The Indicator from Planet Money


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Subscribers: 10700
Reviews: 34

 Aug 19, 2020

 May 31, 2020

 Apr 8, 2020
My favorite podcast. I have learned a lot from The Indicator over the last couple of years. And the hosts are great.

Wow Jeff
 Mar 15, 2020
3 out of 5. That's the indicator for this podcast. 3/5 of the episodes are interesting/meaningful, where as 40% miss the mark.

sean marquis
 Feb 21, 2020


A little show about big ideas. From the people who make Planet Money, The Indicator helps you make sense of what's happening today. It's a quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy, and everything else. Listen weekday afternoons.

Episode Date
Downturn Start-Ups: A Conversation With Guy Raz
Since the pandemic started, nearly 100,000 businesses have closed permanently. Opening a business now might seem crazy. But downturn start-ups have some advantages.
Sep 18, 2020
DIY Firefighting
Emergency services are spread so thin in the West that some property owners are taking a D-I-Y approach to firefighting.
Sep 17, 2020
How Immigration Is Changing The U.S. Economy
Nearly 17 percent of the U.S. labor force is made up of immigrants. That's up from 12.4 percent in 2000, and 6.7 percent in 1980. What that means for the economy.
Sep 16, 2020
A Smarter Approach To Lockdowns
The coronavirus has put millions of people out of work. Greg Ip talks about his recent article in the Wall Street Journal and argues that lockdowns are "an overly blunt and economically costly tool."
Sep 15, 2020
The Birth Of The Greenback
In the mid-1800s, the US had 8,370 kinds of money. How that happened, and what it meant for the US economy.
Sep 14, 2020
The Science of Hoops
The three-point shot has revolutionized basketball, but its unintended consequences could mean trouble for the sport's future.
Sep 11, 2020
Making The Most Of Scarce Space
Lockdowns, working from home, and remote learning have all made personal domestic space more scarce. Emily Anthes has some solutions.
Sep 10, 2020
Parenting In The Time of Corona
COVID, lockdowns and working from home made life complicated for parents. Trying to educate kids from home has made things even tougher, so tough many women are dropping out of the workforce.
Sep 09, 2020
The Great Lego Scam
Counterfeit Lego kits, made illegally in China, are giving collectors a headache.
Sep 08, 2020
More Job Growth, But Slower
The August unemployment numbers were better than expected. But doesn't mean the labor market is the picture of health.
Sep 04, 2020
Overrated Or Underrated: The Nobel Edition
Nobel economics prize winners Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee on whether foreign aid, french bread and dating an economist are overrated or underrated.
Sep 03, 2020
Opening Schools: Mission Impossible
The question of whether to reopen schools or educate children at home is medically sensitive, logistically complicated and politically fraught. How one superintendent is handling it.
Sep 02, 2020
Your Brain On Retail Trading
Stock-picking retail traders have been jumping into the market this year. They may not understand the risks.
Sep 02, 2020
The Inclusion Payoff
Women and non-white men are gaining ground when it comes to science and engineering degrees, but not when it comes to patents.
Aug 31, 2020
An Ode To Taxes
Taxes get a bad reputation, but they were central to the formation of representative government and even the written word.
Aug 28, 2020
What A Piece Of Work Is The Post Office
The rather Shakespearean situation of the U.S. Postal Service
Aug 27, 2020
5 (More) Ways Life Has Changed
From smoking more cigarettes to stocking up on meatless meats, the pandemic has changed consumer behavior in some unexpected ways.
Aug 26, 2020
A Conversation With Janet Yellen
Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen talks about her New York Times op-ed with Jared Bernstein, proposing a two-punch solution for boosting the economy.
Aug 25, 2020
Egg Prices: States Cry Foul
The price of eggs skyrocketed at the start of the pandemic. That has some people crying foul ... and filing suit.
Aug 24, 2020
Why Do Diamonds Cost More Than Water?
The Diamond-Water Paradox: If we need water to survive and we don't need diamonds, why are diamonds expensive and water cheap?
Aug 21, 2020
The Looming Eviction Crisis
Millions of renters in the US are facing the prospect of eviction from their homes.
Aug 20, 2020
Becky, We Hardly Knew Ye
We bought a junk bond back in December. Then COVID-19 sent the economy into a tailspin, and the company that issued the junk bond declared bankruptcy. But that wasn't the end of the story.
Aug 19, 2020
Making the Middle Class Great Again
The argument that the key factor that boosted the middle class post WW2 — and could help the middle class again — is access.
Aug 18, 2020
Science, Economics And Vaccines
Everyone wants to develop a coronavirus vaccine. But vaccine development usually takes years. The White House is betting money can speed things up.
Aug 17, 2020
The Economics of Gods and Mortals
The first milestone in the history of economics was an 8th century B.C. poem — a lecture by an ancient Greek poet to his deadbeat brother.
Aug 14, 2020
When $600 Goes Away
Millions of jobless Americans are desperate to know whether their unemployment benefits will be extended, and by how much. But Congress just went on vacation.
Aug 13, 2020
An Immigration Backfire?
Limiting high-skilled immigration to the U.S. may not save jobs for Americans; it might even cost jobs.
Aug 12, 2020
Coronavirus Comes To Venezuela
Venezuela's economy was already struggling, for a variety of reasons. The coronavirus pandemic couldn't have struck at a worse time. Now the country's economy is on life support.
Aug 11, 2020
Roller Coaster Economy (Scream Inside Only)
As Democrats, Republicans and the President fight about how much support to give laid-off workers during the pandemic, we take the temperature of this up-and-down economy.
Aug 10, 2020
Jobs, Labor And The 1936 GM Strike
The brutal unemployment situation in the US today is making a lot of people think again about labor unions. Which had their first major victory after a 1936 strike.
Aug 07, 2020
One Drug, Two Prices
Faced with the prospect of paying for an expensive drug to treat his daughter, this dad found a nearly identical product for thousands of dollars less. But the insurance company wouldn't let him.
Aug 06, 2020
Why Your Internet Sucks
We answer two questions today: Why is American internet so bad? And why was the unemployment benefit extension set at $600?
Aug 05, 2020
An Artful Pivot
How a theater company in Philadelphia is reacting to the existential threat posed by the coronavirus.
Aug 04, 2020
Protest And A Black-Owned Business
The Black Lives Matter demonstrations brought people together to protest injustice. But alongside the protests came riots, at a great cost to some Black-owned businesses.
Aug 03, 2020
Sharing The Vaccine
The biggest, wealthiest nations in the world are in a race to produce a coronavirus vaccine. It's obviously in a country's interest to win that race and protect its citizens. It's also in its interest to share.
Jul 31, 2020
GDP -32.9%???!!!
This quarter's Gross Domestic Product numbers could be the worst on record. But what do they mean, exactly?
Jul 30, 2020
The Coronavirus Housing Boom
Most of the U.S. economy is in crisis: Unemployment and bankruptcies are skyrocketing, and millions aren't paying rent. But home sales are skyrocketing, too. In fact, they're rising at a record pace.
Jul 29, 2020
Work After COVID
The use of technologies that help office workers do their work remotely could have unanticipated, long-lasting effects for low-skilled workers too.
Jul 28, 2020
The Extra $600
Nearly one in five U.S. workers is on unemployment benefits. And most of them are about to see their checks cut in half, as Congress' expanded benefits expire this month.
Jul 27, 2020
The Power Of Workers
The three main drivers behind the decline in worker power.
Jul 24, 2020
Can Restaurants Reopen?
Restaurants are going out of business in droves. But some are battling hard to keep their doors open.
Jul 23, 2020
Question Time!
What's the garbage situation? How can we invest in Black-owned businesses? And what's the state of the gig economy? Your questions, answered.
Jul 22, 2020
A Tale Of Two Camdens
The city of Camden, New Jersey is cited as an example of how cities can change their approach to policing. But the story of Camden and its cops isn't a simple one.
Jul 21, 2020
This Weekend's (Fiscal) Cliffhanger
Unless Congress acts, unemployment benefit enhancements will expire. And that could have big effects on the economy.
Jul 20, 2020
A Conversation With Gary Cohn
Gary Cohn was President Trump's economic advisor, and a prime mover behind the $2 trillion tax cut of 2017. We talk to him about the state of the economy.
Jul 17, 2020
A Race Reckoning In Economics
The economics profession has a serious inclusion problem, and that matters for how all of us understand the economy.
