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In today’s show, we’re talking about the aftermath of the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. As further details emerge, law enforcement’s response during the shooting is raising questions. We’ll be watching for more information about the timeline of events. Plus, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s open to working with Democrats to address gun violence. But the Senate is adjourned for a week in observance of Memorial Day. Finally, we get a much-needed smile out of an interesting idiom. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Uvalde Shooter Fired Outside School for 12 Minutes Before Entering” from The Wall Street Journal “Uvalde Live Updates: Police Defend Response to School Massacre” from The New York Times “‘Show Us the Carnage’” from Breaking the News The U.S. Senate adjourns from Burgess Everett on Twitter “Exclusive: McConnell says he has directed Cornyn to engage with Democrats on a ‘bipartisan solution’ on gun violence” from CNN Tragic news about one shooting victim’s family from Twitter “Bill making abortion illegal starting at conception signed by Oklahoma governor” from Tulsa World Join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We’ll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, 6:30 p.m. Eastern.
The country is reeling from yet another mass shooting. A gunman stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, yesterday, killing 19 children and two adults. We’re shifting from our usual Wednesday show because all we can ask is: “How are we here again?” The answers are not satisfying. Here’s everything we talked about today: “The Supreme Court Just Gutted Another Constitutional Right” from Slate “Supreme court guts lifeline for prisoners who claim wrongful convictions” from The Guardian Sixth Amendment text from Cornell Law School Second Amendment text from Cornell Law School “His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice” book excerpt from The Washington Post “Ten days after Tops mass shooting, Buffalo reacts to Texas school shooting” from WBKW Buffalo “Hundreds seek mental health counseling after Buffalo mass shooting” from Spectrum News 1 “Anger, anguish among Parkland and Newtown families after Texas shooting” from The Washington Post
Remember the Supreme Court case we talked about last week, Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate? Yeah, we’re doing a deep dive on it today. At the heart of the case is an obscure campaign finance rule that limits the amount of post-election day contributions that can be used to recoup personal loans a candidate makes to their campaign. It was intended to crack down on corruption. But the court sided with Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, and said the law is unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. On the show today, Weiner talks about what this means for the midterm elections, the future of campaign finance and this court’s approach to the First Amendment. Then, sales of new homes fell to the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. We’ll explain why this is exactly what we’d expect to be happening in the economy right now. Plus, if you’ve forgotten some of the faces you’ve met over Zoom during the last two years, you’re not alone. Listeners have a name for that phenomenon. We’ll also get smart about lifetime warranties and bear spray!
It’s Monday, and we’ve got a lot of news on our minds. We’ll talk about President Joe Biden’s comments about Taiwan and what Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, has to say about crypto. Then we’re diving into some recent writing about the scale at which the United States funds its military, even as we’ve withdrawn from active conflict in Afghanistan. How that money is spent, and isn’t spent, says a lot. Plus, Texas lawmakers may target business that help employees get abortions. Finally, we’ll consider some pointedly phrased communications for our make me smiles. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Lagarde Says Crypto Is ‘Worth Nothing’ and Should Be Regulated” from Bloomberg “Biden: US would intervene with military to defend Taiwan” from the Associated Press Taiwan Relations Act “No Way Out but War” from the Chris Hedges Report “Four Ways to Understand the $54 Billion in U.S. Spending on Ukraine” from The New York Times “CBO Releases an Improved Interactive Tool for Analyzing the Military’s Forces and Resources” from the Congressional Budget Office “Businesses that help employees get abortions could be next target of Texas lawmakers if Roe v. Wade is overturned” from The Texas Tribune Bear spray is not like bug spray from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Twitter A judge has this to say about a Jan. 6 defendant’s request to travel from BuzzFeed reporter Zoe Tillman on Twitter Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.” Have a question or comment about something you heard on the show? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.
It’s Friday, and the S&P 500 is at risk of becoming what economists call a bear market — when stock prices fall for a prolonged time. But how bad is that, actually? We’ve got some context. Plus, the Law School Admissions Test may become optional, and our hosts share their thoughts on the strong dollar and a pizza musical. We end with a round of Half Full/Half Empty. Here’s everything we talked about today: “The S&P 500 narrowly averts a bear market. How long do they last once they arrive?” from MarketWatch “No LSAT Required? Law School Admissions Tests Could Be Optional Under New Proposal” from The Wall Street Journal “Archbishop: Pelosi will be denied communion over abortion” from AP News “Tesla’s Removal From S&P Index Sparks Debate About ESG Ratings” from Bloomberg “New York Now Has More Airbnb Listings Than Apartments for Rent” from Curbed “What does a strong dollar mean for the U.S. and world economies?” from Marketplace “In This Economy, Getting Fired Takes Hard Work” from The Wall Street Journal “Dolly Parton Joins the Star-Studded Cast of Taco Bell’s Tik Tok Musical, ‘Mexican Pizza’” from Taste of Country Tell us what you think about today’s show. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART. Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.”
This Thursday, we talk about the news that home sales slowed in April, though prices still set records. And, the Joe Biden administration tries to increase the supply of baby formula using the Defense Production Act. It’s a welcome help to parents, but how did we get here? Plus, more stories from Ukraine that show the toll of the war. We’ll see you tomorrow for Economics on Tap, but before then, we share what geopolitical alliances and beer have in common. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Biden invokes Defense Production Act to increase supply of U.S. infant formula” from Politico “U.S. Home Sales Cool Amid Higher Rates, Record Prices” from The Wall Street Journal “Captive medic’s bodycam shows firsthand horror of Mariupol” from AP News “Russian soldier asks Ukrainian widow to forgive him during first war crimes trial” from The Guardian “Finland brewery launches NATO beer with ‘taste of security’” from AP News Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.” Join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We’ll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, 6:30 p.m. Eastern.
It’s Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, and Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams are answering your questions, including one from a listener who wonders what the Fed reducing its balance sheet means for mortgage rates. We also dig into what it takes to harness tidal power, and why it’s not a bigger source of renewable energy. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “To understand the Fed’s bond-buying dilemma, picture a lake” from Marketplace “Hamsterkauf! Coronazeit! There’s a German Word for Your Pandemic Experience” from Slate Do you have a question for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday? Send a voice memo or email to makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART (508-827-6278). Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.”
The trouble with crypto

