July 13, 2020
In response to the economic crisis, governments around the world have engaged in stimulative policies that might be characterized as “Keynesian” in nature. But what did Keynes really believe, and how did he form his own ideas? On this episode we speak with Zach Carter, an editor at Huffington Post, and the author of the new book The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy and the Life of John Maynard Keynes. We discussed Keynes the individual as well as his ideas and their importance today.
July 9, 2020
Officially, the US unemployment rate stands at 11%. This is higher than the worst levels of the financial crisis. And there are reasons to think that the actual state of unemployment is even worse. There’s a wide variety of views on how to address this, but what about the government simply guaranteeing everyone a right to a job? On this episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak to Pavlina R. Tcherneva, an economist at Bard College, and the author of The Case for a Job Guarantee about what the government can do right now to end the crisis.
July 6, 2020
The world has gotten angrier in recent years, and the coronavirus crisis seems likely to have accelerated the trend. So what does this say about the economy, and what does it mean for policy going forward? On this episode, we speak with Eric Lonergan, a macro hedge fund manager, and the co-author of the new book “Angrynomics" about his study of the emotion of anger -- why it exists, what purpose it serves, and what it can tell us about the future of economic policy.
July 2, 2020
Central banks and fiscal authorities around the world have taken extraordinary measures to stem the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis. But what’s proven most effective, and what have central banks learned over the last several months? On this episode, we speak with Hyun Song Shin, economic adviser and head of research at the Bank for International Settlements, about the new policymaker toolbox that has emerged and what more needs to be done.
June 29, 2020
For years and years, the Chinese economy has been characterized as a bubble, with too much debt, and a history of badly thought out, state-directed investment. Yet, for all of the dire warnings, the economy has continued to grow, and there hasn’t been a reckoning. So why is this? Is it only a matter of time before things all fall apart? Such questions are even more urgent in the wake of the COVID crisis, and questions the stability of the Chinese growth model during a time of weakened demand for Chinese-made goods. On this week’s episode, we speak with Tom Orlik, the Chief Economist at Bloomberg, and the author of the new book "China: The Bubble That Never Pops." He explains China’s resilience, and what could ultimately come back to haunt the Chinese economy.
June 25, 2020
Adam Neumann had a vision: to make his startup WeWork a wildly successful company that would change the world. He convinced thousands of other people -- customers, employees, investors -- that he could make that dream a reality. And for a while, he did. He was one of the most successful startup founders in the world. But then, in the span of just a few months, everything changed. Foundering is a new serialized podcast from the journalists at Bloomberg Technology. This season, we’ll tell you the story of WeWork, a company that captured the startup boom of the 2010s and also may be remembered as a spectacular bust that marked the end of an era. Foundering premieres June 25, 2020. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen.
June 22, 2020
Nobody knows what the post-COVID future looks like. But there are some lessons to be learned from previous pandemics. On today’s episode we speak with Jamie Catherwood of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, aka the “Finance History Guy.” Jamie talks to us about what he’s learned from studying both the Spanish Flu and the Black Death about what this crisis means for markets and the economy.
June 18, 2020
Chamath Palihapitiya is the CEO of Social Capital, the Chairman of Virgin Galactic and a partial owner of the Golden State Warriors basketball team. He’s also been an outspoken critic of the way the crisis and economic recovery have been handled. In April, he famously railed against the airline bailouts in a CNBC clip that went viral. On today’s podcast, he talks to us about how he would have handled the bailout differently, and why he sees a reckoning coming for powerful tech companies in the near future.
June 15, 2020
In the summer of 2004, Google went public and, as everyone knows, it’s done phenomenally well. What’s less known is that a few weeks later, Domino’s Pizza also went public. What’s crazy is that the stock has performed almost identically since then. On this episode, we speak with Jonathan Maze, the Editor-in-Chief of Restaurant Business Magazine about how they delivered this incredible performance.
June 11, 2020
One of the characteristics of the pre-crisis (and perhaps also the post-crisis) economy is the presence of very low interest rates, and financial asset prices that are expensive by historical standards. Of course, a lot of people are inclined to blame the Fed for this. But the real issue precedes the Fed, and in fact the Fed (and other central banks) are only responding to political decisions that depress consumption, investment and inflation. On this episode, we speak with Jon Turek, the author of the Cheap Convexity Blog, about how policies all around the world that suppress consumption and encourage exports are the real policy choices that lead to low rates and expensive financial assets.
June 8, 2020
As many active fund managers have discovered in recent years, it’s extremely hard to find a sustainable edge in investing. But for people who put in hard work to discover opportunities off the beaten track, it may still be possible to find undiscovered value. On this episode, we speak with Burton Flynn and Ivan Nechunaev of Terra Nova Capital Advisors about their highly unusual approach to doing research. The two of them, along with their families, traveled the globe, spending a month at a time in different countries to find places to put their money. They explained to us why this approach was important, what they learned, which countries excite them the most, and how these markets are dealing with the COVID crisis.
June 5, 2020
Welcome to Part V of the Odd Lots LIBOR series, in which Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal take a look at life after LIBOR, the interest rate tied to more than $350 trillion worth of financial assets. For our final episode in our series on LIBOR, we look at what this particular crisis has meant for LIBOR and the transition process. We speak with Josh Younger, a managing director at JPMorgan, who looks at what LIBOR itself did during the worst of the market stress. He also identified specific ways that the market volatility may impede some of the target dates for moving off the benchmark index.