Jul 16, 2020
When SNAP Gets Squeezed
One in five American households doesn't have enough food to eat. And the program that's supposed to help is about to shrink.
Jul 15, 2020
Oil Storage Wars
Because of the global economic slowdown, there's a glut of oil on the market right now. And companies are coming up with creative ways to store it.
Jul 14, 2020
Leaving Prison In The COVID-19 Economy
Reentering the world and the workforce after you've been in prison is hard enough at the best of times. The coronavirus pandemic has made it a whole lot harder.
Jul 13, 2020
The Small Business Roller Coaster
Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream in Seattle has been on the same economic and political roller coaster ride many small businesses have. Now they're trying to open back up, survive and grow.
Jul 10, 2020
Texas Hospitals Battle COVID-19
Rural hospitals in Texas are scrambling for equipment and staff to combat the surge in coronavirus cases.
Jul 09, 2020
Why We Need Black-Owned Banks
Black-owned financial institutions are a shrinking part of the U.S. financial system. We look at what that means for America's entrenched racial disparities.
Jul 08, 2020
Live Music Industry Blues
Live music events are like micro-economies that support hundreds of small businesses. Coronavirus is hammering them.
Jul 07, 2020
Unintended Consequences, Hidden Deaths
The way organizations and governments respond to disasters often have hidden consequences; sometimes those consequences can be fatal.
Jul 06, 2020
Jobs In June
The BLS jobs report for June was better than expected, but showed the U.S. economy is still suffering badly from coronavirus.
Jul 02, 2020
The Market For Student Loans
Americans owe about $1.5 trillion in student debt. But who actually owns those loans? One borrower goes looking for an answer—and uncovers a multi-billion dollar shadow market.
Jul 01, 2020
Listener Questions: Past Pandemics And Property Prices
On the Spanish Flu, housing prices, and the resilience of Australia's economy. Indicator listener questions, answered.
Jun 30, 2020
The Uncounted Workforce
Incarcerated Americans make goods for American companies, and get paid next to nothing for their labor.
Jun 29, 2020
Sadie Alexander, America's First Black Economist
Sadie Alexander was the first African-American to earn a PhD in economics. We think her contributions deserve another look.
Jun 26, 2020
Liar Loans
Many businesses have been negatively affected by the pandemic. But some companies that have borrowed a lot of money are manipulating their numbers, to avoid breaking their debt agreements.
Jun 25, 2020
Black Workers And The Fed
How the Federal Reserve manages the economy can have an outsize effect on Black workers. Here's how to make sure it doesn't leave them behind again.
Jun 24, 2020
The Economics Of Vaccine Pricing
Governments and drug companies agree: We need to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. But their motives for developing a vaccine are different. And that will have a big effect on the vaccine's price.
Jun 23, 2020
Poker, Markets And Life
How a psychologist who learned how to play high stakes poker as a way to study human behavior learned a lot about risk management, mendacity and the markets.
Jun 22, 2020
Daymond John: Swimming With Sharks
Daymond John, founder of the iconic brand FUBU and investor on the reality show Shark Tank, talked to us about how he got his start and maintained his lead in the cutthroat world of fashion apparel.
Jun 19, 2020
When A Boomtown Goes Bust
Williston, North Dakota doubled in size during the shale oil boom a decade ago. Now oil prices have fallen and the town's facing hard times.
Jun 18, 2020
How Other Countries Handled Their Jobs Crises
Not all countries approached the COVID-19 economic crisis the way the U.S. did. How different strategies on unemployment had radically different outcomes.
Jun 17, 2020
Who Pays For The Police?
Police fines and fees have helped to fill city coffers, but they've done serious damage to community relations.
Jun 16, 2020
High-Frequency Indicators
Five "high-frequency" indicators help us track the health of the U.S. economy
Jun 15, 2020
The Business Of Police Surveillance
The companies that lead the field in surveillance technology are turning against it.
Jun 12, 2020
Story Of A Paper
Why a groundbreaking paper by Lisa Cook on the effects of racist violence took ten years to get published.
Jun 11, 2020
The Cost Of Contact Tracing
Contact tracing is one of the most effective ways to contain a pandemic and dates back to the 1300s. But the modern versions are coming at a real cost.
Jun 10, 2020
The Post Pandemic City
Big American cities might never look the same again, post coronavirus. And that could be the making of them.
Jun 09, 2020
The Minnesota Paradox
Minnesota is often touted as one of the best places to live in the U.S. — it has the numbers to prove it. And yet, the state has some of the worst racial disparities of any state in the country.
Jun 08, 2020
Unemployment And The Racial Divide
How well a family can endure a spell of unemployment depends on how much of a buffer it has to fall back on. And there are big racial and ethnic disparities in how big those buffers are.
Jun 05, 2020
The Business Of Antibody Tests
Companies all over the world are jockeying for position in the lucrative COVID-19 antibody testing market, but are quality standards getting lost in the shuffle?
Jun 04, 2020
Police Unions And Civilian Deaths
There appears to be a relationship between police unionization and the number of people killed by officers.
Jun 03, 2020
Where Are The Business Bankruptcies?
When the coronavirus hit, economists predicted a tsunami of bankruptcies. But that hasn't happened.
Jun 02, 2020
Racism And Economics
The coronavirus pandemic has been called "the great equalizer." But in fact, COVID-19 has disproportionately affected African Americans in all kinds of ways.
Jun 02, 2020
The Beige Book And The Pig Farmer
The Federal Reserve's Beige Book provides anecdotes from various parts of the economy. This month's edition illustrates the pain being suffered by pig farmers.
May 29, 2020
Melissa Dell On Security And Prosperity
Mellisa Dell, this year's John Bates Clark Medal winner, explains the relationship between security, prosperity and the rule of law.
May 28, 2020
#WFH Forever?
Many of us are working from home for now. Some could be destined to do it forever.
May 27, 2020
Rent In The Time Of Coronavirus
The landlord-tenant relationship is often a tense one and it's becoming a national problem.
May 26, 2020
Stocks Are Up But The Economy's Down
The stock market has recovered more than half the ground lost when it crashed nearly 34 percent starting in late February. But the economy hasn't recovered. Why is there such a stark disconnect?
May 22, 2020
Waiting For A Surge
Hospitals lost millions of dollars preparing for a surge of COVID-19 patients. Some were swamped, but others only saw a handful of coronavirus cases. Now many are struggling to survive.
May 21, 2020
The Persistence Of Poverty
Melissa Dell, winner of the John Bates Clark Medal for economics, on why poverty and insecurity are so persistent in certain parts of the world.
May 20, 2020
The Public Transit Problem
Public transit systems are vital to cities. Many have been shut down or slowed during the pandemic. Now city administrators have to figure out how to reopen them.
May 19, 2020
Small Banks' Corona Crunch
Many banks have changed the way they work, as they hurry to get billions in CARES Act cash to small businesses.
May 18, 2020
Waiting For A Check
State unemployment offices have been slammed, as 36 million Americans have lost their jobs. And now individuals and the U.S. economy are depending on these often underfunded operations to step up.
May 15, 2020
Reopening Sports: Does MMA Point The Way?
Mixed martial arts is the first major spectator sport in the U.S. to host live events since the coronavirus lockdown. Other sports are watching to see whether MMA could point the way.
May 14, 2020
Coronavirus, Farmworkers And America's Food Supply
The working conditions on many farms mean that agricultural laborers are at high risk of getting COVID-19. That poses a real threat to those workers and to the country's food supply.
May 13, 2020
Pay Cuts Vs. Layoffs
Companies hammered by the economic collapse due to the coronavirus pandemic are being forced to make a hard choice: lay staff off or cut their pay.
May 12, 2020
On Demand
The U.S. economy depends on consumer demand. And demand is way down because of the coronavirus pandemic. What happens if it doesn't come back?
May 11, 2020
A Brutal Jobs Report
The jobs report for this month was nightmarish. But as bad as it was, it hid some even worse news about the employment situation.
May 08, 2020
Gov. Newsom On Reopening California
California Governor Gavin Newsom talks with Stacey Vanek Smith about his plans to reopen the fifth largest economy in the world.
May 07, 2020
Masks En Vogue
If the pandemic goes on much longer, or its aftereffects linger, face masks will inevitably become a fashion accessory.
May 07, 2020
Italy Reopens: A Tale of Two Bookstores
Italy was one of the countries hardest hit by coronavirus, and was one of the first to shut down its economy. Now it's reopening. But not everyone's happy about it.
