Planet Money
Planet Money

Planet Money

NPR

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Wanna see a trick? Give us any topic and we can tie it back to the economy. At Planet Money, we explore the forces that shape our lives and bring you along for the ride. Don't just understand the economy – understand the world.

Wanna go deeper? Subscribe to Planet Money+ and get sponsor-free episodes of Planet Money, The Indicator, and Planet Money Summer School. Plus access to bonus content. It's a new way to support the show you love. Learn more at plus.npr.org/planetmoney

Recent Episodes

How much does this cow weigh? (Classic)
APR 10, 2024
How much does this cow weigh? (Classic)
This episode originally ran in 2015.

About one hundred years ago, a scientist and statistician named Francis Galston came upon an opportunity to test how well regular people were at answering a question. He was at a fair where lots of people were guessing the weight of an ox, so he decided to take the average of all their guesses and compare it to the correct answer.

What he found shocked him. The average of their guesses was almost exactly accurate. The crowd was off by just one pound.

This eerie phenomenon—this idea that the crowd is right—drives everything from the stock market to the price of orange juice.

So, we decided to test it for ourselves. We asked Planet Money listeners to guess the weight of a cow.

Spoiler: You can see the results here.

This episode was hosted by David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein. It was produced by Nadia Wilson and edited by Bryant Urstadt. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.

Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+
in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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17 MIN
Japan's Lost Decades
APR 5, 2024
Japan's Lost Decades
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22 MIN
The real estate industry on trial
APR 3, 2024
The real estate industry on trial
In 2019, Mike Ketchmark got a call. Mike is a lawyer in Kansas City, Missouri, and his friend, Brandon Boulware, another lawyer, was calling about a case he wanted Mike to get involved with. Mike was an unusual choice - he's a personal injury lawyer, and this was going to be an antitrust case.

But Brandon knew Mike was great in front of a jury. And that he'd won huge settlements for his clients in the past.

So the lawyer friend drops by Mike's office, and pitches him the case. Rhonda and Scott Burnett had just sold their home for $250,000, and out of that amount, they had paid $15,000 in commission (plus a small fee), which was split between two real estate agents - even though they had hired only one. And the commission was high - 6%. Mike's friend said the whole thing seemed... suspicious. Maybe even illegal.

Mike agreed to take the case, a case that would soon become bigger than one about just what had happened to the Burnetts. It would become a fight about the way homes are bought and sold in the U.S. and challenge the way real estate agents have done business for more than 100 years.

This episode was hosted by Amanda Aronczyk and Keith Romer. It was produced by Willa Rubin, edited by Keith Romer, engineered by Valentina Rodríguez Sánchez, and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.

Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+
in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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28 MIN