City
A bunch of you asked why so many cities threw billions in tax breaks at Amazon. It reminded us of an episode we did in 2016.
Nov 14, 2018
How World Patent Marketing stole nearly $26 million. And how the acting attorney general was involved.
Nov 9, 2018
Why Did The Cow Cross The Border?
To take advantage of the surprising benefits provided by an interlocked economic system on the other side.
Nov 7, 2018
Hot Dog Hail Mary
The Falcons are trying something radical: Making their food cheaper. It could break stadium economics.
Nov 2, 2018
The Seattle Experiment
Seattle's radical solution to big money in politics: Flood elections with even more money.
Oct 31, 2018
The Halloween Tapes
Something spooky has been happening here at Planet Money.
Oct 26, 2018
Blacklisted In China
China is trying a bold experiment to help people trust each other more: The social credit score. Will it work? Does it go too far?
Oct 23, 2018
The First Lottery & How To Beat The Odds
The first lottery was a royal affair with poems, golden flatware and invited criminals. Also, how someone won the lottery over and over.
Oct 19, 2018
Trump vs. Red Tape
President Trump promised to slash regulations. How has he done?
Oct 17, 2018
What Causes What?
We try to tell the difference between correlation and causation.
Oct 12, 2018
The Student Loan Whistleblower
Seth Frotman worked overseeing student loans for the government. He saw things that made him quit, and tell all.
Oct 8, 2018
The History of Light (Nobel Edition)
Bill Nordhaus just won the economics Nobel. In this show: He shows how history of light is the history of economic growth — of things getting faster, cheaper, and more efficient.
Oct 5, 2018
We follow writer Oliver Bullough as he explores how stolen money moves around the world, and what that might mean for democracies.
Oct 3, 2018
Anatomy Of A Scam
Ever seen one of those signs asking if you want to work from home? We find out what happens when you call.
Sep 28, 2018
Special Report: Asylum Crackdown
We tell the story of a massive crackdown on asylum fraud, and the fallout.
Sep 26, 2018
Modern Monetary Theory
We rethink everything we know about government spending, taxes, the nature of money... All of it.
Sep 21, 2018
We propose small fixes for baseball, weddings, salary negotiations and buying your morning coffee. Warning: They may be too rational.
Sep 19, 2018
The Tale Of The Onion King
How one man took the onion market hostage.
Sep 14, 2018
The Central (Bankers') Question
We crash a party of central bankers to get an answer to one of the biggest economic questions of our time.
Sep 12, 2018
For Our 10th Anniversary, Episode #1
In honor of our 10th anniversary, we revisit our very first episode.
Sep 7, 2018
The 13th Hole
What a hole-in-one gone awry says about the state of charity.
Sep 5, 2018
When Subaru Came Out
Subaru's sales had been slumping for years. Then they went straight to their biggest fans: Lesbians.
Aug 31, 2018
Big Government Cheese
That time we accidentally created a cheese surplus so large it had to be stored in a ginormous cave.
Aug 29, 2018
New Jersey Bails Out
California just did away with cash bail. But credit where credit is due. New Jersey already tried something similar.
Aug 24, 2018
Food Scare Squad
When food makes people sick all around the country, an army of germ detectives jumps into action.
Aug 22, 2018
New Jersey Wine
Today on the show: Could New Jersey become the next Napa?
Aug 17, 2018
The World's Longest Yard Sale
Six states. Three days. One ugly cookie jar. Today on the show: Yard sale!
Aug 15, 2018
The line between trash and recycling is moving a lot these days. It's a tough time to be a recycler.
Aug 10, 2018
You Asked For Even More
You have a lot of questions... about tariffs, unemployment rates, and RV dealerships, to name a few. We have answers.
Aug 8, 2018
This episode is for everyone who ever had to ask their coworkers to quiet down. Today on the show: We meet the man who stole your office door.
Aug 3, 2018
Venezuela's Fugitive Money Traders
The Venezuelan government doesn't want you to know the real value of its currency. But Ruben and Mila figured it out. Now they're on the lam.
Aug 1, 2018
The Postal Illuminati
Is there a secretive postal organization fixing international shipping rates, and giving American businesses a bad deal?
Jul 27, 2018
Yes In My Backyard
There's a simple way to solve the housing crisis in U.S. cities. Only problem is, almost everybody hates it.
