Make Me Smart
Make Me Smart
About Make Me Smart
Each weekday, Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams make today make sense. Along with our supersmart listeners, we break down happenings in tech, the economy and culture. Every Tuesday we bring on a guest to dive deeper into one important topic. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.
Today we’re talking about the topic of the day, week, month, and maybe even year — banking. Silicon Valley Bank’s tech startup-centric clientele and remarkably high amount of uninsured deposits made it different from a lot of other banks. But there’s a regulatory landscape in the background of SVB’s downfall story. On the show today, Mehrsa Baradaran, a banking law professor at the University of California Irvine and author of the books “The Color of Money” and “How the Other Half Banks,” explains how regulatory changes made way back in the 80’s landed us where we are now, the psychological nature of bank runs, and what regulators can learn from this SVB-triggered banking episode. In the News Fix, the case for incorporating more lentils and other climate-friendly foods into the American diet. Also, we’ll give an economics crash course on “Minsky moments.” And, why commercial real estate debt could become another problem for banks. Later, one listener shares why they’re on TikTok, and another listener reminds us to remember the folks who are hit hardest by climate change. And, Kaye Wise Whitehead, president of the National Women’s Studies Association, explains why she was wrong about motherhood. Here’s everything we talked about today: “How Silicon Valley Bank & Signature Bank Lobbied to Weaken Regulations That Could Have Prevented Collapse” from Truthout “Opinion | After Silicon Valley Bank collapse, scrap the deposit insurance limit” from The Washington Post “Federal Reserve and Lawmakers Eye Bank Rules After Collapse” from The New York Times “What Is a Minsky Moment? How Do World Debt Levels Look Now?” from Bloomberg “Why Americans should eat more lentils” from The Washington Post “Commercial Property Debt Creates More Bank Worries” from The Wall Street Journal What have you been wrong about lately? We want to hear your answer to the Make Me Smart question! Leave us a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART, and your submission may be feat
The Federal Reserve will meet this week to discuss the possibility of increasing interest rates to fight inflation once more. But after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, some are concerned that the higher rates are putting too much pressure on the banking system. And, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its latest report. The conclusion? We have to do something now. Plus, Kimberly makes us smile with a story about the friendship between a girl and a very scary “monster.” Here’s everything we talked about today: “Did SVB break the Fed? Officials mull risks of more rate increases” from Reuters “Five Ways Banking Turmoil Will Impact the Fed’s Decision” from Bloomberg “World can still avoid worst of climate collapse with genuine change, IPCC says” from The Guardian “Biden issues first veto, taking on new Republican House” from The Washington Post Tweet from @davidlgutman on King County, Washington, voting to adopt the Oxford comma TikTok from @spiritwalker about a girl happy to meet a “monster” Have a comment or question about something we talked about? Send it our way! You can leave us a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For years, using social media has been mostly free. But that’s slowly changing. Following in Twitter’s footsteps, Meta has launched a subscription service for its platforms. We’ll discuss what paying for social media might mean for our online culture. And, the latest news about SVB (of course) and the regulators that may have dropped the ball. Plus, a round of Half Full/Half Empty. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Why American whiskey is the real winner of St. Patrick’s Day” from CNN “Meta launches subscription service in US” from Reuters “Fed Blocked Mention of Regulatory Flaws in Silicon Valley Bank Rescue” from The New York Times “The Fed Was Too Late on SVB Even Though It Saw Problem After Problem” from Bloomberg “U.S. Pushes for TikTok Sale to Resolve National Security Concerns” from The New York Times “Buffalo Wild Wings sued over boneless wings” from CBS “Could the Fed’s new emergency bank lending program encourage risky behavior?” from Marketplace Beer Purchasers’ Index from the National Beer Wholesalers Association Our March fundraiser ends today! Help us meet our goal this week so we can cover our costs and plan for the future: https://support.marketplace.org/smart-sn
