Planet Money: Our Perplexing Economy, Explained

Sep 25, 2013
Originally published on September 26, 2013 3:16 pm

Imagine that you had a fun evening at a bar, chatting with a friend about the economy. That's the essence of NPR's Planet Money. With the aid of a team of reporters, co-creators Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg help listeners make sense of how economic changes impact our lives in an entertaining twice-weekly podcast.

Blumberg and Davidson sat down with host Ophira Eisenberg to chat about the inspiration for creating Planet Money. Several years ago, Blumberg was trying make sense of the mortgage industry and told Davidson that "America needs an hour on mortgage finance!" Davidson thought it was a crazy idea, but the reporters eventually collaborated to create "The Giant Pool of Money," an hour-long radio documentary on the housing crisis for PRI's This American Life. The collaboration eventually developed into a podcast that has covered stories ranging in size and scope, from the economy of scalping concert tickets to why NBA star LeBron James is actually underpaid for his profession.

For an Ask Me Another Challenge, we pitted Davidson and Blumberg against each other for a Taboo-style game in which they had to describe economics terms to their Planet Money colleagues — correspondent Robert Smith and producer Caitlin Kenney — using only one-syllable words. And the stakes were real: The losing Planet Money team had to give the winning team all of the cash in their wallets.

In the video below, Davidson gives Stephen Colbert advice on the best times to buy and sell Bitcoin.

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