The Indicator from Planet Money

The Indicator from Planet Money
A little show about big ideas. From the people who make Planet Money, The Indicator helps you make sense of what’s happening today. It’s a quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy, and everything else. Listen weekday afternoons.
Unsung Economists #1: Sadie Alexander
Feb 22 • 9 min
Sadie Alexander was the first African-American to earn a PhD in economics. We think her contributions deserve another look.
Investing: Wait For It…?
Feb 21 • 9 min
Personal finance specialist, author and former trader Jill Schlesinger explains market timing—that is, trying to figure out when to buy and sell stock—and why it’s a fool’s errand.
Why Americans Can’t Quit Tipping
Feb 20 • 9 min
Tipping is ingrained in America’s retail culture. And there’s not much we can do to stop that.
The Super Bowl: Key Housing Indicator
Feb 19 • 8 min
Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman told us last year that Super Bowl weekend is one of the most accurate indicators of the health of the housing market for the year ahead. Well, the Patriots won - what happened with housing?
What Does “National Emergency” Actually Mean?
Feb 15 • 9 min
President Trump asked Congress for funds to build an extension of the wall on the border with Mexico. Congress refused, so Trump declared a national emergency. But what does that mean?
Your Questions, Answered ❤️
Feb 14 • 9 min
Today we answer listener questions about age discrimination; how work hours are counted; and whether the economy is running out of people to take jobs.
The Strike That Changed U.S. Labor
Feb 13 • 7 min
The 1937 union agreement between GM and the United Auto Workers union ushered in a period of strength for organized labor. Today, labor is nowhere near as powerful as it used to be. What happened?
Fortnite Vs. Backpack Kid: Dance Battle Royale
Feb 12 • 9 min
An Instagram celebrity and a video game company are battling over who gets to own a dance move once it goes viral.
How Violence Limits Economic Activity
Feb 11 • 9 min
Economist Lisa Cook examined how race riots, lynchings, and segregation at the turn of the 20th century reduced the number of patents filed by African-Americans.
Small Town Boom
Feb 8 • 9 min
Small towns in rural areas across America are seeing a regeneration to advance technology, jobs and economic prospects.
The Disease Detectives
Feb 7 • 9 min
The dedicated officers of the epidemic intelligence service are foot soldiers in a relentless battle against infectious disease.
India’s Poverty Paradox
Feb 6 • 8 min
India’s government has proposed a plan to pay some of the country’s poorest farmers a guaranteed income. What would this mean for the country’s economy?
The Fed’s Sweet Spot For Interest Rates
Feb 5 • 9 min
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says inflation isn’t a problem right now, and that the short term interest rate, at 2.5 percent, is right where it should be.
Feb 4 • 8 min
Parts of America are in the grip of a cold snap. Others are being drenched by rain. How do we measure the cost of extreme weather conditions? We called a scientist to find out. It turns out storms are getting more and more expensive.
The Jobs Friday 5
Feb 1 • 7 min
Jobs: Is the economy creating enough of them? Are they paying more than they used to? Do people have the jobs they want? All this and more.
Lights Out For PG&E?
Jan 31 • 9 min
How the once fairly-stable business of public utilities is changing.
How To Price A Government Shutdown
Jan 30 • 9 min
The Congressional Budget Office estimated the economic impact of the longest shutdown in history.
A Bond Is Born
Jan 29 • 8 min
How the invention of the government bond saved a bunch of mid-level politicians from certain death and became one of the most important pieces of financial technology the world has ever seen.
Globalization At Davos: What Happened?
Jan 28 • 9 min
The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland is supposedly an unabashed celebration of globalization. Not this year.
The End Of The Shutdown?
Jan 25 • 7 min
The shutdown is over… for now. Today on the Indicator, we talk to one of the 800,000 formerly-furloughed federal employees about his experience of the shutdown.
HAIL To College Access
Jan 24 • 9 min
An economics experiment that streamlines the application and financial aid process for low-income students.
When Tariffs Hit Home
Jan 23 • 9 min
How the trade war with China is playing out on one peanut farm in Georgia.
Shooting Bambi To Save Mother Nature
Jan 22 • 9 min
The number of hunters in the U.S. is falling, which is bad news for wildlife conservation.
What Keeps Economists Up At Night? And Other Stuff
Jan 18 • 9 min
We armed The Indicator’s producers with your questions, and they unleashed them on a roomful of economists at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association.
R.I.P. Jack Bogle, Democratizer Of Investing
Jan 17 • 9 min
John Clifton “Jack” Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group, passed away yesterday at the age of 89. Today we look back at his life and career.
The Extremely Cautious Case For Extremely Mild Optimism
Jan 16 • 9 min
Interest rates are higher, global growth is slowing, and the government is at an impasse. But there are also reasons for near-term optimism about the U.S. economy.
Working Women: Why The U.S. Is Behind
Jan 15 • 9 min
When it came to the female labor force participation rate, America used to lead the world. But we’ve fallen behind. Today on the show: what happened?
10,000 Economists Walk Into A Bar
Jan 14 • 9 min
Which economic indicators do we pay too much attention to? Not enough? It’s Overrated/Underrated: Economic Indicator edition
Shutdown Economics
Jan 11 • 9 min
The U.S. partial government shutdown is on track to be the longest in history. Whatever its political consequences, the economic costs to the private sector will increase the longer it lasts.
U.S.-China Trade: Where Are We Now?
Jan 10 • 9 min
Today on The Indicator: an update on the trade spat between China and the U.S.
Are We Ready For A Recession?
Jan 9 • 9 min
Some signals on the economic dashboard are warning we could be heading for a downturn within a couple of years. Are we ready to fight off a recession?
Don’t Fear The Fear Index
Jan 8 • 9 min
2018 was one of the most volatile stock market years on record. And the market continues volatile today. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Jobs, Inflation And The Phillips Curve
Jan 7 • 9 min
The Fed chair and his two predecessors speak at a big conference about Friday’s stellar jobs report, and why, despite what the Phillips Curve might predict, they’re not too worried about inflation
Economists On Screen, Episode 4: Stockholm
Jan 4 • 10 min
The miniseries Stockholm tells the story of a group of friends, one of whom is a frontrunner for the Nobel Prize in economics. But there’s a problem: he’s dead.
Economists On Screen, Episode 3: Aaron Sorkin
Jan 3 • 9 min
Shows developed by Aaron Sorkin included a lot of economics. We look at free trade in The West Wing, and Glass-Steagall in The Newsroom.
Economists On Screen, Episode 2: Jack Ryan, CIA Economist
Jan 2 • 9 min
In Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, the lead character is an economist in the CIA, tracking down terrorists by following their money.
