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Planet Money

Planet Money

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.Got money on your mind? Try Planet Money+ ? a new way to support the show you love, get a sponsor-free feed of the podcast, *and* get access to bonus content. A subscription also gets you access to The Indicator and Planet Money Summer School, both without ads. Learn more at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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Episodes

SUMMER SCHOOL 6: Trade & The Better Life

International trade is the web of cross-border relationships that binds economies together. Because of trade we have access to cheaper, higher-quality goods, and we get to benefit from other countries' cultures. Economics tells us trade makes society, overall on average, better off, but that doesn't mean everyone wins. Today, the good and bad of trade through the eyes of workers in developing economies who make the things sold around the world. We follow them as they navigate the ever-shifting international trade environment. |At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.
2022-08-18
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Carried interest wormhole

The carried interest tax loophole is a way that wealthy Americans ? often the people who manage hedge funds or private equity firms ? avoid paying billions of dollars worth of taxes. It has been one of the most controversial yet durable features of the U.S. tax code. But where did it come from? Today we romp through space and time to piece together the origins of this loophole. There will be pirates and mutiny. A 50s tax-dodge-a-palooza. And perhaps the Michelangelo of tax lawyers. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
2022-08-13
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SUMMER SCHOOL 5: Car Parts, Celery & The Labor Market

You can learn a lot about a person from their job. The same can be said of an economy. The market for jobs can us a lot about how the economy is doing, but more importantly, it is where we look to see who the economy is working for, and who is left behind. In today's lesson we'll visit two workplaces each facing a different labor puzzle. At one end, there's the question of when to replace a worker with a robot, and what it is like to be that worker waiting for the robots to come. We'll also visit a farm where raising wages aren't enough to attract the workers needed to do the work. How wages are set, and who gets the raises on this session of Summer School. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney. |At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.
2022-08-11
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A new way to pay for college (Update)

College has gotten incredibly expensive. And some colleges are offering students a new way to pay. It's not a scholarship. It's not quite a loan. It's more like the students are selling stock in themselves. We check in on how income share agreements at one school have been working. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
2022-08-05
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SUMMER SCHOOL 4: Inflation & Drinking Buddies

Inflation can be one of the scariest forces in the economy. As prices rise and your dollar doesn't go as far, you feel poorer, and it's all out of your control. To better understand inflation, we turn to the story of Brazil, where, in the 90s, hyperinflation threatened to derail the whole economy until the country turned to a group of unlikely heroes: four drinking buddies. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney. |At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.
2022-08-04
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BONUS: Micro-Face: The Musical

This episode, Micro-Face: The Musical. A full concert recording of a one-of-a-kind Planet Money superhero musical, taped during our recent live show at the Roulette Theater in Brooklyn, New York.

Here's more from our project We Buy A Superhero.

Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
2022-08-01
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Two recession Indicators

So are we in a recession or not? The jury is still out, but there are some warning signs. GDP is down and inflation is up. But how much do we know about the 'indicators' that tell us how the economy is doing? Today, the stories of two of our most important indicators, the Consumer Price Index and GDP, and what they can and can't tell us about our current economic predicament.| Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
2022-07-29
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SUMMER SCHOOL 3: Booms, Busts & Us

Life has its ups and downs. Same for the economy. Today we ask, can the business cycle be tamed? Two stories of recession and techniques for moderating the ferocity of booms and busts. Plus, how bankruptcy is a secret weapon of the American economy. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney. | At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.
2022-07-28
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Little House on the Blockchain

It has great bones, three bedrooms and one and half baths, and it comes with its own machine that mines cryptocurrency. But in a year of reckoning for crypto, how interested are potential buyers? | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
2022-07-23
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SUMMER SCHOOL 2: GDP & What Counts

What even is "the economy"? And how do you measure it? Our path out of the economic darkness and into the light has been guided in large part by one single statistic: GDP. This week: the origins, history, and problems with the economic indicator to rule them all. | At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.
2022-07-21
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Best by, sell by, use by

Wait, wait...don't throw that out! What if much of what you've been told about food expiration dates is... wrong? | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
2022-07-16
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SUMMER SCHOOL 1: Recessions & Rap Battles

It's macro time! Today: Keynes vs. Hayek.

