#599: The Invisible Wall
#598: The Very First Short
There have been short sellers throughout history. Today, the story of a man who was the very first short seller. The first person to bet that a stock will go down. It doesn't go well for him.
#597: We're Short America
If you own a house, stock, bonds, or a retirement account, you're betting that things are going to get better — that the lines on the chart will keep going up. Historically, this is a reasonable bet. But you can place a bet in the opposite direction. You can make a bet that things will go down: a short. For example, if you short Apple stock and the stock price drops, you make money. While all the normal shareholders are consoling themselves, you can celebrate. But for the most part, people don't do it. Experts warn us that we shouldn't either. Today on the show, we ignore the advice of some very smart people, and we put our own money down on a bet against something people love. We short America.
#253: Gold Standard, R.I.P.
Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in February 2011.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt ignores the advice of America's big-name economists — and listens instead to a guy who helped take care of the trees on his estate.
Montagu Norman, head of the Bank of England, gets a coded message at a critical moment — and completely misunderstands what it means.
On today's Planet Money: The gold standard and the Great Depression.
It's the latest in our series on gold and the meaning of money.