Planet Money (NPR) podcasts are awesome! the podcast on anything related to finance, economy, money with plenty of social commentary mixed in, are thoroughly entertaining, thought provoking ,downright frustrating and most of all enlightening.
In my daily diet of podcasts, Planet Money are almost always universally excellent, the wide variety of interesting and diverse episodes always makes for an entertaining listen.
“Antiquated” Clearing House (ACH)
In typical Planet Money fashion, in one of the most recent podcasts (Episode 489: The Invisible Plumbing Of Our Economy) ,they asked why is it that I can order physical goods overnight, but my Sending money electronically takes 3-5 business days? Its 2013 people, why can’t I just send money electronically from my bank account to your account without the requisite 3-5 days delay? They dive into this topic which reared its ugly head when they were moving funds for their Planet Money T-shirt project among their accounts.Its an utterly fascinating episodes because it literally pulls back the curtain on the ACH system.
ACH (Automated Clearing House) is an electronic financial network in the USA responsible for billions of $ of daily transactions. This episode does an excellent and entertaining job of explaining the reason for the ACH,how it came to be and why it is the way it is. In a nutshell its history wrapped up in bureaucracy drizzled by outdated banking regulations. Have a listen for yourself .
Favorite Planet Money Podcasts
This is just one of many fine episodes, you can find the complete Planet Money episode list here. Below are my top 12 favorite episodes (no particular order, they are all really good but these few are my favorites), the are all on diverse economic topics but each one is fascinating in and of itself.
|Episode # Show Title||Summary|
|#471 The Eddie Murphy Rule||What actually happens at the end of Trading Places?|
|#286 Libertarian Summer Camp||A place where you can use bits of silver to buy un-inspected bacon. A place where a 9-year-old will sell you alcohol.|
|The Tuesday Podcast: Bitcoin||What the heck is bitcoin?|
|#439 The Mysterious Power Of A Hospital Bill||Ever wonder why hospital bills are so high and obscure?|
|#435 Why Buying A Car Is So Awful||Why the dealership cartel makes buying new cars a hassle||even Tesla can't sell directly…|
|#430 Black Market Pharmacies And The Spam Empire Behind Them||spam and viagra ever wonder if anyone goes for those emails?|
|#238 Making Christmas More Joyful And More Efficient||7th grade class exchanges candies and discovers benefits of market efficiencies.|
|#417 Lance Armstrong And The Business Of Doping||Professional Cycling and why they cheat..|
|#381 Why It's Illegal To Braid Hair Without A License||State licensing laws and the real reason behind them|
|The Surprisingly Entertaining History Of The Income Tax||Income tax it wasn't always around…|
|Why Does A Taxi Medallion Cost $1 Million?||supply and demand and a lot of money changing hands…|
|The Friday Podcast: A Giant Stone Coin At The Bottom Of The Sea||a walk through the periodic table tells us why Gold is our most prized element.|
If you haven’t already add Planet Money to your podcast playlist. And thanks to the staff of Planet Money,keep up the good work!