Jul 25, 2018
The Poop Cartel
What happens when a group of economists applies the number one rule of economics... to number two?
Jul 20, 2018
The New Socialists
Socialism was political poison in the U.S. for decades. Now it's gaining ground. Who are these new socialists? And what do they want?
Jul 18, 2018
The One-Page Plan To Fix Global Warming Revisited
Tax carbon emissions. That's basically the whole plan. What's the hold up?
Jul 13, 2018
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.
Jul 11, 2018
LeBron James Is Still Underpaid
The best player in basketball is getting hosed. The NBA team owners, the players, the fans and even LeBron James himself want to keep it that way.
Jul 6, 2018
Two Summer Indicators
Two stories from our Indicator team. There's a province in China that makes many of the world's flags. It's a unique window on global trade right now. And we find out why so few teenagers are working summer jobs these days.
Jul 3, 2018
Peanuts And Cracker Jack
It takes strategy and skill to sell snacks at a baseball game. Meet the hot dog vending legend of Fenway Park.
Jun 29, 2018
The Rest Of The Story Summer 2018
A pesticide wreaks havoc. A listener needs a bitcoin detective. And the search for the rarest economic good continues.
Jun 27, 2018
The Fake Review Hunter
Fake product reviews are wrecking the internet. But help is on the way: From a bodybuilding fake review hunter.
Jun 22, 2018
When CEO Pay Exploded
Politicians have argued for decades that CEOs are overpaid. But there's this precise moment in the 1990s when CEO pay suddenly shot up. We find out what happened.
Jun 20, 2018
It Takes Two To Make A Trade War Fight
President Trump says China is stealing U.S. technology. So we looked into one case. And things got a little complicated.
Jun 15, 2018
The World's Biggest Battery
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.
Jun 13, 2018
The medical world has been trying to cure color blindness for centuries. Then a glass scientist figured it out. By accident.
Jun 8, 2018
When Florida outlawed partisan gerrymandering, politicians tried to sneak it back in...in disguise.
Jun 6, 2018
The T-Rex In My Backyard
Meet Sue, the dinosaur who sparked a gold rush for fossils buried in the badlands of North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.
Jun 1, 2018
Meet the man who figured out how to reshape national politics by making tiny investments in the smallest of places.
May 30, 2018
In game theory, sometimes the best way to win, is to lose.
May 23, 2018
The Taxi King
Gene Freidman built a taxi empire. We visited him before he was in legal trouble.
May 18, 2018
Showdown at the WTO
The World Trade Organization: Can't live with it, hard to crush your trade opponents without it.
May 16, 2018
Class actions run from big civil rights cases to arguments about pepper. Are they noble, or silly?
May 11, 2018
The Land Of Duty Free
We meet the man who invented duty free shopping and find out if these tax free stores are really saving us any money.
May 9, 2018
Today on the show: A chicken index, some Wall Street investors, and an unlikely whistle-blower.
May 4, 2018
The Indicator Goes To California
California is way more than Hollywood. Today on the show, we look at what else is going on in this powerhouse state economy.
May 2, 2018
The Fondue Conspiracy
Today on the show: How a cheese cartel abandoned the rules of economics and convinced the world to eat fondue.
Apr 27, 2018
A Series of Mysterious Packages
Unordered trinkets have been arriving at homes around the country. We try to find out why.
Apr 25, 2018
The Bottom Of The Well
Today on the show: the economics of drought, and why the rational thing to do in California right now is use more water.
Apr 20, 2018
The Belt, The Road And The Money
Today on the show, we connect the dots between New York, Uganda, Prague, and China's thirst for resources. (Music Credit: Thanks to musician Giovanni Kiyingi for the use of his song "Kaleeba" from the album Amakondeere.)
Apr 18, 2018
The Rational Madness Of The Used Car Salesman
Why are used car commercials so annoying? Meet the original sinner.
Apr 13, 2018
We're in a full-fledged trade war with China. We dig into the list of tariffs on American products. It gets weird...and delicious.
Apr 11, 2018
The Less Deadly Catch
Today on the show: how an economic fix helped made the deadliest job in America safer, and why people are angry about it.
Apr 6, 2018
Today on the show, we talk to one of the most famous NDA breakers of all time, and ask: Is there a legal way out of your NDA?
