Kai Ryssdal

Host and senior editor

SHORT BIO

I speak my native tongue into a microphone.

What was your first job?

Lifeguard. (Well, that and mowing lawns.)

What do you think is the hardest part of your job that no one knows?

Staying calm.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before you started this career?

Don't think — just talk.

In your next life, what would your career be?

Helicopter pilot.

Latest Stories (5,372)

How Afghanistan's money exchangers "grease the economy"

Sep 23, 2021
The informal network of exchangers are making money available in ways banks can't, says Cambridge research fellow Nafay Choudhury.
“Given the instability in the country, money exchangers are going to become very important, again, in playing an important role to meet financial needs,” says Nafay Choudhury, research fellow at the University of Cambridge.
Javed Tanveer/AFP via Getty Images

The "organizational nightmare" of managing a classroom this year

Sep 23, 2021
According to high school art teacher Megan Anzalone, the number of students quarantining this year makes her job more challenging.
Teaching this year has been “a bit of an organizational nightmare for everybody from the administration all the way down to the kids,” said high school art teacher Megan Anzalone.
Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images

Supply chain, shipping and pricing woes: “This is how we learn to sail”

Sep 22, 2021
Personal care products company Bite faced a lot of obstacles to launch its aluminum-packaged deodorant during the holiday shipping season.
Lindsay McCormick, the founder and CEO of Bite, a personal care products company, said she’s learned to “expect the unexpected” when launching a new product.
Courtesy Bite

The “power and the curse” of high-frequency data

Sep 21, 2021
Employee timecard data can hint at what’s happening in the labor market in real time, but drawing conclusions takes nuance.
A waiter works in a nearly empty restaurant in New York. Among the businesses tracked by Homebase, which makes employee scheduling and timecard software, the number of employees working has declined over the past two months.
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Does the Federal Reserve have the power to fight climate change?

Sep 17, 2021
The central bank can "be an assist" on climate risk, says economist Claudia Sahm, but Congress sets the priorities.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. The Fed can do research and integrate climate risk into bank stress tests, economist Claudia Sahm says. But mainly it "follows orders; Congress tells it what to do."
Drew Angerer via Getty Images

The container price surge is weighing on the customs business

Sep 15, 2021
Tariffs used to be the main concern for customs broker Gretchen Blough's clients. Now, it's all about the shipping containers.
Trucks with shipping containers sit on a dock at the Port of Oakland on Sept. 9. Container prices have soared during the pandemic.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

10 years later, was the Occupy Wall Street movement effective?

Sep 14, 2021
Sociologist David Meyer talks about how the movement drew attention to economic inequality and influenced contemporary U.S. politics.
An Occupy Wall Street demonstration disrupted business in New York's financial district in September 2011. Many experts believe the economic justice movement has had lasting influence.
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images

For the economy, 9/11 was "the first ripple in a series of uncertainty shocks"

Sep 10, 2021
In two decades since 9/11, lots of things have changed. The constant? Lasting uncertainty.
The Tribute in Light memorial lights up lower Manhattan near One World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2018, in New York City.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

“It's going to take a while for people to come back”

Sep 10, 2021
A New Orleans-based journalist and homeowner reflects on Louisiana’s long road to recovery and its "care" infrastructure.
A person kayaks through flood waters in LaPlace, Louisiana, on Aug. 30 in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. New Orleans-based journalist Ko Bragg says the rest of the country has “a lot to learn” from southeast Louisiana.
Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

For Black workers, unemployment is 4 percentage points higher than for whites. Can the Federal Reserve fix that?

Sep 9, 2021
Wendy Edelberg, director of the Hamilton Project, says monetary policy has a roleay, but it's "not the whole show."
Fed Chair Jerome Powell. The central bank has been keeping interest rates low, but Wendy Edelberg says in the near future it should let the economy "grow on its own two feet."
Scott Olson/Getty Images