Show cover of Planet Money

Planet Money

Wanna see a trick? Give us any topic and we can tie it back to the economy. At Planet Money, we explore the forces that shape our lives and bring you along for the ride. Don't just understand the economy – understand the world.Wanna go deeper? Subscribe to Planet Money+ and get sponsor-free episodes of Planet Money, The Indicator, and Planet Money Summer School. Plus access to bonus content. It's a new way to support the show you love. Learn more at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

Tracks

One economist's take on popular advice for saving, borrowing, and spending
This episode was first released as a bonus episode for Planet Money+ listeners last month. We're sharing it today for all listeners. To hear more episodes like this one and support NPR in the process, sign up for Planet Money+ at plus.npr.org. Planet Money+ supporters: we'll have a fresh bonus episode for you next week! "Save aggressively for retirement when you're young." "The stock market is a sure-fire long-term bet." "Fixed-rate mortgages are better than adjustable-rate mortgages." Popular financial advice like this appears in all kinds of books by financial thinkfluencers. But how does that advice stack up against more traditional economic thinking? That's the question Yale economist James Choi set out to answer in a paper called Popular Personal Financial Advice Versus The Professors. In this interview, he tells Greg Rosalsky what he found. Their talk marks another edition of Behind The Newsletter, in which Greg shares conversations with policy makers and economists who appear in the Planet Money newsletter. Subscribe to the newsletter at https://www.npr.org/newsletter/money. Read more about James Choi's paper here: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2022/09/06/1120583353/money-management-budgeting-tips
32:57 11/23/2022
How the cookie became a monster
30 years ago, Lou Montulli set out to solve a fundamental problem with the internet, and accidentally created an entirely different one. On today's show, how the cookie went from an obscure piece of code designed to protect anonymity, to an online advertiser's dream, to a privacy advocate's nightmare.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
26:44 11/19/2022
Sam Bankman-Fried and the fall of a crypto empire
Sam Bankman-Fried built a reputation as the one reliable crypto bro. But within the span of days, his empire came crashing down. What the rise and fall of crypto's 30-year-old elder statesman says about the story of crypto so far.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
24:16 11/17/2022
The E-Book Wars
In 2019, a group of librarians (quietly) stormed the offices of a major publisher, Macmillan, to protest a controversial policy on e-books. On this show, how a tiny change - a book on a screen - threw an industry into war with itself.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoneya
25:57 11/11/2022
Peak Sand (classic)
Sand. It's in buildings, windows, your cell phone. But there isn't enough in the world for everyone. And that's created a dangerous black market.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
17:53 11/09/2022
Planet Money tries election polling
Polling is facing an existential crisis. Few people are answering the phone, and fewer people want to answer surveys. On today's show, we pick up the phones ourselves to find out how polling got to this place, and what the future of the poll looks like.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
28:13 11/04/2022
Two Indicators shaking China's economy
Xi Jinping recently secured his third term as China's president – so we're looking at two shocks to the world's second-largest economy. First: How China's housing boom turned into a real estate crisis. Second: How the recent U.S. ban on selling advanced semiconductor chips to China could affect China's technology industry.
19:25 11/02/2022
Planet Money Records Vol. 2: The Negotiation
We got our hands on the long-lost "Inflation" song, and now it's time to put it out into the world. So, we started a record label, and we're diving into the music business to try and make a hit.(This episode is part two of a series. Listen to part one here.)Listen to "Inflation" on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Tidal, Amazon Music & Pandora.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
26:46 10/29/2022
Planet Money Records Vol. 1: Earnest Jackson
We try to start a real record label. Just to put one song out there. It's a song about inflation, recorded in 1975... and never released. Until now.(This episode is part one of a series)Listen to "Inflation" on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Tidal, Amazon Music & Pandora.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
25:44 10/27/2022
The high cost of a strong dollar
When it comes to international trade and finance, everyone pretty much speaks one language: the U.S. dollar. So when the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates and the dollar suddenly gets strong, it can cause huge headaches all over the world.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
27:41 10/22/2022
The money fixers (classic)
How do you mend a broken bill? On this classic episode, we visit the Mutilated Currency Division.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
17:39 10/19/2022
You asked for coupons, Delaware, and the truth about goldfish
On today's show, we're answering listener questions from the Planet Money inbox. Like, who really benefits from retail coupons? And why are goldfish so cheap?Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
23:05 10/15/2022
Two Indicators: back to school
