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.

Planet Money
3:23 am
Fri September 7, 2012

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

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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 10:15 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
6:17 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 12:24 pm

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
3:16 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 11:06 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
1:06 pm
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 5:37 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
12:01 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Meet Claudia, The High-Tech Cow

Technology at rest.
Adam Davidson NPR

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:09 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
12:01 am
Thu February 9, 2012

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

Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 5:22 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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Planet Money
12:01 am
Fri January 13, 2012

The Transformation Of American Factory Jobs, In One Company

Maddie Parlier at work.
Dean Kaufman The Atlantic

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 2:46 pm

This is the second in a two-part series. Part one is here. For more, see Adam Davidson's cover story in this month's issue of The Atlantic.

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Planet Money
12:01 am
Thu January 12, 2012

The History Of Factory Jobs In America, In One Town

A shuttered cotton mill in Greenville County, South Carolina
scmikeburton Flickr

For more, see Adam Davidson's cover story in this month's issue of The Atlantic.

Greenville County, South Carolina is where manufacturing's past and future live side by side. This is not a metaphor; it's a visible fact. In South Carolina, and throughout America, factories produce more than ever. Yet in Greenville, there are abandoned textile mills everywhere you look.

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