Planet Money

By NPR

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Description

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.

Episode Date
#848: The World's Biggest Battery
1268
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 15, 2018
#847: Inventing Accidents
1280
The medical world has been trying to cure color blindness for centuries. Then a glass scientist figured it out. By accident.
Jun 13, 2018
#846: Ungerrymandering Florida
1254
When Florida outlawed partisan gerrymandering, politicians tried to sneak it back in...in disguise.
Jun 09, 2018
#660: The T-Rex In My Backyard
1168
Meet Sue, the dinosaur who sparked a gold rush for fossils buried in the badlands of North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.
Jun 06, 2018
#845: REDMAP
1319
Meet the man who figured out how to reshape national politics by making tiny investments in the smallest of places.
Jun 02, 2018
#844: Nice Game
1018
In game theory, sometimes the best way to win, is to lose.
May 31, 2018
#843: Swamp Gravy
1772
Today on the show: A small town stakes its future on writing, directing, and starring in a musical.
May 25, 2018
#643: The Taxi King
1229
Gene Freidman built a taxi empire. We visited him before he was in legal trouble.
May 23, 2018
#842: Showdown at the WTO
1162
The World Trade Organization: Can't live with it, hard to crush your trade opponents without it.
May 18, 2018
#696: Class Action
1351
Class actions run from big civil rights cases to arguments about pepper. Are they noble, or silly?
May 16, 2018
#841: The Land Of Duty Free
1291
We meet the man who invented duty free shopping and find out if these tax free stores are really saving us any money.
May 11, 2018
#840: Fixing Chicken
1171
Today on the show: A chicken index, some Wall Street investors, and an unlikely whistle-blower.
May 09, 2018
#839: The Indicator Goes To California
1606
California is way more than Hollywood. Today on the show, we look at what else is going on in this powerhouse state economy.
May 04, 2018
#575: The Fondue Conspiracy
1001
Today on the show: How a cheese cartel abandoned the rules of economics and convinced the world to eat fondue.
May 02, 2018
#838: A Series of Mysterious Packages
1072
Unordered trinkets have been arriving at homes around the country. We try to find out why.
Apr 27, 2018
#640: The Bottom Of The Well
1353
Today on the show: the economics of drought, and why the rational thing to do in California right now is use more water.
Apr 25, 2018
#837: The Belt, The Road And The Money
1349
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 21, 2018
#836: The Rational Madness Of The Used Car Salesman
1050
Why are used car commercials so annoying? Meet the original sinner.
Apr 19, 2018
#835: Tariffied
1292
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 13, 2018
#661: The Less Deadly Catch
1112
Today on the show: how an economic fix helped made the deadliest job in America safer, and why people are angry about it.
Apr 11, 2018
#834: NDA Tell-All
1306
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 07, 2018
#685: Larry vs. The IRS
1235
What exactly would happen if you didn't pay your taxes? Today on the show, we follow one man who did just that.
Apr 04, 2018
#833: Worst. Tariffs. Ever.
1266
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 30, 2018
#832: Mulvaney Vs The CFPB
1301
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 28, 2018
#671: An Insider Trader Tells All
1182
A man who got caught insider trading explains everything — what he did, how he did it, and why.
Mar 23, 2018
#831: The Golden Rules
1169
Planet Money joins the gold rush 170 years late. And the rules are still about the same. How did that happen?
Mar 21, 2018
#454: The Lollipop War
1274
What do sugar farmers have against candy? A lot, according to candy manufacturers.
Mar 16, 2018
#830: XXX-XX-XXXX
1243
How did the social security number become the most important identifier in the United States? And is that even a good idea?
Mar 14, 2018
#829: Rigging The Economy
1190
Two guys from different ends of the political spectrum agree that the economy is rigged. And they think they know who's responsible.
Mar 09, 2018
#677: The Experiment Experiment
1359
There's something wrong with the way we're doing science. Today on the show, we find out how to fix it.
Mar 07, 2018
#828: You Asked For More
1394
We ponder the price of chicken, safe haven currencies, and the cash value of coupons. Why? Because you asked.
Mar 02, 2018
#827: Three Indicators
1154
What do human blood, the conservative tax plan, and beer hops tell us about the world? Find out in today's episode.
Feb 28, 2018
#826: The Vodka Proof
1236
Vodka is the best selling spirit in the United States, and there are zillions of brands. But is there any difference between them?
Feb 23, 2018
#545: The Blue Pallet
1012
How do you reinvent something as simple as the wooden shipping pallet?
Feb 21, 2018
#825: Who Started The Wildfire
1189
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 16, 2018
#824: Our Valentines
1232
If you can't beat 'em, send 'em a valentine.
Feb 14, 2018
#823: Planet Monet
1025
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 09, 2018
#337: The Secret Document that Transformed China
1071
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 07, 2018
#822: The Shortest Super Bowl
1425
How does the market for Super Bowl tickets work? And why did it collapse in 2015?
Feb 02, 2018
#821: The Other Davos
1117
Billionaires, diplomats, thinkfluencers. This is the Davos everyone hears about. Today on the show, we take you to a different Davos.
Feb 01, 2018
#820: P Is For Phosphorus
1202
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 26, 2018
#819: Tax Me If You Can
1405
Douglas Bruce had a bold vision for Colorado.
Jan 25, 2018
#508: A Bet On The Future Of Humanity
1215
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 19, 2018
#818: The Problem Of The Root
1321
The wild ginseng market has gone crazy. We go to a farm hidden in the Appalachian mountains to find out why.
Jan 18, 2018
#817: The Gun Man
1647
Will 3-D printing make gun control impossible?
Jan 13, 2018
#489: The Invisible Plumbing Of Our Economy
1402
Why does it take days to send money electronically?
Jan 10, 2018
#816: Bitcoin Losers
1325
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 05, 2018
#273: When The U.S. Paid Off The Entire National Debt
1238
What does a country with no debt look like? To find out, we went back to the United States in 1835.
Jan 03, 2018
#815: The Rest of the Story 2017
1201
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 29, 2017
#544: The M&M Anomaly
813
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 27, 2017
BONUS INDICATOR: How Airfare Is Changing
376
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 25, 2017
#814: The Tax Plan Is Huge
1378
Congress just passed the largest tax overhaul in decades. We dig in.