May 05, 2020
The Workplace In The COVID-19 Era
As businesses make plans to reopen their workplaces, we're probably going to find that these spaces will look very different than before.
May 04, 2020
Creating A Post Pandemic World
We're all thinking about what the world might look like after this pandemic. Several years ago, Justin Marks had a vision of how things might be, in his TV show, Counterpart.
May 01, 2020
Essential Workers
Essential workers put themselves at risk of infection every day to keep the economy running. But many aren't well protected or compensated for the dangerous work they do.
Apr 30, 2020
Getting Back To Business
Small and medium size enterprises tend not to have much of a cash cushion, so most are desperate to get back to work. But many are finding that reopening after a pandemic is a messy business.
Apr 29, 2020
Disease In A Globalized World
Globalization and urbanization historically have made the global economy more productive and efficient — and also more vulnerable to pandemics. But now they can be forces for good in the fight against disease.
Apr 28, 2020
The Bankruptcy Question
The COVID-19 pandemic is driving thousands of people and businesses into bankruptcy.
Apr 27, 2020
How The Fed Fights Coronavirus
Much has been made of the unprecedented legislation passed by Congress in its attempt to curtail the economic damage of COVID-19. But what about the Federal Reserve?
Apr 24, 2020
The Great Potato Giveaway
Supermarket shelves are empty, and food banks around the country are besieged. So why are farmers dumping, destroying and giving away food?
Apr 24, 2020
Why We Didn't Prepare For The Pandemic
We've had plenty of warnings over the years that we weren't ready for a pandemic. Today on the show: the psychology and economics of why.
Apr 22, 2020
Oil: Less Than Zero
The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell below zero. In other words, suppliers were paying people to take it off their hands. How did that happen? And what does it mean?
Apr 21, 2020
Coronavirus And The Digital Divide
We're spending more time at home, and more time with technology — highlighting a deep digital divide in the United States and introducing thorny ethical dilemmas.
Apr 20, 2020
Where's My Stimulus Check?
Sending $1,200 checks to millions of Americans was a big part of the aid bill Congress passed last month. Around 80 million Americans got that money this week. But 60 million are still waiting.
Apr 17, 2020
Small Businesses On Their Own
Congress' recent aid package directed $370 billion to help small businesses. The fund is out of money, and it seems very few who applied got help.
Apr 17, 2020
Performing After A Pandemic
Live performance has always been a risky business, run on thin margins. The COVID-19 pandemic has ratcheted up that risk and sharpened those margins to a razor's edge.
Apr 15, 2020
Rural Hospitals: The Waiting Game
Rural hospitals already walk a scalpel's edge between solvency and collapse. Coronavirus threatens to push many of them over the brink.
Apr 15, 2020
The Story So Far
Five indicators provide a gauge of how daily economic life in America has changed.
Apr 13, 2020
Why Hospitals Are Laying People Off
Hospitals are ramping up and gathering supplies to deal with a deluge of coronavirus patients. At the same time, revenues are down. All of this means hospitals across the U.S. are laying off workers.
Apr 10, 2020
Why Sweden Isn't Locking Down
Most of the world's developed economies have gone on total economic lockdown to combat coronavirus. Sweden has kept its economy open. Sweden says this is better for the economy and for public health.
Apr 09, 2020
Coronavirus and Trade
The coronavirus pandemic may have pushed trade wars off the front page, but such wars are still with us — and they're complicating the world's ability to fight the virus.
Apr 08, 2020
Coronavirus And The Gig Economy
Many gig workers have suddenly found themselves providing essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. But many also feel like they have to work in an unsafe situation.
Apr 07, 2020
Pandemic-onomics: Lessons From The Spanish Flu
Different cities responded in different ways to the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918. And their economies fared differently as a result.
Apr 06, 2020
The Jobs Crisis
We had almost a decade of growth in the jobs market. But in the last two weeks, nearly 10 million people lost their jobs. Today, we look at the labor market — what's happening and where it's headed.
Apr 03, 2020
The Coronavirus Pivot
Faced with the prospect of shutting up shop because of coronavirus, some companies are retooling and pivoting to keep their doors open and their workers employed.
Apr 02, 2020
Three Ideas To Fight The Recession
Policymakers can still do more to fight the coronavirus recession. Here are three ideas that we haven't yet tried.
Apr 01, 2020
Scarcity In The Emergency Room
Emergency rooms all over the country are struggling with limited resources: masks, ventilators, hospital beds, doctors. We talk to one ER doctor in New York about how she is managing those resources right now.
Mar 31, 2020
Listeners Ask, We Answer
Coronavirus questions on the yield curve and refinancing. And some of the ways individuals can help.
Mar 30, 2020
When Should We Restart the Economy?
President Trump got major backlash this week when he suggested businesses should reopen by Easter. Critics said that was way too early. How do we know when it's safe for businesses to reopen?
Mar 27, 2020
The Labor Market Catastrophe
Layoffs and furloughs due to the coronavirus clampdown have pushed 3.3 million Americans to apply for unemployment benefits, the largest weekly increase in U.S. history.
Mar 26, 2020
Stimulus Rex
The Senate has managed to negotiate a $2 trillion relief package to help keep the U.S. economy afloat as we deal with the coronavirus pandemic. What's in it and will it be enough?
Mar 25, 2020
Pandemic Bonds
A few years ago, the World Bank issued bonds designed to get cash to needy countries in the event of a pandemic. Sounds like a great idea! But the bonds haven't paid out yet and they may never.
Mar 24, 2020
The Most Vulnerable Workers
Because of social distancing, the U.S. restaurant industry has entirely disintegrated with unimaginable speed, leaving its workers to face an uncertain future.
Mar 23, 2020
Our COVID-19 Indicators Of The Week
Zero and 27 are our indicators of the week. Zero (or nearly zero) is the Fed's new benchmark interest rate. 27 is the number of days that around half of small businesses in the U.S. can go without making money.
Mar 20, 2020
The Test Shortage
A short supply of test kits, staff and equipment have put the U.S. behind in terms of coronavirus testing. We talk to one healthcare worker about what's been limiting their coronavirus testing ability.
Mar 19, 2020
China's New Normal
China appears to have stopped the spread of coronavirus within its borders. People there are now beginning to adjust to a new normal.
Mar 18, 2020
Working From Home
Millions of people all across the world are now having to work from home. Including team Indicator. Today, a look at how this might change the way we work... and what it's like to skip the office.
Mar 17, 2020
The Sudden Stop
As social distancing kicks in and cities begin moving aggressively to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the U.S. economy is hitting the brakes. Hard.
Mar 16, 2020
Economic Fear Factor
The global economy is being hammered this week - markets have tanked, businesses are closing down. The spreading virus is part of it, but most of the effect is coming from fear.
Mar 13, 2020
Healthcare And Economic Despair
The U.S. spends more on healthcare as a share of its economy than any other wealthy country. In addition to making care less affordable, that also causes indirect damage to the rest of the economy.
Mar 12, 2020
Disease Detectives
As the outbreak of COVID-19 becomes officially classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, we look at the role of the Epidemic Intelligence Service the CDCs "disease detectives".
Mar 11, 2020
Tracking The Impact Of Coronavirus In Real Time
The economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak will take some time to show up in the most important economic indicators. We offer three high-frequency indicators to track its effects in real time.
Mar 10, 2020
Oil Shock
A spat between Russia and Saudi Arabia led to a collapse in oil prices over the weekend. Stock prices followed. What happened and what it means.
Mar 09, 2020
Coronavirus And The Labor Market
Today's healthy jobs report was uncontaminated by the coronavirus outbreak, but some parts of the labor market may be especially vulnerable in the months ahead.
Mar 06, 2020
Health Policy Is Economic Policy
U.S. policymakers are taking steps to limit the spread and impact of coronavirus. But they're not helped by American health policy, which could use an overhaul if it's to limit the spread of viral outbreaks.
Mar 05, 2020
The Corona Bump
As coronavirus wreaks havoc on the global economy, some businesses are actually experiencing a boom in demand. Today on the show, what happens when everyone suddenly wants to panic-buy your product.
Mar 04, 2020
Coronavirus: Update From Italy
The coronavirus continues to roil global markets and economies - including here at home, where the markets took yet another dive. Today, we look at an epicenter of the virus outbreak: northern Italy.
