418 episodes

Wanna see a trick? Give us any topic and we can tie it back to the economy. At Planet Money, we explore the forces that shape our lives and bring you along for the ride. Don't just understand the economy – understand the world.Wanna go deeper? Subscribe to Planet Money+ and get sponsor-free episodes of Planet Money, The Indicator, and Planet Money Summer School. Plus access to bonus content. It's a new way to support the show you love. Learn more at plus.npr.org/planetmoney

Planet Money Planet Money

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 1K Ratings

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Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Wanna see a trick? Give us any topic and we can tie it back to the economy. At Planet Money, we explore the forces that shape our lives and bring you along for the ride. Don't just understand the economy – understand the world.Wanna go deeper? Subscribe to Planet Money+ and get sponsor-free episodes of Planet Money, The Indicator, and Planet Money Summer School. Plus access to bonus content. It's a new way to support the show you love. Learn more at plus.npr.org/planetmoney

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    The Vapes of Wrath

    The Vapes of Wrath

    When the vape brand Juul first hit the market back in 2015, e-cigarettes were in a kind of regulatory limbo. At the time, the rules that governed tobacco cigarettes did not explicitly apply to e-cigarettes. Then Juul blew up, fueled a public health crisis over teen vaping, and inspired a regulatory crackdown. But when the government finally stepped in to solve the problem of youth vaping, it may have actually made things worse.

    Today's episode is a collaboration with the new podcast series "Backfired: the Vaping Wars." You can listen to the full series at audible.com/Backfired.

    This episode was hosted by Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi and Leon Neyfakh. It was produced by Emma Peaslee and edited by Jess Jiang with help from Annie Brown. It was fact checked by Sofia Shchukina and engineered by Cena Loffredo. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.

    Help support Planet Money and hear our bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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    • 27 min
    Why is everyone talking about Musk's money?

    Why is everyone talking about Musk's money?

    We've lived amongst Elon Musk headlines for so long now that it's easy to forget just how much he sounds like a sci-fi character. He runs a space company and wants to colonize mars. He also runs a company that just implanted a computer chip into a human brain. And he believes there's a pretty high probability everything is a simulation and we are living inside of it.

    But the latest Elon Musk headline-grabbing drama is less something out of sci-fi, and more something pulled from HBO's "Succession."

    Elon Musk helped take Tesla from the brink of bankruptcy to one of the biggest companies in the world. And his compensation for that was an unprecedentedly large pay package that turned him into the richest person on Earth. But a judge made a decision about that pay package that set off a chain of events resulting in quite possibly the most expensive, highest stakes vote in publicly traded company history.

    The ensuing battle over Musk's compensation is not just another wild Elon tale. It's a lesson in how to motivate the people running the biggest companies that – like it or not – are shaping our world. It's a classic economics problem with a very 2024 twist.

    Help support Planet Money and hear our bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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    • 28 min
    How to get big (and small) projects done, according to research (PM+)

    How to get big (and small) projects done, according to research (PM+)

    Bent Flyvbjerg has looked at thousands of big projects, from building the Sydney Opera House to putting on the Olympic Games. He wanted to understand a straight-forward question. How often do these projects get done, on time and on budget? In this bonus episode, Flyvbjerg talks to Darian Woods about what he learned, and shares some principles that can help your project succeed. Flyvbjerg co-wrote the 2013 book, "How Big Things Get Done."Planet Money+ listeners! We're giving you access to some exclusive new merch! Listen to the top of this episode for the special link. Or check out the last bonus episode, "The business of merchandise..." here: bit.ly/4c64uOm Show your support for Planet Money and the reporting we do by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org. You'll be able to unlock this episode and other great bonus content. Regular episodes remain free to listen!Email the show at planetmoney@npr.org.

    What's with all the tiny soda cans? And other grocery store mysteries, solved.

    What's with all the tiny soda cans? And other grocery store mysteries, solved.

    There's a behind the scenes industry that helps big brands decide questions like: How big should a bag of chips be? What's the right size for a bottle of shampoo? And yes, also: When should a company do a little shrinkflation?

    From Cookie Monster to President Biden, everybody is complaining about shrinkflation these days. But when we asked the packaging and pricing experts, they told us that shrinkflation is just one move in a much larger, much weirder 4-D chess game.

    The name of that game is "price pack architecture." This is the idea that you shouldn't just sell your product in one or two sizes. You should sell your product in a whole range of different sizes, at a whole range of different price points. Over the past 15 years, price pack architecture has completely changed how products are marketed and sold in the United States.

    Today, we are going on a shopping cart ride-along with one of those price pack architects. She's going to pull back the curtain and show us why some products are getting larger while others are getting smaller, and tell us about the adorable little soda can that started it all.

    By the end of the episode, you'll never look at a grocery store the same way again.

    Help support Planet Money and hear our bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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    • 24 min
    Bringing a tariff to a graphite fight

    Bringing a tariff to a graphite fight

    Graphite is sort of the one-hit wonder of minerals. And that hit? Pencils. Everyone loves to talk about pencils when it comes to graphite. If graphite were to perform a concert, they'd close out the show with "pencils," and everyone would clap and cheer. But true fans of graphite would be shouting out "batteries!" Because graphite is a key ingredient in another important thing that we all use in our everyday lives: lithium ion batteries.

    Almost all of the battery-ready graphite in the world comes from one place: China. That's actually true of lots of the materials that go into batteries, like processed lithium and processed cobalt. Which is why it was such a big deal when, earlier this year, President Biden announced a tariff package that will make a bunch of Chinese imports more expensive. Included in this package are some tariffs on Chinese graphite. He wants to create a new battery future—one that doesn't rely so much on China.

    In this episode, we get down on the ground to look at this big supply chain story through the lens of one critical mineral. And we visit a small town that realizes that it might be the perfect place to create an American graphite industry. And we find that declaring a new battery future is one thing, but making it happen is another thing entirely. Help support Planet Money and hear our bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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    • 25 min
    How much national debt is too much?

    How much national debt is too much?

    Most economic textbooks will tell you that there can be real dangers in running up a big national debt. A major concern is how the debt you add now could slow down economic growth in the future. Economists have not been able to nail down how much debt a country can safely take on. But they have tried.

    Back in 2010, two economists took a look at 20 countries over the course of decades, and sometimes centuries, and came back with a number. Their analysis suggested that economic growth slowed significantly once national debt passed 90% of annual GDP... and that is when the fight over debt and growth really took off.

    On today's episode: a deep dive on what we know, and what we don't know, about when exactly national debt becomes a problem. We will also try to figure out how worried we should be about the United States' current debt total of 26 trillion dollars.

    This episode was hosted by Keith Romer and Nick Fountain. It was produced by Willa Rubin and edited by Molly Messick. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez with help from Sofia Shchukina and engineered by Cena Loffredo. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.

    Help support Planet Money and hear our bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1K Ratings

1K Ratings

AnnieCakeFish1987 ,

An invaluable primer

Planet Money breaks down complex ideas in a way that’s so accessible and fun. As a former econ student it’s a really easy way to dip a toe back in.

badluck000000 ,

Pretty good

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Spider man

Good try

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