Archive for the ‘Discussion prompt’ 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?

What a Coronavirus Recession Would Look Like   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace/what-a-coronavirus-recession-would-look-like/

In the U.S. economy, we experience business cycles so after a large economic boom, there is always a recession. Economists believe it is possible we are heading into a “V” recession due to corporate defaults, bankruptcies, and layoffs. This podcasts also addresses issues such as the discrepancies in internet access, stockpiling groceries, and the current state of the stock market.

Original Air Date: March 17, 2020

Length: 25 minutes 43 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What are the differences between L, V, U, and W shaped recessions? What are the other indicators of each “shape” recession?

Discussion Prompt: With schools taking up remote learning, what can be done to bridge the gap to allow equal access to the internet?

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?

What can governments and central banks do to protect the world economy in the face of covid-19?   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.economist.com/podcasts/2020/03/03/what-can-governments-and-central-banks-do-to-protect-the-world-economy-in-the-face-of-covid-19

Central banks have cut interest rates in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. Typically when something like this happens, interest rates rise and inflation occurs, but right now the exact opposite is happening. Sectors of the economy that are taking the hardest hit include tourism, cross boarder commerce, and oil.

Original Air Date: March 3, 2020

Length: 18 minutes 39 seconds

Discussion Prompt: How does this outbreak alter consumer expectations, and inevitably, their spending habits?

Discussion Prompt: What role, if any, does the government play in stabilizing the markets in instances such as this?

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?

Covid-19 Drives Unemployment Claims Up   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace-morning-report/unemployment-claims-covid-19-automaker-factories-evictions/

Unemployment benefit registrations have increased dramatically in the past days. The U.S. government is trying to ensure that the current health crisis does not cause a long-term economic crisis. The government is also putting a hold on evictions and foreclosures in certain instances as well in order to prevent an increase in homelessness.

Original Air Date: March 19, 2020

Length: 7 minutes 21 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What are the economic ideas behind the strategies being implemented so far? What other ways could the government support those who lose their jobs during this health crisis? How can the government fund activities such as putting holds on evictions? What are the costs and benefits to be considered here?

Medicine for the Economy   1 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 Cheap Solar Could Save the World   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/02/11/804985258/why-cheap-solar-could-save-the-world

Solar energy has become increasingly more popular and affordable in recent years. Through the subsidization of solar energy, the services offered in the market have become cheaper and the market itself has become much more competitive. Large companies such as Facebook, Google, and Blackstone have invested millions of dollars into solar energy, indicating a bright future for the industry.

Original Air Date: February 11, 2020

Length: 9 minutes

Discussion prompt 1: Even though solar energy is cheaper than coal or natural gas, it only accounts for 2% of energy used in the United States. How can solar energy companies improve to gain more control of the market?

Discussion prompt 2: How can solar companies compete with large natural gas and coal companies that have contributed so much money and jobs to the economy? What should the government do for those who may lose their jobs at coal and natural gas companies due to increased popularity of solar energy?

North Korea’s Capitalists   Leave a comment

This photo taken on July 28, 2013 shows customers shopping at a supermarket in Pyongyang. Chinese yuan, US dollars, euros and tea bags. Money can come in many forms in North Korea, but as a foreign visitor you'll probably never even see a local banknote, let alone use one. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)Link: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/10/13/557645729/episode-800-north-koreas-capitalists?utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=bufferffd48&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Summary: Learn about a little group in North Korea, called the ‘donju.’ The economic prosperity that they developed went on to support the country’s nuclear program and contributed to the growth of their economy. This was all made possible when Kim Jong Un began allowing consultants from overseas to educate  North Korean entrepreneurs on accounting, trade, and management. They did this without daring to actually call it a spread of capitalism, as North Korea still remains a strict socialist country.

Original Air Date: October 13, 2017

Length: 24 minutes 25 seconds

Discussion prompt (1): Having listened to this podcast, what type of economic system do you think North Korea has? What impact do you think this system has on people, businesses and the government. Use specific examples from the podcast to support your answer.

Discussion Prompt (2): The podcast points out that in N Korea’s economic system “the state technically owns everything.” How does this impact the ‘Donju’?  Think particularly how it impacts the incentives they face to start and grow a business (contributing to economic development).

Discussion Prompt (3): Why would entrepreneurship not be something typically observed in a Centrally Planned/Socialist country? How are the economic incentives of this system related to this lack of entrepreneurship? According to this podcast, how did the economic actions of the Donju contribute to economic growth in N. Korea?

 

Pub In A Box   Leave a comment

tigin-irish-pub-jfk7-495327b4eee1022a05b5beafa9f476a3da8fb717-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/04/12/523653040/episode-764-pub-in-a-box

Summary: Irish Pubs are everywhere, even in places like Hong Kong and the Ivory Coast.  One architecture student from Ireland, Mel McNally, began selling the Irish Pub to other areas.  Planet Money discusses how the Irish Pub is shipped in a box all over the world, and people will flock to it.

Original Air Date: April 12, 2017

Length: 17 minutes 19 seconds

Discussion Question: Who are Mel’s competitors in the market if he has control of the Irish Pub concept? What is the market structure?