A team of large banks are coming together to save First Republic from this week’s banking woes with a hefty $30 billion deposit. We’ll explain what their move could mean for regulators. Also, an investigation into nursing homes in the United States found that some Medicare policies are putting seniors into poverty. And Kimberly makes us smile with a story about how pet owners deal with clever cats that can open microwaves and steal wallets. Here’s everything we talked about today: “First Republic Set to Get $30 Billion of Deposits in Rescue” from Bloomberg “The FBI And DOJ Are Investigating ByteDance’s Use Of TikTok To Spy On Journalists” from Forbes “In nursing homes, impoverished live final days on pennies” from AP News “Axiom Space reveals next-generation spacesuit for astronauts returning to lunar surface” from Axiom Space “When cats can lock doors and raid food, pet-proofing gets extreme” from The Washington Post Our March fundraiser ends tomorrow. Help us meet our goal this week so we can cover our costs and plan for the future: https://support.marketplace.org/smart-sn
This week’s Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday comes with a bonus News Fix! We’ll get into the ripple effects of the Silicon Valley Bank collapse on the U.S. Treasury debt market and on international banks like Credit Suisse. Then, we’ll answer your questions about the FDIC insurance limit and the “moral hazard” risk involved in covering all SVB deposits. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Market Stress Snarls Trading in U.S. Treasurys” from The Wall Street Journal “Bank Chaos Clouds Outlook for Markets” from The Wall Street Journal “Swiss Regulators Offer Financial Lifeline to Credit Suisse” from The Wall Street Journal “The FDIC was created exactly for this kind of crisis. Here’s the history” from NPR “Regional banks rush to reassure customers after SVB failure” from Marketplace History and Timeline of Changes to FDIC Coverage Limits from American Deposits “Who’s responsible for paying the failed banks’ depositors?” from Marketplace “Experts flag moral hazard risk as U.S. intervenes in SVB crisis” from Reuters “Will the FDIC’s move to cover uninsured deposits set a risky precedent?” from NPR Our March fundraiser ends Friday. Help us meet our goal this week so we can cover our costs and plan for the future: https://support.marketplace.org/smart-sn
Some members of Congress recently introduced legislation that would give President Biden the power to ban TikTok, despite the company’s best efforts to get on Congress’ good side. How did an app known for viral dance videos find itself in the middle of a national security debate? On the show today, Forbes tech reporter Emily Baker-White explains why some members of Congress see TikTok as a national security threat, how real that threat actually is, and what an all-out ban would even look like. Plus, how it felt to be spied on by TikTok. In the News Fix: How a viral parody tweet may have helped bring down insulin prices. Also, Kai Ryssdal explains what the latest round of job cuts at Meta say about the larger tech industry. And, a little Silicon Valley Bank update, for good measure. Later, one listener shares their experience with rooftop solar panels. And, this week’s answer to the Make Me Smart question comes from a listener who was wrong about the volatile nature of the tech industry. Here’s everything we talked about today: “TikTok’s master plan to win over Washington” from Vox “Senate, White House push new bipartisan bill that could ban TikTok” from Politico “EXCLUSIVE: TikTok Spied On Forbes Journalists” from Forbes “TikTok tries to sell ‘Project Texas’ as it fights for survival in the U.S.” from NBC News “How A TikTok Ban Would Work — And How TikTok Could Fight Back” from Forbes “Novo Nordisk to slash US insulin prices, following move by Eli Lilly” from Reuters Tweet from @MorePerfectUS about their staff writer’s viral parody Eli Lilly tweet “Meta to Lay Off 10,000 Employees, Cut 5,000 More Open Jobs” from Bloomberg “George Santos Signals Intention to Seek Re-election in 2024” from The New York Times What have you been wrong about lately? We want to hear your answer to the Make Me Smart question! Leave us a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART, and your submission may be featured in a future episode.
