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  • 496: When Patents Attack... Part Two! 05.31.2013

    Two years ago, we did a program about a mysterious business in Texas that threatens companies with lawsuits for violating its patents. But the world of patent lawsuits is so secretive, there ...

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  • 488: Harper High School, Part Two 02.22.2013

    We pick up where we left off last week in our second hour from Harper High School in Chicago. We find out if a shooting in the neighborhood will derail the school's Homecoming game and dance. We ...

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  • 487: Harper High School, Part One 02.15.2013

    We spent five months at Harper High School in Chicago, where last year alone 29 current and recent students were shot. 29. We went to get a sense of what it means to live in the midst of all this ...

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  • 481: This Week 12.07.2012

    This week we take on ... this week. Stories united by one thing: They all happened in the seven days prior to broadcast. We try our hand reporting the global stories in Egypt and Afghanistan; ...

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  • 478: Red State Blue State 11.02.2012

    Everyone knows that politics is now so divided in our country that not only do the 2 sides disagree on the solutions to the country’s problems, they don’t even agree on what the problems are. It’s ...

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  • 471: The Convert 08.10.2012

    In 2006, a new convert showed up at a mosque in Orange County, California, eager to study the Koran and make new friends. But when he started acting odd and saying strange things, those friends ...

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  • 467: Americans in China 06.22.2012

    It used to be that the American expats in China were the big shots. They had the money, the status, the know-how. But that's changed. What's it like to be an American living in China now? And what ...

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  • 461: Take the Money and Run for Office 03.30.2012

    For anyone who has ever heard the term "Washington insider" and felt outside — we are with you. So this week, we go inside the rooms where the deals get made, to the actual moment that the ...

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  • 455: Continental Breakup 01.20.2012

    If you're like us, when the words "European debt crisis" pop up in the news you feel a little worried, and a little like taking a nap. Turns out, there's a story behind this story. One that's ...

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  • 441: When Patents Attack! 07.22.2011

    Why would a company rent an office in a tiny town in East Texas, put a nameplate on the door, and leave it completely empty for a year? The answer involves a controversial billionaire physicist in ...

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  • 440: Game Changer 07.08.2011

    A professor in Pennsylvania makes a calculation, to discover that his state is sitting atop a massive reserve of natural gas—enough to revolutionize how America gets its energy. But another ...

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  • 435: How To Create a Job 05.13.2011

    It seems like every politician has a plan for putting people back to work. But we and the Planet Money team couldn’t help but wonder…how do you create a job? Can politicians truly create many ...

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  • 434: This Week 05.06.2011

    This week we're trying something we've never tried before: An hour of stories about...this week. We take a crack at major news events, like what's happening in Egypt; and at the most minor, like ...

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  • 430: Very Tough Love 03.25.2011

    This week: A drug court program that we believe is run differently from every other drug court in the country, doing some things that are contrary to the very philosophy of drug court. The ...

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  • 423: The Invention of Money 01.07.2011

    Five reporters stumbled on what seems like a basic question: What is money? The unsettling answer they found: Money is fiction. Photo: Stone money on the island of Yap.

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  • 418: Toxie 11.05.2010

    In January 2010, reporters from Planet Money bought a toxic asset—you know, the things that blew up wall street banks, sank the economy and brought the global financial system to a ...

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  • 417: This Party Sucks 10.29.2010

    A show for this year's midterm elections. Two best friends in Michigan, both political novices, get tired of yelling at their TVs and take matters into their own hands. They form a Tea Party ...

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  • 416: Iraq After Us 10.15.2010

    Operation Iraqi Freedom is over. And the next chapter of Iraq is being written now. But what actually happened there the last seven years? Producer Nancy Updike and reporter Larry Kaplow spent a ...

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  • 408: Island Time 05.21.2010

    Unprecedented amounts of money have been pledged to Haitian relief in the last few months. American households have given over $1 billion and in March, 120 countries pledged over $9 billion(!) to ...

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  • 405: Inside Job 04.09.2010

    For seven months a team of investigative journalists from ProPublica looked into a story for us, the inside story of one company that made hundreds of millions of dollars for itself while ...

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  • 403: NUMMI 03.26.2010

    A car plant in Fremont California that might have saved the U.S. car industry. In 1984, General Motors and Toyota opened NUMMI as a joint venture. Toyota showed GM the secrets of its production ...

