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Planet Money
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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.
 
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A biologist predicts a population bomb that will lead to global catastrophe. An economist sees a limitless future for mankind. The result is one of the most famous bets in economics.
 
The wild ginseng market has gone crazy. We go to a farm hidden in the Appalachian mountains to find out why.
 
Will 3-D printing make gun control impossible?
 
Why does it take days to send money electronically?
 
The Bitcoin market has gone crazy. And it's revealing something strange. A lot of people can't find their Bitcoins. We go looking for lost billions.
 
What does a country with no debt look like? To find out, we went back to the United States in 1835.
 
Every year at Planet Money, we take a cue from radio legend Paul Harvey and bring you "The Rest of the Story." It's a show where we check in on some of the episodes that we've done in the past year, and tell you what's changed.
 
David Kestenbaum noticed that a pack of Milk Chocolate M&M's weighs 1.69 ounces, but a pack of Peanut Butter M&M's weighs 1.63 ounces. He had to know why. But the confectionary world has its secrets.
 
Why flying to small airports keeps costing more and more, just as flying to big airports is getting cheaper. (This episode is from our new podcast, The Indicator. Subscribe to it wherever you get your podcasts.)
 
Congress just passed the largest tax overhaul in decades. We dig in.
 
Today on the show: A lawsuit over a Santa suit is a window into countless hidden fights that shape the stuff we buy. It's one man's battle against the U.S. government — and, in a way, against himself.
 
From our new podcast, The Indicator: Opponents of net neutrality argue that the government should get out of the way and let the market work, that's what leads to better service and more choice. We examine that logic.
 
Five reporters go to the New York Produce Show and Conference, each on a mission.
 
As a businessman, President Trump is known for his towering buildings. Today we tell the story of one of those skyscrapers and what it says about how and with whom Trump does business.
 
We've made a new show. You can subscribe to it now. It's called 'The Indicator'. It's for those times you want Planet Money to explain the news, quickly. It's short (about five minutes) and three days a week.
 
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Planet Money
 
We've got a satellite. We got a rocket. We're heading to the launch pad.
 
We found a satellite. We tried to figure out what it would do. Now we need to choose our rocket.
 
We hitched a ride on a satellite. Now we have to figure out what we're going to do up there.
 
We really are going to space.
 
What did Paul Manafort do, exactly? Robert Mueller's indictment is 31 pages of hard-to-understand financial crime. We try to figure it out.
 
A while back, the charity Feeding America was a mess. It was sending pickles to food banks that wanted produce, and potatoes to Idaho. So they called some economists, and a free food market was born.
 
Walmart and Amazon are in a battle to be the store where you buy everything. But when both companies sell everything, what sets them apart? Food inventions like a bright, red pickle!
 
In South Sudan, there is a kind of money that works even through bank failures and unstable governments. But when war struck, it upended a whole economy: the economy of cows.
 
Once you've got a Birkin bag, you've made it. But to get one, you need more than just money. Birkins always seem to be mysteriously out of stock. This is no accident.
 
Timothy Carpenter stole cell phones. Then his phone sold him out to the Feds. Now the Supreme Court has to decide how private our cell phone data should be.
 
Once a year, teenagers from across the country team up and compete to run the U.S. Federal Reserve.
 
Why do smart people make dumb decisions? Figuring that out won Richard Thaler a Nobel Prize.
 
A Chinese company pays millions of dollars for a failing hotel in a small, rural town. We follow the trail of money, and it explains the world economy.
 
In any other industry, it's illegal for a group of companies to get together and cap wages. What makes the NCAA different?
 
Today on the show: death. We have four stories about how people prepare for death and what they leave behind for the living.
 
Bob Peterson claims to have found the thing people have sought for thousands of years — an investment guaranteed to double in value. He keeps it in a storage locker in Utah. It's protected by a single padlock.
 
Capitalism isn't supposed to exist in North Korea. But all over the country, small businesses are popping up, growing the nation's economy. And much of that money is going straight to the country's nuclear program.
 
Republicans are proposing big changes to the corporate income tax. Trillions of dollars are at stake. Here's what it all means.
 
For most of our lives, Equifax has been slurping up our financial data. Now the company's been hacked and our data is loose. Today, we trace this mess back to two brothers and one fateful decision.
 
It might just be the secret weapon of the U.S. economy.
 
Bill Pennington's house floods a lot: Three times in the last three years. And every time his house floods, the government pays to help him repair the damage. Is something wrong here?
 
The government suspended the Jones Act last week, to allow non-US ships to move fuel to victims of hurricanes in Houston and Florida. Which once again made us wonder why the act even exists.
 
The basic income. A flat payment to citizens, without strings. Is it a progressive fever dream, or sensible policy? We may soon find out. The Finnish Government is testing it on 2,000 citizens.
 
The Guinness Book of World Records had a problem. It was a book. And books aren't selling as well as they used to. So Guinness changed what they were selling, and who they were selling to.
 
Behind almost all popular music, there is this hidden economy of music producers buying and selling sonic snippets, texting each other half-finished beats, and angling for back-end royalties.
 
Patty McCord helped create a workplace at Netflix that runs more like a professional sports team than a family. If you're not up to scratch, you're off the team. Is this the future of work?
 
We look at three time bombs Congress is sitting on: The federal budget, the debt ceiling, and DREAMers.
 
Tom Burrell was the first black man in Chicago advertising. He went on to change the way we think about ads, and the way advertisers think about us.
 
When someone has been kidnapped, what do you do? If you pay ransom, you create a market for hostages. If you don't, people die. Different countries have different policies with different results.
 
There's an entire universe of things spies are not allowed to tell us. Today on the show, a few of the teeny things they can say. They might come in handy.
 
Fake news from Russia helped spark a real war in Ukraine. What can Ukraine's fight against fake news teach the US?
 
Hidden in the trash heap of commerce there is buried treasure. Abandoned brands--including trusted, beloved brands--are waiting to be claimed and reborn. Today on the show: A cookie comeback.
 
Your phone rings--it looks like your neighbor's calling. But instead, it's the creepiest scam of the year.
 
Costco made shopping harder, and customers loved it. Now a new company is taking the Costco experience to new extremes.
 
When we go to the state fair, we don't go for the rides, deep-fried tacos or the butter cow. We head straight for the vendor marketplace to meet the masters of the lost art of salesmanship.
 
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