Bryant Urstadt is the editor of Planet Money, NPR's podcast about economics. Planet Money specializes in taking complicated subjects, finding the people at the center of them, and turning their stories into entertaining narratives. He is part of the team which won a Peabody for reporting on the fake bank accounts scandal at Wells Fargo.
Before joining Planet Money, he was the features editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, which also specialized in taking complicated subjects, finding the people at the center of them, and turning their stories into entertaining narratives. There, he was part of a group which won numerous National Magazine Awards, for general excellence, as well as for single-issue topics like coding, and the financial crisis. He also oversaw online features, and helped build the Businessweek web site.
Before that, he was a full-time writer, and wrote for magazines like New York, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Harpers, Outside, Businessweek, and many other places, covering everything from hockey to derivatives.
And before that, he was an NPR listener who sent checks to his local member station.
At Stanford University, an assignment for a class on markets led to an experiment using economic thinking to match undergrads together romantically. It's a great way to understand many other markets.
Prices for materials like copper, soybeans and oil have been rising to the point that some economists are talking about a new 'supercycle' — an event in which prices go high and stay high for years.
An ancient financial arrangement, a death pact known as a tontine, may be relevant to today's understanding of insurance, and how it could be cheaper and more efficient.