The rise of NUMMI, or how one of the worst auto plants in America started producing some of its best cars, thanks to lessons learned from the Toyota production system.
Why did it take so many years for GM to begin implementing the lessons of NUMMI across the company? NPR Automotive Correspondent Frank Langfitt continues his story.
Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg from our Planet Money team report on economic forecasts for 2010 and what they can and cannot accurately predict. Planet Money is a co-production of This American Life and NPR News.
Because of the University, State College is in the only county in Pennsylvania where GDP grew in 2008. Producer Nancy Updike visited with local businesses and learned several tips for thriving at the nation's top party school.
A few years back, Bill Cotter was a rare book binder who decided to get into the rare book selling business. To do this, he financed his business on a bunch of low-interest credit cards.
Host Ira Glass talks to Rob Lamberts, a doctor and blogger in Georgia, who describes the crazy world of medical billing, where armies of coders use several contradictory different systems of codes...and none of it makes us healthier.
Planet Money's Chana Joffe-Walt explains why prescription drug coupons could actually be increasing how much we pay, and prevent us from even telling how much drugs cost.
Planet Money correspondent David Kestenbaum investigates the growing popularity of pet insurance, and what it reveals about insurance for people.
This American Life producer Sarah Koenig reports on a very surprising reason why insurance companies dump members, and how this reasoning contradicts President Obama's argument for what will lower health care costs.
Are doctors to blame for the rising costs? NPR Science Correspondent Alix Spiegel reports on the shocking results of studies about varied health care spending. Hear more health care stories this week from Alix at npr.org.
Or is the problem the patients? Producer Lisa Pollak reports.
Or maybe the insurance companies are to blame? Producer Sarah Koenig reports.
Host Ira Glass talks with Susan Dentzer, editor of the journal Health Affairs, about what current health reform proposals do to fix the rising costs of healthcare...And points at a surprising, kind of heartening phenomenon happening within the current debate.
Host Ira Glass talks with NPR correspondent Adam Davidson about a black tie event he attended in the spring of 2008. The event was an awards dinner for finance professionals who created the mortgage-based financial instruments that nearly brought down the global economic system.
We catch back up with the people we met in 2008, to see how they've fared over the last 18 months. We talk to Clarence Nathan, who in 2008 received a half million dollar loan that he said he wouldn't have given himself; Jim Finkel, a Wall Street finance guy, who put together and managed complicated mortgage-based financial securities; Richard Campbell, the Marine who was facing foreclosure; and Glen Pizzolorusso, the mortgage company sales manager who led the life of a b-list celebrity.
Host Ira Glass talks about the infamous line in the band Van Halen's contract insisting that the groups' dressing room include a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown M&Ms removed. Ira used to think this request was just petulant rock-star behavior.
Planet Money's Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson talk to Ira about the lawsuit phase of the economic crisis, and the ongoing search to find someone to take the blame. So far at least 196 lawsuits are simply banks suing other banks.
Host Ira Glass talks to business professor Pino Audia and Fast Company magazine columnist Dan Heath about corporate creation myths, and why so many of them involve garages.
Host Ira Glass talks with Michael Perrino, a law professor at St Johns University School of Law in New York, who wrote a book about Ferdinand Pecora called The Hellhound of Wall Street. Pecora was the lead attorney in the Senate Banking Committee hearings in the 1930s looking into wrongdoing in the banking industry.
Planet Money reporter Chana Joffe-Walt asks a simple question: Who was the federal regulator who was supposed to be regulating AIG? The answer turns out to be far from simple.
Alex Blumberg and NPR correspondent (and "Planet Money" reporter) Dave Kestenbaum examine what went wrong with the credit ratings agencies. When all these financial instruments that brought down our economy—the mortgage backed securities, the derivatives—were originally issued, the rating agencies (Standard and Poors, Moody's and Fitch) gave many of these things their top rating of triple-A.
Reporter Chris Arnold visits a foreclosure prevention event to find out the painful truth about the mortgage crisis: 90% of foreclosures are being enforced by servicing companies not because it helps the banks to foreclose, and not because home owners aren't interested in renegotiating their loan terms, but because there's just no system in place to handle the sheer volume of loans that need help.
NPR reporter and Planet Money contributor Chana Jaffe-Walt reports this story of what it really looks like when a bank fails and is taken over by the FDIC. She talks to the former employees and a handful of FDIC staff about the Friday night when the Bank of Clark County was interrupted and closed by 80 FDIC employees, who had every step of their secret operation down to a science.