Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at Planet Money. Planet Money is a multimedia team covering the global economy with a simple goal: to be the place where the average, curious person can finally say, “Oh, now I get it. Now I understand that economic issue.” Segments are broadcast on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, two of the three most popular radio programs in the country. The podcast is consistently ranked among the top 20 podcasts on Apple Podcasts. In 2017 it was named a “top podcast to help you think differently” by Inc.com.
About the Host
Jacob Goldstein, Robert Smith, Stacey Vanek Smith, Ailsa Chang, Noel King, Kenny Malone, Karen Duffin, Sarah Gonzalez, and Cardiff Garcia
Jacob Goldstein is an NPR correspondent and co-host of Planet Money. Jacob’s interest in technology and the changing nature of work has led him to stories on UPS, the Luddites, and the history of light. His aversion to paying retail has led him to stories on Costco, Spirit Airlines, and index funds. He also contributed to the Planet Money T-shirt and oil projects, and to an episode of This American Life that asked: What is money? Before coming to NPR, Jacob was a staff writer at the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. He has also written for the New York Times Magazine. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford and a master’s in journalism from Columbia.
Robert Smith is a host for NPR's Planet Money where he tells stories about how the global economy is affecting our lives. If that sounds a little dry, then you've never heard Planet Money. The team specializes in making economic reporting funny, engaging and understandable. Planet Money has been known to set economic indicators to music, use superheroes to explain central banks, and even buy a toxic asset just to figure it out. Smith admits that he has no special background in finance or math, just a curiosity about how money works. That kind of curiosity has driven Smith for his 20 years in radio. Before joining Planet Money, Smith was the New York correspondent for NPR. He was responsible for covering all the mayhem and beauty that makes it the greatest city on Earth. Smith reported on the rebuilding of Ground Zero, the stunning landing of US Air flight 1549 in the Hudson River and the dysfunctional world of New York politics. He specialized in features about the overlooked joys of urban living: puddles, billboards, ice cream trucks, street musicians, drunks and obsessives. When New York was strangely quiet, Smith pitched in covering the big national stories. He traveled with presidential campaigns, tracked the recovery of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and reported from the BP oil spill. Before his New York City gig, Smith worked for public radio stations in Seattle (KUOW), Salt Lake City (KUER) and Portland (KBOO). He's been an editor, a host, a news director and just about any other job you can think of in broadcasting. Smith also lectures on the dark arts of radio at universities and conferences. He trains fellow reporters how to sneak humor and action into even the dullest stories on tight deadlines. Smith started in broadcasting playing music at KPCW in his hometown of Park City, Utah. Although the low-power radio station at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, likes to claim him as its own.
Sarah Gonzalez is a co-host of Planet Money. Before joining NPR, she worked at WNYC. Her reporting on the Department of Homeland Security’s detainment of unaccompanied minors on flimsy claims of gang connections has led to the release of dozens of immigrant teens. Gonzales also did a five-part investigation into New Jersey juvenile prosecutions, winning a the 2017 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize for her work. She has also won the Murrow Award, PRNDI, SPJ, ONA awards. Additionally, she has filled-in as host on The Takeaway, and The Brian Lehrer Show. Prior to WNYC, Sarah covered education in Florida and was an NPR Kroc Fellow in 2010. She got her start in public radio in a public radio reporting class at Mills College in Oakland, CA. Sarah grew up on the San Diego-Tijuana, Mexico border.
Karen Duffin is a co-host for Planet Money. She is a talented journalist, with a knack for finding characters with wild tales, blending in-depth reporting and narrative storytelling. Before joining NPR, she was on staff at This American Life. Other programs she has worked on include Radiolab, More Perfect, Reply All, On The Media, and Pop Up Magazine. Duffin was also a story coach and main stage storyteller for The Moth and a teacher at CUNY and Columbia Graduate Schools of Journalism. Before becoming a journalist, Karen worked in the corporate world, spending several years as a speechwriter and working in more than 20 countries.
Cardiff Garcia is a co-host of NPR's The Indicator from Planet Money podcast, along with Stacey Vanek Smith. He joined NPR in November 2017. Previously, Garcia was the U.S. editor of FT Alphaville, the flagship economics and finance blog of the Financial Times, where for seven years he wrote and edited stories about the U.S. economy and financial markets. He was also the founder and host of FT Alphachat, the Financial Times' award-winning business and economics podcast. As a guest commentator, he has regularly appeared on media outlets such as Marketplace Radio, WNYC, CNBC, Yahoo Finance, the BBC, and others.
Kenny Malone is a correspondent for NPR's Planet Money podcast. Before that, he was a reporter for WNYC's Only Human podcast. Before that, he was a reporter for Miami's WLRN. And before that, he was a reporter for his friend T.C.'s homemade newspaper, Neighborhood News. Kenny's stories have investigated everything from abuse in Florida's assisted living facilities to health hackers building their own pancreas to the origins of seemingly made-up holidays like National Raisin Day. Or National Golf Day. Or National Splurge Day. His work has won the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Use of Sound, the National Headliner Award, the Scripps Howard Award, and the Bronze Third Coast Festival Award. He studied mathematics at Xavier University in Cincinnati and proudly hails from Meadville, PA, where the zipper was invented.
