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American Public Media

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, our flagship program is all about providing context on the economic news of the day. Through stories, conversations and newsworthy numbers, we help listeners understand the economic world around them.

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, our flagship program is all about providing context on the economic news of the day. Through stories, conversations and newsworthy numbers, we help listeners understand the economic world around them.

Location:

Los Angeles, CA

Description:

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, our flagship program is all about providing context on the economic news of the day. Through stories, conversations and newsworthy numbers, we help listeners understand the economic world around them.

Language:

English

Contact:

261 South Figueroa Street #200 Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 621-3500


Episodes

Unemployment is even worse than it looks

4/9/2020
About 17 million Americans filed unemployment claims in the past three weeks and the actual number of jobs lost is almost certainly higher. Today, we’ll try to figure out how high unemployment might go by the summer. Plus: how food banks are coping with the crisis and how credit markets might indicate recession.

Duration:00:25:12

COVID-19 is not “the great equalizer”

4/8/2020
People of color are being hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic, in part because they are disproportionally represented among frontline workers. Today, we do the numbers on this country’s labor force and how workers’ families are affected. Plus, converting hotels into homeless shelters, when unemployment turns recession into depression and our new embrace of processed food.

Duration:00:25:19

Who’s getting hazard pay in a pandemic?

4/7/2020
With so many “essential” workers putting themselves at risk, hazard pay has become a national topic of debate. Today, we’ll spend some time looking at exactly what it is and how it’s used. Plus, we explain deflation, the new distressed property market and why unemployment numbers are even higher than the data suggests.

Duration:00:26:55

When can the economy “reopen”?

4/6/2020
A new report from the American Enterprise Institute offers a roadmap — today we’ll talk with a co-author. Plus: consumer spending’s drop-off, what happens when retailers stop paying rent and how social distancing can lead to social media overload.

Duration:00:26:51

What happens when millions of people can’t make loan payments?

4/3/2020
We got the March jobs numbers this morning — 4.4% unemployment, more than 700,000 jobs lost, and it’s going to get a lot worse. Lenders are bracing themselves for missed mortgage payments and investors are avoiding loans that aren’t backed by the government. Today, we’ll dig into the economic ripple effects. Plus, small businesses trying to apply for emergency loans and the impact of COVID-19 on both funeral homes and the ad industry.

Duration:00:25:36

Pay cuts spread further down the ladder

4/2/2020
Unemployment claims passed 6.6 million last week, more than double the week before. Many workers who still have their jobs are now doing them for reduced pay. We’ll ask how those pay cuts might ripple through the economy. Plus: the huge number of immigrants who will miss out on checks from the government, and the logistical challenge of giving small businesses emergency loans.

Duration:00:27:04

Why ventilators are getting more expensive

4/1/2020
States and FEMA are separately competing for ventilators, which is driving prices up to roughly $25,000 each. Today, we look at the market forces at work. Plus: What it’s like to run a barge company right now, why employers are backing off 401(k)s and how the housing market is adapting to low interest rates and no in-person showings.

Duration:00:27:14

How the COVID-19 crisis compares to the Great Depression

3/31/2020
We’re starting to see some devastating economic indicators around the coronavirus pandemic. But just how bad are things going to get? Today we assembled a group of historians to talk about the economic crises of the past, and why it’s unlikely this one will look like the Great Depression. Plus, Britain’s ventilator shortage, insurance hikes and the science of setting the markets to music.

Duration:00:25:21

Is it ethical to shop online right now?

3/30/2020
If your inbox looks anything like ours, you’re seeing a bunch of ads for online sales. With nonessential businesses closed all over the country, many retailers are doing what they can to drum up business. It’s true that consumer spending is a primary engine of this economy, but is it right to splurge on fancy sweats right now? Plus: how deep this recession will get, how Americans are confronting the bills due this week and a conversation with rapper, singer and writer Dessa.

Duration:00:25:22

Small businesses are barely hanging on

3/27/2020
Lawmakers have finally passed a $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package. When it comes to saving small businesses, will the aid be enough? We talk with some business owners who are barely getting by. Plus: the new economies of Canadian border towns, retailers’ rush to staff up and a conversation with the president of the Dallas Fed.