June 4, 2020
Welcome to Part IV of the Odd Lots LIBOR series, in which Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal take a look at life after LIBOR, the interest rate tied to more than $350 trillion worth of financial assets. It's one thing to talk about transitioning away from LIBOR, but it's another thing to actually do it. On the fourth episode of the series, we speak with Tom Wipf, Vice Chairman of Institutional Securities at Morgan Stanley, and the chair of the committee charged with sunsetting the rate. He takes us inside the effort to replace an interest rate that is entrenched in millions of financial contracts and tells us how it’s going.
June 3, 2020
Welcome to Part III of the Odd Lots Libor series, in which Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal take a look at life after Libor, the interest rate tied to more than $350 trillion worth of financial assets. SOFR is the Federal Reserve’s preferred replacement for LIBOR, but it’s not the only alternative reference rate around. On the third episode of the series, we speak with Richard Sandor, a serial innovator in financial markets, and the CEO at American Financial Exchange. He explains why he thinks his own proposed rate, called AMERIBOR, could be a suitable benchmark and replacement for Libor.
June 2, 2020
Welcome to Part II of the Odd Lots LIBOR series, in which Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal take a look at life after LIBOR, the interest rate tied to more than $350 trillion worth of financial assets. Troubles with LIBOR have kickstarted a massive project to transition to a new benchmark interest rate for financial markets. On the second episode of our series, we speak with Joe Abate, money market strategist at Barclays, about the proposed replacement known as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, or SOFR. How is it different to LIBOR and what are the downsides of having an interest rate tied to actual marketplace transactions?
June 1, 2020
Welcome to the Odd Lots LIBOR series, in which Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal take a look at life after LIBOR, the interest rate tied to more than $350 trillion worth of financial assets. On the first episode in our LIBOR series, we speak with Richard Robb, a former interest rate trader who was one of the first to warn about potential manipulation of the Libor rate to which trillions of dollars worth of financial assets are tied. Robb, who’s now CEO of the hedge fund Christofferson, Robb & Company and teaches at Columbia University, warned of problems in the interest rate as early as the mid-1990s. He also had a front-row seat to witness the benchmark’s downfall after the 2008 financial crisis. He talks about what went wrong.
May 28, 2020
When people talk about the dominance of the U.S. dollar in global commerce, they often refer to it as a unique privilege of the United States that its currency is the world’s safe haven. But it’s not so clear who really benefits from the unique role played by the greenback. For one thing, there are wide swathes of U.S. workers whose industries are hurt by its strength. On this episode, we speak with Yakov Feygin, the Assistant Director of the Future of Capitalism project at the Berggruen Institute about the global winners and losers of the dollar system.
May 25, 2020
The economic crisis will result in an extraordinary amount of pain for emerging markets. In addition to the health disruption, the global economic collapse means that in many cases, exports have come to a standstill. So how can poorer countries be helped right now? On this episode, we speak with three experts in the field of sovereign debt. Lee Buchheit is formerly at Cleary Gottlieb and is considered to be the world’s foremost expert on sovereign debt law and restructurings. Mitu Gulati is a professor at Duke University School of Law and Ugo Panizza is a professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. The three have been working throughout the crisis to help put together a comprehensive aid plan for EMs. They talk to us about what it would look like, and why moving it forward has proven to be so difficult.
May 21, 2020
Even with the recent stock market rally, expectations are poor for a robust recovery in the U.S. So what does history teach us about what works and what doesn’t? Richard Werner is an economist at Linacre College at the University of Oxford, and the proponent of what he calls the “Quantity Theory of Credit.” On this episode, he tells us about what he learned studying years of the Japanese economy, and what it means for the current crisis.
May 18, 2020
How should the government address the economic crisis? On this episode, we talk with Mark Cuban, the Shark Tank co-host and billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who has been outspoken about what he sees as necessary to address this crisis. He explains to us why he thinks the government should directly get in the business of hiring millions of people, along with other ideas to keep people employed and stimulate demand. We also talk about the NBA, his plan to fix healthcare, as well as his future political ambitions.
May 14, 2020
With the acute phase of the health crisis having faded in China, factory activity has ramped up again. One big problem though: With the economy so depressed everywhere else, demand for the goods made in those factories has fallen off a cliff. This is just one way in which the virus is massively exacerbating trade imbalances that existed prior to this crisis, and which are now shaking the global economic order. On this episode, we speak with Matt Klein, an economics columnist at Barron’s, and the co-author of the new book Trade Wars Are Class Wars about the interplay of the crisis, world trade, geopolitics, and domestic political tensions.
May 11, 2020
Countries around the world are undergoing an unprecedented, simultaneous real economic shock. So how should policymakers respond? Richard Koo is the Chief Economist at the Nomura Research institute, and is well known for having popularized the concept of the “Balance Sheet Recession” drawing on his work from Japan’s post-bubble era. In today’s episode, he talks about how his work applies to this crisis, what can be done to revive growth, and why the aftermath will be so difficult.
May 7, 2020
We’ve seen a huge market crash this year and a number of firms reporting portfolio losses. So why were so many big investors crowded into the same trades, and what does it say about investing as a whole? Should investors be playing up to their competitive advantage, or following the crowd to profit from momentum? Steven Abrahams, head of investment strategy at Amherst Pierpont Securities, has written a new book about competitive advantages in investing. We talk to him about how different types of investors place their money and why some portfolios can survive better than others.
May 4, 2020
During the last crisis, the economist Nouriel Roubini earned the nickname “Dr. Doom” for his ominous prognostications about the economy and financial system. While he prefers the moniker “Dr. Realist” Roubini is once again extremely negative. On this week’s episode he explains why he sees a poor recovery, then a bout of inflation, and then ultimately a depression in the wake of this crisis.
