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.

How Stories Shape The Economy
Oct 16 • 9 min
Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller talks about his new book, which looks at how narratives drive economic change and may help economists more accurately forecast recessions.
Of Diet Coke And Nobel Prizes
Oct 15 • 8 min
We talk to newly-minted Nobel Prize winner Michael Kremer about using economics to solve real-world problems and what it’s like to receive his field’s highest honor.
What The %!&$# Is The Repo Market?
Oct 11 • 7 min
Lots of people have been freaking out over the repo market… but what IS the repo market?
The U.S. And Global Economy: A New Relationship
Oct 10 • 9 min
The global economy used to have a simple rule: the US leads, everybody else follows. Things have changed.
The Cost Of Climate Change
Oct 9 • 9 min
Climate activists have long used political and social pressures to decrease the use of fossil fuels and preserve forests… but now many are following the money to try and affect change.
Five Economic Firsts
Oct 8 • 9 min
We’re seeing a lot of firsts in this economy. Some good, some not so good, some surprising.
Forever 21’s Fast Fashion Fail
Oct 7 • 9 min
Forever 21’s bankruptcy filing highlights the flaws in fast fashion.
Jobs Friday: Crunching The Numbers
Oct 4 • 10 min
On the first Friday of every month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a jobs report which includes the number of new jobs added to the U.S. economy. But how is that number calculated?
How Iceland’s Tourism Bubble Deflated
Oct 3 • 9 min
The tourism explosion in Iceland helped the tiny island recover from the 2008 financial crisis, but did the tourism industry grow too big, too fast?
The Rise And Fall Of Iceland’s WOW Air
Oct 2 • 9 min
A budget airline, WOW Air, helped fly the tiny island nation of Iceland out of a financial crisis — but then it all came crashing down.
Is Cash Overrated? And Other Questions
Oct 1 • 9 min
We play Overrated, Underrated with Jill Schlesinger, CBS business analyst and author of The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money.
What’s Gonna Trip Us Up In Q4?
Sep 30 • 9 min
Another quarter ends today, but the news is nuts right now, so we take a step back and guide you through the big themes we’ll be looking at in the fourth quarter of the year.
Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 6: Nuns & Guns
Sep 27 • 9 min
In an attempt to stem the tide of gun violence, a group of religious organizations turned to an unlikely place: the markets.
The Probiotics Heist
Sep 26 • 9 min
Probiotics are increasingly popular — flying off of the shelves, even being stolen from pharmacies. But the jury’s still out on their safety and efficacy. So, how did they get on store shelves?
Millennial Mythbusting
Sep 25 • 9 min
Data shows that many of the popular assumptions about millennials are dead wrong.
How Much Are Thoughts And Prayers Worth?
Sep 24 • 9 min
A gesture which is given out freely to victims of big, catastrophic events are thoughts and prayers. But what if you could assign a monetary value to this gesture?
Our Five Favorite Fun Facts & Figures
Sep 23 • 9 min
We stumble on interesting nuggets of economic information all the time. Here are some of our recent favorites.
Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 5: Why Fees Matter
Sep 20 • 9 min
Do hedge funds and private equity firms charge too much money to their investors — including, potentially, your pension fund?
Unsung Economists: Edith Penrose
Sep 19 • 9 min
Edith Penrose transformed our understanding of how businesses grow, and also lived a remarkable life full of adventure, intrigue, and tragedy.
What Separates Urgent Care And The ER? Your Bill.
Sep 18 • 9 min
Urgent care centers look a lot like emergency rooms. But they’re a lot cheaper, both for patients and operators.
Physical Stores Are Back, Again
Sep 17 • 9 min
Brands are struggling to strike a balance between the real and digital worlds.
An Attack On Saudi Arabia’s Oil
Sep 16 • 9 min
What the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil production facilities could mean for the global oil industry.
How China Transformed The Luxury Goods Market
Sep 13 • 9 min
Chinese consumers not only account for a growing share of high-end luxury goods purchases; they’re transforming the way the market works.
The White Claw Tax Law Flaw
Sep 12 • 8 min
White Claw could be the hottest alcoholic beverage of the summer of 2019. You can thank tax policy for (some of) that.