Season 3 of summer school is here asking the biggest economic questions about what makes an entire economy grow or contract? Things like, is there a "right" level of unemployment? Who gains from trade? What rhymes with 'paradox of thrift'? Also, inflation, we'll get to inflation.

Episode 1 begins with the rise of macroeconomics as a field, with one of the great economic debates of the 20th century: what causes booms and busts, and what can the government do about it? How free should a free market be?

It's a debate (over beats and with an actual rap battle) between John Maynard Keynes and F.A Hayek.

Watch this Tik Tok to learn more. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here. | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.
2022-07-14
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A tale of two cityhoods

There's a movement underway in Georgia. More and more communities around Atlanta are choosing to keep their tax dollars very local, and become their own cities. It's a story about equity and exclusion ? and also potholes. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
2022-07-09
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Two crypto crash Indicators

Two stories of consternation from inside the crypto world. Can a crypto crash spread to the wider economy? How does contagion work? And ... why has crypto had such appeal with Black investors? | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
2022-07-06
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Suitcases, secret lists, and Citizens United

On today's show: the Watergate scandal you haven't heard about ? that led directly to Citizens United and multi-billion dollar elections. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-07-02
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When Subaru came out (Classic)

In the early 90s, Subaru was struggling to stand out in a crowded automobile market. In their greatest time of need, they turned to an unlikely ally: lesbians | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-06-30
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Recession referees

Whenever the economic data start to look rough, we're forced to confront a familiar question: Are we in a recession, or about to be? But there are actually only eight opinions in the country that officially matter. Today on the show, we meet the committee that calls recessions. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
2022-06-25
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The tale of the Onion King (Update)

How one man's quest to dominate the onion market changed commodities trading, and potentially how much you pay at the grocery store, forever. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
2022-06-23
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The debate over what's causing inflation

The last few months have made us acutely aware of inflation. We all agree that it's making our lives harder, but economists disagree about what's causing it. | Fill out our listener survey: npr.org/podcastsurvey
2022-06-18
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Let them eat lunch

For many Americans, desk lunches are the norm. You might even be having one right now. But what if it didn't have to be this way? | Fill out our listener survey here
2022-06-16
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The Gecko Effect

Years ago advertising was dominated by cars and beer. Today on the show, how a simple slogan and a talking gecko helped the insurance industry become one of the most dominant forces in advertising. Now, we're all living with the consequences. | Fill out our listener survey here
2022-06-11
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On the case: Recession, formula, and greenbacks

It was just another day at the office. Then the phone started ringing and the caseload kept growing...on today's show, your favorite Planet Money gumshoes investigate your listener questions. | Fill out our listener survey here.
2022-06-09
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Homer Simpson vs. the economy

When the beloved Simpsons family made its TV debut in 1989, it squarely represented middle-class America. Today ... not so much. That house, those two cars, those three kids all on one salary doesn't seem so believable anymore. Today we examine the changing reality of what middle-class means in America through the Simpsons. It's a wild, musical journey into the heart of the US economy. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-06-04
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The bank war (Classic)

In the 1800s, populist president Andrew Jackson went head-to-head with the most powerful banker in America over who should control the country's money. This clash ended in disastrous results.
2022-06-02
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PM Live: The Most Collectible Comic Book Ever?

What transforms a regular object into a collectible? At our live show earlier this month, we went on a journey through collectibles history. And we had a goal: to turn our Micro-Face comic book into the most collectible item of all time. | Bid on our collectible Micro-Face comic book here!
2022-05-28
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The NRA's Secret Tapes

Soon after the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, leaders of the National Rifle Association held a conference call to craft their response. Secret tapes from this call obtained by NPR's Investigations team reveal how the NRA developed what would become their standard response after decades of school shootings. | Listen to the original Up First episode: n.pr/nratapes
2022-05-26
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Investing in mediocrity

Is the key to success in financial markets a matter of luck or skill? One former bond manager shares his strategy: Win big by avoiding winning. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-05-21
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How the burrito became a sandwich (Classic)

A sandwich is generally defined as something delicious slapped between two slices of bread. New York tax code would beg to differ. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-05-19
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Buy now, pay dearly?

