Planet Money chat


The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. 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. That's what we're going for at Planet Money. People seem to like it.


#889: The Pay-What-You-Want Experiment (Jan 18th, 2019)

In 2010, Panera launched several pay-what-you-want cafes. On today's show: How this charitable experiment worked out.


#888: The First Shutdown (Jan 17th, 2019)

In 1879, Congress and the President were locked in a battle over the rights of African-Americans. It led to the first government shutdown.

#887: You Asked For It, Yet Again (Jan 12th, 2019)

On today's show we answer questions about silver dollars, Venmo, and Brexit. Why? Because you asked!

#690: All In (Jan 9th, 2019)

We go inside a professional poker tournament, where some of the smartest betting takes place behind the scenes.

#886: The Price of a Hack (Jan 4th, 2019)

Hackers are an expensive headache for companies. But there might be a simple economic fix.


#885: Do It For Your Country (Jan 2nd, 2019)

People are the engine that fuels an economy. But what happens when you start running out of people?


#884: The Rest Of The Story, Winter 2018 (Dec 28th, 2018)

We check in on some stories we did this year to see what's changed. Find a full list of the episodes we referenced at our website,


#609: The Curse Of The Black Lotus (Dec 26th, 2018)

How the card game "Magic: The Gathering" deflated a speculative bubble. You can support our show at


BONUS INDICATOR: The Calculator That Time Forgot (Dec 24th, 2018)

Most products in this world are vulnerable to creative destruction: as new products are developed, they make old ones obsolete. But there are some exceptions — products that persist, resisting change while economic evolution continues without them. For instance: the graphing calculator. (This episode is from our other podcast, The Indicator from Planet Money. Subscribe to it wherever you get your podcasts.)


#883: A Very Planet Money Christmas Carol (Dec 21st, 2018)

Charles Dickens wanted to pick a fight with economists. So he invented Ebenezer Scrooge. But did he get it all right? Also: If you want to support our show, head over to We appreciate it.


#882: Synthetic Reefer Madness (Dec 20th, 2018)

How a professor invented a formula for synthesizing cannabinoids and unintentionally helped launch a drug revolution.


BONUS INDICATOR: The Measure Of A Tragedy (Dec 17th, 2018)

Ricardo Hausmann, a Harvard-based Venezuelan economist, has constructed his own indicator, one that captures the horrifying scale of the economic catastrophe in Venezuela. (This episode is from our other podcast, The Indicator. Subscribe to it wherever you get your podcasts.)


#881: The Prisoners of the Trade War (Dec 15th, 2018)

A truce in the U.S.-China trade war seemed close. The leaders of China and the United States were meeting to discuss a fix. And then arrests started. It got even more confusing, so today, we call up our man on the ground in Shanghai to make sense of it all. The key to understanding the latest turn in the trade war centers around a giant company most Americans haven't heard of called Huawei. Its rise traces the rise of China's economy and Chinese-style capitalism.


#539: What's A Penny Worth? (Dec 13th, 2018)

We try to figure out what makes cents.


#880: Is Amazon Good For New York? (Dec 7th, 2018)

It feels like all of New York City is arguing about Amazon's new office in Queens. But what do the people in Long Island City think?


#533: Why Car Safety Is A Trade Barrier (Dec 6th, 2018)

The U.S. and Europe just can't agree on car safety standards. That puts car companies in a weird position, makes cars cost more and just seems kind of random and wasteful.


#879: The Secret Target (Dec 1st, 2018)

Their plan was dangerous, risky, and extremely unpopular. But America copied them anyway. Today on the show: how a tiny country on the other side of the world changed how America runs its economy.


#468: Kid Rock Vs. The Scalpers (Nov 28th, 2018)

We talk to Kid Rock about how he tried to cut scalpers out of the business — and still sell cheap tickets to his shows.


VIDEO: The Price Of Coke Stayed The Same For 70 Years — Why? (Nov 26th, 2018)

For 70 years, a Coca-Cola cost a nickel. The price didn't change. How is that even possible? You can also watch the video here:


#878: Mugshots For Sale (Nov 23rd, 2018)

We go deep inside the market for online mugshots. Is it extortion? Or is it a First Amendment right?