The Debt That Never Dies: China’s Imperial Bonds
Sep 11 • 9 min
Bonds issued by Chinese governments more than a century ago could come back to haunt the People’s Republic of China.
The Olympic Bounce
Sep 10 • 9 min
When new sports are added to the Olympics — like surfing and sports climbing — they see a bump in the year following the games. But, what happens after that?
Listener Q&A, Another Policy Wonkout
Sep 9 • 9 min
NPR politics correspondent Danielle Kurtzleben answers your questions about student loans, taxes and tariffs.
Jobs Friday: Future Edition
Sep 6 • 8 min
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has some predictions about the future of the US labor market.
Tech’s Convenience Store
Sep 5 • 9 min
Amazon is opening new stores — in the real world. And in true Big Tech fashion the experience is meant to emphasize convenience. All you need to do is walk in, grab your stuff, and go.
What Medicare For All Might Mean For Jobs
Sep 4 • 9 min
Proponents of Medicare for All argue it’ll give all Americans health insurance and cost less. But even supporters admit it could mean job losses in the short term.
How A String Quartet Explains Healthcare Costs
Sep 3 • 9 min
The costs of education and healthcare have climbed faster than other prices throughout the economy — for decades. An under-appreciated economic theory explains why.
Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 4: The Worry of Wall Street
Aug 30 • 8 min
There’s a trend emerging in the finance world: Billionaire financiers are increasingly — if belatedly? — acknowledging inequality in America.
America’s Rare Earth Conundrum
Aug 29 • 9 min
America doesn’t produce much in the way of rare earths. As the trade war with China intensifies, that’s becoming a problem.
Listener Q&A, Policy Wonkout Edition
Aug 28 • 9 min
Policy can take a back seat to politics in the run-up to elections. But that’s no excuse for not watching to see what effects policy can have on an economy.
Not All Goods Are Traded Equal
Aug 27 • 9 min
Not all goods are created equal: some are exempt from tariffs.
More Money, More Votes?
Aug 26 • 9 min
The 2020 election cycle is almost in full swing. People can barely go a day without seeing an ad from candidates asking for money. But does more money really mean more votes?
Finance Friday With Mary, Volume 3: Snack-Sized Questions
Aug 23 • 9 min
Our inbox is pretty much always filled with great questions about business, the economy and how the markets behave. Today, we answer three questions specific to the financial world.
The Economics of Music Festivals
Aug 22 • 9 min
Music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza have gotten a lot more expensive, and the reasons behind that increase can tell us a lot about how the economy is changing.
The R-Word
Aug 21 • 9 min
Our inbox is chock full of listener questions about whether there’s a recession coming, and what we should do about it. Today, we answer.
Why China’s Buying Rice From America
Aug 20 • 7 min
China is the world’s biggest rice producer. So why did China agree to buy two shipping containers of rice from the U.S.?
Trump And Trade: The Point Of No Return?
Aug 19 • 9 min
President Trump has kept his protectionist promises, but his scorched earth approach to dealmaking could have damaged global trading relationships for good.
The Gender Gap Series: The Problem With The Pink Tax
Aug 16 • 9 min
Women pay more than men for many consumer products. Why some economists say that’s a good thing.
The Gender Gap Series: Tampons - That Bloody Sales Tax
Aug 15 • 9 min
Most states in the U.S. have a sales tax on menstrual products. Some states have repealed this so-called Tampon Tax, on the grounds that it’s unfair to women. But the repeals come at a cost.
The Gender Gap Series: Saving Women
Aug 14 • 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.
The Gender Gap Series: Working Women- Why the U.S. is Behind
Aug 13 • 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?
The Gender Gap Series: Where The Gender Pay Gap Is Widest
Aug 12 • 9 min
A report from Glassdoor reveals which industries have the starkest gender pay gaps.
Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 2: Short Selling
Aug 9 • 9 min
Short sellers are investors who bet against companies. They’re the detectives of the stock market, unearthing flaws and making markets more efficient, though they also attract controversy.
Sports Teams Need To Fill Stadiums
Aug 8 • 9 min
Sporting event attendance is down. So teams are trying out creative, new ways to win back fans.