Economists On Screen, Episode 1: Crazy Rich Asians
Dec 31, 2018 • 9 min
Explaining the game theory in the plot of the movie Crazy Rich Asians.
Indicators Of The Year: #MeToo
Dec 28, 2018 • 9 min
The #MeToo movement transformed the experience of women in the workplace. The strong job market helped some women feel secure enough to come forward… but for others, it still doesn’t feel safe to speak up.
Indicators Of The Year: Opioids
Dec 27, 2018 • 9 min
The opioid problem has reached into all parts of American life, including the workplace. But the workplace could be key in addressing the problem.
Indicators Of The Year: Housing
Dec 26, 2018 • 9 min
2018 was a rough year for the housing market. We take a look at what happened.
Indicators Of The Year: Immigration
Dec 24, 2018 • 9 min
Applications for H-1B work visas fell 16 percent in 2018 from 2017. Does that mean the U.S. could lose its edge in attracting global talent?
Friends Of The Indicator, Pt 2
Dec 21, 2018 • 9 min
Our pals Josh Barro of New York Magazine and Jennifer Doleac from Texas A&M tell us what they’re keeping an eye on in 2019.
Friends Of The Indicator, Pt 1
Dec 20, 2018 • 9 min
What are the best indicators for 2019? Some of our best friends tell us what they’ll be watching.
You’ve Got Mail!
Dec 19, 2018 • 9 min
Depression severity, Australia’s housing market and the minimum wage. You asked: here are some answers.
The Crypto Crash
Dec 18, 2018 • 9 min
Cryptocurrency had a rough 2018. The big cryptos lost about 80% of their value. So what happened? Is crypto poised for a comeback or are we talking tulips?
Lowlights Of The Year
Dec 17, 2018 • 9 min
We commemorate some of the darkest and funniest business and economic blackspots of the year.
Economics Of A Border Wall
Dec 14, 2018 • 9 min
President Donald Trump has made building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico one of his signature issues. Today, the Indicator looks at the economics of a border wall.
Why Are There So Many Mattress Stores?
Dec 13, 2018 • 9 min
There are so many mattress stores in the America, and they always seem to be empty. So how can they afford the real estate? And how do they stay in business?
Economic Insecurity
Dec 12, 2018 • 7 min
The U.S. economy looks in fine shape — for now — but even a lot of Americans with jobs still struggle financially. Here are three Indicators to monitor economic insecurity in the U.S.
Citi Bike’s Better Angels
Dec 11, 2018 • 9 min
How one bike-sharing company used behavioral economics to solve one of its most vexing problems.
Unto The Brexit
Dec 10, 2018 • 9 min
UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to exit the European Union has hit a wall. What happens now?
More Jobs, Less Pay
Dec 7, 2018 • 9 min
In honor of jobs day, we look at the jobs that used to be high-paying, that are now low-paying. What happened to these jobs? And what can it tell us about the U.S. economy?
The Fed’s Mistake?
Dec 6, 2018 • 9 min
For years after the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve kept short term interest rates near zero percent. It began raising rates in 2015 — but did it jump the gun.
Paris Is Burning
Dec 5, 2018 • 9 min
What the yellow vest protests in Paris tell us about economic reform in France and the parallels with politics in the U.S.
Behind The Curve
Dec 4, 2018 • 9 min
When the yield curve inverts, people worry that it’s a sign we’re headed for recession. But its predictive reliability also depends on the way it inverts.
Trade War And Peace
Dec 3, 2018 • 9 min
China and the U.S. have been locked in a trade war for most of 2018, but peace may be on the horizon…. at least a partial peace.
The Voyages Of The Starship Indicator
Nov 30, 2018 • 9 min
NASA has been taking a more hands-off approach to extra-planetary exploration. What will that mean for the economics of space?
Space Economics
Nov 29, 2018 • 9 min
From moon missions and space shuttles to public-private partnerships.
Do Sanctions Work?
Nov 28, 2018 • 9 min
Sanctions have become an increasingly common foreign policy tool for the U.S. How effective are they?
College Side Hustle
Nov 27, 2018 • 9 min
Colleges and universities are finding creative ways to make money.
Bonds, Rating Agencies And Chocolate
Nov 26, 2018 • 8 min
Marilyn Cohen talks bonds, rating agencies and the yield curve, in overrated, underrated.
See Stocks Run
Nov 23, 2018 • 9 min
The stock market has been on a wild ride lately. Today, the Indicator looks at what’s going on and whether we should worry for the economy.
The Price Of Your Turkey Dinner
Nov 21, 2018 • 9 min
We talk turkey with the American Farm Bureau about changes in the price of Thanksgiving Dinner.
The Ins & Outs Of The Minimum Wage
Nov 20, 2018 • 9 min
The minimum wage is a contentious issue. Some claim it’s a job killer. But what does the research show?
Recession Indicators, Pt 2
Nov 19, 2018 • 8 min
Wondering whether we’re poised to tip into a recession? The jobs market may point the way.
Recession Indicators, Pt 1
Nov 16, 2018 • 9 min
Are we heading into a recession? The Conference Board’s Leading Indicator has ten ways to tell.
The Lucky Country
Nov 15, 2018 • 9 min
Australia hasn’t had a recession in 27 years. Good policy? Or just good luck?
Oil Up, Oil Down
Nov 14, 2018 • 8 min
The decline in the oil price since the end of October has been stunning in its depth and speed, and follows more than a year of climbing. What changed?
The Problem With The Pink Tax
Nov 13, 2018 • 9 min
Women pay more than men for many consumer products. Today on the show: Why some economists still think that’s a good thing.
Recession Suppression Needs Policy Aggression
Nov 12, 2018 • 9 min
The next global economic downturn could be even harder to reverse than the last one.
The 401(k) Turns 40
Nov 9, 2018 • 9 min
The 401(k) retirement plan turned 40 this week! Today on the show, we chronicle the rise of the 401(k), the fall of the pension, and talk to the man who started it all.
All Aboard The Bankmobile!
Nov 8, 2018 • 9 min
How one bank gave a whole new meaning to the term “mobile banking”
Your Lifetime Value Score
Nov 7, 2018 • 9 min
You may not know it, but companies are silently scoring you… and using that score to figure out how to treat you.
Stacey And Cardiff Answer To The People
Nov 6, 2018 • 9 min
We answer questions from our listeners and issue a couple of mea culpas.
Ode On A Grecian Tax
Nov 5, 2018 • 9 min
Taxes get a bad reputation, but they were central to the formation of representative government, says financial historian William N. Goetzmann.
