Planet Money

Planet Money


The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at Planet Money. People seem to like it.



#988: The Economics Of Hospital Beds

Apr 4, 2020 1274


Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in the nation, has seen everything and survived everything. But even they might not have enough beds. Here's why. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#987: The Race To Make Ventilators

Mar 31, 2020 1443


Ventilators are the supply and demand problem of the COVID pandemic. We go inside the scramble to build more, fast. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#986: America Unemployed

Mar 28, 2020 1378


A record number of Americans filed for unemployment this week. The system isn't designed for this. What's next? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#985: Where Do We Get $2,000,000,000,000?

Mar 26, 2020 1229


The COVID-19 rescue bill is the largest ever. Where will that money come from? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#984: Food And Farmworkers

Mar 25, 2020 1027


To find out what's happening with our food, we talk to an economist, a farmer, and, of course, farmworkers. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#983: You Asked About The Virus Economy

Mar 24, 2020 1724


Some answers: The deal with toilet paper; stock market circuit breakers; coronabucks; corporate paper & how to help. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#982: How To Save The Economy Now

Mar 20, 2020 823


Neel Kashkari is the President of the Minneapolis Fed. And he's run a bailout of an economy already. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#981: How To Test A Country

Mar 19, 2020 1311


Making a test for a pandemic — which rules should you keep, and which to bend? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#980: The Fed Fights The Virus

Mar 16, 2020 1097


The central bank is trying to prevent a health crisis from becoming a financial crisis. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#979: Medicine For The Economy

Mar 14, 2020 1517


COVID-19 is hammering our economy. We ask three super smart economists what we should do about it. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#978: Coronavirus, Oil, and Kansas

Mar 11, 2020 1096


Oil prices are way down. We follow the story from an outbreak in China, to a meeting in Vienna, to a small-time oilman in Kansas. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#977: Where's The Vaccine?

Mar 7, 2020 1236


Coronaviruses didn't come out of nowhere. They've actually been around for years. But economics makes it hard to find a vaccine. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#976: Terms Of Service

Mar 5, 2020 1045


An online review turns into a fine-print nightmare — until the victims fight back. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#975: Reparations In New Zealand

Feb 28, 2020 1666


A wool magnate gets pulled into a fight with the government over reparations. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#826: Vodka Proof

Feb 26, 2020 1229


Vodka is the best-selling spirit in the United States, and there are zillions of brands. But is there any difference between them? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#974: Michael Milken

Feb 21, 2020 1286


Michael Milken once made $550 million in one year. Then, he went to prison. This week, the President pardoned him. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#973: Indicate This

Feb 19, 2020 1209


From our daily podcast The Indicator: How Amazon Prime packages reach you so damn fast? And why Lancaster, PA became the refugee capital of America?

#972: The CryptoQueen

Feb 15, 2020 2021


A mysterious woman promises a financial revolution. That promise leads to greed, corruption and... a beauty pageant. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#971: Our Valentines 2020

Feb 12, 2020 1411


We're sending valentines to books, ideas, and other stuff we love. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#970: Raw Milk Deal

Feb 7, 2020 1151


A farmer in California built an empire dealing raw milk. And then the Feds showed up. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#772: Small Change

Feb 5, 2020 1305


How fast is the world really changing? The answer affects everything from how we live, to whether robots really will take all our jobs. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#969: The Island No One Owns

Feb 1, 2020 1753


In Barbuda, land isn't a thing you buy. It's something you just... have. Put up a fence and it's yours. But all that might change. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#968: The Trouble With Table 101

Jan 30, 2020 1401


We re-engineer a restaurant with a consultant so good, she can move a table a few inches, and make thousands of dollars. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#967: Escheat Show

Jan 24, 2020 1277


You may be owed money. The government may decide to just use it. So we go looking for it inside a little-known "lost and found" of forgotten fortunes. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#966: The Rise Of Putin

Jan 23, 2020 1717


Our friends at Throughline dive into the life of Vladimir Putin and try to understand how he became Russia's new "tsar." | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#965: Das Green Old Deal

Jan 17, 2020 1239


We team up with Vox's The Impact, to tell the story of how one man changed the way Germany – and arguably the world – uses energy. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.


Jan 16, 2020 1499


We are dedicating an entire show to billboards: good and old-fashioned, or fancy and high-tech. And we put up our own. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#963: 13,000 Economists. 1 Question.

Jan 10, 2020 1261


We went to the American Economic Association's annual conference and asked: What's the most useful idea in economics? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#386: The Cost Of Free Doughnuts

Jan 8, 2020 1202


Free is cool, but it can backfire. On today's show, what happens when you take something that's free and give it a price. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#962: Advanced Fairness At The Marathon

Jan 4, 2020 1436


Four lessons for creating fairness from a big race in New York. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#216: How Four Drinking Buddies Saved Brazil

Jan 1, 2020 1326


Inflation in Brazil was out of control for a decade. Four former drinking buddies from grad school fixed it. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#961: The Rest Of The Story, 2019

Dec 27, 2019 1396


A lot can happen after we put an episode out into the world. In The Rest Of The Story, we check-in on stories we've reported. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here

#960: The Writers Revolt

Dec 25, 2019 1352


In April, 7,000 TV writers across the U.S. fired their agents. All on the same day. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#959: Things We Learned in 2019

Dec 21, 2019 1269


Tom Whitwell made an amazing list of 52 things he learned this year. We dig into our favorite items. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#958: When Reagan Broke the Unions

Dec 19, 2019 1355


When air traffic controllers went on strike in 1981, Reagan gave them 48 hours to return. Labor would never be the same. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#957: You're Giving Your Boss A Loan

Dec 14, 2019 1325


Getting paid twice a month is like loaning money to your boss. What if you got paid every day? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#592: Bell Wars

Dec 11, 2019 1267


The two biggest handbell companies in the world have been locked in a feud for decades. Why? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

#956: The Carriage Tax

Dec 7, 2019 1120


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

#773: Slot Flaw Scofflaws

Dec 4, 2019 1363


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

#955: Pirate Videos

Nov 29, 2019 1175


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

#674: We Cooked A Peacock

Nov 27, 2019 1234


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

#954: What Is Foreign Interference, Anyway?

Nov 22, 2019 1377


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

#953: Three Sides Of A Car Loan

Nov 20, 2019 1564


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

#952: Sperm Banks

Nov 16, 2019 1485


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

#951: Snakebite

Nov 13, 2019 1475


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

#950: Overrated Or Underrated?

Nov 8, 2019 884


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

#777: Free Love, Free Market

Nov 6, 2019 1344


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

#949: The Pigou Club

Nov 2, 2019 1295


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

#948: A Series Of Unfortunate Recessions

Oct 31, 2019 1011


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

#947: Some-of-the-Money Ball

Oct 25, 2019 1261


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

#946: Fries Of The Future

Oct 23, 2019 1267


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

#945: The Liberty City

Oct 19, 2019 1410


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

#753: Blockchain Gang

Oct 16, 2019 1343


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

#944: We Should Have Mentioned That

Oct 11, 2019 1351


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

#763: BOTUS

Oct 9, 2019 1319


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

#943: Unicorn Cowboy

Oct 4, 2019 1307


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

#942: Capitalism In The Courtroom

Oct 2, 2019 1278


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

#941: Three Bets

Sep 28, 2019 1336


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

#770: When India's Cash Disappeared

Sep 25, 2019 1501


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

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

Sep 20, 2019 1170


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

#658: Strike One

Sep 18, 2019 1052


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

#939: The Working Tapes Of Studs Terkel

Sep 13, 2019 1738


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

#794: How To Make It In The Music Business

Sep 11, 2019 1357


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

#938: The Marshall Plan

Sep 7, 2019 1273


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

#371: Where Dollar Bills Come From

Sep 4, 2019 977


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

#937: Moving To Opportunity?

Aug 30, 2019 1249


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

#936: The Modal American

Aug 29, 2019 1705


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

935: You Asked For A Food Show

Aug 23, 2019 1549


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

#934: Two Yield Curve Indicators

Aug 21, 2019 1134


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

#933: Find The Helium

Aug 16, 2019 1512


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

#616: How Solar Got Cheap

Aug 14, 2019 1051


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

#932: Deep Learning With The Elephants

Aug 9, 2019 1524


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

#931: The IT Guy Vs. The Con Artist

Aug 7, 2019 1313


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

#930: Twins

Aug 3, 2019 1356


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

#598: That Time We Shorted America, Part Two

Jul 31, 2019 1198


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

#597: That Time We Shorted America, Part One

Jul 26, 2019 1295


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

#929: Could A Wealth Tax Work?

Jul 24, 2019 1356


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

#928: Hong Kong

Jul 19, 2019 1321


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

#927: The Indicator In The House

Jul 18, 2019 1251


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

#926: So, Should We Recycle?