April 30, 2020
The hunt is on for a clinical therapy to prevent or treat COVID-19. But what’s the best way to go about this? How can governments accelerate this process? And what can governments do now to help a robust economic recovery? On this week’s Odd Lots, we speak with Bill Janeway, an economist and venture capitalist, who has written extensively on how the government can accelerate innovation by the private sector. He explains how his thoughts translate into the medical space and the post-crisis economy overall.
April 27, 2020
In 2018, Columbia history professor Adam Tooze published his magisterial work “Crashed”, which framed the Great Financial Crisis as essentially a crisis of the global dollar system (as opposed to merely a housing bubble). Now we’re experiencing numerous systemic frailties all at the same time, amid extraordinary difficult times for the real economy, the financial system, and virtually every government around the world. On this week’s episode, Tooze compares and contrasts the last crisis to this one, and how it might permanently change our world.
April 23, 2020
The fate of the economy remains extremely unclear. However there is little doubt that the Fed has taken dramatic steps to arrest the crisis. Not only has Jerome Powell’s Federal Reserve dusted off old tools that were designed during the last crisis, it’s engaged in unconventional actions, such as lending directly to municipal authorities, as well as becoming a player in the market for private sector corporate debt. Amid this crisis, Nathan Tankus, a researcher at the Modern Money Network, has emerged as one of the foremost experts on what the Fed has done, and what it’s capable of doing, through his widely read newsletter. He joined us on this episode to explain and contextualize the historic nature of the Fed’s actions so far.
April 20, 2020
With major economies around the world coming to a screeching halt, emerging markets are in a squeeze of historic proportions. Not only are they being buffeted by a domestic health crisis, but export industries are getting clobbered at the same time as access to dollars is drying up. On this episode, we speak with Brad Setser of the Council on Foreign Relations on the historic nature of this episode, which countries are particularly vulnerable, and what policies might allow for a way out.
April 17, 2020
Commerce and payments are increasingly digital. This shift from physical to electronic is one that governments and businesses are eager to accelerate for a host of reasons. But what gets lost when we no longer have access to physical cash? On this episode, we speak with Rohan Grey, President of The Modern Money Network and the research director of the Digital Fiat Currency Institute about how governments can introduce digital currencies that enable electronic commerce, while preserving the privacy protections of physical cash.
April 15, 2020
At the end of March, Congress passed the CARES Act in an attempt to mitigate some of the massive economic devastation being caused by the coronavirus crisis. A key piece of the legislation includes grants for small businesses that keep employees on their payroll during the emergency. On this episode, we speak with Florida Senator Marco Rubio about the program, what's working, what isn't, and what it will take to move the economy back towards full employment.
April 13, 2020
With the U.S. economy going into a deep slump, the Federal government has attempted to counteract the pain by increasing spending. But for cities and states, it’s virtually impossible for them to run counter-cyclical fiscal policy. Furthermore, the crisis is draining local coffers due to public health expenditure and the collapse of tax revenue. This has already led to the start of a state and local austerity wave (spending cuts, layoffs, etc.) that could take years to reverse. On this week’s episode, we speak with three people who have been writing about this aspect of the crisis, and how it could be addressed by both the Fed and the U.S. Treasury. We’re joined by Skanda Amarnath of Employ America, Yakov Feygin of the Berggruen Institute, and Alex Williams, a grad student at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, to discuss the shape of the problem and the way back to economic health.
April 9, 2020
Earlier this year on Odd Lots, we did an episode about Korean structured investment products that were sold to retail investors, whose performance was tied to various market indices around the world. Crucially, those payouts were premised on there not being a major crash in those world markets. Obviously, we’ve seen quite the crash. So, for this week’s episode, we’ve gone back to Benn Eifert, the CIO of QVR Advisors, to check out the state of them now. And we also talk, more broadly, about the extreme volatility we’ve seen around the world, and what drove that, and whether or not we’ve seen the worst.
April 6, 2020
The commercial real estate market has been clobbered in this crisis, as restaurants and stores virtually shut down entirely throughout the month of March. On this week’s Odd Lots episode, we speak to Tom Barrack, the CEO of Colony Capital, on the crisis facing the industry, and what he feels needs to be done further to prevent the industry from going into a tailspin.
March 30, 2020
The plumbing of the financial system is coming under strain like never before. On this week’s podcast, we speak with two legendary experts on how the money system works: Zoltan Pozsar of Credit Suisse and Perry Mehrling of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. They explain the extreme level of stress we’re seeing, what the Fed has done to alleviate, what more needs to be done, and what the post-crisis future may look like.
March 26, 2020
In normal times, U.S. Treasuries are the ultimate safe haven. They are highly liquid and guaranteed to pay out. So when people want to hide out during periods of economic and financial market volatility, you can typically count on there being a strong bid for them. But in the last couple of weeks, the volatility has been so extreme, and the flight-to-cash so severe, that the market stopped behaving as normal. And popular trades involving arbing Treasuries and Treasury bond futures started to fail. On today’s episode, we speak with Josh Younger, a managing director at JPMorgan, who explains how and why it started to fall apart.
March 23, 2020
For a long time, people have been warning that corporate debt could be the major source of vulnerability in today's economy. And the market meltdown that we've been seeing since the beginning of March could make those fears a reality. On this week's podcast, we speak with frequent Odd Lots guest Chris White of Viable Markets, on how the extreme search for yield in recent years, combined with massive issuance of debt, combined with the idiosyncrasies of the corporate debt market, could be a setup primed for disaster.
March 19, 2020
Markets around the world are so extremely volatile that nobody can think of any perfect precedent. There are shades of the Great Recession, 1987, the period in the wake of 9/11, and other moments of extreme turbulence. This week's special episode was recorded on Monday March 16 with Naufal Sanaullah, a macro strategist at EIA All Weather Alpha Partners. He walked us through his thinking on the market, and even discussed how he was trading things, right then, during the market open.