Mar 03, 2020
The Economic Lessons Of A Free Solo Climb
In 2017, rock climber Alex Honnold ascended Yosemite's rock formation El Capitan free solo, meaning without ropes or equipment. On today's show, we look at the economic lessons revealed by Honnold's extraordinary feat.
Mar 02, 2020
Coronavirus: A View From Hong Kong
As coronavirus fears roiled markets this week, we hear from Bloomberg's Tracy Alloway, who's based in Hong Kong, about what it's like to live in a city in the throes of an outbreak
Feb 28, 2020
How Wealth Has Changed
The world has changed, and nearly two thirds of global wealth is human capital. Policymakers and politicians may not understand just what that means for global politics.
Feb 27, 2020
The Rise And Fall (And Rise?) Of NASCAR
Last week's Daytona 500 came at a precarious time for NASCAR. Once a behemoth in the world of professional sports, the company is now trying to entice a new generation of race fans.
Feb 26, 2020
Why Netflix Turned To Junk
Netflix had to become a content producer to compete with other streaming services. To raise the money to pay for all that content, the company turned to junk bonds.
Feb 25, 2020
For Richer Or... Richer
The effects of assortative mating, or, what happens when people increasingly marry only other people with similar incomes and education.
Feb 24, 2020
The Indicator The Candidates Should Be Talking About
Political Economist Jared Bernstein watched this week's Democratic debate. Many economic issues came up, but he thinks the candidates need to start talking about how much U.S. households are saving.
Feb 21, 2020
Timecard Capitalists
People who make the highest salaries are increasingly the same people who draw the highest incomes from their capital.
Feb 20, 2020
Meet Our Junk Bond!
Last year, Team Indicator bought a junk bond! The bond was from a company called Hornbeck Offshore Services. On today's show, we learn more about the company and we check in on our investment.
Feb 19, 2020
Listener Questions: Minimum Wage & Gender-Fluid Tadpoles
Cardiff takes on the national debt, minimum wage, and gender-fluid tadpoles to get answers to your burning questions.
Feb 18, 2020
How Economists Do Valentines
It's an Economic Valentine! Economics isn't known as a language of love. But economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers say it's central to their relationship and to their decisions as a couple.
Feb 14, 2020
For Rent: Fast Fashion
Buy or rent? That's becoming a question for manufacturers of more and more types of products. Now fast fashion brands are trying to get in on the movement, too.
Feb 13, 2020
The First Milestone In The History of Economics
The first milestone in the history of economics was an 8th century B.C. poem — a lecture by an ancient Greek poet to his deadbeat brother.
Feb 12, 2020
Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World
In the last fifteen years, the cost of solar energy has declined so sharply that it has recently become the cheapest form of energy in the world. Now, major companies are jumping in to invest, but will the markets follow?
Feb 11, 2020
Coronavirus And The Global Economy
The coronavirus has sickened more than 40,000 people and killed more than 900. In addition to that devastating human toll, the outbreak is likely to have economically destructive effects as well.
Feb 10, 2020
Jobs Friday: The Racial Unemployment Gap
The unemployment rate for black workers is roughly twice that of white workers - and has been for half a century. Today we discuss the reasons for the gap, and how to shrink it.
Feb 07, 2020
Betting On The Oscars
Betting on the Oscars is now legal in New Jersey and Indiana, so we went down to Atlantic City to place a bet on Best Picture. And we spoke to a few experts beforehand to understand how to make a better bet.
Feb 06, 2020
Triple-A Ratings Are So Yesterday
It used to be that companies strove for the best credit rating possible. Today, however, almost everyone's happy to slide by with a barely passing grade.
Feb 05, 2020
Peak Misery And The Happiness Curve
How do you measure happiness? Economist David Blanchflower says age has a lot to do with it.
Feb 04, 2020
Even The Facts Are Polarized
As Iowans prepare to make their selection for the Democratic presidential nominee, a new study sheds light on just how polarized Americans are, even when it comes to reality itself.
Feb 03, 2020
A Business Owner's View On Brexit
Today is Brexit Day. As of 11:00pm tonight (GMT), the UK will no longer be part of the European Union. We spoke to a small business owner about what that might mean.
Jan 31, 2020
American Dynamism In Decline
America has a hard-earned reputation for being the most dynamic economy on the globe. But that dynamism could be waning.
Jan 30, 2020
The Economic Impact Of An Infectious Disease
As the coronavirus spreads internationally, we wanted to know what it looks like when an infectious disease shuts down one of the world's largest economies. We speak with NPR Beijing correspondent, Emily Feng.
Jan 29, 2020
Weird (Amazon) Flex, But Okay
Nearly half of Amazon's packages are delivered not by UPS or USPS, but by the company itself. Amazon employs thousands of gig workers to make its deliveries, administering them through an app called Amazon Flex.
Jan 28, 2020
The Indicator Plays 'Ms. Monopoly'
Monopoly recently rolled out a version of its classic board game, meant to highlight female contributions to the economy as well as women's economic issues. Today on the show, we play Ms. Monopoly.
Jan 27, 2020
Fun Fact Friday: Aggressively Passive Edition
Cardiff is back to present three economic facts for Stacey to deem fun, not fun, or just plain fascinating.
Jan 24, 2020
Buddhists, Sociopaths And The Art Of Investing
There's been a lot of troubling economic and political news over the last few years. In spite of that, the stock market has just kept on climbing.
Jan 23, 2020
Dueling Indicators: Stock Market Edition
Stacey and Cardiff face off on the question of whether the stock market is overvalued or undervalued.
Jan 22, 2020
Can You Name Five Fine Artists That Are Women?
On average, work by women artists sells for 40% less than work by male artists. Their work also represents just a small sliver of what's displayed in museums. So, how did women get shut out of the art world?
Jan 21, 2020
A Bag of Bolívares: And Other Indicators From Venezuela
Venezuela started 2019 with rolling blackouts, hyperinflation, and crippling food shortages. Things have actually gotten a little better, mostly thanks to the economic innovations of everyday people.
Jan 17, 2020
China Trade Deal: A Truce Awakens?
The U.S. and China signed a trade deal yesterday - one where China has pledged to buy $200 billion worth of U.S. goods over the next two years. Seems like a big win for the U.S., but is it?
Jan 16, 2020
How The FCC Is Trying To Take On Robocalls
In October 2019, Americans received a record number of robocalls: 5.7 billion. We talked to Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus about these pesky calls and how we can avoid them.
Jan 15, 2020
How Amazon's Counterfeit Products Threaten Safety
Over half of sales on Amazon are from third-party sellers, some of whom are selling counterfeit goods. Faulty car seats are threatening children's safety, but is Amazon being held liable?
Jan 14, 2020
How Trade Wars Fill The Swamp
How lobbyists' campaigns for exclusions to the trade war have skewed incentives and disadvantaged small businesses.
Jan 13, 2020
Episode 500! And Jobs Friday
Two reasons to blow the airhorn today: it's Jobs Friday, and The Indicator's 500th episode!
Jan 10, 2020
What To Watch In 2020
Predictions can be a fool's errand. Instead, we take a look at economic trends that we're planning to keep an eye on this year.
Jan 09, 2020
The Popularity Of (And Problem With) Municipal Bonds
Thirsty for yield, and eager for tax breaks, investors are falling over themselves to buy municipal bonds. That could be a problem if the economy turns sour.
Jan 08, 2020
All The Single Ladies...Are Losing In The Housing Market
A home is the largest purchase most Americans will ever make. Why single women are losing out in both buying and selling compared to their male counterparts.
Jan 07, 2020
The Business Behind The Color Of The Year
Since 2000, the Pantone Color Institute has announced a "color of the year." This year's color: Classic Blue.
Jan 06, 2020
The Skyrocketing Cost Of Air Ambulances
After a catastrophic accident, you may be rushed to the hospital in an air ambulance. It could save your life, but there's no way to predict how much it will cost.
Jan 03, 2020
The Bubble That Broke Kuwait
How a simple financial innovation turned a parking garage in Kuwait into one of the most important markets in the world... and how it all came crashing down.
Jan 02, 2020
The Great British Bicycle Bubble
We continue our series on financial bubbles with the British bicycle mania of the 1890s and the trail of bankrupt companies it left behind.
Dec 31, 2019
The Roman Financial Crisis Of A.D. 33
What lessons should we learn from one of the earliest documented financial crises in history?
