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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Episode 136: VC hype vs. Wall Street

Oct 22, 2019

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Marketplace Tech
Kai Explains

What does the bond market tell us about the economy?

Sean McHenry and Kai Ryssdal Sep 27, 2019
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Alex Wong/Getty Images

Look, the economy is complicated and it moves fast. News breaks and headlines don’t always tell the whole story. That’s why we’re launching a new series where we take it back to the basics. It’s called “Kai Explains.” This time, we’re talking about something that comes up on the program pretty much every day — the bond market.


Bonds are basically IOUs sold by governments and companies with a promise to pay your money back plus interest. Bonds are sometimes called debt. Although there are lots of different types of bonds out there, we specifically pay attention to U.S. Treasurys.

“It’s debt that’s issued to investors by the U.S. Treasury to fund our deficit,” said Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist at Oxford Economics.

“Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal breaks down the bond market and what it tells us about the state of the American economy in the video below.


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