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NPR
#780: On Second Thought

Jun 23, 2017 - 00:23:21

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

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NPR
#779: Shrimp Fight Club

Jun 21, 2017 - 00:23:50

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

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

Jun 17, 2017 - 00:19:10

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.

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#610: The Prisoner's Solution

Mar 14, 2015 - 00:17:03

Frederick Hutson is an entrepreneur whose biggest early venture landed him in prison for nearly five years—distributing marijuana through UPS and FedEx. While in prison, he realized that a lot of the problems of everyday prison life could use a business solution. And then, he got out. Today on the show, a businessman goes to prison, and decides he is going to disrupt the biggest captive market in America.

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#777: Free Love, Free Market

Jun 10, 2017 - 00:22:13

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

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#776: Here We Grow Again

Jun 8, 2017 - 00:19:35

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

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#775: The Pigweed Killer

Jun 3, 2017 - 00:24:13

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.

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#599: The Invisible Wall

Jan 28, 2015 - 00:18:38

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 world. And how his discovery almost got him killed.  For more: http://n.pr/1K6ddLZ

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#774: Unspeakable Trademark

May 26, 2017 - 00:20:56

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.

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#773: Slot Flaws Scofflaws

May 24, 2017 - 00:22:30

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.

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#772: Small Change

May 19, 2017 - 00:21:17

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.

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NPR
#606: Spreadsheets!

Feb 26, 2015 - 00:20:36

Spreadsheets used to be actual sheets of paper. Sometimes, a bunch of sheets of paper taped together. Then, in the late '70s, a bored student invented the electronic spreadsheet. It transformed industries. But its effects ran deeper than that. As one journalist wrote more than 30 years ago, "The spreadsheet is a tool, and it is also a world view — reality by the numbers." For more: http://n.pr/1DVdMIv

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

May 13, 2017 - 00:20:37

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.

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

May 11, 2017 - 00:23:43

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.

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#769: Speed Dating For Economists

May 6, 2017 - 00:24:05

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.

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#768: A Chat With Ben Bernanke

May 4, 2017 - 00:18:17

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.

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#553: The Dollar At The Center Of The World

Apr 28, 2017 - 00:20:54

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

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#767: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part Two

Apr 27, 2017 - 00:30:36

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.

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#766: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part One

Apr 22, 2017 - 00:25:00

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.

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#765: The Holiday Industrial Complex

Apr 18, 2017 - 00:18:56

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.

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#381: When Business Loves Regulation

Apr 14, 2017 - 00:14:45

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

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#764: Pub In A Box

Apr 12, 2017 - 00:17:19

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

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#763: BOTUS

Apr 7, 2017 - 00:19:21

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.

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#531: The Tough, The Sweet, The Nosy

Apr 5, 2017 - 00:22:17

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

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#762: The Fine Print

Apr 1, 2017 - 00:19:32

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

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#650: The Business Genius Behind Get Out

Mar 29, 2017 - 00:25:59

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

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#761: The Bank War

Mar 25, 2017 - 00:20:55

A populist president versus the most powerful banker in America.

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#760: Tax Hero

Mar 23, 2017 - 00:22:54

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...

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#759: What's It Worth To You?

Mar 17, 2017 - 00:18:51

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.

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#522: The Invention Of 'The Economy'

Mar 5, 2014 - 00:00:00

If you asked someone on the street 100 years ago, "How's the economy doing?" They wouldn't have had any idea what you were talking about.   On today's show: How we started boiling down entire nations into a single number. And how that number made people think they could control everything.

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#758: Can Trump Take The Money?

Mar 11, 2017 - 00:21:00

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?

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

Mar 9, 2017 - 00:19:13

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.

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#757: Strong Feelings About Dodd-Frank

Mar 4, 2017 - 00:25:11

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?

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#513: Dear Economist, I Need A Date

Mar 1, 2017 - 00:23:13

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?

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#756: The Bees Go To California

Feb 25, 2017 - 00:22:54

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

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#654: When The Boats Arrive

Sep 30, 2015 - 00:15:12

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.

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#755: The Phone At The End Of The World

Feb 18, 2017 - 00:19:23

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.

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#754: I'm So Happy For You!

Feb 14, 2017 - 00:20:55

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.

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#753: Blockchain Gang

Feb 11, 2017 - 00:22:17

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.

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#436: If Economists Controlled The Borders

Apr 2, 2014 - 00:00:00

Note: Today's show is a re-run. It originally ran in February, 2013. For the first time in a while, there's political momentum building to change the U.S. immigration system. On today's show, we ask three economists: What would the perfect system look like? If we could scrap the mess of a system that we currently have and replace it with anything, what would it look like? Among the answers: Let in lots more doctors and engineers Auction off immigration slots to the highest bidders Open the gates, and let everyone in

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#752: Eagles vs. Chickens

Feb 4, 2017 - 00:17:28

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.

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#751: The Thing About That Border Tax

Feb 2, 2017 - 00:17:51

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?

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#750: Retraining Day

Jan 28, 2017 - 00:19:44

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?

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#632: The Chicken Tax

Jun 13, 2015 - 00:15:23

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

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#749: Professor Blackjack

Jan 20, 2017 - 00:19:05

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.

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#748: Undoing Obama

Jan 19, 2017 - 00:23:28

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?

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#747: The Man Who Sued Iran

Jan 13, 2017 - 00:25:37

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.

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#577: The Kansas Experiment

Oct 23, 2014 - 00:00:00

Today on the show, 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. Now he's fighting for his political life. For more: http://n.pr/1pBNfq7

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#746: Wall Street Goes To Vegas

Jan 6, 2017 - 00:20:45

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.

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#443: Don't Believe The Hype

Mar 25, 2015 - 00:18:13

Turn on the news on any given day, and you're likely to hear about the Dow Jones industrial average. It's one of the most frequently cited measures of U.S. economic health. But the Dow is a seriously flawed stock index, and it's certainly not the best way to measure what's going on in the overall economy. On today's show, we rain on the Dow's parade and explain why a lot of very smart people say we should ignore the Dow. Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in March 2013.

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#745: The Rest Of The Story, 2016 Edition

Dec 30, 2016 - 00:18:48

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.