Dec 30, 2019
The Work Week, Episode 4: Is The Unemployment Rate Broken?
Economist Jared Bernstein thinks it's about time we admit that the unemployment rate is not as useful as it used to be. He offers three alternative indicators.
Dec 27, 2019
The Work Week, Episode 3: Gender Segregation In The Workplace
The most common jobs for men and the most common jobs for women tend to be different — and this separation has big effects for everyone.
Dec 26, 2019
The Work Week, Episode 2: What Happened To U.S. Workers?
The share of people aged 25 to 54 in the labor force has fallen in the past couple of decades. What happened?
Dec 24, 2019
The Work Week, Episode 1: The Strike That Changed U.S. Labor
The 1937 union agreement between General Motors and the United Auto Workers union ushered in a period of tremendous worker prosperity and union strength. But today, labor is nowhere near a powerful as it used to be. What happened?
Dec 23, 2019
Fun Fact Friday!
Stacey busts out the funometer and casts judgment on Cardiff's facts.
Dec 20, 2019
We Buy A Junk Bond!
Cardiff said the best gift he could imagine getting was a junk bond... so we thought, "Can we actually buy one of those? Also, what exactly is a junk bond?"
Dec 19, 2019
How Economics Excludes Black Women
Economics is an academic field notorious for its lack of diversity. This is especially true for black female economists. Why are they being left out?
Dec 18, 2019
A Guide To Holiday Scams
"It's the most wonderful time of the year. But for consumers, it's also the most dangerous." David Lazarus of the Los Angeles Times discusses some of the major scams that arise during the holidays.
Dec 17, 2019
The Efficient Christmas: Why Economists Hate Gifts
When economists see holiday gifts, they see waste: sweaters that never get worn; books that never get read. Many recommend cash or no gift at all. Economist Tim Harford may have a compromise.
Dec 16, 2019
A Trade War Truce?
The Trump administration announced it would hit the brakes on a new set of tariffs that were set to go into effect on December 15th. Could it be the start of a détente in the ongoing trade war?
Dec 13, 2019
Underrated Trends Of The 2010s
The 2010s have been a rich decade for economic megatrends. But some trends haven't gotten the attention they deserve.
Dec 12, 2019
Debt And The Dairy Farmer
Mary Rieckmann and her husband run a small dairy in rural Wisconsin. But a perfect storm of factors has plunged farmers like her into crippling debt.
Dec 11, 2019
The Disappearing Small Farmer
It's been a tough year for small farmers hit by trade wars and extreme weather. And as Time's Alana Semuels reports, this latest trouble is just part of a decades-long decline in small-scale farming.
Dec 10, 2019
New York City's Luxury Condo Hangover
When the rich stop buying luxury condos, sale prices drop for everyone. But rents are a different story.
Dec 09, 2019
Job(-switch) Friday!
It's time for our favorite Friday of every month: Jobs Friday! This week, we look at job switching and what it reflects about the tightening labor market.
Dec 06, 2019
Nike Swooshes Out Of Amazon
Nike, the country's largest sporting brand, is pulling its products off of Amazon. What spurred this decision, and will other companies follow suit?
Dec 05, 2019
The Case For Hope In 2020
Today, the show takes a distinctly positive stance in making the case for being optimistic about the economy in 2020. Five reasons why you should, plus kittens and rainbows.
Dec 04, 2019
The Map That Made Manhattan
Manhattan is known for being a grid. But 200 years ago, it was a hilly, bucolic wilderness. The transformation all started with a secret map. And the reason was all about economics.
Dec 03, 2019
Hudson's Kill
Back in the early 1800s, Manhattan was a wild, sparsely populated place, but it was just about to be developed big-time. There was a lot of money to be made knowing what would go where.
Dec 02, 2019
The Sahm Rule With The Eponymous Economist
Economist Claudia Sahm explains the eponymous Sahm Rule, and how changes in the unemployment rate point to whether or not we are in a recession.
Nov 27, 2019
Niche Products In Our Grocery Stores
Niche food products at grocery stores have been getting more and more popular. But, what took so long?
Nov 26, 2019
The $100 Million Apple
Next week, a new product will hit store shelves. It's been in development for 20 years and cost millions of dollars to bring to market. It's a new kind of apple. And the stakes are high.
Nov 25, 2019
Saudi Arabia's IPO Fail?
After years of teasing, deliberating and negotiating, oil behemoth Saudi Aramco finally looks poised to go public. But the IPO is shaping up to be a lot more modest than the original plan.
Nov 22, 2019
Ready Your Wallet For Thanksgiving Dinner
What will Thanksgiving dinner cost you this year? Also, Cardiff brings back the debate on which is better, pumpkin or pecan pie.
Nov 21, 2019
Lancaster Spotlight, Part 2: A Refugee's Tale
In our second spotlight episode on Lancaster County, we look into what Lancaster's success can tell us about the relationship between refugees and the local economy.
Nov 20, 2019
Grocery Store Wars
The profit margin for groceries is razor thin. To stay competitive against increasingly large competitors like Amazon Prime, retailers are turning to a new service: curbside pickup.
Nov 19, 2019
How Does The Economy Influence Voters?
The economy is one of the most important factors in how people vote. But its influence has been changing and it has everything to do with politics.
Nov 18, 2019
Fun Facts Fridays
Cardiff surprises Stacey with three feel-good facts about the economy, and she decides whether or not those facts are awesome.
Nov 15, 2019
Winning The Nobel
Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee talk about their work and what happens when you win a Nobel Prize.
Nov 14, 2019
Politics And The Trade War
Did President Trump's trade policies cost Republican votes last year? We talk to economist Chad Bown to find out.
Nov 13, 2019
The Great Cranberry Scare Of 1959
Sixty years ago, a food scare nearly crushed the cranberry business. Cranberries have bounced back since then, but the industry is facing new threats.
Nov 12, 2019
Why Sam Sanders Is Binging 'Friends'
Netflix, HBO, Amazon, Hulu, Disney, NBC, they're all at war for your eyeballs. Today on the show, the streaming wars. Who the major players are, what's at stake and what it will mean for you.
Nov 11, 2019
The Lancaster, Pa., Puzzle
A heavily rural county with a big manufacturing base and a low share of college graduates has found a way to thrive.
Nov 08, 2019
Your Secret Score
It's no secret that every online platform you use is keeping track of your information. But what if this data is being used to give you a 'score' as a customer?
Nov 08, 2019
What's The Beef? The Declining American Leather Industry
The leather manufacturing industry was once a backbone of the American economy. Now the industry is in decline, and the trade war isn't helping.
Nov 06, 2019
Openness Versus National Security: A Dilemma For U.S. Schools
Last year, the Education Department reported that U.S. universities received over $1.3 billion dollars in the form of gifts and contracts. Most of this money came from China.
Nov 05, 2019
The American Dream And The Children Of Immigrants
A new working paper suggests that children of poor immigrants have higher rates of upward economic mobility than children of poor US-born parents. What factors are at play?
Nov 04, 2019
Jobs Friday: The Broken Unemployment Insurance System
In this week's edition of jobs friday, we look into why 72% of unemployed people do not have unemployment insurance.
Nov 01, 2019
Scary Stories From The Eek-conomy: Part II
In our second episode on scary stories on the economy we ask Tim Harford and Jared Bernstein what keeps them up at night. Also, has anxiety about the economy spooked off the Halloween spirit?
Oct 31, 2019
Lights Out For California
PG&E announced it was shutting off power to thousands of Californians to lessen the risk of wildfire. This is costing residents and businesses dearly and PG&E says it will likely be the new normal.
Oct 30, 2019
Are The Humanities Underrated? (And Other Questions)
We invite Tyler Cowen once again to play another round of overrated/underrated.
Oct 29, 2019
Can Global Shipping Go Zero Carbon?
A lot of the stuff we buy comes via ship, using a particularly dirty kind of fuel. Now the shipping industry wants to change.
Oct 28, 2019
WeWork And The Future Of Co-Working
WeWork has had a rough few weeks — its CEO was fired, it's lost billions of dollars and it's laying off thousands of workers. What happened? And what does that mean for the business of co-working?
Oct 25, 2019
Is The Unemployment Rate Broken?
Economist Jared Bernstein thinks it's about time we admit that the unemployment rate is not as useful as it used to be. He offers three alternative indicators.
Oct 24, 2019
Scary Stories From The Eek-conomy
We ask economists what scares them about the US economy right now.
