Planet Money

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The economy explained. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening.

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When the beloved Simpsons family made its TV debut in 1989, it squarely represented middle-class America. Today ... not so much. That house, those two cars, those three kids all on one salary doesn't seem so believable anymore. Today we examine the changing reality of what middle-class means in America through the Simpsons. It's a wild, musical journey into the heart of the US economy. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.


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Older Episodes

The bank war (Classic) June 1, 2022
In the 1800s, populist president Andrew Jackson went head-to-head with the most powerful banker in America over who should control the country's money. This clash ended in disastrous results.
What transforms a regular object into a collectible? At our live show earlier this month, we went on a journey through collectibles history. And we had a goal: to turn our [Micro-Face comic book]( face-planet-money-comic-book) into the most collectible item of all time. | Bid on our collectible Micro-Face comic …
The NRA's Secret Tapes May 26, 2022
Soon after the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, leaders of the National Rifle Association held a conference call to craft their response. Secret tapes from this call obtained by NPR's Investigations team reveal how the NRA developed what would become their standard response after decades of school …
Is the key to success in financial markets a matter of luck or skill? One former bond manager shares his strategy: Win big by avoiding winning. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter [here](
A sandwich is generally defined as something delicious slapped between two slices of bread. New York tax code would beg to differ. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter [here](
Buy now, pay dearly? May 14, 2022
A wave of companies that allow customers to pay for items from their favorite stores in four interest-free installments has taken over the country. But is "buy now, pay later" lending too good to be true? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter [here](
When Maddie Messer was 12 years old, she noticed an unfair dynamic in the video games she loved: playing as a man was often free, but she had to pay to play as a woman. So ... she decided to take on the video game industry. | Subscribe to our …
Jeffrey Sachs explains why he thinks "shock therapy" was so tough in Russia
If you're looking for money you've forgotten about, there's a chance the government might have it. The good news is that you can get it back. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter [here](
Planet Money book club April 29, 2022
Behind every Planet Money episode is a ton of reading. Today, we share some of our favorite books from along the way. Here are our picks: From Mary, [American Bonds: How Credit Markets Shaped a Nation by Sarah L. Quinn]( bonds) From Erika, [The End of Globalization: Lessons from the …
Risky business April 27, 2022
Two stories on how businesses are using insurance to navigate new kinds of risks. First, how music venues are handling pandemic-related risks. And how Russia's invasion of Ukraine is affecting cyber insurance. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter [here](
Finally, our comic book April 22, 2022
After many, many delays, the Micro-Face comic book is here! And we answer the burning question: Why did it take so long to make a comic book? | Come see Planet Money Live in NYC on May 10th! One night only. Tickets on sale [here]( And buy our now-ready [Micro-Face …
TikTok to the top April 21, 2022
Thanks to TikTok, Tai Verdes went from struggling musician to Top 40 hitmaker. But first, he had to crack the algorithm of how to go viral. | Come see Planet Money Live in NYC on May 10th! One night only. Tickets on sale [here](
The pause on federal student loan payments was just extended for the sixth time in two years. So...what's that been like for the borrowers, and what's in store for them when the system eventually restarts? | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter [here]( | Planet Money TikTok has been nominated for …
Ballpark vendors share their strategies and other secrets to selling the most hot dogs at baseball games. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter [here](
While on the brink of extinction in the 1970s, manatees found sanctuary in the warm waters of Florida power plants. Now, they're hooked on fossil fuels. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter [here](
Turkey is facing really high inflation, over 60 percent. Its president is taking an unorthodox approach to dealing with it. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter [here](
When bricks were rubles April 1, 2022
For a brief, strange period after the U.S.S.R. collapsed, "real" money was less valuable than tradeable objects like bricks or towels. We look back at the Russian barter economy and we see the nature of money and value underneath all currency. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter [here](
The Bond King March 30, 2022
Investing legend Bill Gross revolutionized the bond market, built an empire, and lost it all. Our very own Mary Childs talks about her new book, The Bond King. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter [here](