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#744: The Last Bank Bailout

Dec 27, 2016 - 00:17:20

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

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587: Jubilee! (?)

Dec 23, 2016 - 00:20:00

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.

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#743: 50 Ways to Leave Your Union

Dec 21, 2016 - 00:17:01

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.

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#742: Making Bank

Dec 17, 2016 - 00:13:01

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.

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#592: Bell Wars

Dec 22, 2014 - 00:00:00

On today's show, a story on a Christmasy theme: Handbells!  But also, a not-so-Christmasy theme: A decades-long feud between two big bell companies, located right down the road from each other.  But then, a Christmasy ending: Peace!  For more: http://n.pr/1wB07Uk

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#741: Amy and Steve vs. Facebook

Dec 10, 2016 - 00:18:09

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.

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#740: Burnout

Dec 8, 2016 - 00:19:26

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.

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#739: Finding The Fake-News King

Dec 3, 2016 - 00:18:45

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.

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#534: The History Of Light

Nov 30, 2016 - 00:20:29

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.

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#738: Russian Cowboys

Nov 25, 2016 - 00:18:16

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.

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#737: 17 Deals In 17 Minutes

Nov 23, 2016 - 00:17:00

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).

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#736: Messy Nobel

Nov 18, 2016 - 00:25:17

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.

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#574: The Buffalo Talk-Off

Oct 9, 2014 - 00:00:00

Today's show is the story of a guy who tried to make something of himself by getting into a rough business: debt collection. It's also the story of the low-level, semi-legal debt-collection economy that sprung up in Buffalo, New York. And, in a small way, it's the story of the last 20 or so years in global finance, a time when the world went wild for debt. For more: http://n.pr/1ndvYHL

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#735: President Trump

Nov 12, 2016 - 00:24:36

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?

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#734: The Trump Indicators

Nov 10, 2016 - 00:13:15

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

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#733: A Trunk Full of Truffles

Nov 5, 2016 - 00:21:42

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?

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#413: Our Fake Candidate Meets The People

Nov 2, 2016 - 00:22:53

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.

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#732: Bad Form, Wells Fargo

Oct 29, 2016 - 00:17:10

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.

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#387: The No-Brainer Economic Platform

Oct 27, 2016 - 00:24:27

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

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#731: How Venezuela Imploded

Oct 21, 2016 - 00:19:00

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?

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#730: Self Checkout

Oct 20, 2016 - 00:20:27

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.

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#729: When Subaru Came Out

Oct 15, 2016 - 00:19:50

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.

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#627: The Miracle Apple

May 28, 2015 - 00:13:57

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.

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#728: The Wells Fargo Hustle

Oct 8, 2016 - 00:18:32

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.

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#521: The Town That Loves Death

Mar 1, 2014 - 00:23:30

People in La Crosse, Wisconsin are used to talking about death. In fact, 96 percent of people who die in this small, Midwestern city have specific directions laid out for when they pass. That number is astounding. Nationwide, it's more like 50 percent. In today's episode, we'll take you to a place where dying has become acceptable dinner conversation for teenagers and senior citizens alike. A place that also happens to have the lowest healthcare spending of any region in the country.

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#727: You Asked For It, Again

Oct 1, 2016 - 00:23:44

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

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#726: Terms of the Debate

Sep 28, 2016 - 00:20:25

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

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#725: Trade Show

Sep 24, 2016 - 00:37:15

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.

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

Jul 23, 2014 - 00:17:25

Milk is often in the very back corner of the grocery store, as far as humanly possible from the entrance. It's a strange location for milk, because it's one the most popular items. A common explanation for this location is that by forcing customers to walk through the whole store, they will pass more products and end up purchasing more. But is that really why the milk is in the back? Can you really have a business model intentionally built around inconveniencing your customers? Today on the show, two big theories to answer this little question: Why is the milk in the back of the store? The theories reflect very different world views. To try to discover which is right, we host a friendly debate between food writer Michael Pollan and economist Russ Roberts.

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#573: Why Textbook Prices Keep Climbing

Sep 16, 2016 - 00:15:12

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.

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#724: Cat Scam

Sep 14, 2016 - 00:21:05

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

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#566: The Zoo Economy

Sep 6, 2014 - 00:18:10

Zoo animals are different than most possessions, because zoos follow a fundamental principle: You can't sell or buy the animals. It's unethical and illegal to put a price tag on an elephant's head. Today on the show: What do you do in a world where you can't use money? For more: n.pr/1wbZb5S

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#723: The Risk Farmers

Sep 7, 2016 - 00:20:35

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.

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#532: The Wild West of the Internet

Sep 2, 2016 - 00:18:12

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

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#722: The New Telenovela

Aug 31, 2016 - 00:20:32

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.

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#721: Unbuilding A City

Aug 27, 2016 - 00:19:22

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

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Oil #5: Imagine A World Without Oil

Aug 24, 2016 - 00:26:29

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?

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Oil #4: How Oil Got Into Everything

Aug 19, 2016 - 00:24:40

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.

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Oil #3: How Fracking Changed the World

Aug 17, 2016 - 00:27:00

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.

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Oil #2: The Price Of Oil

Aug 13, 2016 - 00:22:25

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

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Oil #1: We Buy Oil

Aug 10, 2016 - 00:18:20

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.

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#524: Mr Jones' Act

Aug 6, 2016 - 00:17:03

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.

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#715: The Sewing Robot

Aug 4, 2016 - 00:17:07

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.

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#548: Project Eavesdrop

Jul 29, 2016 - 00:16:13

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

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#714: Can a Game Show Lose?

Jul 27, 2016 - 00:21:11

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.

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#576: When Women Stopped Coding

Jul 22, 2016 - 00:17:13

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

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#713: Paying for the Crime

Jul 20, 2016 - 00:25:59

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

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#712: I Want My Money Back

Jul 16, 2016 - 00:19:43

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

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#711: Hooked on Heroin

Jul 14, 2016 - 00:17:38

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.

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#710: The Brexit Break-Up

Jul 9, 2016 - 00:19:16

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.

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#575: The Fondue Conspiracy

Jul 6, 2016 - 00:15:49

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.