The trouble with crypto

2022-05-1728:391

Cryptocurrency has been having a rough couple of months lately. From bitcoin to ethereum and Coinbase, hundreds of billions of dollars have evaporated in crypto markets. But things got really bad last week, after a coin that’s supposed to be stable turned out not to be. All this is having consequences. People who jumped into crypto during the pandemic, amid the rising visibility of celebrity endorsements and crypto influencers on TikTok, are losing real money. On the show today, Ramaswamy explains what’s behind the crash and what it means for the future of cryptocurrencies. We’ll also provide a mini-explainer on “stablecoins.” Later, good news about little kids and COVID vaccines, and will Russia and the West break up their energy relationship? Plus, “Make Me Smart” fan art, and why you may be wrong about fly-fishing!
This Monday, we talk about the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, over the weekend. It’s devastated the town’s predominantly Black community in multiple ways, including its central food supply. As the nation processes the tragedy, it’s critical to call it what is: a white supremacist act. We also discuss the baby formula shortage and the consequences of a Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance laws. Here’s everything we talked about today: Baby formula production is still several weeks out from Heather Long on Twitter One key chart on the baby formula shortage from Emily Peck on Twitter Third round of free COVID-19 test kits are available “Nearly half of Republicans agree with ‘great replacement theory’” from The Washington Post “It’s time to call white supremacy by its name” from Andscape “Court sides with Ted Cruz and strikes down campaign-finance restriction along ideological lines” from SCOTUSblog “The Supreme Court Makes Ted Cruz A Half-Million Dollars Richer” from HuffPost Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.” Have a question or comment about something you heard on the show? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.
For today’s Economics on Tap, we talk about a sneaky way campaigns are communicating with super PACS. Coordination between these big-time political action committees and campaigns is illegal, but a new practice called redboxing seems like a loophole. We’ll talk about it. Plus, we discuss the debate about facial recognition technology and follow up on a conversation we had yesterday about the news on sudden infant death syndrome. Before we leave, we’ll play a round of Half Full/Half Empty, featuring a piece of portable music history. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Voters Need to Know What ‘Redboxing’ Is and How It Undermines Democracy” from Campaign Legal Center “Enzyme in babies’ blood linked to risk of sudden infant death syndrome” from The Guardian “U.S. cities are backing off banning facial recognition as crime rises” from Reuters “Why Fed might not be too upset when stocks fall” from Marketplace “Facebook reportedly already running out of money for Metaverse” from Futurism “Has collective bargaining come to Congress?” from Marketplace “End of an Era: Apple Discontinues Its Last iPod Model” from Bloomberg “Heinz working on paper ketchup bottle” from Axios Tell us what you think about today’s show. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART. Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.”
Today, instead of guessing what Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is thinking, we asked. Our hosts talk about the newsiest and funniest parts of Kai’s interview with the Fed chairman. Plus, a scientific revelation about sudden infant death syndrome may provide some peace for parents. And, speaking of incredible science, we marvel at mind-blowing new pictures of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Fed Chair Jerome Powell: ‘Whether we can execute a soft landing or not, it may actually depend on factors that we don’t control.’” from Marketplace “Researchers Pinpoint Reason Infants Die From SIDS” from BioSpace “World first breakthrough could prevent SIDS” from the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network “Black hole: First picture of Milky Way monster” from BBC News “Astronomers reveal first image of the black hole at the heart of our galaxy” from Event Horizon Telescope “Sagittarius A*: NASA Telescopes Support Event Horizon Telescope in Studying Milky Way’s Black Hole” from NASA Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.” Join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We’ll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, 6:30 p.m. Eastern.