How Companies Cope (With A Tight Labor Market)
Nov 2, 2018 • 9 min
Wage growth has (finally) been accelerating, but what else are companies doing to bid for workers?
Why Ecuador Uses The Dollar?
Nov 1, 2018 • 9 min
One of our youngest listeners asked us why Ecuador changed its currency to U.S. dollars, so we found out!
Paranormal Profits
Oct 31, 2018 • 9 min
Horror movies are good business. Scary good. They are more likely to be profitable than any other kind of movie. Today on the show, we look at why.
The Best Day For Payday
Oct 30, 2018 • 9 min
Weekly, biweekly, or every month — which payday makes the most sense?
Judgement Bonds
Oct 29, 2018 • 10 min
Municipalities are increasingly going to the bond market to pay their court settlement costs.
Lotteries And Happiness
Oct 26, 2018 • 9 min
We assume that winning the lottery will make us happier. In some ways it does, in others — not so much.
Difficulty With The Deficit
Oct 25, 2018 • 9 min
The deficit normally shrinks when the economy is strengthening, but not now.
The Rise of the Machines
Oct 24, 2018 • 9 min
In just six years, robots could achieve parity with humans in the workplace, with machines working the same number of hours as people.
Of Wages And Warehouses
Oct 23, 2018 • 9 min
Warehouse jobs are growing even faster than the rest of the booming labor market. Are they good jobs?
Short Shrift For Short Sellers
Oct 22, 2018 • 9 min
Short sellers get a bad rap. Sometimes with good reason. But overall, they’re an inevitable and useful part of a healthy financial system.
Tears For Sears
Oct 19, 2018 • 9 min
A storied American retailer has filed for bankruptcy.
Beating Bollywood
Oct 18, 2018 • 9 min
Amazon and Netflix are trying to take on India. But, so far a Hollywood ending, south-Asian style, has eluded them.
Gross Dank Product
Oct 17, 2018 • 6 min
Just because marijuana is now legal in Canada doesn’t mean the market for it is easily quantifiable.
A Snapshot Of Poverty In America
Oct 16, 2018 • 9 min
The Supplemental Poverty Report provides a more accurate and nuanced picture of poverty in America.
Overrated/Underrated: Nobel Prizes, Conversations, And Our Descendants
Oct 15, 2018 • 9 min
Tyler Cowen rates Nobel prizes, blogs, and the importance of weirdness in conversation
The Economics of Apologies
Oct 12, 2018 • 9 min
Turns out nothing says ‘I’m sorry’ like cold, hard cash
China’s Brave New World
Oct 11, 2018 • 9 min
China is piloting a so-called social credit system, which allots every citizen a certain number of points. If you do the “right thing” you can extra points. If you do the wrong thing, you can lose points and life can get very difficult.
Life On China’s Blacklist
Oct 10, 2018 • 10 min
In China, if you don’t pay back your loans, you could end up on a blacklist. When you’re on it, you can’t get a credit card or a plane ticket. Today on the show, we talk with someone on the blacklist.
China’s Social Credit System
Oct 9, 2018 • 9 min
China has a problem: it’s economy grew fast and that led to a trust problem. If someone doesn’t pay back a loan, there’s no real enforcement. But the solution might cause problems of its own.
The Iron Lotus
Oct 8, 2018 • 8 min
The reverse stock split is the Iron Lotus of the financial world. It looks complicated and absurd, and it often doesn’t end well.
Who’s Hiring?
Oct 5, 2018 • 7 min
Today on the Indicator: stolen jobs-day trends … from our clever jobs-day friends!
What Comes Afta NAFTA
Oct 4, 2018 • 9 min
The US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement keeps in place the basic NAFTA framework, with a few twists.
What Happened To GE?
Oct 3, 2018 • 10 min
General Electric used to be a household name — a pillar of the U.S. economy. Now, it’s fighting to survive.
Zeitgeist-y Bubbles
Oct 2, 2018 • 9 min
How financial bubbles reflect the particular psychology of the times in which they inflate.
D.C.’s Billion-Dollar Lawsuit
Oct 1, 2018 • 8 min
Washington, D.C. is being sued for a billion dollars… for gentrification.
The Case Of The Pricey Frito
Sep 28, 2018 • 9 min
Corn prices are falling, but the price of Fritos in the White House press corps break room is up by 20%. What’s going on? Team Indicator is on the case!
Baby Got Buybacks
Sep 27, 2018 • 8 min
Companies are buying back stock from shareholders more than ever. Not everyone thinks that’s a good thing.
Tariffs And Tourists And Trade Wars, Oh My!
Sep 26, 2018 • 9 min
The U.S. trade war with China escalated this week. The Trump administration might be underestimating how many options the Chinese government has for responding to American tariffs.
Less Risky Business
Sep 25, 2018 • 9 min
The psychological scars wrought by the 2008 financial crisis are taking a long time to heal. We’re a lot more cautious, which has serious implications for the economy.
Saudi Arabia & The Paradox of Plenty
Sep 24, 2018 • 9 min
This week in history: Saudi Arabian oil and the creation of Aramco.
Sep 21, 2018 • 8 min
Rents in America are leveling off. At last!
The Young And The Restless
Sep 20, 2018 • 8 min
Why boom and bust is part and parcel of the emerging economic experience.
The Psychological Effects Of The Financial Crisis, Lingering
Sep 19, 2018 • 8 min
We hear a lot about the effects of the financial crisis on the economy and markets, but what about the lasting effects it had on our psyches?
Work Work Work
Sep 18, 2018 • 7 min
The availability of work — the availability of jobs for people who want a job and even for people who didn’t know they want a job — continues expanding.
Down Clown
Sep 17, 2018 • 9 min
Clowns and clowning have been suffering from a chronic branding crisis for decades. Can they fix it?
Handle With Care
Sep 14, 2018 • 9 min
In the midst of a deepening economic crisis, a reporter’s dilemma.
The Price Of Rice In Japan
Sep 13, 2018 • 9 min
Demand for Japanese-grown rice is falling. But prices are still going up.
Free Tuition; False Economy?
Sep 12, 2018 • 9 min
Why free tuition may make for better politics than economics.
The Liars Of Romance
Sep 11, 2018 • 9 min
People lie when they’re looking for a mate online. Today on the Indicator: the lies we tell online, and how often we tell them.
Call The Midwife Back
Sep 10, 2018 • 9 min
For more than three decades, it was illegal in Alabama to have your baby delivered by a midwife. But last year the state finally legalized midwifery and now it could lead to serious cost savings.
