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Planet Money

Money makes the world go around, faster and faster every day. On NPR's Planet Money, you'll meet high rollers, brainy economists and regular folks — all trying to make sense of our rapidly changing global economy.More from Planet Money »

Most Recent Episodes

#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.

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#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.

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#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. 

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#252: The Gold Standard

We visit the respected finance writer (and charming curmudgeon) James Grant. He makes the case for going back on the gold standard. For more:n.pr/1IxK0L2

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#596: Johnny Mnemonic's Secret Door

Note: This episode contains explicit language.

Every time there is a big new release of some software, an operating system or a new browser, hackers get to work. Each new release is the start of a race because there are all these giant players who desperately want to find the new flaw in the software.

Today on the show, the story of one man who stumbled into a flaw in Apple's operating system, a way to hack the phone you might have in your hands right now – the iPhone 5s.

It was a flaw that was worth a million dollars to the first person who could exploit it.

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