March 16, 2020
Saudi Arabia recently announced that it was engaging in a full-on price war by pumping oil like crazy. At one point, after the move, the price of Brent Crude plunged 31%. This was a body blow to U.S. shale companies, who are already reeling from falling prices and tightening credit markets. On this week's episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Buddy Clark, a Houston lawyer at the offices of Haynes and Boone about why this came at the worst possible time for the industry, and what could happen next.
March 12, 2020
The U.S. is on the verge of an economic crisis due to the coronavirus, as people and businesses aggressively pull back on spending. On this week's Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Claudia Sahm, the director of Macroeconomic Policy at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, about what the government can be doing right now to stop a recession. Claudia has done extensive research on exactly this topic, and now is the moment to put her theoretical work into practice.
March 9, 2020
Questions continue to arise over the effect of passive investing, and whether or not it's somehow distorting the market. On this week's episode, we speak to Vincent Deluard, the Director of Global Macro for INTL FCStone Inc., who argues that the endless bid for ETFs have helped fuel a bubble in megacap stocks, which continue to outperform the market.
March 5, 2020
In recent weeks, before the stock market plunged, a page on reddit called r/WallStreetBets suddenly started exhibiting enormous influence on a handful of stocks. The emergence of online chat rooms making huge wagers in the market calls to mind the message boards of the dotcom era. But this page is taking it to a new level. On this week's episode, we're joined by Bloomberg News reporter Luke Kawa, who has been covering the page, as well as the page's founder, Jaime Rogozinski, who started it up in 2012.
March 2, 2020
There are lots of famous debt crises in history, but the story of Iraq's government debt build-up in the 1980s and subsequent restructuring in the early 2000s is probably one of the most unusual. Iraq transformed from a net creditor to a net borrower in a single decade, tapping a bunch of unusual sources (including funds linked to the CIA) for money to finance war against Iran. All that borrowing eventually culminated in one of the biggest debt restructurings in history. On this episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak to Simon Hinrichsen, a doctoral candidate at the London School of Economics, and the first to trace the build-up of Iraq's debt going back to 1979. He walks us through lessons learned from the Iraq restructuring – including one big missed opportunity in the world of sovereign debt.
February 26, 2020
Apple's recent revenue warning reminded the world of how exposed the company is to China, and in particular its factories. As the coronavirus continues to shutter huge swaths of the Chinese economy, this is a potential risk for numerous companies beyond just Apple. On this week's Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Dan Wang, a China tech industry analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics about how this, along with pressure on Huawei, are putting extraordinary pressure on the Chinese supply chain.
February 24, 2020
One of the best recent movies was Uncut Gems, in which Adam Sandler plays a Diamond District jeweler with an addiction to gambling and risk. It turns out, one of the workers in Sandler's shop was played by an actual, real-life jewelry dealer. On this week's episode, we speak with Maksud Agadjani, the founder and owner of TraxNYC, which sells a range of items, from traditional bracelets and necklaces to highly customized, 3D-printed items for celebrities. Agadjani talked to us about the movie, the business of gems, and why people will spend wild sums on his flashy items.
February 17, 2020
Back in 2017, the World Bank issued the world's first pandemic bonds. The bonds are meant to shift some of the financial risk of a global pandemic on to investors, but they've been criticized for having 'triggers' that are too tough to generate payouts. Now, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, it's worth looking at how these bonds are structured and what they can tell us about the future of public-private partnerships in finance. In this episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Olga Jonas of the Harvard Global Health Institute, and a former economist at the World Bank with significant pandemic experience. She gives us her take on the bonds as well as the economic impact of big epidemics.
February 10, 2020
Over the last decade or so, we've seen an incredible rise in so-called passive investing. While definitions differ over what this means, we've seen more and more money poured into index funds (which own every stock in a given basket). Meanwhile, money has been yanked away from money managers who attempt to select individual stocks. One school of thought argues that this is a positive, in part due to lower fees. But is there a dark side? On this week's episode, we speak to Mike Green of hedge fund Logica Capital, who argues that the trend is causing major market distortions that will eventually unwind with ugly consequences.
February 3, 2020
There's a growing consensus that governments need to act more aggressively in using fiscal policy to stave off the next recession, and that monetary policy simply isn't powerful enough. But how do you actually go about it? What do you spend the money on, and how do you get politicians to disburse it in a timely manner? On this week's Odd Lots, we speak with Claudia Sahm, a former Fed economist who is now at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, on ways to systematize and automate an early and aggressive fiscal response to economic weakness. Sahm has achieved fame for her so-called "Sahm Rule" which can provide policymakers with an early warning sign of when a recession might be brewing.
January 27, 2020
Even to this day, there are economists who don't understand money or don't think that money is an important aspect of the economy. They see the world as still operating essentially under a barter system, with money only there as a means of lubricating transactions. But this is precisely the opposite way you should be looking at things, according to this week's guest. Perry Mehrling is a Professor of International Political Economy at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University, and he's known for advocating what he calls "The Money View." In his framework, money is front and center (not something to be abstracted away). In our discussion, he explains how this view helps explain the financial crisis, the repo blowup, and the weaknesses of post-crisis regulations.
January 24, 2020
At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, there was a lot of talk about the need to change the world's energy usage in order to address climate change. While it's easy to get cynical about business leaders and politicians talking about sustainability on a mountaintop in Switzerland, it turns out that a lot is already happening right now. On the latest Odd Lots episode, we speak with journalist and analyst Gregor Macdonald, the editor of The Gregor Letter, about what's actually happening on the ground. And why the transition to renewable energy is happening fast, even in the absence of aggressive government subsidies.
