Podcast

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.

Episodes

  • #956: The Carriage Tax

    Dec 07 2019

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

  • #773: Slot Flaw Scofflaws

    Dec 04 2019

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

  • #955: Pirate Videos

    Nov 29 2019

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

  • #674: We Cooked A Peacock

    Nov 27 2019

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

  • #954: What Is Foreign Interference, Anyway?

    Nov 22 2019

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

  • #953: Three Sides Of A Car Loan

    Nov 20 2019

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

  • #952: Sperm Banks

    Nov 16 2019

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

  • #951: Snakebite

    Nov 13 2019

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

  • #950: Overrated Or Underrated?

    Nov 08 2019

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

  • #777: Free Love, Free Market

    Nov 06 2019

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

  • #949: The Pigou Club

    Nov 02 2019

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

  • #948: A Series Of Unfortunate Recessions

    Oct 31 2019

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

  • #947: Some-of-the-Money Ball

    Oct 25 2019

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

  • #946: Fries Of The Future

    Oct 23 2019

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

  • #945: The Liberty City

    Oct 19 2019

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

  • #753: Blockchain Gang

    Oct 16 2019

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

  • #944: We Should Have Mentioned That

    Oct 11 2019

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

  • #763: BOTUS

    Oct 09 2019

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

  • #943: Unicorn Cowboy

    Oct 04 2019

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

  • #942: Capitalism In The Courtroom

    Oct 02 2019

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

  • #941: Three Bets

    Sep 28 2019

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

  • #770: When India's Cash Disappeared

    Sep 25 2019

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

  • #940: Interest Rates... Why So Negative?

    Sep 20 2019

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

  • #658: Strike One

    Sep 18 2019

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

  • #939: The Working Tapes Of Studs Terkel

    Sep 13 2019

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

  • #794: How To Make It In The Music Business

    Sep 11 2019

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

  • #938: The Marshall Plan

    Sep 07 2019

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

  • #371: Where Dollar Bills Come From

    Sep 04 2019

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

  • #937: Moving To Opportunity?

    Aug 30 2019

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

  • #936: The Modal American

    Aug 29 2019

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

  • 935: You Asked For A Food Show

    Aug 23 2019

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

  • #934: Two Yield Curve Indicators

    Aug 21 2019

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

  • #933: Find The Helium

    Aug 16 2019

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

  • #616: How Solar Got Cheap

    Aug 14 2019

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

  • #932: Deep Learning With The Elephants

    Aug 09 2019

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

  • #931: The IT Guy Vs. The Con Artist

    Aug 07 2019

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

  • #930: Twins

    Aug 03 2019

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

  • #598: That Time We Shorted America, Part Two

    Jul 31 2019

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

  • #597: That Time We Shorted America, Part One

    Jul 26 2019

    Today on the show, we ignore the advice of some very smart people and bet against something people love.

  • #929: Could A Wealth Tax Work?

    Jul 24 2019

    Elizabeth Warren wants to tax the wealth of the mega-rich to help fix inequality. Europe tried this, and failed. Can it work in the U.S.?

  • #928: Hong Kong

    Jul 19 2019

    In 1960, a 12-year-old boy left mainland China, hidden in the bottom of a fishing boat. He later became one of Hong Kong's richest people. His story is the story of Hong Kong.

  • #927: The Indicator In The House

    Jul 18 2019

    Two highlights from our daily podcast, The Indicator, about houses. A plan to lower rents pits state against city, and a private firefighter breaks down his business for us. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

  • #926: So, Should We Recycle?

    Jul 13 2019

    Cities might be picking up your recyclables, but there is a very good chance they aren't being recycled. And that might be a good thing...if you really care about the planet. Part two of a two-part series. ⎸Subscribe to our newsletter here.

  • #925: A Mob Boss, A Garbage Boat and Why We Recycle

    Jul 10 2019

    In 1987, an Alabama man had an idea. So he made a deal with the mob. And ended up with 3,186 tons of trash no landfill would take. This is the accidental birth of recycling in the U.S. ⎸Subscribe to our newsletter here.

  • #924: Stuck In China's Panopticon

    Jul 05 2019

    China is building a high-tech surveillance state to capture minorities' every move and word. We go inside it and find that some Americans are involved. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter npr.org/planetmoneynewsletter

  • #752: Eagles vs. Chickens

    Jul 03 2019

    A farmer in Georgia became more in tune with nature. Then eagles started killing his chickens. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter: npr.org/planetmoneynewsletter

  • #923: Good Teachers, Bad Deal

    Jun 28 2019

    Teachers made a deal with the Department of Education. They kept their end of the bargain. Why didn't the government?

  • #922: The Cost of Getting Your Money Back

    Jun 27 2019

    Accidentally sending $1,500 to a stranger on Venmo reveals just how hard it is to get your money back in the new economy.

  • #921: Tales From The Parking Lot

    Jun 21 2019

    Three stories: A tire-booting vigilante, a surge price conspiracy, and the civil rights fight over parking tickets.

  • #920: What Should We Be Worried About?

    Jun 19 2019

    The economic recovery turns 10 this month. Don't get too comfortable. There's plenty to be worried about.

  • #919: Are Cities Overrated?

    Jun 14 2019

    Big cities used to be the land of opportunity for most people. But with changes in work, some economists are wondering: Are cities overrated?

  • #590: The Planet Money Workout

    Jun 12 2019

    Gyms don't want you to workout. Or at least, not often. It's better for business that way. Economics explains why.

  • #918: The Day Of Two Noons

    Jun 07 2019

    People didn't always know what time it was. But in the nineteenth century, a high school principal, a scientist, and a railroad bureaucrat synchronized the nation.

  • #651: The Salmon Taboo

    Jun 05 2019

    In Japan, salmon used to be garbage fish. Today, it's a delicacy. How one Norwegian with a lot of extra fish changed the tastes of a nation.