It’s Wednesday again, and we’re answering your questions about the labor market — like why we don’t aim for 100% employment. We’ll also give some extra context around the idea of a “skills gap” in our economy. And Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams dig into a bunch of questions from one listener related to the logistics of owning an electric vehicle. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “How the U.S. Health Insurance System Excludes Abortion” from the Center for American Progress The Guttmacher Institute’s tracker on state regulation of insurance coverage for abortion “Funds that help low-income people pay for abortions are seeing a sharp uptick in donations” from Marketplace “There’s a lot of money on both sides of the abortion debate. How much does it matter?” from Marketplace Consumer Reports’ research on electric vehicle maintenance costs “Cars Are Going Electric. What Happens to the Used Batteries?” from Wired University of California, Davis, researchers’ look at transportation costs for recycling old EV batteries “Hamsterkauf! Coronazeit! There’s a German Word for Your Pandemic Experience.” from Slate Do you have a question for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday? Send a voice memo or email to makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART (508-827-6278). Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.”
As we often say on the show, immigration is a labor market story. Since last month, when the Joe Biden administration announced plans to lift Title 42, it’s been the immigration story of the moment. On today’s show, Denise Gilman, director of the immigration clinic and law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, explains how Title 42 was used at the start of the pandemic and what’s next for it.
Today we talk about a potential win for privacy advocates, as facial recognition company Clearview AI reaches a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union. But we still have questions. Another new story with a lot of questions? Crypto, of course. We’re still skeptical about the stability of cryptocurrency, but that hasn’t stopped investors and others from jumping right in. We’ll discuss what has us … a little nervous. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “Authorities find human remains in Lake Mead twice in one week” from NPR “Cryptocurrency TerraUSD Falls Below Fixed Value, Triggering Selloff” from The Wall St Journal “40% of bitcoin investors are now underwater, new data shows” from CNBC “Clearview AI agrees to permanent ban on selling facial recognition to private companies” from The Verge “Opinion — Chris Murphy’s urgent abortion warning reveals a hidden GOP threat” from The Washington Post Trevor Noah’s discussion of billionaires on “The Daily Show” Tom House Is (Still) Reinventing Pitching With Mustard App from The New York Times Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.” Have a question or comment about something you heard on the show? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.
Today during Economics on Tap, we’re low-key celebrating this weekend’s Kentucky Derby and venting a little about the journalists and political figures who withheld critical information and news, only to finally reveal it in their books. For profit. Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper revealed in his soon-to-be-released memoir that, two years ago, then-President Donald Trump considered launching missiles into Mexico. In surprisingly less scary news, “Little Shop of Horrors” is celebrating its Broadway revival with festivities. Before we head into Kentucky Derby weekend, we go Half Full/Half Empty on coin collecting, children at work and more. “Trump Proposed Launching Missiles Into Mexico to ‘Destroy the Drug Labs,’ Esper Says” from The New York Times “Little Shop of Horrors Will Celebrate 40th Anniversary With Block Party, Concert, More” from Playbill “Little Shop of Horrors: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert” from NPR “How Buy Now, Pay Later is changing how consumers think about travel” from Fast Company “What the Fed’s rate hike means for one community bank” from Marketplace “Coin collecting is big business on social media” from Marketplace “It’s time for a non-white host of ‘The Late Late Show’. Here’s our critic’s shortlist” from NPR “After years of working from home, how has Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day evolved?” from Marketplace Tell us what you think about today’s show. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART. Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.”
We’ll start today’s show with a little pep talk about what you should and shouldn’t do if you caught a glance at the stock market today. Then we move on to one of the big business stories of the day, the news that Boeing is moving its headquarters from Chicago to the D.C. area. To understand why, you just gotta follow the money. Plus, the U.S. says it’ll give Sweden support as that country looks to join NATO. Finally, free child care and a beautiful canoe make us smile. To celebrate the upcoming Kentucky Derby, bring your mint juleps and fanciest hats to Economics on Tap tomorrow. “Boeing Plans to Move Headquarters to Arlington, Va., From Chicago” from The Wall Street Journal Jon Ostrower’s tweet on Boeing “Stocks Crater as Fed-Policy Jitters Rock Trading: Markets Wrap” from Bloomberg “Sweden says it received U.S. security assurances if it hands in NATO application” from Reuters “When a Beautiful Boat Becomes the Emblem of an Unlived Life” from Gotham Canoe “New Mexico to offer a year of free child care to most residents” from The Washington Post Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support Make Me Smart. Join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We’ll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, 6:30 p.m. Eastern.
