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Greg Rosalsky

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Last month, Michigan's two largest hospital systems, Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health, announced they wanted to become one. The $12.9 billion "megamerger" would create a health industrial complex spanning 22 hospitals, 305 outpatient facilities, and an insurance company. It would employ 64,000 people, making it the largest employer in Michigan. Local newspapers had expected the merger to "sail through" government approval.

It was only a few years ago that Apple finished construction of its 2.8 million-square-foot "spaceship" headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area. The glittering, doughnut-shaped building cost the company about $5 billion to construct, making it one the most expensive buildings in the world.

A couple of weeks ago, Edgar Dworsky walked into a Stop & Shop grocery store in Somerville, Mass., like a detective entering a murder scene.

He stepped into the cereal aisle, where he hoped to find the smoking gun. He scanned the shelves. Oh no, he thought. He was too late. The store had already replaced old General Mills cereal boxes — such as Cheerios and Cocoa Puffs — with newer ones. It was as though the suspect's fingerprints had been wiped clean.

Back in November, the Planet Money newsletter reported that — despite a deadly pandemic and an ugly recession — America was seeing a boom in the creation of new startups. We spoke with University of Maryland economist John Haltiwanger, one of the leading scholars of business formation.

For one of the most distinguished critics of automation, MIT economist Daron Acemoglu has been, ironically, cranking out research on the subject lately like he's a machine. He and his co-author Pascual Restrepo have produced so many studies on the subject that he couldn't tell us how many they've done. "I've lost count," he says.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Whidbey Island is a lovely place about 30 miles north of Seattle on the Puget Sound. Most days the tranquil sounds of rolling waves and chirping birds provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. But these days, all is not so serene. Residents are complaining about the ruckus created by humongous container ships anchored off their shore.

For a city as opulent as San Francisco, it's long been jarring to see the extreme poverty of those experiencing homelessness on its streets. If you walk around downtown, tents, makeshift cardboard beds and human excrement can be seen littering the sidewalks. Impoverished people lie on the ground as a blur of highly paid professionals whiz by.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Editor's note: This interview with Ana Hernández Kent was recorded on April 15, before the Federal Reserve's current media blackout.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

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