January 20, 2020
What's the connection between low global interest rates, Korean retail investors, and the U.S. options market? On this week's Odd Lots podcast, we discuss the fascinating world of Korean structured notes with Benn Eifert of QVR Advisors. He explains how a very exotic type of investment sold to Korean retail investors could, through a series of hedging requirements, end up causing massive volatility in the market for S&P 500 options.
January 13, 2020
Iran's stock market is one of the most unfamiliar equity markets in the world. With Iran under stringent U.S. sanctions, it's hard to even find data on where Iranian stocks are trading. Then there's geopolitical risk. This month the U.S. killed Iran's top general Qassem Soleimani and Iran retaliated by firing missiles at U.S.-Iraqi air bases, sparking a sell-off in global markets. So what happened to Iranian stocks in this time period? On this week's episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Maciej Wojtal, who runs the only European asset manager focused on Iranian stocks.
January 9, 2020
Americans are paying more and getting less for their health care than ever before. On the new season of Prognosis, reporter John Tozzi explores what went wrong.
January 6, 2020
From Argentina to Chile to Lebanon, we're seeing a high degree of political and economic uncertainty among emerging market economies. On this week's Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Paul McNamara, a veteran fund manager at GAM Investments. McNamara explains why this moment is so turbulent, and what it will take to settle these economies down.
December 30, 2019
The severity of the Great Financial Crisis took economists by surprise, particularly the ones who believed that markets were largely stable and self-regulating. So why did so many eminent thinkers get it so wrong? On this week's episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Lord Robert Skidelsky, an economic historian who is known for being the pre-eminent biographer of John Maynard Keynes. Skidelsky is the author of the new book “Money and Government: The Past and Future of Economics”, and he tells us why economists' failure to understand what money is has been so detrimental to their understanding of the world.
December 23, 2019
When people think about Bitcoin, they often think about neo-goldbugs who hate inflation and the Federal Reserve. But beyond the financial case for it, there's a moral, human rights case as well. On this week's podcast, we talk with Alex Gladstein, the Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation. He explains why he sees Bitcoin as an essential tool in his fight for human rights all around the world.
December 16, 2019
By this point, everybody knows that online dating is a massive phenomenon, reshaping the social habits of the young and the single. But perhaps people are still not appreciating the significance of it. On this week's podcast, we speak with Dan McMurtrie, a hedge fund manager, who has done significant research on the impact of online dating. Through his work, he has found huge potential ramifications in terms of family formation, economic development, commerce, and more.
December 9, 2019
Many people like to claim that the Federal Reserve is responsible for the high degree of leverage and speculation in the economy. But the mechanism via which this happens is often misunderstood. On this week's episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Srinivas Thiruvadanthai of the Jerome Levy Forecasting Center about how the Fed's goal of inflation targeting contributed to a massive buildup in private debt. As he explains, the approach to minimizing the volatility of inflation at a low level created a perfect environment for lenders, creating all kinds of other risks elsewhere in the economy.
December 2, 2019
For years, defaults were few and far between in China's corporate bond market. Most investors thought that the Chinese government would never let companies — whether they be state-owned enterprises (SOEs) or private businesses — actually default on their debt. But times have changed. Defaults by private companies have been rising and there's even a question mark over the implicit government guarantee in debt sold by SOEs. One state-owned enterprise in Tianjin has proposed a 64% haircut for bond investors, in what could amount to the first de facto default by an SOE in more than two decades. On this week's episode of the Odd Lots podcast we speak with Jun Pan, Professor of Finance at Jiao Tong University, about her recent research examining what China's corporate bond prices are actually telling us about the health of its companies and wider economy.
November 25, 2019
How do Millennials view investing and spending? How do the rising costs of healthcare, education, and housing affect their economic outlook? How does fear of climate change affect one's long-term life choices? These questions are crucial for understanding the perspective of Millennials as they increasingly enter middle age. On this week's episode, we speak with freelance writer Karen Ho about her perspective as both a member of this generation and a journalist who has covered their attitudes about money.
November 18, 2019
According to the website The Hendon Mob, the top tournament poker player of all time is the American Bryn Kenney, who has won a staggering $55.5 million. In fact, he got there in just the last six months, having won $20.5 million at a single tournament! So how did a former Magic: The Gathering player vault to the top of this leaderboard? On this week's episode of Odd Lots, Kenney explains how it all came about.
November 11, 2019
Back in September, chaos erupted in short-term funding markets, as the cost for financial institutions to borrow reserves soared. Immediately a major debate broke out over whether this represented a systemic problem for the financial system or merely a technical problem with the "plumbing." Things have quieted down since September, but the debate hasn't stopped. And there's still no permanent fix. On this week's Odd Lots podcast, we spoke with Zoltan Pozsar of Credit Suisse, who has a reputation for understanding the mechanics of these funding markets better than anyone else in the world. He broke down what really happened, and why we could see more craziness as soon as next month.
November 4, 2019
Where did the notion come from that the obligation of a company's management is to maximize shareholder returns, even if it means pain for workers? On this week's Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Karen Ho, a professor of anthropology at the University of Minnesota, who can answer the above question. Unlike your typical anthropologist, she did her field work inside a Wall Street bank to discover how the specific culture of finance bled through to the real economy.
October 28, 2019
You probably haven't thought much about the Taiwanese life insurance industry. Why would you have? But they're among the most fascinating entities in the financial world. And for a long time they've been a source of incredible mystery. They've built up a gigantic position in foreign, US-dollar denominated assets in order to fund domestic liabilities denominated in Taiwanese Dollars. But how do they hedge this currency mismatch? Nobody has figured it out until now. On this week's podcast, we speak with Brad Setser of CFR and Exante Data about how he and a pseudonymous partner finally cracked the code.