Noel King is host of Morning Edition and Up First, along with Steve Inskeep, Rachel Martin, and David Greene, and correspondent for Planet Money. At Planet Money, her reporting centers on economic questions that don't have simple answers. Her stories have explored what is owed to victims of police brutality who were coerced into false confessions, how institutions that benefited from slavery are atoning to the descendants of enslaved Americans, and why a giant Chinese conglomerate invested millions of dollars in her small, rural hometown. Her favorite part of the job is finding complex, and often conflicted, people at the center of these stories. While at NPR, she has also served as a fill-in host for Weekend All Things Considered and 1A from NPR Member station WAMU. Before coming to NPR, she was a senior reporter and fill-in host for Marketplace. At Marketplace, she investigated the causes and consequences of inequality. She spent five months embedded in a pop-up news bureau examining gentrification in an L.A. neighborhood, listened in as low-income and wealthy residents of a single street in New Orleans negotiated the best way to live side-by-side, and wandered through Baltimore in search of the legacy of a $100 million federal job-creation effort. Noel got her start in radio when she moved to Sudan a few months after graduating from college, at the height of the Darfur conflict. From 2004 to 2007, she was a freelancer for Voice of America based in Khartoum. Her reporting took her to the far reaches of the divided country. From 2007 - 2008, she was based in Kigali, covering Rwanda's economic and social transformation, and entrenched conflicts in the the Democratic Republic of Congo. From 2011 to 2013, she was based in Cairo, reporting on Egypt's uprising and its aftermath for PRI's The World, the CBC, and the BBC. Noel was part of the team that launched The Takeaway, a live news show from WNYC and PRI. During her tenure as managing producer, the show's coverage of race in America won an RTDNA UNITY Award. She also served as a fill-in host of the program. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in American Civilization, and is a proud native of Kerhonkson, NY.
Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who hosts All Things Considered along with Ari Shapiro, Audie Cornish, and Mary Louise Kelly, and is a correspondent for NPR's Planet Money. She landed in public radio after practicing law for a few years. Her colleagues still let her geek out on the law at Planet Money, where she's covered the underground asylum industry in the largest Chinatown in America, privacy rights in the cell phone age, the government's doomed fight to stop racist trademarks, and the money laundering case federal agents built against one of President Trump's top campaign advisers. Previously, she was a congressional correspondent with NPR's Washington Desk. She covered battles over healthcare, immigration, gun control, executive branch appointments, and the federal budget. Chang started out as a radio reporter in 2009, and has since earned a string of national awards for her work. In 2012, she was honored with the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for her investigation into the New York City Police Department's "stop-and-frisk" policy and allegations of unlawful marijuana arrests by officers. The series also earned honors from Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists. She was also the recipient of the Daniel Schorr Journalism Award, a National Headliner Award, and an honor from Investigative Reporters and Editors for her investigation on how Detroit's broken public defender system leaves lawyers with insufficient resources to effectively represent their clients. In 2011, the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association named Chang as the winner of the Art Athens Award for General Excellence in Individual Reporting for radio. In 2015, she won a National Journalism Award from the Asian American Journalists Association for her coverage of Capitol Hill. Prior to coming to NPR, Chang was an investigative reporter at NPR Member station WNYC from 2009 to 2012 in New York City, focusing on criminal justice and legal affairs. She was a Kroc fellow at NPR from 2008 to 2009, as well as a reporter and producer for NPR Member station KQED in San Francisco. The former lawyer served as a law clerk to Judge John T. Noonan Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco. Chang graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University where she received her bachelor's degree. She earned her law degree with distinction from Stanford Law School, where she won the Irving Hellman Jr. Special Award for the best piece written by a student in the Stanford Law Review in 2001. Chang was also a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University, where she received a master's degree in media law. She also has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she never got to have a dog. But now she's the proud mama of Mickey Chang, a shih tzu who enjoys slapping high-fives and mingling with senators.
Stacey Vanek Smith is the co-host of NPR's The Indicator from Planet Money. She's also a correspondent for Planet Money, where she covers business and economics. In this role, Smith has followed economic stories down the muddy back roads of Oklahoma to buy 100 barrels of oil; she's traveled to Pune, India, to track down the man who pitched the country's dramatic currency devaluation to the prime minister; and she's spoken with a North Korean woman who made a small fortune smuggling artificial sweetener in from China. Prior to coming to NPR, Smith worked for Marketplace, where she was a correspondent and fill-in host. While there, Smith was part of a collaboration with The New York Times, where she explored the relationship between money and marriage. She was also part of Marketplace's live shows, where she produced a series of pieces on getting her data mined. Smith is a native of Idaho and grew up working on her parents' cattle ranch. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in comparative literature and creative writing. She also holds a master's in broadcast journalism from Columbia University.