415 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
    • 4.6 • 65 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 hack that almost broke the internet

    The hack that almost broke the internet

    Last month, the world narrowly avoided a cyberattack of stunning ambition. The targets were some of the most important computers on the planet. Computers that power the internet. Computers used by banks and airlines and even the military.

    What these computers had in common was that they all relied on open source software.

    A strange fact about modern life is that most of the computers responsible for it are running open source software. That is, software mostly written by unpaid, sometimes even anonymous volunteers. Some crucial open source programs are managed by just a single overworked programmer. And as the world learned last month, these programs can become attractive targets for hackers.

    In this case, the hackers had infiltrated a popular open source program called XZ. Slowly, over the course of two years, they transformed XZ into a secret backdoor. And if they hadn't been caught, they could have taken control of large swaths of the internet.

    On today's show, we get the story behind the XZ hack and what made it possible. How the hackers took advantage of the strange way we make modern software. And what that tells us about the economics of one of the most important industries in the world. 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
    Why Gold? (Classic)

    Why Gold? (Classic)

    In the past few months, the price of gold has gone way up – even hitting a new high last month at just over $2,400 per troy ounce.

    Gold has long had a shiny quality to it, literally and in the marketplace. And we wondered, why is that?

    Today on the show, we revisit a Planet Money classic episode: Why Gold? Jacob Goldstein and David Kestenbaum will peruse the periodic table of the elements with one goal in mind: to learn which element would really make the best money.

    This classic Planet Money episode was part of the Planet Money Buys Gold series, and was hosted by Jacob Goldstein and David Kestenbaum.

    This rerun was hosted by Sally Helm, produced by Willa Rubin, edited by Keith Romer, and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Alex Goldmark is our 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.

    Always free at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, the NPR app or anywhere you get podcasts.

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    • 18 min
    Let's talk about the federal debt (Planet Money+)

    Let's talk about the federal debt (Planet Money+)

    In this bonus episode, Darian Woods talks with Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, about the federal debt. It's close to the highest it's ever been as a share of GDP. MacGuineas, a long-time debt hawk, argues the U.S. needs to rein in its spending. Also in this extended conversation, she tells us when spending makes sense.You can listen to the original Indicator episode here:https://www.npr.org/1197964071Show 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.

    Zombie mortgages are coming back to life

    Zombie mortgages are coming back to life

    Karen McDonough of Quincy, Mass., was enjoying her tea one morning in the dining room when she saw something odd outside her window: a group of people gathering on her lawn. A man with a clipboard told her that her home no longer belonged to her. It didn't matter that she'd been paying her mortgage for 17 years and was current on it. She was a nurse with a good job and had raised her kids there. But this was a foreclosure sale, and she was going to lose her house.

    McDonough had fallen victim to what's called a zombie second mortgage. Homeowners think these loans are long dead. But then the loans come back to life because they get bought up, sometimes for pennies on the dollar, by debt collectors that then move to collect and foreclose on people's homes.

    On today's episode: An NPR investigation reveals the practice to be widespread. Also, what are zombie mortgages? Is all this legal? And is there any way for homeowners to fight the zombies?

    You can read more about zombie second mortgages online at: npr.org/zombie This episode was hosted by Chris Arnold and Robert Smith. It was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Jess Jiang with help from Bob Little. And it was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Engineering by Robert Rodriguez with an assist from Patrick Murray. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.

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

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    • 30 min
    Inside video game economics (Two Indicators)

    Inside video game economics (Two Indicators)

    Why do video game workers offer labor at a discount? How can you design a video game for blind and sighted players? Does that design have lessons for other industries?

    These and other questions about the business of video games answered in todays episode. The Indicator just wrapped a weeklong series decoding the economics of the video game industry, we're excerpting some highlights.

    First, we meet some of the workers who are struggling with the heavy demands placed on them in their booming industry, and how they are fighting back.

    Then, we check in on how game developers are pulling in new audiences by creatively designing for people who couldn't always play. How has accessibility become an increasingly important priority for game developers? And, how can more players join in the fun?

    You can hear the rest of our weeklong series on the gaming industry at this link, or wherever you get your podcasts.

    This episode was hosted by Wailin Wong, Darian Woods, and Adrian Ma. Corey Bridges produced this episode with help from James Sneed. It was edited by Kate Concannon, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and engineered by Robert Rodriguez with help from Valentina Rodríguez Sánchez. 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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    • 18 min
    The birth of the modern consumer movement

    The birth of the modern consumer movement

    Today on the show, the story of the modern consumer movement in the U.S. and the person who inspired it: Ralph Nader. How Ralph Nader's battle in the 1960s set the stage for decades of regulation and sparked a debate in the U.S. about how much regulation is the right amount and how much is too much.

    This episode was made in collaboration with NPR's Throughline. For more about Ralph Nader and safety regulations, listen to their original episode, "Ralph Nader, Consumer Crusader."

    This Planet Money episode was produced by Emma Peaslee and edited by Jess Jiang.

    The Throughline episode was produced by Rund Abdelfatah, Ramtin Arablouei, Lawrence Wu, Julie Caine, Anya Steinberg, Casey Miner, Cristina Kim, Devin Katayama, Peter Balonon-Rosen, Irene Noguchi, and fact-checking by Kevin Volkl. The episode was mixed by Josh Newell.

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

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    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
65 Ratings

65 Ratings

Martin Ombura Jr. ,

Great, Eclectic & Entertaining

I love this PODCAST! I really appreciate the diversity and approach to the stories, the presenters are professional and entertaining. The stories are very eclective and initially seem strange but always have an interesting twist. The presenters do a great job in highlighting its relevance in society. I appreciate the fact that the producers of this podcast limit it to under 25 minutes so its not too long that your attention falters but comprehensive and entertaining enough to keep you going! Best podcast on NPR!

Gerard Diederik de Jong ,

Please replace your advertising voice artist

I love this podcast but please, please, please stop using the current voice artist employed for reading your advertisements. Don’t get me wrong, she has a great voice but she sounds so terribly cliche and boring as if this is some parody of the advertisement. I just cannot help press the fast forward button. The voice and the tone just don’t work. Come on, you know it true. Please employ this talent properly.

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