Dec 22, 2017
#670: The Santa Suit
1075
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 20, 2017
BONUS INDICATOR: Forget Neutrality
483
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 18, 2017
#813: The Produce Show
1500
Five reporters go to the New York Produce Show and Conference, each on a mission.
Dec 16, 2017
#812: High Rise, Low Returns
1612
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 13, 2017
BONUS: The Indicator, From Planet Money
492
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 11, 2017
SPACE 4: 3 2 1
1515
We've got a satellite. We got a rocket. We're heading to the launch pad.
Dec 09, 2017
SPACE 3: Rocket Shopping
1380
We found a satellite. We tried to figure out what it would do. Now we need to choose our rocket.
Dec 07, 2017
SPACE 2: Wait, Why Are We Going To Space?
1399
We hitched a ride on a satellite. Now we have to figure out what we're going to do up there.
Dec 01, 2017
SPACE 1: We're Going To Space
1611
We really are going to space.
Nov 30, 2017
#807: Anatomy of a Hustle
1264
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 24, 2017
#665: The Free Food Market
1080
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 22, 2017
#806: Walmart's Pickle
1135
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 17, 2017
#805: War And Peace And Cows
1147
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 15, 2017
#672: Bagging the Birkin
1042
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 10, 2017
#804: Your Cell Phone's A Snitch
1277
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 08, 2017
#369: If Teens Ran the Fed
985
Once a year, teenagers from across the country team up and compete to run the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Nov 03, 2017
#803: Nudge, Nudge, Nobel
1127
Why do smart people make dumb decisions? Figuring that out won Richard Thaler a Nobel Prize.
Nov 01, 2017
#802: The Hotel at the Center of the World
1270
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 28, 2017
#579: Is the NCAA An Illegal Cartel?
1174
In any other industry, it's illegal for a group of companies to get together and cap wages. What makes the NCAA different?
Oct 25, 2017
#801: The Death Show
991
Today on the show: death. We have four stories about how people prepare for death and what they leave behind for the living.
Oct 20, 2017
#581: Free Money
953
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 18, 2017
#800: North Korea's Capitalists
1465
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 14, 2017
#799: Corporate! Income! Tax!
1075
Republicans are proposing big changes to the corporate income tax. Trillions of dollars are at stake. Here's what it all means.
Oct 11, 2017
#798: Bad Credit Bureau
1144
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 07, 2017
#648: The Benefits of Bankruptcy
1296
It might just be the secret weapon of the U.S. economy.
Oct 04, 2017
#797: Flood Money
1213
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 29, 2017
#524: Mr Jones' Act
1016
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 27, 2017
#796: The Basic Income Experiment
1618
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 22, 2017
#795: Is Record Breaking Broken?
1377
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 20, 2017
#794: How To Make It In The Music Business
1271
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 15, 2017
#647: Hard Work Is Irrelevant
1281
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 13, 2017
#793: This Week in Time Bombs
1392
We look at three time bombs Congress is sitting on: The federal budget, the debt ceiling, and DREAMers.
Sep 09, 2017
#628: This Ad's For You
1507
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 06, 2017
#792: The Ransom Problem
1212
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.
Sep 02, 2017
#791: Tips From Spies
948
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 30, 2017
#790: Rough Translation in Ukraine
1749
Fake news from Russia helped spark a real war in Ukraine. What can Ukraine's fight against fake news teach the US?
Aug 25, 2017
#652: The Hydrox Resurrection
1186
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 23, 2017
#789: Robocall Invasion
1110
Your phone rings--it looks like your neighbor's calling. But instead, it's the creepiest scam of the year.
Aug 18, 2017
#653: The Anti-Store
931
Costco made shopping harder, and customers loved it. Now a new company is taking the Costco experience to new extremes.
Aug 16, 2017
#788: Robert And Kenny Go To The Fair
1400
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 11, 2017
#399: Can You Patent a Steak?
1183
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 09, 2017
#787: Google Is Big. Is That Bad?
671
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 04, 2017
#471: The Eddie Murphy Rule
1619
We answer one of the most important questions in finance: What actually happens at the end of Trading Places?
Aug 02, 2017
#786: Rest of the Story 2017, Vol. 1
1358
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 28, 2017
#629: Buy Low, Sell Prime
900
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 26, 2017
#785: The Starbury
1392
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.
Jul 21, 2017
#594: Board Games
1234
On today's show: The story of two guys who tried to cut the pay of a CEO at a small pneumatic tool company.
Jul 19, 2017
#784: Meeting The Russians
1205
That meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer was two decades in the making. It began in 1996, when an adventurous American went to Russia, trying to make a buck.
Jul 14, 2017
#783: New Jersey Bails Out
1128
Bail is broken. In New Jersey, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges banded together to try a dramatic solution: Blow it up.
Jul 12, 2017
#782: Budget Time
949
We run through the entire federal budget — in 10 minutes. More than $6 billion per second. Go.
Jul 07, 2017
#586: How Stuff Gets Cheaper
889
We visit a company where people work on figuring out how to make stuff get cheaper.
Jul 05, 2017
#781: The Money Fixers
1055
In Washington, D.C., there is a place where millions of dollars of ripped, burned, and water-soaked dollar bills are made new. On today's show, we get inside that room.
Jun 30, 2017
#286: Libertarian Summer Camp
1598
We visited a libertarian summer paradise. What we found: People paying in gold. Exotic bacon dishes. A nine-year-old selling alcohol.
Jun 28, 2017
#780: On Second Thought
1401
Flip-floppers, this one's for you. Changing your mind is hard, but it's one of the smartest things you can do.
Jun 23, 2017
#779: Shrimp Fight Club
1430
What happens when an unstoppable shrimp meets an unmovable senator? A researcher goes to Washington to defend herself, her shrimp, and science itself.
Jun 21, 2017
#778: What the Falcon's Up With Qatar?
1150
Qatar was on top of the world. Seemingly overnight, it became a pariah. On this episode, we drill into a rift years in the making: It's a tale of falcons, kidnapping, and a glowing Saudi Arabian orb.
