Alleged Cult Leader Plays Shell Game with US Foreign Aid

shell-gamePlanet Aid clothing donations and over $130 million in U.S. grant money are supposed to help people in southern Africa. But when Reveal went to Malawi to find out what actually happened, people told that some of the projects didn’t pan out.
The U.S. government knew an international fugitive was linked to the projects, but kept the money flowing. Reveal goes behind the bin and across an ocean to find out what’s going on.
Illustration by Matt Smith / Reveal

Reveal | 19th March 2016

We Haven’t Got the Hang of Money and Banking Yet

the_hang_of_moneyThe former Bank of England governor Lord Mervyn King, a key actor in 2009’s financial drama, discusses his new book ‘The End of Alchemy’. He explores the underlying weaknesses that sent international economies into a tailspin and argues central banks should become financial institutions’ ‘pawnbrokers for all seasons’, to avoid future crises.

The University of Edinburgh | 18th March 2016

Each Age Gets the Inequality It Needs: 20,000 Years of Hierarchy

The degree of inequality in society has been determined by changes in how we capture energy from the environment – but what does this mean for the future? Prof. Ian Morris, Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at LSE IDEAS for 2015-16, explores the past and the future.
Photo: Pachacútec, a desert suburb of Lima, Peru

LSE Ideas | 15th March 2016

A Hedge Fund, A Country, And A Big Sailboat

During the last week of 2001, the administration of Argentina defaulted on the larger part of the public debt, US$132 billion, a seventh of all the money borrowed by the Third World. “The country would not pay what it was owed. Lenders blinked. Victory seemed near. But a group of hedge funds had a different plan. They took the entire country to court.”

Greg Palast reported that “Paul Singer, known as The Vulture, won a $4.65 billion payment from Argentina — nearly one hundred times his “investment” of $50 million in old Argentina bonds. It was, in finance speak, the most successful “vulture attack” ever.”

Planet Money | 11th March 2016

Illustration by Ted Rall

Buy This Passport

What happens when citizenship goes up for sale. Most of us don’t think of citizenship as a product. It’s something more: It’s part of who you are. We visit the tiny Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, a tiny country made up of two islands, where you can buy a passport without ever setting foot in the country. What happens to your country if you just start letting people buy their way in?

Planet Money | 2nd March 2016