Oct 23, 2019
Housing: It's About More Than Money
Our housing options matter not just for how much money we spend, but also in other ways that have a lasting impact on our quality of life.
Oct 22, 2019
Brexit: It's Complicated
Tomorrow the UK Parliament will vote on Brexit... again. Today, we take a look at what's happening, why Brexit is taking so long and what's at stake.
Oct 21, 2019
The 2019 IPO Awards!
2019 has been a very dramatic year for the IPO market. From Uber to Pinterest to WeWork--the headlines just kept coming. We celebrate it all with the first Annual IPO Awards!
Oct 18, 2019
The Jekyll And Hyde Economy
There are so many conflicting indicators about the economy's health, it's difficult to know where we're headed. We present the Jekyll and Hyde economy.
Oct 17, 2019
How Stories Shape The Economy
Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller talks about his new book, which looks at how narratives drive economic change and may help economists more accurately forecast recessions.
Oct 16, 2019
Of Diet Coke And Nobel Prizes
We talk to newly-minted Nobel Prize winner Michael Kremer about using economics to solve real-world problems and what it's like to receive his field's highest honor.
Oct 15, 2019
What The %!&$# Is The Repo Market?
Lots of people have been freaking out over the repo market... but what IS the repo market?
Oct 11, 2019
The U.S. And Global Economy: A New Relationship
The global economy used to have a simple rule: the US leads, everybody else follows. Things have changed.
Oct 10, 2019
The Cost Of Climate Change
Climate activists have long used political and social pressures to decrease the use of fossil fuels and preserve forests... but now many are following the money to try and affect change.
Oct 09, 2019
Five Economic Firsts
We're seeing a lot of firsts in this economy. Some good, some not so good, some surprising.
Oct 08, 2019
Forever 21's Fast Fashion Fail
Forever 21's bankruptcy filing highlights the flaws in fast fashion.
Oct 07, 2019
Jobs Friday: Crunching The Numbers
On the first Friday of every month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a jobs report which includes the number of new jobs added to the U.S. economy. But how is that number calculated?
Oct 04, 2019
How Iceland's Tourism Bubble Deflated
The tourism explosion in Iceland helped the tiny island recover from the 2008 financial crisis, but did the tourism industry grow too big, too fast?
Oct 03, 2019
The Rise And Fall Of Iceland's WOW Air
A budget airline, WOW Air, helped fly the tiny island nation of Iceland out of a financial crisis — but then it all came crashing down.
Oct 02, 2019
Is Cash Overrated? And Other Questions
We play Overrated, Underrated with Jill Schlesinger, CBS business analyst and author of The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money.
Oct 01, 2019
What's Gonna Trip Us Up In Q4?
Another quarter ends today, but the news is nuts right now, so we take a step back and guide you through the big themes we'll be looking at in the fourth quarter of the year.
Sep 30, 2019
Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 6: Nuns & Guns
In an attempt to stem the tide of gun violence, a group of religious organizations turned to an unlikely place: the markets.
Sep 27, 2019
The Probiotics Heist
Probiotics are increasingly popular — flying off of the shelves, even being stolen from pharmacies. But the jury's still out on their safety and efficacy. So, how did they get on store shelves?
Sep 26, 2019
Millennial Mythbusting
Data shows that many of the popular assumptions about millennials are dead wrong.
Sep 25, 2019
How Much Are Thoughts And Prayers Worth?
A gesture which is given out freely to victims of big, catastrophic events are thoughts and prayers. But what if you could assign a monetary value to this gesture?
Sep 24, 2019
Our Five Favorite Fun Facts & Figures
We stumble on interesting nuggets of economic information all the time. Here are some of our recent favorites.
Sep 23, 2019
Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 5: Why Fees Matter
Do hedge funds and private equity firms charge too much money to their investors — including, potentially, your pension fund?
Sep 20, 2019
Unsung Economists: Edith Penrose
Edith Penrose transformed our understanding of how businesses grow, and also lived a remarkable life full of adventure, intrigue, and tragedy.
Sep 19, 2019
What Separates Urgent Care And The ER? Your Bill.
Urgent care centers look a lot like emergency rooms. But they're a lot cheaper, both for patients and operators.
Sep 18, 2019
Physical Stores Are Back, Again
Brands are struggling to strike a balance between the real and digital worlds.
Sep 17, 2019
An Attack On Saudi Arabia's Oil
What the attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil production facilities could mean for the global oil industry.
Sep 16, 2019
How China Transformed The Luxury Goods Market
Chinese consumers not only account for a growing share of high-end luxury goods purchases; they're transforming the way the market works.
Sep 13, 2019
The White Claw Tax Law Flaw
White Claw could be the hottest alcoholic beverage of the summer of 2019. You can thank tax policy for (some of) that.
Sep 12, 2019
The Debt That Never Dies: China's Imperial Bonds
Bonds issued by Chinese governments more than a century ago could come back to haunt the People's Republic of China.
Sep 11, 2019
The Olympic Bounce
When new sports are added to the Olympics — like surfing and sports climbing — they see a bump in the year following the games. But, what happens after that?
Sep 10, 2019
Listener Q&A, Another Policy Wonkout
NPR politics correspondent Danielle Kurtzleben answers your questions about student loans, taxes and tariffs.
Sep 09, 2019
Jobs Friday: Future Edition
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has some predictions about the future of the US labor market.
Sep 06, 2019
Tech's Convenience Store
Amazon is opening new stores — in the real world. And in true Big Tech fashion the experience is meant to emphasize convenience. All you need to do is walk in, grab your stuff, and go.
Sep 05, 2019
What Medicare For All Might Mean For Jobs
Proponents of Medicare for All argue it'll give all Americans health insurance and cost less. But even supporters admit it could mean job losses in the short term.
Sep 04, 2019
How A String Quartet Explains Healthcare Costs
The costs of education and healthcare have climbed faster than other prices throughout the economy — for decades. An under-appreciated economic theory explains why.
Sep 03, 2019
Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 4: The Worry of Wall Street
There's a trend emerging in the finance world: Billionaire financiers are increasingly — if belatedly? — acknowledging inequality in America.
Aug 30, 2019
America's Rare Earth Conundrum
America doesn't produce much in the way of rare earths. As the trade war with China intensifies, that's becoming a problem.
Aug 29, 2019
Listener Q&A, Policy Wonkout Edition
Policy can take a back seat to politics in the run-up to elections. But that's no excuse for not watching to see what effects policy can have on an economy.
Aug 28, 2019
Not All Goods Are Traded Equal
Not all goods are created equal: some are exempt from tariffs.
Aug 27, 2019
More Money, More Votes?
The 2020 election cycle is almost in full swing. People can barely go a day without seeing an ad from candidates asking for money. But does more money really mean more votes?
Aug 26, 2019
Finance Friday With Mary, Volume 3: Snack-Sized Questions
Our inbox is pretty much always filled with great questions about business, the economy and how the markets behave. Today, we answer three questions specific to the financial world.
Aug 23, 2019
The Economics of Music Festivals
Music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza have gotten a lot more expensive, and the reasons behind that increase can tell us a lot about how the economy is changing.
Aug 22, 2019
The R-Word
Our inbox is chock full of listener questions about whether there's a recession coming, and what we should do about it. Today, we answer.
Aug 21, 2019
Why China's Buying Rice From America
China is the world's biggest rice producer. So why did China agree to buy two shipping containers of rice from the U.S.?
Aug 20, 2019
Trump And Trade: The Point Of No Return?
President Trump has kept his protectionist promises, but his scorched earth approach to dealmaking could have damaged global trading relationships for good.
Aug 19, 2019
The Gender Gap Series: The Problem With The Pink Tax
Women pay more than men for many consumer products. Why some economists say that's a good thing.
Aug 16, 2019
The Gender Gap Series: Tampons - That Bloody Sales Tax
Most states in the U.S. have a sales tax on menstrual products. Some states have repealed this so-called Tampon Tax, on the grounds that it's unfair to women. But the repeals come at a cost.
Aug 15, 2019
The Gender Gap Series: Saving Women
Women invest far less of their paychecks than men do. Sallie Krawcheck spent her career on Wall Street and she says this is a problem we need to solve.
Aug 14, 2019
The Gender Gap Series: Working Women- Why the U.S. is Behind
When it came to the female labor force participation rate, America used to lead the world. But we've fallen behind. Today on the show: What happened?