Your Jobs Questions, Answered
Sep 7, 2018 • 9 min
Martha Gimbel of the Hiring Lab at Indeed answers listener questions about the job market.
Why Aren’t We More Productive?
Sep 6, 2018 • 9 min
Computing and the internet should make us more productive. Or should they?! It’s an Indicator mystery.
Sep 5, 2018 • 9 min
Cardiff gets the lowdown on NAFTA from Soumaya Keynes of The Economist
Making The Case For Removing Tariffs
Sep 4, 2018 • 9 min
The next round of trade barriers with China could include a 25 percent levy on Chinese antiquities. One dealer went to Washington to tell Congress why that tariff could hurt our allies and ourselves.
The Original Bailout
Aug 31, 2018 • 10 min
In 1907, America’s financial system ran into trouble. Trust in financial institutions evaporated, and contagion swept through the economy. Then John Pierpont Morgan stepped in.
Aging Up
Aug 30, 2018 • 9 min
Most people think the best time to start a business is when you’re young, but is it?
Mind the Pay Gap
Aug 29, 2018 • 8 min
Why do men still make 20 percent more than women in the U.S.?
Hurricane Joseph & The Calculator That Time Forgot
Aug 28, 2018 • 8 min
Creative destruction is a fact of economic life that few products can resist. Graphing calculators are a notable exception.
The Measure Of A Tragedy
Aug 27, 2018 • 9 min
The Venezuelan economy has collapsed. Years of economic mismanagement and a deepening political crisis have led to a recession. Yet there’s one indicator that can capture this economic catastrophe.
The Art of War. It’s Not For Everyone
Aug 24, 2018 • 8 min
“The Art of War” by Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu, is one of corporate America’s favorite books. But John McWhorter, a linguistics professor at Columbia, isn’t convinced about its utility.
Beyond GDP
Aug 23, 2018 • 9 min
GDP has been a great indicator, but it may no longer be enough.
The Underrated Economists
Aug 22, 2018 • 9 min
Today’s summer economics read is “What Would the Great Economists Do?” by Linda Yueh, who is a great economist herself.
Why People Can’t Get Work Done At Work
Aug 21, 2018 • 9 min
Today’s summer book recommendation offers a different approach to the modern workplace.
The Indicator Goes To The Beach With Tim Harford
Aug 20, 2018 • 9 min
In honor of the last stretch of summer, The Indicator has selected some economic beach reads! Books that will teach you something about economics and also pair well with a pina colada.
Donald Trump’s Economic Strategy… Maybe?
Aug 17, 2018 • 9 min
Wall Street Journal Chief Economics Commentator Greg Ip explains President Donald Trump’s emerging economic strategy.
We Buy A Cryptokitty!
Aug 16, 2018 • 9 min
Today on The Indicator: Cardiff and Stacey go deep into the world of the blockchain… to buy a cartoon cat.
Cryptokitties: The Download On Digital Cats
Aug 15, 2018 • 10 min
How a single cartoon cat can cost $140K.
From Prison To The Workforce
Aug 14, 2018 • 10 min
People who’ve been to prison find it hard to get work once they’re free. One solution to the problem may be a simple certificate.
Messy Desks, Light Bulbs & Dune
Aug 13, 2018 • 9 min
Tim Harford is the author of ‘Fifty Inventions that Shaped the Modern Economy.” We play overrated/underrated, and asked him about inventions, as well as messy desks.
Privacy Please: Why Public Companies Go Private (Or Vice Versa)
Aug 10, 2018 • 9 min
Today on the Indicator: why companies decide to be publicly-traded or privately-owned. It’s all about control. And money.
The OG Yield Curve Whisperer
Aug 9, 2018 • 9 min
A conversation with Campbell Harvey, whose 1986 thesis first explained how the yield curve could predict the direction of the economy.
Trickle-down Economics: Pricing H2O
Aug 8, 2018 • 9 min
What’s the best way to price water in a drought, to ensure people get what they need without breaking the bank?
Sanctions, Iran, And The Battle Over SWIFT
Aug 7, 2018 • 8 min
Today on the Indicator: How a small Belgian company wields enormous influence in global finance and diplomacy.
Tariffs, Now With Extra Cheese
Aug 6, 2018 • 9 min
The U.S. has been renegotiating trade deals and putting tariffs on different goods. Meanwhile, other countries are re-negotiating their trade agreements and some deals are leaving U.S. producers out.
Beating The Clock On Jobs (Summer) Friday
Aug 3, 2018 • 7 min
Five indicators in five minutes — Let’s gooooooooo!
Grey Poupon And The Cultural Divide
Aug 2, 2018 • 9 min
Income inequality in the U.S. has been climbing for a while. Has it also been accompanied by a widening cultural gap between rich and poor?
What A Tariff Looks Like
Aug 1, 2018 • 10 min
What happens when a new tariff gets put in place? To really see the action, you have to go to Newark, New Jersey.
What’s In Your Paycheck?
Jul 31, 2018 • 10 min
The pace of wage growth is one of the best indicators of economic health. But it can be measured with different methods. Each method tells a slightly different story about how the economy is doing.
Putin Vs. Russia’s Economy
Jul 30, 2018 • 8 min
Russia has had a huge presence in the news lately. But its economy… not so huge. It’s smaller than the economy of Texas. Today on the show, we look at what’s been holding it back.
Jul 27, 2018 • 9 min
The GDP got all sorts of attention today. The U.S. economy grew at a stellar rate of 4.1% in the second quarter. But what does that mean? And will it continue?
When Oracles Err
Jul 26, 2018 • 10 min
Warren Buffett, Mark Twain, and John Maynard Keynes all made enormous investment mistakes at some point in their lives. On today’s show, those stories — and the lessons we can all take from them.
The Diamond-Water Paradox
Jul 25, 2018 • 9 min
The Diamond-Water Paradox poses the question: If we need water to survive and we don’t need diamonds, why are diamonds expensive and water cheap?
Trump Vs. The Fed, Or Trump Vs… Trump?
Jul 24, 2018 • 9 min
President Trump broke with tradition by lamenting that rising rates are keeping the dollar strong and the trade deficit wide. But rising rates and a stronger dollar are the results of his own agenda.
Google’s Mobile Monopoly
Jul 23, 2018 • 8 min
The European Commission just slapped Google with a $5 billion fine for abusing its Android monopoly. How did it create the alleged monopoly? By making Android free.
The Market For Air
Jul 20, 2018 • 9 min
How something that’s all around us came to be worth millions of dollars.
