Adam Davidson

Adam Davidson is co-founder and co-host of Planet Money, a co-production of NPR and This American Life. He also writes the weekly "It's the Economy" column for the New York Times Magazine.

His work has won several major awards including the Peabody, DuPont-Columbia, and the Polk. His radio documentary on the housing crisis, "The Giant Pool of Money," which he co-reported and produced with Alex Blumberg, was named one of the top ten works of journalism of the decade by the Arthur L. Carter of Journalism Institute at New York University. It was widely recognized as the clearest and most entertaining explanation of the roots of the financial crisis in any media.

Davidson and Blumberg took the lessons they learned crafting "The Giant Pool of Money" to create Planet Money. In two weekly podcasts, a blog, and regular features on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and This American Life, Planet Money helps listeners understand how dramatic economic change is impacting their lives. Planet Money also proves, every day, that substantive, intelligent economic reporting can be funny, engaging, and accessible to the non-expert.

Before Planet Money, Davidson was International Business and Economics Correspondent for NPR. He traveled around the world to cover the global economy and pitched in during crises, such as reporting from Indonesia's Banda Aceh just after the tsunami, New Orleans post-Katrina, and Paris during the youth riots.

Prior to coming to NPR, Davidson was Middle East correspondent for PRI's Marketplace. He spent a year in Baghdad, Iraq, from 2003 to 2004, producing award-winning reports on corruption in the US occupation.

Davidson has also written for The Atlantic, Harper's, GQ, Rolling Stone, and many other magazines. He has a degree in the history of religion from the University of Chicago.

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NPR Story
1:45 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Dollar-Euro Exchange Rate Can Reveal Pulse Of Global Economy

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 3:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now for our regular primer on global economics, no student loan required. Remember the European economic crisis? Just months ago, there was near panic that the euro zone would collapse, bringing down with it the entire international economy, again. So, how is Europe doing now and what is the overall state of the global economy? Well, one place economists look for answers to those questions is in the exchange rate between dollars and euros.

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Planet Money
11:41 am
Tue March 12, 2013

4.2 Million Americans Were Hired In January (And 4.1 Million Quit Or Got Fired)

Calculated Risk

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 3:42 pm

One jobs number gets all the attention: The number of jobs lost or gained in the previous month.

That number is important. But focusing too much on the net change in jobs can be misleading. It gives the impression that a job is like a widget — it's something that gets made in a factory somewhere, and that we hope exists forever.

That's not how it works. Even in good economic times ,new jobs are constantly being created and old jobs are constantly being destroyed. (Of course, you do want the number of jobs created to exceed the number of jobs destroyed.)

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Planet Money
12:23 am
Fri September 7, 2012

This Man Makes Beautiful Suits, But He Can't Afford To Buy One

this slide show from The New York Times Magazine." href="/post/man-makes-beautiful-suits-he-cant-afford-buy-one" class="noexit lightbox">
See photos of Peter Frew and other tailors in this slide show from The New York Times Magazine.
Marvin Orellana The New York Times

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 7:15 am

Peter Frew is one of a tiny number of people left in the United States who can — entirely on his own, using almost no machinery — make a classic bespoke suit. He can measure you, draw a pattern, cut the fabric and then hand-stitch a suit designed to fit your body perfectly.

Frew spent more than a decade as an apprentice for a remarkable tailor in his native Jamaica. He now sells his suits for about $4,000. Since New York is filled with very rich people who see their suits as an essential uniform, Frew has all the orders he can handle.

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Planet Money
2:51 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Scandal That Cost Barclays Chairman His Job Threatens To Spread

London-based Barclays Bank agreed to pay a $453 million fine over charges it manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate — LIBOR — a key global interest rate.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 9:24 am

Every day at 11 a.m., a few big banks tell the British Bankers' Association what it costs them to borrow. Out of that comes LIBOR — the London Interbank Offered Rate, a dull but vital interest rate that underpins trillions of dollars of transactions globally, from home mortgages and personal credit cards to major corporate lending.

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Planet Money
12:16 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Why Matzo Makers Love Regulation

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz at the Manischewitz factory in 2007
Mike Derer AP

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 8:06 am

For more, see our video, Inside The Matzo Factory, and see Adam Davdson's latest NYT Magazine column

The matzo business may be the most heavily regulated business in the world.

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Planet Money
12:05 am
Thu March 29, 2012

The $200,000-A-Year Nanny

iStockphoto.com

I met Zenaide Muneton in the offices of the Pavillion Agency in New York, which specializes in hiring house staff for some of the richest folks in the country. Muneton says she knows how to make everything fun for kids, even homework, and that's why she is one of the better paid nannies at the agency. I asked her what that means.

"It means over $150,000 a year," Muneton said.

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Planet Money
10:06 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Why Are Some Countries Rich And Others Poor?

Haiti's brown landscape contrasts sharply with the rich forests of its neighbor Haiti-Dominican Republic Border, South Of Dajabon, Dominican Republic.
National Geographic/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 2:37 pm

Why are some nations rich and others poor? In a new book called Why Nations Fail, a pair of economists argue that a lot comes down to politics.

To research the book, the authors scoured the world for populations and geographic areas that are identical in all respects save one: they're on different sides of a border.

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Planet Money
9:01 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Meet Claudia, The High-Tech Cow

Technology at rest.
Adam Davidson NPR

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 8:09 am

Here's the secret of the modern dairy farm: The essential high-tech advances aren't in machinery. They're inside the cow.

Take a cow like Claudia. She lives at Fulper Farms, a dairy farm in upstate New Jersey. Claudia is to a cow from the 1930s as a modern Ferrari is to a Model T.

In the 1930s, dairy farmers could get 30 pounds of milk per day from a cow. Claudia produces 75 pounds a day.

To appreciate a cow like Claudia, you have to know where to look.

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Planet Money
9:01 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

A Revival In American Manufacturing, Led By Brooklyn Foodies

Every week, Robert Stout of Kings County Jerky slices meat by hand.
Adam Lerner adamlerner.net

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 7:56 am

One day Chris Woehrle decided to finally leave his corporate job and pursue his dream: to become an artisanal food craftsman. And so, every day at home, he'd basically pickle stuff.

"I had a refrigerator full of plastic food buckets that were full of pickles and kimchee and sauerkraut and harissa and salsa and ketchup and mustard and, you know, any kind of craft food you could make," Woehrle says.

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Planet Money
9:01 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

What Do The Dow's Daily Swings Mean? Not Much.

Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 2:22 pm

Turn on the news on any given day, and you're likely to hear about the Dow Jones industrial average. It is the most frequently checked, and cited, proxy of U.S. economic health. But a lot of people — maybe most — don't even know what it is. It's just the stock prices of 30 big companies, summed up and roughly averaged. That's it.

And what does the daily movement of this number have to do with the lives of most Americans? Not much.

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