Aug 13, 2019
The Gender Gap Series: Where The Gender Pay Gap Is Widest
A report from Glassdoor reveals which industries have the starkest gender pay gaps.
Aug 12, 2019
Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 2: Short Selling
Short sellers are investors who bet against companies. They're the detectives of the stock market, unearthing flaws and making markets more efficient, though they also attract controversy.
Aug 09, 2019
Sports Teams Need To Fill Stadiums
Sporting event attendance is down. So teams are trying out creative, new ways to win back fans.
Aug 08, 2019
Why Grad Students Are Taking On More Debt
Graduate students are increasingly shouldering the country's student debt.
Aug 07, 2019
Currency Wars & A Pepperoni Problem
Listener questions! How the U.S.-China trade war has escalated, including a move by China to devalue its currency. Plus the history of pepperoni on pizza.
Aug 06, 2019
The Delicate Macho Movie Brand
The stars of the new Fast & Furious movie will go to extraordinary lengths to protect their "tough guy" brands, even going so far as to negotiate to make sure their characters never lose a fight.
Aug 05, 2019
Jobs Friday Meets Listener Q&A
Happy Jobs Friday! The U.S. economy created 164,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged. But to send you into your weekend with more pep, we answer some listener questions.
Aug 02, 2019
The View From The Boardroom
Some presidential candidates have supported a policy — known as co-determination — that would see workers represented on corporate boards. We talked to one worker who already has a seat at the table.
Aug 01, 2019
Workers Take A Seat At The Table?
The board of directors for most U.S. companies is made up of shareholders--not workers. A corporate system called co-determination aims to put employees at the table where big decisions are made.
Jul 31, 2019
Stacey vs Cardiff: The Fed Cut Throwdown!
The economy's looking pretty good. So, do we really need a rate cut right now? Stacey and Cardiff duke it out.
Jul 30, 2019
It's Check-Up Time, America!
The Federal Reserve is set to cut interest rates this week. We also just passed the half-year mark. Two good reasons to check in on the health of the U.S. economy.
Jul 29, 2019
America's Tijuana Tech Boom
A growing workforce of high-tech specialists is luring American companies to Tijuana
Jul 26, 2019
Waiting For The Tariff Storm
The trade war between the U.S. and China started a little over a year ago, but the oft-predicted economic storm is yet to break.
Jul 25, 2019
The Fed Cuts Loose?
An economic principle that has guided the Federal Reserve for decades is increasingly being questioned.
Jul 24, 2019
Rhino Bonds
Investors will soon be able to bet on black rhinos. A conservation group is rolling out a 5 year, 50 million dollar rhino bond to help save the species.
Jul 23, 2019
Rethinking Economics
Jared Bernstein has a shortlist of economic ideas that he thinks his colleagues have been getting wrong for decades.
Jul 22, 2019
Women, Men And Hedge Funds
Introducing a new series: Finance Fridays With Mary!
Jul 19, 2019
Gold Rush 2.0
The price of gold is at a six-year high and gold bugs say it's the safest place to put your money in uncertain times. But is it actually a good investment?
Jul 18, 2019
Yield Curve: You Asked, We Answer
The yield curve is inverted! We answer a few questions we have gotten from our listeners about our beloved recession predicting indicator.
Jul 17, 2019
Tricking Myself Into Paying My Student Loans
About 44 million people owe nearly 1.5 trillion dollars in student loans all together. But for some people — like our producer Darius Rafieyan — paying them requires some mental adjustments.
Jul 16, 2019
Can GIPHY Make It Rain?
GIPHY makes those viral mini-videos that people use to color their texts and emails. They're super popular, but they're free. So how does GIPHY plan to make money?
Jul 15, 2019
Bitcoin's Energy Bill
The computers that mine Bitcoin use a lot of electricity. That's created some unique arbitrage opportunities in different parts of the world. And causing governments some concern.
Jul 12, 2019
Japan's Worker Shortage
Japan's worker shortage has gotten so bad it's forced some companies to declare bankruptcy. The solution? Telling workers to work less.
Jul 11, 2019
Deutsche Bank Breaks The Pizza Barrier
One of the biggest international banks--Deutsche Bank--is laying off 18,000 workers and cutting costs to try and save itself from going under. How did things get so bad?
Jul 10, 2019
Is LA Ready For A Big Earthquake?
Last week's California quakes have reinforced fears of "the big one", the high-magnitude trembler that seismologists say is inevitable. How ready is the city of Los Angeles?
Jul 09, 2019
Jobs Friday...On Monday
The monthly pace of jobs growth has slowed this year. But that's not necessarily a problem.
Jul 08, 2019
The American Economy Of 1776
A look at the assets and liabilities of the American colonies on the eve of revolution.
Jul 05, 2019
The Cows Are Taking All The Land
The U.S. is a big place, nearly 1.9 billion acres. On today's Indicator, we look at how all that land is divvied up.
Jul 03, 2019
Listener Questions: Consumption & A New Curriculum
Today we answer listener questions: why is so much consumption necessary for a healthy economy (or as our listener put it — why do we have to buy so much crap for the economy to be healthy?). Plus, what are some good economic resources for teenagers?
Jul 02, 2019
Amazon #FAIL...?
One of the largest companies in the world, Amazon, just shuttered its food delivery service, Amazon Restaurants. But Amazon's fails are a bit different.
Jul 01, 2019
The Rise Of American Oil
What it means that the U.S. is now the biggest consumer and producer of crude oil in the world.
Jun 28, 2019
The Private Firefighter Industry
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West got a lot of blowback for using private firefighters to protect their California home from a wildfire. Today on The Indicator, the business of private firefighting.
Jun 27, 2019
Niche Sports Cashing In
Basketball, football and baseball may draw big crowds and score primetime television spots, but niche sports, like cornhole, axe throwing and even professional arm wrestling, are beginning to attract interest and money.
Jun 26, 2019
The Protest Tipping Point
If you're considering a popular uprising against a government, it turns out there may be a recipe that can almost guarantee your success.
Jun 25, 2019
The Rise Of The Blue-Collar Noncompete
Traditionally, noncompete clauses have been reserved for whiter collar professionals. But as the labor market tightens, employers increasingly want blue-collar workers to adhere to these agreements too.
Jun 24, 2019
Women's Soccer Sues For Equal Pay
The U.S. women's soccer team is way more successful than the men's. Yet they say they get paid less than half, on average, compared to the men's team.
Jun 21, 2019
Slack Goes Public
Shares in the online chat service Slack hit the stock market today. But Slack went public in an unconventional way.
Jun 20, 2019
This week Facebook announced plans for its own cryptocurrency, the Libra. Regulators are cautious, and no one really knows how it will work. But Wall Street is excited.
Jun 19, 2019
Japan's Inflation Gamble
Japan is still recovering from a brutal recession that lasted ten years. The country has tried a variety of fiscal and monetary measures to bring its economy back.
Jun 18, 2019
The Economic Expansion Turns 10!
The U.S is about to mark the longest economic expansion in its history. It's an impressive achievement, but in many ways the economy is still struggling.
Jun 17, 2019
Animal Spirits
People hear the word 'economics' and probably think: numbers, equations, and percentages. But hidden underneath the math, is a force that can't be quantified.
Jun 14, 2019
The Governor Is Suing My Hometown
The mayor of Huntington Beach says he wants less housing development in his city. The governor of California says that's against the law.
Jun 13, 2019
The Water Marketplace
New rules governing water use in California have sparked innovation in agribusiness, including a brand new market for water.
Jun 12, 2019
Your Questions: Meatless Meat And GDP
Today we answer listener questions: How does U.S. gross domestic product break down into different industries, and how do meat alternatives compare to the real thing?
Jun 11, 2019
The introduction of the three-point line changed how people play basketball. And it has some compelling parallels to economics.
Jun 10, 2019
Jobs Friday: Summer Slowdown Edition
Happy Jobs Friday! The labor market is showing signs of slowing down. The unemployment rate is still low at 3.6 percent, but only 75,000 jobs were added in the month of May — a lot fewer than what economists expected.
Jun 07, 2019
The Battle For The Office Thermostat
Office temperature can affect more than comfort; a recent study shows it has serious implications for productivity. We talked to one economist who quantified the effects of temperature on men and women.
Jun 06, 2019
Returning To Paradise
The deadliest wildfire in California's history destroyed thousands of homes in Butte County. The area is still an active disaster zone. But insurance companies are making residents move back.