Three Indicators To Keep A (Side)eye On
Jul 19, 2018 • 8 min
Three worrying indicators to keep an eye on — less complicated than the yield curve, but something you can talk about at the water cooler.
Trade Wars And The Batman Problem
Jul 18, 2018 • 10 min
It may be too late to avoid a trade war between the U.S. and China, but there might be a simple way to stop the trade wars of the future.
Saving Women
Jul 17, 2018 • 9 min
Women invest far less of their paychecks than men do. Sallie Krawcheck spent her career on Wall Street and she says this is a problem we need to solve.
Japan’s Ninja Shortage
Jul 16, 2018 • 9 min
Japan’s population is shrinking. It’s harder and harder to find qualified people to fill a lot of jobs. Including ninjas.
We Hear You
Jul 13, 2018 • 9 min
We respond to your letters, tweets and messages: We talk Iran, yield curve and how to pronounce Hyundai.
The Last Straw
Jul 12, 2018 • 10 min
Starbucks, Ikea, Vancouver, Scotland: They’ve all banned plastic straws. The movement is meant to help reduce plastic waste in the ocean. But will it work, or will it backfire?
Fed Accounts For All!
Jul 11, 2018 • 9 min
Banks and other financial institutions have their own banking accounts at the Federal Reserve. Morgan Ricks argues that regular folks should have access to Fed accounts, too.
The Price of A Hyundai in Iran
Jul 10, 2018 • 8 min
President Trump recently announced strict economic sanctions in Iran. Today on the show, we talked to a young Iranian man about what it’s like to live in the Iranian economy right now.
The Recession Predictor, Still Predictive?
Jul 9, 2018 • 8 min
Every time the yield curve has inverted since 1970, the economy has fallen into recession. It’s getting close to inverting now, but it may no longer be the recession predictor it once was.
Jobs: 10 Questions in 10 Minutes
Jul 6, 2018 • 11 min
It’s jobs Friday! For a comprehensive mid-year update on the labor market, we ask labor economist Betsey Stevenson ten questions in ten minutes.
The Long French Goodbye
Jul 5, 2018 • 9 min
A quirk in French labor law makes it especially difficult for a company to lay off its employees. It’s a system designed to protect workers, but it also has consequences for the rest of the economy.
Star Spangled Indicator
Jul 3, 2018 • 9 min
Flags: symbol of a country, patriotic rallying cry, and a telling economic indicator. Today on the show, a factory in China that makes American flags, and what it tells us about the modern economy.
The Problem With Unobservable Variables
Jul 2, 2018 • 9 min
The unemployment rate is already below the Federal Reserve’s estimate for maximum employment. But former Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin says it may still have further to fall.
Dungeons & Dragons & Balance Sheets
Jun 29, 2018 • 9 min
Every year, the nation’s biggest banks are subjected to stress tests, hypothetical disaster scenarios designed to test their balance sheets. But the stress tests could soon be getting less stressful.
Bubble, Bubble, Oil And Trouble
Jun 28, 2018 • 7 min
The price of oil continued climbing throughout this year, catching forecasters and consumers by surprise. What happened, and what might make it move in the second half of the year?
Happy Birthday, Smith v. Keynes
Jun 27, 2018 • 9 min
June marks the birthday of two of the most famous economists of all time: Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes. Whose ideas are most relevant today? Stacey and Cardiff duke it out.
Sallie Krawcheck on #MeToo, Dodd Frank, & Cronuts
Jun 26, 2018 • 9 min
We play overrated/underrated with Sallie Krawcheck, Wall Street C-suite veteran and founder of Ellevest. She talks investing, women on Wall Street, and where to find the best BBQ.
The Beautiful Indicator
Jun 25, 2018 • 9 min
Team Indicator takes on the World Cup. We drink, we cheer, we watch the game and, of course, we bring our economic indicators.
MoviePass / Fail?
Jun 22, 2018 • 10 min
If you pay MoviePass 10 dollars a month, you can go to the movies every day. Great for customers, but hard on a company’s bottom line. Today on the show, what’s the plan, MoviePass?
Teenage (Employment) Wasteland
Jun 21, 2018 • 10 min
The teen summer job is a vaunted tradition…one that is fading. Today’s teenagers just aren’t working as much as their forebears. And that could have serious implications for America’s labor market.
The Plight Of The Living Dead
Jun 20, 2018 • 9 min
The Death Master File is a list kept by the government. It keeps track of everyone who has died. But what happens when you end up on the list while you’re still alive?
The Measure Of A Tragedy
Jun 19, 2018 • 9 min
Venezuela’s economy has collapsed, and the normal economic indicators have gotten so bad they’re almost unfathomable. So one economist created an indicator to capture the awful human cost.
The Art Of The Trade War
Jun 18, 2018 • 9 min
The U.S. and China are on track for a trade war. Economists generally say that’s a bad idea… but if the U.S. wants to get tough on China, what are some alternatives?
Gettin’ Giggy With It
Jun 15, 2018 • 9 min
Despite the proliferation of apps like Lyft, TaskRabbit, and Uber, a new government report found no growth in people primarily doing this kind of work. Here’s how the “gig economy” is and isn’t changing.
Trading Spaces
Jun 14, 2018 • 9 min
The New York Stock Exchange — that bastion of American capitalism — owes its existence to two dozen men, a buttonwood tree, and a coffee shop. Today on The Indicator: the history of Wall Street.
Dude, Where’s My Trade War?
Jun 13, 2018 • 11 min
One way to think of President Trump’s trade policy is as a sort of soap opera. Today, we catch you up on the latest dramatic twists and also answer a big, looming question: are we in a trade war?
Jun 12, 2018 • 9 min
The Congressional Budget Office has a long history of disputes with the White House, including the current administration. But Alice Rivlin — the first-ever director of the CBO — says this time is different.
Let Them Eat Marshmallows
Jun 11, 2018 • 9 min
The marshmallow test is one of the most famous social experiments of all time, but we may be thinking about it all wrong.
Positively 23rd Street
Jun 8, 2018 • 9 min
Why is one of the busiest blocks in Manhattan littered with empty storefronts? And what does that say about the changing landscape of American retail?
When Retirement Advice Goes Viral
Jun 7, 2018 • 9 min
So how much should you have saved for retirement? We wanted to know, so we asked the guy who invented the 401k.
Social Insecurity
Jun 6, 2018 • 9 min
Social Security has traditionally paid for itself, with money leftover. Until this year. Social Security has a funding problem and it’s getting bad quickly.
Do You Have $400?
Jun 5, 2018 • 7 min
The U.S. economy has been humming along in the last few years, but that momentum can mask the financial fragility of millions of people who are just one emergency away from financial disaster.