  • #917: Quit Threat!

    May 31 2019

    Sometimes an economy can get so strong the power dynamic between bosses and workers flips: Full employment. Are we there yet?

  • #916: The Whistleblower Whisperer

    May 29 2019

    Jordan Thomas is a lawyer who represents some of Wall Street's biggest whistleblowers. The life that led him here is extraordinary.

  • #915: How To Meddle In An Election

    May 24 2019

    In which someone runs a science experiment on an actual election, on actual voters, to test the persuasive power of ethically sketchy methods.

  • #914: Trump and Deutsche, A Long Affair

    May 23 2019

    After Donald Trump's companies declared four bankruptcies, several major banks stopped loaning him money. But Deutsche Bank didn't.

  • #913: Counting The Homeless

    May 18 2019

    From renting hotels to a jobs report-like census in the night, we look at ways communities are helping the homeless.

  • #407: A Mathematician, The Last Supper, And The Birth Of Accounting

    May 15 2019

    The story of an innovation that changed the way the world works, and of the man who made this innovation possible: Luca Pacioli.

  • #912: How Uncle Jamie Broke Jeopardy

    May 10 2019

    James Holzhauer took data, probability and a lot of practice with a fake buzzer, and turned it into a fortune on a game show.

  • #911: You Asked The Listener Question Hotline

    May 08 2019

    We answer a bunch of the questions you asked — and even one you *didn't* ask.

  • #910: Economics, Sexism, Data

    May 03 2019

    A young economist holds a mirror up to her field. And starts a national conversation about women in economics.

  • #416: Why The Price of Coke Didn't Change For 70 years

    May 01 2019

    For 70 years, the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola stayed a nickel. Why? The answer includes a half a million vending machines and a 7.5 cent coin.

  • #909: Dollar Stores Vs Lettuce

    Apr 27 2019

    Every six hours a new dollar store opens in the U.S. Are they killing grocery stores?

  • #908: I Am Not A Robot

    Apr 24 2019

    The remarkable story of the online "CAPTCHA" tests we've all taken to prove that we're not robots.

  • #907: Two Spring Indicators

    Apr 19 2019

    The Indicator from Planet Money explores trade wars, peanuts, hurricanes, and happiness.

  • #644: How Much Does This Cow Weigh?

    Apr 17 2019

    We wanted to understand an eerie phenomenon that drives everything from the stock market to the price of orange juice. So we asked you to guess the weight of a cow.

  • #906: The Chicago Boys, Part II

    Apr 12 2019

    How a ruthless dictator, and a bunch of economists known as the Chicago Boys, took Chile from socialism to capitalism.

  • #905: The Chicago Boys, Part I

    Apr 11 2019

    In the late 1950s and early '60s a handful of Chilean students went to study economics at the University of Chicago. What they learned changed their country.

  • #904: Joke Theft

    Apr 06 2019

    Copyrighting comedy is expensive. So comedians have devised an informal system of sanctions to protect their jokes from theft. Sometimes it works.

  • #760: Tax Hero

    Apr 04 2019

    Joe Bankman, professor at Stanford, figured out a way to make filing your taxes easy and painless. Then the tax lobby found out about it.

  • #903: A New Way To Pay For College

    Mar 29 2019

    Some colleges are offering students a new way to pay. It's not a scholarship. It's not a loan. It's more like the students are selling stock in themselves.

  • #902: The Phoebus Cartel

    Mar 28 2019

    The story behind two sneaky forces that drive us to buy more products, more often: Planned obsolescence and psychological obsolescence.

  • #901: Bad Cops Are Expensive

    Mar 22 2019

    There's an industry of people working to eliminate bad police behavior. They're not activists or protestors. They're insurers.

  • #189: Why A Dead Shark Costs $12 Million

    Mar 20 2019

    Today's show is about the fickle market for art. What makes a dead shark cost $12 million, and a photo of steel wool that looks like a tornado cost only $1,265?

  • #900: The Stolen Company

    Mar 15 2019

    When an American company named ABRO learns their goods are being counterfeited in China, they start their own trade war.

  • #724: Cat Scam

    Mar 13 2019

    The internet was supposed to get rid of middlemen--but instead they are taking over the global economy.

  • #899: Mexico Fights The Fuel Pirates

    Mar 08 2019

    Thieves are stealing billions of dollars worth of gasoline in Mexico. The President is taking drastic action to cut them off, and it comes at a serious cost. Content warning: Audio of deadly pipeline explosion.

  • #785: The Starbury

    Mar 07 2019

    The story of an NBA All-Star and an experiment: To make a desirable basketball shoe cheap enough for anyone.

  • #898: Happy Fed Independence Day

    Mar 02 2019

    The story of the day the Federal Reserve got its independence and the fight—an actual physical fight—to keep it.

  • #897: New Orleans Vs. Airbnb

    Feb 28 2019

    Airbnb has changed New Orleans. And now landlords and preservationists are fighting over the future of the city.

  • Antitrust 3: Big Tech

    Feb 22 2019

    What does the rise of dominant tech companies say about competition and the state of antitrust law? Third in a series.

  • Antitrust 2: The Paradox

    Feb 20 2019

    How Robert Bork won the fight over the very meaning of competition in America, and paved the way for some of the biggest companies we've ever seen.

  • Antitrust 1: Standard Oil

    Feb 15 2019

    At the turn of the 20th century, Ida Tarbell investigated John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil. What she discovered changed the economy of the United States.

  • #418: A Fake Bank For Money Laundering Run By The Government

    Feb 14 2019

    To catch drug traffickers, the U.S. government tried something it had never tried before. It set up and ran a fake offshore bank for money laundering. Fake name. Fake employees. Real drug money.