Jul 13, 2019 1386


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

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

Jul 10, 2019 1503


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

#924: Stuck In China's Panopticon

Jul 5, 2019 1596


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

#752: Eagles vs. Chickens

Jul 3, 2019 1235


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

#923: Good Teachers, Bad Deal

Jun 28, 2019 1578


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

#922: The Cost of Getting Your Money Back

Jun 27, 2019 1185


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

#921: Tales From The Parking Lot

Jun 21, 2019 1424


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

#920: What Should We Be Worried About?

Jun 19, 2019 1127


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

#919: Are Cities Overrated?

Jun 14, 2019 1072


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

#590: The Planet Money Workout

Jun 12, 2019 1032


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

#918: The Day Of Two Noons

Jun 7, 2019 1246


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

#651: The Salmon Taboo

Jun 5, 2019 1001


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

#917: Quit Threat!

May 31, 2019 1321


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

#916: The Whistleblower Whisperer

May 29, 2019 1395


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

#915: How To Meddle In An Election

May 24, 2019 1397


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

#914: Trump and Deutsche, A Long Affair

May 23, 2019 1601


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

#913: Counting The Homeless

May 18, 2019 1320


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

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

May 15, 2019 1059


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

#912: How Uncle Jamie Broke Jeopardy

May 10, 2019 1671


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

#911: You Asked The Listener Question Hotline

May 8, 2019 1253


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

#910: Economics, Sexism, Data

May 3, 2019 1460


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

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

May 1, 2019 1274


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

#909: Dollar Stores Vs Lettuce

Apr 27, 2019 1235


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

#908: I Am Not A Robot

Apr 24, 2019 1485


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

#907: Two Spring Indicators

Apr 19, 2019 1268


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

#644: How Much Does This Cow Weigh?

Apr 17, 2019 1155


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

#906: The Chicago Boys, Part II

Apr 12, 2019 1647


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

#905: The Chicago Boys, Part I

Apr 11, 2019 1467


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

#904: Joke Theft

Apr 6, 2019 1584


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

#760: Tax Hero

Apr 4, 2019 1430


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

#903: A New Way To Pay For College

Mar 29, 2019 1185


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

#902: The Phoebus Cartel

Mar 28, 2019 1864


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

#901: Bad Cops Are Expensive

Mar 22, 2019 1223


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

#189: Why A Dead Shark Costs $12 Million

Mar 20, 2019 1171


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

#900: The Stolen Company

Mar 15, 2019 1325


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

#724: Cat Scam

Mar 13, 2019 1380


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

#899: Mexico Fights The Fuel Pirates

Mar 8, 2019 1079


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

#785: The Starbury

Mar 7, 2019 1518


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

#898: Happy Fed Independence Day

Mar 2, 2019 1195


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

#897: New Orleans Vs. Airbnb

Feb 28, 2019 1345


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

Antitrust 3: Big Tech

Feb 22, 2019 1436


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

Antitrust 2: The Paradox

Feb 20, 2019 1193


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

Antitrust 1: Standard Oil

Feb 15, 2019 1433


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

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

Feb 14, 2019 1177


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

#893: Our Valentines 2019

Feb 8, 2019 1076


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

#892: The Lost Plane

Feb 7, 2019 997


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

#891: Who Won The Bet Over Bitcoin?

Feb 1, 2019 1156


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

#825: Who Started The Wildfire?

Jan 30, 2019 1274


After a wildfire, teams of investigators start combing the wreckage for clues. Finding the cause means, maybe, finding someone to pay. But where's the line between a natural disaster and a human one?

#890: The Division Problem

Jan 25, 2019 1272


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

#688: Brilliant Vs. Boring

Jan 23, 2019 1358


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

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

Jan 18, 2019 1159


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

#888: The First Shutdown

Jan 17, 2019 926


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

#887: You Asked For It, Yet Again

Jan 12, 2019 1501


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

#690: All In

Jan 9, 2019 1254


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

#886: The Price of a Hack

Jan 4, 2019 1018


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

#885: Do It For Your Country

Jan 2, 2019 1122


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

#884: The Rest Of The Story, Winter 2018

Dec 28, 2018 1420


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

#609: The Curse Of The Black Lotus

Dec 26, 2018 1210


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

BONUS INDICATOR: The Calculator That Time Forgot

Dec 24, 2018 488


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

#883: A Very Planet Money Christmas Carol

Dec 21, 2018 1615


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

#882: Synthetic Reefer Madness

Dec 20, 2018 1716


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

BONUS INDICATOR: The Measure Of A Tragedy

Dec 17, 2018 636


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

#881: The Prisoners of the Trade War

Dec 15, 2018 1066


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

#539: What's A Penny Worth?

Dec 13, 2018 1365


We try to figure out what makes cents.

#880: Is Amazon Good For New York?

Dec 7, 2018 1297


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

#533: Why Car Safety Is A Trade Barrier

Dec 6, 2018 1260


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

#879: The Secret Target

Dec 1, 2018 1392


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

#468: Kid Rock Vs. The Scalpers

Nov 28, 2018 1340


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

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

Nov 26, 2018 254


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

#878: Mugshots For Sale

Nov 23, 2018 1247


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

#877: The Laws of The Office

Nov 21, 2018 1452


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

VIDEO: Put A Chip On It

Nov 19, 2018 267


A quick history of slow credit cards. This video also available here:

#699: Kansas City Vs. Kansas City

Nov 17, 2018 1328


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

#876: Patent Deception

Nov 15, 2018 1714


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

VIDEO: A Grave Promise

Nov 12, 2018 192


If you die in America, chances are the cemetery is going to promise to maintain your grave forever. Americans take this for granted, but it's a wacky, wild promise that we maybe should not be making.

#875: Why Did The Cow Cross The Border?

Nov 10, 2018 1272


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

#874: Hot Dog Hail Mary

Nov 7, 2018 1171


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

VIDEO: Inventing Price Tags

Nov 5, 2018 348


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

#873: The Seattle Experiment

Nov 2, 2018 1378


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

#872: The Halloween Tapes

Oct 31, 2018 1472


Something spooky has been happening here at Planet Money.

Video: The Miracle Apple

Oct 30, 2018 405


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

#871: Blacklisted In China

Oct 26, 2018 1234


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

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

Oct 23, 2018 1423


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

Episode 870: Trump vs. Red Tape

Oct 19, 2018 1257


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

#453: What Causes What?

Oct 17, 2018 1164


We try to tell the difference between correlation and causation.

#869: The Student Loan Whistleblower

Oct 12, 2018 1232


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

#534: The History of Light (Nobel Edition)

Oct 8, 2018 1311


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

#868: Moneyland

Oct 5, 2018 1295


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

#680: Anatomy Of A Scam

Oct 3, 2018 1408


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

#867: Special Report: Asylum Crackdown

Sep 29, 2018 2096


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

#866: Modern Monetary Theory

Sep 27, 2018 1352


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

#865: Tweak This

Sep 21, 2018 1080


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

#657: The Tale Of The Onion King

Sep 19, 2018 983


How one man took the onion market hostage.

#864: The Central (Bankers') Question

Sep 15, 2018 1329


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

For Our 10th Anniversary, Episode #1

Sep 12, 2018 1740


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

#863: The 13th Hole

Sep 8, 2018 1249


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

#729: When Subaru Came Out

Sep 5, 2018 1218


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

#862: Big Government Cheese

Aug 31, 2018 1388


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

#783: New Jersey Bails Out

Aug 29, 2018 1237


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

#861: Food Scare Squad

Aug 24, 2018 1335


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

#444: New Jersey Wine

Aug 22, 2018 1230


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

#860: The World's Longest Yard Sale

Aug 17, 2018 1534


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

#613: Trash!

Aug 15, 2018 956


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

#859: You Asked For Even More

Aug 10, 2018 1199


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

#704: Open Office

Aug 8, 2018 1146


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

#858: Venezuela's Fugitive Money Traders

Aug 3, 2018 1142


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

#857: The Postal Illuminati

Aug 1, 2018 1335


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

#856: Yes In My Backyard

Jul 27, 2018 1181


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

#855: The Poop Cartel

Jul 25, 2018 1459


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

#854: The New Socialists

Jul 20, 2018 944


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

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

Jul 18, 2018 1446


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

#853: Peak Sand

Jul 13, 2018 1134


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

#427: LeBron James Is Still Underpaid

Jul 11, 2018 1299


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

#852: Two Summer Indicators

Jul 6, 2018 1317


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

#700: Peanuts And Cracker Jack

Jul 3, 2018 1461


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

#851: The Rest Of The Story Summer 2018

Jun 30, 2018 1267


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

#850: The Fake Review Hunter

Jun 27, 2018 1172


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

VIDEO: The Chicken Tax

Jun 25, 2018 211


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

#682: When CEO Pay Exploded

Jun 22, 2018 1267


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

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

Jun 20, 2018 1371


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

#848: The World's Biggest Battery

Jun 15, 2018 1268


California has a ton of solar power. But as soon as night falls, it's gone. Today on the show: How to bottle the sun.

