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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 today. It's a quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy, and everything else. Listen weekday afternoons.


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Listener Q&A, Another Policy Wonkout

NPR politics correspondent Danielle Kurtzleben answers your questions about student loans, taxes and tariffs.
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Jobs Friday: Future Edition

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has some predictions about the future of the US labor market.
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Tech's Convenience Store

Amazon is opening new stores ? in the real world. And in true Big Tech fashion the experience is meant to emphasize convenience. All you need to do is walk in, grab your stuff, and go.
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What Medicare For All Might Mean For Jobs

Proponents of Medicare for All argue it'll give all Americans health insurance and cost less. But even supporters admit it could mean job losses in the short term.
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How A String Quartet Explains Healthcare Costs

The costs of education and healthcare have climbed faster than other prices throughout the economy ? for decades. An under-appreciated economic theory explains why.
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Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 4: The Worry of Wall Street

There's a trend emerging in the finance world: Billionaire financiers are increasingly ? if belatedly? ? acknowledging inequality in America.
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America's Rare Earth Conundrum

America doesn't produce much in the way of rare earths. As the trade war with China intensifies, that's becoming a problem.
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Listener Q&A, Policy Wonkout Edition

Policy can take a back seat to politics in the run-up to elections. But that's no excuse for not watching to see what effects policy can have on an economy.
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Not All Goods Are Traded Equal

Not all goods are created equal: some are exempt from tariffs.
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More Money, More Votes?

The 2020 election cycle is almost in full swing. People can barely go a day without seeing an ad from candidates asking for money. But does more money really mean more votes?
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Finance Friday With Mary, Volume 3: Snack-Sized Questions

Our inbox is pretty much always filled with great questions about business, the economy and how the markets behave. Today, we answer three questions specific to the financial world.
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The Economics of Music Festivals

Music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza have gotten a lot more expensive, and the reasons behind that increase can tell us a lot about how the economy is changing.
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The R-Word

Our inbox is chock full of listener questions about whether there's a recession coming, and what we should do about it. Today, we answer.
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Why China's Buying Rice From America

China is the world's biggest rice producer. So why did China agree to buy two shipping containers of rice from the U.S.?
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Trump And Trade: The Point Of No Return?

President Trump has kept his protectionist promises, but his scorched earth approach to dealmaking could have damaged global trading relationships for good.
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The Gender Gap Series: The Problem With The Pink Tax

Women pay more than men for many consumer products. Why some economists say that's a good thing.
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The Gender Gap Series: Tampons - That Bloody Sales Tax

Most states in the U.S. have a sales tax on menstrual products. Some states have repealed this so-called Tampon Tax, on the grounds that it's unfair to women. But the repeals come at a cost.
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The Gender Gap Series: Saving Women

Women invest far less of their paychecks than men do. Sallie Krawcheck spent her career on Wall Street and she says this is a problem we need to solve.
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The Gender Gap Series: Working Women- Why the U.S. is Behind

When it came to the female labor force participation rate, America used to lead the world. But we've fallen behind. Today on the show: What happened?
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The Gender Gap Series: Where The Gender Pay Gap Is Widest

A report from Glassdoor reveals which industries have the starkest gender pay gaps.
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Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 2: Short Selling

Short sellers are investors who bet against companies. They're the detectives of the stock market, unearthing flaws and making markets more efficient, though they also attract controversy.
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Sports Teams Need To Fill Stadiums

Sporting event attendance is down. So teams are trying out creative, new ways to win back fans.
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Why Grad Students Are Taking On More Debt

Graduate students are increasingly shouldering the country's student debt.
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Currency Wars & A Pepperoni Problem

Listener questions! How the U.S.-China trade war has escalated, including a move by China to devalue its currency. Plus the history of pepperoni on pizza.
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The Delicate Macho Movie Brand

The stars of the new Fast & Furious movie will go to extraordinary lengths to protect their "tough guy" brands, even going so far as to negotiate to make sure their characters never lose a fight.
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Jobs Friday Meets Listener Q&A

Happy Jobs Friday! The U.S. economy created 164,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged. But to send you into your weekend with more pep, we answer some listener questions.
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The View From The Boardroom

Some presidential candidates have supported a policy ? known as co-determination ? that would see workers represented on corporate boards. We talked to one worker who already has a seat at the table.
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Workers Take A Seat At The Table?