  • #893: Our Valentines 2019

    Feb 08 2019

    We give a shout out to the stuff we've been obsessing over in the office — those stories that were so good, we wished we had thought of them ourselves.

  • #892: The Lost Plane

    Feb 07 2019

    In December, a commercial flight had to make an emergency landing in Iran. They discovered that landing there would be easy. Getting out – much, much harder.

  • #891: Who Won The Bet Over Bitcoin?

    Feb 01 2019

    Five years ago, two sides met on our show to make a bet about the future of bitcoin. Today, we announce the winner.

  • #825: Who Started The Wildfire?

    Jan 30 2019

    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?

  • #890: The Division Problem

    Jan 25 2019

    Today on the show, we take on one of life's most vexing problems: Sharing.

  • #688: Brilliant Vs. Boring

    Jan 23 2019

    John Bogle died last week. His creation — the index fund — changed investing. Today, how his invention set off a million dollar bet between some of the biggest brains on Wall Street, including Warren Buffett.

  • #889: The Pay-What-You-Want Experiment

    Jan 18 2019

    In 2010, Panera launched several pay-what-you-want cafes. On today's show: How this charitable experiment worked out.

  • #888: The First Shutdown

    Jan 17 2019

    In 1879, Congress and the President were locked in a battle over the rights of African-Americans. It led to the first government shutdown.

  • #887: You Asked For It, Yet Again

    Jan 12 2019

    On today's show we answer questions about silver dollars, Venmo, and Brexit. Why? Because you asked!

  • #690: All In

    Jan 09 2019

    We go inside a professional poker tournament, where some of the smartest betting takes place behind the scenes.

  • #886: The Price of a Hack

    Jan 04 2019

    Hackers are an expensive headache for companies. But there might be a simple economic fix.

  • #885: Do It For Your Country

    Jan 02 2019

    People are the engine that fuels an economy. But what happens when you start running out of people?

  • #884: The Rest Of The Story, Winter 2018

    Dec 28 2018

    We check in on some stories we did this year to see what's changed. Find a full list of the episodes we referenced at our website, NPR.org/money.

  • #609: The Curse Of The Black Lotus

    Dec 26 2018

    How the card game "Magic: The Gathering" deflated a speculative bubble. You can support our show at donate.npr.org/planetmoney.

  • BONUS INDICATOR: The Calculator That Time Forgot

    Dec 24 2018

    Most products in this world are vulnerable to creative destruction: as new products are developed, they make old ones obsolete. But there are some exceptions — products that persist, resisting change while economic evolution continues without them. For instance: the graphing calculator. (This episode is from our other podcast, The Indicator from Planet Money. Subscribe to it wherever you get your podcasts.)

  • #883: A Very Planet Money Christmas Carol

    Dec 21 2018

    Charles Dickens wanted to pick a fight with economists. So he invented Ebenezer Scrooge. But did he get it all right? Also: If you want to support our show, head over to donate.npr.org/planetmoney. We appreciate it.

  • #882: Synthetic Reefer Madness

    Dec 20 2018

    How a professor invented a formula for synthesizing cannabinoids and unintentionally helped launch a drug revolution.

  • BONUS INDICATOR: The Measure Of A Tragedy

    Dec 17 2018

    Ricardo Hausmann, a Harvard-based Venezuelan economist, has constructed his own indicator, one that captures the horrifying scale of the economic catastrophe in Venezuela. (This episode is from our other podcast, The Indicator. Subscribe to it wherever you get your podcasts.)

  • #881: The Prisoners of the Trade War

    Dec 15 2018

    A truce in the U.S.-China trade war seemed close. The leaders of China and the United States were meeting to discuss a fix. And then arrests started. It got even more confusing, so today, we call up our man on the ground in Shanghai to make sense of it all. The key to understanding the latest turn in the trade war centers around a giant company most Americans haven't heard of called Huawei. Its rise traces the rise of China's economy and Chinese-style capitalism.

  • #539: What's A Penny Worth?

    Dec 13 2018

    We try to figure out what makes cents.

  • #880: Is Amazon Good For New York?

    Dec 07 2018

    It feels like all of New York City is arguing about Amazon's new office in Queens. But what do the people in Long Island City think?

  • #533: Why Car Safety Is A Trade Barrier

    Dec 06 2018

    The U.S. and Europe just can't agree on car safety standards. That puts car companies in a weird position, makes cars cost more and just seems kind of random and wasteful.

  • #879: The Secret Target

    Dec 01 2018

    Their plan was dangerous, risky, and extremely unpopular. But America copied them anyway. Today on the show: how a tiny country on the other side of the world changed how America runs its economy.

  • #468: Kid Rock Vs. The Scalpers

    Nov 28 2018

    We talk to Kid Rock about how he tried to cut scalpers out of the business — and still sell cheap tickets to his shows.

  • VIDEO: The Price Of Coke Stayed The Same For 70 Years — Why?

    Nov 26 2018

    For 70 years, a Coca-Cola cost a nickel. The price didn't change. How is that even possible? You can also watch the video here: https://youtu.be/Bcz0BJGEVUY

  • #878: Mugshots For Sale

    Nov 23 2018

    We go deep inside the market for online mugshots. Is it extortion? Or is it a First Amendment right?

  • #877: The Laws of The Office

    Nov 21 2018

    You get what you measure. Work expands to fill the time allotted. Who comes up with this stuff? And is it true?

  • VIDEO: Put A Chip On It

    Nov 19 2018

    A quick history of slow credit cards. This video also available here: https://youtu.be/2IksSNiEo2g

  • #699: Kansas City Vs. Kansas City

    Nov 17 2018

    A bunch of you asked why so many cities threw billions in tax breaks at Amazon. It reminded us of an episode we did in 2016.

  • #876: Patent Deception

    Nov 15 2018

    How World Patent Marketing stole nearly $26 million. And how the acting attorney general was involved.

