David Kestenbaum

David Kestenbaum is a correspondent for NPR, covering science, energy issues and, most recently, the global economy for NPR's multimedia project Planet Money. David has been a science correspondent for NPR since 1999. He came to journalism the usual way — by getting a Ph.D. in physics first.

In his years at NPR, David has covered science's discoveries and its darker side, including the Northeast blackout, the anthrax attacks and the collapse of the New Orleans levees. He has also reported on energy issues, particularly nuclear and climate change.

David has won awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

David worked briefly on the show This American Life, and set up a radio journalism program in Cambodia on a Fulbright fellowship. He also teaches a journalism class at Johns Hopkins University.

David holds a bachelor's of science degree in physics from Yale University and a doctorate in physics from Harvard University.

Pages

2:42pm

Mon August 27, 2012
Planet Money

A Father Of High-Speed Trading Thinks We Should Slow Down

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 2:54 pm

Thomas Peterffy, shown here in 2010
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

First, three stories from Thomas Peterffy's life as a trader:

Story #1:

When Peterffy was a kid growing up in communist Hungary in the 1950s his buddy went to Austria and brought back a pack of Juicy Fruit gum. Peterffy bought the pack, broke the sticks of gum up into little pieces, and sold them at a profit. The principal at his school was not amused. "Where's your communist conscience?" the principal asked.

Not surprisingly, given story #1, Peterffy moved to the U.S. as a young man.

Story #2:

Read more

3:24pm

Fri July 27, 2012
Planet Money

Losing With LIBOR: One Trader's Story

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 5:02 pm

London-based Barclays Bank agreed to pay a $453 million fine over charges it manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate — LIBOR — a key global interest rate.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

We've been talking a lot lately about what's been dubbed the "LIBOR rate fixing scandal," where some of the biggest banks in the world have been accused of manipulating a key global interest rate.

Read more

2:06am

Thu July 5, 2012
Planet Money

The Farmer And The Commerce Clause

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 9:25 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court, 70 years after rejecting Roscoe Filburn's bid to limit the federal government's power to regulate commerce.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Last week's Supreme Court ruling on the health care law might have made Roscoe Filburn a little happier.

Filburn was an Ohio dairy farmer who had a beef with the federal government, one he took to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1942. He lost.

Read more

12:30pm

Tue May 8, 2012
Planet Money

Nobel Laureate: 'I've Been Wrong So Often, I Don't Find It Extraordinary At All'

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 6:07 pm

"I'm 101 at the moment," Ronald Coase said.
University of Chicago

I recently had a brief conversation with Ronald Coase.

"I'm 101 at the moment," he told me. "I get older by the minute."

Read more

1:49am

Fri April 27, 2012
Planet Money

When Should A Country Abandon Its Own Money?

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 11:16 am

Enough already with the krona?
Jesse Garrison Flickr

Iceland is a tiny nation in a big financial mess. It's still recovering from the aftermath of the 2008 global economic crisis, which caused a domestic banking collapse.

Its currency, the krona, is also in really bad shape. That's led Icelanders to pose an existential currency question: Should they abandon the krona?

One key problem is size. Iceland has about as many people as Staten Island, so there just aren't that many people on the planet who need to use the krona.

"There are more people using Disney dollars," says Arsaell Valfells, an Icelandic economist.

Read more

Pages