#847: Inventing Accidents

Jun 13, 2018 1280


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

#846: Ungerrymandering Florida

Jun 9, 2018 1254


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

#660: The T-Rex In My Backyard

Jun 6, 2018 1168


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

#845: REDMAP

Jun 2, 2018 1319


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

#844: Nice Game

May 31, 2018 1018


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

#843: Swamp Gravy

May 25, 2018 1772


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

#643: The Taxi King

May 23, 2018 1229


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

#842: Showdown at the WTO

May 18, 2018 1162


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

#696: Class Action

May 16, 2018 1351


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

#841: The Land Of Duty Free

May 11, 2018 1291


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

#840: Fixing Chicken

May 9, 2018 1171


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

#839: The Indicator Goes To California

May 5, 2018 1606


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

#575: The Fondue Conspiracy

May 3, 2018 1001


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

#838: A Series of Mysterious Packages

Apr 28, 2018 1072


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

#640: The Bottom Of The Well

Apr 26, 2018 1353


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

#837: The Belt, The Road And The Money

Apr 21, 2018 1349


Today on the show, we connect the dots between New York, Uganda, Prague, and China's thirst for resources. (Music Credit: Thanks to musician Giovanni Kiyingi for the use of his song "Kaleeba" from the album Amakondeere.)

#836: The Rational Madness Of The Used Car Salesman

Apr 19, 2018 1050


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

#835: Tariffied

Apr 13, 2018 1292


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

#661: The Less Deadly Catch

Apr 11, 2018 1112


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

#834: NDA Tell-All

Apr 7, 2018 1306


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

#685: Larry vs. The IRS

Apr 4, 2018 1235


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

#833: Worst. Tariffs. Ever.

Mar 30, 2018 1266


Tariffs are stupid. This is one of the few things economists can agree on. Today, we bring you the story of the worst tariffs ever.

#832: Mulvaney Vs The CFPB

Mar 28, 2018 1301


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

#671: An Insider Trader Tells All

Mar 23, 2018 1182


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

#831: The Golden Rules

Mar 21, 2018 1169


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

#454: The Lollipop War

Mar 16, 2018 1274


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


Mar 15, 2018 1243


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

#829: Rigging The Economy

Mar 10, 2018 1190


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

#677: The Experiment Experiment

Mar 8, 2018 1359


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

#828: You Asked For More

Mar 3, 2018 1394


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

#827: Three Indicators

Mar 1, 2018 1154


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

#826: The Vodka Proof

Feb 24, 2018 1236


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

#545: The Blue Pallet

Feb 22, 2018 1012


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

#825: Who Started The Wildfire

Feb 17, 2018 1189


After a wildfire, teams of investigators start combing the wreckage for clues. Finding the cause means, maybe, finding someone to pay. But where's the line between a natural disaster and a human one?

#824: Our Valentines

Feb 15, 2018 1232


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

#823: Planet Monet

Feb 10, 2018 1025


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

#337: The Secret Document that Transformed China

Feb 8, 2018 1071


In 1978, a group of farmers in a Chinese village wrote a contract and hid it in the roof of a hut. They were afraid the document might get them executed. Instead, it transformed the Chinese economy.

#822: The Shortest Super Bowl

Feb 3, 2018 1425


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

#821: The Other Davos

Feb 1, 2018 1117


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

#820: P Is For Phosphorus

Jan 27, 2018 1202


Phosphate is a crucial element, for farming, and for life. And there aren't too many places to get it. What if it runs out?

#819: Tax Me If You Can

Jan 25, 2018 1405


Douglas Bruce had a bold vision for Colorado.

#508: A Bet On The Future Of Humanity

Jan 20, 2018 1215


A biologist predicts a population bomb that will lead to global catastrophe. An economist sees a limitless future for mankind. The result is one of the most famous bets in economics.

#818: The Problem Of The Root

Jan 18, 2018 1321


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

#817: The Gun Man

Jan 13, 2018 1647


Will 3-D printing make gun control impossible?

#489: The Invisible Plumbing Of Our Economy

Jan 11, 2018 1402


Why does it take days to send money electronically?

#816: Bitcoin Losers

Jan 6, 2018 1325


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

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

Jan 4, 2018 1238


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

#815: The Rest of the Story 2017

Dec 30, 2017 1201


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

#544: The M&M Anomaly

Dec 28, 2017 813


David Kestenbaum noticed that a pack of Milk Chocolate M&M's weighs 1.69 ounces, but a pack of Peanut Butter M&M's weighs 1.63 ounces. He had to know why. But the confectionary world has its secrets.

BONUS INDICATOR: How Airfare Is Changing

Dec 26, 2017 376


Why flying to small airports keeps costing more and more, just as flying to big airports is getting cheaper. (This episode is from our new podcast, The Indicator. Subscribe to it wherever you get your podcasts.)

#814: The Tax Plan Is Huge

Dec 23, 2017 1378


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

#670: The Santa Suit

Dec 21, 2017 1075


Today on the show: A lawsuit over a Santa suit is a window into countless hidden fights that shape the stuff we buy. It's one man's battle against the U.S. government — and, in a way, against himself.

BONUS INDICATOR: Forget Neutrality

Dec 19, 2017 483


From our new podcast, The Indicator: Opponents of net neutrality argue that the government should get out of the way and let the market work, that's what leads to better service and more choice. We examine that logic.

#813: The Produce Show

Dec 16, 2017 1500


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

#812: High Rise, Low Returns

Dec 14, 2017 1612


As a businessman, President Trump is known for his towering buildings. Today we tell the story of one of those skyscrapers and what it says about how and with whom Trump does business.

BONUS: The Indicator, From Planet Money

Dec 12, 2017 492


We've made a new show. You can subscribe to it now. It's called 'The Indicator'. It's for those times you want Planet Money to explain the news, quickly. It's short (about five minutes) and three days a week.

SPACE 4: 3 2 1

Dec 9, 2017 1515


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

SPACE 3: Rocket Shopping

Dec 7, 2017 1380


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

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

Dec 2, 2017 1399


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

SPACE 1: We're Going To Space

Nov 30, 2017 1611


We really are going to space.

#807: Anatomy of a Hustle

Nov 25, 2017 1264


What did Paul Manafort do, exactly? Robert Mueller's indictment is 31 pages of hard-to-understand financial crime. We try to figure it out.

#665: The Free Food Market

Nov 23, 2017 1080


A while back, the charity Feeding America was a mess. It was sending pickles to food banks that wanted produce, and potatoes to Idaho. So they called some economists, and a free food market was born.

#806: Walmart's Pickle

Nov 18, 2017 1135


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

#805: War And Peace And Cows

Nov 16, 2017 1147


In South Sudan, there is a kind of money that works even through bank failures and unstable governments. But when war struck, it upended a whole economy: the economy of cows.

#672: Bagging the Birkin

Nov 11, 2017 1042


Once you've got a Birkin bag, you've made it. But to get one, you need more than just money. Birkins always seem to be mysteriously out of stock. This is no accident.

#804: Your Cell Phone's A Snitch

Nov 9, 2017 1277


Timothy Carpenter stole cell phones. Then his phone sold him out to the Feds. Now the Supreme Court has to decide how private our cell phone data should be.

#369: If Teens Ran the Fed

Nov 4, 2017 985


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

#803: Nudge, Nudge, Nobel

Nov 2, 2017 1127


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

#802: The Hotel at the Center of the World

Oct 28, 2017 1270


A Chinese company pays millions of dollars for a failing hotel in a small, rural town. We follow the trail of money, and it explains the world economy.

#579: Is the NCAA An Illegal Cartel?

Oct 26, 2017 1174


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

#801: The Death Show

Oct 21, 2017 991


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

#581: Free Money

Oct 19, 2017 953


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

#800: North Korea's Capitalists

Oct 14, 2017 1465


Capitalism isn't supposed to exist in North Korea. But all over the country, small businesses are popping up, growing the nation's economy. And much of that money is going straight to the country's nuclear program.

#799: Corporate! Income! Tax!

Oct 12, 2017 1075


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

#798: Bad Credit Bureau

Oct 7, 2017 1144


For most of our lives, Equifax has been slurping up our financial data. Now the company's been hacked and our data is loose. Today, we trace this mess back to two brothers and one fateful decision.

#648: The Benefits of Bankruptcy

Oct 5, 2017 1296


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

#797: Flood Money

Sep 30, 2017 1213


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

#524: Mr Jones' Act

Sep 28, 2017 1016


The government suspended the Jones Act last week, to allow non-US ships to move fuel to victims of hurricanes in Houston and Florida. Which once again made us wonder why the act even exists.