  • VIDEO: A Grave Promise

    Nov 12 2018

    If you die in America, chances are the cemetery is going to promise to maintain your grave forever. Americans take this for granted, but it's a wacky, wild promise that we maybe should not be making. You can also watch this video here: https://youtu.be/xYDYDThuJe4

  • #875: Why Did The Cow Cross The Border?

    Nov 10 2018

    To take advantage of the surprising benefits provided by an interlocked economic system on the other side.

  • #874: Hot Dog Hail Mary

    Nov 07 2018

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

  • VIDEO: Inventing Price Tags

    Nov 05 2018

    For most of human history, you had to haggle over prices before you could buy something. Then came the idea of the price tag.

  • #873: The Seattle Experiment

    Nov 02 2018

    Seattle's radical solution to big money in politics: Flood elections with even more money.

  • #872: The Halloween Tapes

    Oct 31 2018

    Something spooky has been happening here at Planet Money.

  • Video: The Miracle Apple

    Oct 30 2018

    We're kicking off a quick season of our bonus video series, Planet Money Shorts. Watch how apples became brands, and started being more than delicious.

  • #871: Blacklisted In China

    Oct 26 2018

    China is trying a bold experiment to help people trust each other more: The social credit score. Will it work? Does it go too far?

  • #676: The First Lottery & How To Beat The Odds

    Oct 23 2018

    The first lottery was a royal affair with poems, golden flatware and invited criminals. Also, how someone won the lottery over and over.

  • #870: Trump vs. Red Tape

    Oct 19 2018

    President Trump promised to slash regulations. How has he done?

  • #453: What Causes What?

    Oct 17 2018

    We try to tell the difference between correlation and causation.

  • #869: The Student Loan Whistleblower

    Oct 12 2018

    Seth Frotman worked overseeing student loans for the government. He saw things that made him quit, and tell all.

  • #534: The History of Light (Nobel Edition)

    Oct 08 2018

    Bill Nordhaus just won the economics Nobel. In this show: He shows how history of light is the history of economic growth — of things getting faster, cheaper, and more efficient.

  • #868: Moneyland

    Oct 05 2018

    We follow writer Oliver Bullough as he explores how stolen money moves around the world, and what that might mean for democracies.

  • #680: Anatomy Of A Scam

    Oct 03 2018

    Ever seen one of those signs asking if you want to work from home? We find out what happens when you call.

  • #867: Special Report: Asylum Crackdown

    Sep 29 2018

    We tell the story of a massive crackdown on asylum fraud, and the fallout.

  • #866: Modern Monetary Theory

    Sep 27 2018

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

  • #865: Tweak This

    Sep 21 2018

    We propose small fixes for baseball, weddings, salary negotiations and buying your morning coffee. Warning: They may be too rational.

  • #657: The Tale Of The Onion King

    Sep 19 2018

    How one man took the onion market hostage.

  • #864: The Central (Bankers') Question

    Sep 15 2018

    We crash a party of central bankers to get an answer to one of the biggest economic questions of our time.

  • For Our 10th Anniversary, Episode #1

    Sep 12 2018

    In honor of our 10th anniversary, we revisit our very first episode.

  • #863: The 13th Hole

    Sep 08 2018

    What a hole-in-one gone awry says about the state of charity.

  • #729: When Subaru Came Out

    Sep 05 2018

    Subaru's sales had been slumping for years. Then they went straight to their biggest fans: Lesbians.

  • #862: Big Government Cheese

    Aug 31 2018

    That time we accidentally created a cheese surplus so large it had to be stored in a ginormous cave.

  • #783: New Jersey Bails Out

    Aug 29 2018

    California just did away with cash bail. But credit where credit is due. New Jersey already tried something similar.

  • #861: Food Scare Squad

    Aug 24 2018

    When food makes people sick all around the country, an army of germ detectives jumps into action.

  • #444: New Jersey Wine

    Aug 22 2018

    Today on the show: Could New Jersey become the next Napa?

  • #860: The World's Longest Yard Sale

    Aug 17 2018

    Six states. Three days. One ugly cookie jar. Today on the show: Yard sale!

  • #613: Trash!

    Aug 15 2018

    The line between trash and recycling is moving a lot these days. It's a tough time to be a recycler.

  • #859: You Asked For Even More

    Aug 10 2018

    You have a lot of questions... about tariffs, unemployment rates, and RV dealerships, to name a few. We have answers.

  • #704: Open Office

    Aug 08 2018

    This episode is for everyone who ever had to ask their coworkers to quiet down. Today on the show: We meet the man who stole your office door.

  • #858: Venezuela's Fugitive Money Traders

    Aug 03 2018

    The Venezuelan government doesn't want you to know the real value of its currency. But Ruben and Mila figured it out. Now they're on the lam.

  • #857: The Postal Illuminati

    Aug 01 2018

    Is there a secretive postal organization fixing international shipping rates, and giving American businesses a bad deal?

  • #856: Yes In My Backyard

    Jul 27 2018

    There's a simple way to solve the housing crisis in U.S. cities. Only problem is, almost everybody hates it.

  • #855: The Poop Cartel

    Jul 25 2018

    What happens when a group of economists applies the number one rule of economics... to number two?

  • #854: The New Socialists

    Jul 20 2018

    Socialism was political poison in the U.S. for decades. Now it's gaining ground. Who are these new socialists? And what do they want?

  • #472: The One-Page Plan To Fix Global Warming Revisited

    Jul 18 2018

    Tax carbon emissions. That's basically the whole plan. What's the hold up?

  • #853: Peak Sand

    Jul 13 2018

    Sand. It's in buildings, windows, your cell phone. But there isn't enough in the world for everyone. And that's created a dangerous black market.

