Planet Money

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Planet Money
NPR Planet Money cover art.webp
Hosted by
  • Amanda Aronczyk
  • Erika Beras
  • Mary Childs
  • Nick Fountain
  • Sarah Gonzalez
  • Jeff Guo
  • Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi
  • Kenny Malone
GenreEconomic, Culture, Business
UpdatesTwice weekly
Length15–30 minutes
ProductionAlex Goldmark (executive producer), Jess Jiang (editor), Molly Messick (editor), Dave Blanchard, Sam Yellowhorse Kessler, Emma Peaslee, Willa Rubin, James Sneed.
Original releaseSeptember 6, 2008
Cited forPeabody Award 2016
ProviderNational Public Radio

Planet Money is an American podcast and blog produced by NPR. Using "creative and entertaining" dialogue and narrative, Planet Money claims to be "The Economy Explained."[1]


The podcast was created by Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson after the success of "The Giant Pool of Money," an episode they recorded for This American Life.[2] Planet Money was launched on September 6, 2008, to cover the financial crisis of 2007–08 in the wake of the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

In early 2020, Planet Money celebrated its 1000th episode, bringing back many former hosts and contributors to mark the occasion.[3]


The length of the podcasts ranges between 6–30 minutes. Planet Money uses abridged narratives to tackle popular, complex topics like American health care[4] or insider trading.[5] The format aims to make economic journalism approachable to audiences interested in learning more about popular economic issues, but who do not have an academic background in economics. The episodes are typically stand-alone. The interviewees or guests range from academic experts and business professionals to general members of the North American public. Providing listeners with primary source material, the podcast's hosts contribute contextual framing and commentary. Intimate stories are used as a leading thread and use commonplace language with entertaining plots to describe abstract or complex economic and political issues. This method translates political or economic topics, once historically dependent on academic language and higher education, to stories that engage the general public. This technique engages larger and/or younger audiences, while other audiences are attracted by their coverage of popular topics within North American culture.[6]

Planet Money also provides regular reports for Morning Edition and All Things Considered and occasional episodes for This American Life. Planet Money was the first to report the small print in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 that allowed deviation from the original Paulson plan.[7] Senator Max Baucus praised the show's attempts to explain the financial crisis "in terms the average American starts to understand".[8] Planet Money episodes have been incorporated into undergraduate microeconomics and macroeconomics courses at some universities.[9][10]

Planet Money was involved in an NPR series about the Wells Fargo account fraud scandal, which earned NPR a 2016 Peabody Award.[11] The podcast also won best podcast at the 2015 RAIN Internet Radio Awards.[12]

External projects[edit]

In 2017, The Indicator, hosted by Planet Money's Stacey Vanek Smith and the Financial Times' Cardiff Garcia, was launched as Planet Money's first spin-off podcast.[13] With a similar storytelling approach, it delivers faster, shorter, more frequent podcasts. The podcast, which publishes every weekday, breaks down big ideas using Planet Money's style of witty entertainment-journalism. Each episode is approximately 10 minutes or less.

On February 28, 2018, the first episode of Planet Money Shorts was released.[14] Planet Money Shorts is a monthly video series created by Bronson Arcuri and Ben Naddaff-Hafrey and published by NPR. It can be streamed from their webpage or watched on their YouTube channel.

In 2020, Planet Money began posting videos on TikTok and also joined the platform's #LearnOnTikTok initiative which paid creators and publishers to post education content on the platform.[15][16][17] In 2021, the account was nominated for a Webby Award in the "Education & Discovery, Social Video (Social)" category.[18]

Planet Money has launched unique projects such as buying 100 barrels of crude oil and following it from ground to gas tank, launching a satellite, and building an algorithmic trading Twitter bot.[1] Inspired by the book The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli, the Planet Money team made a t-shirt and followed the shirt in a step-by-step journey from resource production to manufacturing.[19] The design for the shirt was a squirrel holding a martini glass, which was meant to reference the economist John Maynard Keynes' phrase for the human elements in economics, the "animal spirits."[19] More than 25,000 of the shirts were sold online. The t-shirts were sold as part of a Kickstarter campaign became an unexpected runaway hit, raising more than 10 times their original goal of $50,000.[20] Executive Producer Alex Blumberg worked with Pietra Rivoli as Project Advisor, and Kainaz Amaria, Brian Boyer, and Joshua Davis were Managing Producers.