Jun 16, 2017
#610: The Prisoner's Solution
1122
Today on the show, a businessman goes to prison, and decides he is going to disrupt the biggest captive market in America.
Jun 14, 2017
#777: Free Love, Free Market
1333
How a free-love commune embraced the free market and became a blockbuster brand.
Jun 10, 2017
#776: Here We Grow Again
1175
The president's budget promises 3% growth. Is that doable? Yes, but he won't like what it would take.
Jun 07, 2017
#775: The Pigweed Killer
1448
A battle with a weed divides neighbors and leads one farmer to shoot another dead. Today's show: The hunt for a better pesticide gets way out of hand.
Jun 03, 2017
#599: The Invisible Wall
1135
A man goes looking for the invisible wall that traps poor people in poverty. Finding it almost gets him killed.
May 31, 2017
#774: Unspeakable Trademark
1256
You can name your business whatever you want. But the government won't register it as a trademark if it thinks it's offensive. It gets weird when you try to decide what is too offensive to trademark.
May 26, 2017
#773: Slot Flaws Scofflaws
1350
As long as there have been casinos, people have tried to cheat them. The latest attempt was by a group of hackers who tried to take down slot machines using math, iPhones, and a whole lot of swiping.
May 24, 2017
#772: Small Change
1258
How fast is the world really changing? The answer has implications for everything from how the next generation will live to whether robots really will take all our jobs.
May 19, 2017
#606: Spreadsheets!
1205
The creation of the electronic spreadsheet transformed industries. But its effects ran deeper than that.
May 17, 2017
#771: When India's Cash Disappeared, Part Two
1237
What happened when India's Prime Minister declared most of the paper money in India worthless? We travel to India to see what happened after the country's demonetization.
May 12, 2017
#770: When India's Cash Disappeared, Part One
1423
Something incredible happened in India about six months ago. The government declared most of the paper money invalid. Demonetization they called it. Today, we meet the man who came up with the plan.
May 11, 2017
#769: Speed Dating For Economists
1445
We visit a job market created by economists, for economists. It's a hyper-efficient, optimized system, tested by game theorists, tweaked by a Nobel Prize winner, but it requires comfortable shoes.
May 05, 2017
#768: A Chat With Ben Bernanke
1097
Ten years ago, two little-known funds at Bear Stearns blew up, and the financial crisis was on its way. Today, we ask the person at the center of it all, former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, why it happened.
May 03, 2017
#553: The Dollar At The Center Of The World
1254
Today on the show, how a New Hampshire hotel filled with boozing economists saved the global economy.
Apr 28, 2017
#767: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part Two
1836
In 1838, the Maryland Jesuits sold 272 people, slaves, to pay the debts of Georgetown University. We talk with the descendants about what - if anything - they're owed.
Apr 27, 2017
#766: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part One
1500
For the residents of a small Louisiana town, there's always been a question about their past: How'd they get there? Solving the mystery only raised more questions.
Apr 21, 2017
#765: The Holiday Industrial Complex
1136
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.
Apr 18, 2017
#381: When Business Loves Regulation
885
One in three American jobs require a license. Today on the show, why those licensing rules hurt the U.S. economy.
Apr 14, 2017
#764: Pub In A Box
1039
One man figured out how to reproduce the magic of an Irish pub, and ship it in a container to anywhere in the world.
Apr 12, 2017
#763: BOTUS
1136
On today's show, we get in on the future of investing. We build an automated stock-trading bot. It analyzes the twitter feed of President Donald Trump, then trades stocks with real money. Our money. You can follow our bot on twitter, @BOTUS.
Apr 07, 2017
#531: The Tough, The Sweet, The Nosy
1337
The tricks and mind games tax collectors use to get people to pay up.
Apr 05, 2017
#762: The Fine Print
1172
On today's show: Snuggies, printer toner, and a banking road trip. Three stories about what happens when you actually read the fine print.
Mar 31, 2017
#650: The Business Genius Behind Get Out
1559
Jason Blum makes a lot of movies and makes them cheap. So why are so many turning into blockbusters?
Mar 29, 2017
#761: The Bank War
1255
A populist president versus the most powerful banker in America.
Mar 25, 2017
#760: Tax Hero
1374
One professor had a way to make filing taxes easy and painless. It worked. People loved it. But then a big tax lobby heard about it...
Mar 23, 2017
#759: What's It Worth To You?
1131
Three short stories about putting a price on something hard to value precisely. We go from $4.66 under a pillow all the way up to $1 trillion across every inch of highway in America.
Mar 17, 2017
#522: The Invention Of 'The Economy'
1039
A hundred years ago, nobody talked about "the economy." That's because easy ways to measure and talk about it hadn't been invented. On today's show: how we started boiling nations down to a number.
Mar 15, 2017
#758: Can Trump Take The Money?
1260
The Constitution contains a paragraph known as the Emoluments Clause. It's 49 words meant to prevent foreign influence on US officials. How does it apply to a president with a global business empire?
Mar 11, 2017
#596: Hacking The iPhone For Fun, Profit, And Maybe Espionage
1153
Wikileaks released documents listing the hacks the CIA uses to spy on people. So we revisit our story on hackers for hire: people hunting for flaws in your phone to sell to people, or even the CIA.
Mar 09, 2017
#757: Strong Feelings About Dodd-Frank
1511
President Trump does not like Dodd-Frank, the 2010 law that transformed banking regulation. On today's show, we ask: What are the key parts of the law? And how are they likely to change?
Mar 04, 2017
#513: Dear Economist, I Need A Date
1393
Here at Planet Money, we often wonder: how useful is economics in our everyday lives? Could the principles of economics be applied to the most intimate of human experiences, like, say, love?
Mar 01, 2017
#756: The Bees Go To California
1374
Early every year, 30 billion bees make their way across the country to California's Central Valley. Here's why.
Feb 25, 2017
#654: When The Boats Arrive
945
In the span of a few months in 1980, more than 100,000 Cuban immigrants arrived in Miami. So what happened to Florida's economy with all these new people coming in? And what can we learn from it?