October 25, 2019
Bloomberg's Travel Genius podcast is back! After clocking another hundred-thousand miles in the sky, hosts Nikki Ekstein and Mark Ellwood have a whole new series of flight hacking, restaurant sleuthing, and hotel booking tips to inspire your own getaways—along with a who's who roster of itinerant pros ready to spill their own travel secrets. From a special episode on Disney to a master class on packing, we'll go high, low, east, west, and everywhere in between. The new season starts Nov. 6.
October 21, 2019
Can the U.S. economy have a recession without it turning into a crisis? In the old days, such garden-variety recessions were fairly common. These days, less so. But why is this? And can we go back to the old-style soft recessions? The issue, arguably, is that private sector balance sheets (both debts and assets) have grown so large relative to incomes, that the value of financial assets swamp effects from changing incomes. On this week's Odd Lots, we speak with David Levy of the Jerome Levy Forecasting Center about his new report called Bubble Or Nothing about how the economy works in a world of gigantic balance sheets and extreme risk taking.
October 14, 2019
It's well known that Japan has (until recently) been mired in years of mediocre economic growth. And policymakers and economists use Japan as a warning for how developed economies can enter into prolonged slumps. But has anyone learned the lessons of Japan? In our latest episode, we talk to Richard Koo of the Nomura Research Institute, about his concept of the "Balance Sheet Recession" and why developed economies with lots of debt don't behave the way they do in textbooks. He explains how the lessons of Japan apply to Europe and the U.S. and what policymakers have failed to learn.
October 7, 2019
On September 19, 2019, Odd Lots hosted its first-ever live event at the WNYC Greene Space in downtown New York City. With an all-star lineup of guests, the show featured convicted white-collar criminal Sam Antar, a panel on sovereign debt with Lee Buchheit and Brad Setser, and a discussion on MMT with Stephanie Kelton. We even had a surprise guest, SPY kid Kevin McGrath, not to mention two musical acts: country-singing economist Merle Hazard and a performance by Joe himself. Be sure to check out videos from the event on Bloomberg's Markets and Finance channel on YouTube.
October 1, 2019
Stephanie Flanders, head of Bloomberg Economics, returns to bring you another season of on-the-ground insight into the forces driving global growth and jobs today. From the cosmetics maker in California grappling with Donald Trump's tariff war, to the coffee vendor in Argentina burdened by the nation's never-ending crises, Bloomberg's 130-plus economic reporters and economists around the world head into the field to tell these stories. Stephanomics will also look hard at the solutions, in the lead-up to Bloomberg’s second New Economy Forum in Beijing, where a select group of business leaders, politicians and thinkers will gather to chart a better course on trade, global governance, climate and more. Stephanomics will help lead the way for those debates not just with Bloomberg journalists but also discussion and analysis from world-renowned experts into the forces that are moving markets and reshaping the world. The new season of Stephanomics launches Oct. 3.
September 30, 2019
For years, China has experienced blistering growth. Driven by an investment-heavy economic model, this growth has limited household income while subsidizing business. This system worked extraordinarily well for years, but the system has recently been hitting its limits. On this week's Odd Lots, we speak with Michael Pettis, a longtime China expert who serves as a finance professor at Peking University as well as a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment. He explains why China must rebalance its domestic economy, and how its domestic policies helped contribute to today's trade tensions with the U.S.
September 23, 2019
History is littered with collapsed civilizations ranging from the Maya to Angkor Wat. But what can they tell us about the world today, or doing business in it?. But what can they tell us about the world today, or doing business in it? On this episode, we speak with previous Odd Lots guest, archaeologist Arthur Demarest, often described as the "real Indiana Jones" and who is also Ingram Professor of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University. Demarest has recently been applying business management concepts to his studies of the Mayan economy and the civilization's subsequent collapse. He talks to us about what businesses can learn from these moments in time.
September 16, 2019
For years, people have been predicting the demise of the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency. Although the U.S. economy has been shrinking as a share of the world's GDP, the dollar continues to grow ever more dominant. Yet its strength is increasingly cited as a factor behind economic problems around the world. On this week's Odd Lots, the economist David Beckworth, a research fellow at the Mercatus Center, explains the dollar's persistent and growing strength.
September 9, 2019
Last month, central bankers gathered at the annual Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A lot of the talk was about the limits of monetary policy when it comes to boosting economic growth and what negative interests could do to the financial system. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney also gave a speech in which he talked about replacing the U.S. dollar's role in the financial system with something else­­—maybe even a central bank-run digital currency similar to Facebook's Libra. On this episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Huw van Steenis, who was senior adviser to Governor Carney and spent the last year chairing a BOE review of the 'Future of Finance.' He talks about how central banks might respond to a number of issues including the rise of new technology, the changing nature of money, and the harmful effects of negative rates.
September 2, 2019
One of the oldest, most basic strategies in investing is value investing, which, for lack of a better way to put it, means "buy stocks that are cheap." Value investing, a style associated with Warren Buffett, systematically attempts to uncover low-priced stocks. But by many measures, value investing hasn't been working recently, as high-priced growth stocks (think: technology) have trounced cheap stocks. On this week's episode, we speak with Chris Meredith, Co-CIO of O'Shaughnessy Asset Management about what's behind this underperformance, and why that may be coming to an end.
August 27, 2019
On this new season of Prognosis, we look at the spread of infections that are resistant to antimicrobial medicines. You're probably more likely to have heard of these as superbugs. Their rise has been described as a silent tsunami of catastrophic proportions. We travel to countries on the frontline of the crisis, and explore how hospitals and doctors around the world are fighting back. Prognosis’ new season launches Sept. 5.
