Money makes the world go around, faster and faster every day. On NPR's Planet Money, you'll meet high rollers, brainy economists and regular folks -- all trying to make sense of our rapidly changing global economy.
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Why is everyone talking about Musk's money?

We've lived amongst Elon Musk headlines for so long now that it's easy to forget just how much he sounds like a sci-fi character. He runs a space company and wants to colonize mars. He also runs a company that just implanted a computer chip into a human brain. And he believes there's a pretty high probability everything is a simulation and we are living...

Wed Jun 19, 2024 10:07
What's with all the tiny soda cans? And other grocery store mysteries, solved.

There's a behind the scenes industry that helps big brands decide questions like: How big should a bag of chips be? What's the right size for a bottle of shampoo? And yes, also: When should a company do a little shrinkflation? From Cookie Monster to President Biden, everybody is complaining about shrinkflation these days. But when we asked the packaging...

Sat Jun 15, 2024 03:45
Bringing a tariff to a graphite fight

Graphite is sort of the one-hit wonder of minerals. And that hit? Pencils. Everyone loves to talk about pencils when it comes to graphite. If graphite were to perform a concert, they'd close out the show with "pencils," and everyone would clap and cheer. But true fans of graphite would be shouting out "batteries!" Because graphite is a key ingredient...

Thu Jun 13, 2024 02:28
How much national debt is too much?

Most economic textbooks will tell you that there can be real dangers in running up a big national debt. A major concern is how the debt you add now could slow down economic growth in the future. Economists have not been able to nail down how much debt a country can safely take on. But they have tried. Back in 2010, two economists took a look at 20...

Sat Jun 8, 2024 03:26
The history of light (classic)

For thousands of years, getting light was a huge hassle. You had to make candles from scratch. This is not as romantic as it sounds. You had to get a cow, raise the cow, feed the cow, kill the cow, get the fat out of the cow, cook the fat, dip wicks into the fat. All that--for not very much light. Now, if we want to light a whole room, we just flip...

Thu Jun 6, 2024 00:33
How the FBI's fake cell phone company put criminals into real jail cells

There is a constant arms race between law enforcement and criminals, especially when it comes to technology. For years, law enforcement has been frustrated with encrypted messaging apps, like Signal and Telegram. And law enforcement has been even more frustrated by encrypted phones, specifically designed to thwart authorities from snooping. But in...

Sat Jun 1, 2024 02:23

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