Bank on it.
We can all stop tiptoeing around the "R" word. Today the Bureau of Economic Research officially declared that not only is the U.S. in a recession, but it has been in one since December 2007. For those of you keeping score at home, that's a year.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is sending signals that it might take its benchmark rate below 1 percent. You'd have to look back half a century for money that cheap.
Today on Planet Money:
— David Kestenbaum delivers the absolutely final word, forever, on whether your gift card will be worth anything if the store goes out of business.
— We continue our series on the nature of money, with economics professor Steve Hanke. The Johns Hopkins fellow studies what happens when money goes bizarre, as it has with hyperinflation in Zimbabwe.
— Listener Jerry Cosgrove posed a brainteaser about where the money goes when you sell your house for less than you paid for it. With help from Laura Sullivan of NPR, Russ Roberts of George Mason University, and a Monopoly game, we figure out Cosgrove's puzzle.
Download the podcast; or subscribe. Intro music: Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Flickr.