The Economics of Vaccines
Jun 4, 2018 • 8 min
Vaccines are expensive and time-consuming to develop and there’s no guarantee the investment will ever pay off. This means promising vaccines often sit in laboratory freezers during major epidemics.
To Err Is Human, To Revise Divine
Jun 1, 2018 • 9 min
The monthly jobs report. Economists watch it, financial markets move on it, but it may not be as accurate as you’d think.
Internet a la Carte
May 31, 2018 • 10 min
A new study tries to put a dollar amount on free internet services… by looking at how much money it would take for people to give them up.
Money For Moms
May 30, 2018 • 9 min
After six years of preparation, an ambitious new experiment will study the effects of income on the development of infant brains.
Banking’s Regulation Rollback
May 29, 2018 • 9 min
Last week, Congress and President Trump passed a bill rolling back regulation put in place by the 2010 Dodd Frank banking reform bill. We look at what changed and what it means.
Earnings Calls Gone Wild
May 25, 2018 • 9 min
The earnings call is a peculiar Wall Street ritual, one that’s almost designed to be boring. So when something interesting does happen it’s news. Today, the lessons of those earnings calls gone rogue.
The Money Detectives
May 24, 2018 • 9 min
Recent news has cast a spotlight on a little-known regulatory agency quietly working behind the scenes of our economy. What is FinCEN and why is it so important?
Most Inane Deduction?
May 23, 2018 • 8 min
The mortgage interest deduction is popular, but it has numerous distorting effects on the economy – and economists also say that it does exactly the opposite of what people think.
Women in Bondland
May 22, 2018 • 9 min
Finance is notorious for being a boys club. Marilyn Cohen has worked in the bond market for 30 years. She talks about what it takes to succeed in her field and why there aren’t more women.
Stacey And Cardiff Take On The Commencement Speech
May 21, 2018 • 9 min
Congrats, Class of 2018! Rather than listen to another meandering cliche-riddled commencement speech, let Stacey and Cardiff guide you through young-adult life with advice backed up by research.
Time Bandits
May 18, 2018 • 9 min
Timekeeping software is becoming the standard across the U.S. And it turns out, it can be used to steal workers’ wages, a few minutes at a time.
SNAP Back To Reality
May 17, 2018 • 8 min
Congress may soon expand work requirements for people who receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. But do these work requirements match the reality of work itself?
All Bets Are On
May 16, 2018 • 8 min
Thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision, legal sports betting may be coming to a city near you.
Rising Rates Vs. The Housing Market
May 15, 2018 • 8 min
Interest rates are on the rise for the first time in years. What that means for the housing market is far from obvious.
The Semiconductor Standoff
May 14, 2018 • 8 min
What one embattled smartphone-maker can tell us about China’s plan to transform its economy
In Vino, Veritas by Numbers
May 11, 2018 • 9 min
Assigning a grade to a bottle of wine might seem counterintuitive, or even a little absurd, but wine scores have can have a big impact the people who sell wine — and the people who drink it.
Failing College
May 10, 2018 • 9 min
Colleges are seeing fewer and fewer students apply every year. To try and stay solvent and attract students, they’re trying all kinds of things, from lazy rivers to M&A.
Indicator and Beyond
May 9, 2018 • 9 min
It’s the 100th Indicator! To celebrate, we look to the future… and to alternate futures. The Indicator takes a break from economics to tackle infinity.
The Good, The Bad and The Tax Cuts
May 8, 2018 • 8 min
The corporate tax cut passed in December was supposed to compel businesses to boost investment. Is it working, or are companies just passing the savings on to their owners?
The ‘I’ Of The LIBOR
May 7, 2018 • 9 min
The LIBOR interest rate was at the center of a huge international scandal back in 2012. Regulators believed it had to replaced. But is that even possible?
The Perks Of Counting The Wallflowers
May 4, 2018 • 9 min
It’s jobs day! But the unemployment number might not be the most important thing to watch.
Baby Bubbles
May 3, 2018 • 8 min
Housing markets are hot. But are they bubblicious?
Aging Up
May 2, 2018 • 9 min
Most people think the best time to start a business is when you’re young.
The Only Prescription Is More Transparency
May 1, 2018 • 9 min
Healthcare is expensive. Transparency in pricing might make it cheaper.
Inflation Target Acquired
Apr 30, 2018 • 8 min
The Federal Reserve has hit its inflation target. Now comes the hard part - staying at two percent.
The Homeless Count
Apr 27, 2018 • 9 min
The homeless population in Los Angeles County has been skyrocketing. A team from USC tried to figure out why.
California’s Housing Conundrum
Apr 26, 2018 • 8 min
Almost everyone in California agrees that there’s not enough housing in the state. But no one wants building in their backyard.
The Farm Labor Drought
Apr 25, 2018 • 9 min
Water isn’t the only shortage California farmers are worried about. There’s a labor drought, too.
When China’s Ships Come In
Apr 24, 2018 • 8 min
A spat over tariffs is giving California ports pause.
3 Things You Didn’t Know About LA
Apr 23, 2018 • 9 min
Los Angeles - it’s not what you think.
The New Bond Villain
Apr 20, 2018 • 9 min
Concerns about the yield on the 10-year Treasury note going above three percent are overblown.
Amazon vs Trump Goes Postal
Apr 19, 2018 • 10 min
President Trump’s objection to Amazon’s deal with the Postal Service is based on dodgy data.
Lawn Chair Economics
Apr 18, 2018 • 8 min
China steals a lot of intellectual property from the U.S. The smartest thing for the U.S. to do in return might be … nothing.
Tax Refunds, A Habitual Health Problem
Apr 17, 2018 • 9 min
The way many Americans manage their taxes could be bad for their health.
The Loan Ranger
Apr 16, 2018 • 9 min
Most people think you can’t get rid of student loans in bankruptcy. Turns out most people are wrong.
Congress Does Not Compute
Apr 13, 2018 • 10 min
The percentage of congressional representatives with a background in computers: THREE
Unsung Indicators
Apr 12, 2018 • 7 min
Our show goes old school in this episode and brings you three under-appreciated economic indicators about things that affect us all.
Deficit Attention Disorder
Apr 11, 2018 • 9 min
The CBO projects the federal budget deficit could top 800 billion dollars this year… and reach a cool trillion by 2020. So … what?
Tyler Cowen Rates America
Apr 10, 2018 • 7 min
Data, the humanities, and the suburbs: Tyler returns for another round of Overrated vs. Underrated
Mind The Pay Gap
Apr 9, 2018 • 8 min
Women still make less than men in the U.S. Exactly how much less is not necessarily a straightforward question.
