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Want to better understand the economic moment? Here’s your (possible) recession reading list for 2023

Whether we get hit with a full-on recession or not, it's a good time to get to know the economy with these books, podcasts and newsletters.

Learn what you're living through. (Photo by Pexels user Andrea Piacquadio via a Creative Commons license)

This editorial article is a part of Navigating a (Possible) Recession Month 2023 in’s editorial calendar.

Will a recession come in 2023? Whether or not a period of economic downturn — typically characterized by declining GDP, high unemployment and a lack of growth — prompts an official designation from the Business Cycle Dating Committee any time soon, it’s important to understand why you keep hearing the term, and how to prepare in the case one does come.

It’s Navigating a (Possible) Recession Month on the editorial calendar. That means all month, we’re dedicating extra coverage to economic issues impacting the tech industry, entrepreneurship and our cities. We are not economists, though we interview people who are. If you really want to dig deep and flow the trends, you will need to explore lots of sources, including but also beyond

With that in mind, we’ve curated a (possible) recession reading list — books, podcasts and newsletters that can help you understand this economic moment, both by learning about historic downturns and keeping up with the latest trends.


  • Money Talks from The Economist — This weekly podcast from The Economist tackles current economic topics. Recent topics have included the economics of thinness, TikTok and pay transparency.
  • Recession Proof — Hosted by Alex Song, VP of finance and capital markets and Kimia Hamidi, Head of Savings at Ramp, Recession Proof is a weekly (currently between seasons) interview-based podcast that focuses on one founder or economist per episode and shares their takes on what’s happening in the economy.
  • Make Me Smart — This highly accessible podcast doesn’t only cover economics, but it does enough that it deserves a place here. Listeners send in questions like “Why isn’t Wall Street a fan of the hot labor market?” and hosts Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams of Marketplace give each question and easy to digest answers in around five to 10 minutes.
  • Economics Explained — What would the economy look like if COVID never happened? Is inflation almost over? These are some of the questions discussed in this bite-sized podcast, with most episodes averaging 15 minutes.
  • Planet Money — This NPR podcast challenges listeners to give them topics and they’ll tell you how it all comes down to economics, from goldfish to cheese racks.


  • EPI Macroeconomics Newsletter — The Economic Policy Institute’s newsletter aims to make sure that regular non-economists understand what the Fed and Congress are doing and how it might affect real people.
  • Fortune Data Sheet — Fortune offers a handful of valuable finance newsletters. The Data Sheet is a timely look at the business of technology, arriving in your inbox daily.
  • Morning Brew — Get caught up with the day’s news, including government, tech, social media and economics
  • Axios Macro — One of the many daily newsletters in the Axios suite, Macro focuses on business and economics. Quick reads on the biggest economic stories.
  • — Yes, we’re tooting out own horn here, and we don’t focus primarily on economics. But if you want to know what’s happening in tech with a focus on the local innovation economies of five markets — Philly, Baltimore, DC, Delaware and Pittsburgh — we think we do a decent job with that.


Series: Navigating a (Possible) Recession Month 2023

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