August 26, 2019
Every day, people are bombarded with predictions of what will happen in the future. In recent months, talk of 'inflection points' in the markets has heated up, and the possibility of the U.S. economic expansion, now the longest in history, coming to an end is being actively discussed. But how do we know if such predictions are good ones? And how can we learn to be better forecasters ourselves? On this week's episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we talk to Philip Tetlock, the Leonore Annenberg University Professor of Psychology and Management at the University of Pennsylvania, and the author of numerous books and papers on the topic of predictions.
August 19, 2019
We live in a world of generally expensive stock markets and bank equities trading at 30-year lows. So says John Hempton, co-founder of hedge fund Bronte Capital and a former bank analyst, who also calls it "one of the great puzzles of the world." On this episode, we take a special trip to Australia to speak with Hempton about banks and how they fit into the way he evaluates good businesses and promising stocks. He notes that bank profit margins have been declining in places with both positive and negative rates. We also speak about how he picks stocks in a market currently trading at eye-watering valuations, why you shouldn't necessarily seek 'value,' and what investors can learn from the early 2000s tech bubble.
August 12, 2019
The amount of negative-yielding debt keeps climbing and now includes bonds issued by emerging market countries and some junk-rated companies. On this week's episode, we talk to Viktor Shvets, Macquarie's Head of Asia Strategy, about why interest rates keep getting lower and why that's a problem for the global economy and financial system. He argues that undermining the 'time value' of money–or the principle that money available now is worth more than money in the future because you can use it to earn additional money–won't lead to economic growth. In fact, he says, negative rates are going to end up leading to a rethink of modern capitalism and political society once people realize they have big consequences. He's also one of the few sell-side analysts who takes Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) pretty seriously.
August 5, 2019
It's no secret that a lot of the trade tensions between the U.S. and China have centered on technology, and China has accused the U.S. of trying to stymie its economic development by suppressing its technological advancement. This week's Odd Lots guest argues that, while there are few historical precedents for this sort of technological suppression, there are a lot of them in science fiction. Laban Yu, head of Hong Kong and China research at Jefferies, walks us through the surprising overlap between sci-fi and the trade war.
July 29, 2019
Last month, Facebook announced it was launching its own cryptocurrency called Libra. Facebook says Libra is going to have all sorts of benefits, including helping people without traditional bank accounts and acting as an alternative form of money in countries that don't have stable currencies. At the same time, Facebook's Libra has already been criticized for potentially allowing people to skirt existing government rules. On this episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Jill Carlson, co-founder of the Open Money Initiative, about the actual use cases of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. She's been studying exactly how people have been using cryptocurrency in one of the world's most unstable monetary systems: Venezuela.
July 22, 2019
Of all the “unicorn” startups in recent years, perhaps none induces more skepticism than WeWork. Thanks to its gigantic losses and unusual business practices, many view it as the ultimate emblem of Silicon Valley irrationality. But there are some bulls who say the company is misunderstood! On this week’s episode, we speak with Sandy Kory, a managing director at Horizon Partners, about why he’s bullish on WeWork and how it’s misunderstood by so many people.
July 15, 2019
There's always bears out there predicting that the stock market will tank. But many of them aren't worth listening to because they're always saying the same thing, regardless of the market environment. What's interesting, though, is when a longtime bull changes his or her mind. On this week's Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Bloomberg's very own macro strategist Mark Cudmore. He's been consistently bullish and optimistic about the market and the economy since 2011. But, in the last several weeks, he's flipped his view and is now warning about a recession and a market tumble. On this episode, he explains his reasoning.
July 8, 2019
Bitcoin has been around for roughly a decade now, but people have been working on the dream of an anonymous, digital currency for a lot longer than that. On this week's Odd Lots, we speak with NYU professor Finn Brunton, who is the author of the new book "Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians, and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency." Brunton talked to us Bitcoin's pre-history, and about how and why there was a major crossover between digital currency believers and people who want to freeze their bodies in order to live forever.
July 1, 2019
The vast majority of global trade is still denominated in U.S. dollars, making cross-border flows about currencies as much as manufactured goods. On this week's episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak to Hyun Song Shin, economic adviser and head of research at the Bank for International Settlements. He talks about why a weaker dollar amounts to looser financial conditions for much of the world. He also gives his outlook on the global economy and the state of credit markets.
June 24, 2019
There's been a series of historic marches in Hong Kong, with millions of people taking to the streets to protest against an extradition bill that they think will give China more power over the city. On this episode of Odd Lots, we talk to David Webb, one of Hong Kong's most unusual and well-known investors. Webb has amassed a fortune by investing in local stocks but he also advocates for change in Hong Kong's volatile market, where big swings and lackluster corporate governance are often the norm. Here, he talks about how he sees the future of Asia's biggest financial center in the wake of the protests. He also gives his thoughts on U.S.-China relations.
June 17, 2019
Famous, unique pieces of art are inherently illiquid. They don't sell very often, and pricing is inherently difficult to estimate. Nonetheless, it's a huge business, and investors have been attempting for a long time to turn art into a proper asset class. On this week's podcast, we speak to Margaret Carrigan, an editor at The Art Newspaper, about how investors are attempting to financialize the art world via the use of guaranteed prices at auction.
June 10, 2019
South Korean boy band BTS is rarely connected to economics, but as the biggest success to come out of K-Pop, it arguably should be. On this week's episode of Odd Lots, we speak to Euny Hong, the author of 'The Birth of Korean Cool,' about how South Korea made cultural exports a key plank in its economic development strategy.
