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.

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1:05am

Thu February 21, 2013
Planet Money

Three Ways To Totally Transform U.S. Immigration Policy

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 8:42 am

Immigrants wait for their citizenship interviews at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Jan. 29.
John Moore Getty Images

With immigration policy in the news again, I asked three economists, "Dream big: If you could create any immigration policy for the U.S., what would it be?" Here's what they said.

1. The Best And The Brightest

Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research would give out more visas to highly skilled workers: scientists, engineers, computer programmers and doctors.

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1:51pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Planet Money

Follow-Up To Our Show, 'An FBI Hostage Negotiator Buys A Car'

We recently received an email from a listener about our show, An FBI Hostage Negotiator Buys A Car.

In that show, Cathy Tinsley of Georgetown University told a story about negotiating to buy pumpkins in a market in Africa.

The listener wrote:

Subject: Credibility issue w/ French pumpkin story

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1:34am

Thu February 7, 2013
Planet Money

'Give Me The Money Or I'll Shoot The Trees'

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:07 pm

Pay up, or the bird gets it. (A hoatzin perches on a branch in Yasuni National Park.)
Pablo Cozzaglio AFP/Getty Images

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. But there's a complication: The park sits on top of the equivalent of millions of barrels of oil.

This creates a dilemma.

Ecuador prides itself on being pro-environment. Its constitution gives nature special rights. But Ecuador is a relatively poor country that could desperately use the money from the oil.

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1:38am

Fri February 1, 2013
Planet Money

An International Battle Over One Of The Most Boring Things In Finance

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 9:26 am

Jeremy O'Donnell Getty Images

This week saw the end of a years-long, international, multi-billion-dollar battle over one of the most boring things in finance: savings accounts.

At the center of the battle was Iceland, a tiny country where the banks grew into international behemoths during the credit bubble.

The banks got so big partly by convincing foreigners to open up online savings accounts. In particular, lots of people in England and Netherlands opened up "ICESAVE accounts" with a bank called Landsbanki. During the financial crisis, the bank collapsed.

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3:11pm

Mon January 28, 2013
Planet Money

Bjork Endorses International Banking Decision

Reykjavik graffiti.
David Kestenbaum NPR

During the boom, an Icelandic bank called Landsbanki grew into a giant, largely by paying high interest rates to people from the Netherlands and the UK who opened online savings accounts at the bank.

When the crisis hit, the bank failed. The Icelandic government bailed out the bank's Icelandic customers, but not customers from other countries.

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