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

Jul 1, 2016 - 00:18:17

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

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#708: Bitcoin Divided

Jun 29, 2016 - 00:18:35

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

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#707: Brexit

Jun 25, 2016 - 00:14:43

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

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#538: Is A Stradivarius Just A Violin?

Jun 22, 2016 - 00:21:25

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

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#706: Water's Worth

Jun 18, 2016 - 00:12:17

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

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#583: Cow Noir

Jun 15, 2016 - 00:19:41

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.

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#705: The Muscle Patents

Jun 10, 2016 - 00:19:42

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

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

Jun 8, 2016 - 00:13:18

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.

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#704: Open Office

Jun 4, 2016 - 00:18:41

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.

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

Jun 1, 2016 - 00:18:05

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

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

May 28, 2016 - 00:18:27

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.

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#217: The Art Of Living At The Poverty Line

May 25, 2016 - 00:22:28

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.

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#702: Nigeria, You Win!

May 21, 2016 - 00:16:19

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.

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

May 18, 2016 - 00:12:52

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.

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#701: A Bank Without Interest

May 14, 2016 - 00:17:39

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.

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

May 11, 2016 - 00:17:52

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?

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#700: Peanuts and Cracker Jack

May 6, 2016 - 00:21:31

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.

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#699: Why Did The Job Cross The Road?

May 5, 2016 - 00:20:11

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

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#698: The Long Way Home

Apr 30, 2016 - 00:16:13

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?

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#417: Lance Armstrong and The Business of Doping

Apr 27, 2016 - 00:18:25

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

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#697: Help Wanted

Apr 23, 2016 - 00:19:31

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?

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#468: Kid Rock Vs. The Scalpers

Apr 20, 2016 - 00:18:16

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

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#696: Class Action

Apr 16, 2016 - 00:20:41

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?

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#695: Put A Chip On It

Apr 14, 2016 - 00:18:08

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?

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#694: The Gun That Wouldn't Shoot

Apr 8, 2016 - 00:19:33

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.

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#562: A Mall Divided

Apr 6, 2016 - 00:13:23

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

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#693: Unpayable

Apr 1, 2016 - 00:19:22

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.

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

Mar 30, 2016 - 00:21:18

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

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#692: The Secret Life Of Line 24

Mar 25, 2016 - 00:21:10

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.

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#691: The Great Unbundling

Mar 23, 2016 - 00:29:10

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.

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#690: All In

Mar 18, 2016 - 00:17:37

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.

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

Mar 16, 2016 - 00:28:40

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.

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

Mar 11, 2016 - 00:16:02

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.

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

Mar 9, 2016 - 00:16:38

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.

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#688: Brilliant vs. Boring

Mar 5, 2016 - 00:21:08

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

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#687: Buy This Passport

Mar 2, 2016 - 00:20:16

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.

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#686: If Elected President

Feb 26, 2016 - 00:20:31

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

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#424: How Much Is A Firefighter Worth?

Feb 24, 2016 - 00:18:13

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?

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#685: Larry vs. The IRS

Feb 19, 2016 - 00:20:18

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.

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#684: The Return Of The Colonel

Feb 17, 2016 - 00:15:02

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.

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#683: Our Valentines

Feb 12, 2016 - 00:24:07

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.

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#466: DIY Finance

Feb 10, 2016 - 00:14:34

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.

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#682: When CEO Pay Exploded

Feb 6, 2016 - 00:20:50

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?

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#681: The Oil Kingdom

Feb 3, 2016 - 00:15:44

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.

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#680: Anatomy Of A Scam

Jan 29, 2016 - 00:22:23

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?

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#679: You Asked For It

Jan 28, 2016 - 00:18:15

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

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#678: Auction Fever

Jan 23, 2016 - 00:14:57

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

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#283: Why Do We Tip?

Jan 20, 2016 - 00:17:36

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

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#677: The Experiment Experiment

Jan 15, 2016 - 00:20:46

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

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10 11 51 52 62 18

Jan 14, 2016 - 00:21:27

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.

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#675: The Cost Of Crossing

Jan 9, 2016 - 00:19:03

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.

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#15: Delicious Cake Futures

Jan 6, 2016 - 00:15:18

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

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#674: We Cooked A Peacock

Jan 1, 2016 - 00:20:11

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.

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#673 The Rest of the Story, 2015 Edition

Dec 30, 2015 - 00:19:42

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.

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#672: Bagging The Birkin

Dec 25, 2015 - 00:17:10

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.

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#671: An Insider Trader Tells All

Dec 23, 2015 - 00:18:58

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.

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#670: The Santa Suit

Dec 18, 2015 - 00:16:38

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

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#590: The Planet Money Workout

Dec 16, 2015 - 00:15:14

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.

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#669: A or B

Dec 12, 2015 - 00:15:47

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.

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#668: Frank Sinatra's Mug

Dec 10, 2015 - 00:17:46

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.

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#667: Auditing ISIS

Dec 5, 2015 - 00:21:39

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.

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#216: How Four Drinking Buddies Saved Brazil

Dec 2, 2015 - 00:21:19

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.

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#666: The Hoverboard Life

Nov 27, 2015 - 00:17:16

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.

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#665: The Pickle Problem

Nov 25, 2015 - 00:17:35

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.

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#664: The Great Inflation

Nov 20, 2015 - 00:24:45

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.

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

Nov 18, 2015 - 00:19:07

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.

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#663: Money Trees

Nov 13, 2015 - 00:17:52

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.

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

Nov 11, 2015 - 00:15:32

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.

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#662: OMG TPP

Nov 7, 2015 - 00:22:09

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.

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#661: The Less Deadly Catch

Nov 5, 2015 - 00:18:11

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.

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#660: The T-Rex In My Backyard

Oct 31, 2015 - 00:19:23

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.

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#518: Your Organs, Please

Oct 28, 2015 - 00:19:48

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.

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#659: How To Make $3 Trillion Disappear

Oct 23, 2015 - 00:15:25

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.

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#550: When Salaries Aren't Secret

Oct 21, 2015 - 00:18:28

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.

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#658: Strike One

Oct 16, 2015 - 00:15:59

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.

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#657: The Tale Of The Onion King

Oct 15, 2015 - 00:15:51

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.

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#656: Bubblelicious

Oct 10, 2015 - 00:14:01

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.