The Planet Money team also attempted to buy the rights to a lesser known Marvel Comics character, Doorman, for $10,000.[21] After meeting with Gene Luen Yang to talk about his reboot of public domain character, The Green Turtle, the team decided to use a character that had fallen into the public domain, called Micro-Face.[22] A 24 page Issue #1 comic is being written by Alex Segura, with interior art by Jamal Igle, lettering by Taylor Esposito, coloring by Ellie Wright, and cover art by Jerry Ordway.[23]


Current hosts[edit]

  • Amanda Aronczyk
  • Erika Beras
  • Mary Childs
  • Nick Fountain
  • Sarah Gonzalez
  • Jeff Guo
  • Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi
  • Kenny Malone
  • Greg Rosalsky

Former hosts[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About Planet Money". April 1, 2010. Archived from the original on March 20, 2018. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  2. ^ "'Giant Pool Of Money' Named To Decade Top 10 List". Planet Money. April 5, 2010. Archived from the original on April 8, 2010. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 'The Giant Pool of Money'—the hour-long This American Life episode that explained the housing bust and gave rise to Planet Money—was just named one of the top 10 works of U.S. journalism of the past decade.
  3. ^ "Episode 1,000". Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "Costly Care In America". March 27, 2018. Archived from the original on April 10, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  5. ^ "An Insider Trader Tells All". March 23, 2018. Archived from the original on April 10, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  6. ^ Shaywitz, David (August 6, 2013). "Is Planet Money Bad For The Podcast Economy?". Forbes. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  7. ^ "Fine Print: A 'Back-Door' Bailout?". Planet Money Blog. October 3, 2008. Archived from the original on April 24, 2015.
  8. ^ "Treasury Sec. Geithner explores ways to pay for health care". C-SPAN archives. March 4, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Moryl, R. (2013). "T-shirts, moonshine, and autopsies: Using podcasts to engage undergraduate microeconomics students". International Review of Economics Education. 13: 67–74. doi:10.1016/j.iree.2013.02.001.
  10. ^ Luther, W. J. (2014). "Using NPR's Planet Money Podcast in Principles of Macroeconomics" (PDF). doi:10.2139/ssrn.2391013. S2CID 154994843. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ "2016 Peabody Award For NPR's Investigation Of Wells Fargo Scandal". NPR. April 25, 2017. Archived from the original on July 1, 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  12. ^ "RAIN 6th Annual Internet Radio Awards - RAIN News". Rain News. September 29, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "NPR Launches The Indicator from Planet Money". December 4, 2017. Archived from the original on April 10, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  14. ^ "Watch Planet Money Shorts". March 30, 2018. Archived from the original on April 9, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  15. ^ Liederman, Emmy (July 24, 2020). "Planet Money Is Reaching Gen Z Through Chaotic TikTok Videos". Adweek. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  16. ^ Whateley, Dan (November 19, 2020). "How the 'Planet Money' TikTok account has become a breakout hit through careful scripting, engaging in the comments, and making a 24-year-old its star". Business Insider. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  17. ^ Holtermann, Callie (February 18, 2022). "He Makes Economics Theories Wacky Enough for TikTok". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  18. ^ Spangler, Todd (April 20, 2021). "Variety Lands Three 2021 Webby Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  19. ^ a b "NPR T-shirt: How We Did This". NPR. December 2, 2013. Archived from the original on April 11, 2018. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  20. ^ Shaywitz, David (August 6, 2013). "Is Planet Money Bad For The Podcast Economy?". Forbes Magazine. Archived from the original on March 21, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  21. ^ "Comic book companies horde thousands of characters for future use : Planet Money : NPR". NPR. August 15, 2021. Archived from the original on August 15, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  22. ^ "Thousands of superheroes exist in the public domain : Planet Money : NPR". NPR. August 15, 2021. Archived from the original on August 15, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  23. ^ "Micro-Face: A Planet Money Comic Book – NPR Shop". August 15, 2021. Archived from the original on August 15, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  24. ^ "About me | Karen Duffin, Reporter & Editor".

External links[edit]