A wave of companies that allow customers to pay for items from their favorite stores in four interest-free installments has taken over the country. But is "buy now, pay later" lending too good to be true? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-05-14
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A 12-year-old girl takes on the video game industry (UPDATE)

When Maddie Messer was 12 years old, she noticed an unfair dynamic in the video games she loved: playing as a man was often free, but she had to pay to play as a woman. So ... she decided to take on the video game industry. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-05-11
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The day Russia adopted the free market

In the early 90s, American economist Jeffrey Sachs was a part of a team that tried to transform Russia's economy. It did not go as planned. He tells us what he thinks went so wrong. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-05-07
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Escheat show (Classic)

If you're looking for money you've forgotten about, there's a chance the government might have it. The good news is that you can get it back. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-05-05
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Planet Money book club

Behind every Planet Money episode is a ton of reading. Today, we share some of our favorite books from along the way.

Here are our picks:

From Mary, American Bonds: How Credit Markets Shaped a Nation by Sarah L. Quinn

From Erika, The End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression by Harold James

From Alexi, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
2022-04-29
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Risky business

Two stories on how businesses are using insurance to navigate new kinds of risks. First, how music venues are handling pandemic-related risks. And how Russia's invasion of Ukraine is affecting cyber insurance. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-04-28
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Finally, our comic book

After many, many delays, the Micro-Face comic book is here! And we answer the burning question: Why did it take so long to make a comic book? | Come see Planet Money Live in NYC on May 10th! One night only. Tickets on sale here. And buy our now-ready Micro-Face comic book.
2022-04-23
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TikTok to the top

Thanks to TikTok, Tai Verdes went from struggling musician to Top 40 hitmaker. But first, he had to crack the algorithm of how to go viral. | Come see Planet Money Live in NYC on May 10th! One night only. Tickets on sale here.
2022-04-21
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The student loan paaaaauuuuuse

The pause on federal student loan payments was just extended for the sixth time in two years. So...what's that been like for the borrowers, and what's in store for them when the system eventually restarts? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here. | Planet Money TikTok has been nominated for a Webby award! Cast your vote for us here.
2022-04-15
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Peanuts and Cracker Jack (Classic)

Ballpark vendors share their strategies and other secrets to selling the most hot dogs at baseball games. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-04-13
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How manatees got into hot water

While on the brink of extinction in the 1970s, manatees found sanctuary in the warm waters of Florida power plants. Now, they're hooked on fossil fuels. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-04-09
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Turkey's runaway inflation problem

Turkey is facing really high inflation, over 60 percent. Its president is taking an unorthodox approach to dealing with it. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-04-07
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When bricks were rubles

For a brief, strange period after the U.S.S.R. collapsed, "real" money was less valuable than tradeable objects like bricks or towels. We look back at the Russian barter economy and we see the nature of money and value underneath all currency. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-04-02
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The Bond King

Investing legend Bill Gross revolutionized the bond market, built an empire, and lost it all. Our very own Mary Childs talks about her new book, The Bond King. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-03-31
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Fashion Fair's makeover

Fashion Fair was the first big national brand to make makeup for Black women, but it slowly faded into obscurity. Now that it's relaunched, can it compete in an industry it helped create? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-03-26
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Two inflation Indicators: Corporate greed and mortgage rates

Corporate profits are soaring. So are prices. Can corporations just not raise prices? Would that fight inflation? We examine this theory making the rounds. Then, we go inside the pipes of the economy to see how mortgage rates connect to that recent rate hike by the Federal Reserve. | Subscribe to our sister podcast, The Indicator from Planet Money. It's daily, and always less than 10 minutes.
2022-03-24
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Tech giants and tiny dogs

What a business that makes ramps for wiener dogs teaches us about the massive power of tech giants. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-03-19
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Escape from Russia

An American business owner with employees in Russia extracts her colleagues from the country. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-03-17
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Grocery delivery wars

Behind the scenes at a new kind of grocery store that promises delivery in minutes. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-03-11
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The dollar at the center of the world (Classic)

After World War II devastated the global economy, there was a push for a new universal currency. This is the story of how the U.S. dollar won. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-03-10
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Of oligarchs, oil and rubles

Three stories about how the sanctions imposed on Russia are playing out ? for regular Russian people, for Russia's super-rich, and for Russia's energy exports. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-03-05
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'Fortress' Russia put to the test

The U.S. is putting Russia's defense plan against sanctions to the test. Meanwhile, Russia's role as a huge exporter of oil and natural gas could cause ripple effects throughout the global economy. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
2022-03-03
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