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#564: The Signature

Oct 7, 2015 - 00:16:34

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.

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#655: Pay Patients, Save Money

Oct 3, 2015 - 00:19:01

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?

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#654: When The Boats Arrive

Sep 30, 2015 - 00:15:12

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.

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#653: The Anti-Store

Sep 25, 2015 - 00:15:09

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.

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#386: The Power of Free

Sep 23, 2015 - 00:19:09

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.

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#652: The Hydrox Resurrection

Sep 18, 2015 - 00:18:11

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.

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#651: The Salmon Taboo

Sep 17, 2015 - 00:15:35

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

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#650: The Scariest Thing In Hollywood

Sep 12, 2015 - 00:22:33

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

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#649: China, China, China

Sep 10, 2015 - 00:17:09

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

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#648: The Benefits of Bankruptcy

Sep 5, 2015 - 00:20:29

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.

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#200: The Moonshine Stimulus

Sep 2, 2015 - 00:17:17

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?

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#647: Hard Work Is Irrelevant

Aug 29, 2015 - 00:19:06

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?

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#502: The Afterlife Of A T-Shirt

Aug 26, 2015 - 00:20:08

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: http://npr.org/shirt.

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

Aug 21, 2015 - 00:19:01

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.

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

Aug 19, 2015 - 00:19:56

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.

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#645: How To Stop An Asteroid

Aug 15, 2015 - 00:12:46

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.

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#497: The Sisters Who Made Our T-Shirt

Aug 12, 2015 - 00:21:29

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.

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#644: How Much Does This Cow Weigh?

Aug 8, 2015 - 00:18:06

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.

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#496: Where The Planet Money T-Shirt Began

Aug 6, 2015 - 00:20:24

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

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#643: The Taxi King

Aug 1, 2015 - 00:17:46

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

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#642: The Big Red Button

Jul 30, 2015 - 00:16:05

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?

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#641: Why We Work So Much

Jul 24, 2015 - 00:13:11

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?

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#640: The Bottom Of The Well

Jul 23, 2015 - 00:21:30

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.

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

Jul 18, 2015 - 00:19:06

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.

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#638: Tweak The World

Jul 16, 2015 - 00:15:51

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.

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#288: Manufacturing The Song Of The Summer

Jul 10, 2015 - 00:23:50

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

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#637: The Last Euro In Greece

Jul 9, 2015 - 00:13:38

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

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#363: Why People Do Bad Things

Jul 3, 2015 - 00:23:31

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.

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#636: Yes Or No

Jul 2, 2015 - 00:15:37

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

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#635: Trade Deal Confidential

Jun 27, 2015 - 00:23:01

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.

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#478: The Raisin Outlaw

Jun 24, 2015 - 00:18:29

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

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#634: Worst Case Scenario

Jun 19, 2015 - 00:16:05

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

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#633: The Birth And Death Of The Price Tag

Jun 17, 2015 - 00:16:31

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

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#632: The Chicken Tax

Jun 13, 2015 - 00:15:23

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

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#631: The Long Run

Jun 11, 2015 - 00:16:22

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

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#630: Free Parking

Jun 6, 2015 - 00:16:55

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.

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#629: Buy Low, Sell Prime

Jun 3, 2015 - 00:14:29

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?

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#628: This Ad's For You

May 30, 2015 - 00:22:53

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.

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#627: The Miracle Apple

May 28, 2015 - 00:13:57

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.

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#626: This Is The End

May 23, 2015 - 00:12:39

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

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#625: The Last Job

May 20, 2015 - 00:16:39

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

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#624: I, Waiter

May 16, 2015 - 00:16:56

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

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#623: The Machine Comes To Town

May 14, 2015 - 00:24:17

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.

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#622: Humans vs. Robots

May 9, 2015 - 00:23:40

If you aren't already worried about being replaced by a robot, maybe you should be. Today on the show, three races pit humans against machines.

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#621: When Luddites Attack

May 7, 2015 - 00:20:01

Today on the show, the true story of the Luddites.

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#620: Why Batteries Suck

May 2, 2015 - 00:16:11

While most technology is getting smaller and cheaper, batteries still suck. Today on the show, we learn exactly why, and meet some of the people trying to make batteries better.

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#372: How Do You Decide Who Gets Lungs?

Apr 29, 2015 - 00:17:24

You're not allowed to buy and sell organs. So doctors created a different system. Today on the show: how do you decide who gets lungs?

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#619: The Free Throw Experiment

Apr 24, 2015 - 00:17:53

Casinos are worried that young people aren't interested in playing slots or other games of luck. They're turning to games that require skill, like basketball.

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#399: Can You Patent A Steak?

Apr 22, 2015 - 00:18:53

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. (Today's show originally ran in August 2012.)

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#618: The Square Deal

Apr 18, 2015 - 00:14:55

In the early 1900s, the president of the largest shoe company in the world tried to create a Utopia for his workers. He called his big experiment in welfare capitalism: The Square Deal.

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#617: How Do You Feel?

Apr 16, 2015 - 00:18:30

Today on the show: how a bunch of rational economists try to deal with our feelings. And the story of a man who came up with five simple questions that he hoped would predict the future.

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#616: How Solar Got Cheap

Apr 11, 2015 - 00:15:59

Just a few years ago, solar power was an expensive luxury for the environmentally conscious. Now it's a good deal for lots of people. How did solar power get so cheap, so fast?

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#361: The Matzo Economy

Apr 8, 2015 - 00:20:31

How do you make money manufacturing a dry, bland cracker that a tiny percentage of the population eats just one week a year?

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#615: A 12-Year-Old Girl Takes On The Video Game Industry

Apr 4, 2015 - 00:17:05

Maddie Messer is 12, and she loves a good video game. One of her favorites is called Temple Run. In fact, it's one of the most successful games out there. Temple Run is free to play—if you play as the default character, Guy Dangerous. But playing as a girl character can cost extra. Maddie found out this was true for a lot of games, and she didn't think that was very fair. Today on the show: a 12-year-old girl takes on the entire video game industry.

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#614: Two Radio Guys Walk In To A Bar

Apr 1, 2015 - 00:14:00

We got on stage at a comedy club to read a bunch of weird economics jokes. We bombed. Today on the show, we do what you're never supposed to do: explain the joke.

