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A weekly podcast that examines the inner workings of the global economy.






Make America Pay Its Bills. Again.

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 starting to anticipate something new: The most critical of deadlines may be missed. How can this happen when the White House and Congress are controlled, nominally, by the same party? Why even have a debt ceiling? Special guests Alex Harris and Brian Chappatta join Dan to explain that this time it actually could be different.

Duration: 00:19:26

Setting a New Benchmark With Our 100th Episode

The Benchmark crew celebrates the podcast's 100th episode with a trip through highlights as picked by hosts and producers, both past and present. From the Nobel Prize to Duke Bootee, Dan and Scott — along with some special guests — share the moments that put a human face on that thing we call economics. And we look forward at what the next 100 episodes will bring.

Duration: 00:17:51

Where the U.S. Still Rules in Asia

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 dominance in Asia is unparalleled and gains some insight into Japan's labor market during a busy lunch hour in Tokyo's financial district. Guest host Joe Weisenthal from Bloomberg's `Odd Lots' podcast holds Dan to account and road tests some of his theories.

Duration: 00:17:30

Why Everyone Needs to Care About the Fed's Shrinking Balance Sheet

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 $4.5 trillion stockpile of assets. The ramifications could be felt everywhere from mortgage rates, to the cost of vacationing in Thailand, even to President Donald Trump's attitude toward the Fed. Bloomberg reporter Chris Condon joins Scott to explain what's happening and try to come up with a better name than "balance sheet normalization"...

Duration: 00:14:48

What Our Trump Time Machine Got Right -- and Wrong -- About the Economy

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 fare in the first six months under President Donald J. Trump? Now that it's all come to pass, Scott and guest co-host Jeanna Smialek speak with our seer from 2016, Neil Dutta from Renaissance Macro Research, to explain what we got right and wrong -- and what we can expect for the rest of the president's term.

Duration: 00:15:35

You Just Missed Your Chance to Get Rich on Toronto Real Estate

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 decision this week to raise interest rates -- the first hike in seven years -- makes mortgages more expensive. A string of government tightening measures and a liquidity crunch at a Toronto mortgage lender are adding to concerns a price correction is around the corner. This week on Benchmark, Dan, Chris Fournier and Katia Dmitrieva speak to...

Duration: 00:18:04

The One Caveat Hanging Over Jobs in America

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 glaring exception: Wages still just aren't rising that quickly. The question is, why? Yelena Shulyatyeva, a Bloomberg Intelligence senior economist, helps Scott and Dan break it down.

Duration: 00:15:31

The World's First Modern Financial Crisis: 1997 Edition

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't even close to the biggest story that year. What really did transfix the world in 1997 was the financial crisis that exploded a day after the handover -- in, of all places, Bangkok. Today on Benchmark, Dan, a former Malaysia bureau chief, and Hong Kong-based Malcolm Scott look back at the crisis and the wrenching economic and political...

Duration: 00:19:13

Why New York's Summer of Hell Matters to More Than Commuters

New York subway riders and commuters, already mired in a miserable year, are bracing for a summer like no other amid rising delays, service cuts and overcrowding. It all underscores the perils of under-investment in rail systems that should be key drivers of growth. What the heck is going on? Can anything be done? Two guests think they have the answers: Jim Venturi, creator of the ReThinkNYC plan to overhaul regional transport links, and Tracy Gordon, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings...

Duration: 00:24:34

64: Make France Great Again


Duration: 00:19:28