Archive for the ‘Planet Money’ Category

Where Do We Get $2,000,000,000,000?   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/26/821787090/episode-985-where-do-we-get-2-000-000-000-000

In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, the U.S. government is pushing out a $2 trillion stimulus package. The Fed is also purchasing large quantities of U.S. Treasury bonds in order to stimulate the economy. This podcast discusses where this stimulus is coming from, and how it will effect the economy.

Original Air Date: March 26, 2020

Length: 20 minutes 29 seconds

Discussion Prompt: Why is demand for U.S. Treasury bonds so high right now? Will the stimulus package be enough to keep the economy safe from a recession?

How to Save the Economy Now   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/19/818583204/episode-982-how-to-save-the-economy-now

Neel Kashkari from the Federal Reserve bank discusses his optimism about the future of the economy. He believes the Federal Reserve has learned from its mistakes during the 2008 crisis, and is now better equipped to react. The Fed is emergency lending in order to combat the effects of this economic uncertainty.

Original Air Date: March 20, 2020

Length: 13 minutes 43 seconds

Discussion Prompt: How is the current situation similar to the 2008 financial crisis? Should the Federal Reserve bail out banks and businesses during times like these?

Triple-A Ratings are so Yesterday   Leave a comment

Link:https://www.npr.org/2020/02/05/803201941/triple-a-ratings-are-so-yesterday

In the United States bond market, only two companies currently hold a triple-A rating: Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson. Most companies are falling into triple-B and double-B bond ratings. Once companies fall below a triple-B rating, their bonds are considered to be “junk bonds”. Due to the current low interest rates, even if a company has a low rating, they still can receive a loan at a low price which means there is little incentive to achieve a high bond rating. With the record high level of corporate debt in the U.S., there will be little financial flexibility for these companies if a recession hits.

Original Air Date: February 5, 2020

Length: 9 minutes

Discussion prompt 1: Should the government incentivize companies to cut back on their debt and improve their bond ratings? If so, how should the government do this?

Discussion prompt 2: What are the long term economic implications of the extensive amount of corporate debt in the United States?

 

Posted March 24, 2020 by meaghanprice3 in Finance, Planet Money

Two Yield Curve Indicators   Leave a comment

Link:https://www.npr.org/2019/08/21/753185863/episode-934-two-yield-curve-indicators

In March, the yield curve for United States treasury bonds inverted. For the past six decades, the yield curve has been an extremely accurate indicator of a coming recession. Will this indicator hold true in the coming months?

Original Air Date: August 21, 2019

Length: 18 minutes 54 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What could cause long term treasury bond rates to drop below short term rates?

Discussion Prompt: What steps should the Federal Reserve take in the coming months to prevent a crash similar to the 2008 recession?

The Fed Fights the Virus   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/16/816684372/episode-980-the-fed-fights-the-virus

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve has lowered its interest rates to 0%. The Fed has been practicing quantitative easing in order to ensure individuals can sell Treasury bonds whenever they need to. Planet Money discusses whether this will be enough to prevent a recession from occurring.

Original Air Date: March 16, 2020

Length: 18 minutes 17 seconds

Written Assignment Prompt: Pretend you are the chair of the Federal Reserve. How would you deal with the Covid-19 pandemic to help prevent a coming recession? How would you adjust interest rates or the money supply during this time?

Medicine for the Economy   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/13/815677688/episode-979-medicine-for-the-economy

Some economists believe the government should inject a monetary stimulus into the economy of hundred of millions, if not billions of dollars. Others believe our focus should be solely on the issue at hand: containing the Coronavirus. Economists discuss the importance of pushing funding into corona virus testing, paid sick days, and rebuilding after the public health issue is contained.

Original Air Date: March 13, 2020

Length: 25 minutes 17 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What is the role of the government in the economy in times of global health crises? Is a recession inevitable at this point, or are there ways the government can combat a sharp economic downturn?

Why Netflix Turned to Junk   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/02/25/809386076/why-netflix-turned-to-junk

When it originally started, Netflix was a unique and popular streaming service, however, when more competition entered the market, the company struggled to compete. Eventually, Netflix began producing their own content. They created their own production company and by doing so, incurred debt. in order to fund their new content, Netflix has issued more than $2 million worth of junk bonds.

Original Air Date: February 25, 2020

Length: 9 minutes 40 seconds

Posted March 17, 2020 by meaghanprice3 in Finance, Planet Money

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