The dust hasn’t yet settled around Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse and people are trying to figure out who, or what, is to blame. We’ll unpack some of the finger pointing, explain what SVB represents 15 years after the 2008 financial crisis and look into what the bank’s failure means for the 2024 presidential race. Plus, the Oscar moments that made us smile! Here’s everything we talked about today: “Bank rules rollback contributed to SVB’s failure, critics say” from Marketplace “Barney Frank blames crypto panic for his bank’s collapse. Elizabeth Warren blames Trump.” from Politico “As military spending soars, Congress must take critical look at Pentagon budget” from The Hill Severe erosion in North Carolina from The Washington Post “Oscars Analysis: Why ‘Everything Everywhere’ — and the Academy — Won” from The Hollywood Reporter “Naatu Naatu” performance at the Oscars from Variety “Parties, food deals and more ways to celebrate St. Louis on 314 Day” from St. Louis Post-Dispatch “Celebrating and honoring Scott Joplin and his legacy in St. Louis” from KSDK It’s our March fundraiser! Help us meet our goal so we can cover our costs and plan for the future: https://support.marketplace.org/smart-sn
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is the second largest bank failure in U.S. history. Many of SVB’s clients were startups and tech investors putting hundreds of billions of dollars in assets at risk. We’ll explain some of the factors that led to SVB going under and what it has to do with “venture debt.” Plus, how a health data breach could be weaponized against Congress. Plus, a round of Half-Full/Half-Empty with a special guest host! Here’s everything we talked about today: “How Silicon Valley Bank failed” from Marketplace “Health data breach hitting Congress ‘could be extraordinary’” from The Associated Press “Could companies be persuaded to bring back pensions?” from Marketplace Oscar viewing party ideas from Peerspace “Business Schools Soften Admissions Requirements to Scoop Up Laid-Off Tech Workers” from Bloomberg “Consumers’ “revenge reviews” have been rising since the pandemic” from Marketplace It’s our March fundraiser! Help us meet our goal so we can cover our costs and plan for the future: https://support.marketplace.org/smart-sn
The majority of women in the United States are single, and they’re becoming a big force in our economy. Single women now make up a significant share of the job market, homeowners and college graduates. But we’ll get into why that doesn’t necessarily amount to a boon for women’s wealth and wages. Also, business owners are coming clean about price-raising strategies, dubbed “excuseflation.” Plus, how mending your clothes became a hot fashion trend. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Crestfallen, veterans demand accountability for Afghan exit’s failures” from The Washington Post “Washington Suffers as Federal Employees Work From Home” from Bloomberg “Single women take an outsize role in the workforce — and the economy” from The Washington Post “How ‘Excuseflation’ Is Keeping Prices — and Corporate Profits — High” from Bloomberg “Elon Musk Is Planning a Texas Utopia — His Own Town” from The Wall Street Journal “Does Anyone Mend Clothes Anymore?” from Southern Living It’s our March Fundraiser! Help us meet our goal so we can cover our costs and plan for the future: https://support.marketplace.org/smart
This week, we got a call from a listener who said a serving of cold brew costs $1.30 more than a serving of hot coffee at his local Starbucks. That has him wondering, what makes the cold stuff so special? We’ll get into the economics of iced coffee. Plus, we’ll answer your questions about SNAP benefits and the beef between the state of California and Walgreens. Here’s everything we talked about today: A Quick Guide to SNAP Eligibility and Benefits from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities “Does SNAP Cover the Cost of a Meal in Your County?” from the Urban Institute “California will cut ties with Walgreens over the company’s plan to drop abortion pills” from NPR “The Possible Effects Of California ‘No Longer Doing Business With Walgreens'” from The California Globe “The Iced-Coffee Economy: Why the Cold Stuff Costs More” from Grub Street “Why the Hell Is Iced Coffee So Expensive? An Investigation” from Vice “For All Mankind” from IMDB “Southern California startup bets on 3D printing to drive down rocket-building costs” from NPR If you’ve got a question about business, tech or the economy, give us a shout. We’re at 508-U-B-SMART or email us at email@example.com.