Why Grad Students Are Taking On More Debt
Aug 7 • 9 min
Graduate students are increasingly shouldering the country’s student debt.
Currency Wars & A Pepperoni Problem
Aug 6 • 9 min
Listener questions! How the U.S.-China trade war has escalated, including a move by China to devalue its currency. Plus the history of pepperoni on pizza.
The Delicate Macho Movie Brand
Aug 5 • 9 min
The stars of the new Fast & Furious movie will go to extraordinary lengths to protect their “tough guy” brands, even going so far as to negotiate to make sure their characters never lose a fight.
Jobs Friday Meets Listener Q&A
Aug 2 • 9 min
Happy Jobs Friday! The U.S. economy created 164,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged. But to send you into your weekend with more pep, we answer some listener questions.
The View From The Boardroom
Aug 1 • 9 min
Some presidential candidates have supported a policy — known as co-determination — that would see workers represented on corporate boards. We talked to one worker who already has a seat at the table.
Workers Take A Seat At The Table?
Jul 31 • 10 min
The board of directors for most U.S. companies is made up of shareholders—not workers. A corporate system called co-determination aims to put employees at the table where big decisions are made.
Stacey vs Cardiff: The Fed Cut Throwdown!
Jul 30 • 9 min
The economy’s looking pretty good. So, do we really need a rate cut right now? Stacey and Cardiff duke it out.
It’s Check-Up Time, America!
Jul 29 • 9 min
The Federal Reserve is set to cut interest rates this week. We also just passed the half-year mark. Two good reasons to check in on the health of the U.S. economy.
America’s Tijuana Tech Boom
Jul 26 • 9 min
A growing workforce of high-tech specialists is luring American companies to Tijuana
Waiting For The Tariff Storm
Jul 25 • 9 min
The trade war between the U.S. and China started a little over a year ago, but the oft-predicted economic storm is yet to break.
The Fed Cuts Loose?
Jul 24 • 9 min
An economic principle that has guided the Federal Reserve for decades is increasingly being questioned.
Rhino Bonds
Jul 23 • 9 min
Investors will soon be able to bet on black rhinos. A conservation group is rolling out a 5 year, 50 million dollar rhino bond to help save the species.
Rethinking Economics
Jul 22 • 9 min
Jared Bernstein has a shortlist of economic ideas that he thinks his colleagues have been getting wrong for decades.
Women, Men And Hedge Funds
Jul 19 • 9 min
Introducing a new series: Finance Fridays With Mary!
Gold Rush 2.0
Jul 18 • 9 min
The price of gold is at a six-year high and gold bugs say it’s the safest place to put your money in uncertain times. But is it actually a good investment?
Yield Curve: You Asked, We Answer
Jul 17 • 9 min
The yield curve is inverted! We answer a few questions we have gotten from our listeners about our beloved recession predicting indicator.
Tricking Myself Into Paying My Student Loans
Jul 16 • 9 min
About 44 million people owe nearly 1.5 trillion dollars in student loans all together. But for some people — like our producer Darius Rafieyan — paying them requires some mental adjustments.
Can GIPHY Make It Rain?
Jul 15 • 9 min
GIPHY makes those viral mini-videos that people use to color their texts and emails. They’re super popular, but they’re free. So how does GIPHY plan to make money?
Bitcoin’s Energy Bill
Jul 12 • 9 min
The computers that mine Bitcoin use a lot of electricity. That’s created some unique arbitrage opportunities in different parts of the world. And causing governments some concern.
Japan’s Worker Shortage
Jul 11 • 9 min
Japan’s worker shortage has gotten so bad it’s forced some companies to declare bankruptcy. The solution? Telling workers to work less.
Deutsche Bank Breaks The Pizza Barrier
Jul 10 • 9 min
One of the biggest international banks—Deutsche Bank—is laying off 18,000 workers and cutting costs to try and save itself from going under. How did things get so bad?
Is LA Ready For A Big Earthquake?
Jul 9 • 9 min
Last week’s California quakes have reinforced fears of “the big one”, the high-magnitude trembler that seismologists say is inevitable. How ready is the city of Los Angeles?
