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The junkyard economist 24 May 2024 00:25:36
On today's episode, we ride through the streets of San Francisco with a long-time junkman, Jon Rolston. Jon has spent the last two decades clearing out houses and offices of their junk. He's found all sorts of items: a life-time supply of toilet paper, gold rings, $20,000 in cash. Over the years, he...
The junkyard economist
On today's episode, we ride through the streets of San Francisco with a long-time junkman, Jon Rolston. Jon has spent the last two decades clearing out houses and offices of their junk. He's found all sorts of items: a life-time supply of toilet paper, gold rings, $20,000 in cash. Over the years, he...
Anatomy of a layoff 22 May 2024 00:27:42
By one estimate, 40 percent of American workers get laid off at least once in their careers. And when that happens, companies will often say, "It's not personal. It has nothing to do with you or your performance. We're just changing priorities, making a strategic shift." It's like the business versi...
Anatomy of a layoff
By one estimate, 40 percent of American workers get laid off at least once in their careers. And when that happens, companies will often say, "It's not personal. It has nothing to do with you or your performance. We're just changing priorities, making a strategic shift." It's like the business versi...
The hack that almost broke the internet 17 May 2024 00:25:12
Last month, the world narrowly avoided a cyberattack of stunning ambition. The targets were some of the most important computers on the planet. Computers that power the internet. Computers used by banks and airlines and even the military. What these computers had in common was that they all relied o...
The hack that almost broke the internet
Last month, the world narrowly avoided a cyberattack of stunning ambition. The targets were some of the most important computers on the planet. Computers that power the internet. Computers used by banks and airlines and even the military. What these computers had in common was that they all relied o...
Why Gold? (Classic) 15 May 2024 00:18:51
In the past few months, the price of gold has gone way up – even hitting a new high last month at just over $2,400 per troy ounce. Gold has long had a shiny quality to it, literally and in the marketplace. And we wondered, why is that? Today on the show, we revisit a Planet Money classic episode: Wh...
Why Gold? (Classic)
In the past few months, the price of gold has gone way up – even hitting a new high last month at just over $2,400 per troy ounce. Gold has long had a shiny quality to it, literally and in the marketplace. And we wondered, why is that? Today on the show, we revisit a Planet Money classic episode: Wh...
Zombie mortgages are coming back to life 10 May 2024 00:30:55
Karen McDonough of Quincy, Mass., was enjoying her tea one morning in the dining room when she saw something odd outside her window: a group of people gathering on her lawn. A man with a clipboard told her that her home no longer belonged to her. It didn't matter that she'd been paying her mortgage ...
Zombie mortgages are coming back to life
Karen McDonough of Quincy, Mass., was enjoying her tea one morning in the dining room when she saw something odd outside her window: a group of people gathering on her lawn. A man with a clipboard told her that her home no longer belonged to her. It didn't matter that she'd been paying her mortgage ...
Inside video game economics (Two Indicators) 08 May 2024 00:18:51
Why do video game workers offer labor at a discount? How can you design a video game for blind and sighted players? Does that design have lessons for other industries?These and other questions about the business of video games answered in todays episode. The Indicator just wrapped a weeklong series ...
Inside video game economics (Two Indicators)
Why do video game workers offer labor at a discount? How can you design a video game for blind and sighted players? Does that design have lessons for other industries?These and other questions about the business of video games answered in todays episode. The Indicator just wrapped a weeklong series ...
The birth of the modern consumer movement 03 May 2024 00:20:40
Today on the show, the story of the modern consumer movement in the U.S. and the person who inspired it: Ralph Nader. How Ralph Nader's battle in the 1960s set the stage for decades of regulation and sparked a debate in the U.S. about how much regulation is the right amount and how much is too much....
The birth of the modern consumer movement
Today on the show, the story of the modern consumer movement in the U.S. and the person who inspired it: Ralph Nader. How Ralph Nader's battle in the 1960s set the stage for decades of regulation and sparked a debate in the U.S. about how much regulation is the right amount and how much is too much....
Hire Power (Update) 01 May 2024 00:22:57
(Note: This episode originally ran in 2021.)Millions of American workers in all sorts of industries have signed some form of noncompete agreement. Their pervasiveness has led to situations where workers looking to change jobs can be locked out of their fields.On today's episode: how one man tried to...