What can Jell-O tell us about the United States during the Gilded Age? What about Spam during World War II? According to Anna Zeide, food historian and author of the new book “US History in 15 Foods,” they can tell us a lot about the evolution of American values, government — and of course, the American economy. On the show today, Zeide walks us through the history baked into food items from all-American whiskey to Korean tacos. And, why food is often much more than something we simply eat. In the News Fix, we remember Judy Heumann, an activist who championed crucial pieces of disability rights legislation. Also, eyes are on Walgreens after the company said it would stop dispensing abortion pills in some Republican-led states where abortion is still legal. Plus, we’ll get into why some women in high-level positions are too burned out to stay in the workforce. Later, a listener sings us a song inspired by Marketplace’s Nova Safo. And, this week’s answer to the Make Me Smart question comes from a listener who was wrong about dancing. Here’s everything we talked about today: Anna Zeide’s “US History in 15 Foods” “Remembering Judy Heumann’s lasting contributions to disability rights” from PBS Newshour “Walgreens in the hot seat” from Politico “California to not do business with Walgreens over abortion pills issue, Governor says” from Reuters “Debt Default Would Cripple U.S. Economy, New Analysis Warns” from The New York Times “Female Execs Are Exhausted, Frustrated and Heading for the Exits” from Bloomberg What have you been wrong about lately? We want to hear your answer to the Make Me Smart question! Leave us a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART, and your submission may be featured in a future episode.
This week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will head to Congress for two days of hearings as required under the Humphrey-Hawkins Act. Today, we’ll trace the little-known history behind this important piece of legislation and explain what it has to do with the civil rights movement and Coretta Scott King. Plus, make me smiles that have us reminiscing about family. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Republican Votes Helped Washington Pile Up Debt” from The New York Times “Inflation pressures put Powell in spotlight before Congress” from The Associated Press “Understanding the civil rights movement as a labor and economic movement” from Marketplace Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978 from GovInfo “Biden scraps reliance on market for faith in broader government role” from Washington Post “Toblerone Is Removing the Matterhorn From Its Packaging” from The Wall Street Journal “Virgin chicken wranglers, tired of pricey eggs, are snatching up birds” from The Washington Post Learn more and register for the March 8 International Women’s Day virtual event with Kimberly: marketplace.org/womensday
Across the U.S., kids as young as 13 are being employed to do everything from packaging cereal to cleaning meatpacking plants. Many are migrants who came into the U.S. without their parents and were driven to work out of desperation. Now, lawmakers want to push for change. The story has us shaking our heads. Plus, is it OK to order the same dish as your spouse? Our hosts dive into a lively food debate. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Lawmakers Clamor for Action on Child Migrant Labor as Outrage Grows” from The New York Times “Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S.” from The New York Times “Biden Awards Medal of Honor to Black Vietnam Veteran” from The New York Times “Walgreens won’t sell abortion pills in some states where they’re legal” from The Washington Post “Alaska’s Fisheries Are Collapsing” from Politico Snow in the Southern California mountains from The Los Angeles Times “TikTok expanding time limits on app” from Axios “The FTC Is Readying a Crackdown on Online Therapy” from Futurism “The products we buy are shrinking, and so is the value” from Marketplace “The Bidens ordered the same dish at a restaurant — and the internet has thoughts” from Today “It’s Fine to Order the Same Dish as Your Spouse” from Josh Barro Learn more and register for the March 8 International Women’s Day virtual event with Kimberly: marketplace.org/womensday
In the before times, when the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, the number of people filing for unemployment benefits would rise too. But we’re far from that today. U.S. weekly jobless claims are remarkably low. So where’s the recession we’ve been hearing so much about? Kai tells us what Janet Yellen had to say about this in his recent interview with the treasury secretary. Plus, the complicated task of creating a time zone for the moon. And guess who’s a Swiftie. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Trump can be sued by police over Jan. 6 riot, Justice Department says” from The Washington Post “ChatGPT and Whisper APIs debut, allowing devs to integrate them into apps” from Ars Technica “Apple Blocks Update of ChatGPT-Powered App, as Concerns Grow Over AI’s Potential Harm” from The Wall Street Journal “Yellen: Progress on inflation isn’t a straight line” from Marketplace “US Jobless Claims Edge Lower in Sign of Strong Labor Market” from Bloomberg “Elon Musk Is So Busy His Private Jet Is Taking 13-Minute Flights” from Bloomberg “Merrick Garland Is a Huge Taylor Swift Fan” from The Wall Street Journal “What time is it on moon? Europe pushing for lunar time zone” from AP News Paula Perry rescues baby squirrels in her Mississippi home from The Washington Post Join us tomorrow for Economics on Tap. The YouTube livestream starts at 3:30 p.m. PT / 6:30 p.m. ET. We’ll have news, drinks, a game and more.
