Planet Money Recommendation

If you’re looking for a good way to pass the time on your iPod, try the NPR Planet Money podcast.

I don’t recall how I discovered them, but I started listening shortly before the U.S. financial crisis two years ago. They once said their original intent for the podcast was entirely different, but as the housing market collapsed and banks went to the brink of failure, their focus quickly shifted and they’ve been reporting ever since. The majority of the stories are serious, with heavy emphasis in the past couple of years on the global crisis and the reconstruction of Haiti. However, they also have a lighter side that comes out well during their purchase of a U.S. toxic asset, they they eventually named “Toxie” for the listeners.

What I particularly enjoy about them is that they aren’t out there to promote a stock, and they definitely are not Wall Street insiders. In fact, most of the time, they are just trying to dig through the mess of the business world and make sense of it for the average Joe. And surprisingly, their analysis has been in my opinion, extremely non-partisan. I’ve listened as  they sometimes are forced to confront their own values with the reality they report on, which just adds to the impact of their stories.

So if you like a more human view of the markets that typically get lost in the numbers, check these guys out…

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