Feb 22, 2017
#755: The Phone At The End Of The World
1163
A charismatic populist president wanted to boost manufacturing and create jobs. She told companies, 'if you want to sell your stuff here, you have to build it here.' This is what happened.
Feb 18, 2017
#754: I'm So Happy For You!
1255
Here at Planet Money, our favorite stories are the ones we wish we'd done ourselves. On the show, we call out rivals and colleagues who did what we try to do better than we could have done it.
Feb 14, 2017
#753: Blockchain Gang
1337
Charlie Shrem went to prison. While he was there, he thought up a better way to move money behind bars. Now he's out and trying to sell his idea to international investors.
Feb 11, 2017
#436: If Economists Controlled The Borders
1175
What would the perfect immigration system look like? We ask three economists and get three very different answers. (None of which include building a wall.)
Feb 08, 2017
#752: Eagles vs. Chickens
1048
Picture an organic farm, with thousands of free-range chickens roaming wide-open land. Now picture it from above, from the vantage of a soaring bald eagle. It's an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Feb 04, 2017
#751: The Thing About That Border Tax
1194
Over the next few months, we're going to explain President Trump's economic plans. Today: a totally new idea for corporate taxes. What's the plan, what's the theory behind it, and does it work?
Feb 02, 2017
#750: Retraining Day
1184
When an American loses his/her job to trade, there is program to help. It's been around for decades. It makes a lot of sense. It is a generous program. And almost nobody's heard of it. But why?
Jan 28, 2017
#632: The Chicken Tax
1016
President Trump talks about putting tariffs on foreign cars. But there are already tariffs on auto imports and one got there because of chickens in Germany. This is how trade barriers tend to spread.
Jan 25, 2017
#749: Professor Blackjack
1145
Ed Thorp started his career teaching math at MIT. Then he slid sideways into blackjack, changed the game forever, and set his sights on Wall Street investing. He changed that forever too.
Jan 20, 2017
#748: Undoing Obama
1408
Congress writes laws, but the president makes the rules that put the laws in action. President Obama's staff has been scrambling to lock in rules before Trump takes the helm. But will they stick?
Jan 19, 2017
#747: The Man Who Sued Iran
1537
When Steve Flatow's daughter was killed in a terror attack, he wanted someone to pay. His target was the Iranian government. His quest would pit him against both Iran and the White House.
Jan 13, 2017
#577: The Kansas Experiment
1278
A Republican governor lives the dream. He cuts taxes dramatically in his state and he promises good times ahead. But the good times do not come.
Jan 12, 2017
#746: Wall Street Goes To Vegas
1245
Wall Street traders and Las Vegas gamblers have a lot in common. But when a Wall Street firm set up shop taking Vegas bets, both sides got a surprise.
Jan 06, 2017
#443: Don't Believe The Hype
1060
People are talking about how the Dow Jones Industrial Average is about to hit a new record: Twenty thousand. We have a pretty strong opinion about the Dow. We think you should ignore it.
Jan 05, 2017
#745: The Rest Of The Story, 2016 Edition
1128
It's time for an annual Planet Money tradition--we revisit some of our favorite stories from the past year, and see what's changed since we turned off our mics.
Dec 30, 2016
#744: The Last Bank Bailout
1014
The man who ran the last bank bailout has a plan to prevent the next one.
Dec 27, 2016
587: Jubilee! (?)
1200
There's an idea that dates back at least to biblical times. That there should be a moment when debts are forgiven. Its called a jubilee. One country tried it.
Dec 23, 2016
#743: 50 Ways to Leave Your Union
1021
Today on the show, two unions separated by 200 years, an ocean and an exit clause. The United States has no exit clause. It led to civil war. Europe, on the other hand, has Article 50.
Dec 21, 2016
#742: Making Bank
781
On today's show, how a band of medieval warrior monks sworn to poverty got into the banking business and changed the way we think about money forever.
Dec 17, 2016
#592: Bell Wars
1168
A special holiday episode about the epic, decades-long feud between the two companies that make just about every handbell in the world.
Dec 14, 2016
#741: Amy and Steve vs. Facebook
1089
The story of a court case. On one side, the best lawyers money can buy. On the other, a night school lawyer who had never argued a case before. The outcome could affect everyone on the internet.
Dec 10, 2016
#740: Burnout
1166
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.
Dec 08, 2016
#739: Finding The Fake-News King
1125
We track down a fake-news creator in the suburbs, uncover his empire of fake-news sites, and get him to tell us his secrets.
Dec 03, 2016
#534: The History Of Light
1229
In this episode: How we got from candles made out of cow fat to as much light as we want. The history of light is the history of economic growth — of things getting faster, cheaper, and more efficient.
Nov 30, 2016
#738: Russian Cowboys
1096
Russia's latest ambition: To build a steak empire. On today's show, a fourth-generation American cowboy teaches Russian ranchers how to make American-style steaks. Some things get lost in translation.
Nov 25, 2016
#737: 17 Deals In 17 Minutes
1020
We go on a madcap dash through discounts, bargains and tough tradeoffs. Like the headline says: We bring you stories of 17 deals in just 17 minutes (not counting the intro, the ad, or the credits).
Nov 23, 2016
#736: Messy Nobel
1517
What happens when a creativity guru meets the winner of this year's Nobel Memorial Prize in economics? You get life lessons in making art, and negotiating contracts.
Nov 18, 2016
#574: The Buffalo Talk-Off
1109
The story of a guy who tried to make something of himself by getting into a rough business. And the story of a time when the world went wild for debt.
Nov 16, 2016
#735: President Trump
1476
Candidates promise all kinds of things. But once they get into office, it's not always possible to carry through on them. We ask, can Trump do the things he's pledged to do?
Nov 12, 2016
#734: The Trump Indicators
795
Donald Trump is our president elect. We look at three economic indicators to see what they can tell us about a Trump presidency.
Nov 10, 2016
#733: A Trunk Full of Truffles
1302
Truffles are a lumpy, smelly fungus. They're also one of the most coveted foods in the world. Why are they so expensive? And why are people willing to pay so much for them?