Norfolk Southern, the train company involved in the recent derailment in Ohio, spent $1.8 million on lobbying last year. One listener called in to ask about what lobbying dollars actually pay for. We’ll explain and answer more of your questions about how menstrual symptoms can affect productivity and what it might take for climate NIMBYs to become climate YIMBYs. Plus, Kimberly and guest host Reema Khrais share financial advice they’d give their younger selves. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Lobbying Data Summary” from OpenSecrets “How Corporate Lobbyists Conquered American Democracy” from The Atlantic “‘Crafting an illusion’: US rail firms’ multimillion-dollar PR push” from The Guardian “Before Ohio derailment, Norfolk Southern lobbied against safety rules” from The Washington Post “Productivity loss due to menstruation-related symptoms: a nationwide cross-sectional survey among 32 748 women” from BMJ “Menstrual cycle-associated symptoms and workplace productivity in US employees: A cross-sectional survey of users of the Flo mobile phone app” from National Library of Medicine “Even in the U.S., poor women often can’t afford tampons, pads” from Reuters “Solar Tax Credit By State In 2023: What You Need To Know” from Forbes “Wind energy gives American farmers a new crop to sell in tough times” from USA Today “The Power of Compound Interest: Calculations and Examples” from Investopedia Got a question for the hosts? Leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To reach the Joe Biden administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, the country’s energy infrastructure needs a massive overhaul, and fast. But many communities are not on board with the idea of a massive wind or solar farm in their area. Some counties are banning renewable energy developments before the planning can even begin. “All those wind turbines and solar panels, and then all the transmission lines that you need to build … it has a big footprint. And that creates lots of land use conflicts,” said Ted Nordhaus, founder of The Breakthrough Institute. On the show today, Nordhaus breaks down climate NIMBYism, the threat it poses to our green-energy economy and what it might take to keep the green transition moving forward. In the News Fix: Work as we know it is changing. Many U.S. companies are already using ChatGPT in one way or another, and the artificial intelligence chatbot is replacing jobs. Plus, workers in Asia and Europe are going back to the office at much higher rates than American workers. Then, we’ll hear from listeners about how later school start times have improved their family’s mornings, the debate about what to call mocktails, and why Americans keep eggs in the fridge. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Decarbonization and its Discontents” from The Breakthrough Institute “Will NIMBYs sink new clean energy projects? The evidence says no – if developers listen to local concerns” from The Conversation “The Environmentalists Undermining Environmentalism” from The Atlantic “America needs a new environmentalism” from The Economist “Should I Learn Coding as a Second Language?” from Wired “1 in 4 companies have already replaced workers with ChatGPT” from Resume Builder “As Americans Work From Home, Europeans and Asians Head Back to the Office” from The Wall Street Journal “What’s happened to the lunch places in office neighborhoods?” from Marketplace “Why do we refrigerate eggs and other countries don’t? from the Egg Safety Center What have you been wrong about lately? We want to hear your answer to the Make Me Smart question! Leave us a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART, and your submission may be featured in a future episode.