June 3, 2019
Earlier this month, President Trump escalated the trade tensions against China by limiting exports of U.S. technology to Huawei. But what is Huawei, and why is this such a big deal? On this week's episode, we speak to Dan Wang, a technology analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics, about the importance of Huawei to the Chinese tech industry, the specifics of what Trump just did, and the far-reaching fallout that we could see from this new phase of the trade war.
May 29, 2019
“What Goes Up” is a new show from Bloomberg that tracks the main themes influencing global markets. Hosts Sarah Ponczek and Mike Regan speak with guests about the wildest movements in markets and what they mean for your investments. The show is out now, and can be found on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.
May 27, 2019
Bitcoin has been around for about ten years. But the dream of a decentralized, anonymous digital currency has been around for decades. On this week's podcast, we speak with one of the original godfathers of the space, David Chaum, an American cryptographer, who first wrote about digital cash in the early 80s. Chaum's original vision wasn't exactly the same as what we know as cryptocurrencies today, but many of the ideas were the same, and Chaum's work was cited by many of the early crypto believers. On this week's podcast, we talk to him about the history of his work, cryptocurrency, and where he sees it going now.
May 23, 2019
Marty Markowitz had his share of problems. His parents had recently died. He had troubles at work. A failing relationship. He needed someone to help him through this rough patch in his life. So he decided to get some professional help from a psychiatrist. What he did not count on, was what happened in his life over the next twenty-nine years. This is a story about power, control, and turning to the wrong person for help.  Listen now at
May 20, 2019
If you lived in NYC a few decades ago, you probably have heard of Crazy Eddie, an electronics retailer that was famous for its outlandish ads on TV. What most people didn't know until after it went public, is that the company was built on financial fraud. In this week's episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak with its former CFO Sam Antar about the company's shenanigans, and how it all came undone.
May 13, 2019
When talking government bond defaults, plenty of people think of Argentina and Greece. But the biggest sovereign debt default of all time was arguably Russia’s repudiation of debt in 1918, after the Bolshevik revolution. In this episode, we speak to Hassan Malik, an emerging markets analyst and author of ‘Bankers and Bolsheviks,’ about how the Russian debt bubble developed and then crashed. He explains why Western investors thought Russian debt was a safe bet right up until the eve of the Soviet debt repudiation.
May 9, 2019
These days about one in three bites of food you eat wouldn’t be possible without commercial bee pollination. And the economic value of insect pollination worldwide is estimated to be about $217 billion. But as important as bees have become for farming, there’s also increasing signs that bees are in trouble. In the decade-plus since the first cases of Colony Collapse Disorder were reported, bees are still dying in record numbers, and important questions remain unanswered. On this new miniseries, host Adam Allington and environment reporters David Schultz and Tiffany Stecker travel to all corners of the honeybee ecosystem from Washington, D.C., to the California almond fields, and orchards of the upper Midwest to find answers to these questions.
May 6, 2019
Whenever poker is depicted on a TV show or in a movie there's a lot of emphasis placed on the art and science of reading the physical cues that players give off accidentally when attempting to conceal the motivations behind their bets. Poker pros call these "tells." Even though tells are overrated as a source of significant alpha at a poker table (and their significance is diminished even more when playing online) they can still be important. On this week's podcast, we speak to Zachary Elwood, a former pro poker player who has authored multiple books on tells and how to read them.
April 29, 2019
Recently, the cryptocurrency exchange Binance delisted a Bitcoin offshoot, causing its price to fall. Crypto’s market structure is still in its early days, and the move raises questions around decentralization and the power of exchanges. Alex Gordon-Brander has been thinking a lot about what crypto’s market structure will look like as his company, Omega One, is building a crypto dark pool. He joins this week’s Odd Lots podcast to discuss crypto market structure, where it’s headed and how Omega One will choose which coins to list.
April 22, 2019
No, no, don't worry, the Odd Lots podcast isn't coming to an end. But for actual odd lots -- trades of securities in unusually-sized increments -- it's the end of an era. Some major banks announced recently that they're getting rid of their dedicated odd lots desks. On this week's podcast, we speak with Chris White, the CEO of ViableMkts and BondCliQ about market structure, and why these changes are taking place.
April 17, 2019
On this new show from Bloomberg, hosts Mike Regan and Sarah Ponczek speak with expert guests each week about the main themes influencing global markets. They explore everything from stocks to bonds to currencies and commodities, and how each asset class affects trading in the others. Whether you’re a financial professional or just a curious retirement saver, What Goes Up keeps you apprised of the latest buzz on Wall Street and what the wildest movements in markets will mean for your investments.
April 15, 2019
There's something wrong with prices in funding and bond markets, according to this week's Odd Lots guest. Zoltan Pozsar is a former adviser to the U.S. Treasury turned strategist at Credit Suisse. He argues that sweeping changes in the world's money markets help explain why foreign investors aren't buying as much U.S. debt as they used to. That could have big implications for the Federal Reserve as it attempts to wind down its balance sheet.
April 8, 2019
In discussions about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) you often hear that while it may be true that the U.S. has the space to expand its deficits significantly, that it doesn't apply to emerging markets. On this week's episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak to Fadhel Kaboub, a professor of economics at Denison University, who examines emerging markets through the MMT lens. While it's true that emerging markets don't have the same kind of fiscal capacity as nations like the U.S., Canada, and Australia, the theory still offers insights into how EMs can pursue development policies that are different from the mainstream prescriptions.
April 1, 2019
Cullen Roche, the author of the financial blog Pragmatic Capitalism, explains why he went from an adherent of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) to one of its loudest critics.
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