  • #427: LeBron James Is Still Underpaid

    Jul 11 2018

    The best player in basketball is getting hosed. The NBA team owners, the players, the fans and even LeBron James himself want to keep it that way.

  • #852: Two Summer Indicators

    Jul 06 2018

    Two stories from our Indicator team. There's a province in China that makes many of the world's flags. It's a unique window on global trade right now. And we find out why so few teenagers are working summer jobs these days.

  • #700: Peanuts And Cracker Jack

    Jul 03 2018

    It takes strategy and skill to sell snacks at a baseball game. Meet the hot dog vending legend of Fenway Park.

  • #851: The Rest Of The Story Summer 2018

    Jun 30 2018

    A pesticide wreaks havoc. A listener needs a bitcoin detective. And the search for the rarest economic good continues.

  • #850: The Fake Review Hunter

    Jun 27 2018

    Fake product reviews are wrecking the internet. But help is on the way: From a bodybuilding fake review hunter.

  • VIDEO: The Chicken Tax

    Jun 25 2018

    Which came first, the frozen chicken or the tax on foreign trucks? Just kidding, it was the frozen chicken — then came the American tax that helped shape the domestic market for trucks.

  • #682: When CEO Pay Exploded

    Jun 22 2018

    Politicians have argued for decades that CEOs are overpaid. But there's this precise moment in the 1990s when CEO pay suddenly shot up. We find out what happened.

  • #849: It Takes Two To Make A Trade War Fight

    Jun 20 2018

    President Trump says China is stealing U.S. technology. So we looked into one case. And things got a little complicated.

  • #848: The World's Biggest Battery

    Jun 15 2018

    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.

  • #847: Inventing Accidents

    Jun 13 2018

    The medical world has been trying to cure color blindness for centuries. Then a glass scientist figured it out. By accident.

  • #846: Ungerrymandering Florida

    Jun 09 2018

    When Florida outlawed partisan gerrymandering, politicians tried to sneak it back in...in disguise.

  • #660: The T-Rex In My Backyard

    Jun 06 2018

    Meet Sue, the dinosaur who sparked a gold rush for fossils buried in the badlands of North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.

  • #845: REDMAP

    Jun 02 2018

    Meet the man who figured out how to reshape national politics by making tiny investments in the smallest of places.

  • #844: Nice Game

    May 31 2018

    In game theory, sometimes the best way to win, is to lose.

  • #843: Swamp Gravy

    May 25 2018

    Today on the show: A small town stakes its future on writing, directing, and starring in a musical.

  • #643: The Taxi King

    May 23 2018

    Gene Freidman built a taxi empire. We visited him before he was in legal trouble.

  • #842: Showdown at the WTO

    May 18 2018

    The World Trade Organization: Can't live with it, hard to crush your trade opponents without it.

  • #696: Class Action

    May 16 2018

    Class actions run from big civil rights cases to arguments about pepper. Are they noble, or silly?

  • #841: The Land Of Duty Free

    May 11 2018

    We meet the man who invented duty free shopping and find out if these tax free stores are really saving us any money.

  • #840: Fixing Chicken

    May 09 2018

    Today on the show: A chicken index, some Wall Street investors, and an unlikely whistle-blower.

  • #839: The Indicator Goes To California

    May 04 2018

    California is way more than Hollywood. Today on the show, we look at what else is going on in this powerhouse state economy.

  • #575: The Fondue Conspiracy

    May 02 2018

    Today on the show: How a cheese cartel abandoned the rules of economics and convinced the world to eat fondue.

  • #838: A Series of Mysterious Packages

    Apr 27 2018

    Unordered trinkets have been arriving at homes around the country. We try to find out why.

  • #640: The Bottom Of The Well

    Apr 25 2018

    Today on the show: the economics of drought, and why the rational thing to do in California right now is use more water.

  • #837: The Belt, The Road And The Money

    Apr 21 2018

    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.)

  • #836: The Rational Madness Of The Used Car Salesman

    Apr 19 2018

    Why are used car commercials so annoying? Meet the original sinner.

  • #835: Tariffied

    Apr 13 2018

    We're in a full-fledged trade war with China. We dig into the list of tariffs on American products. It gets weird...and delicious.

  • #661: The Less Deadly Catch

    Apr 11 2018

    Today on the show: how an economic fix helped made the deadliest job in America safer, and why people are angry about it.

  • #834: NDA Tell-All

    Apr 07 2018

    Today on the show, we talk to one of the most famous NDA breakers of all time, and ask: Is there a legal way out of your NDA?

  • #685: Larry vs. The IRS

    Apr 04 2018

    What exactly would happen if you didn't pay your taxes? Today on the show, we follow one man who did just that.

  • #833: Worst. Tariffs. Ever.

    Mar 30 2018

    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.

  • #832: Mulvaney Vs The CFPB

    Mar 28 2018

    What happens when you put someone who wants to close an agency, in charge of that agency? Today on the show, we find out.

  • #671: An Insider Trader Tells All

    Mar 23 2018

    A man who got caught insider trading explains everything — what he did, how he did it, and why.

  • #831: The Golden Rules

    Mar 21 2018

    Planet Money joins the gold rush 170 years late. And the rules are still about the same. How did that happen?

  • #454: The Lollipop War

    Mar 16 2018

    What do sugar farmers have against candy? A lot, according to candy manufacturers.

  • #830: XXX-XX-XXXX

    Mar 14 2018

    How did the social security number become the most important identifier in the United States? And is that even a good idea?

  • #829: Rigging The Economy

    Mar 09 2018

    Two guys from different ends of the political spectrum agree that the economy is rigged. And they think they know who's responsible.

  • #677: The Experiment Experiment

    Mar 07 2018

    There's something wrong with the way we're doing science. Today on the show, we find out how to fix it.

  • #828: You Asked For More

    Mar 02 2018

    We ponder the price of chicken, safe haven currencies, and the cash value of coupons. Why? Because you asked.

