Kenny Malone

Kenny Malone hails from Meadville, PA where the zipper was invented, where Clark Gable’s mother is buried and where, in 2007, a wrecking ball broke free from a construction site, rolled down North Main Street and somehow wound up inside the trunk of a Ford Taurus sitting at a red light.

Malone graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH as a mathematics major and economics minor. He took an un-ironic oath to use mathematics for good not evil. Per that oath, Malone has taken on a wide array of non-evil numbers-based reporting endeavors -- everything from proving the existence of a home-field heat advantage for the Miami Dolphins to explaining South Florida’s economy in terms of automobiles on I-95 to exposing the extraordinary toll the densest cluster of assisted living facilities in the state had on both local authorities and the residents of those facilities in Lauderhill, FL.

Malone’s work has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition as well as APM’s Marketplace and The Story. His work has won national awards for religion, financial, crime and investigative reporting as well as three Best in Show Green Eyeshade Awards, the National Edward R. Murrow Award for use of sound, the National Headliner and PRNDI awards for series reporting, and the Scripps Howard Award for In-Depth Radio Reporting.

Malone lives in Miami Beach with his scruffy dog, Sir Xavier Charpentier III.

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The San Diego Comic-Con started when a bunch of sci fi, comic book and movie fans got together in a hotel ballroom. That was 50 years ago. Now it's one of the biggest pop culture events in the world. NPR's Kenny Malone was there as the doors opened last night.

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Lauren Neuwirth was a sophomore at Purdue University when she ran out of money to pay for college. She was considering joining the Army to get her tuition covered. But then someone at the financial aid office told her about this new thing the university was offering.

This episode originally ran in 2017.

When Stephon Marbury was eight years old, the Nike Air Jordan sneakers came out. These were basketball shoes endorsed by Michael Jordan, one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Stephon, like lots of other kids, wanted them. But the shoes were pricey. So pricey, his mother couldn't afford them. For years after this, he wondered whether there was a different way to sell quality basketball sneakers.

In the years before 1951, the Federal Reserve took orders from the Treasury, and by extension, from the President. The President would request that interest rates remain low, and the Fed would oblige.

But this became a problem. Low interest rates are great for people to borrow money to buy stuff, and for businesses to grow and hire people. But low interest rates also drive up inflation. And a big part of the Federal Reserve's job is to keep inflation low.

This is the third episode in our series on antitrust law in America. Our first episode told the story of Ida Tarbell and how her reporting on John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil changed antitrust law in the early 1900s.

This is the second episode in our series on the history of competition, big business and antitrust law in America. Quick recap:

A little more than a hundred years ago, the Supreme Court broke up the Standard Oil company. It was a turning point in the balance of power between enormous companies and the free market. We told that story in the first episode of the series.

Today on the show, we're launching a three part series on antitrust law, one of the most important but least-understood bodies of law in the United States.

Note: This episode originally ran in 2018.

Wildfires aren't like other natural disasters. You can't trace a hurricane to the first gust of wind—but you actually can trace your way back to a wildfire's first spark. And sometimes, someone has to pay.

What do silver dollars, Venmo, and Brexit have in common? They're all on the minds of our listeners.

Today on the show, we take listener questions, and hunt for answers. We try to figure out how Venmo makes money, how the tax system really works, why truckers are buying helicopters in England, and more.

People aren't just good for the economy. They are the economy. So when a place needs people, it'll do almost anything to attract them.

Today on the show, we hear from a few places doing whatever they can to get more people. There's an Italian ghost town, a $100 million scheme to save a seat in Congress, and an aging state searching for young workers.

A lot can happen after we put an episode out into the world. That's why we love The Rest Of The Story, our periodic check-in on stories we've reported.

Today on the show, we revisit some episodes from the year that was. In case you missed them, here are the original episodes featured.

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The business of getting people high used to require fields of poppies or marijuana, and the farmers to farm them. Over the last two decades, a new generation of potent synthetic drugs has revolutionized the illicit drug trade. These drugs are cheap, easy to make in factories, and difficult to regulate. Now, it's possible to become a kingpin with little more than an internet connection and an email address for a chemical plant in China.

Today on the show: We look at one synthetic drug — Spice — and tell the story of how it helped unleash a revolution.

If something is going wrong in your workplace, there's probably a law that explains why. Like Goodhart's Law, which says if a company decides to measure something, workers will find a way to respond with good numbers. Or, the Peter Principle, which says that every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence.

Today on the show, we picked a few of the more famous laws and tested them out in our office. And that's where the giant trophy comes in.

Episode 873: The Seattle Experiment

Nov 2, 2018

It's no secret how elections work: A winning campaign costs a lot of money, so candidates court people who have the money to spend. Say, business interests. Then, when a politician takes office, their powerful donors have more influence than the average citizen. It's not a great system.

So Seattleites decided to tear it all up and try something radical: Fighting big money by flooding elections with even more money. The experiment... did not necessarily go as planned.

Hey everybody. This is Shane, the Planet Money intern. So, um, something odd is happening around here. I haven't seen the rest of the Planet Money team in a while. They went into this haunted house, chasing after a story, and they haven't come back. It's weird.

We did get a mysterious email with some recordings attached. And I think what I'm supposed to do is just publish them. Right? I don't know. I'm just Shane the Planet Money intern. But, um, yeah. Here's the show.

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When the Trump administration decided to pay subsidies to farmers hurt by trade, it reminded NPR's Planet Money podcast team about the time another president tried to help farmers. Kenny Malone has the epic tale of government cheese.

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Lots of industries acknowledge they have a diversity problem. Maybe it's with age or gender or race. Our Planet Money podcast wondered, how exactly does an industry begin to change itself? And reporter Kenny Malone says the answer is on your feet.

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In Stockholm this morning, the Nobel Prize in economics was announced.

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There are just about 30 days — and 30 nights — left in South Florida's rainy season. That will not deter a monumental building task being attempted by a group of people near Miami.

The Hidden Ark project was originally planned for a 5-acre spot just outside Hialeah, Fla., not far from the Everglades. In the spring, builders worked to create a one-tenth of a full-scale Noah's ark — imagine a 150-foot-long bathtub made of wood.