Jobs Friday…On Monday
Jul 8 • 9 min
The monthly pace of jobs growth has slowed this year. But that’s not necessarily a problem.
The American Economy Of 1776
Jul 5 • 9 min
A look at the assets and liabilities of the American colonies on the eve of revolution.
The Cows Are Taking All The Land
Jul 3 • 9 min
The U.S. is a big place, nearly 1.9 billion acres. On today’s Indicator, we look at how all that land is divvied up.
Listener Questions: Consumption & A New Curriculum
Jul 2 • 9 min
Today we answer listener questions: why is so much consumption necessary for a healthy economy (or as our listener put it — why do we have to buy so much crap for the economy to be healthy?). Plus, what are some good economic resources for teenagers?
Amazon #FAIL…?
Jul 1 • 9 min
One of the largest companies in the world, Amazon, just shuttered its food delivery service, Amazon Restaurants. But Amazon’s fails are a bit different.
The Rise Of American Oil
Jun 28 • 8 min
What it means that the U.S. is now the biggest consumer and producer of crude oil in the world.
The Private Firefighter Industry
Jun 27 • 9 min
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West got a lot of blowback for using private firefighters to protect their California home from a wildfire. Today on The Indicator, the business of private firefighting.
Niche Sports Cashing In
Jun 26 • 9 min
Basketball, football and baseball may draw big crowds and score primetime television spots, but niche sports, like cornhole, axe throwing and even professional arm wrestling, are beginning to attract interest and money.
The Protest Tipping Point
Jun 25 • 9 min
If you’re considering a popular uprising against a government, it turns out there may be a recipe that can almost guarantee your success.
The Rise Of The Blue-Collar Noncompete
Jun 24 • 9 min
Traditionally, noncompete clauses have been reserved for whiter collar professionals. But as the labor market tightens, employers increasingly want blue-collar workers to adhere to these agreements too.
Women’s Soccer Sues For Equal Pay
Jun 21 • 9 min
The U.S. women’s soccer team is way more successful than the men’s. Yet they say they get paid less than half, on average, compared to the men’s team.
Slack Goes Public
Jun 20 • 9 min
Shares in the online chat service Slack hit the stock market today. But Slack went public in an unconventional way.
Jun 19 • 9 min
This week Facebook announced plans for its own cryptocurrency, the Libra. Regulators are cautious, and no one really knows how it will work. But Wall Street is excited.
Japan’s Inflation Gamble
Jun 18 • 9 min
Japan is still recovering from a brutal recession that lasted ten years. The country has tried a variety of fiscal and monetary measures to bring its economy back.
The Economic Expansion Turns 10!
Jun 17 • 9 min
The U.S is about to mark the longest economic expansion in its history. It’s an impressive achievement, but in many ways the economy is still struggling.
Animal Spirits
Jun 14 • 9 min
People hear the word ‘economics’ and probably think: numbers, equations, and percentages. But hidden underneath the math, is a force that can’t be quantified.
The Governor Is Suing My Hometown
Jun 13 • 9 min
The mayor of Huntington Beach says he wants less housing development in his city. The governor of California says that’s against the law.
The Water Marketplace
Jun 12 • 9 min
New rules governing water use in California have sparked innovation in agribusiness, including a brand new market for water.
Your Questions: Meatless Meat And GDP
Jun 11 • 9 min
Today we answer listener questions: How does U.S. gross domestic product break down into different industries, and how do meat alternatives compare to the real thing?
Jun 10 • 9 min
The introduction of the three-point line changed how basketball is played — eventually. And the three-pointer’s takeover of the NBA offers useful lessons in basic economics.
Jobs Friday: Summer Slowdown Edition
Jun 7
Happy Jobs Friday! The labor market is showing signs of slowing down. The unemployment rate is still low at 3.6 percent, but only 75,000 jobs were added in the month of May — a lot fewer than what economists expected.
The Battle For The Office Thermostat
Jun 6 • 9 min
Office temperature can affect more than comfort; a recent study shows it has serious implications for productivity. We talked to one economist who quantified the effects of temperature on men and women.