#796: The Basic Income Experiment

Sep 23, 2017 1618


The basic income. A flat payment to citizens, without strings. Is it a progressive fever dream, or sensible policy? We may soon find out. The Finnish Government is testing it on 2,000 citizens.

#795: Is Record Breaking Broken?

Sep 21, 2017 1377


The Guinness Book of World Records had a problem. It was a book. And books aren't selling as well as they used to. So Guinness changed what they were selling, and who they were selling to.

#794: How To Make It In The Music Business

Sep 16, 2017 1271


Behind almost all popular music, there is this hidden economy of music producers buying and selling sonic snippets, texting each other half-finished beats, and angling for back-end royalties.

#647: Hard Work Is Irrelevant

Sep 14, 2017 1281


Patty McCord helped create a workplace at Netflix that runs more like a professional sports team than a family. If you're not up to scratch, you're off the team. Is this the future of work?

#793: This Week in Time Bombs

Sep 9, 2017 1392


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

#628: This Ad's For You

Sep 7, 2017 1507


Tom Burrell was the first black man in Chicago advertising. He went on to change the way we think about ads, and the way advertisers think about us.

#792: The Ransom Problem

Sep 2, 2017 1212


When someone has been kidnapped, what do you do? If you pay ransom, you create a market for hostages. If you don't, people die. Different countries have different policies with different results.

#791: Tips From Spies

Aug 31, 2017 948


There's an entire universe of things spies are not allowed to tell us. Today on the show, a few of the teeny things they can say. They might come in handy.

#790: Rough Translation in Ukraine

Aug 26, 2017 1749


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

#652: The Hydrox Resurrection

Aug 24, 2017 1186


Hidden in the trash heap of commerce there is buried treasure. Abandoned brands--including trusted, beloved brands--are waiting to be claimed and reborn. Today on the show: A cookie comeback.

#789: Robocall Invasion

Aug 19, 2017 1110


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

#653: The Anti-Store

Aug 17, 2017 931


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

#788: Robert And Kenny Go To The Fair

Aug 12, 2017 1400


When we go to the state fair, we don't go for the rides, deep-fried tacos or the butter cow. We head straight for the vendor marketplace to meet the masters of the lost art of salesmanship.

#399: Can You Patent a Steak?

Aug 10, 2017 1183


We visit the workshop of the meat inventor who came up with Steak-Umm and KFC's popcorn chicken. And we try to figure out what meat inventors tell us about patents and innovation.

#787: Google Is Big. Is That Bad?

Aug 5, 2017 671


Google just got hit with a multibillion-dollar antitrust fine. Here's what it tells us about competition, market power, and the biggest corporations on the planet.

#471: The Eddie Murphy Rule

Aug 3, 2017 1619


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

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

Jul 29, 2017 1358


News moves fast. Some of our best stories from this year have new chapters. Here, we catch up on three: Dirty trademarks, trading bots, and the war against the bald eagle.

#629: Buy Low, Sell Prime

Jul 27, 2017 900


Sam Cohen buys stuff at big retail stores, then turns around and sells it on Amazon for a quick profit. It defies economic logic. But somehow, there's a whole multimillion-dollar industry doing this.

#785: The Starbury

Jul 22, 2017 1392


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

#594: Board Games

Jul 20, 2017 1234


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

#784: Meeting The Russians

Jul 15, 2017 1205


That meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer was two decades in the making. It began in 1996, when an adventurous American went to Russia, trying to make a buck.

#783: New Jersey Bails Out

Jul 13, 2017 1128


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

#782: Budget Time

Jul 8, 2017 949


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

#586: How Stuff Gets Cheaper

Jul 6, 2017 889


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

#781: The Money Fixers

Jul 1, 2017 1055


In Washington, D.C., there is a place where millions of dollars of ripped, burned, and water-soaked dollar bills are made new. On today's show, we get inside that room.

#286: Libertarian Summer Camp

Jun 29, 2017 1598


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

#780: On Second Thought

Jun 24, 2017 1401


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

#779: Shrimp Fight Club

Jun 22, 2017 1430


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

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

Jun 17, 2017 1150


Qatar was on top of the world. Seemingly overnight, it became a pariah. On this episode, we drill into a rift years in the making: It's a tale of falcons, kidnapping, and a glowing Saudi Arabian orb.

#610: The Prisoner's Solution

Jun 15, 2017 1122


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

#777: Free Love, Free Market

Jun 10, 2017 1333


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

#776: Here We Grow Again

Jun 8, 2017 1175


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

#775: The Pigweed Killer

Jun 3, 2017 1448


A battle with a weed divides neighbors and leads one farmer to shoot another dead. Today's show: The hunt for a better pesticide gets way out of hand.

#599: The Invisible Wall

Jun 1, 2017 1135


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

#774: Unspeakable Trademark

May 27, 2017 1256


You can name your business whatever you want. But the government won't register it as a trademark if it thinks it's offensive. It gets weird when you try to decide what is too offensive to trademark.

#773: Slot Flaws Scofflaws

May 25, 2017 1350


As long as there have been casinos, people have tried to cheat them. The latest attempt was by a group of hackers who tried to take down slot machines using math, iPhones, and a whole lot of swiping.

#772: Small Change

May 20, 2017 1258


How fast is the world really changing? The answer has implications for everything from how the next generation will live to whether robots really will take all our jobs.

#606: Spreadsheets!

May 18, 2017 1205


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

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

May 13, 2017 1237


What happened when India's Prime Minister declared most of the paper money in India worthless? We travel to India to see what happened after the country's demonetization.

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

May 11, 2017 1423


Something incredible happened in India about six months ago. The government declared most of the paper money invalid. Demonetization they called it. Today, we meet the man who came up with the plan.

#769: Speed Dating For Economists

May 6, 2017 1445


We visit a job market created by economists, for economists. It's a hyper-efficient, optimized system, tested by game theorists, tweaked by a Nobel Prize winner, but it requires comfortable shoes.

#768: A Chat With Ben Bernanke

May 4, 2017 1097


Ten years ago, two little-known funds at Bear Stearns blew up, and the financial crisis was on its way. Today, we ask the person at the center of it all, former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, why it happened.

#553: The Dollar At The Center Of The World

Apr 29, 2017 1254


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

#767: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part Two

Apr 27, 2017 1836


In 1838, the Maryland Jesuits sold 272 people, slaves, to pay the debts of Georgetown University. We talk with the descendants about what - if anything - they're owed.

#766: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part One

Apr 22, 2017 1500


For the residents of a small Louisiana town, there's always been a question about their past: How'd they get there? Solving the mystery only raised more questions.

#765: The Holiday Industrial Complex

Apr 19, 2017 1136


Where do holidays like National Potato Chip Day and Argyle Day come from? We trace the roots of one made-up holiday until we find out who is running the global holiday machine.

#381: When Business Loves Regulation

Apr 15, 2017 885


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

#764: Pub In A Box

Apr 13, 2017 1039


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

#763: BOTUS

Apr 8, 2017 1136


On today's show, we get in on the future of investing. We build an automated stock-trading bot. It analyzes the twitter feed of President Donald Trump, then trades stocks with real money. Our money. You can follow our bot on twitter, @BOTUS.

#531: The Tough, The Sweet, The Nosy

Apr 6, 2017 1337


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

#762: The Fine Print

Apr 1, 2017 1172


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

#650: The Business Genius Behind Get Out

Mar 30, 2017 1559


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

#761: The Bank War

Mar 25, 2017 1255


A populist president versus the most powerful banker in America.

#760: Tax Hero

Mar 23, 2017 1374


One professor had a way to make filing taxes easy and painless. It worked. People loved it. But then a big tax lobby heard about it...

#759: What's It Worth To You?

Mar 18, 2017 1131


Three short stories about putting a price on something hard to value precisely. We go from $4.66 under a pillow all the way up to $1 trillion across every inch of highway in America.

#522: The Invention Of 'The Economy'

Mar 16, 2017 1039


A hundred years ago, nobody talked about "the economy." That's because easy ways to measure and talk about it hadn't been invented. On today's show: how we started boiling nations down to a number.

#758: Can Trump Take The Money?

Mar 11, 2017 1260


The Constitution contains a paragraph known as the Emoluments Clause. It's 49 words meant to prevent foreign influence on US officials. How does it apply to a president with a global business empire?

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

Mar 9, 2017 1153


Wikileaks released documents listing the hacks the CIA uses to spy on people. So we revisit our story on hackers for hire: people hunting for flaws in your phone to sell to people, or even the CIA.

#757: Strong Feelings About Dodd-Frank

Mar 4, 2017 1511


President Trump does not like Dodd-Frank, the 2010 law that transformed banking regulation. On today's show, we ask: What are the key parts of the law? And how are they likely to change?