  • #827: Three Indicators

    Feb 28 2018

    What do human blood, the conservative tax plan, and beer hops tell us about the world? Find out in today's episode.

  • #826: The Vodka Proof

    Feb 23 2018

    Vodka is the best selling spirit in the United States, and there are zillions of brands. But is there any difference between them?

  • #545: The Blue Pallet

    Feb 21 2018

    How do you reinvent something as simple as the wooden shipping pallet?

  • #825: Who Started The Wildfire

    Feb 16 2018

    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?

  • #824: Our Valentines

    Feb 14 2018

    If you can't beat 'em, send 'em a valentine.

  • #823: Planet Monet

    Feb 09 2018

    Investors are pouring money into art, and a lot of it is disappearing into storage. We try to find out where the art goes, and why it goes there.

  • #337: The Secret Document that Transformed China

    Feb 07 2018

    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.

  • #822: The Shortest Super Bowl

    Feb 02 2018

    How does the market for Super Bowl tickets work? And why did it collapse in 2015?

  • #821: The Other Davos

    Feb 01 2018

    Billionaires, diplomats, thinkfluencers. This is the Davos everyone hears about. Today on the show, we take you to a different Davos.

  • #820: P Is For Phosphorus

    Jan 26 2018

    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?

  • #819: Tax Me If You Can

    Jan 25 2018

    Douglas Bruce had a bold vision for Colorado.

  • #508: A Bet On The Future Of Humanity

    Jan 19 2018

    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.

  • #818: The Problem Of The Root

    Jan 18 2018

    The wild ginseng market has gone crazy. We go to a farm hidden in the Appalachian mountains to find out why.

  • #817: The Gun Man

    Jan 13 2018

    Will 3-D printing make gun control impossible?

  • #489: The Invisible Plumbing Of Our Economy

    Jan 10 2018

    Why does it take days to send money electronically?

  • #816: Bitcoin Losers

    Jan 05 2018

    The Bitcoin market has gone crazy. And it's revealing something strange. A lot of people can't find their Bitcoins. We go looking for lost billions.

  • #273: When The U.S. Paid Off The Entire National Debt

    Jan 03 2018

    What does a country with no debt look like? To find out, we went back to the United States in 1835.

  • #815: The Rest of the Story 2017

    Dec 29 2017

    Every year at Planet Money, we take a cue from radio legend Paul Harvey and bring you "The Rest of the Story." It's a show where we check in on some of the episodes that we've done in the past year, and tell you what's changed.

  • #544: The M&M Anomaly

    Dec 27 2017

    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.

  • BONUS INDICATOR: How Airfare Is Changing

    Dec 25 2017

    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.)

  • #814: The Tax Plan Is Huge

    Dec 22 2017

    Congress just passed the largest tax overhaul in decades. We dig in.

  • #670: The Santa Suit

    Dec 20 2017

    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.

  • BONUS INDICATOR: Forget Neutrality

    Dec 18 2017

    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.

  • #813: The Produce Show

    Dec 16 2017

    Five reporters go to the New York Produce Show and Conference, each on a mission.

  • #812: High Rise, Low Returns

    Dec 13 2017

    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.

  • BONUS: The Indicator, From Planet Money

    Dec 11 2017

    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.

  • SPACE 4: 3 2 1

    Dec 09 2017

    We've got a satellite. We got a rocket. We're heading to the launch pad.

  • SPACE 3: Rocket Shopping

    Dec 07 2017

    We found a satellite. We tried to figure out what it would do. Now we need to choose our rocket.

  • SPACE 2: Wait, Why Are We Going To Space?

    Dec 01 2017

    We hitched a ride on a satellite. Now we have to figure out what we're going to do up there.

  • SPACE 1: We're Going To Space

    Nov 30 2017

    We really are going to space.

  • #807: Anatomy of a Hustle

    Nov 24 2017

    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.

  • #665: The Free Food Market

    Nov 22 2017

    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.

  • #806: Walmart's Pickle

    Nov 17 2017

    Walmart and Amazon are in a battle to be the store where you buy everything. But when both companies sell everything, what sets them apart? Food inventions like a bright, red pickle!

  • #805: War And Peace And Cows

    Nov 15 2017

    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.

  • #672: Bagging the Birkin

    Nov 10 2017

    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.

  • #804: Your Cell Phone's A Snitch

    Nov 08 2017

    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.

  • #369: If Teens Ran the Fed

    Nov 03 2017

    Once a year, teenagers from across the country team up and compete to run the U.S. Federal Reserve.

  • #803: Nudge, Nudge, Nobel

    Nov 01 2017

    Why do smart people make dumb decisions? Figuring that out won Richard Thaler a Nobel Prize.

  • #802: The Hotel at the Center of the World

    Oct 28 2017

    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.

  • #579: Is the NCAA An Illegal Cartel?

    Oct 25 2017

    In any other industry, it's illegal for a group of companies to get together and cap wages. What makes the NCAA different?

  • #801: The Death Show

    Oct 20 2017

    Today on the show: death. We have four stories about how people prepare for death and what they leave behind for the living.

  • #581: Free Money

    Oct 18 2017

    Bob Peterson claims to have found the thing people have sought for thousands of years — an investment guaranteed to double in value. He keeps it in a storage locker in Utah. It's protected by a single padlock.

  • #800: North Korea's Capitalists

    Oct 14 2017

    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.

  • #799: Corporate! Income! Tax!

    Oct 11 2017

    Republicans are proposing big changes to the corporate income tax. Trillions of dollars are at stake. Here's what it all means.

  • #798: Bad Credit Bureau

    Oct 07 2017

    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.

  • #648: The Benefits of Bankruptcy

    Oct 04 2017

    It might just be the secret weapon of the U.S. economy.