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  • 392: Someone Else's Money 10.16.2009

    This week, we bring you a deeper look inside the health insurance industry. The dark side of prescription drug coupons. A story about Pet Health Insurance, which is in its infancy, and how it is ...

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  • 391: More Is Less 10.09.2009

    An hour explaining the American health care system, specifically, why it is that costs keep rising. One story looks at the doctors, one at the patients and one at the insurance industry.

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  • 390: Return To The Giant Pool of Money 09.25.2009

    In which we mark the anniversary of the economic collapse and the anniversary of Planet Money: Recapping some of the original episode, The Giant Pool of Money, and finding out what's happened to ...

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  • 387: Arms Trader 2009 08.07.2009

    The U.S. government spent two years on a sting operation trapping an Indian man named Hemant Lakhani, whom they suspected of being an illegal arms dealer.

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  • 382: The Watchmen 06.05.2009

    Since Congress hasn't held 1930's-style hearings into the causes of the financial crisis, we stage one of our own.

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  • 377: Scenes From a Recession 03.27.2009

    The economy works in mysterious ways. This week, we highlight the unusual circumstances our economic drought has left us in, and the newly hatched plans being made to survive it.

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  • 375: Bad Bank 02.27.2009

    The collapse of the banking system explained, in just 59 minutes.

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  • 367: Ground Game 10.24.2008

    This American Life goes to Pennsylvania, a battleground within a battleground, to figure out why, and how, John McCain and Barack Obama both think they can win there. And we get to know the ...

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  • 365: Another Frightening Show About the Economy 10.03.2008

    Alex Blumberg and NPR's Adam Davidson—the two guys who reported our Giant Pool of Money episode—are back, in collaboration with the Planet Money podcast.

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  • 356: The Prosecutor 05.30.2008

    A lawyer in the Justice Department gets the professional opportunity of a lifetime: To be the lead prosecutor in one of the first high-profile terrorist cases since 9/11. But things go badly for him.

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  • 355: The Giant Pool of Money 05.09.2008

    A special program about the housing crisis produced in a special collaboration with NPR News. We explain it all to you. What does the housing crisis have to do with the turmoil on Wall Street? Why ...

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  • 331: Habeas Schmabeas 2007 04.27.2007

    An updated version of our episode "Habeas Schmabeas," which won a 2006 Peabody Award.Listen to a special, uncut version.Download a transcript.

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  • 300: What's In A Number? 10.28.2005

    About a year ago, a study estimated the number of Iraqi casualties since the war began at 100,000 dead—higher than any other estimate. The study was mostly ignored. Alex Blumberg revisits that ...

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  • 299: Back from the Dead 10.07.2005

    Stories about people and places that have come back to life after everything seemed lost.

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  • 297: This Is Not My Beautiful House 09.16.2005

    It's the largest mass resettlement that America has seen since the Civil War, as over 400,000 people—victims of Hurricane Katrina—try to find a new place to live. From the Houston Astrodome to an ...

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  • 296: After the Flood 09.09.2005

    Surprising stories from survivors in New Orleans. We give people who were in the storm more time than daily news coverage can to tell their stories and talk about what they're thinking. This leads ...

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  • 266: I'm From the Private Sector and I'm Here to Help 06.04.2004

    Today's show is devoted to just one story. Contributing editor Nancy Updike went to Iraq to try to figure out what it's like to be a private citizen working in the middle of a war zone.

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  • 210: Perfect Evidence 04.19.2002

    After a decade in which DNA evidence has freed over 100 people nationwide, it's become clear that DNA evidence isn't just proving wrongdoing by criminals, it's proving wrongdoing by police and ...

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  • 179: Cicero 03.16.2001

    The story in a way of a town that time forgot, or more accurately, a town that tried to forget the times.

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  • 168: The Fix Is In 09.15.2000

    There are all sorts of situations in which we suspect the fix is in, but we almost never find out for certain. On today's show, for once, we find out.

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  • 151: Primary 01.28.2000

    Today's program is made all of stories from the New Hampshire primary. Voters want to find a candidate who inspires them. Candidates want to inspire. So where's the system failing? Why do most of ...

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  • 143: Sentencing 10.22.1999

    We've all heard occasional news stories about how some of the drug laws enacted in the last 15 years may have gone too far. First time offenders get locked up for decades. Judges—even Republican ...

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  • 139: Ghosts of Elections Past 09.03.1999

    Stories of political idealists, stories designed to provide some small sense of hope about American politics. Most of these were first broadcast during the 1996 Presidential race.

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