#513: Dear Economist, I Need A Date

Mar 2, 2017 1393


Here at Planet Money, we often wonder: how useful is economics in our everyday lives? Could the principles of economics be applied to the most intimate of human experiences, like, say, love?

#756: The Bees Go To California

Feb 25, 2017 1374


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

#654: When The Boats Arrive

Feb 23, 2017 945


In the span of a few months in 1980, more than 100,000 Cuban immigrants arrived in Miami. So what happened to Florida's economy with all these new people coming in? And what can we learn from it?

#755: The Phone At The End Of The World

Feb 18, 2017 1163


A charismatic populist president wanted to boost manufacturing and create jobs. She told companies, 'if you want to sell your stuff here, you have to build it here.' This is what happened.

#754: I'm So Happy For You!

Feb 14, 2017 1255


Here at Planet Money, our favorite stories are the ones we wish we'd done ourselves. On the show, we call out rivals and colleagues who did what we try to do better than we could have done it.

#753: Blockchain Gang

Feb 11, 2017 1337


Charlie Shrem went to prison. While he was there, he thought up a better way to move money behind bars. Now he's out and trying to sell his idea to international investors.

#436: If Economists Controlled The Borders

Feb 9, 2017 1175


What would the perfect immigration system look like? We ask three economists and get three very different answers. (None of which include building a wall.)

#752: Eagles vs. Chickens

Feb 4, 2017 1048


Picture an organic farm, with thousands of free-range chickens roaming wide-open land. Now picture it from above, from the vantage of a soaring bald eagle. It's an all-you-can-eat buffet.

#751: The Thing About That Border Tax

Feb 2, 2017 1194


Over the next few months, we're going to explain President Trump's economic plans. Today: a totally new idea for corporate taxes. What's the plan, what's the theory behind it, and does it work?

#750: Retraining Day

Jan 28, 2017 1184


When an American loses his/her job to trade, there is program to help. It's been around for decades. It makes a lot of sense. It is a generous program. And almost nobody's heard of it. But why?

#632: The Chicken Tax

Jan 26, 2017 1016


President Trump talks about putting tariffs on foreign cars. But there are already tariffs on auto imports and one got there because of chickens in Germany. This is how trade barriers tend to spread.

#749: Professor Blackjack

Jan 21, 2017 1145


Ed Thorp started his career teaching math at MIT. Then he slid sideways into blackjack, changed the game forever, and set his sights on Wall Street investing. He changed that forever too.

#748: Undoing Obama

Jan 19, 2017 1408


Congress writes laws, but the president makes the rules that put the laws in action. President Obama's staff has been scrambling to lock in rules before Trump takes the helm. But will they stick?

#747: The Man Who Sued Iran

Jan 14, 2017 1537


When Steve Flatow's daughter was killed in a terror attack, he wanted someone to pay. His target was the Iranian government. His quest would pit him against both Iran and the White House.

#577: The Kansas Experiment

Jan 12, 2017 1278


A Republican governor lives the dream. He cuts taxes dramatically in his state and he promises good times ahead. But the good times do not come.

#746: Wall Street Goes To Vegas

Jan 7, 2017 1245


Wall Street traders and Las Vegas gamblers have a lot in common. But when a Wall Street firm set up shop taking Vegas bets, both sides got a surprise.

#443: Don't Believe The Hype

Jan 5, 2017 1060


People are talking about how the Dow Jones Industrial Average is about to hit a new record: Twenty thousand. We have a pretty strong opinion about the Dow. We think you should ignore it.

#745: The Rest Of The Story, 2016 Edition

Dec 31, 2016 1128


It's time for an annual Planet Money tradition--we revisit some of our favorite stories from the past year, and see what's changed since we turned off our mics.

#744: The Last Bank Bailout

Dec 28, 2016 1014


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

587: Jubilee! (?)

Dec 24, 2016 1200


There's an idea that dates back at least to biblical times. That there should be a moment when debts are forgiven. Its called a jubilee. One country tried it.

#743: 50 Ways to Leave Your Union

Dec 22, 2016 1021


Today on the show, two unions separated by 200 years, an ocean and an exit clause. The United States has no exit clause. It led to civil war. Europe, on the other hand, has Article 50.

#742: Making Bank

Dec 17, 2016 781


On today's show, how a band of medieval warrior monks sworn to poverty got into the banking business and changed the way we think about money forever.

#592: Bell Wars

Dec 15, 2016 1168


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

#741: Amy and Steve vs. Facebook

Dec 10, 2016 1089


The story of a court case. On one side, the best lawyers money can buy. On the other, a night school lawyer who had never argued a case before. The outcome could affect everyone on the internet.

#740: Burnout

Dec 8, 2016 1166


All types of companies are struggling with burnout. Many try to fix it. Most of them fail. One exception: A 26-year-old call center manager, with stress balls and costumes in her arsenal.

#739: Finding The Fake-News King

Dec 3, 2016 1125


We track down a fake-news creator in the suburbs, uncover his empire of fake-news sites, and get him to tell us his secrets.

#534: The History Of Light

Dec 1, 2016 1229


In this episode: How we got from candles made out of cow fat to as much light as we want. The history of light is the history of economic growth — of things getting faster, cheaper, and more efficient.

#738: Russian Cowboys

Nov 26, 2016 1096


Russia's latest ambition: To build a steak empire. On today's show, a fourth-generation American cowboy teaches Russian ranchers how to make American-style steaks. Some things get lost in translation.

#737: 17 Deals In 17 Minutes

Nov 24, 2016 1020


We go on a madcap dash through discounts, bargains and tough tradeoffs. Like the headline says: We bring you stories of 17 deals in just 17 minutes (not counting the intro, the ad, or the credits).

#736: Messy Nobel

Nov 19, 2016 1517


What happens when a creativity guru meets the winner of this year's Nobel Memorial Prize in economics? You get life lessons in making art, and negotiating contracts.

#574: The Buffalo Talk-Off

Nov 17, 2016 1109


The story of a guy who tried to make something of himself by getting into a rough business. And the story of a time when the world went wild for debt.

#735: President Trump

Nov 12, 2016 1476


Candidates promise all kinds of things. But once they get into office, it's not always possible to carry through on them. We ask, can Trump do the things he's pledged to do?

#734: The Trump Indicators

Nov 10, 2016 795


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

#733: A Trunk Full of Truffles

Nov 5, 2016 1302


Truffles are a lumpy, smelly fungus. They're also one of the most coveted foods in the world. Why are they so expensive? And why are people willing to pay so much for them?

#413: Our Fake Candidate Meets The People

Nov 3, 2016 1373


On today's show, Planet Money's economist-approved fake candidate makes his first ads. Then we nervously watch to see what a focus group thinks of them.

#732: Bad Form, Wells Fargo

Oct 29, 2016 1030


Banks like Wells Fargo have a weapon that can destroy an employee's career: A form. A long, boring form most people don't even know exists.

#387: The No-Brainer Economic Platform

Oct 27, 2016 1467


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

#731: How Venezuela Imploded

Oct 22, 2016 1140


Venezuela has just about every economic advantage a country could ask for: fertile land, good climate, educated population, and oil, lots and lots of oil. So how did it go so wrong?

#730: Self Checkout

Oct 20, 2016 1227


A doctor treating psychiatric patients in an emergency room created the first self-checkout machine in his spare time. Now he can't stand self checkout. So we take him shopping.

#729: When Subaru Came Out

Oct 15, 2016 1190


Subaru's sales had been slumping for years. So the car company took a big risk and targeted a group of consumers that just about everyone else was ignoring.

#627: The Miracle Apple

Oct 13, 2016 847


How we got from mealy, nasty apples to apples that taste delicious. The story starts with a breeder who discovered a miracle apple. But discovering that apple wasn't enough.

#728: The Wells Fargo Hustle

Oct 8, 2016 1112


We take you inside the headquarters of Wells Fargo bank. It's a place where a bunch of young, stressed-out workers were rewarded for doing some very bad things.

#521: The Town That Loves Death

Oct 6, 2016 1423


On today's episode, we'll take you to a place where dying has become acceptable dinner conversation. A place that also happens to have the lowest healthcare spending of any region in the country.

#727: You Asked For It, Again

Oct 1, 2016 1424


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

#726: Terms of the Debate

Sep 28, 2016 1225


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

#725: Trade Show

Sep 24, 2016 2233


On today's show: The fight over free trade. Come for the man who dreamed of world peace through trade. Stay for Robert Smith in the mean streets of Seattle.

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

Sep 22, 2016 969


We test two competing theories, from a food writer and an economist. Are customers being forced to walk through the store or is it just practical to keep the milk at the back?