Drag show performances have become the new front in America’s culture wars. Lawmakers in more than a dozen states are considering legislation that would limit or ban drag shows. But after major corporations came out against anti-LGBTQ laws last year, we’re wondering: Where is corporate America now? Plus, big news on the ban on British sausages. Here’s everything we talked about today: “To Tap Federal Funds, Chip Makers Will Need to Provide Child Care” from The New York Times “Watchdog Report on Afghan Collapse Points to Abrupt Withdrawal, Lack of Planning” from The Wall Street Journal “Florida Governor DeSantis ends ‘corporate kingdom’ of Walt Disney World” from Reuters “Memphis drag community says Tennessee bill restricting drag shows is ‘dehumanizing’ and bad for local businesses” from WATN “Tennessee residents, business owners worry about the ‘unintended’ consequences of new drag bill” from WTVF “The story behind Ke Huy Quan’s Hollywood comeback” from Screen Tweet from @RishiSunak on the U.K.-EU agreement on Northern Ireland “Why are British sausages being blocked from entry into Northern Ireland? The dispute explained” from The Conversation We can’t do this without you! Please keep sending us your comments and questions by calling 508-U-B-SMART or emailing email@example.com.
During the early years of the pandemic, people throughout the country left major cities and never returned. But in New York City, it seemed people were coming back in droves. What else would explain the lower availability of apartments and the increasing rent prices? The real reason may not be that simple, and it may have to do with algorithms and something called “warehousing.” Also, the patent examiner who sought to demonstrate the ingenuity of Black Americans through their inventions is being honored. Plus, we play a round of Half Full / Half Empty! “New Yorkers Never Came ‘Flooding Back.’ Why Did Rents Go Up So Much?” from New York magazine “9 Charts on the Russia-Ukraine War” from Gallup “Found on Baker’s list” from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office “No cow needed: Oat and soy can be called milk, FDA proposes” from AP “United launches $100 million green jet fuel fund” from Marketplace “How does a water bottle go viral — and stay viral?” from Marketplace “New York City’s push to become a tech hub” from Marketplace “Samsung Now Cloning Users’ Voices So an AI Can Answer Calls for Them” from Futurism We love hearing and reading your questions and comments, so please keep sending them! You can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.
There’s tons of research showing teenagers aren’t getting enough quality sleep. One big contributing factor: early school start times. So why aren’t more schools getting with the program? Also, we’ll get into the different narratives being created about the Joe Biden administration’s pick for the next leader of the World Bank. Plus, Wordle cheaters, we know who you are. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Let Teenagers Sleep” from Scientific American “Republicans Will Hold Their First Presidential Debate in Milwaukee” from The New York Times “US to Pick Ex-Mastercard CEO Banga as World Bank President” from Bloomberg “Have Scientists Found a Rogue Supermassive Black Hole?” from Sky & Telescope “Brittney Griner returns to Phoenix Mercury on 1-year deal” from ESPN “Study calls DC residents’ Wordle streaks into question” from WTOP News Join us tomorrow for Economics on Tap. The YouTube livestream starts at 3:30 p.m. PT / 6:30 p.m. ET. We’ll have news, drinks, a game and more.
DALL-E, ChatGPT and now … Bing? It can be hard to keep up with all the new artificial intelligence systems hitting the scene. One listener called in to ask what makes the new AI-powered Bing different from ChatGPT. We’ll get into it and answer more of your questions about how a tax cut works versus a stimulus and the hidden costs of police misconduct. Plus, can journalists who cover business trade stocks? Here’s everything we talked about today: “Bing (Yes, Bing) Just Made Search Interesting Again” from The New York Times “The new Microsoft Bing will sometimes misrepresent the info it finds” from The Verge “Microsoft’s new Bing chatbot is fun but sometimes more cautious than ChatGPT” from CNBC “Why a Conversation With Bing’s Chatbot Left Me Deeply Unsettled” from The New York Times “What Is Economic Stimulus? How It Works, Benefits, and Risks” from Investopedia “Cities pay millions in police misconduct settlements” from Marketplace “Repeated police misconduct cost taxpayers $1.5 billion in settlements” from The Washington Post “Insurers force change on police departments long resistant to it” from The Washington Post “How Police Misconduct Affects Cities And Taxpayers Financially” from NPR Marketplace’s Standards of Behavior Got a question for our hosts? Leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART or email us at email@example.com.
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