Robert Smith

Robert Smith appears in the following:

Varying Auto Safety Standards Interfere With Trade Negotiations

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The U.S. and Europe have different car safety standards. Some of them are small while others are more dramatic. All car makers agree that the different standards are a pain. So why the difference?


In Bobsled, 'You Learn As You Go'

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

If there's one sport in the Winter Olympics you can do with your eyes closed, it's bobsled.

The bobsled brakeman does about five seconds of hard work, jumps in the sled and can then relax a bit. During the women's bobsled competition tonight in Sochi, we should keep our eyes ...


Foggy Weather Throws Events Off Course In Sochi

Monday, February 17, 2014

The blue skies couldn't last forever.

A fog as thick as Russian borscht rolled into the mountains above Sochi on Sunday night. From the vantage point of the relatively low-altitude bobsled track, the gondolas heading up to the cross-country center and alpine venues disappeared into the clouds.

The weather is ...


Photos: The Planet Money T-Shirt Goes To Indonesia

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This week, Jess Jiang and Robert Smith visited the factory in Indonesia where U.S. cotton was spun into yarn for the Planet Money T-shirt. (They also visited several other factories.) Here are some of the pictures Robert posted to our T-Shirt Tumblr.

Other than this woman ...


Bodies On The Boardwalk: Murder Stirs A Sleepy Jersey Shore

Thursday, August 01, 2013

When writer Chris Grabenstein plots his mysteries, the murders happen in the corny nooks of New Jersey's Jersey shore. After all, there's something delightfully cheesy about a beach town.

"I guess I'm a cheesy guy. I like this kind of stuff," Grabenstein says. "Ever since I was a kid I ...


What Actually Happens At The End Of Trading Places?

Friday, July 19, 2013

It's been 30 years since Trading Places came out. And, to be honest, I never really understood what happened at the end of that movie. Sure, Louis Winthorpe (Dan Aykroyd) and Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) get rich, and the Duke brothers lose all their money. But what actually happens? ...


The 'Ask Your Uncle' Approach To Economics

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Beige Book is weird. It's an economic report released by the Federal Reserve every few months, but it doesn't have many numbers in it. Mostly, it's a bunch of stories gathered by talking to businesses around the country. A Fed economist once described it as the "Ask Your Uncle" ...


Translating The Coca-Cola Experience

Friday, June 07, 2013

For more about Coke's return to Myanmar, listen to Robert Smith's story on Morning Edition.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


How To Sell Coke To People Who Have Never Had A Sip

Friday, June 07, 2013

For years, there were only three countries in the world that didn't officially sell Coca-Cola: Cuba, North Korea and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Now, after 60 years, Coke is back in Myanmar. Sanctions were lifted last year on the country. Just this week, Coca-Cola opened its new bottling plant ...


In A Single ATM, The Story Of A Nation's Economy

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nan Htwe Nye works at an elementary school in Yangon, Myanmar. She started trying to use ATM machines a few months ago, and things haven't been going so well.

The machines are often broken, she says. "But," she adds, "we hope it will better in the future." This is, more ...


Can This Man Bring Silicon Valley To Yangon?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Like a proud father, Nay Aung opens up his MacBook Air to show me the Myanmar travel website he has built. But we wait 30 seconds for the site to load, and nothing happens.

"Today is a particularly bad day for Internet," he says. This is life in Myanmar today: ...


Why (Almost) No One In Myanmar Wanted My Money

Friday, May 10, 2013

When you arrive in Myanmar, you can see how eager the people are to do business. At the airport in Yangon, new signs in English welcome tourists. A guy in a booth offers to rent me a local cellphone — and he's glad to take U.S. dollars. But when I ...


The Trick To Selling Fancy Wine From New Jersey: Don't Say It's From New Jersey

Friday, March 29, 2013

Halfway between the New Jersey Turnpike and the Atlantic City casinos is a little slice of France: Amalthea Cellars. There's an old farmhouse, and a field full of grapevines.

Lou Caracciolo, who founded Amalthea, is walking through the field. "Here's something I put in the ground in 1976," he says. ...


A Computer Fit For The Amish

Monday, February 25, 2013

Last week, I had a story on an Amish trade show. It was mostly about power tools, but there was another other thing that we didn't mention in the online version: The booth selling computers to the Amish.

The key selling point, perhaps not surprisingly, is all the ...


Will A $1.9 Billion Settlement Change Banks' Behavior?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

For punishments to work, they need to be both swift and meaningful. The HSBC settlement may be neither.


Planet Money's Perfect Presidential Candidate

Monday, October 22, 2012

Robert Smith, reporter for NPR's Planet Money, discusses the Planet Money project to design a presidential candidate who embraces economic policies both the right and the left can agree on.


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Why New York Is A Hub In The Global Trinket Trade

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Buyers from all over the world still come to vendors in Manhattan to buy cheap toys and tchotchkes. We find out why.

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