Nov 05, 2016
#413: Our Fake Candidate Meets The People
1373
On today's show, Planet Money's economist-approved fake candidate makes his first ads. Then we nervously watch to see what a focus group thinks of them.
Nov 02, 2016
#732: Bad Form, Wells Fargo
1030
Banks like Wells Fargo have a weapon that can destroy an employee's career: A form. A long, boring form most people don't even know exists.
Oct 29, 2016
#387: The No-Brainer Economic Platform
1467
Behold the Planet Money economic platform, crafted by brilliant economists of all stripes, and pure poison to any politician who embraces it.
Oct 26, 2016
#731: How Venezuela Imploded
1140
Venezuela has just about every economic advantage a country could ask for: fertile land, good climate, educated population, and oil, lots and lots of oil. So how did it go so wrong?
Oct 21, 2016
#730: Self Checkout
1227
A doctor treating psychiatric patients in an emergency room created the first self-checkout machine in his spare time. Now he can't stand self checkout. So we take him shopping.
Oct 20, 2016
#729: When Subaru Came Out
1190
Subaru's sales had been slumping for years. So the car company took a big risk and targeted a group of consumers that just about everyone else was ignoring.
Oct 15, 2016
#627: The Miracle Apple
847
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.
Oct 12, 2016
#728: The Wells Fargo Hustle
1112
We take you inside the headquarters of Wells Fargo bank. It's a place where a bunch of young, stressed-out workers were rewarded for doing some very bad things.
Oct 08, 2016
#521: The Town That Loves Death
1423
On today's episode, we'll take you to a place where dying has become acceptable dinner conversation. A place that also happens to have the lowest healthcare spending of any region in the country.
Oct 05, 2016
#727: You Asked For It, Again
1424
New show! You asked us questions about the economy and oddities in your world. We answer.
Oct 01, 2016
#726: Terms of the Debate
1225
We made an audio glossary for the confusing economic jargon that came up during the first presidential debate.
Sep 28, 2016
#725: Trade Show
2233
On today's show: The fight over free trade. Come for the man who dreamed of world peace through trade. Stay for Robert Smith in the mean streets of Seattle.
Sep 24, 2016
#555: Why Is The Milk In The Back Of The Store?
969
We test two competing theories, from a food writer and an economist. Are customers being forced to walk through the store or is it just practical to keep the milk at the back?
Sep 21, 2016
#573: Why Textbook Prices Keep Climbing
912
Prices of new textbooks have been going up like crazy — faster than food, cars, even healthcare. On today's show: Why textbooks have gotten so expensive.
Sep 16, 2016
#724: Cat Scam
1265
The internet was supposed to get rid of middlemen--but instead they are taking over the global economy.
Sep 14, 2016
#566: The Zoo Economy
1042
If you're a zoo or aquarium and you want a new animal, you don't use money to get it. You have to find another way. In this episode, we investigate: How many mackerel is a flock of puffins worth?
Sep 09, 2016
#723: The Risk Farmers
1235
There is a mystery in many poor countries. Why don't farmers specialize and grow more food? Two economists with very different theories go head to head to find out.
Sep 07, 2016
#532: The Wild West of the Internet
1092
For decades, most websites ended in either .com, .net, or .org. But a few years ago, everything changed.
Sep 02, 2016
#722: The New Telenovela
1232
One telenovela actress-turned-executive decided to write a new kind of drama. Her show changed the landscape of Spanish language TV--and of all TV.
Aug 31, 2016
#721: Unbuilding A City
1162
Why is it so hard to knock down 17 vacant houses in a shrinking city?
Aug 26, 2016
Oil #5: Imagine A World Without Oil
1589
Last of five episodes. We follow the Planet Money oil to a gas station. And we ask: What would our world look like if there were no fossil fuels?
Aug 24, 2016
Oil #4: How Oil Got Into Everything
1510
Fourth of five episodes. Oil is in our sneakers, our clothes, and the computer or phone you're using right now. On today's show: The story of the man who made it happen.
Aug 19, 2016
Oil #3: How Fracking Changed the World
1625
Third of five episodes. The Planet Money oil faces a test, we sell it, and we meet the man who set off the fracking boom in America.
Aug 17, 2016
Oil #2: The Price Of Oil
1345
Second of five episodes. Oil is priced down to the penny, and the price changes every day. Who sets that price?
Aug 12, 2016
Oil #1: We Buy Oil
1100
First of five episodes. We're getting into the oil business. We go to Kansas, and negotiate with a preacher to buy 100 barrels of crude.
Aug 10, 2016
#524: Mr Jones' Act
1023
There's an obscure law that governs just about anything that travels by ship in the U.S. — bananas, hairdryers, gasoline, even people. Economists do not like it. But it just won't go away.
Aug 05, 2016
#715: The Sewing Robot
1027
Building a robot that can sew even simple clothes is surprisingly hard. A retired professor in Atlanta thinks he's solved the problem. It could bring textile manufacturing back to America.
Aug 04, 2016
#548: Project Eavesdrop
973
The computer or phone that you use knows a lot about you. It knows your secrets — and it might be giving them away.
Jul 29, 2016
#714: Can a Game Show Lose?
1271
Crafting a TV game show is a balancing act. Producers have to carefully calibrate the rules, the drama and the prizes just right. Sometimes they get it way wrong.
Jul 27, 2016
#576: When Women Stopped Coding
1033
A lot of computing pioneers were women. For decades, the number of women in computer science was growing. But in 1984, something changed.
Jul 22, 2016
#713: Paying for the Crime
1559
A tale of violence, payback, and how to make things right.
Jul 20, 2016
#712: I Want My Money Back
1183
Three stories of people getting their money back — or trying to. From a hospital, a scammer, and the ever-exciting global bond market.
Jul 16, 2016
#711: Hooked on Heroin
1058
Scoring a fix is cheap and today's heroin is strong. But that's just part of the reason why America got hooked. Today on the show, we trace the roots of America's heroin epidemic with a dealer, a user, and a DEA agent.
Jul 14, 2016
#710: The Brexit Break-Up
1156
Brexit is like a breakup. So today, a divorce story in two acts. We hear from both sides: The people who voted to leave, and the Europeans being left.
