Planet Money


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The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at <em>Planet Money</em>. People seem to like it.


#190 Planet Money: The Billionaire And The Tire Repairman

June 29th, 2010

Episode 284 of 902 episodes

Mervyn's a tire repairman in a Kingston slum. He took scrap parts from an old Lincoln and turned them into a machine that retreads tires. It works great. Mervyn's shop is a shack, and he's totally outside the formal economy. If he wanted to get a loan -- say, to expand his business -- he'd be out of luck. Michael Lee-Chin's a billionaire. He's the chairman of a big Jamaican bank, a guy who flies in on a helicopter for an interview. On today's Planet Money, we talk to both guys. And we explain why it's so rare for guys like Mervyn to get loans from guys like Lee-Chin.

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