  • #797: Flood Money

    Sep 29 2017

    Bill Pennington's house floods a lot: Three times in the last three years. And every time his house floods, the government pays to help him repair the damage. Is something wrong here?

  • #524: Mr Jones' Act

    Sep 27 2017

    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.

  • #796: The Basic Income Experiment

    Sep 22 2017

    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.

  • #795: Is Record Breaking Broken?

    Sep 20 2017

    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.

  • #794: How To Make It In The Music Business

    Sep 15 2017

    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.

  • #647: Hard Work Is Irrelevant

    Sep 13 2017

    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?

  • #793: This Week in Time Bombs

    Sep 09 2017

    We look at three time bombs Congress is sitting on: The federal budget, the debt ceiling, and DREAMers.

  • #628: This Ad's For You

    Sep 06 2017

    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.

  • #792: The Ransom Problem

    Sep 02 2017

    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.

  • #791: Tips From Spies

    Aug 30 2017

    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.

  • #790: Rough Translation in Ukraine

    Aug 25 2017

    Fake news from Russia helped spark a real war in Ukraine. What can Ukraine's fight against fake news teach the US?

  • #652: The Hydrox Resurrection

    Aug 23 2017

    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.

  • #789: Robocall Invasion

    Aug 18 2017

    Your phone rings--it looks like your neighbor's calling. But instead, it's the creepiest scam of the year.

  • #653: The Anti-Store

    Aug 16 2017

    Costco made shopping harder, and customers loved it. Now a new company is taking the Costco experience to new extremes.

  • #788: Robert And Kenny Go To The Fair

    Aug 11 2017

    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.

  • #399: Can You Patent a Steak?

    Aug 09 2017

    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.

  • #787: Google Is Big. Is That Bad?

    Aug 04 2017

    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.

  • #471: The Eddie Murphy Rule

    Aug 02 2017

    We answer one of the most important questions in finance: What actually happens at the end of Trading Places?

  • #786: Rest of the Story 2017, Vol. 1

    Jul 28 2017

    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.

  • #629: Buy Low, Sell Prime

    Jul 26 2017

    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.

  • #785: The Starbury

    Jul 21 2017

    Most athlete endorsements make a product more expensive. But what happens when an NBA All-Star uses his name to make a sneaker much, much cheaper? On today's show: How that worked out.

  • #594: Board Games

    Jul 19 2017

    On today's show: The story of two guys who tried to cut the pay of a CEO at a small pneumatic tool company.

  • #784: Meeting The Russians

    Jul 14 2017

    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.

  • #783: New Jersey Bails Out

    Jul 12 2017

    Bail is broken. In New Jersey, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges banded together to try a dramatic solution: Blow it up.

  • #782: Budget Time

    Jul 07 2017

    We run through the entire federal budget — in 10 minutes. More than $6 billion per second. Go.

  • #586: How Stuff Gets Cheaper

    Jul 05 2017

    We visit a company where people work on figuring out how to make stuff get cheaper.

  • #781: The Money Fixers

    Jun 30 2017

    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.

  • #286: Libertarian Summer Camp

    Jun 28 2017

    We visited a libertarian summer paradise. What we found: People paying in gold. Exotic bacon dishes. A nine-year-old selling alcohol.

  • #780: On Second Thought

    Jun 23 2017

    Flip-floppers, this one's for you. Changing your mind is hard, but it's one of the smartest things you can do.

  • #779: Shrimp Fight Club

    Jun 21 2017

    What happens when an unstoppable shrimp meets an unmovable senator? A researcher goes to Washington to defend herself, her shrimp, and science itself.

  • #778: What the Falcon's Up With Qatar?

    Jun 16 2017

    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.

  • #610: The Prisoner's Solution

    Jun 14 2017

    Today on the show, a businessman goes to prison, and decides he is going to disrupt the biggest captive market in America.

  • #777: Free Love, Free Market

    Jun 10 2017

    How a free-love commune embraced the free market and became a blockbuster brand.

  • #776: Here We Grow Again

    Jun 07 2017

    The president's budget promises 3% growth. Is that doable? Yes, but he won't like what it would take.

  • #775: The Pigweed Killer

    Jun 03 2017

    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.

  • #599: The Invisible Wall

    May 31 2017

    A man goes looking for the invisible wall that traps poor people in poverty. Finding it almost gets him killed.

  • #774: Unspeakable Trademark

    May 26 2017

    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.

  • #773: Slot Flaws Scofflaws

    May 24 2017

    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.

  • #772: Small Change

    May 19 2017

    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.

  • #606: Spreadsheets!

    May 17 2017

    The creation of the electronic spreadsheet transformed industries. But its effects ran deeper than that.

  • #771: When India's Cash Disappeared, Part Two

    May 12 2017

    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.

  • #770: When India's Cash Disappeared, Part One

    May 11 2017

    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.

  • #769: Speed Dating For Economists

    May 05 2017

    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.

  • #768: A Chat With Ben Bernanke

    May 03 2017

    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.

  • #553: The Dollar At The Center Of The World

    Apr 28 2017

    Today on the show, how a New Hampshire hotel filled with boozing economists saved the global economy.

  • #767: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part Two

    Apr 27 2017

    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.

  • #766: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part One

    Apr 21 2017

    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.

  • #765: The Holiday Industrial Complex

    Apr 18 2017

    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.

  • #381: When Business Loves Regulation

    Apr 14 2017

    One in three American jobs require a license. Today on the show, why those licensing rules hurt the U.S. economy.

  • #764: Pub In A Box

    Apr 12 2017

    One man figured out how to reproduce the magic of an Irish pub, and ship it in a container to anywhere in the world.

  • #763: BOTUS

    Apr 07 2017

    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.

  • #531: The Tough, The Sweet, The Nosy

    Apr 05 2017

    The tricks and mind games tax collectors use to get people to pay up.