Apr 4, 2018
Larry vs. The IRS
What exactly would happen if you didn't pay your taxes? Today on the show, we follow one man who did just that.
Mar 30, 2018
Worst. Tariffs. Ever.
Tariffs are stupid. This is one of the few things economists can agree on. Today, we bring you the story of the worst tariffs ever.
Mar 28, 2018
Mulvaney Vs The CFPB
What happens when you put someone who wants to close an agency, in charge of that agency? Today on the show, we find out.
Mar 23, 2018
An Insider Trader Tells All
A man who got caught insider trading explains everything — what he did, how he did it, and why.
Mar 21, 2018
The Golden Rules
Planet Money joins the gold rush 170 years late. And the rules are still about the same. How did that happen?
Mar 16, 2018
The Lollipop War
What do sugar farmers have against candy? A lot, according to candy manufacturers.
Mar 14, 2018
How did the social security number become the most important identifier in the United States? And is that even a good idea?
Mar 9, 2018
Rigging The Economy
Two guys from different ends of the political spectrum agree that the economy is rigged. And they think they know who's responsible.
Mar 7, 2018
The Experiment Experiment
There's something wrong with the way we're doing science. Today on the show, we find out how to fix it.
Mar 2, 2018
You Asked For More
We ponder the price of chicken, safe haven currencies, and the cash value of coupons. Why? Because you asked.
Feb 28, 2018
What do human blood, the conservative tax plan, and beer hops tell us about the world? Find out in today's episode.
Feb 23, 2018
The 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?
Feb 21, 2018
The Blue Pallet
How do you reinvent something as simple as the wooden shipping pallet?
Feb 16, 2018
Who Started The Wildfire
After a wildfire, teams of investigators start combing the wreckage for clues. Finding the cause means, maybe, finding someone to pay. But where's the line between a natural disaster and a human one?
Feb 14, 2018
If you can't beat 'em, send 'em a valentine.
Feb 9, 2018
Investors are pouring money into art, and a lot of it is disappearing into storage. We try to find out where the art goes, and why it goes there.
Feb 7, 2018
The Secret Document that Transformed China
In 1978, a group of farmers in a Chinese village wrote a contract and hid it in the roof of a hut. They were afraid the document might get them executed. Instead, it transformed the Chinese economy.
Feb 2, 2018
The Shortest Super Bowl
How does the market for Super Bowl tickets work? And why did it collapse in 2015?
Jan 31, 2018
The Other Davos
Billionaires, diplomats, thinkfluencers. This is the Davos everyone hears about. Today on the show, we take you to a different Davos.
Jan 26, 2018
P Is For Phosphorus
Phosphate is a crucial element, for farming, and for life. And there aren't too many places to get it. What if it runs out?
Jan 24, 2018
Tax Me If You Can
Douglas Bruce had a bold vision for Colorado.
Jan 19, 2018
A Bet On The Future Of Humanity
A biologist predicts a population bomb that will lead to global catastrophe. An economist sees a limitless future for mankind. The result is one of the most famous bets in economics.
Jan 17, 2018
The Problem Of The Root
The wild ginseng market has gone crazy. We go to a farm hidden in the Appalachian mountains to find out why.
Jan 12, 2018
The Gun Man
Will 3-D printing make gun control impossible?
Jan 10, 2018
The Invisible Plumbing Of Our Economy
Why does it take days to send money electronically?
Jan 5, 2018
The Bitcoin market has gone crazy. And it's revealing something strange. A lot of people can't find their Bitcoins. We go looking for lost billions.
Jan 3, 2018
When The U.S. Paid Off The Entire National Debt
What does a country with no debt look like? To find out, we went back to the United States in 1835.
Dec 29, 2017
The Rest of the Story 2017
Every year at Planet Money, we take a cue from radio legend Paul Harvey and bring you "The Rest of the Story." It's a show where we check in on some of the episodes that we've done in the past year, and tell you what's changed.
Dec 27, 2017
The M&M Anomaly
David Kestenbaum noticed that a pack of Milk Chocolate M&M's weighs 1.69 ounces, but a pack of Peanut Butter M&M's weighs 1.63 ounces. He had to know why. But the confectionary world has its secrets.