Jul 09, 2016
#575: The Fondue Conspiracy
949
When you think of cartels, maybe you think of drugs, maybe you think of oil. But what probably doesn't come to mind? Swiss cheese.
Jul 06, 2016
#709: The Quiet Old Lady Who Whispers "Fair Use"
1097
Where is the line between being inspired by somebody's creative work and stealing it?
Jul 01, 2016
#708: Bitcoin Divided
1115
Bitcoin was supposed to revolutionize the way money works. But the thing people love about it may be destroying it.
Jun 29, 2016
#707: Brexit
883
What just happened in the UK? And what's coming next?
Jun 24, 2016
#538: Is A Stradivarius Just A Violin?
1285
How much of a brand is real? How much is in our heads?
Jun 22, 2016
#706: Water's Worth
737
If your country's main export is water, what happens when your wells run dry?
Jun 18, 2016
#583: Cow Noir
1181
There is a crime wave in the West right now. Cattle rustling — stealing cattle — is on the rise. The crime is as old as America, and it's making a big comeback.
Jun 15, 2016
#705: The Muscle Patents
1182
Two bodybuilders go at it over a Stanford University patent. And we dive in to make sense of it.
Jun 10, 2016
#563: The Future Of Work Looks Like A UPS Truck
798
Technology means that no matter what job you have — whether you're alone in a truck on an empty road or sitting in a cubicle in front of a computer — your company can now track everything you do.
Jun 08, 2016
#704: Open Office
1121
This episode is for everyone who's ever had to ask their coworkers to quiet down or walk laps of the office to make a private phone call. Today on the show: We meet the man who stole your office door.
Jun 04, 2016
#463: How To Get A Country To Trust Its Banks
1085
It's something you can see on every day and on every block in most major cities. But in Myanmar, a country that was cut off from the rest of the world for decades, an ATM is a small miracle
Jun 01, 2016
#703: How To Hide A Million Dollars In Plain Sight
1107
How do you secretly stash away a million dollars? One way is to hide the money in plain sight, right in the heart of New York City. Today's show: the case of who owns Apartment 5B.
May 28, 2016
#217: The Art Of Living At The Poverty Line
1348
Meet a single mother who makes $16,000 a year and managed to fund a vacation at a Caribbean resort with an interest-free loan from one of the world's largest banks.
May 25, 2016
#702: Nigeria, You Win!
979
One night, Lariat Alhassan heard an ad on the radio. It said the Nigerian government was offering millions of dollars to people with business ideas, practically no strings attached. She gave it a go.
May 20, 2016
#366: How To Make It In The Food Truck Business
772
In New York City, more than 5,000 food trucks and carts compete for the business of hungry office workers. And finding the right spot to set up shop can mean the difference between fortune and ruin.
May 18, 2016
#701: A Bank Without Interest
1059
To serve Muslim customers, a bank in Michigan tried to comply with both U.S. regulations and Islamic law. One problem: Islamic law prohibits charging interest.
May 14, 2016
#430: Black Market Pharmacies And The Spam Empire Behind Them
1072
On today's show, we open up some of those annoying pharmaceutical spam emails and find out who's clicking to buy herbal viagra? Also, what happens when they do?
May 11, 2016
#700: Peanuts and Cracker Jack
1291
Beer. Water. Pretzels. It takes effort, strategy, and some serious lungs to sell expensive junk food at a baseball game. Meet the hot dog vending legend of Fenway Park.
May 06, 2016
#699: Why Did The Job Cross The Road?
1211
To get to the other side... where there are millions of dollars in tax breaks.
May 05, 2016
#698: The Long Way Home
973
Housing subsidies are often given out through a lottery. But why do we let random chance decide who gets help with the rent? We don't do that for food stamps or health care, so why housing?
Apr 29, 2016
#417: Lance Armstrong and The Business of Doping
1105
In this episode, we consider a world where everybody cheats, and where you can't win unless you game the regulators: Professional cycling.
Apr 27, 2016
#697: Help Wanted
1171
When you're an employer looking at a giant stack of resumes, you have to find some way to quickly narrow the field. How do you do that fairly? And what happens when your good intentions backfire?
Apr 23, 2016
#468: Kid Rock Vs. The Scalpers
1096
We talk to Kid Rock about how he tried to cut scalpers out of the business — and still sell cheap tickets to his shows.
Apr 20, 2016
#696: Class Action
1241
The modern class action was created on a typewriter in the back of a car. (Sort of.) Now, thousands of these lawsuits are filed every year. How did we get here? Is this really a good way to do things?
Apr 16, 2016
#695: Put A Chip On It
1088
Credit cards with chips in them have been around for four decades. So why is America only getting them now? And now that they are here, why are so few places using them?
Apr 13, 2016
#694: The Gun That Wouldn't Shoot
1173
Imagine a safer kind of gun. Imagine a company with a plan to build it. Imagine customers ready to buy it. Imagine what could go wrong. A whole lot.
Apr 08, 2016
#562: A Mall Divided
803
A California mall straddles the border between two cities — and the minimum wage is higher on one side.
Apr 06, 2016
#693: Unpayable
1162
Puerto Rico is part of the United States, but not one of the United States. And this limbo status has brought a world of economic trouble.
Apr 01, 2016
#403: What Can We Do With Our Shell Companies?
1278
And how can we meet our fake shareholder and fake director?
Mar 30, 2016
#692: The Secret Life Of Line 24
1270
On today's show, we tell the stories of a few mysterious lines on IRS form 1040 — the basic tax form. In its own, maddening way, the 1040 is a great American document.
Mar 25, 2016
#691: The Great Unbundling
1750
There's a revolution underway in the world of cable TV--more and more people are getting rid of it. And there are some unforeseen consequences when we cut the cord and go our separate ways.
Mar 23, 2016
#690: All In
1057
We talk to a professional poker player who lost on the first day of poker's most famous tournament--but went on to get a huge payout. Turns out there's a game behind the game.
Mar 18, 2016
#390: We Set Up An Offshore Company In A Tax Haven
1720
In this show, we dive deep into the world of hiding money. We look for the easiest place to shelter a bank account and set up our own shell company in an offshore tax haven. Good times.