It's fall, so on this episode, we're taking you back to school. First, what sorority rush can teach us about a particular kind of market. Then, how two economists fixed the way macroeconomics was taught in high schools. It's econ, inside and outside the classroom.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
17:55 10/12/2022
Forging Taiwan's Silicon Shield
Taiwan is at the center of a global feud. Its main defense may be what some call its "Silicon Shield" — its powerful semiconductor industry. On today's show, the story of how one economic hero helped to transform Taiwan's economy and create the "Taiwan Miracle."Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
30:38 10/07/2022
Economic anarchy in the UK
Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister of the UK, was determined to change the British economy. Instead, her government's mini-budget helped kick off a mini-financial crisis.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
21:36 10/05/2022
Would you like a side of offshoring with that?
A lot of restaurants took a hit during the pandemic. And when they struggled to find workers, some found surprising solutions. On today's show, what happens when you offshore cashiers.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
22:59 09/30/2022
The miracle apple (Classic)
Today on the show, how we got from mealy, nasty apples to apples that taste delicious. The story starts with a breeder who discovered a miracle apple. But discovering that apple wasn't enough.
14:28 09/28/2022
Econ's Brush with the Law
What happens when you take some of the most powerful people in America — federal judges — and teach them economics? We look at the swanky econ retreats that may have changed American law forever.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
22:36 09/23/2022
The Midnight Connection
Texas's energy grid is largely disconnected from the rest of the U.S. That led to disastrous consequences last year when the state's grid was overloaded during a winter storm. Back in the 1970s, one company attempted to change the system in a secret, middle-of-the-night operation. Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
33:25 09/21/2022
Vibecession Vibes Session
We're not in a recession, but why are the vibes feeling so off? We put the question to an economist and one expert on "vibes" and also hire a jazz band to take a pun way too far.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
26:49 09/17/2022
The Good, the Bad, and the Uggly
Eddie Oygur is an Australian businessman who's sold sheepskin ugg boots for years. But one day, he was hit with a lawsuit for breaking American trademark law. On today's show — what's in the name ugg? Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
31:30 09/15/2022
Two Indicators: unlikely economic relationships
On today's show - how your social circle is one of the strongest predictors of economic mobility and how pop music reflects the economy.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
19:16 09/09/2022
The salvage car Silk Road
A practically brand new Lexus with a New Jersey inspection sticker lands on an auto body lot in Turkmenistan. How did it get there? To find out, we journey into the bizarro economy for misfit cars. And we follow a very different kind of journey – of the auto body repairman from Turkmenistan who brought us this story in the first place. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney
28:44 09/08/2022
Breaking down the price of gasoline
High gas prices have fueled speculation and investigations — is anyone raising prices and keeping prices high for profit? To find out, we break down the price of gas, piece by piece, to show you how we get to the price we see at the pump and how much everyone profits at each step of the way. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
28:14 09/03/2022
SUMMER SCHOOL 8: Productivity & Getting Lit
Productivity is our economic measure for how far our work goes, as individuals and as a society over all. It plays an important role in determining our quality of life, the prices of our goods and services, and, to some extent, the amount of free time we have. Today, we explore how thousands of years of productivity advancements transformed something now so standard that we take it for granted: light. | At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.
30:47 08/31/2022
Wake up and smell the fraud
Sometimes online shopping can feel a little unsavory. There are the listings that make you question if you'll really be getting exactly what's advertised. And there's no worse feeling than paying for something and then not getting it. But when Nina Kollars ordered coffee pods and got WAY more than she asked for, it made her feel just as uneasy. Her quest for answers and what it teaches us about a new generation of online fraud. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
22:08 08/26/2022
SUMMER SCHOOL 7: The Fed & Volcker's Socks
The Federal Reserve plays a very important role in the economy. When things start to look uncertain, the central bank is tasked with stepping in to restore people's confidence in the economy. But how do they do it? On today's episode we dive deep on monetary policy and the role of the fed. |At this Summer School, phones ARE allowed during class... Check out this week's PM TikTok! | Listen to past seasons of Summer School here.
32:22 08/24/2022
Inflation Reduction Actually
Congress just passed the biggest, most ambitious climate bill in history. And it's called ... the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. What's with that branding? And what can the bill teach us about actually fighting inflation? | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.
21:14 08/19/2022
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.
33:11 08/17/2022
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.
26:50 08/13/2022