Benchmark

A weekly podcast that examines the inner workings of the global economy.
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In Argentina, the cost of borrowing is shooting up to stratospheric levels with interest rates rising to 40 percent. The country's leadership promise…
Listeners are probably familiar with China's economic and strategic ambitions in the South China Sea. But have you heard about what China is up to in…
The U.S. unemployment rate may be at the lowest level since 2000, but some economists want the federal government to go further and guarantee a job f…
From self-driving cars to robot-powered factories, artificial intelligence is taking over significant pieces of the global economy. But while this is…
For years, oil was the major determinant of which countries rose to -- and lost -- power in the global economy. Today, that commodity increasingly is…
It's been a wild ride for investors in the U.S. stock market these past couple months. Yet for all the chaos on Wall Street, Main Street seems to be …
What if it's not the economy, stupid? The Great Recession and the long, moderate expansion that's followed gets blamed for a lot of political upheava…
You've heard about Xi Jinping now becoming China's leader for life. But did you know about his new economic team? They are the ones who could help di…
It may be hard to remember, but not too long ago, hailing a taxi in many cities was often a hassle. Ever since companies like Uber and Lyft entered t…
Donald Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum don't add up to a trade war. It's more like a frontier skirmish. But, what would a real conflict look li…
The North American Free Trade Agreement has been labeled everything from an unfair deal for U.S. workers to a boon for commerce across the continent.…
The Maldives, known as an exotic and luxurious tropical vacation spot, is fast becoming one of the world's most important geopolitical footballs. Chi…
There's a crisis in coffee. On Java, the Indonesian island that gives your morning shot its nickname, the bean is struggling. A booming Asian middle …
Almost one-tenth of Denmark's labor force is made up of foreign workers. But with quality of life standards increasing in eastern European countries,…
Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway recently announced they're joining forces to tackle America's expensive health care system. Health care…
You may have heard of a gender-pay gap in America, but here's a statistic that's really eye-opening: Workers at men's apparel stores earn 56 percent …
What happens to someone's land when the owner dies? In Japan, no one knows. In fact, no one knows who owns more than 10 percent of the nation's landm…
An online discussion board where women are frequent subjects of vitriolic attacks. A lack of diversity in top positions. Strong evidence of discrimin…
The American South will keep rising and Dallas will eclipse New York. The city that never sleeps has had its obituary written plenty of times, but it…
Whether the U.S. tips into recession this year or not, chances are you won't hear about it until well after it happens. That's because the decision o…
What will be the most surprising economic development of 2018? Who will be the most influential people that you haven't heard of? What kind of non-ec…
What was the year's most surprising economic development? Who were the most influential people that you haven't heard of? What were the non-economic …
America's GDP is growing at an amazing 3 percent! Unemployment is at the lowest level in 16 years! The stock market is reaching a new record high eve…
Wait! There wasn't a trade war this year. Wasn't Donald Trump's election supposed to mean a rejection of open commerce between nations? Bloomberg's A…
For many women and an increasing number of men, it's been hard to get a job again if you take some time off for family reasons and have a long gap on…
Money goes where it's treated best. That simple truth is a big reason why more and more money—trillions, in fact—flows into a powerful, low-cost tool…
Benchmark takes the week off for the Thanksgiving holiday and re-runs an episode from March. Post-industrial Midwestern America helped propel Donald …
Figuring out the global economy has always involved looking at the data. But only in recent years has big data, such as that contained in satellite i…
By picking Jerome Powell to replace Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chief, President Donald Trump is making a historic gamble that his five predecess…
Mexico just didn't see it coming. The free-trade backlash and anti-Mexican rhetoric that helped fuel Donald Trump's rise came as a surprise to offici…
The biggest challenge refugees face is economic. A couple of financial market insiders are here to help and have recruited some of the biggest names …
How do you create a new country? For Catalonians looking for independence from Spain, secession can give you an emotional high, but what about the bi…
Before Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico three weeks ago, the U.S. territory's economy was already in shambles, thanks in part to an overl…
Saudi Arabia may be best known for its vast supply of oil, but outside of that industry, Islamic tourism is one of the kingdom's biggest businesses. …
Some of the planet's most powerful people may be out of a job in the next two years. Beginning in the next few months, terms start ending for the cen…
North Korea seems an unlikely place for capitalism to take hold. But markets are playing a bigger role in daily life in the country. While that's cre…
A troubled company threatens a nation's entire economy. It's not Lehman Brothers a decade ago -- and it's not even a bank. No, this time it's Agrokor…
As India and Pakistan celebrate their 70th birthdays, Benchmark looks at the economic partition of colonial India into the two independent nations. T…
Western Capitalism is supposed to thrive on Joseph Schumpeter's idea of creative destruction. Yet few companies really nurture creativity. Beancounte…
What is Thucydides's trap and how does it foretell the future of U.S.-China economic ties? Much has been said about China's strategic challenges to A…
What is the U.S. debt ceiling, where did it come from and why does it matter? This time the familiar Washington ritual has a twist. And investors are…
The Benchmark crew celebrates the podcast's 100th episode with a trip through highlights as picked by hosts and producers, both past and present. Fro…
Why does the U.S. still dominate discussion in a major Chinese city? On a multi-week trip to Asia, Dan discovers a surprising place where America's d…
The Federal Reserve said this week that it's about to try something that's never been done on this scale in the annals of central banking: reduce its…
One year ago, the Benchmark crew ventured into the future -- July 2017 -- to imagine what was then all but unimaginable: How would the U.S. economy f…
Home prices in Canada's largest city have been on a tear. But the party could be on the verge of ending, at least temporarily. The Bank of Canada's d…
The U.S. labor market looked pretty strong in June, with more Americans getting jobs and unemployment close to a 16-year low. All strong, with one gl…
Twenty years ago this week, a momentous event more than a century in the making finally occurred: Hong Kong's handover to China. Turns out, that wasn…
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