The board of directors for most U.S. companies is made up of shareholders--not workers. A corporate system called co-determination aims to put employees at the table where big decisions are made.
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Stacey vs Cardiff: The Fed Cut Throwdown!

The economy's looking pretty good. So, do we really need a rate cut right now? Stacey and Cardiff duke it out.
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It's Check-Up Time, America!

The Federal Reserve is set to cut interest rates this week. We also just passed the half-year mark. Two good reasons to check in on the health of the U.S. economy.
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America's Tijuana Tech Boom

A growing workforce of high-tech specialists is luring American companies to Tijuana
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Waiting For The Tariff Storm

The trade war between the U.S. and China started a little over a year ago, but the oft-predicted economic storm is yet to break.
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The Fed Cuts Loose?

An economic principle that has guided the Federal Reserve for decades is increasingly being questioned.
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Rhino Bonds

Investors will soon be able to bet on black rhinos. A conservation group is rolling out a 5 year, 50 million dollar rhino bond to help save the species.
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Rethinking Economics

Jared Bernstein has a shortlist of economic ideas that he thinks his colleagues have been getting wrong for decades.
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Women, Men And Hedge Funds

Introducing a new series: Finance Fridays With Mary!
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Gold Rush 2.0

The price of gold is at a six-year high and gold bugs say it's the safest place to put your money in uncertain times. But is it actually a good investment?
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Yield Curve: You Asked, We Answer

The yield curve is inverted! We answer a few questions we have gotten from our listeners about our beloved recession predicting indicator.
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Tricking Myself Into Paying My Student Loans

About 44 million people owe nearly 1.5 trillion dollars in student loans all together. But for some people ? like our producer Darius Rafieyan ? paying them requires some mental adjustments.
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Can GIPHY Make It Rain?

GIPHY makes those viral mini-videos that people use to color their texts and emails. They're super popular, but they're free. So how does GIPHY plan to make money?
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Bitcoin's Energy Bill

The computers that mine Bitcoin use a lot of electricity. That's created some unique arbitrage opportunities in different parts of the world. And causing governments some concern.
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Japan's Worker Shortage

Japan's worker shortage has gotten so bad it's forced some companies to declare bankruptcy. The solution? Telling workers to work less.
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Deutsche Bank Breaks The Pizza Barrier

One of the biggest international banks--Deutsche Bank--is laying off 18,000 workers and cutting costs to try and save itself from going under. How did things get so bad?
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Is LA Ready For A Big Earthquake?

Last week's California quakes have reinforced fears of "the big one", the high-magnitude trembler that seismologists say is inevitable. How ready is the city of Los Angeles?
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Jobs Friday...On Monday

The monthly pace of jobs growth has slowed this year. But that's not necessarily a problem.
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The American Economy Of 1776

A look at the assets and liabilities of the American colonies on the eve of revolution.
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The Cows Are Taking All The Land

The U.S. is a big place, nearly 1.9 billion acres. On today's Indicator, we look at how all that land is divvied up.
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Listener Questions: Consumption & A New Curriculum

Today we answer listener questions: why is so much consumption necessary for a healthy economy (or as our listener put it ? why do we have to buy so much crap for the economy to be healthy?). Plus, what are some good economic resources for teenagers?
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Amazon #FAIL...?

One of the largest companies in the world, Amazon, just shuttered its food delivery service, Amazon Restaurants. But Amazon's fails are a bit different.
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The Rise Of American Oil

What it means that the U.S. is now the biggest consumer and producer of crude oil in the world.
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