  • #762: The Fine Print

    Mar 31 2017

    On today's show: Snuggies, printer toner, and a banking road trip. Three stories about what happens when you actually read the fine print.

  • #650: The Business Genius Behind Get Out

    Mar 29 2017

    Jason Blum makes a lot of movies and makes them cheap. So why are so many turning into blockbusters?

  • #761: The Bank War

    Mar 25 2017

    A populist president versus the most powerful banker in America.

  • #760: Tax Hero

    Mar 23 2017

    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...

  • #759: What's It Worth To You?

    Mar 17 2017

    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.

  • #522: The Invention Of 'The Economy'

    Mar 15 2017

    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.

  • #758: Can Trump Take The Money?

    Mar 11 2017

    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?

  • #596: Hacking The iPhone For Fun, Profit, And Maybe Espionage

    Mar 09 2017

    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.

  • #757: Strong Feelings About Dodd-Frank

    Mar 04 2017

    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?

  • #513: Dear Economist, I Need A Date

    Mar 01 2017

    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?

  • #756: The Bees Go To California

    Feb 25 2017

    Early every year, 30 billion bees make their way across the country to California's Central Valley. Here's why.

  • #654: When The Boats Arrive

    Feb 22 2017

    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?

  • #755: The Phone At The End Of The World

    Feb 18 2017

    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.

  • #754: I'm So Happy For You!

    Feb 14 2017

    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.

  • #753: Blockchain Gang

    Feb 11 2017

    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.

  • #436: If Economists Controlled The Borders

    Feb 08 2017

    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.)

  • #752: Eagles vs. Chickens

    Feb 04 2017

    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.

  • #751: The Thing About That Border Tax

    Feb 02 2017

    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?

  • #750: Retraining Day

    Jan 28 2017

    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?

  • #632: The Chicken Tax

    Jan 25 2017

    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.

  • #749: Professor Blackjack

    Jan 20 2017

    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.

  • #748: Undoing Obama

    Jan 19 2017

    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?

  • #747: The Man Who Sued Iran

    Jan 13 2017

    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.

  • #577: The Kansas Experiment

    Jan 12 2017

    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.

  • #746: Wall Street Goes To Vegas

    Jan 06 2017

    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.

  • #443: Don't Believe The Hype

    Jan 05 2017

    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.

  • #745: The Rest Of The Story, 2016 Edition

    Dec 30 2016

    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.

  • #744: The Last Bank Bailout

    Dec 27 2016

    The man who ran the last bank bailout has a plan to prevent the next one.

  • 587: Jubilee! (?)

    Dec 23 2016

    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.

  • #743: 50 Ways to Leave Your Union

    Dec 21 2016

    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.

  • #742: Making Bank

    Dec 17 2016

    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.

  • #592: Bell Wars

    Dec 14 2016

    A special holiday episode about the epic, decades-long feud between the two companies that make just about every handbell in the world.

  • #741: Amy and Steve vs. Facebook

    Dec 10 2016

    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.

  • #740: Burnout

    Dec 08 2016

    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.

  • #739: Finding The Fake-News King

    Dec 03 2016

    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.

  • #534: The History Of Light

    Nov 30 2016

    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.

  • #738: Russian Cowboys

    Nov 25 2016

    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.

  • #737: 17 Deals In 17 Minutes

    Nov 23 2016

    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).

  • #736: Messy Nobel

    Nov 18 2016

    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.

  • #574: The Buffalo Talk-Off

    Nov 16 2016

    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.

  • #735: President Trump

    Nov 12 2016

    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?

  • #734: The Trump Indicators

    Nov 10 2016

    Donald Trump is our president elect. We look at three economic indicators to see what they can tell us about a Trump presidency.

  • #733: A Trunk Full of Truffles

    Nov 05 2016

    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?

  • #413: Our Fake Candidate Meets The People

    Nov 02 2016

    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.

  • #732: Bad Form, Wells Fargo

    Oct 29 2016

    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.

  • #387: The No-Brainer Economic Platform

    Oct 26 2016

    Behold the Planet Money economic platform, crafted by brilliant economists of all stripes, and pure poison to any politician who embraces it.

  • #731: How Venezuela Imploded

    Oct 21 2016

    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?

  • #730: Self Checkout

    Oct 20 2016

    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.

  • #729: When Subaru Came Out

    Oct 15 2016

    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.

  • #627: The Miracle Apple

    Oct 12 2016

    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.

  • #728: The Wells Fargo Hustle

    Oct 08 2016

    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.

  • #521: The Town That Loves Death

    Oct 05 2016

    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.

  • #727: You Asked For It, Again

    Oct 01 2016

    New show! You asked us questions about the economy and oddities in your world. We answer.

  • #726: Terms of the Debate

    Sep 28 2016

    We made an audio glossary for the confusing economic jargon that came up during the first presidential debate.

  • #725: Trade Show

    Sep 24 2016

    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.

  • #555: Why Is The Milk In The Back Of The Store?

    Sep 21 2016

    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?

  • #573: Why Textbook Prices Keep Climbing

    Sep 16 2016

    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.

  • #724: Cat Scam

    Sep 14 2016

    The internet was supposed to get rid of middlemen--but instead they are taking over the global economy.

  • #566: The Zoo Economy

    Sep 09 2016

    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?

  • #723: The Risk Farmers

    Sep 07 2016

    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.

  • #532: The Wild West of the Internet

    Sep 02 2016

    For decades, most websites ended in either .com, .net, or .org. But a few years ago, everything changed.

  • #722: The New Telenovela

    Aug 31 2016

    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.

  • #721: Unbuilding A City

    Aug 26 2016

    Why is it so hard to knock down 17 vacant houses in a shrinking city?

  • Oil #5: Imagine A World Without Oil

    Aug 24 2016

    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?