Kai Explains

What does the bond market tell us about the economy?

Sean McHenry and Kai Ryssdal Sep 27, 2019
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Kai Explains

What does the bond market tell us about the economy?

Sean McHenry and Kai Ryssdal Sep 27, 2019
Alex Wong/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

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.


What do you want explained next?

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.