Rank #1: How will we know if we're in a recession?
Unemployment, inflation, GDP growth, bond yields ... we do a lot of numbers on this show. But what should you really be watching if you're nervous about another economic downturn? We asked James Poterba, president of the National Bureau of Economic Research. But first, we'll recap Google CEO Sundar Pichai's congressional testimony and look at the lobbyist job market as nearly 100 lawmakers leave their jobs.
Rank #2: Attacking the supply – The Uncertain Hour Season 3, Episode 5
It’s not easy being an undercover cop in a county with just 40,000 people. But drugs were making it hard for Bucky Culbertson to run his business, so now he makes his business getting rid of drugs.
Rank #3: Bonus: The Uncertain Hour season 3 premiere
Our documentary podcast The Uncertain Hour is going inside America's drug war this season. We're starting with the strange and little-known story of how, 30 years ago, George H.W. Bush came to hold up an baggie of crack in his first televised speech in the Oval Office — a baggie he said was seized in front of the White House. Later, we'll explore how the policies Bush launched reverberate through today's opioid crisis, trying to answer the question: How does an epidemic end? Subscribe to The Uncertain Hour here or wherever you get your podcasts so you don't miss a thing.
Rank #4: When office politics meet national politics
It's felt harder than ever to avoid political conversations since the 2016 election, even (maybe especially) in the workplace. We'll look at how employers are handling tough conversations. But first, an unintended consequence of Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox: It has to give up 22 regional sports networks, which could be a business opportunity for team owners and new tech players. Plus, HBO has a new job on its sets: intimacy coordinator.
Rank #5: We might not be headed for recession after all
Analysts have warned that a recession may be on the horizon, but positive showings in retail and the stock market have some experts second-guessing. Plus: Why one company is fighting for more regulations and the rise of temps in the C-suite.
Rank #6: What it means to miss a paycheck
Friday's payday — or it should be. If the government shutdown continues through the week, federal workers will miss out. We talked with some out-of-work employees about how the shutdown is affecting their personal economies. Then: High economic growth in the U.S. has fueled carbon dioxide emissions despite technological advances aimed to reduce them. Plus: Why are airline tickets priced like that anyway?
Rank #7: Who’s paying tariffs? Actually, it’s you.
A new study has found American consumers generally bear the brunt of tariff costs. Plus: The NRA's finances and how President Trump's new sanction threats could affect oil prices.
Rank #8: The word of the day is "uncertainty"
Between the trade war, Brexit, North Korea, oil and more, the word “uncertainty” has appeared a lot in recent news. Today we talk about what it means and when you should be concerned. Plus, what to make of Facebook's "pivot to privacy" and a conversation with the hosts of WNYC's "Nancy" podcast about money.
Rank #9: Here come the consultants
With an avalanche of tariffs to navigate, companies are facing a lot of uncertainty over how to plan ahead. Meanwhile, business is booming for trade consultants. We'll talk about it, but first: mortgage rates have hit a seven-year high, and Obamacare prices are dropping for the first time. What's going on? Plus, how nonprofits fund raise after scandal.
Rank #10: Modern monetary theory is a sink
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said recently that modern monetary theory, or MMT, should “be a larger part of our conversation” when it comes to funding ambitious policies she’s proposed. On today's show, we'll explain how it works — it's kind of like a kitchen sink. But first, we'll take you inside the financial lives of furloughed federal government workers. Plus, more key moments in Trumponomics.
Rank #11: What happened to Keith? — The Uncertain Hour season 3, episode 2
One day, early in the semester, Keith Jackson didn’t show up to class. He’d been arrested for selling crack, but for his classmates, that wasn’t the surprising part. Subscribe to The Uncertain Hour here or wherever you get your podcasts.
Rank #12: Lilly Singh and the changing face of late night
Seventeen years after NBC hired Carson Daly to host its 1:30 a.m. late show, it's now turned to Canadian YouTube sensation Lilly Singh to replace him. We look at what that means. Plus, we'll explore a few contradictions: Solar is roaring back amid barriers from the Trump administration, and consumer confidence is up despite an economic downturn on the horizon.
Rank #13: Deal or no deal
British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal was shot down today. We'll kick off our show with the latest and what's next. Then, speaking of "no deal": Under the partial government shutdown, some Trump advisers are seeing what a smaller government really looks like. Plus, why your Netflix is getting more expensive.
Rank #14: Where no business has gone before
Mainly, Mars. SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell talked with us about it during a tour of the company's main factory in Southern California. But first, with the sun (possibly) setting on the government-supported 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, we'll assess its pros and cons. Plus, why all those new apartment buildings look the same.
Rank #15: Today's market decline, explained
By now we don't have to remind you that the stock market is not the economy, but we'll give you some more context for today's decline. Also on today's show: One of the most influential companies you probably never heard of is going public. The mobile division of Japanese conglomerate Softbank is vying for an IPO. That's a big deal for American companies, including Uber, Slack and WeWork. Then: About 70 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned before purchase. Now e-commerce retailers are trying to figure out how to get shoppers to that last click. And we remember comic book genius Stan Lee. We talk to Gizmodo’s Evan Narcisse about Lee's impact on pop culture.
Rank #16: 10 million percent inflation
That's where the situation is heading in Venezuela. We'll tell you what you need to know as President Nicolás Maduro is called to resign. Then, more from our series on President Trump's signature economic moments. Plus, why the government shutdown is hitting harder than what GDP lets on.
Rank #17: Your tax refund isn't free money
Americans got back more than $320 billion in tax refunds last year, and plenty of tax prep services would have you believe that's a nice little bonus on top of your income. But it's not. Today we explore the psychology of tax season and how it's changed over time. But first: About those Fed minutes. Plus: Money is already pouring into the presidential race, but will there be any donations left by 2020?
Rank #18: Apples to apples
The impacts of the trade war with China are widespread. Today we'll zoom in on agriculture, and a family farm in Washington that's feeling it. Plus, the latest on Foxconn, which now says it's backing away from building TVs in Wisconsin in favor of advanced manufacturing. Plus, after living through the government shutdown, discouraged federal workers might be seeking out other employment opportunities.
Rank #19: Can Trump fire Jay Powell?
’Twas the night before Christmas, and the markets continued to dive, so we start with the big picture question: Can President Donald Trump remove Jay Powell as head of the Federal Reserve? Like many things in life, the answer is a bit complicated. Then, let's address the giraffe-shaped void in our retail lives this holiday season. With Toys R Us filing for bankruptcy, where are holiday shoppers getting their toys? Later, we talk about the business model behind subscription beauty boxes with Birchbox CEO and co-founder Katia Beauchamp.
Rank #20: Attacking the supply — The Uncertain Hour season 3, episode 5
It’s not easy being an undercover cop in a county with just 40,000 people. But drugs were making it hard for Bucky Culbertson to run his business, so now he makes his business getting rid of drugs. Subscribe to The Uncertain Hour wherever you get your podcasts.