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The Indicator from Planet Money
The Indicator from Planet Money

A little show about big ideas. From the people who make Planet Money, The Indicator helps you make sense of what's happening... more

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BRAND new friends

In advertising, there's always been an unspoken rule — never praise your competition. But one marketing professor's research shows that... more

18 Oct 2021 · 8 minutes
Indicators of the Week: strikes, prices, Black Friday deals

Indicators of the Week! Prices are up again, but is it fair to call this 'transitory' inflation? Black Friday deals... more

15 Oct 2021 · 9 minutes
Congressional game theory

For months, lawmakers have been negotiating two big spending bills with no end in sight. Game theory could explain the... more

14 Oct 2021 · 9 minutes
Simon says we're stuck with the debt ceiling

The debt ceiling approaches. A congressional standoff ensues. It wasn't always this way. So why did the debt ceiling get... more

13 Oct 2021 · 9 minutes
A Nobel prize for an economics revolution

Joshua Angrist, Guido Imbens and David Card won the economics Nobel on Monday. On today's show, we talk to the... more

12 Oct 2021 · 9 minutes
Jobs Friday: Where are all the older workers?

Sure, some seniors took the pandemic as an opportunity to ride an RV into the sunset, but there's a darker... more

08 Oct 2021 · 9 minutes
A new decade for Bond

Daniel Craig's tenure as James Bond is coming to an end with the release of No Time To Die. With... more

07 Oct 2021 · 9 minutes
Technology brought to you by the s-curve

A lot of things grow slowly, then fast, then slow again. From the growth in smartphone users to the rise... more

06 Oct 2021 · 9 minutes
Facebook tries to save face

Facebook's status hasn't been so hot of late. From internal documents leaked by a whistleblower to outages of hours. How... more

06 Oct 2021 · 8 minutes
Revenge of the math club

In the high school lunchroom version of business school, finance majors were the popular jocks and logistics majors were... the... more

04 Oct 2021 · 9 minutes
No Dental, No Power, No Agents: Indicators Of The Week

Indicators of the Week! Dentists resist the Biden administration's spending plan. China is rationing electricity. And Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar... more

01 Oct 2021 · 9 minutes
Japanese Anime, Made In China

Anime is a twenty-billion-dollar industry and it is growing fast. But traditionally, anime is produced in Japan. What happens... more

30 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Rebuilding Paradise

The 2018 Camp Fire burned down much of the town of Paradise, Calif. Over the years, wildfires in the West... more

29 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
How WhatsApp Broke Lebanon

Lebanon's economy is in freefall. The World Bank calls it one of the worst financial crises in a century. We... more

28 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
The College Admissions 'Melt' Down

What is "melt" and why are college admissions departments sweating over it this year?

27 Sep 2021 · 8 minutes
Indicators Of The Week: Evergrande, Stuck Ships, Town Managers

From ghost apartments empty in China, to a backlog of ships in Los Angeles, to towns struggling to find city... more

24 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Why An Aging China Matters

For decades China exported better and cheaper stuff. But now China's experiencing a factory worker crunch. It's been a long... more

23 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
The Unicorn Next Door

A real estate startup says it's the fastest company in American history to achieve a billion-dollar valuation, but the neighbors... more

22 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Trust Us, 2020 Brought Us Together

Political upheaval! Conspiracy theories! Global spread of disease! Sounds like a recipe for... trust? Today on the show, how 2020... more

21 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
All In On Malls

With the pandemic shutting down in-person life, thousands of retail stores closed up shop. But, some retailers see an opportunity... more

20 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Indicators Of The Week: Colleges, Poverty, Airlines

It's that time of the week again! On today's show, we bring the indicators on airline vaccine mandates, U.S. poverty... more

17 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Gas Power To Electric Power To... Foot Power?

Auto companies needing to lower emissions while facing car bans in some cities, are turning their focus toward a familiar,... more

16 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Child Care Conundrum

Millions of mothers left work during the pandemic. Decades of progress seemed lost. Is it time to reconsider how our... more

15 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Do High Food Prices Mean Unrest?

Climate change, farmworker shortages and increasing transportation costs are driving global food prices higher and higher. What happens when food... more

14 Sep 2021 · 8 minutes
The Beigie Awards: From Coasting To Ghosting

Restaurant owners washing their own dishes? Shipping containers changing all prices mid-delivery? The rise of the spooky, surf-happy employee? It's... more

13 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Indicators Of The Week: From Bitcoin To Solar To Feelings

It's time for Indicators Of The Week! This week: The confidence of consumers takes a hit, El Salvador makes it... more

10 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Do You Want To Live In A Bounty Economy?

The Texas abortion law includes an unusual provision: a financial incentive to report others. On today's show, we look into... more

09 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
A Quest To Support Women-Led Businesses

A reporter frustrated by the gender and race gap in company CEOs sets out to buy products only from companies... more

08 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Did Ending Pandemic UI Benefits Push Americans Back To Work?

Early this summer, the U.S. inadvertently launched one of the largest unemployment experiments in history to see if unemployment benefits... more

07 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
When A Drought Boils Over

As our week on water ends, we go to the heart of the conflict. On today's show, the ranchers on... more

03 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Should The Lawns In Vegas, Stay In Vegas?

An epic drought and population explosion is draining Lake Mead and the Colorado River, which millions rely on. And then... more

02 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Water's Cheap... Should It Be?

As we grapple with the climate crisis, there's less and less water to go around. But in the U.S. water... more

01 Sep 2021 · 9 minutes
Liquid Markets

Economists often say we should put prices on scarce resources. So that's what Australia did with water. On today's show,... more

31 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
Water In The West: Bankrupt?