Duration:00:26:32

Those medical supplies hospitals need? They’re overseas.

3/26/2020
Ventilators, masks, gloves and other supplies American hospitals need are produced in China, Italy, Malaysia and elsewhere. That puts the U.S. at a disadvantage in its fight against COVID-19. We’ll look through the supply chain and potential solutions. Plus: the new lifestyles of working parents and the non-traditional workers being hit especially hard by this crisis.

Duration:00:26:48

Is this country ready for 2.5 million jobless claims in a week?

3/25/2020
Tomorrow’s first-time unemployment claim numbers are expected to be exponentially higher than a typical week, and many states have cut back on unemployment insurance in recent years. What about the people losing employer-sponsored health care? Today we’ll do the numbers and check in on the status of the stimulus bill that could provide some relief. Plus: What a 90-day tariff deferral would do for the people paying (that’s us).

Duration:00:25:10

What’s the difference between being laid off and being furloughed?

3/24/2020
When you’re losing work because of COVID-19, it might not feel like there’s much difference between getting laid off and furloughed. But it’s an important distinction. We’ll talk about it, plus the unemployment claim numbers coming this week, how the repo market works and the nationwide mask shortage.

Duration:00:25:16

Ben Bernanke on saving the American economy

3/23/2020
When you’re staring down a financial crisis, you want to talk to someone who’s been there before. So today we called up Ben Bernanke, who’s both a scholar of the Great Depression and ran the Federal Reserve during the Great Recession. He says fiscal policy is going to have to “get its act together.” Plus: what an economic “restart” looks like, how small businesses in China are still under pressure and encrypted social platforms’ struggle to fight COVID-19 misinformation.

Duration:00:26:02

How will we know when the coronavirus crisis is over?

3/20/2020
We have pretty good, near-real-time data on the COVID-19 virus, the number of new cases, tests and so on (you can find daily updates on our website). But the economic impact? Not so much. Today, we’ll tell you what to keep an eye on. Plus: A few stories from a tidal wave of layoffs, and is Boeing too big to fail?

Duration:00:27:50

Even traders are working from home because of COVID-19

3/19/2020
The floor of the New York Stock Exchange is usually full of people, but on Monday it will move to electronic trading only to combat coronavirus. Today, we talk about how that will work and ask Nasdaq President and CEO Adena Friedman why markets are still open at all. Plus, the state of mental health benefits, economic impacts of the 1918 Spanish flu and a conversation with “World War Z” author Max Brooks.

Duration:00:26:43

How work has changed under COVID-19

3/18/2020
In just a few weeks, coronavirus has completely reshaped the way Americans are working. Today, we’re looking at the layoffs, the newly housebound office workers and the folks who still have to go out and risk spreading the virus, sometimes for minimum wage. Plus, more listener questions, like: What’s the difference between a recession and a depression? And can’t the Fed just pay for a stimulus?

Duration:00:26:36

What a coronavirus recession would look like

3/17/2020
President Donald Trump acknowledged Monday that the economy may be headed toward a recession. Is that just due to the coronavirus, or is it the recession economists have been predicting for years? Today we talk a bit about the difference and what’s on the horizon. Plus: remote education in the digital divide, Americans stocking up, and why stocks are up.

Duration:00:25:26

What happens to the economy when COVID-19 throws on the brakes?

3/16/2020
We’re answering more of your questions about the coronavirus pandemic today. Starting with: What exactly did the Fed do this weekend, and what would happen to the global economy if activity in the U.S. shut down? Plus, how China’s 270 million students are learning at home, what’s changing for supply chains along the border, and why working from home is great for hackers. Of course, we’ll also talk about stocks, which had their biggest single-day drop of the crisis so far.

Duration:00:27:16

Your coronavirus questions, answered

3/13/2020
The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t causing an economic slowdown in the United States, it’s causing an economic stop. You probably have a lot of questions, like where the Fed’s $1.5 trillion went, how algorithmic trading is affecting volatility and what numbers to watch as we prepare for a recession. We’re going to answer all of them and more. Plus: What it’s like to run a movie theater right now and the increased risks for the hundreds of millions of homeless Americans.

Duration:00:27:23