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Planet Money: Episodes

06
Feb
2015
19:59 mins
Pot is now legal in some states. But on the federal level, it's illegal. The legal gray area means banks in the U.S. are wary to give pot businesses access to basic financial instruments – like checking accounts. Today on the show, we visit a country where medical marijuana is fully legal. And ...
The world is running out of chocolate.  Cocoa is in short supply. Demand is way up, thanks to China and India developing a taste for the sweet stuff. And producing more cocoa isn't so easy. Cocoa is a fussy plant. It doesn't grow in very many places and it gets diseases really easily.  Today on the ...
They are hundreds of thousands of people out there doing stuff to your internet that you probably think is automatic. They aren't computer programmers, they're just regular people working from their offices, homes and bedrooms. They are the people of Amazon Mechanical Turk.Amazon Mechanical Turk is an ...
Hernando de Soto wanted to figure out what was trapping people in poverty. "There's gotta be an invisible wall someplace," he thought. "Let's find the wall."  Today on the show: How de Soto found the invisible wall that was trapping people in poverty. How it transformed poor countries around the ...
<p><span>There have been short sellers throughout history. Today, the story of a man who was the very first short seller. The first person to bet that a stock will go down. It doesn't go well for him.</span></p>
<p>If you own a house, stock, bonds, or a retirement account, you're betting that things are going to get better &#8212; that the lines on the chart will keep going up. Historically, this is a reasonable bet. But you can place a bet in the opposite direction. You can make a bet that things will go down: ...
<p>Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in&#160;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/02/18/133874462/the-friday-podcast-gold-standard-r-i-p" target="_blank">February 2011</a>.</p><p>Franklin Delano Roosevelt ignores the advice of America's big-name economists &#8212; and listens instead ...
<p><span>We visit the respected finance writer (and charming curmudgeon) James Grant. He makes the case for going back on the gold standard. For more:</span><a href="http://n.pr/1IxK0L2" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">n.pr/1IxK0L2</a></p>
<p>Note: This episode contains explicit language.</p><p>Every time there is a big new release of some software, an operating system or a new browser, hackers get to work. Each new release is the start of a race because there are all these giant players who desperately want to find the new flaw in the ...
<p><em>Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in&#160;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2010/10/22/130757997/the-friday-podcast-the-price-of-lettuce-in-brooklyn" target="_blank">October 2010</a>.&#160;</em></p><p>On today's Planet Money, we go shopping with George Minichiello.&#160;</p><p>George ...
<p>Sometimes all you can say at the end of a story is "time will tell." Today on the show, time has told. We follow up on our favorite stories of 2014 to find out what happened after we turned off our recorders.</p><p>We follow up on one of the boldest plans of the year: one man's plan to reform all ...
<p>CEO pay comes up a lot in the news. The stories often include someone complaining that it's too high. Then there's someone on the other side, defending CEO pay. But that's usually that's where the stories stop.</p><p>On today's show: an actual story about CEO pay, with a beginning, middle, and an ...
<p>People have always worked. But the thing we think of today as a job &#8212; the thing you apply for instead of being born into, the thing you go to in the morning and leave at night &#8212; is actually a recent invention. The modern job can act as a buffer to protect workers from the daily ups and ...
21
Dec
2014
20:26 mins
<p>On today's show, a story on a Christmasy theme: Handbells!&#160;</p><p>But also, a not-so-Christmasy theme: A decades-long feud between two big bell companies, located right down the road from each other.&#160;</p><p>But then, a Christmasy ending: Peace!&#160;</p><p>For more:&#160;http://n.pr/1wB07Uk</p>
<p>Last month, a bunch of Ukrainian business owners flew to New York to try to convince a bunch of New York portfolio managers and private equity funds to invest in Ukraine. There are lots of reasons that it is crazy to hold an "Invest in Ukraine" conference right now, while a war is going on. But "Invest ...
<p>Most businesses would close if their customers never showed up. An empty restaurant is a disaster. An empty store means bankruptcy. At a gym, emptiness equals success.&#160;</p><p>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 ...
<p>Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. Jobs that seem dull and safe in most countries have become incredibly dangerous professions in Honduras. For example: Driving a bus.</p><p>On today's show: what it's like to live and work in the most dangerous country in the world.</p>
<p>How customers use a piece of technology can change what the product is. And what the product is can change the business model for the company. It's a constant dance between the customers and the sellers. Today on the show, three short stories about this dance. For more:&#160;http://n.pr/1yR6BPh</p>
<p>There's an idea that dates back at least to biblical times. There should be a moment when debts are forgiven. Its called a jubilee.</p><p>The jubilee has not gotten a lot of traction in the modern world. You may remember after the financial crisis, some of the Occupy Wall Street protesters were calling ...
<p>It's called "Iceland" for a reason. Polar bears sometimes wind up there floating by on chunks of ice. In the winter, there are only a few hours of daylight each day.&#160;</p><p>Reykjavik feels like you took a European city &#8212; coffee shops, fancy cars, orderly streets &#8212; and put it on the ...
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