Where The Jobs Are
Apr 6, 2018 • 8 min
Chinese tariffs could threaten more than 1.8 million American jobs.
Morbidity, Peak Child, And Collective Pessimism
Apr 5, 2018 • 8 min
Five interesting facts about our world that you probably didn’t know.
Stop, Collaborate, And Listen
Apr 4, 2018 • 8 min
Cross-genre musical collaboration used be a small niche in the popular music scene. Today it’s verging on domination.
The Original Bailout
Apr 3, 2018 • 9 min
In 1907, America’s financial system ran into trouble. Trust in financial institutions evaporated, and contagion swept through the economy. Then John Pierpont Morgan stepped in.
China, Tariffs, And The Hogs Of War
Apr 2, 2018 • 7 min
The tariffs China just imposed on 128 American-made items will cost the U.S. about 3 billion dollars a year. That’s not much to the nation, but it’s a big deal if you make one of the products on the list.
Disability In Decline
Mar 29, 2018 • 8 min
A long-term trend of Americans withdrawing from the workforce due to disability has gone into reverse.
Dollars And Census
Mar 28, 2018 • 7 min
The census is more than a headcount. It determines how federal dollars are spent and how districts are represented in Congress.
Costly Care In America
Mar 27, 2018 • 6 min
Americans spend more on healthcare than people in other high-income countries, and it’s not because we use more of it.
Dollars for Data
Mar 26, 2018 • 9 min
From Google Maps to Yelp to Instagram, the internet gives us access to all sorts of services without having to pay a cent. But are they really free?
The Oil Rig Count
Mar 23, 2018 • 7 min
One of the best gauges of the state of the oil business is a pretty simple one: just count the drilling rigs.
Too Small To Fail
Mar 22, 2018 • 8 min
Independent bookstores are experiencing a surprising renaissance.
Trump vs. Trudeau: Both Right, Both Wrong
Mar 21, 2018 • 8 min
Trump says we have a trade deficit with Canada. He’s right… and he’s also wrong.
A Brief History of Tariffs
Mar 20, 2018 • 8 min
The debate over tariffs is nothing new. In fact, it’s as old as the country itself. A look at how the debate began.
The Reinvention Of The IPO
Mar 19, 2018 • 11 min
Having disrupted the music business, Spotify is trying the same trick with the stock market.
The Bear Necessities
Mar 16, 2018 • 8 min
The man who wrote the book on the collapse of Bear Stearns talks about what happened a decade ago and where we are today.
Calculated Risk, Calculated Caution
Mar 15, 2018 • 8 min
Bill McBride has been remarkably prescient about the big swings in the U.S. economy. And he’s starting to get uneasy.
What Trade Organization?
Mar 14, 2018 • 7 min
The justification used by the Trump administration for its steel and aluminum tariffs is riskier for the global trading system than the tariffs themselves.
Bonds… Japanese Bonds
Mar 13, 2018 • 10 min
Team Indicator takes your questions, concerns, and James Bond-related car trivia.
Hurricane Joseph & The Calculator That Time Forgot
Mar 12, 2018 • 8 min
Creative destruction is a fact of economic life that few products can resist. Graphing calculators are a notable exception
The Jobs Report: Where The Ladies At?
Mar 9, 2018 • 7 min
Why has the share of women in the labor force been stagnant for almost two decades?
Let’s Get Ready to Retail!
Mar 8, 2018 • 8 min
In the red corner: the uncontested retail champion of the world: WalMart. In the blue corner, the behemoth of online sales: Amazon.
A Child Prodigy, A Nervous Breakdown, and The Discovery of Romantic Poetry
Mar 7, 2018 • 7 min
What happens when a classical economist finds out the world is much more complicated than he thought?
Cobalt: Rare and Everywhere
Mar 6, 2018 • 12 min
Cobalt used to be a sideshow on the periodic table. Now it’s the main event.
Sticker Shock: The State Of The American Car Industry
Mar 5, 2018
The average American car is now more expensive than it’s ever been. And guess what? Sales of new cars are falling.
Oil’s Magic Price
Mar 2, 2018 • 5 min
There’s a sweet spot for every oil well in America.
The Cost of Life in America
Mar 1, 2018 • 7 min
Over the past two decades, prices on average have increased. But certain things have gotten cheaper while others have gotten more expensive, and which is which can tell us a lot.
More Band For Your Buck
Feb 28, 2018 • 8 min
To understand the Trump administration’s approach to trade tariffs, look no further than the humble rubber band.
The Case For Overshooting
Feb 27, 2018 • 8 min
We have a new Federal Reserve chair. His name is Jerome Powell. Here’s what we can expect.
Productivity With A Side Of Chicken
Feb 26, 2018 • 8 min
Why productivity could be the most important data point in the economy…and how did KFC manage to run out of chicken?
Guns And The Trump Slump
Feb 23, 2018 • 7 min
Today more than two thirds of the guns in America are owned by just 20 percent of gun owners. That’s not always good for gunmakers.
The 28-Hour Work Week
Feb 22, 2018 • 6 min
Imagine being able to work fewer hours during a difficult time in your life, without having to quit your job or interrupt your career. In Germany, for many workers, that’s now a reality.
The Olympics, Afrofuturism and Sichuan Food
Feb 21, 2018 • 7 min
Our guest, Tyler Cowen, has smart insights into a ridiculously wide range of subjects. Our conversation is a lightning round that touches everything from Afrofuturist flicks to the mouth-numbing qualities of the Sichuan peppercorn.
The Spy Who Trolled Me
Feb 20, 2018 • 6 min
Russia spent 73 million Rubles a month to influence an American election. But what did they get for their money?
Craft Beer Hops the Shark
Feb 16, 2018 • 6 min
As craft beer exploded over the last decade, the hops business boomed. Then came the bust.
Overshooting, Tipping Points, and ABBA
Feb 15, 2018 • 5 min
How a classic econ book explains ABBA’s costumes (among other things).
Stimulus Response
Feb 14, 2018 • 6 min
An economist from the Obama administration thinks the economy still needs stimulus. Will the Republican tax and spending bills provide it?
Sanctions on Ice
Feb 13, 2018 • 5 min
A story of sanctions, the Olympics, and a secret wing of the North Korean government.
Fear: The Index
Feb 12, 2018 • 7 min
An index that was invented to measure people’s expectations about the stock market may be driving the market itself.
The Job Market Is Almost There
Feb 9, 2018 • 8 min
Today on the show: What our three favorite jobs numbers tell us about the state of the economy.