Returning To Paradise
Jun 5 • 9 min
The deadliest wildfire in California’s history destroyed thousands of homes in Butte County. The area is still an active disaster zone. But insurance companies are making residents move back.
All WeWork And No Play
Jun 4 • 9 min
Co-working spaces might just be the future of work. Take WeWork. It’s been cropping up in cities all over the world—borrowing billions to fuel its growth. Now, it’s planning to go public.
Weaponized Interdependence: The End of Globalization?
Jun 3 • 10 min
The trade war between the U.S. and China is challenging a long-standing assumption about globalization — that economic ties between countries would deepen with minimal political interference.
Why Is Trump Threatening Mexico (Again)?
May 31 • 9 min
President Trump has threatened to impose new tariffs on Mexico unless the country stops the flow of migrants entering the U.S. But, Mexico is one of the biggest trade partner the U.S. has.
The Super-Villain Economist
May 30 • 9 min
The Avengers super-villain Thanos saw the universe as a place of too many people and too few resources: a classic economic dilemma. His solution: Kill half the population.
An Economist Goes To The Hospital
May 29 • 9 min
Economist Jared Bernstein recently survived a brain hemorrhage. The experience got him thinking about some of the economics in our healthcare system.
Is Time Really On Your Side?
May 28 • 9 min
Economics is all about scarcity — and time is a scarce resource. We talk to economist Daniel Hamermesh, whose new book Spending Time examines time’s complicated relationship to money, stress, and gender.
What Trump’s Latest Aid Package Means For Farmers
May 24 • 9 min
President Trump announced an aid package for farmers yesterday worth $16 billion. It’s meant to offset losses from the trade war with China. We spoke to one U.S. farmer about how helpful it will be.
Canada’s Tariff Hangover
May 23 • 9 min
Canada and the U.S. have come to an agreement on trade, and lifted their punitive tariffs on each other’s goods. But some small businesses are still feeling the pain.
What Surfing Can Teach Us About Risk
May 22 • 9 min
Surfing and financial markets have a lot in common when it comes to taking and managing risk.
The Nordic Paradox
May 21 • 9 min
Norway is regarded as one of the most progressive nations in the world when it comes to encouraging female participation in the workforce. Yet the country still has relatively few female business leaders.
Economy Of Thrones
May 20 • 9 min
We have five economic indicators to help you understand the world of Game of Thrones.
Is Buying A Home A Bad Investment?
May 17 • 9 min
Home ownership used to be a central pillar of the American Dream. Today, maybe not so much.
The Real Minimum Wage
May 16 • 9 min
Many states and cities have their own minimum wages, which are higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. One economist calculated a single measure that accounts for all those differences.
Psssst…Want To Buy A Tarantula?
May 15 • 9 min
The market for animal smuggling is relatively new. But it’s gotten really big, really fast.
The World’s Identity Crisis
May 14 • 9 min
Around one in seven people do not have any official ID, according to the World Bank.
Does The Deficit Matter?
May 13 • 9 min
Budget deficits used to be seen as a bad thing. Today, not so much…and some economists even say they don’t really matter. What changed?
Wyatt Cenac On School Funding… And Thor
May 10 • 9 min
The comedian and former Daily Show correspondent takes on complex social issues in his HBO show, Problem Areas. He discusses his approach to melding comedy with social commentary.
Will China Overtake The US?
May 9 • 9 min
China is so big and growing so fast that many people say it will inevitably become a bigger economy than the U.S. in every way. But there are several good reasons for skepticism.
The Problem With Banning Plastic Bags
May 8 • 9 min
Plastic bags are no boon to the environment — but banning them might be worse.
Subway’s Five-Dollar Footlong Fail?
May 7 • 9 min
Subway has more restaurants in the U.S. than any other fast food company. It did spectacularly well during the recession thanks, in part, to it’s famous $5 footlong deal. But that deal has come back to haunt it.
Japanese Womenomics
May 6 • 9 min
Women have long been an untapped economic resource in Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided to change that. Six years after he launched “womenomics,” is it working?
Jobs Friday: The Part-Time Penalty
May 3 • 9 min
Part-time workers make less per hour than full-time workers do. That has big implications for women and mothers.