Mar 16, 2016
#689: A Hedge Fund, A Country, And A Big Sailboat
962
Argentina decided that it could take on the world. They had a bunch of debt and said, 'we're not paying.' Then a group of hedge funds took the entire country to court.
Mar 11, 2016
#418: The Government's Fake Bank For Drug Money
998
One day in the early 1990s, a man walked into the U.S. embassy in Ecuador. He said he had information on how to go after some of most powerful drug traffickers in the world.
Mar 09, 2016
#688: Brilliant vs. Boring
1268
A million-dollar bet pits a bunch of really smart money managers against the simplest investment idea in the world.
Mar 05, 2016
#687: Buy This Passport
1216
Most of us don't think of citizenship as a product. It's something more: It's part of who you are. On today's show, we look at what happens when citizenship goes up for sale.
Mar 02, 2016
#686: If Elected President
1231
Today, we bring you the future as dreamt up by presidential candidates. Also: sober economists poking holes in the candidates' dreams.
Feb 26, 2016
#424: How Much Is A Firefighter Worth?
1093
Firefighters don't go to fires as much as much as they used to. Yet the fire department is still set up the same way. What should change?
Feb 24, 2016
#685: Larry vs. The IRS
1218
A lot of people dream of not paying their taxes. Larry Williams scoured the fine print of IRS code, talked to lawyers, settled on a plan, then just stopped paying taxes.
Feb 19, 2016
#684: The Return Of The Colonel
902
There's a secret war going on inside every franchise. At KFC, it all goes back to a guy with a white beard and a black string tie: Colonel Harland Sanders.
Feb 17, 2016
#683: Our Valentines
1447
Regret. Self-loathing. Jealousy. Happy Valentine's Day! We bring you little stories that we love so much, we wish we had thought of them ourselves.
Feb 12, 2016
#466: DIY Finance
874
He has thousands of dollars stashed around his house. She's part of an informal savings club. And Miguelo Rada has a whole bank in his pocket.
Feb 10, 2016
#682: When CEO Pay Exploded
1250
Politicians have argued for decades that CEOs should earn less money. But there was a moment in the 1990s when CEO pay suddenly shot up. What happened?
Feb 06, 2016
#681: The Oil Kingdom
944
For years, Saudi Arabia has been living off one resource and one resource only: Oil. But now, the price of a barrel has plummeted, and the country is scrambling to adapt.
Feb 03, 2016
#680: Anatomy Of A Scam
1343
You've seen these ads: "You can work from home and get rich. It's easy. Call this number!" So, what happens when you respond?
Jan 29, 2016
#679: You Asked For It
1095
We ponder the origins of money, the economics of Santa, and the business of cemeteries. Why? Because you asked.
Jan 28, 2016
#678: Auction Fever
897
We uncover the secrets of the auction world. There is conniving. There are tricks. Also: Hydraulic hammers.
Jan 23, 2016
#283: Why Do We Tip?
1056
According to one theory, we tip because we feel guilty, not because we want better service.
Jan 20, 2016
#677: The Experiment Experiment
1246
How much of published scientific research is false? Scientists are trying to figure it out.
Jan 15, 2016
10 11 51 52 62 18
1287
If those are the winning Powerball numbers, this will be our last show. Also: The story of Queen Elizabeth's 1567 lottery, and we meet a man who has won multiple jackpots, no luck needed.
Jan 14, 2016
#675: The Cost Of Crossing
1143
Sneaking people across the U.S.-Mexico border is a well established, booming business. Today on the show, we meet a businessman and a client in the evolving industry of human smuggling.
Jan 09, 2016
#15: Delicious Cake Futures
918
On today's Planet Money, the complex economy of one elementary-school lunchroom.
Jan 06, 2016
#674: We Cooked A Peacock
1211
In the 1600s, a good spice rub was the ultimate display of wealth. People would risk their lives for a sack of cloves. On today's show, we cook a recipe from the spice trade days.
Jan 01, 2016
#673 The Rest of the Story, 2015 Edition
1182
Not every story has an ending. Sometimes after we finish a podcast and send it to you, the facts change, a new chapter unfolds. Today on the show, we update some of our favorite episodes from 2015.
Dec 30, 2015
#672: Bagging The Birkin
1030
There are people with Birkin bags and there are the rest of us. Today on the show: the elaborate, upside-down strategy that has kept a $60,000 purse the "it" bag for 30 years.
Dec 25, 2015
#671: An Insider Trader Tells All
1138
Today on the show: A man who got caught insider trading explains everything — what he did, how he did it, and why. Though he's still struggling with that last one.
Dec 23, 2015
#670: The Santa Suit
998
Today on the show: A lawsuit over a Santa suit. It's a window into countless hidden fights that shape the stuff we buy.
Dec 18, 2015
#590: The Planet Money Workout
914
Today on the show: The mind games that gyms play with you. From design to pricing to free bagels, gyms want to be a product that everyone buys, but no one actually uses.
Dec 16, 2015
#669: A or B
947
These days A/B testing is everywhere. It's shaped almost every website, some stores and even some school lessons. Today, the most meta episode ever. Planet Money A/B tests a show about A/B testing.
Dec 12, 2015
#668: Frank Sinatra's Mug
1066
When you die you can pass on your money, your house. But your image--what you look and sound like--that's trickier. Today on the show: How Frank Sinatra made his image, and maybe yours, last forever.
Dec 10, 2015
#667: Auditing ISIS
1299
What happens when ISIS takes over your city? Today on the show: We talk to a man who lived and worked in ISIS controlled territory. He tells us about how he paid taxes, where he kept his money and a $50 candy bar.
Dec 05, 2015
#216: How Four Drinking Buddies Saved Brazil
1279
Two decades ago, shoppers in Brazil would run ahead of the worker who raised prices every day. Inflation was crazy. Today on the show: How four economists --who were also drinking buddies-- fixed it.
Dec 02, 2015
#666: The Hoverboard Life
1036
The hottest toy this holiday season has no identifiable logo, no main distributor, and no widely agreed upon name. Today, we seek out the origin of the hands-free, two wheeled, self-balancing scooter.