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#613: Trash!

Mar 28, 2015 - 00:13:51

One day it's profitable to recycle a bottle. The next day, some number in the global economy changes and that bottle suddenly becomes trash. The line between trash and recycling is moving a lot these days. For a bunch of reasons, it's a tough time to be a recycler.

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#443: Don't Believe The Hype

Mar 25, 2015 - 00:18:13

Turn on the news on any given day, and you're likely to hear about the Dow Jones industrial average. It's one of the most frequently cited measures of U.S. economic health. But the Dow is a seriously flawed stock index, and it's certainly not the best way to measure what's going on in the overall economy. On today's show, we rain on the Dow's parade and explain why a lot of very smart people say we should ignore the Dow. Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in March 2013.

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#612: The Indicator Strikes Back

Mar 20, 2015 - 00:18:09

Look at the numbers today, and things seem promising for the economy. The unemployment rate is low, and home prices are up. But when you look under the hood, you see that in a lot of ways the financial crisis is still with us. Today on the show: the return of the Planet Money indicator. We've got three numbers that remind us where we've been and tell us where the economy is going.

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#611: Community

Mar 19, 2015 - 00:20:13

Free community college. When the President proposed making the first two years free for everyone, it seemed like a magic bullet for expanding opportunity. But only one in three students graduate—and money is not the problem. Today on the show: why is it so hard to get through community college? For more: http://n.pr/1F5Bjsi

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#610: The Prisoner's Solution

Mar 14, 2015 - 00:17:03

Frederick Hutson is an entrepreneur whose biggest early venture landed him in prison for nearly five years—distributing marijuana through UPS and FedEx. While in prison, he realized that a lot of the problems of everyday prison life could use a business solution. And then, he got out. Today on the show, a businessman goes to prison, and decides he is going to disrupt the biggest captive market in America.

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#609: The Curse Of The Black Lotus

Mar 12, 2015 - 00:16:55

In a classic bubble—housing for example, or tech stocks or Beanie Babies—the fun ends in a crash. Things go belly up, and people can lose a lot of money. The creators of the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering faced such a bubble. The cooler they made their cards, the more the resale value increased—and threatened to send Magic cards the way of the Beanie Baby. Today on the show: how the folks who made Magic cards came up with a plan. A plan to once and for all conquer the science of bubbles, and make a collectible toy that could live forever. For more: http://n.pr/1B6bSiR

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#608: Shorters Gonna Short

Mar 7, 2015 - 00:16:36

Planet Money shorted the entire stock market a few weeks ago. We bet that instead of going up, the stock market would go down. So far, America is winning. And we are losing. It's been lonely being a short seller, but we know we are not alone. Today on the show, we look at the ten most shorted stocks out there right now, to see what this list tells us about human nature and the economy. Plus, we end our shorting experiment. For more: n.pr/1EnrK7T

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#517: The Fastest Growing, Least Popular Airline In America

Mar 4, 2015 - 00:14:33

Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in February 2014. It's cheap to fly on Spirit Airlines, but you have to pay extra for perks. And by perks, we mean a bottle of water or space in the overhead bin. It's totally rational: pay for what you use, don't pay for what you don't use. And it's increasingly popular: Spirit is the fastest growing airline in America. And yet lots of people really don't like Spirit Airlines. In a Consumer Reports survey published in 2013, Spirit finished last among U.S. airlines. How is the fastest growing airline also the least popular? On today's show, we fly Spirit Airlines to Florida and ask the CEO.

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#607: Captive Market

Feb 28, 2015 - 00:20:31

Someone is kidnapped every day in Nigeria. It's big business, with potentially big rewards in ransom money. And like any business, kidnapping has a particular set of principles and best practices. Today on the show: how a consultant analyzed the kidnapping industry in order to find its weak points and better protect the people he loved.

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#606: Spreadsheets!

Feb 26, 2015 - 00:20:36

Spreadsheets used to be actual sheets of paper. Sometimes, a bunch of sheets of paper taped together. Then, in the late '70s, a bored student invented the electronic spreadsheet. It transformed industries. But its effects ran deeper than that. As one journalist wrote more than 30 years ago, "The spreadsheet is a tool, and it is also a world view — reality by the numbers." For more: http://n.pr/1DVdMIv

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#605: 'What Goes Up'

Feb 20, 2015 - 00:14:00

 Today on the show, the story of Roger Babson, a guy who made a very, very bold prediction, and got it right.  He correctly forecast, really, one of the biggest things you could imagine predicting. It’s the story of how he did that, and what happened to him. 

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#604: Hey Big Spender

Feb 19, 2015 - 00:17:46

Today on the show, we bring you three short stories. One about a guy at the center of a high stakes international negotiation. Another about poker players trying not to win money, but give it away. And finally, that thing everyone loves to hate, but maybe we should love: airplane baggage fees. For more: http://n.pr/17srUMx

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#603: A Rose On Any Other Day

Feb 14, 2015 - 00:17:36

Red roses are a unique product — a commodity worth double the price for a very short, 24-hour period: Valentine's Day.To cash in on this demand, flower growers have to figure out how to make millions of roses bloom exactly the right amount, at exactly the right moment, in the middle of February — get them from farms in Africa and South America to your doorstep.On today's show: the logistical miracles and wild risks behind getting red roses to your Valentine.

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#510: The Birth Of The Minimum Wage

Feb 11, 2015 - 00:16:53

Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in January 2014. For most of U.S. history, there was no minimum wage. A few times, politicians passed laws tiptoeing toward a minimum. But the Supreme Court struck those laws down. On today's show: how the U.S. finally got a minimum wage. It's a story of exploding bakeries, a blue eagle, and a guy who may or may not have been drunk. For more: http://n.pr/16U53ZW

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#602: Big Weed

Feb 7, 2015 - 00:19:59

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 we see how bank accounts, loans, and investors can transform an industry.