It’s the day we answer your questions and to start, one listener wants to know why Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell is still raising interest rates if inflation has peaked. We’ll also answer an urgent question about the blockchain and supply chains from a listener with a term paper deadline looming. Plus, a question about Airbnb and rents, and why doesn’t the U.S. electrify its railways? Finally, we end with a sci-fi recommendation on this Star Wars Day. May the fourth be with you. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “Has inflation reached a peak? Three sings that prices could soon come down” from CNN “Blockchain: A better way to track pork chops, bonds, bad peanut butter?” from The New York Times “Major container shippers Hapag-Lloyd, ONE integrate with TradeLens blockchain” from Ledger Insights “Study finds Airbnb units expand market but reduce long-term rentals, including affordable housing” from Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business Do you have a question for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday? Send a voice memo or email to makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART (508-827-6278).
If you’re a regular listener to this program, you’ve probably heard of the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate: price stability and maximum employment. But in the summer of 2020, the Fed made a little tweak. It added the words “broad-based” and “inclusive” to the employment part of the mandate, acknowledging the benefits a strong economy brings to low- and moderate-income communities. This is significant because for decades the Black unemployment rate has been double the rate for white workers in this country. So, the Fed started “running the economy hot” longer to try to close that gap. But the central bank has begun a campaign of raising interest rates to cool the economy because inflation is here. What now? On the show today, William Spriggs, a professor of economics at Howard University and chief economist at the AFL-CIO, explains why the Fed’s approach to closing the unemployment gap hasn’t worked and what can really be done to fix it. Then, the hosts will talk about the big story of the day: the draft Roe v. Wade decision and what overturning the 1973 ruling might mean for the health and economics of women, especially poor women, in this country. Here’s everything we talked about today: “The Fed wants to slow down the economy. It risks leaving Black workers behind” from Fortune “Interest rate hikes will hurt Black Americans the most” from Quartz “Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic: “Everything is just taking longer than I would have expected going in.” from Marketplace “Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows” from Politico ICYMI: “Reproductive rights are economic rights” “Make Me Smart” episode with economist Caitlin Myers We’re looking for your answer to the Make Me Smart question: What is something you thought you knew that you later found out you were wrong about? Leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278 or 508-U-B-SMART or email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org.
In today’s show, we flag one economic benchmark investors are watching, then dive into some recent stories that highlight the unequal ways the U.S. grants immigrant and refugee status. Don’t forget, what happens at the border impacts our labor force. Speaking of work, employees nationwide are voting on unionization. Finally, a new study validates dog owners’ premonitions about their special pups and makes us smile. Here’s everything we talked about today: “10-Year Treasury Yield Hits 3% for First Time Since 2018” from The Wall Street Journal “Amazon Workers Reject Union in New York After Labor Victory at Separate Facility” from The Wall Street Journal “Biden to comply with forthcoming order to keep Covid border restrictions in place” from Politico “Afghans subject to stricter rules than Ukrainian refugees, advocates say” from NBC News “Your dog’s personality may have little to do with its breed” from AP News Have a question or comment about something you heard on the show? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.
We’re keeping an eye on Tesla after Elon Musk reached a deal to buy Twitter earlier this week. Musk has sold roughly $8.5 billion worth of Tesla shares in the last couple of days. We’ll get a little into the weeds about the dynamics playing out as the Twitter deal closes. Plus, the fallout after the Jan. 6 insurrection continues — we’ll update you on what’s happening in the courts. And a COVID-19 vaccine for young kids may be on the way. Then, the hosts play a round of Half Full/Half Empty. Finally, a big thank you to producer Marque Greene for all his hard work as he wraps up his stint on “Make Me Smart.” But don’t worry, he’s not going far. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Second Oath Keeper pleads to seditious conspiracy” from Politico “CNN Exclusive: New text messages reveal Fox’s Hannity advising Trump White House and seeking direction” from CNN “Elon Musk Sells $8.5 Billion of Tesla Shares After Deal to Buy Twitter” from The Wall Street Journal “The Risks of a New U.S. Approach in Ukraine” from “The Daily” “Moderna asks FDA to authorize first COVID-19 vaccine for very young children” from NPR Tell us what you think about today’s show. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.
Comments (37)