Dec 25, 2017
BONUS INDICATOR: How Airfare Is Changing
Why flying to small airports keeps costing more and more, just as flying to big airports is getting cheaper. (This episode is from our new podcast, The Indicator. Subscribe to it wherever you get your podcasts.)
Dec 22, 2017
The Tax Plan Is Huge
Congress just passed the largest tax overhaul in decades. We dig in.
Dec 20, 2017
The Santa Suit
Today on the show: A lawsuit over a Santa suit is a window into countless hidden fights that shape the stuff we buy. It's one man's battle against the U.S. government — and, in a way, against himself.
Dec 18, 2017
BONUS INDICATOR: Forget Neutrality
From our new podcast, The Indicator: Opponents of net neutrality argue that the government should get out of the way and let the market work, that's what leads to better service and more choice. We examine that logic.
Dec 15, 2017
SPACE 4: 3 2 1
Five reporters go to the New York Produce Show and Conference, each on a mission.
Dec 13, 2017
High Rise, Low Returns
As a businessman, President Trump is known for his towering buildings. Today we tell the story of one of those skyscrapers and what it says about how and with whom Trump does business.
Dec 11, 2017
BONUS: The Indicator, From Planet Money
We've made a new show. You can subscribe to it now. It's called 'The Indicator'. It's for those times you want Planet Money to explain the news, quickly. It's short (about five minutes) and three days a week.
Dec 8, 2017
SPACE 4: 3 2 1
We've got a satellite. We got a rocket. We're heading to the launch pad.
Dec 6, 2017
SPACE 3: Rocket Shopping
We found a satellite. We tried to figure out what it would do. Now we need to choose our rocket.
Dec 1, 2017
SPACE 2: Wait, Why Are We Going To Space?
We hitched a ride on a satellite. Now we have to figure out what we're going to do up there.
Nov 29, 2017
SPACE 1: We're Going To Space
We really are going to space.
Nov 24, 2017
Anatomy of a Hustle
What did Paul Manafort do, exactly? Robert Mueller's indictment is 31 pages of hard-to-understand financial crime. We try to figure it out.
Nov 22, 2017
The Free Food Market
A while back, the charity Feeding America was a mess. It was sending pickles to food banks that wanted produce, and potatoes to Idaho. So they called some economists, and a free food market was born.
Nov 17, 2017
Walmart and Amazon are in a battle to be the store where you buy everything. But when both companies sell everything, what sets them apart? Food inventions like a bright, red pickle!
Nov 15, 2017
War And Peace And Cows
In South Sudan, there is a kind of money that works even through bank failures and unstable governments. But when war struck, it upended a whole economy: the economy of cows.
Nov 10, 2017
Bagging the Birkin
Once you've got a Birkin bag, you've made it. But to get one, you need more than just money. Birkins always seem to be mysteriously out of stock. This is no accident.
Nov 8, 2017
Your Cell Phone's A Snitch
Timothy Carpenter stole cell phones. Then his phone sold him out to the Feds. Now the Supreme Court has to decide how private our cell phone data should be.
Nov 3, 2017
If Teens Ran the Fed
Once a year, teenagers from across the country team up and compete to run the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Nov 1, 2017
Nudge, Nudge, Nobel
Why do smart people make dumb decisions? Figuring that out won Richard Thaler a Nobel Prize.
Oct 27, 2017
The Hotel at the Center of the World
A Chinese company pays millions of dollars for a failing hotel in a small, rural town. We follow the trail of money, and it explains the world economy.
Oct 25, 2017
Is the NCAA An Illegal Cartel?
In any other industry, it's illegal for a group of companies to get together and cap wages. What makes the NCAA different?
Oct 20, 2017
The Death Show
Today on the show: death. We have four stories about how people prepare for death and what they leave behind for the living.
Oct 18, 2017
Bob Peterson claims to have found the thing people have sought for thousands of years — an investment guaranteed to double in value. He keeps it in a storage locker in Utah. It's protected by a single padlock.
Oct 13, 2017
North Korea's Capitalists
Capitalism isn't supposed to exist in North Korea. But all over the country, small businesses are popping up, growing the nation's economy. And much of that money is going straight to the country's nuclear program.
Oct 11, 2017
Corporate! Income! Tax!
Republicans are proposing big changes to the corporate income tax. Trillions of dollars are at stake. Here's what it all means.