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#601: The Chocolate Curse

Feb 5, 2015 - 00:18:11

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 show, we learn about one man in Ecuador who came up with an answer to the global cocoa shortage. A warning here: if you're a die-hard chocolate lover, you might not like it.  For more: http://n.pr/1Dg2r5C

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#600: The People Inside Your Machine

Jan 31, 2015 - 00:22:47

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 online marketplace for work. Businesses use it to farm out tiny little tasks like counting the number of people in a photo, and people around the world race to perform those tasks, sometimes for pennies.Today on the show, we sneak into the land of Mechanical Turk to meet the people inside.

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#599: The Invisible Wall

Jan 28, 2015 - 00:18:38

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 world. And how his discovery almost got him killed.  For more: http://n.pr/1K6ddLZ

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#598: The Very First Short

Jan 24, 2015 - 00:19:03

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.

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#597: We're Short America

Jan 21, 2015 - 00:20:53

If you own a house, stock, bonds, or a retirement account, you're betting that things are going to get better — 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: a short. For example, if you short Apple stock and the stock price drops, you make money. While all the normal shareholders are consoling themselves, you can celebrate. But for the most part, people don't do it. Experts warn us that we shouldn't either. Today on the show, we ignore the advice of some very smart people, and we put our own money down on a bet against something people love. We short America.

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#253: Gold Standard, R.I.P.

Jan 16, 2015 - 00:00:00

Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in February 2011. Franklin Delano Roosevelt ignores the advice of America's big-name economists — and listens instead to a guy who helped take care of the trees on his estate. Montagu Norman, head of the Bank of England, gets a coded message at a critical moment — and completely misunderstands what it means. On today's Planet Money: The gold standard and the Great Depression. It's the latest in our series on gold and the meaning of money. 

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#252: The Gold Standard

Jan 14, 2015 - 00:16:51

We visit the respected finance writer (and charming curmudgeon) James Grant. He makes the case for going back on the gold standard. For more:n.pr/1IxK0L2

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#596: Johnny Mnemonic's Secret Door

Jan 9, 2015 - 00:18:50

Note: This episode contains explicit language. 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 software. Today on the show, the story of one man who stumbled into a flaw in Apple's operating system, a way to hack the phone you might have in your hands right now – the iPhone 5s. It was a flaw that was worth a million dollars to the first person who could exploit it.

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#222: The Price Of Lettuce In Brooklyn

Jan 7, 2015 - 00:00:00

Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in October 2010.  On today's Planet Money, we go shopping with George Minichiello.  George is one of hundreds of federal employees who goes to stores all over the country and record the prices of thousands of different things. A bag of romaine lettuce. A boy's size-14 collared shirt made of 97 percent cotton. A loaf of white bread.  Their work drives the consumer price index, a key economic indicator known to its friends as CPI. The index measures inflation in the U.S., and it influences everything from Social Security checks to the price of school lunches to how big your raise will be next year.  For more: http://n.pr/1AGluFd

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595: The Rest Of The Story, 2014 Edition

Dec 31, 2014 - 00:00:00

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. We follow up on one of the boldest plans of the year: one man's plan to reform all of campaign finance. We see if the new website endings, or top level domains, like .ninja, .wed and .xyz have gained a foothold. Also, we learn the key to passing one of the hardest classes at community college.

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#594: Board Games

Dec 30, 2014 - 00:00:00

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. On today's show: an actual story about CEO pay, with a beginning, middle, and an end. It's the story of two guys who tried to cut the pay of the CEO at a small pneumatic tool company on Long Island.

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#593: Who Had The First Job?

Dec 24, 2014 - 00:00:00

People have always worked. But the thing we think of today as a job — the thing you apply for instead of being born into, the thing you go to in the morning and leave at night — is actually a recent invention. The modern job can act as a buffer to protect workers from the daily ups and downs of businesses. But the job as we know it may be going away.  On today's show, we go in search of the very first modern job.  For more: http://n.pr/1x57BPj

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#592: Bell Wars

Dec 22, 2014 - 00:00:00

On today's show, a story on a Christmasy theme: Handbells!  But also, a not-so-Christmasy theme: A decades-long feud between two big bell companies, located right down the road from each other.  But then, a Christmasy ending: Peace!  For more: http://n.pr/1wB07Uk

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#591: War? What War?

Dec 20, 2014 - 00:19:35

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 in Ukraine" isn't just the title of the conference, it is in many ways what the whole year of crisis has been about.  Today on the show, the revolution in Ukraine was supposed to make the country a better place for Western investment, but it ended up sparking a war that is scaring that investment away.  For more: http://n.pr/1HcKXWl

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#590: The Planet Money Workout

Dec 16, 2015 - 00:15:14

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.

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#589: Hello, I'm Calling From La Mafia

Dec 12, 2014 - 00:19:35

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. On today's show: what it's like to live and work in the most dangerous country in the world.

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#588: The Technology Tango

Dec 10, 2014 - 00:20:32

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: http://n.pr/1yR6BPh

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#587: Jubilee! (?)

Dec 5, 2014 - 00:00:00

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. 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 for a jubilee. But it basically ended there. Today on the show: the story about a country that is actually trying a jubilee. Iceland.

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#271: A City On The Moon

Dec 3, 2014 - 00:00:00

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.  Reykjavik feels like you took a European city — coffee shops, fancy cars, orderly streets — and put it on the moon.  Which raises a question: How did a barren, icy island become a thriving, modern economy?  The short answer: Fish, energy and books.  The long answer starts back in the year 1075, with our Icelandic intern's great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather.  For more: http://n.pr/1rYf8tC

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#586: How Stuff Gets Cheaper

Nov 28, 2014 - 00:00:00

We tend to get obsessed with things that get more expensive over time — college tuition, say, or health care. But lots of things have actually gotten cheaper in real terms. Things made by machines. Things like consumer electronics.  Some new gadget comes out with a $1,000 price tag. Two years later it costs $500. There's no law of nature that says this must be so. And yet it happens year after year.  Today on the show, we visit a company called Monoprice. And we go into a room where people sit all day and try to make stuff get cheaper.

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#585: Chasing The Dread Pirate Roberts

Nov 26, 2014 - 00:00:00

Today on the show, the story of the Dread Pirate Roberts of the internet age. A man who dreamed of setting up a utopian marketplace, a place where you could buy and sell almost anything in secret. The pirate created a market with no contracts, no regulations, and really no government interference. The Dread Pirate believed in total economic freedom, but in order to make his market work, he had to do some very bad things.