#573: Why Textbook Prices Keep Climbing

Sep 17, 2016 912


Prices of new textbooks have been going up like crazy — faster than food, cars, even healthcare. On today's show: Why textbooks have gotten so expensive.

#724: Cat Scam

Sep 15, 2016 1265


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

#566: The Zoo Economy

Sep 10, 2016 1042


If you're a zoo or aquarium and you want a new animal, you don't use money to get it. You have to find another way. In this episode, we investigate: How many mackerel is a flock of puffins worth?

#723: The Risk Farmers

Sep 8, 2016 1235


There is a mystery in many poor countries. Why don't farmers specialize and grow more food? Two economists with very different theories go head to head to find out.

#532: The Wild West of the Internet

Sep 3, 2016 1092


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

#722: The New Telenovela

Sep 1, 2016 1232


One telenovela actress-turned-executive decided to write a new kind of drama. Her show changed the landscape of Spanish language TV--and of all TV.

#721: Unbuilding A City

Aug 27, 2016 1162


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

Oil #5: Imagine A World Without Oil

Aug 25, 2016 1589


Last of five episodes. We follow the Planet Money oil to a gas station. And we ask: What would our world look like if there were no fossil fuels?

Oil #4: How Oil Got Into Everything

Aug 20, 2016 1510


Fourth of five episodes. Oil is in our sneakers, our clothes, and the computer or phone you're using right now. On today's show: The story of the man who made it happen.

Oil #3: How Fracking Changed the World

Aug 18, 2016 1625


Third of five episodes. The Planet Money oil faces a test, we sell it, and we meet the man who set off the fracking boom in America.

Oil #2: The Price Of Oil

Aug 13, 2016 1345


Second of five episodes. Oil is priced down to the penny, and the price changes every day. Who sets that price?

Oil #1: We Buy Oil

Aug 11, 2016 1100


First of five episodes. We're getting into the oil business. We go to Kansas, and negotiate with a preacher to buy 100 barrels of crude.

#524: Mr Jones' Act

Aug 6, 2016 1023


There's an obscure law that governs just about anything that travels by ship in the U.S. — bananas, hairdryers, gasoline, even people. Economists do not like it. But it just won't go away.

#715: The Sewing Robot

Aug 4, 2016 1027


Building a robot that can sew even simple clothes is surprisingly hard. A retired professor in Atlanta thinks he's solved the problem. It could bring textile manufacturing back to America.

#548: Project Eavesdrop

Jul 30, 2016 973


The computer or phone that you use knows a lot about you. It knows your secrets — and it might be giving them away.

#714: Can a Game Show Lose?

Jul 28, 2016 1271


Crafting a TV game show is a balancing act. Producers have to carefully calibrate the rules, the drama and the prizes just right. Sometimes they get it way wrong.

#576: When Women Stopped Coding

Jul 23, 2016 1033


A lot of computing pioneers were women. For decades, the number of women in computer science was growing. But in 1984, something changed.

#713: Paying for the Crime

Jul 21, 2016 1559


A tale of violence, payback, and how to make things right.

#712: I Want My Money Back

Jul 16, 2016 1183


Three stories of people getting their money back — or trying to. From a hospital, a scammer, and the ever-exciting global bond market.

#711: Hooked on Heroin

Jul 14, 2016 1058


Scoring a fix is cheap and today's heroin is strong. But that's just part of the reason why America got hooked. Today on the show, we trace the roots of America's heroin epidemic with a dealer, a user, and a DEA agent.

#710: The Brexit Break-Up

Jul 9, 2016 1156


Brexit is like a breakup. So today, a divorce story in two acts. We hear from both sides: The people who voted to leave, and the Europeans being left.

#575: The Fondue Conspiracy

Jul 7, 2016 949


When you think of cartels, maybe you think of drugs, maybe you think of oil. But what probably doesn't come to mind? Swiss cheese.

#709: The Quiet Old Lady Who Whispers "Fair Use"

Jul 2, 2016 1097


Where is the line between being inspired by somebody's creative work and stealing it?

#708: Bitcoin Divided

Jun 30, 2016 1115


Bitcoin was supposed to revolutionize the way money works. But the thing people love about it may be destroying it.

#707: Brexit

Jun 25, 2016 883


What just happened in the UK? And what's coming next?

#538: Is A Stradivarius Just A Violin?

Jun 23, 2016 1285


How much of a brand is real? How much is in our heads?

#706: Water's Worth

Jun 18, 2016 737


If your country's main export is water, what happens when your wells run dry?

#583: Cow Noir

Jun 16, 2016 1181


There is a crime wave in the West right now. Cattle rustling — stealing cattle — is on the rise. The crime is as old as America, and it's making a big comeback.

#705: The Muscle Patents

Jun 11, 2016 1182


Two bodybuilders go at it over a Stanford University patent. And we dive in to make sense of it.

#563: The Future Of Work Looks Like A UPS Truck

Jun 9, 2016 798


Technology means that no matter what job you have — whether you're alone in a truck on an empty road or sitting in a cubicle in front of a computer — your company can now track everything you do.

#704: Open Office

Jun 4, 2016 1121


This episode is for everyone who's ever had to ask their coworkers to quiet down or walk laps of the office to make a private phone call. Today on the show: We meet the man who stole your office door.

#463: How To Get A Country To Trust Its Banks

Jun 2, 2016 1085


It's something you can see on every day and on every block in most major cities. But in Myanmar, a country that was cut off from the rest of the world for decades, an ATM is a small miracle

#703: How To Hide A Million Dollars In Plain Sight

May 28, 2016 1107


How do you secretly stash away a million dollars? One way is to hide the money in plain sight, right in the heart of New York City. Today's show: the case of who owns Apartment 5B.

#217: The Art Of Living At The Poverty Line

May 26, 2016 1348


Meet a single mother who makes $16,000 a year and managed to fund a vacation at a Caribbean resort with an interest-free loan from one of the world's largest banks.

#702: Nigeria, You Win!

May 21, 2016 979


One night, Lariat Alhassan heard an ad on the radio. It said the Nigerian government was offering millions of dollars to people with business ideas, practically no strings attached. She gave it a go.

#366: How To Make It In The Food Truck Business

May 19, 2016 772


In New York City, more than 5,000 food trucks and carts compete for the business of hungry office workers. And finding the right spot to set up shop can mean the difference between fortune and ruin.

#701: A Bank Without Interest

May 14, 2016 1059


To serve Muslim customers, a bank in Michigan tried to comply with both U.S. regulations and Islamic law. One problem: Islamic law prohibits charging interest.

#430: Black Market Pharmacies And The Spam Empire Behind Them

May 12, 2016 1072


On today's show, we open up some of those annoying pharmaceutical spam emails and find out who's clicking to buy herbal viagra? Also, what happens when they do?

#700: Peanuts and Cracker Jack

May 7, 2016 1291


Beer. Water. Pretzels. It takes effort, strategy, and some serious lungs to sell expensive junk food at a baseball game. Meet the hot dog vending legend of Fenway Park.

#699: Why Did The Job Cross The Road?

May 5, 2016 1211


To get to the other side... where there are millions of dollars in tax breaks.

#698: The Long Way Home

Apr 30, 2016 973


Housing subsidies are often given out through a lottery. But why do we let random chance decide who gets help with the rent? We don't do that for food stamps or health care, so why housing?

#417: Lance Armstrong and The Business of Doping

Apr 28, 2016 1105


In this episode, we consider a world where everybody cheats, and where you can't win unless you game the regulators: Professional cycling.

#697: Help Wanted

Apr 23, 2016 1171


When you're an employer looking at a giant stack of resumes, you have to find some way to quickly narrow the field. How do you do that fairly? And what happens when your good intentions backfire?

#468: Kid Rock Vs. The Scalpers

Apr 21, 2016 1096


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

#696: Class Action

Apr 16, 2016 1241


The modern class action was created on a typewriter in the back of a car. (Sort of.) Now, thousands of these lawsuits are filed every year. How did we get here? Is this really a good way to do things?

#695: Put A Chip On It

Apr 14, 2016 1088


Credit cards with chips in them have been around for four decades. So why is America only getting them now? And now that they are here, why are so few places using them?

#694: The Gun That Wouldn't Shoot

Apr 9, 2016 1173


Imagine a safer kind of gun. Imagine a company with a plan to build it. Imagine customers ready to buy it. Imagine what could go wrong. A whole lot.

#562: A Mall Divided

Apr 7, 2016 803


A California mall straddles the border between two cities — and the minimum wage is higher on one side.

#693: Unpayable

Apr 2, 2016 1162


Puerto Rico is part of the United States, but not one of the United States. And this limbo status has brought a world of economic trouble.

#403: What Can We Do With Our Shell Companies?

Mar 31, 2016 1278


And how can we meet our fake shareholder and fake director?