All The Bucks On Broadway
May 2 • 9 min
The Tony nominations were announced this week and that got us thinking…how does the business of Broadway work?
The Fed’s Messaging Dilemma
May 1 • 9 min
Right now the economy looks good, but inflation is lower than the Federal Reserve would like. A future rate cut could juice prices, but the messaging has to be right.
How Grocery Shelves Get Stacked
Apr 30 • 9 min
The pay-to-play way your supermarket’s shelves work.
Where The Gender Pay Gap Is Widest
Apr 29 • 9 min
A report from Glassdoor reveals which industries have the starkest gender pay gaps.
Why Superman Doesn’t Take Over The World
Apr 26 • 10 min
Superman could easily take over the world. But there are some good economic reasons why he doesn’t.
Selling A T-Rex On eBay
Apr 25 • 9 min
On eBay right now: A baby T-Rex. The price? $2.95 million.
Is Everything Awesome In The Economy?
Apr 24 • 9 min
The first few months of 2019 looked troubling. But now we seem to be on the upswing.
What Happened To U.S. Workers?
Apr 23 • 9 min
The share of people ages 25 to 54 in the labor force has fallen in the past couple of decades. What happened? Listen to an excerpt from our live event with the Financial Times Alphachat.
The Traffic Tariff
Apr 22 • 9 min
New York will soon charge drivers to enter the most crowded parts of the city. Congestion pricing: Does it work? Who’s doing it? And is it coming to a city near you?
A Brief History of Income Taxes
Apr 18 • 9 min
Taxes have been around forever. But the income tax? In the U.S., it’s relatively recent.
Why Do Introverts Get Paid Less?
Apr 17 • 9 min
There’s a gap in career earnings between introverts and extroverts.
Why Do We Still Use QWERTY Keyboards?
Apr 16 • 9 min
The story behind the first six keyboard letters are driven by economics.
The Cost Of Measles
Apr 15 • 8 min
The cost of a measles outbreak - to individuals, families, communities, and the country - is high.
Solving Problems Caused By International Trade
Apr 12 • 9 min
Free trade may solve problems for businesses transacting across borders, but it can make life painful for their workers.
How Trade Helps Explain Inequality
Apr 11 • 8 min
Trade makes for peaceful relationships between nations, but gains for consumers and workers aren’t spread evenly.
The Maple Syrup Cartel
Apr 10 • 9 min
Prices for most agricultural products change with supply and demand. Not maple syrup.
Trade War With Cheese: Trump’s New EU Tariffs
Apr 9 • 9 min
A new round of U.S. tariffs could hit European wine, cheese, aircraft, and escargots.
How To Measure Happiness
Apr 8 • 9 min
The U.S. is one of the world’s largest economies, but it lags when it comes to happiness: the World Happiness Report ranks America number 19.
Jobs Friday: Chillaxing Edition
Apr 5 • 8 min
Happy Jobs Friday! The economy is still adding jobs, unemployment remains low, and wage growth is fine. It’s all good…right?
The China Corruption Crackdown: Sincere Or Cynical?
Apr 4 • 8 min
A recent paper examines the motivations behind Xi Jinping’s corruption crackdown and arrives at a surprising answer.
The 20-Year Quest To Save Nutella
Apr 3 • 9 min
Global demand for hazelnuts is growing, thanks to the popularity of products like Nutella. So it should be a great time to be in the hazelnut business… but there’s one big problem.
What Sex Work Reveals About Risk
Apr 2 • 9 min
Allison Schrager is an economist and journalist who visited a number of brothels to examine how we understand and deal with risk.
A Crisis Of Consumer Confidence?
Apr 1 • 9 min
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index is one of the indicators retailers, policy-makers and manufacturers use to gauge the health of the economy. But what is the index, exactly?
An Indicator In The Hand
Mar 29 • 9 min
On the one hand, you could say the economy’s looking rocky; on the other hand you could argue it’s in good health. We lay out both sides.
Dry Cleaners, Housing, The Stock Market And Rip It
Mar 28 • 9 min
Today, answers to your questions on dry cleaner pricing, and the comparative investment virtues of the housing and stock markets.