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#585: Chasing The Dread Pirate Roberts

Nov 26, 2014 - 00:00:00

Today on the show, the story of the Dread Pirate Roberts of the internet age. A man who dreamed of setting up a utopian marketplace, a place where you could buy and sell almost anything in secret. The pirate created a market with no contracts, no regulations, and really no government interference. The Dread Pirate believed in total economic freedom, but in order to make his market work, he had to do some very bad things.

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#474: The North Korea Files

Nov 22, 2014 - 00:24:55

Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in July 2013. U.S. citizens who want to buy stuff from North Korea have to write a letter to the U.S. government asking for special permission. As regular listeners know, we're sort of obsessed with North Korea. So we decided to try to get those letters. We filed a Freedom of Information Act request. And we got a stack of heavily redacted letters. On today's show: we try to figure out who sent the letters, why they wanted to do business with North Korea, and what that tells us about the North Korean economy.

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#584: What The Lebron?

Nov 20, 2014 - 00:17:22

Nike is a smart multi-billion dollar company, but some sneaker fans have figured out how they can get a better price for Nike sneakers than Nike can. Some pairs trade like stocks — selling for double, quadruple, 12 times their retail price after they leave the store. Even used sneakers.  Josh Luber, of sneakerhead data company, Campless, estimates that Nike let resellers walk away with 230 million dollars in profits last year — that's money that did not go to Nike.  Today on the show, why would a multi-billion dollar company give up its profits to some scrappy guys on the street?  For more: http://n.pr/1quQ7uT

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#583: Cow Noir

Jun 15, 2016 - 00:19:41

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.

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#582: Guarding The Secret Path

Nov 13, 2014 - 00:16:49

In west Africa right now, there are two kinds of countries: Those that have Ebola and those that do not. Liberia for instance, has reported more than 6,000 cases of Ebola and 2,697 people have died. Right next door, in the country of Ivory Coast, there have been zero cases. Zero. Ivory Coast would desperately like to stay in that zero category.  The solution that Ivory Coast has come up with to stay Ebola free is simple. Ivory Coast will shut down its border. It will stop trade with Liberia, stop commerce and stop people from coming in.  On a map, a border is a simple thing: A clear thick line. On the ground, its anything but simple. On the ground in Ivory Coast, there are vast parts of the border with no signs, no guards, and only a secret path through the forest.  Today on the show, we go to a tiny tiny town on the border between Ivory Coast and Liberia. On one side of the line, Ebola is raging. The other side is Ebola-free so far. We ask: How do you close a border? And can you really?

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#581: Free Money

Nov 7, 2014 - 00:00:00

There's a term in economics, arbitrage, that basically means free money. It's finding a difference in price, a pricing mistake, you can exploit to make money. Arbitrage is a risk-free way to buy low and sell high. Everyday there are loads of people and sophisticated computer algorithms searching for an arbitrage opportunity, but true arbitrages are almost impossible to find. Today on the show, we meet two guys who say they've found one, and we visit the storage locker in Utah where they keep their secret. 

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#580: The Other Side Of The Pump

Nov 5, 2014 - 00:00:00

A gallon of gas is selling at some pumps for less than $3 right now. The price has been falling since early summer, and local TV news reporters are out at gas stations asking people 'how happy do you feel?'  Today on the show, two stories from the other side of the pump. Stories about the people who get the oil out of the ground. We meet a producer that you never hear from. And tell the story of an organization so powerful that it ruled the global economy. Or people thought it did.  For more: http://n.pr/1shpEMo

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#579: Is The NCAA An Illegal Cartel?

Oct 31, 2014 - 00:19:32

In big-time college football or basketball, money is everywhere. From giant TV contracts, to million-dollar coaches' salaries, to deals with shoe companies. But it's against NCAA rules for colleges to pay athletes. On today's show, we ask: Is the NCAA's ban on paying athletes legal?

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#578: How To Steal A Million Barrels Of Oil

Oct 30, 2014 - 00:00:00

In Nigeria, millions of gallons of oil are stolen all the time. There are advertisements for stolen oil on the Nigerian version of Craigslist, and not JUST small containers. The advertisements are for giant tankers full of oil.   Today on the show, how to steal hundreds of thousands of oil every single day. To steal oil takes an entire global system. Lots of people are in on it. Small time crooks and criminal bosses, the owners of oil tankers and corrupt officials. We'll show you how they get away with it.   For more: http://n.pr/1wdEoB4

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#400: What Two Pasta Factories Tell Us About The Italian Economy

Oct 24, 2014 - 00:00:00

Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in September 2012.  A decade ago, the Barilla pasta factory in Foggia, Italy, had a big problem with people skipping work. The absentee rate was around 10 percent.  People called in sick all the time, typically on Mondays, or on days when there was a big soccer game.  Foggia is in southern Italy. Barilla's big factory in northern Italy had a much lower absentee rate. This is not surprising; there's a huge economic gap between southern and northern Italy. It's like two different countries.  Barilla execs told Nicola Calandrea, the manager of the Foggia plant, that they would close the factory unless he brought the absenteeism rate down.  Calandrea decided that to save the factory, he had to change the culture. On today's show, we visit the factory and hear how Calandrea made it work.  For more: http://n.pr/1w0OpkT

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#577: The Kansas Experiment

Oct 23, 2014 - 00:00:00

Today on the show, 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. Now he's fighting for his political life. For more: http://n.pr/1pBNfq7

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#576: When Women Stopped Coding

Jul 22, 2016 - 00:17:13

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

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#381: Why It's Illegal To Braid Hair Without A License

Oct 15, 2014 - 00:15:29

Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in June 2012.  A few years ago, Jestina Clayton started a hair braiding business in her home in Centerville, Utah. The business let her stay home with her kids, and in good months, she made enough to pay for groceries. She even put an ad on a local website. Then one day she got an email from a stranger who had seen the ad.  "It is illegal in the state of Utah to do any form of extensions without a valid cosmetology license," the e-mail read. "Please delete your ad, or you will be reported."  To get a license, Jestina would have to spend more than a year in cosmetology school. Tuition would cost $16,000 dollars or more.  On today's show: Why it was illegal to braid hair without a license in Utah. And why hundreds of licensing rules in states all around the country are a disaster for the U.S. economy. For more: http://n.pr/1Ddlj3U

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#575: The Fondue Conspiracy

Jul 6, 2016 - 00:15:49

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.

