Author Archive

Tech Giants and Tiny Dogs   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2022/03/17/1087425495/tech-giants-and-tiny-dogs

Ramon van Meer’s niche business – making ramps for weiner dogs – boomed as he utilized tools from tech giants to help him grow his businesses. The Planet Money team discusses how these tech giants can help small businesses find their target audiences with marketing tools like Facebook ads. On the other hand they can also severely damage a business model by changing up an simple algorithm or rearranging their data. The volatility of these big tech firm decisions are cause for both growth and decline of such small businesses.

Original Air Date: March 18, 2022

Length: 21 minutes 43 seconds

Whistleblower Protection Program   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2022/03/29/1089572956/whistleblower-protection-program

This episode of the Indicator discusses the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the ways in which it regulates businesses. Whistleblowers, the ones who are brave enough to stand up against malpractice in the company, are valuable to the SEC but are often too scared to come forward. Jordan Thomas, a former SEC employee, decided he would make a firm that protected these whistleblowers and made sure they are compensated for the risks they are taking.

Original Air Date: March 29, 2022

Length: 10 minutes 5 seconds

Insuring music venues during a pandemic   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2022/04/07/1091489931/insuring-music-venues-during-a-pandemic

You own a business and a pandemic hits so you are forced to shut down, but what do you do when your source of income is terminated? This episode of the Indicator discusses the policies and arguments insurance companies make when it comes to settling in circumstances like the pandemic. They also talk with Summer Gerbing, a small music business owner, who touches upon the steps and actions business owners can take in order to be able to survive when it comes to unforeseen situations, such as a pandemic.

Original Air Date: April 7, 2022

Length: 9 minutes 37 seconds

You Should Probably Get You Plane Tickets Soon   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2022/04/25/1094706897/you-should-probably-get-your-plane-tickets-soon

The Indicator this week discusses what is happening in the airline industry. After hard hits from COVID-19 they are finally expecting to make profits this year, but there are many factors that could crush those expectations. Limited staffing and picketing from fatigued pilots and higher jet fuel prices due to the limited supply of oil are just some of the major problems facing these airline companies. Ticket prices will go up as consumers bear the brunt of the oil shortage. Airlines are also cutting different flight paths as there is not enough incentive to keep servicing certain routes. The biggest take away is to book your tickets early and be prepared for rising prices.

Original Air Date: April 25, 2022

Length: 10 minutes 17 seconds

How Manatees Got Into Hot Water´┐╝   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2022/04/08/1091736131/how-manatees-got-into-hot-water

Back in the 1970’s, manatees were close to extinction because of ruined habitats and speedboats. Over time power companies started to notice that groups of manatees were congregating around their power plants due to the warm water they produce. This episode of Planet Money discusses the unlikely partnership between environmentalists and power companies to conserve the manatee and how they make that possible. Conservation policies needed to adapt the idea that to save the manatees, the power plants also need to be saved. The warm water keeps the manatees alive but what happens when we move to more renewable energy resources? Pat Rose, a conservationist known as the “manatee man”, joins the show to explain what is going on in the manatee world today and what the future looks like.

Original Air Date: April 8, 2022

Length: 24 minutes 2 seconds

Should Cities Invest in Sports Stadiums?   Leave a comment

Link: https://wordsandnumbers.libsyn.com/episode-264-should-cities-invest-in-sports-stadiums

James Harrigan and Antony Davies, hosts of the Words & Numbers podcast, discuss various topics from US sanctions on Russia. Lauren Heller, Associate Professor of Economics at the Campbell School of Business, then joins them to consider the public funding of sports arenas and the economics behind it. Lauren discusses false profit projections and how the actual payoff for say, the Super Bowl is really only about 10% of those hopeful projected profits. Politicians, fans, and the continued belief in false projections all play a part in the pushing for new stadiums, but in reality they don’t provide the huge economic benefits that cities are promised.

Original Air Date: March 2, 2022

Length: 34 minutes 6 seconds

Mexican drug cartels are getting into the avocado and lime business   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2022/02/19/1081948884/mexican-drug-cartels-are-getting-into-the-avocado-and-lime-business

On this episode of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, Scott Simon and Emily Green discuss the involvement and control that cartels have in the avocado and lime business in Mexico. Mexico exports about 80% of the US avocado supply and generates around $2.8 billion a year, giving cartels the incentive to get involved. They have been controlling farmers and sending threats to inspectors which caused the US to enforce a short-term ban of avocados from Mexico. With the entanglement of the cartels, you might have to start looking for a different alternative to put on your toast in the morning.

Original Air Date: February 19, 2022

Length: 5 minutes 4 seconds

A locked door, a secret meeting and the birth of the Fed (Classic)   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2021/12/01/1060610393/a-locked-door-a-secret-meeting-and-the-birth-of-the-fed-classic

On this episode from Planet Money, they discuss the events and people that led the creation of the Fed, relevant in 2022 in light of the pressure the Fed is facing in as inflation continues to rise. A quick guide to J.P. Morgan’ s influence and help with founding the Fed so big bailouts no longer had to fall on his pockets.

Original Air Date: December 20, 2013

Length: 17 minutes 10 seconds

Chips, Cars, and the Baby Bust   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2021/03/12/976569019/chips-cars-and-the-baby-bust

In 2020, everyone, no matter their involvement with economics, knew what a shortage was. Toilet paper was gone from the shelves before it was even able to be stocked in stores. In 2021, there are some new shortages the U.S. is facing: microchips, cars, and babies. The Indicator discusses the causes of the limited supply of microchips which in turn is limiting car production, as well as the declining birth rate that the U.S. will face as a result of the pandemic.

Original Air Date: March 12, 2021

Length: 9 minutes 33 seconds

Goldman Sachs to Invest $10 billion into Black Women   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace/goldman-sachs-to-invest-10-billion-in-black-women/

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected black women, not only in growing unemployment rates but also in increased death rates. Goldman Sachs has committed to $10 billion going toward expanding economic opportunities for black women, having found that a black woman’s wealth is 90% lower than a white man’s, in addition to the struggles the pandemic has presented for the black community. This episode of Marketplace also discusses how restaurants will benefit from the relief package and why grocery stores are making investments into robots.

Original Air Date: March 12, 2021

Length: 28 minutes 34 seconds