Oct 6, 2017
Bad Credit Bureau
For most of our lives, Equifax has been slurping up our financial data. Now the company's been hacked and our data is loose. Today, we trace this mess back to two brothers and one fateful decision.
Oct 4, 2017
The Benefits of Bankruptcy
It might just be the secret weapon of the U.S. economy.
Sep 29, 2017
Bill Pennington's house floods a lot: Three times in the last three years. And every time his house floods, the government pays to help him repair the damage. Is something wrong here?
Sep 27, 2017
Mr Jones' Act
The government suspended the Jones Act last week, to allow non-US ships to move fuel to victims of hurricanes in Houston and Florida. Which once again made us wonder why the act even exists.
Sep 22, 2017
The Basic Income Experiment
The basic income. A flat payment to citizens, without strings. Is it a progressive fever dream, or sensible policy? We may soon find out. The Finnish Government is testing it on 2,000 citizens.
Sep 20, 2017
Is Record Breaking Broken?
The Guinness Book of World Records had a problem. It was a book. And books aren't selling as well as they used to. So Guinness changed what they were selling, and who they were selling to.
Sep 15, 2017
How To Make It In The Music Business
Behind almost all popular music, there is this hidden economy of music producers buying and selling sonic snippets, texting each other half-finished beats, and angling for back-end royalties.
Sep 13, 2017
Hard Work Is Irrelevant
Patty McCord helped create a workplace at Netflix that runs more like a professional sports team than a family. If you're not up to scratch, you're off the team. Is this the future of work?
Sep 8, 2017
This Week in Time Bombs
We look at three time bombs Congress is sitting on: The federal budget, the debt ceiling, and DREAMers.
Sep 6, 2017
This Ad's For You
Tom Burrell was the first black man in Chicago advertising. He went on to change the way we think about ads, and the way advertisers think about us.
Sep 1, 2017
The Ransom Problem
When someone has been kidnapped, what do you do? If you pay ransom, you create a market for hostages. If you don't, people die. Different countries have different policies with different results.
Aug 30, 2017
Tips From Spies
There's an entire universe of things spies are not allowed to tell us. Today on the show, a few of the teeny things they can say. They might come in handy.
Aug 25, 2017
Rough Translation in Ukraine
Fake news from Russia helped spark a real war in Ukraine. What can Ukraine's fight against fake news teach the US?
Aug 23, 2017
The Hydrox Resurrection
Hidden in the trash heap of commerce there is buried treasure. Abandoned brands--including trusted, beloved brands--are waiting to be claimed and reborn. Today on the show: A cookie comeback.
Aug 18, 2017
Your phone rings--it looks like your neighbor's calling. But instead, it's the creepiest scam of the year.
Aug 16, 2017
Costco made shopping harder, and customers loved it. Now a new company is taking the Costco experience to new extremes.
Aug 11, 2017
Robert And Kenny Go To The Fair
When we go to the state fair, we don't go for the rides, deep-fried tacos or the butter cow. We head straight for the vendor marketplace to meet the masters of the lost art of salesmanship.
Aug 9, 2017
Can You Patent a Steak?
We visit the workshop of the meat inventor who came up with Steak-Umm and KFC's popcorn chicken. And we try to figure out what meat inventors tell us about patents and innovation.
Aug 4, 2017
Google Is Big. Is That Bad?
Google just got hit with a multibillion-dollar antitrust fine. Here's what it tells us about competition, market power, and the biggest corporations on the planet.
Aug 2, 2017
The Eddie Murphy Rule
We answer one of the most important questions in finance: What actually happens at the end of Trading Places?
Jul 28, 2017
Rest of the Story 2017, Vol. 1
News moves fast. Some of our best stories from this year have new chapters. Here, we catch up on three: Dirty trademarks, trading bots, and the war against the bald eagle.
Jul 26, 2017
Buy Low, Sell Prime
Sam Cohen buys stuff at big retail stores, then turns around and sells it on Amazon for a quick profit. It defies economic logic. But somehow, there's a whole multimillion-dollar industry doing this.
Jul 21, 2017
Most athlete endorsements make a product more expensive. But what happens when an NBA All-Star uses his name to make a sneaker much, much cheaper? On today's show: How that worked out.