Zoe Chace

Zoe Chace explains the mysteries of the global economy for NPR's Planet Money. As a reporter for the team, Chace knows how to find compelling stories in unlikely places, including a lollipop factory in Ohio struggling to stay open, a pasta plant in Italy where everyone calls in sick, and a recording studio in New York mixing Rihanna's next hit.

In 2008, Chace came to NPR to work as an intern on Weekend Edition Saturday. As a production assistant on NPR's Arts Desk, she developed a beat covering popular music and co-created Pop Off, a regular feature about hit songs for Morning Edition. Chace shocked the music industry when she convinced the famously reclusive Lauryn Hill to sit down for an interview.

Chace got her economic training on the job. She reported for NPR's Business Desk, then began to contribute to Planet Money in 2011. Since then Chace has also pitched in to cover breaking news for the network. She reported live from New York during Hurricane Sandy and from Colorado during the 2012 Presidential election.

There is much speculation on the Internet about where Chace picked up her particular accent. She explains that it's a proprietary blend: a New England family, a Manhattan childhood, college at Oberlin in Ohio, and a first job as a teacher in a Philadelphia high school.

The radio training comes from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, and collaboration with NPR's best editors, producers and reporters.

Pages

5:11am

Thu January 16, 2014
Planet Money

How Perverse Incentives Drive Up Health Care Costs

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Emergency medical technicians, EMTs, are trained to save your life and aim to get you to a hospital as quickly as possible when needed. One thing they are usually not asked to do is to find ways to save money.

NPR's Zoe Chace explores one experiment in New York City that is trying to cut emergency care costs and cut return trips to the E.R.

ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: I'm in an ambulance, and we're on the way to the emergency room.

PETER DERMODY: How long have you been feeling like this, Michael?

MICHAEL: Like, two days.

Read more

5:31pm

Fri January 10, 2014
Planet Money

How A Community Bank Tripped On Footnote 1,861 Of The Volcker Rule

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:05 pm

When people talk about the Volcker Rule, they often mention JPMorgan Chase, the giant bank where a trader recently made a bad bet that lost $6 billion. The Volcker Rule is supposed to put an end to that sort of thing, by prohibiting banks from trading with their own money.

But some banks that are very, very different from JPMorgan Chase are struggling with an obscure provision in the rule. Specifically, footnote 1,861, which bars banks from investing in something called trust-preferred securities — a rather obscure investment favored by lots of small, community banks invest

Read more

4:30am

Thu December 26, 2013
Business

The Secret Protectionism Buried Inside NAFTA

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 7:49 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now NPR's Zoe Chase, from our Planet Money Team, reminds us about one industry that played a big role in NAFTA's passage: men's underwear.

ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: Now you're used to the labels: made in Mexico, made in China, made in Bangladesh. But back in the '80s, when they were first talking about NAFTA, about half of American clothing was made in America, by people like this.

BERTHA MARR: Graduated from the eighth grade, then went straight on in to working at Fruit of the Loom.

Read more

5:33am

Wed December 4, 2013
Business

Next Stop Bangladesh As We Follow Planet Money's T-Shirt

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 4:31 pm

Workers sew together the Planet Money t-shirt in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Bangladesh is the cheapest place in the world to make a T-shirt. But this month, the minimum wage there will rise from $39 a month to $68 a month. That's got some factory owners nervous about whether Western retailers there will pull out. Our Planet Money team examines the future of the garment industry in Bangladesh.

Read more

5:01pm

Tue December 3, 2013
Planet Money

Two Sisters, A Small Room And The World Behind A T-Shirt

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:39 pm

Minu (left) and her younger sister Shumi worked on the Planet Money men's T-shirt.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Part of the Planet Money T-shirt Project

This is the story of how the garment industry is transforming life in Bangladesh, and the story of two sisters who made the Planet Money T-shirt.

Shumi and Minu work six days a week operating sewing machines at Deluxe Fashions Ltd. in Chittagong, Bangladesh. They each make about $80 a month.

Read more

3:57pm

Mon December 2, 2013
Planet Money

Nixon And Kimchi: How The Garment Industry Came To Bangladesh

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 10:35 am

There are more than 4,000 garment factories in Bangladesh. One way or another, most of them trace their lineage to Abdul Majid Chowdhury, Noorul Quader and the 128 Bangladeshis who traveled to Korea 30 years ago.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

More details were added to this post after it was published. The new information was courtesy of Vidiya Khan, director of the Desh Group, and daughter of Noorul Quader.

Bangladesh was created out of chaos in the early 1970s, at a moment when millions in the country were dying from a combination of war and famine. The future looked exceedingly bleak.

Read more

5:36am

Wed August 14, 2013
Business

Heard It Through The Grapevine: Raisin Grower Goes Rogue

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:26 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, the story of a man many call an outlaw. His crime: growing raisins and then deciding to sell them all. His case made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

Planet Money's Zoe Chace has the story.

ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: You might imagine that such an ordinary thing like a raisin works the same way lots of other stuff works. The raisin grower takes his sun-dried grapes and sells them, as many as he can to whoever wants them. That's not what happens.

Read more

3:31pm

Fri August 9, 2013
Planet Money

The Raisin Outlaw Of Kerman, Calif.

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 9:39 pm

Raisin farmer Marvin Horne stands in a field of grapevines planted next to his home.
Gary Kazanjian AP

Meet Marvin Horne, raisin farmer. Horne has been farming raisins on a vineyard in Kerman, Calif., for decades. But a couple of years ago, he did something that made a lot of the other raisin farmers out here in California really angry. So angry that they hired a private investigator to spy on Horne and his wife, Laura. Agents from a detective agency spent hours sitting outside the Hornes' farm recording video of trucks entering and leaving the property.

Read more

2:30pm

Fri July 26, 2013
Planet Money

Stamps, Jeans, Beer: What Americans Want From North Korea

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:01 pm

Can I buy a pair of jeans made in North Korea?
Office of Foreign Assets Control

U.S. sanctions mean that any citizen or business wanting to buy stuff from North Korea has to send a letter to the U.S. government asking for special permission. A few months back, we submitted a Freedom of Information Act request, asking for those letters.

Our request was granted: We recently received a packet of 18 letters from Americans who wanted to do business with the most isolated nation on the planet. We've posted all of the letters online.

Read more

5:23pm

Wed July 17, 2013
Planet Money

The 'Ask Your Uncle' Approach To Economics

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

The Federal Reserve, home of the Beige Book.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

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" approach to figuring out what's going on in the economy.

In the Beige Book released today, for example, we learned that:

Read more

Pages