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#574: The Buffalo Talk-Off

Oct 9, 2014 - 00:00:00

Today's show is the story of a guy who tried to make something of himself by getting into a rough business: debt collection. It's also the story of the low-level, semi-legal debt-collection economy that sprung up in Buffalo, New York. And, in a small way, it's the story of the last 20 or so years in global finance, a time when the world went wild for debt. For more: http://n.pr/1ndvYHL

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# 573: Why Textbook Prices Keep Climbing

Oct 3, 2014 - 00:00:00

Prices of new textbooks have been going up like crazy. Faster than clothing, food, cars, and even healthcare. Listeners have been asking for years why textbooks are getting so expensive. On today's show, we actually find an answer.  

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#572: Jewelers, Futurists And Whistleblowers

Oct 1, 2014 - 00:00:00

Today on the show: Stories about the secrets of jewelry stores, the problem with World's Fairs and a law signed by Abraham Lincoln that's being used today to go after the largest banks in the world. For more: n.pr/1prjqYP 

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#571: Why Raising Money For Ebola Is Hard

Sep 27, 2014 - 00:16:25

Charities raised $1.4 billion to help rebuild Haiti after the earthquake. After the tsunami in Asia in 2004, organizations raised $1.6 billion. But when something like Ebola happens, so far, people look the other way. On today's show: What does it take to get people to notice something half a world away, and what does it take to get people to pull out their wallets and donate money.

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#477: Waiting For Robot Nannies

Sep 24, 2014 - 00:00:00

Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in August 2013.   More than half of all Japanese women quit their jobs after giving birth to their first child. That's more than double the rate in the U.S., and it's a problem for Japan's economy.   If more women returned to the workforce, it would go a huge way toward boosting growth in the country and solving a big demographic problem — not enough working people to support the nation's retirees.   But finding childcare in Japan is even harder than finding childcare in the U.S. The long-term solution is robot nannies. (Really.) On today's show: How Japanese working moms can survive until the robots arrive.   For more: n.pr/1B8omqW 

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#570: The Fine Print

Sep 19, 2014 - 00:18:29

On today's show, we read our homeowners insurance policy. The details are amazing. Lava! Vermin! Falling objects! And, hiding in all the fine print, the story of how insurance works — and what makes it break.

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#569: How To Divide An Imaginary Pie

Sep 18, 2014 - 00:27:32

Alex Blumberg is starting a business, a podcasting business. And he's recording himself as he starts the company — he's making a podcast about starting his podcasting company. Meta, right?   But starting a business can be lonely. Alex wants a partner to share in the stress and the risk, and potential investors say they'd prefer to bet on a team, too. Today on the show, Alex searches for a business partner. There have been Hewlett and Packard, Procter and Gamble, and Ben and Jerry. Now, there is Blumberg and....   Listen to the other episodes in Alex's podcast miniseries about starting a company at HearStartUp.com   Note: There's a curse word in today's episode. At about 1:25.

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Episode 568: Snoops, Hackers And Tin Foil Hats

Sep 13, 2014 - 00:17:16

An amazing amount of stuff on the internet is free — Facebook, Twitter and Gmail. Of course, it's not exactly free. We pay, with our data. And right now, we're kind of stuck trading our data, for all this free software. Today on the show: two people who want to give you other options. These two people are trying to create services online that collect next to nothing — virtually no information, no data. A couple years ago, these people might have been dismissed as kooks. But one of them just raised $30 million.

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#567: Getting Unstuck

Sep 11, 2014 - 00:00:00

For years now, the economy has been kind of stuck. The unemployment rate is getting better, but slowly. Household incomes have actually been falling. It's easy to feel stuck. Today on the show, stories of two people trying to get unstuck.

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NPR
#566: The Zoo Economy

Sep 6, 2014 - 00:18:10

Zoo animals are different than most possessions, because zoos follow a fundamental principle: You can't sell or buy the animals. It's unethical and illegal to put a price tag on an elephant's head. Today on the show: What do you do in a world where you can't use money? For more: n.pr/1wbZb5S

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NPR
#565: The Story Of Alibaba

Sep 4, 2014 - 00:00:00

A massive Chinese company, Alibaba, is about to have what could be the biggest public offering on planet earth. You can think of Alibaba like Amazon or Ebay, except you can buy way more — you can get a used 747 airplane, or an oil tanker, or 500 million tiny screws. Today on the show, the company that made it possible for anyone anywhere to build almost anything they want. What that company means for China, for the rest of us and for some chickens in California.  For more: http://n.pr/1oEZY9J  

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NPR
#564: The Signature

Oct 7, 2015 - 00:16:34

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.

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NPR
#563: "I Was Wrong"

Aug 27, 2014 - 00:18:40

The world is full of people talking about how right they are. Today on the show, we try something different: We talk to smart, thoughtful people about times they got things really, really wrong. For more: http://n.pr/1lfnG0Y

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NPR
#562: A Mall Divided

Apr 6, 2016 - 00:13:23

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

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NPR
#485: What's Your Major?

Aug 20, 2014 - 00:00:00

Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in September 2013. Sure, some college degrees lead to higher paying jobs than others. But what's shocking — at least, it was shocking to us — is just how big the gap can be. The most lucrative majors typically lead to jobs with salaries over $100,000 a year. The least lucrative lead to salaries of around $30,000. On today's show, we run the numbers. We talk to people who majored in the most- and least-lucrative subjects. And we hear from an economist who says, when it comes to income, choosing a major is more important than choosing a college.

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NPR
#561: How The Future Looked 50 Years Ago

Aug 15, 2014 - 00:00:00

We spend a lot of time thinking about the future and planning for the future. Fifty years ago, people at the 1964 World's Fair built their vision of the future. They imagined a world of jet-packs, steel, glass, and Formica. And they committed to it in a park in New York City. Today on the show, we visit that park and visit the future as seen from the World's Fair in 1964. And we see how the future actually turned out.

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THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE
#606 - Randall Carlson

Feb 4, 2015 - 3:09:16

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