An Economist in Caracas: Day In The Life
Mar 27 • 9 min
Gabriela Saade is a 27-year-old economist in Caracas, Venezuela. Yesterday, she walked us through Venezuela’s staggering numbers. Today, we walk a mile in her shoes.
Venezuela By The Numbers
Mar 26 • 9 min
The crisis in Venezuela continues to deepen, with nationwide blackouts hitting the country again this week. Today, we talk to a Caracas-based economist about what’s happening in her country.
Spotify’s Long, Winding Road To India
Mar 25 • 9 min
Spotify recently launched in India, but that path was long and complicated. We take the experience of Spotify and use it as a lens to look at why breaking into India is so difficult.
Are Neighbors Overrated? (And Other Questions)
Mar 22 • 7 min
The latest edition of “Overrated, Underrated” with economist Tyler Cowen.
Lyft Going Public: The Dual-Class Share Dilemma
Mar 21 • 9 min
All shares of stock are not created equal. Stock can come in different classes now: Class A, Class B. Some of this stock comes with superpowers… and some of it comes with almost no power at all.
Why Are Venezuelans Starving?
Mar 20 • 9 min
Venezuelans are starving because there isn’t enough food. But the country has so much fertile land, water, and sunshine — shouldn’t it be a farmer’s paradise?
Coffee? Thank U, Next
Mar 19 • 9 min
Your average cup of coffee is getting more expensive — but the price for coffee beans is going down. How can that be?
The Cost Of Student Debt
Mar 18 • 9 min
Should you take out a student loan? Jill Schlesinger, author of “The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money,” does the math.
Buying A College Degree: Did Aunt Becky Overpay?
Mar 15 • 9 min
The scandal that dominated the news this week involved parents paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their kids into the right college. But what is a college degree really worth?
Saying ‘I Do’ To Lab-Grown Diamonds
Mar 14 • 9 min
A lot of money is pouring into the global diamond industry, but demand for diamonds has been less than lustrous of late. But, at the same time, money has been pouring into the industry. Why? We have on our hands – a four carat mystery.
The Economy Inside Your Head
Mar 13 • 9 min
Economics looks at how we make decisions in a world of scarce resources. What happens when the scarce resource is our attention?
A Tale Of Two Dollar Stores
Mar 12 • 9 min
Dollar stores thrived during the economic downturn—opening thousands of locations across the country. They were recession-proof…but are they recovery-proof?
March Madness: Britain Leaving The EU
Mar 11 • 9 min
Leaving the EU is unprecedented, but leaving a large trading bloc is not.
Gender Segregation In The Workplace
Mar 8 • 9 min
The most common jobs for men and the most common jobs for women tend to be different — and this separation has big effects for everyone.
Inequality In America
Mar 7 • 9 min
Technology is bringing us closer together, but it’s also making the world a more unequal place.
Tampons: That Bloody Sales Tax
Mar 6 • 9 min
Most states in the U.S. have a sales tax on menstrual products. Some states have repealed this so-called Tampon Tax, on the grounds that it’s unfair to women. But the repeals come at a cost.
Trade War And Peace
Mar 5 • 9 min
Trade negotiators from China and the U.S. seem to be closing in on a deal. But it’s not clear what the terms will be.
5 Misconceptions About The Chinese Economy
Mar 4 • 9 min
Five things that a lot of people get wrong about the world’s second largest economy - and what robots and zombies have to do with it.
Who Is The Neoliberal Shill Of The Year?
Mar 1 • 8 min
“Neoliberalism” has become a loaded term.
Dancing On The Debt Ceiling
Feb 28 • 9 min
Tomorrow is the day the U.S. hits its debt limit. What happens if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling?
More Debt, Less Problems
Feb 27 • 9 min
Americans have more consumer debt, and they’re also in better financial health. How can that be?
TV Vs. Video Games: Who’s Winning?
Feb 26 • 9 min
Both video games and television have radically improved in the past two decades. Have they also changed the way Americans spend their time?
Payday Loans And Debt Traps
Feb 25 • 9 min
Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced payday regulations would be delayed. We look at the business of payday loans, and what it’s like to get into a debt cycle with payday lenders.
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?