The Market for Stolen Passwords
Feb 8, 2018 • 6 min
A stolen Amazon password costs $10. Bank of America is $25. What a price list discovered on the dark web says about about the market for your stolen passwords.
Obama, Trump, And Trade
Feb 7, 2018 • 5 min
President Trump’s new tariff on solar panels kicks in this week. But the story of where that tariff comes from goes back to the Obama administration.
Dow De Ching
Feb 6, 2018 • 5 min
The stock market’s drop over the past few days wasn’t weird. What was weird was what the market did for all of 2017.
Wells Fargo’s Corset
Feb 5, 2018 • 5 min
The Federal Reserve just told Wells Fargo it can’t grow. On today’s show: Why that’s a big deal for Wells Fargo, and for other big banks.
How Are They Doing Now?
Feb 2, 2018 • 5 min
We look at three groups that got hammered especially hard during the recession and ask: How are they doing now?
What America Sells To The World
Feb 1, 2018 • 6 min
U.S. exports include airplanes, education and lots of blood.
Janet Yellen’s Mystery Story
Jan 31, 2018 • 6 min
It’s Janet Yellen’s last week running the Federal Reserve. A speech she gave last year illuminates an economic mystery — and the boldness she brought to the Fed.
Weed GDP
Jan 30, 2018 • 6 min
When Canada decided to legalize marijuana, James Tebrake decided to learn everything he could about Canada’s marijuana economy.
The Black Car Fund
Jan 29, 2018 • 6 min
There’s lots of talk about the problems of the gig economy. On today’s show, we talk about a solution.
Amazon, IPOs, and the Queen of the Demonweb Pits
Jan 26, 2018 • 7 min
We play overrated/underrated with Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin. Topics include home ownership, taking a company public, and twin telepathy.
A Mafia Story With a Twist
Jan 25, 2018 • 7 min
Today on the show: citrus, globalization, and the birth of the mafia.
A Long-Term Bet Gone Bust
Jan 24, 2018 • 6 min
Long-term-care insurance seemed like the next big thing. Then insurance companies started losing billions of dollars. What went wrong?
Google Selfies
Jan 23, 2018 • 5 min
Today’s Indicator: Your face. It’s worth money. It’s the next big thing. And, if you’re like most of us, you’re giving it away.
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Budget
Jan 22, 2018 • 5 min
The government shutdown was a symptom of a bigger problem: Congress seems incapable of passing a proper budget.
The Rise and Fall and Rise of Oil Prices
Jan 19, 2018 • 7 min
Last summer, the price of oil was $44 a barrel. This week, it briefly hit $70. What happened? And what does it mean for the future of oil prices?
The Beigies
Jan 18, 2018 • 9 min
Welcome to the Beigies, the only awards show honoring the best economic stories in the Fed’s Beige Book.
Saudi Arabia After Oil: An IPO, Tech Jobs, and Yanni
Jan 17, 2018 • 7 min
The young crown prince is trying to figure out how to save his country before the money runs out.
The Case For Earmarks
Jan 16, 2018 • 7 min
Congressional earmarks have a bad reputation. But, our guest argues, they’re just what America needs.
The Recession Predictor
Jan 12, 2018 • 9 min
There’s a warning sign for the economy with an amazing track record. It’s not flashing now, but it’s close enough to make us nervous.
Such Cryptocurrency. So Amaze.
Jan 11, 2018 • 8 min
Dogecoin, a bitcoin spinoff created as a joke, is now worth $1.4 billion. The coin’s creator tells us how the joke became real — and explains why he has mixed feelings about the whole thing.
The War On Coal
Jan 10, 2018 • 4 min
President Trump’s Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, had a plan to prop up the coal industry. This week, a federal commission—led by a Trump appointee—rejected it.
Why Quitting Is Awesome
Jan 9, 2018 • 6 min
The state of the American job market, as revealed by jobs numbers released this morning.
What To Do About Inequality
Jan 8, 2018 • 7 min
A lot of popular plans for boosting middle-class wages don’t work as well as as they used to. Here are a few ideas that might work now.
Hidden Gems of the Jobs Report
Jan 5, 2018 • 6 min
Here are three illuminating but largely overlooked numbers from today’s jobs report.
Just Another Manic January
Jan 4, 2018 • 5 min
It’s going to be a huge month for economic policy.
Corruption, Protests, and the Price of Eggs in Iran
Jan 3, 2018 • 6 min
Thousands of people are protesting in the streets of Iran. Part of the reason: the price of eggs just went through the roof.
The Next Debt Crunch
Jan 2, 2018 • 7 min
The U.S. economy is doing great. Here’s something to worry about.
The 50-Year Newspaper
Dec 29, 2017 • 7 min
Daily news coverage gives us a lopsided view of the world. What would the top stories be if we only got a news update once every 50 years?
Our Indicators Of The Year
Dec 27, 2017 • 9 min
Despite all the protectionist rhetoric, global trade grew really quickly this year. Also: a crazy, 80-year ride from sun god to TMI.
How Airfare Is Changing
Dec 22, 2017 • 5 min
Why some routes are getting more expensive while others are getting cheaper.
Could The Republican Tax Bill Help Democrats Later?
Dec 20, 2017 • 6 min
The Democrats have been struggling with a problem for a while now. The new tax bill could ultimately help them solve it.
The Toll Also Rises
Dec 18, 2017 • 6 min
Basic economics says a new toll for commuters makes everybody better off. But what if basic economics is wrong?
Forget Neutrality
Dec 15, 2017 • 7 min
Most Americans have at most one choice for broadband internet. On today’s show: How it got that way, and what it means for the debate over net neutrality.
Full Employment: Are We There Yet?
Dec 13, 2017 • 6 min
Why is it so hard to figure out when the economy is at full employment? And why does the Fed keep getting it wrong?
Bitcoin, Unemployment, and Mythical Beasts
Dec 11, 2017 • 7 min
Our guest, Tyler Cowen, has smart insights into a ridiculously wide range of subjects. Our conversation is a lightning round that touches everything from the stock market to dystopian novels.
Where’s My Raise?
Dec 8, 2017 • 7 min
The unemployment rate is really low, but wages are barely rising. What’s going on?
Loopholes And Deficits
Dec 6, 2017 • 6 min
Republicans have been complaining about deficits forever. This was their big chance to do something. Why didn’t they?
Power Pinch
Dec 4, 2017 • 7 min
The history of sexual harassment training videos, and the surprising insight it gives us into the current wave of sexual harassment cases.
Coming Soon
Dec 1, 2017 • 1 min
A new podcast from the people who make Planet Money.