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.

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.

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.)

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.

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.