Hire Power (Update)
(Note: This episode originally ran in 2021.)Millions of American workers in all sorts of industries have signed some form of noncompete agreement. Their pervasiveness has led to situations where workers looking to change jobs can be locked out of their fields.On today's episode: how one man tried to...
The case of the stolen masks 26 April 2024 00:18:56
About thirty years ago, Yagya Kumar Pradhan woke up to the news that the temple he and his clan used had been broken into. The temple had been ransacked. And someone had stolen two holy Bhairav masks. Yagya says they had been in his family for more than five hundred years – since the 16th century. Y...
The case of the stolen masks
About thirty years ago, Yagya Kumar Pradhan woke up to the news that the temple he and his clan used had been broken into. The temple had been ransacked. And someone had stolen two holy Bhairav masks. Yagya says they had been in his family for more than five hundred years – since the 16th century. Y...
How unions are stopped before they start (Update) 24 April 2024 00:32:58
(Note: This episode originally ran in 2023.)Union membership in the U.S. has been declining for decades. But, in 2022, support for unions among Americans was the highest it's been in decades. This dissonance is due, in part, to the difficulties of one important phase in the life cycle of a union: se...
How unions are stopped before they start (Update)
(Note: This episode originally ran in 2023.)Union membership in the U.S. has been declining for decades. But, in 2022, support for unions among Americans was the highest it's been in decades. This dissonance is due, in part, to the difficulties of one important phase in the life cycle of a union: se...
FTX and the Serengeti of bankruptcy 19 April 2024 00:25:27
For the last year and a half, the story of FTX has focused largely on the crimes and punishment of Sam Bankman-Fried. But in the background, the actual customers he left behind have been caught in a financial feeding frenzy over the remains of the company. On today's show, we do a deep dive into the...
FTX and the Serengeti of bankruptcy
For the last year and a half, the story of FTX has focused largely on the crimes and punishment of Sam Bankman-Fried. But in the background, the actual customers he left behind have been caught in a financial feeding frenzy over the remains of the company. On today's show, we do a deep dive into the...
Grocery prices, credit card debt, and your 401K (Two Indicators) 17 April 2024 00:17:41
What's going on with consumers? This is one of the trickiest puzzles of this weird economic moment we're in. We've covered a version of this before under the term "vibecession," but it's safe to say, the struggle is in fact real. It is not just in our heads. Sure, sure, some data is looking great. B...
Grocery prices, credit card debt, and your 401K (Two Indicators)
What's going on with consumers? This is one of the trickiest puzzles of this weird economic moment we're in. We've covered a version of this before under the term "vibecession," but it's safe to say, the struggle is in fact real. It is not just in our heads. Sure, sure, some data is looking great. B...
TikTok made me deduct it 12 April 2024 00:20:19
TikTok, and other apps like it, are filled with financial advice. Some of it is reliable, some... less so. There are videos about running a business, having a side hustle, generating passive income. And also, there are a lot of tips and tricks, many of them questionable, about saving on your taxes. ...
TikTok made me deduct it
TikTok, and other apps like it, are filled with financial advice. Some of it is reliable, some... less so. There are videos about running a business, having a side hustle, generating passive income. And also, there are a lot of tips and tricks, many of them questionable, about saving on your taxes. ...
How much does this cow weigh? (Classic) 10 April 2024 00:17:37
This episode originally ran in 2015.About one hundred years ago, a scientist and statistician named Francis Galston came upon an opportunity to test how well regular people were at answering a question. He was at a fair where lots of people were guessing the weight of an ox, so he decided to take th...
How much does this cow weigh? (Classic)
This episode originally ran in 2015.About one hundred years ago, a scientist and statistician named Francis Galston came upon an opportunity to test how well regular people were at answering a question. He was at a fair where lots of people were guessing the weight of an ox, so he decided to take th...
Japan's Lost Decades 05 April 2024 00:22:50
Last month, Japan's central bank raised interest rates for the first time in 17 years. That is a really big deal, because it means that one of the spookiest stories in modern economics might finally have an ending. Back in the 1980s, Japan performed something of an economic miracle. It transformed i...
Japan's Lost Decades
Last month, Japan's central bank raised interest rates for the first time in 17 years. That is a really big deal, because it means that one of the spookiest stories in modern economics might finally have an ending. Back in the 1980s, Japan performed something of an economic miracle. It transformed i...

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