#692: The Secret Life Of Line 24

Mar 26, 2016 1270


On today's show, we tell the stories of a few mysterious lines on IRS form 1040 — the basic tax form. In its own, maddening way, the 1040 is a great American document.

#691: The Great Unbundling

Mar 24, 2016 1750


There's a revolution underway in the world of cable TV--more and more people are getting rid of it. And there are some unforeseen consequences when we cut the cord and go our separate ways.

#690: All In

Mar 19, 2016 1057


We talk to a professional poker player who lost on the first day of poker's most famous tournament--but went on to get a huge payout. Turns out there's a game behind the game.

#390: We Set Up An Offshore Company In A Tax Haven

Mar 17, 2016 1720


In this show, we dive deep into the world of hiding money. We look for the easiest place to shelter a bank account and set up our own shell company in an offshore tax haven. Good times.

#689: A Hedge Fund, A Country, And A Big Sailboat

Mar 12, 2016 962


Argentina decided that it could take on the world. They had a bunch of debt and said, 'we're not paying.' Then a group of hedge funds took the entire country to court.

#418: The Government's Fake Bank For Drug Money

Mar 10, 2016 998


One day in the early 1990s, a man walked into the U.S. embassy in Ecuador. He said he had information on how to go after some of most powerful drug traffickers in the world.

#688: Brilliant vs. Boring

Mar 5, 2016 1268


A million-dollar bet pits a bunch of really smart money managers against the simplest investment idea in the world.

#687: Buy This Passport

Mar 3, 2016 1216


Most of us don't think of citizenship as a product. It's something more: It's part of who you are. On today's show, we look at what happens when citizenship goes up for sale.

#686: If Elected President

Feb 27, 2016 1231


Today, we bring you the future as dreamt up by presidential candidates. Also: sober economists poking holes in the candidates' dreams.

#424: How Much Is A Firefighter Worth?

Feb 25, 2016 1093


Firefighters don't go to fires as much as much as they used to. Yet the fire department is still set up the same way. What should change?

#685: Larry vs. The IRS

Feb 20, 2016 1218


A lot of people dream of not paying their taxes. Larry Williams scoured the fine print of IRS code, talked to lawyers, settled on a plan, then just stopped paying taxes.

#684: The Return Of The Colonel

Feb 18, 2016 902


There's a secret war going on inside every franchise. At KFC, it all goes back to a guy with a white beard and a black string tie: Colonel Harland Sanders.

#683: Our Valentines

Feb 13, 2016 1447


Regret. Self-loathing. Jealousy. Happy Valentine's Day! We bring you little stories that we love so much, we wish we had thought of them ourselves.

#466: DIY Finance

Feb 11, 2016 874


He has thousands of dollars stashed around his house. She's part of an informal savings club. And Miguelo Rada has a whole bank in his pocket.

#682: When CEO Pay Exploded

Feb 6, 2016 1250


Politicians have argued for decades that CEOs should earn less money. But there was a moment in the 1990s when CEO pay suddenly shot up. What happened?

#681: The Oil Kingdom

Feb 4, 2016 944


For years, Saudi Arabia has been living off one resource and one resource only: Oil. But now, the price of a barrel has plummeted, and the country is scrambling to adapt.

#680: Anatomy Of A Scam

Jan 30, 2016 1343


You've seen these ads: "You can work from home and get rich. It's easy. Call this number!" So, what happens when you respond?

#679: You Asked For It

Jan 28, 2016 1095


We ponder the origins of money, the economics of Santa, and the business of cemeteries. Why? Because you asked.

#678: Auction Fever

Jan 23, 2016 897


We uncover the secrets of the auction world. There is conniving. There are tricks. Also: Hydraulic hammers.

#283: Why Do We Tip?

Jan 21, 2016 1056


According to one theory, we tip because we feel guilty, not because we want better service.

#677: The Experiment Experiment

Jan 16, 2016 1246


How much of published scientific research is false? Scientists are trying to figure it out.

10 11 51 52 62 18

Jan 14, 2016 1287


If those are the winning Powerball numbers, this will be our last show. Also: The story of Queen Elizabeth's 1567 lottery, and we meet a man who has won multiple jackpots, no luck needed.

#675: The Cost Of Crossing

Jan 9, 2016 1143


Sneaking people across the U.S.-Mexico border is a well established, booming business. Today on the show, we meet a businessman and a client in the evolving industry of human smuggling.

#15: Delicious Cake Futures

Jan 7, 2016 918


On today's Planet Money, the complex economy of one elementary-school lunchroom.

#674: We Cooked A Peacock

Jan 2, 2016 1211


In the 1600s, a good spice rub was the ultimate display of wealth. People would risk their lives for a sack of cloves. On today's show, we cook a recipe from the spice trade days.

#673 The Rest of the Story, 2015 Edition

Dec 31, 2015 1182


Not every story has an ending. Sometimes after we finish a podcast and send it to you, the facts change, a new chapter unfolds. Today on the show, we update some of our favorite episodes from 2015.

#672: Bagging The Birkin

Dec 26, 2015 1030


There are people with Birkin bags and there are the rest of us. Today on the show: the elaborate, upside-down strategy that has kept a $60,000 purse the "it" bag for 30 years.

#671: An Insider Trader Tells All

Dec 24, 2015 1138


Today on the show: A man who got caught insider trading explains everything — what he did, how he did it, and why. Though he's still struggling with that last one.

#670: The Santa Suit

Dec 19, 2015 998


Today on the show: A lawsuit over a Santa suit. It's a window into countless hidden fights that shape the stuff we buy.

#590: The Planet Money Workout

Dec 17, 2015 914


Today on the show: The mind games that gyms play with you. From design to pricing to free bagels, gyms want to be a product that everyone buys, but no one actually uses.

#669: A or B

Dec 12, 2015 947


These days A/B testing is everywhere. It's shaped almost every website, some stores and even some school lessons. Today, the most meta episode ever. Planet Money A/B tests a show about A/B testing.

#668: Frank Sinatra's Mug

Dec 10, 2015 1066


When you die you can pass on your money, your house. But your image--what you look and sound like--that's trickier. Today on the show: How Frank Sinatra made his image, and maybe yours, last forever.

#667: Auditing ISIS

Dec 5, 2015 1299


What happens when ISIS takes over your city? Today on the show: We talk to a man who lived and worked in ISIS controlled territory. He tells us about how he paid taxes, where he kept his money and a $50 candy bar.

#216: How Four Drinking Buddies Saved Brazil

Dec 3, 2015 1279


Two decades ago, shoppers in Brazil would run ahead of the worker who raised prices every day. Inflation was crazy. Today on the show: How four economists --who were also drinking buddies-- fixed it.

#666: The Hoverboard Life

Nov 28, 2015 1036


The hottest toy this holiday season has no identifiable logo, no main distributor, and no widely agreed upon name. Today, we seek out the origin of the hands-free, two wheeled, self-balancing scooter.

#665: The Pickle Problem

Nov 26, 2015 1055


A national network of food banks couldn't figure out how to get the right food to the right place at the right time. So they tried a bold experiment: the free market.

#664: The Great Inflation

Nov 21, 2015 1485


For much of the 70s inflation was bad. Prices rose at over 10 percent a year. Nothing could stop it — until one powerful person did something very unpopular. Today's show: How we beat inflation.

#416: Why The Price Of Coke Didn't Change For 70 Years

Nov 19, 2015 1147


Prices go up and down. But for 70 years, the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola stayed a nickel. On today's show, we find out why. The answer includes a half a million vending machines and a 7.5 cent coin.

#663: Money Trees

Nov 14, 2015 1072


Each time you travel, you burn fossil fuels. That hurts the environment. Some people say you can plant a bunch of trees to offset the damage. Is that for real? We investigate carbon offsets.

#505: A Locked Door, A Secret Meeting And The Birth Of The Fed

Nov 12, 2015 932


A 70-year-old man with a bad cold and many mistresses, a nation that's ambivalent about a central bank, and a secret meeting on an island. Today on the show: The origin story of the Federal Reserve.

#662: OMG TPP

Nov 7, 2015 1329


The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership isn't secret anymore. We dove in. From tariffs for waterproof overalls to copyright rules, we tell you what we found. Also, a way countries can get around it.

#661: The Less Deadly Catch

Nov 5, 2015 1091


Today on the show, how an economic fix took the deadliest job in America and made it safer. And why a lot of people are mad about it.

#660: The T-Rex In My Backyard

Oct 31, 2015 1163


There's a boom going on for dinosaur bones, a veritable gold rush for fossils buried in the badlands of North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Today on the show: the T-Rex that started it all.

#518: Your Organs, Please

Oct 29, 2015 1188


How do you get someone to sign up as an organ donor? Today on the show: The story of one woman who found a way by partnering with one of the more hated American institutions.

