100 episodes

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly is now a daily news podcast that breaks down the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the most complex topics of the week. Together, we make sense of today. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly American Public Media

    • News Commentary
    • 4.7 • 13 Ratings

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly is now a daily news podcast that breaks down the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the most complex topics of the week. Together, we make sense of today. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

    DOW 30K IDK

    DOW 30K IDK

    We say it again and again: The stock market is not the economy. Well right now, the economy is trying to limp out of a coronavirus recession, and the Dow just hit 30,000. Our listener wants to know: What does that even mean? For this Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday, we’ll give you a quick refresher. Plus, we’ll answer your questions about tax season and the difference between Janet Yellen’s old job and her (potential) new job. We gotta make it quick, because guest host Marielle Segarra hasn’t done her Thanksgiving grocery shopping yet.

    Here’s a list of everything we talked about today:

    “The pandemic-resistant Dow Jones Industrial Average” from Marketplace Morning Report

    “Here’s what you need to know about paying taxes on unemployment benefits” from CNBC

    “The K-shaped recovery is getting worse” from the Washington Post

    “Mnuchin Plans to Put $455 Billion Beyond Yellen’s Easy Reach” from Bloomberg

    Revisit Kai’s interview with Janet Yellen from last year.

    >We’re off tomorrow and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. See you next week! Stay safe out there.

    • 15 min
    The cost of racism is incalculable. Here’s a start.

    The cost of racism is incalculable. Here’s a start.

    Sixteen trillion dollars is a lot of money. It’s hard to even conceive of a number so big in real economic terms — it’s bigger than China’s GDP, for one thing. It’s also the economic cost of racism in this country in just the past 20 years. And it’s a conservative estimate. Today we’ll do the numbers with economist Dana Peterson, who did the numbers for Citi. Peterson helps us dig into that $16 trillion number, how the study came together, what surprised her about it and how her findings could play into the ongoing conversation around reparations.

    • 35 min
    Another COVID-19 vaccine looks promising, but who will take it?

    Another COVID-19 vaccine looks promising, but who will take it?

    AstraZeneca is the third pharmaceutical company in recent weeks to say it has a potentially viable coronavirus vaccine, and a cheaper one at that. With Marketplace’s Marielle Segarra, we’ll talk about how businesses can influence public health once we have a vaccine, and even dare to imagine a day when kids can permanently go back to school. Plus: The people President-elect Joe Biden has tapped to run the Treasury and State departments. Did you know Antony Blinken has a singing career?



    Here’s everything we talked about today (if these links don’t work on your device, check out the episode page on makemesmart.org):



    “3rd major COVID-19 vaccine shown to be effective and cheaper” from the Associated Press

    “Vaccination will be required to fly, says Qantas chief” from the BBC

    “Biden Picks Janet Yellen for Treasury Secretary” from The Wall Street Journal

    “The end is in sight’: Experts express optimism about COVID-19 pandemic coming to a close” from the Boston Globe

    “Key government agency acknowledges Biden’s win and begins formal transition” from CNN

    Antony Blinken’s Spotify page

    And this Janet Yellen meme

    • 11 min
    Please, please stay home this Thanksgiving

    Please, please stay home this Thanksgiving

    No matter who you are — even, say, a New York Times columnist — it’s so important that you stay safe at home this Thanksgiving, because your bubble is likely bigger than you think. Also, the hospitals are already straining ahead of a long winter. We’ll talk about it, plus our favorite Thanksgiving sides in another round of “Half-Full or Half-Empty.”



    Here’s a list of everything we talked about today:



    Some background info on Kimberly’s cocktail today

    “I Traced My Covid-19 Bubble and It’s Enormous” from The New York Times Opinion

    “One in Five U.S. Hospitals Face Staffing Crises Within a Week” from Bloomberg

    “Dolly Parton & Friends Set for Live Holiday Special With Pandora” from Billboard



    Thanks to everyone who joined us live on YouTube today! We’re off next Friday, and planning to be back in December. Subscribe so you don’t miss it!

    • 17 min
    This is American exceptionalism

    This is American exceptionalism

    It’s almost hack to say at this point, but it’s worth remembering: If what President Donald Trump and his campaign are doing right now — refusing to concede a called election, eroding trust in the democratic process, asking for ballots to be tossed — if all that was happening in another country, we’d be talking about it very differently. It’s worth unpacking why that is, which we’ll do today. But first: We’ll explain the feud between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jerome Powell and present yet more evidence that you should stay home for Thanksgiving. Seriously.

    Join us tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time/6:30 p.m. Eastern for our live happy hour episode on YouTube! Subscribe so you don’t miss out.



    Here’s a list of everything we talked about today (if these links don’t work on your device, try our episode page at makemesmart.org):



    “The coronavirus risk for a big Thanksgiving dinner in your community” from The Washington Post

    “Don’t rely on a negative test result to see your family for Thanksgiving” from CNN

    “Treasury moves to end several crisis-era programs, drawing pushback from the Fed” from CNBC

    “Federal Reserve’s Emergency Loan Programs at Center of Political Fight” from The New York Times

    “Dog at Delaware SPCA for 866 days finds forever home” from Fox 29 Philadelphia

    This Twitter exchange between Chef José Andrés and Chris Krebs, the recently fired director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

    Kai’s interview with Andrés from 2018

    • 17 min
    We’re on a ‘Groundhog Day’ loop

    We’re on a ‘Groundhog Day’ loop

    The bills are piling up for the Trump campaign. Even though its legal challenges to the election don’t seem to be going anywhere, someone’s got to pay the lawyers. We discuss who is on the hook. Plus: We answer your questions about what a Biden administration may mean for businesses struggling during the pandemic, why the Fed’s Main Street Lending Program flopped, and Kai and Molly reminisce about the last time they were in the same place together, pre-COVID-19 (sigh).

    Here’s a list of everything we talked about today (if these links don’t work on your device, check out the episode page on makemesmart.org):

    “Who Is Paying for Trump’s Lawsuits and Recounts?” from Campaign Legal Center

    “Justice Dept. Intervenes to Help Trump in E. Jean Carroll Defamation Lawsuit” from The New York Times

    “Wisconsin recount would cost Trump campaign $7.9 million” from CNN

    “Dr. Céline Gounder, Adviser to Biden, on the Next Covid Attack Plan” from The New York Times

    “Fed Again Eases Terms for Main Street Lending Program” from The Wall Street Journal

    • 15 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Hoai_puma ,

Learn something new every episode

The dynamic between the two hosts is amazing and I enjoy all the guests that were brought onto the show.

TTLAM54321 ,

Good show

Very good

Vik wireless ,

Great start already!

Looking forward to this podcast to complement Marketplace

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