Jun 05, 2019
All WeWork And No Play
Co-working spaces might just be the future of work. Take WeWork. It's been cropping up in cities all over the world--borrowing billions to fuel its growth. Now, it's planning to go public.
Jun 04, 2019
Weaponized Interdependence: The End of Globalization?
The trade war between the U.S. and China is challenging a long-standing assumption about globalization — that economic ties between countries would deepen with minimal political interference.
Jun 03, 2019
Why Is Trump Threatening Mexico (Again)?
President Trump has threatened to impose new tariffs on Mexico unless the country stops the flow of migrants entering the U.S. But, Mexico is one of the biggest trade partner the U.S. has.
May 31, 2019
The Super-Villain Economist
The Avengers super-villain Thanos saw the universe as a place of too many people and too few resources: a classic economic dilemma. His solution: Kill half the population.
May 30, 2019
An Economist Goes To The Hospital
Economist Jared Bernstein recently survived a brain hemorrhage. The experience got him thinking about some of the economics in our healthcare system.
May 29, 2019
Is Time Really On Your Side?
Economics is all about scarcity — and time is a scarce resource. We talk to economist Daniel Hamermesh, whose new book Spending Time examines time's complicated relationship to money, stress, and gender.
May 28, 2019
What Trump's Latest Aid Package Means For Farmers
President Trump announced an aid package for farmers yesterday worth $16 billion. It's meant to offset losses from the trade war with China. We spoke to one U.S. farmer about how helpful it will be.
May 24, 2019
Canada's Tariff Hangover
Canada and the U.S. have come to an agreement on trade, and lifted their punitive tariffs on each other's goods. But some small businesses are still feeling the pain.
May 23, 2019
What Surfing Can Teach Us About Risk
Surfing and financial markets have a lot in common when it comes to taking and managing risk.
May 22, 2019
The Nordic Paradox
Norway is regarded as one of the most progressive nations in the world when it comes to encouraging female participation in the workforce. Yet the country still has relatively few female business leaders.
May 21, 2019
Economy Of Thrones
We have five economic indicators to help you understand the world of Game of Thrones.
May 20, 2019
Is Buying A Home A Bad Investment?
Home ownership used to be a central pillar of the American Dream. Today, maybe not so much.
May 17, 2019
The Real Minimum Wage
Many states and cities have their own minimum wages, which are higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. One economist calculated a single measure that accounts for all those differences.
May 16, 2019
Psssst...Want To Buy A Tarantula?
The market for animal smuggling is relatively new. But it's gotten really big, really fast.
May 15, 2019
The World's Identity Crisis
Around one in seven people do not have any official ID, according to the World Bank.
May 14, 2019
Does The Deficit Matter?
Budget deficits used to be seen as a bad thing. Today, not so much...and some economists even say they don't really matter. What changed?
May 13, 2019
Wyatt Cenac On School Funding... And Thor
May 10, 2019
Will China Overtake The US?
May 09, 2019
The Problem With Banning Plastic Bags
May 08, 2019
Subway's Five-Dollar Footlong Fail?
Subway has more restaurants in the U.S. than any other fast food company. It did spectacularly well during the recession thanks, in part, to it's famous $5 footlong deal. But that deal has come back to haunt it.
May 07, 2019
Japanese Womenomics
Women have long been an untapped economic resource in Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided to change that six years after he launched "womenomics." Is it working?
May 06, 2019
Jobs Friday: The Part-Time Penalty
Part-time workers make less per hour than full-time workers do. That has big implications for women and mothers.
May 03, 2019
All The Bucks On Broadway
The Tony nominations were announced this week and that got us does the business of Broadway work?
May 02, 2019
The Fed's Messaging Dilemma
Right now the economy looks good, but inflation is lower than the Federal Reserve would like. A future rate cut could juice prices, but the messaging has to be right.
May 01, 2019
How Grocery Shelves Get Stacked
The pay-to-play way your supermarket's shelves work.
Apr 30, 2019
Where The Gender Pay Gap Is Widest
A report from Glassdoor reveals which industries have the starkest gender pay gaps.
Apr 29, 2019
Why Superman Doesn't Take Over The World
Superman could easily take over the world. But there are some good economic reasons why he doesn't.
Apr 26, 2019
Selling A T-Rex On eBay
On eBay right now: A baby T-Rex. The price? $2.95 million.
Apr 25, 2019
Is Everything Awesome In The Economy?
The first few months of 2019 looked troubling. But now we seem to be on the upswing.
Apr 24, 2019
What Happened To U.S. Workers?
The share of people ages 25 to 54 in the labor force has fallen in the past couple of decades. What happened? Listen to an excerpt from our live event with the Financial Times Alphachat.
Apr 23, 2019
The Traffic Tariff
New York will soon charge drivers to enter the most crowded parts of the city. Congestion pricing: Does it work? Who's doing it? And is it coming to a city near you?
Apr 22, 2019
A Brief History of Income Taxes
Taxes have been around forever. But the income tax? In the U.S., it's relatively recent.
Apr 18, 2019
Why Do Introverts Get Paid Less?
There's a gap in career earnings between introverts and extroverts.
Apr 17, 2019
Why Do We Still Use QWERTY Keyboards?
The story behind the first six keyboard letters are driven by economics.
Apr 16, 2019
The Cost Of Measles
The cost of a measles outbreak - to individuals, families, communities, and the country - is high.
Apr 15, 2019
Solving Problems Caused By International Trade
Free trade may solve problems for businesses transacting across borders, but it can make life painful for their workers.
Apr 12, 2019
How Trade Helps Explain Inequality
Trade makes for peaceful relationships between nations, but gains for consumers and workers aren't spread evenly.
Apr 11, 2019
The Maple Syrup Cartel
Prices for most agricultural products change with supply and demand. Not maple syrup.
Apr 10, 2019
Trade War With Cheese: Trump's New EU Tariffs
A new round of U.S. tariffs could hit European wine, cheese, aircraft, and escargots.
Apr 09, 2019
How To Measure Happiness
The U.S. is one of the world's largest economies, but it lags when it comes to happiness: the World Happiness Report ranks America number 19.
Apr 08, 2019
Jobs Friday: Chillaxing Edition
Happy Jobs Friday! The economy is still adding jobs, unemployment remains low, and wage growth is fine. It's all good...right?
Apr 05, 2019
The China Corruption Crackdown: Sincere Or Cynical?
A recent paper examines the motivations behind Xi Jinping's corruption crackdown and arrives at a surprising answer.
Apr 04, 2019
The 20-Year Quest To Save Nutella
Global demand for hazelnuts is growing, thanks to the popularity of products like Nutella. So it should be a great time to be in the hazelnut business... but there's one big problem.
Apr 03, 2019
What Sex Work Reveals About Risk
Allison Schrager is an economist and journalist who visited a number of brothels to examine how we understand and deal with risk.
Apr 02, 2019
A Crisis Of Consumer Confidence?
The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index is one of the indicators retailers, policy-makers and manufacturers use to gauge the health of the economy. But what is the index, exactly?
Apr 01, 2019
An Indicator In The Hand
On the one hand, you could say the economy's looking rocky; on the other hand you could argue it's in good health. We lay out both sides.
Mar 29, 2019
Dry Cleaners, Housing, The Stock Market And Rip It
Today, answers to your questions on dry cleaner pricing, and the comparative investment virtues of the housing and stock markets.
Mar 28, 2019
An Economist in Caracas: Day In The Life
Gabriela Saade is a 27-year-old economist in Caracas, Venezuela. Yesterday, she walked us through Venezuela's staggering numbers. Today, we walk a mile in her shoes.
Mar 27, 2019
Venezuela By The Numbers
The crisis in Venezuela continues to deepen, with nationwide blackouts hitting the country again this week. Today, we talk to a Caracas-based economist about what's happening in her country.
Mar 26, 2019
Spotify's Long, Winding Road To India
Spotify recently launched in India, but that path was long and complicated. We take the experience of Spotify and use it as a lens to look at why breaking into India is so difficult.
Mar 25, 2019
Are Neighbors Overrated? (And Other Questions)
The latest edition of "Overrated, Underrated" with economist Tyler Cowen.
Mar 22, 2019
Lyft Going Public: The Dual-Class Share Dilemma
All shares of stock are not created equal. Stock can come in different classes now: Class A, Class B. Some of this stock comes with superpowers... and some of it comes with almost no power at all.
Mar 21, 2019