Nov 27, 2015
#665: The Pickle Problem
1055
A national network of food banks couldn't figure out how to get the right food to the right place at the right time. So they tried a bold experiment: the free market.
Nov 25, 2015
#664: The Great Inflation
1485
For much of the 70s inflation was bad. Prices rose at over 10 percent a year. Nothing could stop it — until one powerful person did something very unpopular. Today's show: How we beat inflation.
Nov 20, 2015
#416: Why The Price Of Coke Didn't Change For 70 Years
1147
Prices go up and down. But for 70 years, the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola stayed a nickel. On today's show, we find out why. The answer includes a half a million vending machines and a 7.5 cent coin.
Nov 18, 2015
#663: Money Trees
1072
Each time you travel, you burn fossil fuels. That hurts the environment. Some people say you can plant a bunch of trees to offset the damage. Is that for real? We investigate carbon offsets.
Nov 13, 2015
#505: A Locked Door, A Secret Meeting And The Birth Of The Fed
932
A 70-year-old man with a bad cold and many mistresses, a nation that's ambivalent about a central bank, and a secret meeting on an island. Today on the show: The origin story of the Federal Reserve.
Nov 11, 2015
#662: OMG TPP
1329
The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership isn't secret anymore. We dove in. From tariffs for waterproof overalls to copyright rules, we tell you what we found. Also, a way countries can get around it.
Nov 07, 2015
#661: The Less Deadly Catch
1091
Today on the show, how an economic fix took the deadliest job in America and made it safer. And why a lot of people are mad about it.
Nov 05, 2015
#660: The T-Rex In My Backyard
1163
There's a boom going on for dinosaur bones, a veritable gold rush for fossils buried in the badlands of North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Today on the show: the T-Rex that started it all.
Oct 31, 2015
#518: Your Organs, Please
1188
How do you get someone to sign up as an organ donor? Today on the show: The story of one woman who found a way by partnering with one of the more hated American institutions.
Oct 28, 2015
#659: How To Make $3 Trillion Disappear
925
After the financial crisis, the Fed created over $3 trillion. To undo this, they have a new trick. Today on the show, how the Federal Reserve plans to make that money disappear.
Oct 23, 2015
#550: When Salaries Aren't Secret
1108
What would it be like if everyone at your office knew what everyone else earned? On today's show, we hear about a company where salaries aren't secret.
Oct 21, 2015
#658: Strike One
959
On today's show: The birth of unions as we know them. It's a story that includes, among other things, bravery, cunning, and auto-part projectiles flung out of giant sling shots.
Oct 16, 2015
#657: The Tale Of The Onion King
951
Vince Kosuga farmed onions. Then he tried trading them on the market, too. He made millions. Today on the show: How trading got so out of hand that the Chicago River flowed with America's onions.
Oct 15, 2015
#656: Bubblelicious
841
Things are booming in Silicon Valley. Maybe too booming. But economists say you can't call it a bubble until it goes POP. Today on the show: We find three bubbly barometers that could signal a bust.
Oct 09, 2015
#564: The Signature
994
The signature. We put it on checks, contracts, credit cards. It's supposed to say, "This is me." But where did the idea come from? And why are we still using it? We consult a rabbi, a lawyer and a credit card executive.
Oct 07, 2015
#655: Pay Patients, Save Money
1141
We shop around when we get a plane ticket or buy a couch. But we spend thousands of dollars on health care without shopping around. What happens if we pay patients when they choose the cheaper option?
Oct 02, 2015
#654: When The Boats Arrive
912
In 1980, thousands of Cuban refugees suddenly arrived in Miami and started looking for work. On today's show: What happened next. And what it tells us about the migration crisis in Europe today.
Sep 30, 2015
#653: The Anti-Store
909
Today on the show: How Price Club and its imitators changed the way we shop. And how a new company is taking what Price Club started to new extremes.
Sep 25, 2015
#386: The Power of Free
1149
Everybody likes free. But free can be dangerous. On today's show, what happens when you take something that was free and give it a price. That's a highly risky move and the damage can be enormous.
Sep 23, 2015
#652: The Hydrox Resurrection
1091
Hidden in the trash heap of commerce there is buried treasure. Abandoned brands, even beloved, trusted brands, are waiting to be claimed and reborn. Today on the show: a cookie comeback.
Sep 18, 2015
#651: The Salmon Taboo
935
Today on the show: How hard could it be to get a nation of sushi lovers to try raw salmon?
Sep 16, 2015
#650: The Scariest Thing In Hollywood
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One Hollywood director leaves the world of big budget blockbusters for something even more lucrative: low budget Hollywood.
Sep 12, 2015
#649: China, China, China
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What's going on in China? Is the second largest economy in the world about to come crashing down?
Sep 09, 2015
#648: The Benefits of Bankruptcy
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When Roddey Player's business started heading south, he did everything he could to avoid the big failure: bankruptcy. But what's painful for Roddey might just be the secret weapon of the U.S. economy.
Sep 05, 2015
#200: The Moonshine Stimulus
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We travel to Warm Springs to find out if the rumors are true: Did FDR really buy moonshine during Prohibition? Did he violate the Constitution he had sworn to protect?
Sep 02, 2015
#647: Hard Work Is Irrelevant
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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?
Aug 29, 2015
#502: The Afterlife Of A T-Shirt
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When used clothes are donated to charity, they begin a second life of sorting, refitting, and lots of travel. We trace used T-shirts to a clothing market in Nairobi, Kenya. For more: http://npr.org/shirt.
Aug 26, 2015
#646: Why Can't We Bet On Elections?
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In Las Vegas you can bet on all kinds of stuff. One thing you can't bet on: elections. But why? Not long ago, no election was too sacred to wager on, not even the pope's.
Aug 21, 2015
#500: The Humble Innovation At The Heart Of The Global Economy
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Our women's Planet Money T-shirt got to you thanks to an overlooked innovation that's essential to the modern global economy. The innovation: a big, metal box.
Aug 19, 2015
#645: How To Stop An Asteroid
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Some smart people say we should be doing more to protect the Earth from asteroids. The technical issues are relatively easy. The economics — figuring out who's going to pay — are much harder.
Aug 15, 2015