Water is one of the West's most precious resources, but it's drying up. We begin a week of the economics... more

30 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
Jeromonomics: Indicator Of The Week

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has radically changed the Fed's approach to supporting the economy. Today for our Indicator Of... more

27 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
The Taliban Controls The Afghan Economy. Now What?

As the Taliban assumes control of Afghanistan, uncertainty looms over an already-fragile financial system. Today on the show, we look... more

26 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
China's Big Tech Crackdown

When a Chinese tech CEO shared a poem over a thousand years old, his company's stock plummeted. Investors are on... more

25 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
Enough With Bachelor's Degrees

There are millions of job openings, but there are also many jobs that shut out qualified candidates simply because they... more

24 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
How To Trade-up From A Bobby Pin To A House

TikTok deal-maker Demi Skipper is on a quest to get a house one trade at a time. Starting with just... more

23 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
Jabs And Retail: Indicators Of The Week

It's that time of the week again! Today on the show, our Indicators of The Week about the insufficient number... more

20 Aug 2021 · 8 minutes
The Electric Grid-Lock

So many players in the U.S. electrical game, but maybe less is more? A look into energy grids, how monopolies... more

19 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
Who Owns The Moon?

Location, location, location! As private companies race to control space travel, a conversation around spatial real estate gets reignited. Today... more

18 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
The Spit Queen, The Economist And The NBA

Yale's Anne Wyllie pioneered saliva coronavirus testing, but wasted a lot of precious time worrying about funding. Until she met... more

17 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
Holy Cow, It's Fake Meat!

In recent years, meat alternatives have grown in popularity. But they remain more expensive than the real thing. Why?

16 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
Indicator Of The Week: 4.5 Trillion

The recent updates on the Biden Administration's infrastructure bills raise a serious question: what counts as infrastructure? Today on the... more

13 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
R.I.P. Office

Not every job can be done remotely, but will those that can stay remote? Today on the show, we discuss... more

12 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
Long Live The Office

The rise of remote work and telecommuting during the pandemic raises questions about the future of the office. Today the... more

11 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
Too Much Import, Too Little Export

The transportation industry has a bottleneck right now, not only with imports, but also exports. Still many container ships are... more

10 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
An Economist's Advice On Digital Dependency

American adults on average spent more than four hours on their phones in 2020. Can we reduce our phone usage... more

09 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
Return Of The Air Horn? Jobs Friday July Edition

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released the jobs report for July. The economy added nearly one million jobs. An... more

06 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
Why Host The Olympics?

The Tokyo Olympics will cost tens of billions of dollars, making it one of the most expensive Olympic games in... more

05 Aug 2021 · 8 minutes
The Origin of Value: The Greater Fools Theory

History is full of financial bubbles. People speculate on real estate, stocks, coins, even flowers. Why do bubbles happen? The... more

04 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
The Time the US Paid Off All Its Debt

President Andrew Jackson was ruthless in reducing federal debt. The administration paid off all interest-bearing debt in 1835, but the... more

03 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
The Rise And Fall Of WeWork

WeWork was one of the most valuable startups in the world, until it wasn't. Today we speak with journalist Maureen... more

02 Aug 2021 · 9 minutes
Indicators of the Week: Family Feud Edition

There are so many indicators this week, so we invited our friends from Planet Money to compete for the best... more

30 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
Marriage Boom: Sin City Edition

The wedding industry lost tens of billions of dollars in 2020. Now the numbers are roaring back, especially in Las... more

29 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
BTS: The Band That Moves The Economy

Korean boy band BTS is a global music phenomenon. The group has millions of fans called A.R.M.Y., who happily support... more

28 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
Nudge Vs Shove: A Conversation With Richard Thaler

Nobel Prize laureate Richard Thaler is a rockstar in the world of economics. His book Nudge introduced many of us... more

27 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
Relax, Millennials! You're Doing Great.

According to new data from the Federal Reserve millennials are struggling. A closer examination of economic data, however, paints a... more

26 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
Mailbag: Children Edition

On today's show, kids ask everything you were too afraid to admit you didn't know about money — what is... more

23 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
Saving Birds With Economics

The Pacific Flyway, one of the major bird migration routes in North America, has lost over 90% of its original... more

22 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
The Tequila Boom And Agave Bust

The demand for tequila is booming, but it wasn't always the case. We speak with a fifth generation tequila distiller... more

22 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
Burnout, Poaching And Robots Taking Our Jobs: The Beigie Awards!

The Beigie Award is out for July! This time our winner talks about employee burnout, increased talent poaching, and a... more

20 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
Should Business Mandate Covid Vaccines For Employees?

Only 3 to 4 percent of small businesses in many states require workers to show proof of vaccination but in... more

19 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
In Tech We Antitrust: Indicators of The Week

President Biden signed an executive order promoting competition and large technology firms came under fire. We speak with economists Luigi... more

16 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
The COVID Small Business Boom

After millions of people lost their jobs during the pandemic, many of them started their own businesses. In June people... more

15 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
Australian Wine: Political Football

Australian wine exports to China have gone from about $1 billion a year to nearly nothing overnight. Australia blames geopolitics,... more

14 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
How Do You Measure Inflation?

The Consumer Price Index helps to understand prices and inflation, but where do the numbers come from in the first... more

13 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
Keeping Up With The Kandasamys

Streaming services have changed how people consume films and TV shows, but they've also changed what viewers are able to... more

12 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
Used Car Silver Lining: Indicators Of The Week

Used cars are expensive right now. Bloomberg writer Conor Sen thinks it might be a reason behind recent inflation. We... more

09 Jul 2021 · 9 minutes
The Indicator from Planet Money
The COVID Small Business Boom
The Indicator from Planet Money

Available on

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Podcast Addict
Pocket Casts
Player FM


After millions of people lost their jobs during the pandemic, many of them started their own businesses. In June people started over... more