#659: How To Make $3 Trillion Disappear

Oct 24, 2015 925


After the financial crisis, the Fed created over $3 trillion. To undo this, they have a new trick. Today on the show, how the Federal Reserve plans to make that money disappear.

#550: When Salaries Aren't Secret

Oct 22, 2015 1108


What would it be like if everyone at your office knew what everyone else earned? On today's show, we hear about a company where salaries aren't secret.

#658: Strike One

Oct 17, 2015 959


On today's show: The birth of unions as we know them. It's a story that includes, among other things, bravery, cunning, and auto-part projectiles flung out of giant sling shots.

#657: The Tale Of The Onion King

Oct 15, 2015 951


Vince Kosuga farmed onions. Then he tried trading them on the market, too. He made millions. Today on the show: How trading got so out of hand that the Chicago River flowed with America's onions.

#656: Bubblelicious

Oct 10, 2015 841


Things are booming in Silicon Valley. Maybe too booming. But economists say you can't call it a bubble until it goes POP. Today on the show: We find three bubbly barometers that could signal a bust.

#564: The Signature

Oct 8, 2015 994


The signature. We put it on checks, contracts, credit cards. It's supposed to say, "This is me." But where did the idea come from? And why are we still using it? We consult a rabbi, a lawyer and a credit card executive.

#655: Pay Patients, Save Money

Oct 3, 2015 1141


We shop around when we get a plane ticket or buy a couch. But we spend thousands of dollars on health care without shopping around. What happens if we pay patients when they choose the cheaper option?

#654: When The Boats Arrive

Oct 1, 2015 912


In 1980, thousands of Cuban refugees suddenly arrived in Miami and started looking for work. On today's show: What happened next. And what it tells us about the migration crisis in Europe today.

#653: The Anti-Store

Sep 26, 2015 909


Today on the show: How Price Club and its imitators changed the way we shop. And how a new company is taking what Price Club started to new extremes.

#386: The Power of Free

Sep 24, 2015 1149


Everybody likes free. But free can be dangerous. On today's show, what happens when you take something that was free and give it a price. That's a highly risky move and the damage can be enormous.

#652: The Hydrox Resurrection

Sep 19, 2015 1091


Hidden in the trash heap of commerce there is buried treasure. Abandoned brands, even beloved, trusted brands, are waiting to be claimed and reborn. Today on the show: a cookie comeback.

#651: The Salmon Taboo

Sep 17, 2015 935


Today on the show: How hard could it be to get a nation of sushi lovers to try raw salmon?

#650: The Scariest Thing In Hollywood

Sep 12, 2015 1353


One Hollywood director leaves the world of big budget blockbusters for something even more lucrative: low budget Hollywood.

#649: China, China, China

Sep 10, 2015 1029


What's going on in China? Is the second largest economy in the world about to come crashing down?

#648: The Benefits of Bankruptcy

Sep 5, 2015 1229


When Roddey Player's business started heading south, he did everything he could to avoid the big failure: bankruptcy. But what's painful for Roddey might just be the secret weapon of the U.S. economy.

#200: The Moonshine Stimulus

Sep 3, 2015 1037


We travel to Warm Springs to find out if the rumors are true: Did FDR really buy moonshine during Prohibition? Did he violate the Constitution he had sworn to protect?

#647: Hard Work Is Irrelevant

Aug 29, 2015 1146


Patty McCord helped create a workplace at Netflix that runs more like a professional sports team than a family. If you're not up to scratch, you're off the team. Is this the future of work?

#502: The Afterlife Of A T-Shirt

Aug 27, 2015 1208


When used clothes are donated to charity, they begin a second life of sorting, refitting, and lots of travel. We trace used T-shirts to a clothing market in Nairobi, Kenya. For more:

#646: Why Can't We Bet On Elections?

Aug 22, 2015 1141


In Las Vegas you can bet on all kinds of stuff. One thing you can't bet on: elections. But why? Not long ago, no election was too sacred to wager on, not even the pope's.

#500: The Humble Innovation At The Heart Of The Global Economy

Aug 20, 2015 1196


Our women's Planet Money T-shirt got to you thanks to an overlooked innovation that's essential to the modern global economy. The innovation: a big, metal box.

#645: How To Stop An Asteroid

Aug 15, 2015 766


Some smart people say we should be doing more to protect the Earth from asteroids. The technical issues are relatively easy. The economics — figuring out who's going to pay — are much harder.

#497: The Sisters Who Made Our T-Shirt

Aug 13, 2015 1289


Like lots of other clothes, the men's Planet Money T-shirt was made in Bangladesh. On today's show, we travel to Bangladesh and visit two sisters who made our shirt.

#644: How Much Does This Cow Weigh?

Aug 8, 2015 1086


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

#496: Where The Planet Money T-Shirt Began

Aug 6, 2015 1224


We made a T-shirt, and followed it every step of the way. First step: a high-tech cotton farm.

#643: The Taxi King

Aug 1, 2015 1066


Gene Freidman built a taxi empire in New York City. Now his empire is starting to crumble.

#642: The Big Red Button

Jul 30, 2015 965


The big question surrounding automation isn't just about economics or technology. It's also about psychology. How do designers make us comfortable with something that can be really scary?

#641: Why We Work So Much

Jul 25, 2015 791


The world economy is more productive than ever before. A lot of people could work fewer hours and still meet their basic needs. But we don't. Why?

#640: The Bottom Of The Well

Jul 23, 2015 1290


On today's show: the screwed-up economics of drought, and why the rational thing to do in California right now is use more water.

#639: Where To Hide €50,000, And Other Stories From Greece

Jul 18, 2015 1146


On a visit to Greece, we talk to a guy who found an ingenious place to hoard his cash, a government-protected milk peddler, and a would-be olive oil tycoon.

#638: Tweak The World

Jul 16, 2015 951


Today on the show: We're going small. We ask some of the smartest people we know what little thing they would change to improve the world.

#288: Manufacturing The Song Of The Summer

Jul 11, 2015 1430


The story of the secret battle to create the song of the summer — the music industry's holy grail.

#637: The Last Euro In Greece

Jul 9, 2015 818


Greece's monetary system is in crisis right now, and the government is closing the financial pipes. The effects are widespread and weird.

#363: Why People Do Bad Things

Jul 3, 2015 1418


We sit down with a psychologist and a mortgage broker who committed large-scale fraud to try to figure out why respectable people commit fraud.

#636: Yes Or No

Jul 2, 2015 937


What do you do when your country's future is put in your hands? On today's show: The referendum in Greece.

#635: Trade Deal Confidential

Jun 27, 2015 1381


Big trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership are often negotiated in secret. On today's show, trade negotiators tell us what happened when they were locked in a hotel for days on end, and told to hash out a deal.

#478: The Raisin Outlaw

Jun 25, 2015 1109


A farmer wanted to sell all his raisins, but the federal government said no. So he took it to the Supreme Court.

#634: Worst Case Scenario

Jun 20, 2015 965


We ask three economists: Is there some falling anvil that's about to crush the economy?

#633: The Birth And Death Of The Price Tag

Jun 18, 2015 991


The price tag is a fairly recent invention. And it's already on its way out.

#632: The Chicken Tax

Jun 13, 2015 923


How the American auto industry is built on a trade dispute over frozen chicken parts.

#631: The Long Run

Jun 11, 2015 982


Stories about a $50,000 loophole, what neighborhoods mean for kids, and what the Six Million Dollar Man would cost today.

#630: Free Parking

Jun 6, 2015 1015


The story of a 24-year-old kid and the idea he thought would reduce congestion, cut greenhouse gasses and make urban life easier for everyone. Instead, it brought him nothing but trouble.

#629: Buy Low, Sell Prime

Jun 4, 2015 869


Sam Cohen has made a big business out of buying stuff at big retail stores, then turning around and selling it on Amazon. In an era when stores are profit-maximizing machines, how is that possible?

#628: This Ad's For You

May 30, 2015 1373


In the early 1960s, Tom Burrell became the first black man in Chicago advertising. Today on the show, the story of how he changed the way people think about ads and how advertising thinks about us.

#627: The Miracle Apple

May 28, 2015 837


Today on the show, how we got from mealy, nasty apples to apples that taste delicious. The story starts with a breeder who discovered a miracle apple. But discovering that apple wasn't enough.

#626: This Is The End

May 23, 2015 759


Machines have been taking jobs forever. In the past, when jobs disappeared, new ones were created. But is this time different?

#625: The Last Job

May 21, 2015 999


What if robots did all the work? In today's show, we imagine a world without jobs.

#624: I, Waiter

May 16, 2015 1016


We go out for pizza and meet the latest group of workers getting replaced by machines: servers.

#623: The Machine Comes To Town

May 14, 2015 1457


In Greenville, SC, the best job option isn't to compete against the robots, but to make friends with them. Note: Today's show originally aired in January 2012.