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Planet Money

Latest episodes

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May 17, 2024 • 25min

The hack that almost broke the internet

A cyberattack almost broke the internet by targeting crucial computers running open source software. Hackers infiltrated the XZ program and created a secret backdoor. This incident sheds light on the vulnerabilities in open source software development and the economic impact on the software industry.
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May 15, 2024 • 19min

Why Gold? (Classic)

Delving into the allure of gold, the podcast explores its historical role as currency, its unique properties, and cultural importance in India. They compare gold to other elements like osmium and lithium, examining why gold has remained a valuable metal. The episode also touches on the evolution of currency metals, testing methods for gold purity, and the practicality of using gold as a monetary standard.
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May 10, 2024 • 31min

Zombie mortgages are coming back to life

Karen MacDonough, a nurse from Quincy, Mass., shares her shocking experience of facing foreclosure on her home despite diligently paying her mortgage for 17 years. The podcast discusses the resurgence of 'zombie mortgages' where old debts come back to life, legal battles against debt collectors, and the challenges faced by homeowners fighting to keep their homes.
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May 8, 2024 • 19min

Inside video game economics (Two Indicators)

Exploring labor challenges in the video game industry, designing games for blind and sighted players, importance of accessibility features, and insights on the gaming industry economics.
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May 3, 2024 • 21min

The birth of the modern consumer movement

Ralph Nader, known for inspiring the modern consumer movement in the U.S., is discussed in this podcast. Topics include his battle in the 1960s leading to regulation debates, impact on safety regulations, collaboration against General Motors, triumphs in consumer advocacy, and debates on government intervention in consumer protection.
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May 1, 2024 • 23min

Hire Power (Update)

Explore the impact of non-compete agreements on American workers and a man's fight to end them in Hawaii. Learn about the challenges of job loss, starting a new business, and navigating legal dilemmas. Discover the implications of Hawaii's ban on non-competes and a recent ruling from the Federal Trade Commission that could affect nationwide agreements.
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Apr 26, 2024 • 19min

The case of the stolen masks

Yagya Kumar Pradhan, a Hindu priest, recounts the theft of sacred masks with 500 years of significance. Amateur detectives aid in their recovery. The podcast explores the world of art theft, high-end auctions, and cultural artifact preservation.
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Apr 24, 2024 • 33min

How unions are stopped before they start (Update)

Explore the difficulties faced in setting up a union at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Follow the 10-year battle of the United Auto Workers to unionize the plant. Learn about the challenges, negotiations, and eventual victory for workers, highlighting the implications for future labor movements.
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Apr 19, 2024 • 25min

FTX and the Serengeti of bankruptcy

FTX's bankruptcy aftermath reveals vulture investors profiting from risky debt, customers navigating bankruptcy claims trading. Explore financial turmoil, FTX founder's alleged mismanagement, and customers facing potential loss. Dive into the world of bankruptcy with opportunistic investors, distressed asset brokers, and FTX customers turned unsecured creditors. Discuss FTX Estate recovery, creditor repayment prospects, and personal stories of claimants in the aftermath of FTX's Chapter 11 filing.
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Apr 17, 2024 • 18min

Grocery prices, credit card debt, and your 401K (Two Indicators)

The podcast discusses consumers' financial struggles despite some positive economic data, focusing on inflation, credit card delinquencies, and 401K withdrawals. It explores the impact of high grocery prices and efforts to combat unfair pricing using an old antitrust law. The episode also delves into the effectiveness and implications of the Robinson-Patman Act on grocery prices and antitrust laws.

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