Luke

love this show

Apr 11th
Reply

ID21274754

Yay! So thrilled for Kimberly and all of us!

Mar 11th
Reply

Karen M

Download fails 😟

Jan 12th
Reply

craig potts

unable to download -- my podcast app says broken source

Nov 15th
Reply

ID21274754

FYI I couldn’t get this to play. I tried several times.

Nov 4th
Reply

Karen M

link seems broken. won't download

Nov 4th
Reply

ID21274754

LOVE “out of my nether regions!”

Oct 7th
Reply

ID21274754

I love Kai, except when he says “cray cray”

Sep 4th
Reply

ID21274754

Avenue Q! Thanks Molly!

May 8th
Reply

Laura F

Molly, you haven't listened to Throughline. July 15, 2020 episode

Jan 20th
Reply

Hasan Farahani

I most of the days listen to your fantastic podcast not because I care about the news, but because listening to the intro is the best thing can happen in a day.

Dec 15th
Reply

Andrea Bennett

can you talk about the vaccine on your Wednesday show? specifically are we going to need the cord vaccine every year? is it a one and done vaccine like the polio vaccine? thank you! love your show!

Dec 15th
Reply

Solomon Mars

oh my gosh Vampires vs. the Bronx has the same plot idea as a comic that was proposed by artist Ronald Wimberly a back in 2017! aww maaan

Oct 13th
Reply

Eric Everitt

wow Kai.. way to stick up for the milllions of men that single handly raise their kids, without mother's involved. Sexism to the max.

Sep 16th
Reply

Victor Lopez

I used to drink in a bar where the frosted mugs were so cold it would turn your beer to ice. Not the whole thing, but enough to ruin it. No cold glass!

Jul 11th
Reply (1)

Chris Horton

Wow!! This episode was mind blowing! Really made me think. The guest has a narrative that a lot of people should listen to.

Jul 1st
Reply

No Face

Will this show ever be about tech & the economy again? I'll unsub and check back after Christmas.

Jun 17th
Reply

Solomon Mars

episode error. it won't download.

May 27th
Reply

Megan Taylor

The source is bad

May 27th
Reply

Nellie Fly

He makes it so hard for me to keep being a fan.

May 12th
Reply
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