Episode 574: The Buffalo Talk-Off : Planet Money The story of a guy who tried to make something of himself by getting into a rough business. And the story of a time when the world went wild for debt.
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Episode 574: The Buffalo Talk-Off

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Episode 574: The Buffalo Talk-Off

Episode 574: The Buffalo Talk-Off

Episode 574: The Buffalo Talk-Off

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In today's show, we visit Buffalo, New York, and get a window into a rough business: Debt collection. This is the story of one guy who tried to make something of himself by getting people to pay their debts. He set up shop in an old karate studio, and called up people who owed money. For a while, he made a good living. And he wasn't the only one in the business—this is also the story of a low-level, semi-legal debt-collection economy that sprang up in Buffalo. And, in a small way, it's the story of the last twenty or so years in global finance, a time when the world went wild for debt.

For more on Buffalo and the debt underworld, see the book Bad Paper by Jake Halpern, and also Jake's articles in the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine.

Music: "Loving You" and "Clap Your Hands." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook.