Odd Lots

By Bloomberg

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 May 4, 2022


 Feb 21, 2019

Description

Bloomberg's Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway analyze the weird patterns, the complex issues and the newest market crazes. Join the conversation every Monday and Thursday for interviews with the most interesting minds in finance, economics and markets.

Episode Date
This Is What Happens to Silicon Valley in a Downturn
2528

The US economy may not be in a recession, but Silicon Valley, which had a mega-boom throughout the 2010s, is in a downturn. Tech stocks have tanked and almost every day there are new reports about industry layoffs. So what happens next? What happens to its unique corporate culture? What happens to management and employees? On this episode, we speak with Margaret O'Mara, a professor at the University of Washington and the author of the book The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America. We talk about the history of Silicon Valley's upside-down moments and how the industries that have dominated the region have changed over time, particularly as government money comes in and out of the picture.

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Nov 28, 2022
Jim Chanos on Crypto, Tech and the Golden Age of Fraud
1967

Earlier this year we talked to the legendary short seller Jim Chanos, during which he warned of more pain ahead for speculative areas of tech. That call proved to be prescient by a number of measures. So where are things now? We spoke to Chanos again at the recent Berkeley Forum on Corporate Governance in San Francisco. We discussed frauds, crypto, and the pro-cyclical effects of stock-based compensation.

Note: This episode was recorded on November 9th, 2022. We're publishing our usual Thursday episode one day early due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.

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Nov 23, 2022
Truckers Are Working Countless Hours That They're Not Getting Paid For
2616

For years we've been hearing about a persistent shortage of truck drivers. But what if we're thinking about it wrong? What if the issue is that the shipping industry systematically mistreats or undervalues drivers, creating an ongoing and unsustainable churn? On this episode, we speak with Gord Magill, a longtime truck driver and the author of the Autonomous Truck(er)s Substack, about one persistent problem: truck drivers wasting countless hours in "detention" at loading sites, a time for which they don't actually get paid. Magill explains how this is reflective of broader trends within the industry that devalue drivers and contribute to an inefficient supply chain.

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Nov 21, 2022
Matt Levine on the Collapse of FTX and Alameda
2015

It was on an episode of the Odd Lots podcast in April 2022 that Sam Bankman-Fried infamously characterized yield farming as a "box," in a metaphor that made the practice sound a lot like a ponzi scheme. Of course, in the wake of the collapse of his two main firms — FTX and Alameda Research — that conversation looks more and more like a huge red flag, but also provides insight into the shaky finances of his crypto empire. Bloomberg Opinion columnist Matt Levine was also a guest on that episode and he joins us again this week to discuss where we are in the fallout out of the FTX saga.

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Nov 18, 2022
Understanding the Collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried's Crypto Empire
3111

The collapse of the Sam Bankman-Fried empire is gigantic, sprawling and fast moving. While details are still coming out, it already ranks among the most prominent corporate disasters of all time and has left the entire crypto community reeling. To better understand the role that FTX played in the industry and how the exchange started to unravel, we speak with two guests on this episode. First, we have Evgeny Gaevoy, the founder and CEO of the crypto market-making firm Wintermute, to explain how he used the FTX platform and how he understood its relationship with SBF's trading firm, Alameda Research. Then we speak with independent researcher James Block, author of the Dirty Bubble Media newsletter, and one of the first observers to blow the whistle on the FTX disaster.

Stay tuned. On Friday, we'll have a special follow-up interview with Bloomberg Opinion's Matt Levine, who also appeared with Sam Bankman-Fried on the now-infamous “yield farming” episode of Odd Lots in April 2022.

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Nov 17, 2022
Guyana Is the Most Exciting Story in the World Oil Market
2420

We talk a lot about the US shale boom. And we talk a lot about OPEC. But one of the most exciting stories in the global oil industry is the incredible rise of Guyana, which has seen a massive amount of oil discovery over the past several years. This oil boom has made the South American country one of the fastest growing economies in the world. So what does history say about the emergence of a new oil superpower? On this episode of the podcast, we speak with oil historian Gregory Brew about the Guyana story, and what happens when so much new oil is being produced outside of OPEC.

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Nov 14, 2022
Isabella Weber On Germany's Plan to Cap the Price of Gas
2747

The surge in gas costs in Europe threatens to impose massive pain on households and cripple energy-intensive heavy industry. So there has been a lot of urgency on the part of governments to figure out a way to ease the pain. Of course, when the problem is a scarcity of energy itself, you can't just throw money at the problem. You can't print more gas molecules. On this episode, we speak with Isabella Weber, economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who has been serving on an independent government commission in Germany to formulate a plan to ease the burden. We discuss her work and how price controls in energy play out in practice.

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Nov 10, 2022
Josh Younger on the Origin Story of the Shadow Banking System
2715

There are a bunch of historical analogies that people like to reach for in order to describe some of the economic trends we're seeing today. There's obviously the period of high inflation in the 1970s and early 1980s, or the disruptions caused by the Spanish Flu pandemic around 1918. But there's also a single year -- 1953 -- which not only contains some eerie similarities to today's economic environment, but also ended up having far-reaching consequences that reverberate all the way to 2022. On this episode, Josh Younger, JPMorgan's global head of asset and liability management research and strategy, tells the origin story of the decisions made in 1953 that helped create the vast repurchase or repo market. At a time when there are plenty of concerns over the stability of the market for US bonds, we go back in time to explore the reasons why repo exist at all.

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Nov 07, 2022
Mark Bergen on Apple's Threat to the Online Ad Industry
2220

After years of basically printing money, the big online Internet behemoths are starting to stumble for various reasons. There's the macro slowdowns. New competition. And just basic threats to the way they do business. One major change has come from Apple, which has used its device dominance to curtail how apps can collect information on users, making targeting harder than it used to be. On this episode we speak to Bloomberg reporter Mark Bergen, the author of Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube's Chaotic Rise to World Domination, about the difficult challenges facing the industry. 

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Nov 03, 2022
Hyun Song Shin Explains Why This Dollar Shock Is So Unique
2559

It's no secret that a strong US dollar causes the rest of the world pain, but the impact of this year's rally is shaping up to be a bit different than previous episodes of dollar strength. Hyun Song Shin is the Economic Adviser and Head of Research for the Bank for International Settlements, which has just published a bulletin outlining why this particular dollar cycle is so unique. Shin has also done a ton of previous academic research on this exact topic — examining what happens to global trade and business investment when the dollar hits its highs. In this conversation, we talk to him about the impact of the dollar rally, what could stop it and what policymakers around the world can do to cope.

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Oct 31, 2022
A Midwest Drought Is Creating a Supply Chain Crisis on the Mississippi River
2935

The Midwest has been gripped by drought this year and water levels on the Mississippi River have fallen to their lowest marks in decades. That's bad news for farmers growing crops and for anyone trying to actually move those crops down the river to buyers. On this episode, we speak with grains expert and president of Ostebur & Associates, Ben Scholl, about the latest supply chain snarl in the US. We also speak with Mercury Group CEO Anton Posner and President Margo Brock about the important role that the Mississippi plays in the global supply chain. They walk us through the potential impact on a number of commodities — including steel, coal and other vital resources — and why the disruption might reverberate for some time to come.

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Oct 31, 2022
This Is The Legal Mess Now Facing the Trucking Industry
2311

When people think about the so-called 'gig economy' they probably first think about Uber. But truck drivers are arguably the original gig workers. And driving a truck is one of the biggest professions in the US. So how should laws designed to protect the rights of gig workers apply to the trucking industry? And what do truck drivers actually want? On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Rachel Premack, the editorial director at Freightwaves and the author of the MODES newsletter, to understand the legal ambiguities and how they relate to deregulation efforts that are multiple decades old.

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Oct 28, 2022
A Broken Market Is Causing Mortgage Rates to Surge
2693

US mortgage rates have jumped to a two-decade high, with the average 30-year home loan now running above 7%. Of course, this makes sense. The Federal Reserve is raising benchmark interest rates and that's supposed to translate into a tightening of financial conditions, which includes housing credit. But the jump in mortgage rates far exceeds the increase in benchmarks, with the difference between average mortgage rates and the yield on equivalent US Treasuries at its highest on record. So what's going on? On this episode, we speak with Guillermo Roditi Dominguez, managing director at New River Investments, about what's happening deep in the market for mortgage-backed bonds to make rates surge this much. As he describes it, a sea change is helping to keep borrowing rates extra high.

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Oct 27, 2022
This Is What the US Just Did to China on Semiconductors
2834

Earlier this month, the Biden administration unveiled a new set of restrictions on exporting semiconductors and related technology to China. The actions are seen as a significant escalation of an ongoing effort to constrain China's domestic chip ambitions. But semiconductor diplomacy and limitations on their export have existed almost since the industry was born. So what are the effects of these new actions? How severe are they? And to what degree do they actually set back China's efforts to develop its own technology? On this episode, we speak to Chris Miller, a professor at the Fletcher School and the author of the new book Chip War: The Fight for the World's Most Critical Technology. He explains the significance of the move and puts it into historical context.

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Oct 24, 2022
How the Alberta NDP Competes In One of Canada's Most Conservative Provinces
2240

Alberta is one of Canada's most conservative provinces, with an economy and culture that might be compared to Texas. However despite this lean, the Alberta NDP, a social-democratic party, has been able to find electoral success. That may be owed to where the party deviates from other left-of-center parties — namely its more friendly stance towards the oil and gas industry, which is crucial to the Alberta economy. In this episode, we speak to party leader Rachel Notley, who served as Alberta premier from 2015 through 2019, before returning to the opposition. She talks about how the party views the oil and gas industry and how it fits in with maintaining climate commitments.

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Oct 21, 2022
Nouriel Roubini Predicts a Crisis 'Worse' Than the 1970s
2590

Nouriel Roubini is known for his bearish prognostications. And unfortunately, he still doesn't see any good news on the horizon. In fact, things are going to get much worse, says the famous economist and author of the new book "MegaThreats: Ten Dangerous Trends That Imperil Our Future, And How to Survive Them." He believes that due to a rolling series of supply shocks, some of which are still unfolding, we'll have a severe downturn before we get relief from inflation. Unlike the 1970s he says, high levels of private sector debt will make it harder to fight higher prices, and that central banks will reverse course as things start to break in financial markets. 

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Oct 19, 2022
Jigar Shah Just Became One of the Most Important Players in the Energy Transition
3072

Jigar Shah is the director of the loan office at the Department of Energy. For years, this division has had a modest amount of money, which it used to provide financing to promising projects in energy technology. With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the loan office now has hundreds of billions of dollars at its disposal in order to build up US energy supply and accelerate the shift to renewables. We talked Jigar about how he plans to scale up his office and deploy that money in a productive way. Recorded on September 7th, 2022.

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Oct 17, 2022
Dan Wang On the Extraordinary Moment for China's Party Congress
2876

The Chinese government's biggest political gathering comes at a time of numerous challenges.Next week will see a major gathering of China's top officials known as the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. This event only happens twice every decade, and this particular Congress is happening at an extraordinary time for both the Chinese government and the country. Not only are officials grappling with the impact of strict pandemic-related restrictions known as Covid Zero, but they're also facing turmoil in the economy and the real estate sector. At the same time, external pressures are picking up, with the US recently imposing sweeping curbs on the way semiconductor companies do business with China. So what's on the agenda for this major political event and what can it tell us about the future direction of the Chinese economy? Dan Wang, China technology analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics, joins us to discuss.

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Oct 13, 2022
This Is What 7% Mortgages Will Do To the Housing Market
2862

Thanks to the surge in mortgage rates, we've seen a historic collapse in mortgage affordability. New homebuyers are facing a massive sticker shock relative to what they could have paid just six months ago. So does this mean that house prices are due for a crash? On this episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Morgan Stanley housing strategist Jim Egan about what comes next. Egan argues that while high mortgage rates will discourage buyers, there won't be a significant unlocking of supply, since very few people will be forced to sell. It will be housing activity that sees the biggest change.

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Oct 10, 2022
Toby Nangle on What We Just Learned From Gilt Market Madness
2817

UK financial assets just experienced once-in-a-generation type moves in the wake of the government's mini-budget announcement. Not only did both gilts and the pound sell off dramatically, they rebounded just as dramatically after intervention from the Bank of England. What does it all mean? And how did pension accounting contribute to the massive volatility? On this episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we spoke with Toby Nangle, an economics and markets commentator, who spent several years running asset allocation at Columbia Threadneedle. He explains why we saw such a dramatic move and what the whole thing taught us about market structure.

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Oct 06, 2022
What Is Really Going On With Rent and Healthcare Inflation?
2583

One of the biggest drivers of inflation is rent. Arguably, it's the whole ballgame right now. If rent growth stays firm, it's hard to see inflation getting back to the Federal Reserve's intended target anytime soon. If it rolls over, then maybe that will allow the Fed to breathe a little bit easier. But signals about the future direction of rents are mixed. While the government data is red hot, various private surveys do show some easing. On this episode, we speak with Omair Sharif, the founder of Inflation Insights, who walks us through rent prices and how the numbers are gathered. He also discusses a key change coming to the measured price of healthcare that will likely be a significant drag on inflation in the year ahead.

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Oct 03, 2022
Marko Papic on What Markets Got Wrong About Russia's Invasion of Ukraine
3105

When Russia invaded Ukraine, there was a widespread expectation of a surge in prices for numerous commodities. That happened initially, but by and large things have not played out the way many investors would have anticipated. So what did markets get wrong? And what are they getting wrong now? On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Marko Papic, a geopolitical expert and the chief strategist at Clocktower Group. He offers his view that the war is entering a stage of stasis and stability that will persist for some time to come. He also spoke about why China continues to pursue a Covid Zero strategy, despite the seemingly high cost to the economy. 

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Sep 29, 2022
Pierre Andurand on What Europe Needs to Do This Winter
3001

Europe is facing an energy crisis and there are some dire predictions about how it will deal with the upcoming winter, when demand for electricity and heating oil are expected to surge. But commodities trader Pierre Andurand sees a path for Europe to survive without Russia's fuel. He suggests that LNG imports can make up a significant amount of lost Russian oil and gas, while simple actions like turning down the thermostat and turning off the lights, can make a big difference to the region's overall supply and demand imbalance. He also talks about the "broken" oil market — where prices may move by $10 on seemingly little news — and how that's impacted his own trading. 

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Sep 26, 2022
Former CFTC Chair on How to Regulate Stablecoins Without Passing Any New Laws
2564

Stablecoin regulation has become a hot topic, and for very good reason. For one thing, it's an extremely fast growing space. Stablecoins are also a primary way that the crypto interacts with the banking system. And beyond that, as we know, crises often originate from assets that promise to be safe (remember money market mutual funds that broke the buck during the 2008 financial crisis. But are regulators equipped to deal with stablecoins under existing law? On this episode, we speak with Timothy Massad, the former chair of the CFTC and a current research fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He explains why he believes regulatory progress can be made right now with the laws that currently exist, and what a new arrangement for issuers would look like.

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Sep 22, 2022
The Ethereum Network Just Experienced a Monumental Development
3620

For years, it's been on the Ethereum roadmap to transition its blockchain from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. Well, it's finally happened. This means that there are no more "miners" validating blocks on the Ethereum network. Instead, they've been replaced with "stakers" or "validators" who manage the network's rules by posting coins as a type of bond or security deposit. Why is that such a big deal for the industry? And what does it say about the future of crypto? On this episode, we speak with Christine Kim, a research associate at Galaxy Digital, who walks us through the significance of "the merge," how validation works and what's next for Ethereum.

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Sep 19, 2022
Senator Pat Toomey on the Bad State of Crypto Regulation
2160

Cryptocurrencies often don't fit neatly into traditional asset buckets. They're not exactly currencies. They're not exactly commodities. And while many share commonalities with stocks, there are differences there as well. As such, US regulators haven't come up with clear rules on their trading and issuance, leaving entrepreneurs and investors in limbo. On this episode, we're joined by Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, who has been harshly critical of the SEC's approach, particularly under current Chairman Gary Gensler. The Senator also talks about his own legislative proposals to start providing more clarity. 

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Sep 15, 2022
Zoltan Pozsar and Perry Mehrling Debate Bretton Woods 3.0
4328

Credit Suisse strategist Zoltan Pozsar has found a new level of fame over the last year, arguing that we're witnessing the birth of a new currency regime that he calls "Bretton Woods 3.0". In this new era, the centrality of the dollar will fade, in favor of commodities or commodity-backed currencies. But not everyone is convinced. And in fact one skeptic is Pozsar's own close collaborator Perry Mehrling, who is now a professor at Boston University. In a special live episode of the podcast, recorded in front of an audience, we were joined by Pozsar and Mehrling, who debated Pozsar's thesis and the future of the dollar more broadly.

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Sep 11, 2022
Ezra Klein on the Future of Supply-Side Liberalism
2978

To the surprise of many people, the Biden administration has notched some significant economic policy wins this year. The CHIPS Act represents a major piece of industrial policy aimed at bolstering the US semiconductor sector and making the supply chain more resilient. Meanwhile, the Inflation Reduction Act puts a lot of money towards a range of energy options, with a particular focus on advancing renewables. Ezra Klein, the New York Times Opinion columnist and host of "The Ezra Klein Show," has been a major proponent of "supply-side liberalism," or the idea that Democratic policy aims should focus more on building out supply-side capacity, as opposed to simply redistributing demand. On this episode, we talk about the politics and economics of this endeavor.

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Sep 08, 2022
Just How Bad Is the Economy Getting in China?
2781

In the wake of the Great Financial Crisis, China arguably led the world out of the downturn. Its gigantic fiscal stimulus not only boosted domestic growth, it also created an incredible amount of demand for commodities all around the world. Today the story is different. The government's Covid Zero policies have been a drag on growth and the real estate sector is deeply troubled, with a rise in homebuyers refusing to make mortgage payments. On top of that, the country is experiencing searing heat and drought. So how bad is it? Are things meaningfully worse than in previous downturns? To understand more, we speak with Tom Orlik, Chief Economist at Bloomberg Economics and author of the book "China: The Bubble that Never Pops." 

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Sep 05, 2022
Neel Kashkari on the Fed's Commitment to Defeating Inflation
3376

At Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell gave a hawkish speech intended to leave no ambiguity about the Fed's commitment to defeating inflation. But what does that mean in practice? How aggressively will the Fed have to hike? And how much pain will the economy endure as a result of it? On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Neel Kashkari, the President of the Minneapolis Fed. He explains his thinking and why he's become one of the most hawkish officials at the central bank. We also discuss the future of the Fed's decision making framework, the impact of student loan relief, the market and much more. 

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Aug 31, 2022
Joelle Gamble Explains the Confusing State of the US Labor Market
2690

The unemployment rate is down to 3.5%, which is far lower than just about anyone thought it would be a year ago. So that's great. On the other hand, measures of labor force participation are below where they were pre-crisis. So the question is whether there's been some fundamental shift in the composition of the labor market vs. the pre-pandemic era, or whether we're still in the process of normalization. To dive into this more, we spoke to Joelle Gamble, Chief Economist at the US Department of Labor. Among other things, we discuss the narrowing gap between black and white unemployment and whether this progress can be sustained throughout the cycle.

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Aug 29, 2022
Helene Meisler On What's Going On With the Stock Market Now
2904

The Federal Reserve is in tightening mode. And there's that old adage "don't fight the Fed" which means in theory it's a bad time for stocks. And yet we saw a surprisingly powerful rally off the bottom in June. But now what? Can the market resume its ascent? Or will we return to the lows, or possibly make new lows? On this episode we speak to Helene Meisler, who has been trading stocks for roughly four decades, and who has a unique approach to analyzing the market. She draws stock charts by hand. In our chat, Meisler explains her methodology, and gives her assessment of the market right now. 

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Aug 25, 2022
How Stablecoins Became a Powerful Force in Crypto
3534

In theory, what gets people most excited about crypto is lines going straight up. But one of the biggest successes in crypto is the rise of stablecoins. Basically, stablecoins allow people to hold dollar-linked assets directly on the blockchain. This is potentially important for P2P payments, trading, cross-exchange arbitrage and more. But by holding actual money, the big stablecoin issuers potentially have a massive amount of power in a space that's supposed to be all about decentralization. On this episode, we speak with Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, which issues the USDC stablecoin. We talked about regulation, the business model of stablecoins, and the influence he has within the broader ecosystem.

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Aug 22, 2022
This Is What Actually Determines the Price of A Gallon of Gas
2093

Gas prices are central to everything these days. Biden's approval rating seems to move inverse with the price of gasoline. The entire market started rallying after gasoline prices started moving lower in June. But then, what exactly determines the price of gasoline? Of course oil is a big part of it, but it's just one significant driver. There is also refining capacity. And taxes. And the gas station's margin. And the cost of distribution within the United States. So how does it all shake out? On this episode we speak with Patrick DeHaan, head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy, who breaks it all down, and helps us understand the market for gasoline.

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Aug 19, 2022
This Is the Case for Building a More Robust Power Grid
3005

Thanks to surging energy costs and extreme weather events, there's a greater urgency to decarbonize the electricity grid. However, it's not enough just to add more solar panels, or wind turbines or even nuclear plants. We need a way to move all that power. And today's grid wasn't made for intermittent energy sources. On this episode we speak to Rob Gramlich, the Founder and President of Grid Strategies, about what we need in our grid to take advantage of intermittent power and what it would take to get there, both from a monetary and regulatory standpoint.

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Aug 18, 2022
Just How Bad Will the Energy Crisis Be in Europe This Winter?
3521

As everyone knows, electricity prices in Europe have soared, due to a combination of factors, most prominently Russia's war in Ukraine and the curtailing of natural gas supplies. But how bad is it going to get this winter? Will Germany have enough energy to power homes and factories? Or will industrial operations have to shut down. On this episode, we speak with two guests: Bloomberg Opinion Columnist Javier Blas as well as Singapore-based hedge fund manager Alex Turnbull. They walk through how to think through both the European and global energy situation as the weather gets cold.

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Aug 15, 2022
Pimco's Dan Ivascyn on the State of Markets Right Now
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Markets have staged an impressive bounce since the middle of June. Stocks are way up. Credit spreads have come in. Mortgage rates have tightened again. And long rates have mellowed out. So is the coast all clear? On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Pimco Group Chief Investment Officer Dan Ivascyn about why this is an environment characterized by a high level of uncertainty. It's not that he's pessimistic or bearish, per se, but rather that there are risks all over the place as the Federal Reserve attempts to tame inflation.

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Aug 11, 2022
Jan Hatzius on the Narrow Path to Avoid a Hard Landing
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The multi-trillion dollar question for the US economy is “Can inflation drop to the Federal Reserve’s target without a substantial jump in the unemployment rate?” Everything is riding on this, as it informs the trajectory for the Fed and for growth in the near future. On this episode of the podcast, we pose that question to Jan Hatzius, Chief Economist at Goldman Sachs. We discuss what it will take to bring the unemployment rate down, why it's going to be difficult to avoid a hard landing and also why so many economists both inside and outside of the Federal Reserve got the inflation trajectory wrong over the last year.

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Aug 08, 2022
Anna Stansbury on How to Boost Worker Bargaining Power
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Labor markets are considered to be "tight" right now, but wage growth continues to lag inflation. For decades, in fact, we've seen a steady decline in worker bargaining power, or labor's share of total income. So what would it take to turn this around? How can workers regain leverage? On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Anna Stansbury, an MIT economist who focuses on labor and macroeconomics. She discusses her research, the decline of labor's share and the role that unionization and other factors play in this long-term trend.

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Aug 04, 2022
Benn Eifert On The Mania That Was Even Bigger Than Meme Stocks
3219

When people think about the market mania we recently experienced, the most glaring thing that comes to mind is the meme stocks. In early 2021, the huge moves in names like AMC and GameStop exemplified this new Robinhood, r/WSB, crypto world. But there were activities much more egregious than some retail traders buying odd lots on Robinhood. Serious, professional investors and traders lost huge sums of money giving out unsecured loans to crypto hedge funds like 3AC, which then proceeded to incinerate their money. In other words, lots of people, with a range of sophistication, threw out some basics of risk management wholesale. On this episode of the podcast, we spoke with Benn Eifrt, founder and CIO at the boutique volatility hedge fund QVR Advisors, about how manias happen, and the big lessons everyone should learn from the market over the last two years.

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Aug 01, 2022
What So Many People Get Wrong About The Energy Transition
2776

With energy prices booming, heatwaves ravaging Europe, and Russia going to war against Ukraine, there's an increased focus on the so-called energy transition. Interest in decarbonization is surging. But there's still a lot of ambiguity about what that might look like. As we've learned lately, with booming demand for coal, and many premature obituaries having been written for oil, energy sources don't just disappear easily like how Palm Pilots died after the introduction of the iPhone. In fact, the consumer tech/disruption framework is completely the wrong way to think about it. On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Bob Brackett -- a senior research analyst at Bernstein -- on what so many people get wrong about the energy transition. And what it will look like instead. 

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Jul 28, 2022
A New Chilean Constitution Could Mean Big Changes to Copper and Lithium Mining
2528

In theory, a big shift towards renewable sources of energy (like wind and solar and electric vehicles) mean less money and power for Russia, and the OPEC nations. But new forms of energy also require resource extraction. And we've already seen growing tension in places that have abundant copper and lithium deposits. So what are the new politics of extraction? On this episode of the podcast we speak with microbiologist Cristina Dorador who, among other things, has been a contributor to a proposed new Chilean constitution that will be put to a referendum later this year. The constitution seeks to enshrine certain restrictions and rights that may make mining more difficult or costlier than it has been in the past. And whether the constitutional reforms pass or not, it's representative of a growing backlash in many places to the way mining rights were handled in the past. 

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Jul 27, 2022
What the Fed's Big Balance Sheet Unwind Means for Markets
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The Federal Reserve recently began shrinking its massive balance sheet, unwinding trillions of dollars worth of bond purchases that it started making during the depths effort to offset the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It's not the first time that the Fed has undertaken 'quantitative tightening,' as the process is called. But this time around is different. The central bank is withdrawing stimulus at an unprecedented speed. The big question for markets now is what the impact of this liquidity withdrawal will actually be, and whether differences in the size and composition of the Fed's more recent market operations make this bout of 'QT' different to previous episodes. Joseph Wang is a former trader on the Federal Reserve's open markets desk and now blogs about the central bank as "Fed Guy." In this episode, he walks us through the mechanics of the central bank's big balance sheet unwind, explains how it might affect markets, and outlines all the uncertainties that still surround this huge operation.

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Jul 25, 2022
Jason Calacanis On the Expensive Lesson Coming to Silicon Valley
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For years, venture capital firms have been pouring money into start-ups, trying to get a piece of the next Amazon or Apple. Valuations for new tech companies soared, and many of them took to crypto to explore new forms of raising money. That included issuing tokens to venture capital funds who sometimes then flipped them to retail investors. Now, Silicon Valley seems to be crashing back down to Earth. And an industry that's all about sourcing more and more money at higher valuations, is having to contend with down rounds. Meanwhile, many of the tokens sold by start-ups have lost value during the crypto crash. On this episode we speak with long-time angel investor and co-host of the 'All-In' podcast Jason Calacanis, who was early into companies like Uber, Calm and Robinhood. He predicts that Silicon Valley is about to learn a very expensive lesson.

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Jul 21, 2022
Why the US Dollar Is Booming And Creating A Possible Doom Loop
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Every time a crisis hits, you get a new round of people warning about the end of US dollar dominance. The Covid crisis and its aftermath is no exception. It may be that the world will change over the long run in some way that does help to dislodge the greenback. But in the meantime, concerns about a looming recession mean that the dollar is booming against other currencies. It's at a 20-year high against the euro, and it's soared against the yen as well. So why has the dollar been rising? And what is the impact of that on the world economy? On this episode, we speak with Jon Turek, the founder of JST Advisors, and the author of the Cheap Convexity Blog, about why the dollar's been so strong, and the risk of a potential "doom loop" that will drag down the global economy.

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Jul 18, 2022
Matt Levine On What to Watch In Twitter vs. Elon Musk
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This week, Twitter sued Elon Musk, attempting to force him to make good on his 44 billion buyout offer for the company. This story has already been surreal in many ways, and now we might get an actual trial out of it in a Delaware court. So what should we expect, in terms of the process and the law? On this episode we speak with Bloomberg Opinion columnist Matt Levine, who has been chronicling the whole saga in his newsletter Money Stuff. He walks us through the general legal arguments, and what to expect in a theoretical trial.

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Jul 15, 2022
The Bitcoin VC Who Just Infuriated The Bitcoin World
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If you've ever interacted with hardcore Bitcoin maximalists you might find some of them, at least, to be... abrasive. And it's not just no-coiners who are the target of their scorn. The real enemies are ex-maxis, who are viewed as apostates. Nic Carter, a co-founder and GP at the VC firm Castle Island Ventures, has been a longtime Bitcoiner. He has been in the sapce for a long time. He is a prolific writer. He has extolled the monetary case for Bitcoin. And he's defended the environmental aspects of mining. But he also recently revealed an investment in a non-Bitcoin crypto company that's made him a persona non-grata in the laser eyes world. On this episode, he talks about the world of Bitcoin maximalists, why he is investing elsewhere, what they get wrong, the toxicity of their culture, and also why in spite of it all, he still considers himself a Bitcoiner.

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Jul 14, 2022
Josh Younger Explains Why the Bond Market Has Been So Volatile
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The market for US Treasuries is arguably one of the most important and liquid markets in the world. But it's been experiencing a number of hiccups in recent years, such as the sudden selloff of March 2020. And in more recent weeks, yields on US government debt have also spiked as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. Some of that makes sense as the central bank makes big changes to its forecast for inflation and markets adjust to the new path. But the degree of the moves has also led some traders to conclude that there's a problem in the way this huge market is functioning. So why does a market that should be pretty boring keep experiencing all this drama? On this episode, we bring back Josh Younger, Managing Director and Global Head of ALM Research and Strategy at JPMorgan, to talk about why bonds keep going through all these shocks and what can be done to minimize them. 

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Jul 11, 2022
The Moment a Most Famous Dotcom Millionaire Knew the Party Was Over
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The first real explosive Internet IPO was a company called TheGlobe.com. It was kind of a proto-social networking/message board site, and on the day it went public in 1998, its shares soared 606%. Its co-founders were briefly worth around $100 million each. They become overnight celebrities, known for their extravagant lifestyles and even their fashion choices. Of course, it all came to an end when the tech bubble collapsed. So what is the experience of a bubble collapsing and watching all of your wealth vanish actually like? On this episode, we spoke with TheGlobe.com Co-Founder and Co-CEO Stephan Paternot, about the IPO, and the moment he knew it was all coming to an end. We also discussed how he went from ultra-rich to needing help from his parents to pay the rent, and what it was like bouncing back from that psychologically.

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Jul 07, 2022
Admiral Stavridis on a Plan to Get Ukrainian Wheat Out of a Warzone
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Inflation was running hot even before Russia invaded Ukraine, but disruption in Europe's bread basket certainly hasn't helped matters and there are now plenty of warnings that a global food shortage could be looming. Even if the normal cycle of sowing crops and harvesting them can keep going uninterrupted in Ukraine, wheat exports would still need to get out of the country. With Russia currently blockading the Black Sea, this seems like a major challenge. In this episode of Odd Lots, former Nato Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James Stavridis presents one idea to get Ukrainian grains out and to the rest of the world. He suggests reaching back to a military playbook last used in the Tanker War between Iraq and Iran.

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Jul 04, 2022
How to Spot a Fraud When Everyone's Against You
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'Markets can stay irrational for longer than you can stay solvent' is a classic maxim for investors, but it holds true for journalists too. In this episode, we speak with the Financial Times's Dan McCrum and Paul Murphy (Tracy's old boss) about their multi-year effort to expose fraud at Wirecard, a German payments giant that went spectacularly belly-up after billions of dollars were found to have gone missing. Dan, who's just written a book about his experience called "Money Men," explains how he first spotted problems at what was once described as "Europe's greatest fintech," and how hard it was to convince others of the truth. Rather than going after Wirecard itself, German authorities went after the journalists and short-sellers who were warning of the scheme.

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Jul 01, 2022
Jigar Shah on the DOE's Role In Accelerating The Energy Transition
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The situation in energy right now seems bleak. But while everyone is focused on the high price of gasoline, or the frailty of the electrical grid, advances are still being made to decarbonize, and make our energy system more robust. It's jut not getting as much attention right now. But what can the public sector do to accelerate this process? On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Jigar Shah, the Director of the Loan Programs Office at the DOE, about the frailties of the existing energy system, and how they're working to accelerate the fix. 

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Jun 30, 2022
Jay Newman on the Coming Crisis for Emerging Markets
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There are a lot of challenges facing emerging markets right now. For a start, the dollar has been pretty strong, heaping pressure on governments that have borrowed in a foreign currency. Meanwhile, energy and food prices are soaring. These are two things that emerging markets often have to import, or subsidize for their citizens. Put it altogether and you have a toxic mix facing developing nations, and we've already seen acute problems emerge in Sri Lanka and Lebanon. On this episode, we speak with Jay Newman, a long-time EM debt specialist and a former portfolio manager for Elliott Management. Jay has a wealth of experience in emerging markets -- including successfully going head-to-head with Argentina after the country defaulted on its debt. In this episode, he describes how the world is in for one of the worst EM debt crises in decades, and gives us his thoughts on how foreign investors should approach these markets. He’s just published his first novel, a financial, political thriller: Undermoney. 

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Jun 27, 2022
The Behind-the-Scenes Mess Now Facing the VC Industry
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There's a fairly linear relationship between what's going on in the stock market and what's going on in the world of venture capital and private tech investing. When tech stocks plunge and the IPO window closes, then that hits valuations -- everything from late stage companies to those earlier in their trajectory. But there's more than just a declining stock market that's bedeviling the VC world right now. Numerous excesses from the boom of the last decade, including an influx of new money into the VC space, now have to be worked out. On this episode, we speak with Tyler Tringas, founder of the Calm Fund, about the excesses that now need to be paid back.

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Jun 23, 2022
A Concrete Plan to Bring the Price of Oil Down Right Now
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The price of oil is the central threat to the economy right now. Surging gasoline costs crimp consumer budgets. Surging diesel costs make everything more expensive. And of course, we know there are all kinds of structural impediments to increasing supply. But the stakes are huge, particularly since the Federal Reserve has signaled its willingness to throw the economy into a recession, if that's what it takes to get inflation down. So is there anything that can be done? On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Skanda Amarnath, the Executive Director at Employ America, as well as Rory Johnston, the founder of Commodity Context and an investor at Price Street, to talk about concrete steps that can be taken to increase oil supplies and bring about price stability.

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Jun 22, 2022
Why It's So Hard to Get the Oil Taps Turned Back On
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Oil prices are sky high. And there's plenty of oil in the ground in North America. And so far the supply response has been disappointing. Frustration is boiling over among drivers and politicians, and it's made life more complicated for the complicated. So what's the hold up? On this episode, we speak to longtime energy investor and industry participant Peter Tertzakian about the reality on the ground. He explains that there are numerous operational factors constraining oil supply, including degraded quality of equipment and a shortage of labor, not to mention a reluctance among investors to splurge on new production. We discuss the specific constraints, as well as what it will take to get supply going on.

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Jun 20, 2022
Jim Chanos on Why Some of the Worst Hit Parts of the Market Still Have More Pain Ahead
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Legendary short seller Jim Chanos says that despite the plunge in stocks, there are numerous swathes of the equity market with plenty of downside risk. On this episode, the Chanos & Co. fund manager, argues that the market overall has simply not internalized what sustained higher rates will mean to business models and valuations across a variety of sectors, including real estate, utilities and consumer packaged goods. He walks through the various excesses that we've seen over the last several years, and why investors are all paying the price for them now.

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Jun 16, 2022
Daryl Fairweather On the Tax That Could Solve the Housing Crisis
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Housing in the US is a constant source of frustration. On the way up, prospective homebuyers worry that they're missing out on their chance to jump on the housing ladder. On the way down, homeowners worry about losing their equity and their nest egg. So is there a better way? Is there a way to make housing more equitable, and to separate the investment component from the shelter component? On this episode we speak with Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist at Redfin, about a land value tax and how it could help us reposition housing so that it's less of a financial asset that spirals people higher, and blocks so many people out. 

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Jun 13, 2022
Foxconn Has a Plan to Upend the Electric Vehicle Industry
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Most people think of Foxconn as the company that assembles iPhones. But it's a lot more than that. In fact the company really got started by manufacturing all of the tiny components and connectors for the PC industry around the world, long before the iPhone ever existed. Now it wants to go back to its roots, but instead of making parts for PCs, it wants to make all the key components for electric vehicles. The potential is massive, and if they get it right, it could be wildly profitable. On this episode of the podcast, we speak to Bloomberg Opinion's Tim Culpan (@tculpan on Twitter) who has followed the company for a long time. He explains how EVs fit into Foxconn's strategy, and how it plans to win in the space. 

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Jun 09, 2022
This Year's American Wheat Harvest Has Been Awful
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There are numerous macro factors driving elevated inflation. But in some categories, there also seems to be a lot of bad luck. When it comes to the US wheat market, the weather has been awful. After a long drought, farmers have been faced with an extraordinary amount of rain. As such, the spring planting season has been one of the worst on record. Of course, this comes amid overall bad conditions, with prices already elevated, owing in part to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. So to understand more about what's going on for farmers, we spoke with Angie Setzer, a co-founder of ConsusROI, which helps farmers make planting and hedging decisions. 

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Jun 06, 2022
Silvergate CEO Alan Lane On the Business of Stablecoin
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The collapse of the Terra/Luna experiment has brought fresh attention to stablecoins, and the different flavors they come in. Some are fully backed with standard financial assets. Others are backed by crypto. Others aren't really backed at all. But why the interest in stablecoins to begin with? Why so much enthusiasm and investment for cryptocurrencies that aren't even designed to go up? On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Alan Lane. Alan is the CEO of Silvergate Bank, which is one of the most important financial institutions in crypto, providing banking services to many of the big players. It's also active in the stablecoin space, providing infrastructure for creating and redeeming them. Among other things, it purchased the assets of Diem, which was Facebook's aborted stablecoin project. We talk with Alan about why there's so much money in the space, and how the industry might be properly regulated.

 

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Jun 02, 2022
Why Copper May Be One of the Tightest Markets The World Has Ever Seen
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These days, oil gets all the attention. Consumers feel and see the pinch directly every time they fill up their gas tank. But the big story in the next decade could be copper. It's not easy to ramp up copper production, due to the upfront cost and lead time in getting new mines online, and demand is expected to soar in part due to green initiatives. On this episode we speak with Goldman Sachs metals strategist Nick Snowdon about why the copper market is expected to be incredibly tight.

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May 30, 2022
This Is What It Takes to Win in the World of Freight Brokerage
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The world of trucking is extraordinarily complex. There are an untold number of players that need to ship goods around the country. And there are tens of thousands of carriers, large and small, who own the trucks that move the goods. Standing in the middle are freight brokerages, whose job is to find the right company to move the right goods. But what does it take to win in this space? What is the role of technology in making it all more efficient? And what is the market doing right now? On this episode, which was recorded at the Freightwaves Future Of Supply Chain Conference in Northwest Arkansas, we speak with Matt Pyatt, the CEO of Arrive Logistics, one of the fastest growing freight brokerages in the country. He walks through what his company does and how it's grown so fast. 

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May 27, 2022
Ed Harrison Explains What the Fed Is Really Trying to Accomplish
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Inflation is too high, and the Federal Reserve has started on an aggressive hiking path in order to tame it. But will these hikes really accomplish anything? After all, the Fed can't print more oil or housing. So what is the central bank's real goal here? On this episode we speak with Edward Harrison, a senior reporter on the Bloomberg markets team, and the author of the 'The Everything Risk' newsletter. He explains how the Fed sees the challenge at hand, what rate hikes are supposed to do, and the odds of it all actually working out as planned.

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May 26, 2022
Bridgewater's Greg Jensen on Why Markets Have Further to Fall
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Bridgewater's Greg Jensen on Why Markets Have Further to FallInflation is at its highest in four decades and the Federal Reserve is raising rates at the fastest pace since 2000. Inflation and a slowing economy are a toxic mix for markets, and in recent days we've seen both stocks and bonds hit hard. So how do you actually invest in this type of macro environment, or model big themes like supply chain disruption and deglobalization? On this episode, we speak with Greg Jensen, the co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates, about how he's thinking about the risks of inflation and slower growth, what it all means for markets, and how Bridgewater is preparing for it. As he puts it, market prices are still too optimistic relative to the secular change that's taking place within them. 

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May 23, 2022
Arthur Breitman on the Biggest Problems in Blockchain Design
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We continue to see an explosion of interest and money flowing into the crypto/blockchain space. But recent price declines and the Terra disaster have raised new questions about what the whole point is. So ... what is the whole point? What is crypto good for? To get a better understanding of the state of the technology and the market, we speak with Arthur Breitman, the co-founder of the Tezos blockchain. The episode was recorded at the Milken Global Institute Conference in Beverly Hills.

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May 20, 2022
Stephanie Kelton On MMT and the Inflation We're Seeing Today
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For years, economists of the MMT school have been arguing that the way we think about deficits and government spending is all wrong. Whereas many people warn about the unsustainability of the national debt -- likening it to a household credit card bill -- the MMT view is that real resources are the constraint on government spending, and that inflation is the sign that real resources are being stretched. So what about now? We had substantial fiscal support during the pandemic, and now we have the highest inflation in over four decades. On this episode we speak with Stephanie Kelton, a leading proponent of MMT, a professor at Stony Brook, and the cohost of the Best New Ideas In Money podcast. We discuss the causes of the current inflation, and how to think about it through the MMT lens. This episode was recorded in Beverly Hills at the Milken Institute Global Conference.

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May 19, 2022
This Is How the Terra Stablecoin Actually Imploded
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The collapse of the Terra ecosystem, and the tokens Luna and UST, will go down as one of the most painful and devastating chapters in crypto history. Over $60 billion market value has evaporated, and numerous retail investors are nursing major losses. What's particularly bad is that this was a big project, championed by some of the most notable names in crypto. But some people obviously saw it coming, and understood it to be a disaster in the making. On this episode we speak with Kevin Zhou, the founder of the crypto hedge fund Galois Capital. He began warning about Terra publicly earlier this year, and was short Luna starting in early May. He explains the exact mechanics of the coin's implosion. 

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May 15, 2022
This Is What Happened to the GameStop Mania
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The first true meme stock was GameStop, which went wild in early 2021, delivering brutal losses to short sellers, and a fortune to a handful of independent retail investors who participated in the squeeze. The episode shined a bright light on the WallStreetBets subreddit and the power of social media in disseminating trade ideas. One investor who did well was Rod Alzmann, who had been long GameStop for years as a value/turnaround play. On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Rod, the founder of Wook Capital and the proprietor GMEdd.com. We discuss where the company is now and what happened to the cohort of traders who scored big during that episode. 

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May 12, 2022
Here's What Just Happened to the Stock Market and the Economy
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It's really been an extraordinary year for markets and the economy. Stocks are down, particularly, growth stocks which have gotten clobbered. Treasuries are down. Inflation is hotter than it's been in years. For the first time in ages, the Fed is hiking aggressively, having just moved by 50 basis points, with premises to do more. Plus there's a host of other shocks we're experiencing from the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine, and the hard lockdowns in China. So how to make sense of it all? On this episode we speak with Neil Dutta, Head of Economics at Renaissance Macro Research and Luke Kawa, Allocation Strategist at UBS Asset Management, to make sense of what's going on, and what to watch next. 

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May 09, 2022
This Is What's Next for the Future of Air Travel
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The aviation industry has never seen a disruption like what it's experienced over the last two years with the pandemic. Air travel ground to a virtual halt initially, but has slowly been climbing out of a hole, with leisure travel in particular starting to boom. So what's next for travelers and carriers? On this episode, we speak with Scott Keyes of ScottsCheapFlights.com about the future of travel and the business model of flying. 

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May 05, 2022
Javier Blas Explains How Commodity Trading Shops Really Work
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One of the big themes these days is the return of the 'real' economy. You can't solve problems these days with just money. Not everything can be done by sitting behind a screen. And so some of the most important players in this new environment are the commodity trading shops, which help arrange financing and delivery of oil, coal, natural gas, nickel and everything else you can think of across the far-flung corners of the globe. It's a very different type of business than most trading, which is mostly just about charts on a screen. On this episode we speak with long-time commodities journalist turned Bloomberg Opinion columnist Javier Blas -- the co-author of 'The World For Sale: Money, Power, and the Traders Who Barter the Earth's Resources' -- to get a deeper understanding of how these firms operate, and how they're dealing with this environment of surging commodity prices and extreme volatility. 

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May 02, 2022
This Is How a Locked-Down Shanghai Apartment Gets Food
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Shanghai, a city of nearly 30 million people, is currently under a hard lockdown, as the Chinese government sticks to its Covid Zero strategy of limiting the virus at all costs. There have been some shocking images and stories over the past few weeks of frustrated apartment dwellers unable to go outside or get basic necessities. Some of those things have improved somewhat, and now some residents are able to coordinate and make their own delivery food orders. On this episode, we speak with David Fishman, an energy analyst at the Lantau Group, who, himself, is in a locked down Shanghai apartment complex. He discusses how he's been able to coordinate with other residents to group-buy food and obtain basic essentials.

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Apr 29, 2022
This Is What Happened to the Meme Stock Mania
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Spring of 2021 was peak meme mania. GameStop was going nuts. AMC was going nuts. And in general, the big cohort of traders that entered the market in early 2020 was riding high. Since then, though, things have turned south. Volumes have dipped significantly. The memes came back to Earth, and a lot of the growth stocks that were riding high have gotten absolutely killed. So where do things stand now, and what happened to all the new traders? On this episode, we speak to Lily Francus, director of quantitative research at Moody's Analytics, as well as Kyla Scanlon, a popular financial commentator across social media (as well as the founder of a new financial education company) to understand what happened, what's changed, and how the last two years have permanently altered financial markets as we know them. 

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Apr 28, 2022
Sam Bankman-Fried and Matt Levine on How to Make Money in Crypto
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The price of major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have been moving sideways for awhile. But it doesn't seem like there's any slowdown in terms of money entering the space. Every day, some new fund is being launched or some legacy financial institution is diving into it. But what's all this money going to do? On this episode we speak with Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO and co-founder of FTX, as well as Bloomberg Opinion columnist, Matt Levine, the money making opportunities that people are exploiting, whether it's directional bets on coins or yield farming or arbitrage, and how much potential profit there is for the taking. 

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Apr 25, 2022
The 1906 Dredging Law That May Be Holding Back The U.S. Economy
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The long grounding of the cargo ship The Ever Forward has shone a spotlight on the limited dredging equipment that exists in the U.S. The most powerful equipment here has significantly less capacity than what exists in Europe, or in the Suez Canal. What's more, the U.S. can't use foreign equipment due to a law known as the Foreign Dredging Act of 1906, which requires that any dredging done in the country, be done with U.S. labor on U.S.-owned ships. And while this has come to the fore due to the Ever Forward, the significance could be far wider. On this episode of the podcast we speak with Howard Gutman and Andrew Durant, both of whom are working to overturn the law. They argue that the restrictions on dredging equipment have significant negative ramifications for the environment, port capacity, and therefore the economy overall. 

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Apr 20, 2022
This Is The Challenge Of Securing The Battery Supply Chain
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With oil prices surging, there's a sense of greater urgency about moving more towards electric vehicles. But of course the metals that go into EVs are also expensive. And that goes for the core technology -- lithium ion batteries. On this episode of the podcast, we speak with James Frith, a lithium battery expert and investor at the VC firm Volta Energy Technologies. We discuss the state of the art of battery technology, as well as the ongoing need for commodities.

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Apr 18, 2022
Jeff Currie on the 'Volatility Trap' Keeping Commodity Prices So High
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Goldman's top commodity strategist Jeff Currie was one of the earliest to call that we're in a new commodities supercycle, starting early last year. Well, it's not even close to over. Currie estimates that we're just in the second inning of it. The issue is what Currie characterizes as a "volatility trap" that's keeping investment on the sidelines, despite surging prices of spot commodity prices. In this episode, he explains how far commodity prices can go, what the challenges are to inducing further investment, and what policies could help bring things into balance.

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Apr 14, 2022
This Is What 5% Mortgage Rates Mean Now For The Housing Market
3022

For much of the last two decades, housing has been the consummate macro asset. It was at the heart of a huge boom. Then there was the crash and the Great Financial Crisis. Then there was slow comeback and return to normal. And then amidst the pandemic, housing became insanely hot for a variety of reasons. But now housing is also a micro story, as the housing supply chain -- not a topic many people have put much thought into previously -- is a key reason why home construction is slow. So where does this all stand, now that mortgage just broke 5%? Do understand the state of the market, we speak with Conor Sen, a Bloomberg Opinion contributor and the founder of Peachtree Creek Investments as well as Dustin Jalbert a senior economist at Fastmarkets, with a specialty on the lumber market. We examine housing from both the macro perspective as well as the supply chain. 

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Apr 11, 2022
This Is Zoltan Pozsar's Vision For Bretton Woods III
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Over the last several years, most economic crises have been solvable by money. Swap lines. Bailouts. Central bank asset purchases, and so on. But now the world is experiencing something new: A problem that money can't easily solve. When it comes to, for example, avoiding Russian energy, there's no simple solution. Money can't buy an instant energy changeover. This is all part of a new regime that Zoltan Pozsar, Managing Director and head of Global STIR Strategy at Credit Suisse, likens to Bretton Woods III. On this episode, he returns to spell out his framework, and what it means for financial markets, the dollar, and the new world economy overall.

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Apr 07, 2022
What Wooden Pallets Have to Do With Russia's Invasion of Ukraine
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Most people don't think much about wooden pallets -- and that might be true even of people conducting large-scale military invasions. Recent reports claim that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been hampered by a lack of pallets, making it more difficult to move the vast amounts of supplies needed to support soldiers and tanks. Meanwhile, the disruption of Ukraine's lumber industry could make a global shortage of wooden pallets even worse. On this episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we catch up with Marshall White, Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech, to talk about the role of the humble wooden pallet in warfare.

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Apr 05, 2022
How Bill Gross Built a Bond Empire And Then Lost It All
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For a long time, bond investing was considered a sleepy backwater. You bought a bond and just clipped coupons as you waited for it mature. Boring! Then Bill Gross discovered that bonds could be traded. He founded Pimco and proceeded to make lots of money from bond investing in sometimes questionable ways. Bloomberg Opinion columnist Matt Levine co-hosts in this special Odd Lots episode with Mary Childs, who's just published a book on Gross called "The Bond King: How One Man Made a Market, Built an Empire and Lost It All." We discuss some of Pimco's most famous trades, whether Gross was a good investor, and his legacy to the world of bonds.

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Apr 04, 2022
The Real Reason So Many Musicians Are Frustrated By Spotify
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Earlier this year, there was a growing movement among some musicians (lead by Neil Young) to remove music from Spotify as a protest against Joe Rogan. But frustration at the streaming music giant goes back a lot further than that. And it has to do with how royalties are paid, and the lack of transparency about how music gets discovered on the service. On this episode of Odd Lots, Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal speak with Damon Krukowsky, the former drummer of the indie rock band Galaxie 500, and one half of the duo Damon and Naomi. He gives us his perception of industry economics, and explains his frustration as an independent musician with how the service works.

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Apr 01, 2022
Hugh Hendry On Why The World Still Can't Get Enough Dollar Assets
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For years 15 years, Hugh Hendry ran the hedge fund Eclectica Asset Management, earning a reputation as a provocative and contrarian thinker on the entire state of the world economy. These days though, he's living in St. Bart's, surfing, and managing luxury properties for the richest people in the world. But of course, he can't stop thinking about macro. On this episode off Odd Lots, Hendry joins Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal to talk about Europe's big energy mistake, China's property troubles, and why even after all this time, the world can't get enough dollar assets.

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Mar 31, 2022
Viktor Shvets on Why We Might Be Heading for a Deflationary Bust
3293

In times of uncertainty, people often reach for historical analogies. In recent weeks and months, as inflation has continued to climb and commodity prices spike, there's been a lot of talk of a return to the 1970s. But is that the right parallel? On this episode of Odd Lots, Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal speak to Macquarie Capital Strategist Viktor Shvets about why we should instead be looking at a different historical era. He argues that central banks are at risk of raising rates too quickly and flipping the world into recession.

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Mar 28, 2022
A Historic Disruption To The World's Wheat Supply
2986

When it comes to commodities, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has had a notable impact on the price of oil and natural gas. It's also a huge deal for wheat, and food more broadly. Ukraine is a massive player in the global wheat market, and the planting season is basically right now. What's more, Russia is also a big wheat seller, and Belarus is a big supplier of fertilizer. On this episode of Odd Lots, Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal speak with Scott Irwin, an agriculture economist at the University of Illinois, about what he calls the biggest disruption he's seen in his career.

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Mar 24, 2022
Why Tracy's Furniture Is Stuck on a Grounded Ship
1672

It's happened again. Another container ship owned by the Evergreen Maritime Corp. has gotten stuck a year after the Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal and briefly halted the flow of global trade. This time the grounding happened in the Chesapeake Bay and involves the Ever Forward -- a 1000-foot container ship which happens to be carrying the contents of Tracy's entire Hong Kong apartment. On this episode of Odd Lots, Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal speak with maritime historian Sal Mercogliano about why another ship has gotten stuck, what it says about shipping and infrastructure, and how long Tracy might have to wait to get her stuff.

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Mar 23, 2022
Here’s How Messy a Russian Bond Default Could Be
2879

There’s a big question over whether Russia will be able (or willing) to make payments on billions of dollars it’s borrowed from investors given its current situation. Not only does the country have a history of previous major defaults, but some of its outstanding bonds are also structured kind of strangely. On this episode of the Odd Lots podcast, Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal speak with University of Virginia law professor Mitu Gulati and University of North Carolina's Mark Weidemaier. They describe how odd some Russian bonds are and what might happen after default.

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Mar 21, 2022
Pierre Andurand on How We Might Get $200 a Barrel Oil
2925

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has kicked off a giant mess in the world of commodities and sent prices surging. Commodities trader Pierre Andurand has made his name from navigating volatile energy markets, correctly positioning for negative prices oil in April 2020. Now, he sees tightness in the energy market staying for some time. On this episode of Odd Lots, he tells Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway how we might end up getting $200 per barrel crude oil by the end of the year, and what that would mean for the world.

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Mar 17, 2022
This Is The Case For Investing In Nuclear Power
2800

The soaring price of electricity, particularly in Europe, is once again causing a search for alternative sources of power. Obviously there's a lot of interest in wind and solar -- the classic renewables. But due to their intermittency, it's difficult to use them to sustain the power grid without some kind of backup. Enter nuclear power? On this episode of Odd Lots, Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway speak with Meredith Angwin, the author of Shorting The Grid: The Hidden Fragility Of Our Electric Grid, and a long time energy researcher. She makes the argument that nuclear is safe, clean, sustainable, and the answer to concerns about grid reliability.

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Mar 14, 2022
Here's What Cyber War With Russia Would Actually Look Like
3379

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has set off a new wave of concern about cyber attacks. Indeed, there were already reports of some in the run up to the war—like when hackers reportedly targeted U.S. gas producers. But while worries about cyber attacks have been around for a long time, it remains hard to get a handle on the actual threat. Such attacks aren’t all that visible and information on them is often difficult to get, or comes long after the fact. On this episode of Odd Lots, Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway speak with Matt Suiche, a famous hacker and co-founder of Comae Technologies, about what a cyber war between Russia and the West may actually look like.

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Mar 10, 2022
Matt Klein on How Germany Wound up So Dependent on Russian Gas
3320

Harsh sanctions have been imposed against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. However, the country's energy exports have largely been spared. One significant reason for this is Germany's high dependence on Russian energy, particularly natural gas. So how did Germany wind up in this situation? And why didn't it take steps years ago to start weaning itself off of this dependency? We discuss this with Matt Klein, the founder and publisher of The Overshoot as well as the author of the book Trade Wars Are Class Wars. He explains how misplaced German priorities led to years of underinvestment, and a poorly thought out energy strategy, which is now forcing Germany to pivot at a very difficult time.

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Mar 07, 2022
This Is What Sanctions Can Do to the Russian Economy
3546

U.S. and E.U. countries have unveiled extraordinarily tough sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. But what effect will they have? Are they tough enough? And will Russia feel a significant amount of pain as long as the sanctions don't include energy? On this episode, we speak with sanctions researcher Edoardo Saravalle about the existing sanctions, their power, what more can be done, and what history says about how they will work.

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Mar 03, 2022
Zoltan Pozsar on Russia, Gold, and a Turning Point for the U.S. Dollar
2932

Even prior to Russia's attack on Ukraine, the global economy was facing an extraordinary moment. Now things have become massively more complex. In addition to the attack itself, rich Western governments have unveiled historically powerful sanctions against Russia, most notably by freezing much of the country's FX reserves. So what are the immediate and long term ramifications? On this episode, we speak with Credit Suisse short-term interest rate strategist Zoltan Pozsar on what this all means, how the Fed will react, why gold is important again, and how could this mark a turning point for the global dominance of the US dollar. 

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Mar 02, 2022
This Is the Teamster Effort To Organize the Truckers at the Ports
2703

Some truckers make good money and have a high degree of control of their schedule. Others work for low pay under exceptionally difficult conditions. Port truckers, in particular, have dealt with poor pay, high debts, wage theft, and other difficult conditions. But an effort is being made to organize for a better situation. On this episode, we speak with Ron Herrera, Director of the Teamsters Port Division, on the union's efforts, as well as how it fits into broader supply chain stress.

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Feb 28, 2022
The White House’s Brian Deese on Supply Chains and Biden’s Economic Agenda
2486

GDP is booming. The labor market is booming. However inflation is elevated, and consumer sentiment is deeply depressed. So where does the White House go next with its economic strategy? On this episode, we speak with Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council under President Joe Biden. Deese walks us through what the White House has done over the last year on supply chains, what's working, and where the administration is going next with its economic agenda.

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Feb 24, 2022
This Is What Needs To Happen for Oil Prices to Finally Come Down
3267

The price of oil has surged over the last year, and U.S. oil companies are making money hand over first. In theory, the high prices should stabilize as more drilling is done. But so far, the supply response has only been modest. After years in which U.S. oil companies (shale players, in particular) lit money on fire by expanding production at all costs, the industry is reluctant to invest in new production. So what will it take? On this episode, we speak with Rory Johnston, Managing Director and Market Economist at Price Street and the author of the Commodity Context newsletter, to get a better understanding of the factors moving oil prices, and what it will take to bring them down.

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Feb 21, 2022
Howard Lindzon on What’s Really Going on in the Tech Plunge
3252

It's been a terrible few months for growth stocks. Small, unprofitable tech companies have crashed. SPACs have gotten crushed. Recent IPOs got crushed. And even the FANGs are way off their old highs. Of course, we don't have very much visibility into what's happening in private markets, so we only have anecdotes and inferences. But what's the big story? And is this the start of a big change? On this episode, we speak to Howard Lindzon, a GP at Social Leverage and the co-founder of Stocktwits, to get a sense of what's really going on. Howard launched a SPAC last year, does public market stock investing, as well as private VC investing, so he really knows the whole space very well. He discusses multiple reasons why tech turned rapidly, and why it might be awhile before it all bounces back.

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Feb 17, 2022
Tim Duy on the Huge Challenge the Fed Now Has in 2022
3167

As inflation data continues to come in hotter than expected, pressure on the Fed is ramping up big time. Traders are betting on more and more hikes, with a distinct possibility of a 50 basis point hike in March. So the question is, can the Fed hike in such a way that it tamps down inflation while not causing a recession? On this episode we speak with economist Tim Duy of SGH Macro Advisors and the University of Oregon, on the huge challenge facing the Fed this year.

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Feb 14, 2022
Michael Lewis on Why the World Is Still Reading “Liar’s Poker”
2584

The book “Liar's Poker” came out in 1989. Its depiction of Wall Street culture — obnoxious, crude, drunk on risk — may seem very different to today's big bank trading floors. Nonetheless, the book is still a popular read. In some places, interns are even assigned to read it. So why the enduring appeal? And what are the lessons from the book, over 30 years since its release? On this episode, we speak with its author Michael Lewis, who recently recorded an audio version of the book, while also doing a short companion podcast. He reflects on his latest rereading of it, and what it means today.

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Feb 10, 2022
This Is What Happened to the Price of Nails Over the Last 330 Years
2826

We're in a period of elevated inflation right now. But at least there's some good news: The price of nails is lower than it was in 1695. But how do we know what the price of nails was back then? And what can such a long-term look tell us about innovation in such a seemingly simple product? To learn more, we spoke with Dan Sichel, an economist at Wellesley College, who has recently published a paper on exactly this topic. We discussed how he did it and his overall approach to the project.

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Feb 07, 2022
Eva Beylin on eGirl Capital, The Graph, and Building Web3
2804

Obviously, there's been a tremendous amount of volatility in crypto lately. But what has been the effect on people who are deeply involved in the space? On this episode, we speak with Eva Beylin, who knows crypto as both an investor and a builder. As an investor, she's part of the amorphous investment collective known as eGirl Capital, which features numerous crypto anons who only know each other by their avatars. On the building side, she's the director of The Graph Foundation, which is aiming to be the Google of the blockchain. She talks to us about both projects and what things look like in this current moment.

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Feb 03, 2022
China Is Changing Its Coal Use, and It Affects the Whole World
2517

Over the last several months, Europe has seen its power costs soar. There are many drivers of it, but one factor has been a shift in Chinese energy consumption. While China has plenty of domestic coal resources, from time to time it imports quite a bit, depending on transportation costs. This can have major ramifications for prices outside of its borders. Meanwhile, China is undergoing a meaningful change to move off of coal and rely more on renewables and nuclear power. To help us understand what it means, we speak with Alex Turnbull, the author of a new paper on Chinese goal use, to break down what happened, and where it's going.

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Jan 31, 2022
This Is the Evergrande Endgame as China’s Property Problems Spread
2768

Late last year, the big Chinese property developer Evergrande started running into severe financial distress, as its bonds tumbled and frustrated customers faced delays in getting their homes. Since then, it's gotten worse. Evergrande is still troubled, as are other property developers who have also run into stress. So what does it mean, and what are China's goals here? On this episode, we speak with Travis Lundy, an independent analyst on the Smartkarma platform, who has studied these companies in depth. He explains why things have gotten worse, and what China's goals are with a property sector that historically has been so crucial to its economic model.

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Jan 27, 2022
The Electric Vehicle Revolution Is On, and It’s Going to Change Everything
3270

The EV revolution is official on. Sales are soaring around the world as the internal combustion engine era starts to fade. But if you're just thinking about what's inside the car, you're missing some big stories. All kinds of industries and patterns of behavior are going to change because of the switch. On this episode, we speak with Nat Bullard, the Chief Content Officer at BloombergNEF, who walks us through all the various ramifications both inside and outside of the existing auto industry.

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Jan 24, 2022
Inventory Vanishing and Bidding Wars Exploding in Crazy U.S. Housing Market
2918

If you wanted to buy a home in 2021, you probably found it a frustrating experience, rife with a shortage of options, and intense bidding wars. Well? Bad news: So far, things are even hotter in 2022. So what's going on? Where are all the homes disappearing to? Why is there nothing for sale? Why are people happy to place higher and higher bids? On this episode we speak with Mike Simonsen, the CEO and founder of the real estate data provider Altos Research, to explain the acute and long-term trends driving the market.

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Jan 20, 2022
Paul Mcnamara on the Problem With Turkey, and the Attempt To Save the Lira
2321

Near the end of 2021, Turkey's government undertook a bold measure to stabilize the lira after the currency got clobbered throughout much of the year. The basic idea is that the government would pay savers to lock up their currency in lira, and compensate them if it fell too far against the dollar. But can it work? Does it address the core problem of the Turkish economy? To understand more, and to get the perspective of outside investors, we speak with Paul McNamara, a fund manager at GAM and a veteran EM watcher, to get a handle on the government's new measure, the challenges with it, and why Turkey is prone to so much volatility.

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Jan 17, 2022
Afghanistan’s Former Central Bank Chief on the Dire State of the Country’s Economy
2547

The Afghanistan economy was already in bad shape, with heavy reliance on foreign dollars, prior to the collapse of the government and the takeover by the Taliban. Since the fall, things have gotten even worse, with inflation accelerating and GDP plunging. There are multiple factors at work, though the main one is the cutting off of outside sources of dollars. On this episode we speak with Ajmal Ahmady, the former head of Afghanistan's central bank, on the difficult situation, and how the economy might operate going forward.

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Jan 13, 2022
A Top Antitrust Lawyer on How Increased Competition Could Fight Inflation
2526

When people think about tools to fight inflation, usually things like taxes or monetary policy come to mind. But lately there’s been more discussion about corporate power (particularly concentrated corporate power) as a source of higher prices. So what can the government actually do? On this episode, we speak with Craig Seebald, a partner at Vinson & Elkins, and leader of the firm’s antitrust group, to understand how the law in this space gets applied.

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Jan 10, 2022
Why the Price of Coffee Beans Soared in the Last Year
3260

Agricultural commodities have generally surged in price over the last year. One commodity that's gone particularly wild is the coffee bean. Arabica beans — those at the premium end — are up about 100% since January 2021. So what's going on? Well, part of it is the generalized inflation, but like many other ags, weather has a lot to do with it. To start, bad weather in Brazil has had a negative impact on supply. On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Ryan Delany, a longtime player in the space and founder of the Coffee Trading Academy, to understand how this market works, and what's driven the huge price swing.

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Jan 06, 2022
Understanding Turkey’s Bold Plan To Stabilize the Lira
2713

The Turkish lira was incredibly volatile in 2021. After getting crushed and falling to record levels, it bounced back in the middle of December after the government announced an unconventional plan to encourage Turkish citizens to keep their money in lira rather than converting to dollars. But how does it work? And can it actually work over the long term? On this episode we speak with Lütfullah Bingöl, an economist at Albaraka Türk Katılım Bankası on how the program might actually work. He likens the program to a free lira put option offered to people who keep their money in the domestic currency.

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Jan 03, 2022
Mike Demarais on Design in Crypto and What Web 3.0 Will Look Like
3189

Everyone's talking about Web 3.0 (or Web3), but there's a lot of ambiguity about what exactly it's going to look like or even what it is. Nonetheless, there's a lot of enthusiasm about a crypto-based, decentralized internet. So to learn more, we talk to one of the most interesting builders in the space. Mike Demarais is the co-founder of Rainbow.me, which makes an Ethereum wallet that emphasizes high-quality design both in terms of use and aesthetics. He explains his vision for both his company and the broader Ethereum-based future.

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Dec 27, 2021
Jon Turek on the Macro Outlook for 2022
2938

2021 was a historic year for markets and the broader economy. For the first time, seemingly in ages, there was a serious shift in realized inflation and the broader inflation outlook. This has ramifications, potentially, for risk assets, bonds, and, of course, the Fed. To help break things down, and how to think about the situation, we speak with Jon Turek, the author of the Cheap Convexity Blog and founder of JST Advisors, to understand what comes next.

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Dec 23, 2021
Gene Seroka on What’s Happening Now at the Port of LA
2386

There's no single measure we can look at to tell us whether supply chains are improving or not. There are some signs of easing (such as the number of containers sitting at the ports) but other signs are still getting worse (such as the number of ships waiting to dock). So what's really going on? And are the White House's efforts at easing the strain actually bearing fruit? On this episode we speak with Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, who we last spoke to in the summer, about the actual situation on the ground.

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Dec 20, 2021
This Is the Booming Movement To Abolish Work as We Know It
3553

Over a million people are members of a subreddit called r/AntiWork, whose slogan is "Unemployment for all, not just the rich." While the page and movement have been around for awhile, discontent with the state of the labor market has been growing since the pandemic. Many workers are refusing to accept the conditions and pay that were the norm prior to the virus. On this episode, we speak with Doreen Ford, who also goes by Doreen Cleyre. She is a moderator of the AntiWork subreddit as well as the founder of AbolishWork.com. Doreen explains the growth of the movement and its philosophical underpinnings.

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Dec 16, 2021
Why the Price of Wooden Shipping Pallets Has Soared
3196

The humble wooden shipping pallet is probably not something that most people think about too much. But it's a huge deal. At Virginia Tech, there's a whole center that focuses on pallets and packaging. And like many other things right now, the price has surged, and now everyone is aware of them. So what caused the price to soar and when will things normalize? On this episode we speak with Marshall White, a Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech, and the country's leading expert on the wooden pallets. We talked about the history of the industry, its market structure, and where things are heading

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Dec 13, 2021
This Is Why the Nation Is Facing a School Bus Driver Shortage
3093

There have been a lot of stories about the challenges of keeping schools open over the last two years, much to the consternation of many parents. But, for many students, going to school involves first getting on a school bus. And that industry is facing its own stress. As with many other industries, school bus operators around the country are saying we're in a drivers shortage. On this Odd Lots, we speak with Corey Muirhead, Executive Vice President of the Logan Bus Company — the largest school bus contractor in the NYC area — to explain how the business works, and the challenges it faces in this environment.

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Dec 09, 2021
Richard Bookstaber on the Big Structural Risk in the Market Right Now
2985

The stock market has basically been a one-way ship for 20 months now. So of course, some people get nervous about that, and start wondering if we're in some unsustainable bubble that can only end badly. So what are the biggest risks lurking out there? On this episode, we speak with Richard Bookstaber, a veteran of numerous firms, having done risk management at Bridgewater, the University of California, and elsewhere. He's also the author of the book A Demon Of Our Own Design, which prophetically warned about financial system fragilities in the run-up to the Great Financial Crisis. He's currently the co-founder of Fabric, which provides risk management technology to the financial industry, and he spoke with us about where he sees the biggest risks right now.

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Dec 06, 2021
Paradigm’s Matt Huang on the Biggest Crypto Fund Ever Raised
3103

Money continues to pour into the crypto space at a rapid clip. Institutions, VCs, private investors all seem to have gotten the bug over the last year. But, of course, the big gains have come to those who have been in the space for a while. One of the leading investing institutions in crypto is Paradigm, which was founded during 2018's crypto winter. The firm just announced a new $2.5 billion fund, which is heretofore the biggest crypto fund ever raised. We speak with the firm's co-founder Matt Huang about Paradigm's unique structure, its vision for crypto, and what it plans to do with the money.

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Dec 02, 2021
Why Job Openings Are Surging, Even With So Many People Out of Work
2878

Normally, economists expect a somewhat stable relationship between job openings and the unemployment rate. More job openings = more people are employed. Lately, however, the shape of this relationship has changed. Job openings are absolutely soaring. And yet total employment in the economy is well below pre-pandemic levels. On this episode, we speak with Thomas Lubik, a senior advisor in the Research Department at the Richmond Fed, who has been researching and writing about this unusual state of the labor market.

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Nov 29, 2021
The White House’s Envoy on What They’re Doing To Fix the Ports
2025

Most of the big retailers have assured their customers that shelves will be stocked for the holidays this year. Nonetheless, there has been a lot of anxiety about shortages and supply chain disruptions all year. On this episode of Odd Lots, we speak with John Porcari, Port Envoy to the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force. He's been coordinating the efforts to get the containers moving again. He explains what's been accomplished so far, and what more needs to be done.

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Nov 25, 2021
Jason Furman on Red-Hot Inflation and What To Do About It
2976

Inflation is hot. You can debate why that is, or how long it will last, or who is to blame, or whether elevated inflation is a worthwhile price to pay for a fast recovery. But, regardless, it exists. So what now? Should the Fed pivot into inflation fighting mode? On this Odd Lots, we speak with Jason Furman, an economics professor at Harvard, and the former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Obama. He thinks inflation will come in hotter than expected next year, and that it's time for the Fed to ease off the gas pedal somewhat. We talk about the issue, its causes, and his preferred policy path going forward.

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Nov 22, 2021
Here's Why It's So Hard to Fix the Corporate Bond Market
3330

The corporate bond market is huge and important, allowing U.S. companies to tap investors for much needed borrowing. But even as sales of bonds have been booming in recent years thanks to low interest rates, the overall structure of the credit market and the way such debt is traded has been criticized for years. While stocks trade electronically on exchanges that provide instant and competitive quotes, a majority of corporate bond trades are still done over the phone or on platforms that tend to favor certain participants over others. Despite many efforts to improve ease of trading and price transparency in this vital market, progress has been slow.

On this episode, we speak with Larry Harris of the USC Marshall School of Business and a former Chief Economist at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he helped push through major stock market reform known as Reg NMS, about why the corporate bond market has been so resistant to substantial change. Harris was also part of the SEC's most recent effort to improve corporate bond trading -- the Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee (FIMSAC) created in 2018. He explains why it hasn't had much success in changing the market.

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Nov 18, 2021
ASML, the Obscure Powerhouse at the Cutting Edge of Chip Technology
3058

This year has brought fresh awareness to the complexity of the semiconductor supply chain. Taiwan Semiconductor, the big manufacturer, has become a household name. But there's another giant that hardly anyone outside of the chip industry has heard of. ASML is a Dutch company that's at the cutting edge of Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography — the most advanced technology for reliably printing transistors onto a chip. If you want to produce the most advanced chips, you must buy equipment from ASML. But what do they do and how did they come to occupy this position? On this episode we speak with Chris Miller, an Assistant Professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and the author of a forthcoming book about the semiconductor industry, about the company, where it came from, and the unique spot it occupies on the world stage.

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Nov 15, 2021
This Is the Perfect Storm That Caused Grain Prices To Soar
3515

Inflation is running at its fastest pace in over 30 years. And one upward contributor to it is higher food prices. There are all kinds of things going on within food, but over the last year we've seen strong price increases in wheat, corn, and soy, which feed into higher prices for meat and dairy. There is a lot going on here. There is high demand globally. There are unusual weather conditions all around the world. There's surging fertilizer costs, and much more. On this episode, we speak with Angie Setzer, a consultant at ConsusROI (which advises farmers and investors in the agriculture space), who explains the perfect storm causing this persistent surge.

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Nov 11, 2021
Stinson Dean on the Lumber Crash That Followed the Boom
3659

These days, commodities around the world are on a tear. But earlier this year, there was a lot of fixation on one in particular: lumber. Lumber went absolutely parabolic in the spring before collapsing rapidly. What's interesting is that this collapse was not due to a slowdown in housing per se. Housing is booming. Instead, it was a variety of idiosyncratic factors (including lumber storage availability) that caused the wild move. So, for this episode, we invited back Stinson Dean, the founder and CEO of Deacon Lumber, to explain what happened, and what lessons there are for the rest of the commodities complex. He also offered his view on hiring, and why some companies seem to have an easy time hiring, while others have found it so difficult.

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Nov 08, 2021
Citi’s Matt King on Why Inflation Isn’t Transitory and the Fed May Induce a Recession
3310

Inflation is elevated these days, and markets around the world are pricing in rate hikes. However, risk assets like stocks are doing just fine. There seems to be some presumption that any Fed rate-hiking cycle will be mild and that ultimately inflation will settle down without too much further pain. Matt King, the Global Markets Strategist at Citigroup, isn't convinced. On this episode, he explains why what we're seeing now is the impact of a big "whack" to the global economy, one which has no natural mechanism to rediscover equilibrium or balance. He believes that, for the Fed to actually tame this inflation, it may need to go further than just modest hikes, and move aggressively to tamp down demand, possibly creating a recession.

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Nov 04, 2021
This Is How They Could Literally Mint a Trillion Dollar Coin
3420

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Nov 01, 2021
Craig Fuller on the Huge Challenge of Getting the Ports To Operate 24/7
3651

In recent weeks, the White House has attempted to make a greater effort to improve the functioning of supply chains. One effort includes getting the Port of Los Angeles, and the various companies who operate there, to operate 24/7. But this is going to be a herculean task. On this episode we speak with Craig Fuller, the Founder and CEO of the information and data company FreightWaves to talk about the ports, trucking, and why it's so difficult to modernize these markets.

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Oct 28, 2021
Dan Alpert on the Big Difference Between Now and the 1970s
3559

Official inflation measures in the U.S. remain elevated and so, of course, this has a lot of people thinking about the 1970s. Not only was this the last time the U.S. had a sustained period of high inflation, it was the period during which many of today's policymakers really started to form their views about managing the economy. On this episode, we speak with Dan Alpert, a managing partner at Westwood Capital, and a fellow at the Cornell Law School, about his new report on inflation risks, and what he sees as false comparisons to the 1970s.

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Oct 25, 2021
Axie Infinity, the Crypto Game That’s Grown Over 200x This Year Alone
3276

Bitcoin just hit an all-time high and crypto mania is in full swing. One of this year's big winners has to be Axie Infinity, a blockchain-based game, whose token AXS has surged over 200x just since the start of the year. Axie is a pioneer of what's come to be known as a "play to earn" model, whereby participants who play the game can actually make money. Its popularity, for example, has exploded in the Philippines, where numerous people are making a living from it. But how does it work? And is it sustainable? On this episode we speak to the game’s co-founder Aleksander Leonard Larsen about how it all works.

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Oct 21, 2021
Goldman’s Jeff Currie: It’s a Commodities Supercycle, and We Still Haven’t Hit Max Pain
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Back in January, we spoke with Jeff Currie, the Global Head of Commodities Research at Goldman Sachs. At the time, he was bullish on the commodities complex for several reasons. Since then, of course, we've seen several markets go on an absolute tear and to a degree that's taken even him by surprise. The bad news for commodities consumers? We still haven't hit max pain. On this episode, we speak again with Jeff about what's driving prices higher and why he sees stronger price increases over the next several months.

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Oct 18, 2021
Ryan Petersen on How Global Supply Chains Have Gotten Even Worse
2796

We've been covering global supply chain pressures almost since the beginning of the year on Odd Lots. And with each episode the question is "ok, so when will things normalize?" But basically, not only have things not normalized, things have gotten much worse. So why can't the system stabilize? On this episode, we speak again with Ryan Petersen, the CEO of the logistics firm Flexport, on how supply chain pressures have gotten even worse since the last time we spoke with him in the spring.

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Oct 14, 2021
Michael Pettis on What Evergrande Means for China’s Macro Economy
3117

The implosion of Evergrande continues. And nobody knows exactly how the losses will be distributed. What will be the impact on creditors or people who have put down payments on homes that haven't been built yet? And what will the ripple effects be on other credits? In addition to the financial fallout, there's also a macro angle. Real estate is extremely important to the Chinese economy for all kinds of reasons. And what happens in China has effects on all of its trading partners. To explain what comes next, we spoke with Peking University Finance Professor and Senior Carnegie Fellow Michael Pettis.

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Oct 11, 2021
Introducing: Breakthrough
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On Breakthrough, a new series from the Prognosis podcast, we explore how the pandemic is changing our understanding of healthcare and medicine. We start with an examination of long Covid, a mysterious new illness that has stumped doctors attempting to treat symptoms that last for months and potentially years. It has changed the way hospitals work and forced healthcare officials to prepare for the next pandemic. Covid has also opened the door to revolutionary technology: messenger RNA vaccines. It’s a technology that never could have been proven so quickly outside the crucible of that first pandemic year, 2020, and it holds big implications for the future of medicine. Breakthrough launches on Oct. 19. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Oct 08, 2021
Here Are the Biggest Problems Facing the Fed Right Now
2558

The Federal Reserve has a lot on its plate at the moment. Not only are "transitory" inflation pressures proving to be more stubborn than expected, but unemployment remains relatively high even as the U.S. economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, there are also technical challenges that the central bank now faces as it gets closer to tapering its asset purchases. Finally, there's the possibility of an imminent U.S. debt crisis as Washington continues to wrangle over raising the limits on federal borrowing. On this episode, we speak with Joseph Wang, a.k.a "Fed Guy," to talk about all the difficulties facing the Fed right now. Wang is a former trader on the Fed's open market desk and has first-hand experience in how debt ceiling brinkmanship can affect money markets. He gives his thoughts on what would happen if there were a technical default, how we should be thinking about U.S. Treasuries right now, why crypto may have changed everything, plus insights into how the central bank actually makes its decisions.

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Oct 07, 2021
This Is How the Trillion Dollar Coin Could End Debt Ceiling Fights for Good
3502

Every few years, people are reminded of the weird law the United States has: the debt ceiling. Congress has to vote affirmatively to raise the total outstanding legal stock of debt the country can take on. If Congress fails to vote in favor of it, you could see a theoretical debt default, with devastating consequences. Sometimes the vote is routine and easy. Sometimes it's contentious, as it was in 2011. But arguably there's an easy solution that could avoid these fights altogether: A provision in the law which gives the Treasury Secretary the unilateral right to create platinum coins of any denomination. While this sounds like a joke, there's a serious argument that it offers a robust legal path out of the problem. On this episode we speak with Rohan Grey, a professor at Willamette University College of Law and one of the foremost experts on the legality of the coin maneuver, on how it works in practice and in theory.

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Oct 04, 2021
Isabella Weber on China’s Vision for Making Markets Work
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For years, people have talked about China's ongoing process of opening up, or liberalizing its economy. And yet lately it's taken strong moves that seem to indicate a change in direction. It's cracked down on some of its largest tech companies while also allowing its real estate sector to cool off considerably, as we've seen with the stress on Evergrande. On this Odd Lots, we speak with UMass Amherst professor Isabella Weber, the author of the new book How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate. She explores China's big vision for making markets work in the pursuit of its ideas on socialism, and how the recent moves fit into a much broader, ongoing strategy.

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Sep 30, 2021
This Is What the Pandemic Did to the U.S. Rail System
3050

The pandemic has obviously sent shockwaves throughout the supply chain. And, despite hopes of normalization, things might even be getting worse. The number of ships, for example, waiting to unload at the Port of Los Angeles has continued to grow. And it seems like every day another company talks about various shortages. So what does it mean for our commercial rail system? On this episode, we speak with Ian Jefferies, the President and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, to discuss the state of rail, how the industry has adapted, and the work it will take to get things back to normal.

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Sep 27, 2021
How To Understand the Inflation We’re Seeing Right Now
3349

Over the last several months, inflation has risen at a pace significantly faster than what economists have expected. Markets, and perhaps the Fed, take some solace in the fact that it can largely be tied to economic disruptions from the pandemic, and prove to be "transitory". But is it really transitory? And when will it fade? On this episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Julia Coronado and Laura Rosner-Warburton, the co-founders of the firm Macropolicy Perspectives, to get a better handle on what's going on, how long it will last, and the ramifications for the future.

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Sep 23, 2021
Understanding Evergrande, the Chinese Real Estate Conglomerate That’s Nearing Collapse
3297

If you've been following the wild ride that is Chinese real estate, then you've definitely heard of Evergrande. The price of its shares and bonds has been tumbling lately amid concerns about its cash flow and its model. But what really is Evergrande? And who stands to lose in a theoretical restructuring? On this episode, we speak with Travis Lundy, an independent analyst based in Hong Kong who publishes on Smartkarma, about the company's business model and what comes next.

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Sep 20, 2021
Stacy Rasgon on How the Global Chip Crisis May Be Getting Even Worse
2555

We've been talking about chips on Odd Lots for almost a year now. Thanks to a unique combination of events and constraints, capacity to make more semiconductors is incredibly tight. One industry that's lost out significantly is cars, as automakers are still cutting production due to an inability to source chips. On this episode, we speak with return guest Stacy Rasgon, a Managing Director and U.S. semiconductor analyst at Bernstein to discuss the current state of the industry, and why things are still so messed up.

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Sep 16, 2021
Dan Wang Explains What China's Tech Crackdown Is Really All About
2860

Over the last several months, Chinese authorities have undertaken a sweeping campaign of change. We've seen crackdowns on big tech and fintech companies (like Ant Financial and Didi), online education companies, and now even the playing of video games. Investors in key sectors have gotten clobbered by the new rules. So what is the goal and what is the endgame here? On this episode, we speak to Dan Wang, a China tech analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics, who breaks it all down.

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Sep 13, 2021
Zoltan Pozsar on What’s Going on in Rates Markets Right Now
2817

There's a lot happening in the plumbing of the financial system. The Federal Reserve's reverse repo facility has seen huge takeup from financial market participants seeking to park excess cash. Meanwhile, the central bank has also announced the start of a new standing repo facility. And, of course, we're nearing the start of tapering, when the Fed will start to wind down its asset purchases. On this episode, we bring back Credit Suisse Strategist Zoltan Pozsar to talk about everything that's going on right now. He describes a system awash with dollars that no one wants, and walks us through what that means for broader markets.

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Sep 09, 2021
Patrick O'Shaughnessy on the Next Big Thing in Passive Investing
2841

Passive investing is kind of boring. You dump your money in an index fund and that's it. The industry hasn't really seen big innovation since ETFs were invented in the 1990s. Enter custom indexing. Custom indexing allows asset managers to create bespoke indices for their clients. Interest in the space is already booming, with Morgan Stanley, BlackRock and JPMorgan all making acquisitions in the space. But what exactly is the difference between investing in a custom index versus something like the S&P 500? And why haven't custom indices been done before? On this episode we speak with Patrick O'Shaughnessy, CEO of OSAM and the host of the podcast "Invest Like the Best", about direct investing.

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Sep 06, 2021
Omair Sharif Explains How Inflation Measures Really Work
3507

When people think about what inflation is, they might first think about some broad index like the CPI. What does the the CPI really tell us? And how is it constructed? And how much does its rise and fall relate to the state of the macro-economy? On this episode, we speak with Omair Sharif, a longtime veteran of both the buy and sell-side, who is now the founder and president of Inflation Insights. Omair knows inflation index construction better than anyone, and he walks us through what's happening right now, and how he thinks about forecasting where inflation will go.

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Sep 02, 2021
How Solana and Pyth Aim To Take DeFi to the Next Level
3482

There's obviously a lot of interest in crypto and DeFi these days. And while it's growing rapidly, it's still not cutting much into traditional finance business lines. For the most part, trading on blockchains is slow and costly. But some projects don't accept the premise that blockchains have to be slow and inefficient. Solana is an Ethereum competitor whose native token has been soaring. And unlike Ethereum, its transactions are cheap and ultrafast. So what tradeoffs does it make? And what projects are being built on top of it? On this episode, we speak with Solana founder Anatoly Yakovenko and Kanav Kariya of Jump Trading, who is involved with an oracle project called Pyth.

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Aug 30, 2021
Mitu Gulati and Ugo Panizza on Haiti’s Odious Post-Colonial Debt
2583

Nearly 200 years ago, the colonialist French power granted independence to Haiti. But it did so under the brutal condition that it pay 150 million francs in exchange for its freedom. This was a staggering sum that imposed a staggering imposition on the Haitian economy. And there's good reason to believe that that initial debt contributed to the ongoing poverty in the country. On this episode, we speak with law professor Mitu Gulati and economist Ugo Panizza about this odious debt, the significance of this burden, and the ongoing efforts for Haiti to obtain reparations.

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Aug 26, 2021
A Conversation With Ajmal Ahmady, Afghanistan’s Former Central Bank Chief
2875

Over the last week and a half, the world has watched in shock at the dizzying speed of the collapse in Afghanistan. Events are still unfolding, so the future remains extremely uncertain. One former official who has been outspoken in recent days is Ajmal Ahmady, who was running Afghanistan's central bank on an interim basis right up until the government fell. On this episode, we speak with Ahmady about what operations at the bank looked like in relatively normal times, how events transpired in the government's final days, and the future of Afghanistan's economy under Taliban rule.

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Aug 23, 2021
David Woo on What the Economists Got Wrong About the Stimulus
3389

David Woo has always been one of the most outspoken voices on the street. A former top strategist at Bank of America, he is now publishing independently at his new site David Woo Unbound. On this episode, he argues that the mainstream economists are getting it wrong, and that inflation will remain uncomfortably higher than what the Fed wants to see. We also discuss the economy more broadly, the virus, and the U.S. relationship with China.

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Aug 19, 2021
Neel Kashkari on the Fed’s Quest To Get To Full Employment
2817

The last two jobs reports have been strong, but the unemployment rate remains over 5%. And by some estimates, the economy is still 8 million jobs shy of where it would have been had it not been for the crisis. So when will the Fed declare "victory" in hitting its employment mandate? It's a question that's been complicated by the recent rise in inflation. On this episode, we speak with Neel Kashkari, the President of the Minneapolis Fed, a longtime proponent of pushing for a strong labor market. He explains what he's looking for, and how the labor market situation meshes with both the inflation situation and the Fed's new framework unveiled last year at Jackson Hole.

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Aug 16, 2021
Brent Donnelly on What It Takes To Be a Winning Trader
3097

The last 18 months has seen an incredible influx of people getting into trading. Thanks to a combination of Robinhood, a bull market, and perhaps more free time, trading is part of popular culture to a degree we haven't seen in over two decades. But what does it take to really win over time, across multiple cycles? And who should make an attempt at going pro? On this episode, we speak with veteran trader Brent Donnelly, the author of the new book Alpha Trader: The Mindset, Methodology and Mathematics of Professional Trading, on what it takes to consistently win.

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Aug 12, 2021
Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan on the Economy and Monetary Policy Right Now
3131

The economy is in uncharted territory in more ways that one right now. Coming out of the worst of the pandemic, we're seeing a rapid pace of GDP growth, along with elevated inflation readings the likes of which we haven't seen in years. Beyond that, policymakers have engaged in historically aggressive fiscal and monetary expansion. The Fed, in particular, is almost a year into a new framework (unveiled last August at Jackson Hole) that aims to avoid certain mistakes of the past. So we sat down with Rob Kaplan, who has been the President of the Dallas Fed since 2015, to get his assessment of the situation right now.

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Aug 09, 2021
Sam Bankman-Fried and Matt Levine on How the Crypto Market Really Works
4153

Sam Bankman-Fried is arguably the most important and powerful person in crypto. His crypto exchange FTX just raised $900 million and is growing like crazy. Meanwhile, Bloomberg Opinion columnist Matt Levine probably knows more about market structure than any other journalist. So, on this episode we paired them up for an in-depth conversation about how crypto really works, how it's different from traditional finance, and where it's all going.

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Aug 05, 2021
Gene Seroka on the Logistical Logjam at the Port of LA
3407

America's ports are a key source of congestion contributing to supply chain disruptions rippling through the economy. Things have gotten a little better, but very slowly. And the disruptions are expected to continue for quite some time. To understand more about what's going on, we spoke with Gene Seroka, the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, to understand how bad the problems are, and how they will eventually be fixed.

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Aug 02, 2021
The Bathtub Episode: How the Pandemic Disrupted Plumbing
3037

When you think about building a new home, obviously you think of various constraints regarding land, labor, and raw materials. But, of course, you can't build a new home without other basics, like windows, sinks, and bathtubs (or showers). And, just like everything else, these are now in short supply. On this episode, we speak with Trey Northrup, leader of the Americas at LIXIL, which sells bathtubs and other plumbing basics under various brands, including American Standard, Grohe, and about the stresses on the industry and when they're expected to ease.

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Jul 29, 2021
GXO's CIO on the Past, Present, and Future of Warehouses
2961

You can't talk about supply chains without talking about warehouses. Basically everything we buy at some point eventually sits in a warehouse. But warehouses themselves are changing. Whereas at one point, they were simple and straightforward — goods come in before getting trucked to retail outlets — today they're massively complex, thanks to e-commerce and needing to deal with returns. On this episode, we speak with Mark Manduca, the CIO of the logistics firm GXO, about warehouses during the pandemic and what the future looks like.

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Jul 26, 2021
What Complexity Economics Can Add to Our View of the World
2993

Over the past year it's become clear that traditional economics doesn't necessarily do a great job of accounting for real world problems like transport gridlock or irrational decision makers. For instance, sawmills' first response to the Covid crisis was to cut back production because they were scarred by the memories of the 2008 housing bust. Container shipping issues have caused widespread supply chain issues, and so on and so on. Enter complexity economics, which views the economy as the outcome of decisions by sometimes irrational participants who are constantly interacting and learning from each other. In this version of economics, nothing is ever stable or at equilibrium and everything is always changing. Brian Arthur, economist at the Santa Fe Institute and visiting researcher at PARC, explains why complexity economics might be the perfect way of viewing the world right now.

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Jul 22, 2021
Why Everyone's Experience Of Inflation Is So Different
2190

Inflation is running hot these days. But, even when the official measures were considerably cooler, there were many people who were skeptical and insisted that inflation was running hot and rampant. It turns out, nobody really experiences inflation similarly, and one's own consumption and behavioral patterns will have a big impact on their outlook. On this episode, we speak with Berkeley professor Ulrike Malmendier, whose work has shown how one's behavior (where you shop) and history (what conditions were like earlier in your life) can inform views and perceptions of inflation for years.

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Jul 19, 2021
Vlad Zamfir on the Dangers of Unstoppable Software and What People Get Wrong About Blockchains
3441

Vlad Zamfir is something of a crypto legend. The researcher was early into Bitcoin, and he was part of the Ethereum Foundation before it launched. He's still an active researcher in the space, but he believes the people operating in it get some basic premises wrong. One of the basic premises that people preach is the idea of database immutability. He argues that, in order for crypto to become more influential, it needs to take governance seriously and find ways to be in compliance with generally accepted ideas about the law.

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Jul 15, 2021
The Labor Episode: How the Omni Hotel Chain Is Dealing With Hiring Right Now
3356

One of the big stories in the economy right now is the high number of unfilled job openings in the leisure and hospitality sectors. There are numerous theories for why these businesses have had a hard time hiring. And there are a lot of questions regarding how long this will last or whether this will be a new, more permanent condition. To better understand what's going on, we spoke with Kurt Alexander, the CFO of Omni Hotels & Resorts, about what they're seeing and what they're doing to bring in employees.

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Jul 12, 2021
Steve Keen Says Economists Get Everything Wrong (Especially About Climate Change)
4081

Mainstream economics has come under attack lately. People have begun questioning its understanding of things like inflation, monetary policy, deficits, and how best to get out of a downturn. Steve Keen, an independent renegade economist, has been preaching this for a long time. And he believes the whole profession needs to be chucked. On this episode, we talk about some of the big failures he sees in economist thinking, and he is particularly energized by the subject of climate change. He also deplores the economic consensus, and says the way to think about it needs a total rethink, resulting in much more dramatic action than what is currently being proposed by the mainstream.

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Jul 08, 2021
Ryan Holiday on Opening a Bookstore During a Pandemic
2837

Bookstores typically aren't seen as the most attractive businesses in the year 2021. Add in the pandemic, and that makes it even tougher. And if you're in Texas, dealing with multiple blackouts, then it gets even harder than that. Our guest on this episode did all of that. We speak with the author Ryan Holiday, the author of several books including The Daily Stoic and Ego Is the Enemy, as well as Conspiracy, a book about the takedown of Gawker. He talks about his new bookshop in Bastrop Texas, and all of the various difficulties he's faced over the last year in running the operation.

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Jul 05, 2021
This Is the Vision for DeFi Built on Bitcoin
3226

There's a lot of hype about so-called DeFi (decentralized finance) these days, and much of it is based on enthusiasm over what can be built on Ethereum. Ethereum is seen as easier to build on for multiple reasons. But the Bitcoin world is increasingly interested in some of the same mechanics and similar types of projects. On this Odd Lots, we speak with Alyse Killeen, the founder Managing Partner at Stillmark, a Bitcoin-focused VC fund, on what's being built there, and how its vision of DeFi is similar and different to what's being built on Ethereum.

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Jul 01, 2021
Tom Schmidt Explains What You Need to Know about DeFi
3200

By now you've no doubt heard about DeFi: the hot vision of crypto that aims to disrupt traditional lending and fundraising. But the space remains really difficult to grasp. There's all kinds of jargon — Automated Market Makers, Impermanent Loss, etc. — and the markets don't quite operate like traditional markets do. So how does it all really work? Where's it going? And what will it all be used for beyond speculation? On this episode, we speak with Tom Schmidt of Dragonfly Capital to break it all down.

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Jun 28, 2021
Hyun Song Shin on CBDCs and the Future of Central Banking
2829

The world's central bankers are facing challenges the likes of which they've never seen before. We're in a unique moment for the macroeconomy, coming out of the pandemic crisis at a rapid clip. What's more, the nature of money is changing. Cryptocurrencies are on the rise. More commerce is becoming digital. The pandemic showed weaknesses in the existing payments system. On this week's episode, we speak with Hyun Song Shin, the Economic Adviser and Head of Research at the Bank for International Settlements on the future of central bank digital currencies, and other challenges they face right now.

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Jun 24, 2021
The Trucking Episode: Why the Industry Is Such a Mess
3628

You can't talk about the problems in logistics and supply chains right now without talking about trucking. Once goods are unloaded from ships, trucks are the dominant mode of domestic freight. However, unlike shipping, the trucking industry was something of a mess even before the pandemic: prone to extreme labor problems and rapid boom/bust cycles. On this episode, we speak with Craig Fuller, the CEO of the information and data firm FreightWaves, to discuss the current and long-term state of the industry.

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Jun 21, 2021
Why Ram Parameswaran Says the World's Biggest Tech Stocks Are Ridiculously Cheap Right Now
3267

Everyone knows that tech stocks performed amazingly well amid the coronavirus crisis. In the last few months, there's been a little bit of a cooling off. But for the most part, betting on tech has been a fantastic bet for a really long time. This week's guest says there's a lot more to come. On this episode we speak with Ram Parameswaran, the Founder and CIO at Octahedron Capital — which does VC investments and invests in public equity — on what he learned over the last year, and the big things he's betting on now.

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Jun 17, 2021
Why Tracy Can't Ship a Teddy Bear from Hong Kong to the U.S. Right Now
3571

By this point, you're aware that shipping anything internationally is pretty tough right now. It turns out, it's getting worse. Earlier in the year, Tracy tried shipping a teddy bear from Hong Kong to the U.S. on a vessel, but, for a variety of reasons, it ended up not working out. At least she tried. Right now, she wouldn't even be able to try because international shipping has gotten that much more messed up. So what's behind this logistical nightmare? On this episode, we speak with Mercury Group CEO Anton Posner and President Margo Brock for a granular deep dive into the state of shipping and why it's so hard for Tracy (and even shippers with higher dollar value goods for sale) to get space on a vessel right now.

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Jun 14, 2021
Why Brooklyn Nets Star Spencer Dinwiddie Co-Founded a Crypto Startup
3007

Over the last year, numerous celebrities and athletes have gotten into crypto in some way. For example, some have announced plans to put part of their salary into Bitcoin. But Brooklyn Nets star Spencer Dinwiddie has been in the space for a lot longer, having held Bitcoin for several years. And, in addition to owning Bitcoin and other coins, he's also the co-founder of a new company called Calaxy, which aims to let fans buy tokens associated with their favorite stars. On this episode, we speak with Spencer as well as his co-founder Solo Ceesay about the world of creator tokens, and how various technologies, including crypto, are changing the relationship between fans and celebs.

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Jun 10, 2021
This Is How the U.S. Ran Out of Homes for Sale
3078

Home demand is booming. By some measures, the market is even hotter than it was during the peak prior to the financial crisis. But there's one big problem: There just aren't many homes available to buy. Whether it's existing inventory or new home sales, there simply isn't enough to meet the demand, even with prices surging. On this episode of Odd Lots, we speak with housing economist Ali Wolf, the chief economist at the data and research firm Zonda, about how the boom happened; how America became so under-housed; and how constraints of land, labor and materials are making it brutal to build more of them.

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Jun 07, 2021
Dan Ariely on How To Win Big by Betting on Human Capital
2608

Dan Ariely is one of the most famous behavioral economists in the world. And in his latest act, he's attempted to apply his research to investing. His five-year-old firm Irrational Capital searches out companies that foster human capital: that companies which do a better job of nurturing their employees see stock market outperformance. In this episode, we talk about why human capital matters, how to measure it, and what kind of investment returns he's seen by betting on it.

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Jun 03, 2021
Roshun Patel on What Really Happened During the Crypto Market Crash
4171

The crypto market recently experienced one of its worst crashes ever, with numerous coins cut in half in a manner of days, seemingly without an obvious catalyst. So what really happened during the selloff? Who was behind it? And what role did crypto market structure play in the intensity of the decline? We speak with Roshun Patel, the VP of lending at the crypto prime brokerage Genesis, who explains all of this, plus much more.

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May 31, 2021
Data Centers, Crypto Miners, and Gamers Are All Battling for Semiconductors
3134

These days, there's a shortage of chips everywhere you look. Some of it is related to idiosyncratic events specifically related to logistics. Some of it is related to production challenges relating to long, pre-existing trends. And other aspects are simply related to the fierce battle for chips among a range of players. On this episode, we speak with Brian Venturo, the CTO of CoreWeave, a cloud services provider about serving his clients, the role of crypto mining in tightening the chip market, and other players, like gamers, who are looking for more computing power.

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May 27, 2021
Daniela Gabor on the Critical Case Against Private Sector ESG
2529

Over the last few years, ESG has become a gigantic industry. Due to concerns over climate, the treatment of workers, and other public matters, there's been a huge influx of money into investments that take into account environmental, social, and governance considerations. But is there a dark side? On the latest episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Daniela Gabor, a professor of Economics and Macro-Finance at UWE Bristol on her criticism of the space, and the whole process of turning public issues into huge money-making opportunities for investors.

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May 24, 2021
Aaron Lammer on Yield Farming and Trading in the World of DeFi
3908

"Decentralized Finance," "Yield farming"... you've probably heard these terms before, but have very little idea about how they all work. On a recent episode, we spoke with one of the creators of the largest decentralized crypto exchange, UniSwap. But what's it like to trade this stuff? On this episode, we speak with Aaron Lammer — the host of the new podcast Exit Scam — who's recently been DeFi-pilled and now yield farms and trades on Uniswap and other blockchain-based exchanges. He explains to us how he got into it, how it all works, and how he spots money-making opportunities.

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May 20, 2021
How the World's Companies Wound Up in a Deepening Supply Chain Nightmare
2944

By now, everybody knows that global supply chains are a mess. Not a day goes by where there isn't news of some shortage or bottleneck. Chips, shipping containers, lumber, you name it. So how did it happen and how does it get unwound? On the latest episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Ryan Petersen, the CEO of Flexport, which makes software to help companies manage their supply chains. He breaks down the situation in a granular way to explain what's really going on.

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May 17, 2021
Jared Bernstein on Taxes, Spending, and Why President Biden Wants to 'Pay for It'
3291

Jared Bernstein has been a longtime advisor to President Joe Biden. He was his advisor while Biden was Vice President, and today he serves on the Council of Economic Advisors. On the latest Odd Lots, he joins us to talk about the current state of the economy, inflation, and, more importantly, the White House's vision for taxing and spending. In particular, he explains President Biden's philosophy on taxes, and why he thinks that further spending plans should be matched with tax hikes rather than running up the deficit.

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May 13, 2021
A Special Announcement From Joe and Tracy
239

Please check out this special announcement from Joe and Tracy, who have an update on a new Odd Lots initiative, involving a new blog, show transcripts, and more.

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May 11, 2021
Viktor Shvets on Inflation and How Crypto Could Cause the Next Financial Crisis
2361

What will the economy really look like when things normalize? Lots of people are, of course, anticipating a sustained rise in inflation, even beyond this burst in prices right now. Our guest this week is skeptical. We speak about the new landscape with Viktor Shvets, a Managing Director at Macquarie, on why he doesn't see the disinflationary trends changing anytime soon. He also argues that the next crisis could originate in the mania for cryptocurrencies.

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May 10, 2021
Hayden Adams Explains Uniswap and the Rise of DeFi
3357

There's an irony with crypto. While so much of it is ostensibly about circumventing legacy finance, many of the most important pieces of crypto infrastructure are centralized financial entities. For example, the newly public Coinbase holds fiat currency and is subject to numerous regulations. Enter decentralized exchanges. A new breed of trading venues has been built to enable trading directly upon a blockchain, allowing assets to be exchanged without any custodial requirements, permission, or even accounts. It's a totally different model of trading and market structure. On this episode, we speak with Hayden Adams, the creator of the Uniswap Protocol, which powers the world's largest decentralized exchange, to explain how it all works.

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May 06, 2021
How to Make the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Boom Again
3071

This year, everyone's become aware of the hollowing out of U.S. semiconductor manufacturing capacity. Whether it's the rise of TSMC, the stumbles at Intel, or the inability of car companies to acquire much-needed chips, semiconductors are becoming a major political issue. But how can you actually turn things around? What would the right policy mix look like? On this episode, we speak with Alex Williams, a research analyst at Employ America, and Hassan Khan, a tech procurement expert with a PhD in semiconductor policy, to discuss how the new administration can make American chip manufacturing roar back to life.

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May 03, 2021
What Adam Tooze Learned About the World Last Year
3152

There's probably nobody better at synthesizing massive events like Columbia professor Adam Tooze. His book Crashed, which came out in 2018, was probably the definitive take on the Great Financial Crisis. Later this year he has another book coming out on the Coronavirus crisis, and the political and economic lessons therein. On this Odd Lots, we speak with him about the extraordinary year, what it's meant for the U.S., China, Europe, etc., and the change in the economic landscape.

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Apr 29, 2021
Why the Price of Lumber Has Soared Day After Day After Day
3576

It's not often that lumber becomes a national obsession. But this year it has. Thanks to a combination of factors, including diminished sawmill capacity, a renovation boom, and then a homebuilding boom, the price of finished wood has soared to never-before-seen heights. On this episode, we speak with Stinson Dean, a lumber trader at Deacon Trading, to explain why the market has gone so wild, and how the market is structured.

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Apr 26, 2021
How to Build a Portfolio That Outperforms For a Century
2709

There's a huge question mark at the moment about whether markets are at some sort of important turning point. For instance, we've seen big amounts of fiscal stimulus in the U.S., sparking concerns that inflation might finally return and overturn a decades-long bull run in bonds. So how can investors protect against that scenario and other major inflection points in markets? On this episode of Odd Lots, we speak to Chris Cole, the founder of Artemis Capital Management. He walks us through his recent research, in which he recreates 100 years of the most popular financial engineering and portfolio structures to identify what works best.

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Apr 22, 2021
John Hempton on Greensill, Archegos and What It's Like To Short Right Now
3138

It's a weird moment for the markets. The big stock indices are near all time highs. And yet there have been some high profile meltdowns and blowups. There was the collapse of the vendor financing firm Greensill. And there was the wipeout of the Bill Hwang fortune. Meanwhile, numerous SPACs and other speculative stocks have been getting clobbered. So we talked to short seller John Hempton, the CIO and co-founder of Bronte Capital, for an explanation of what's really going on.

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Apr 19, 2021
Zach Carter on the Real Story of Weimar Hyperinflation
3269

Whenever the government is engaging in fiscal or monetary expansion, people like to invoke the history of Weimar Germany and how soon we might all go around transporting dollars in wheelbarrows. But what really happened with Weimar and how did it come about? On this episode, we speak with Zach Carter, the author of the best-selling book “The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes.” He explains how the story of collapse of the German currency was less about money printing and more about domestic political collapse and the destruction of the country's productive base.

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Apr 15, 2021
Slavoj Žižek on GameStop, WallStreetBets, and the Future of Capitalism
2638

When GameStop shares skyrocketed earlier this year, numerous pundits were quick to ascribe political significance to the whole thing. Was it a rebellion? Was it class warfare in the spirit of Occupy Wall Street? On this episode of Odd Lots, we speak with the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, who argues that the episode was significant and radical, but not in the way most people appreciate. We also talked about algorithmic trading, WallStreetBets, the pandemic, and what's next for the future of capitalism.

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Apr 12, 2021
Why Treasury Market Spasms That Shouldn't Happen Keep Happening
2892

The U.S. Treasury market is the biggest, most liquid market in the world. Its smooth functioning is also crucial to the economy and the financial system. Yet it keeps experiencing bizarre, seemingly inexplicable bouts of volatility. We saw it in February. We saw it big time last March. And we saw it multiple times in recent years before then. On this episode, we speak with Yesha Yadav, a professor at Vanderbilt Law School, who argues that these episodes can be explained by the inadequate patchwork of regulations governing this market.

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Apr 08, 2021
Why the True Price of a Bond Can Still Be Hard To Know
2578

In the modern age, we expect to be able to turn on our computers, enter in a ticker, and know the actual price of a financial instrument, such as a stock or a bond. But this is easier said than done, especially with bonds, and especially with bonds that are infrequently traded. Sometimes, in fact, bond pricing is a matter of opinion. At least that's the contention of Maciej Kowara and Eric Jacobson, analysts at Morningstar, who published a report earlier this year titled “Bond Pricing: Agreeing To Disagree.” They explain why there can still be disagreements about what a bond is actually worth from one firm to another.

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Apr 05, 2021
The Ex-Jane Street Trader Who's Building a Multi-Billion Crypto Empire
3987

The crypto market has come a long way in recent years. But it's still far less efficient than your typical established market. To understand more about crypto market structure, we spoke with Sam Bankman-Fried. Sam is a former international ETF trader at the prop shop Jane Street Capital. Now he's building a crypto empire with his hedge fund Alameda Research as well as his own exchange called FTX. He talks us through his path into the industry and how it works more broadly.

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Apr 01, 2021
How Gigantic Ships Are Creating Global Supply Chain Havoc
1906

The Ever Given has been freed from the Suez Canal. But the whole situation was indicative of a broader issue in global supply chains: increasingly large ships are contributing to logistical bottlenecks. This was true long before the latest issue on the Suez. On the latest episode of Odd Lots, we speak with economist and historian Marc Levinson, the author of the book The Box, to discuss the rise of extremely large ships and the stress they place on ports, canals, and other parts of the global trading infrastructure.

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Mar 31, 2021
Virtu CEO Doug Cifu Explains Payment for Order Flow and the Future of HFT
3951

When the GameStop and Robinhood story exploded at the end of January, suddenly everyone took an interest in market structure and things like payment for order flow, as well as the role that high-frequency trading shops play in enabling free retail trading. This, of course, gave rise to lots of conspiracy theories about ways retail traders are taken advantage of. On the new Odd Lots, we speak with Doug Cifu, the CEO of Virtu, which is one of the largest HFT shops in the country, to get his perspective on how this part of the market really works.

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Mar 29, 2021
Josh Younger on the Soaring Cost of Climate Change and Understanding the SLR
3841

What is the connection between the big trend in interest rates over the last several years and the cost of climate change mitigation? This is a question that's been analyzed by Josh Younger, a rates derivative strategist at JPMorgan. On the latest episode of Odd Lots, he discusses his work on interest rates and the cost of fighting climate change. We also discuss the significance of the Fed's SLR decision, and what it means for rates and bank balance sheets.

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Mar 25, 2021
Luke Kawa on the Macro Situation Right Now
2946

Over the last several weeks, we've seen major developments in the macro situation. The vaccine rollout has accelerated. We've gotten a stimulus. The economic outlook has improved. And rates have risen across the curve significantly. So what does the macro picture look like right now, and what is the best framework for thinking through things? On this episode, we speak with Luke Kawa, an Asset Allocation Strategist at UBS Asset Management, about how to understand the current macro picture.

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Mar 22, 2021
Stephanie Kelton on How MMT Won the Fiscal Policy Debate
3230

In a sense, Modern Monetary Theory has won. This is not because policy measures are necessarily in line with what MMT adherents would prescribe. Rather, the debate over economic policy, in particular fiscal policy, is happening on MMT terms. MMTers argue that the constraint on government spending is inflation and real resources -- not credit risk -- and that's exactly how even the critics of the stimulus bill have attacked it, that it will be inflationary. So how has the debate around fiscal policy changed so much over the last several years? Much of the credit goes to Stephanie Kelton, the MMT economist and author of the best-selling book The Deficit Myth. On this episode, we talk about their success.

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Mar 18, 2021
Did We Just Experience a Break in the Neoliberal Consensus?
3506

For decades, the dominant economic philosophy of the United States has been that fiscal policy should be relatively inert, and that the Fed should be the primary driver of macroeconomic stabilization. But that may be changing. As evidenced by the stimulus deal, the political willingness to use fiscal stimulus in a responsive way appears to be growing. Moreover, the importance and power of fiscal firepower has been accepted by a range of actors, from Senator Bernie Sanders to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. So are we at the start of a trend break in the neoliberal consensus (whatever that means)? We debated this question with Skanda Amarnath, the head of research at Employ America and Mike Konczal, Director at the Roosevelt Institute and the author of the new book "Freedom from the Market America’s Fight to Liberate Itself from the Grip of the Invisible Hand."

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Mar 15, 2021
Introducing: Doubt
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A few decades ago, nobody really questioned vaccines. They were viewed as a standard part of staying healthy and safe. Today, the number of people questioning vaccines risks prolonging a pandemic that has already killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. How we got to this moment didn’t start with the rollout of vaccines or in March 2020, or even with the election of Donald Trump. Our confidence in vaccines, often isn't even about vaccines. It’s about trust. And that trust has been eroding for a long time. Doubt, a new series from Bloomberg’s Prognosis podcast, looks at the forces that have been breaking down that trust. We'll trace the rise of vaccine skepticism in America to show how we got here — and where we’re going. Doubt launches on March 23. Subscribe to Prognosis today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Mar 12, 2021
Michael Pettis on Persistent Imbalances in Post-Pandemic China
3383

By some measures, the Chinese economy did better in 2020 than just about anywhere else. For one thing, it actually grew last year. Also because of the country's success at virus containment, it returned to normalcy faster than elsewhere. But the Chinese economy maintains persistent imbalances, and if anything, the pandemic may have accelerated them. On this episode, we spoke with Michael Pettis, a Finance Professor at Peking University and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center, on where things stand now.

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Mar 11, 2021
Why Music Back Catalogs Have Become a Red-Hot Asset Class
2439

Bob Dylan did it last year. Shakira did it in January. More and more famous musicians are selling off the rights to their back catalogs to investors. But why now? Why is there so much demand for this asset? On the latest Odd Lots, we speak with Alaister Moughan, an independent music valuation expert, about why this booming market is happening now.

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Mar 08, 2021
Coming Soon: The Pay Check Season 3
191

More than 150 years after the end of slavery in the U.S., the net worth of a typical white family is nearly six times greater than that of the average Black family. Season 3 of The Pay Check digs into into how we got to where we are today and what can be done to narrow the yawning racial wealth gap in the U.S.

Jackie Simmons and Rebecca Greenfield co-host the season, which kicks off with a personal story about land Jackie's family acquired some time after slavery that they're on the verge of losing. From there the series explores all the ways the wealth gaps manifests and the radical solutions, like affirmative action, quotas, and reparations, that can potentially lead to greater equality.

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Mar 05, 2021
Zoltan Pozsar on What Just Happened with the Treasury Market
2636

The Treasury market just experienced what some might call a tantrum. Across the yield curve, we saw rates shoot up. And it's not even clear why it happened. There was no comment from a Fed official like there was with the 2013 taper tantrum. No single datapoint that stood out. On this episode, we speak with Credit Suisse's famed strategist Zoltan Pozsar about what happened to cause this selloff, what it says about Treasury market structure, what reforms may be coming down the pike, and whether the Fed needs to act further to restore order to the market.

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Mar 04, 2021
Howard Lindzon Tells Us Why He Launched His Own SPAC
3483

SPACs, sometimes referred to as blank check companies, are incredibly hot. After being a sort of sleepy and sometimes sketchy backwater of the finance world, the last several months have seen them go on an absolute tear, with several of them fronted by celebrities like Alex Rodriguez or Colin Kaepernick. On this episode, we speak with longtime investor and VC Howard Lindzon about his journey towards launching one of his own: how it came about and why he is excited about the model.

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Mar 01, 2021
How Chinese Buying Is Causing a Boom in Agricultural Commodities
2280

There are lots of hot areas in the market, which everybody knows. Stocks are obviously hot, as are industrial commodities like copper. Agricultural commodities are surging as well. If you look at a chart of corn or soy or even oats, they've been on a tear. One big factor: Chinese demand, in part driven by a desire to stock up on supplies. Meanwhile, China is launching agricultural futures of its own, including a new contract on hogs. On this episode, we speak about what's going on right now in agricultural commodities with Scott Irwin, an economist at the University of Illinois, who helps us break it all down.

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Feb 25, 2021
This Is How the World Ended up with a Shortage of Semiconductors
2740

The world is facing a chip shortage. Numerous companies, including the auto sector, are facing an inability to get semiconductors, hampering their ability to manufacture their goods and generate sales. Part of this is an acute crisis, related to the virus. But there's also a long-term structural issue, with so few companies able to manufacture at scale. On this episode, we speak with Stacy Rasgon of Bernstein Research, who helped kick off our semiconductor series last fall, with a discussion about the current problem, and how it will get fixed.

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Feb 22, 2021
A Value Manager on How Most Value Managers Are Getting It All Wrong
3719

As you might have heard, so-called value investing has not had a good run. At least from a quantitative standpoint, strategies that aim to buy low-valued stocks (based on metrics such as price-to-earnings or price-to-book) are quite out of favor, as fast growing names, loaded up on intangible capital, have outperformed. So is there any way to resuscitate the concept of value, or do investors just need to wait for the tides to change? On the latest Odd Lots, we speak with Rafe Resendes, a portfolio manager and co-founder of the Applied Finance Group, who argues for another way of reconceptualizing value, beyond just cheapness, in a way that works across market environments.

What do you love about Odd Lots? What topics do you want to see on upcoming episodes? Share your feedback about the show by completing our first-ever listener survey.

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Feb 18, 2021
How Boring Food and Beverage Companies Turn into Huge Stock Winners Year after Year
2784

During the worst of the pandemic, people loaded up on staples from their grocery store. Shelf-stable food items, beverages, canned tuna, canned soup, chips... all that kind of stuff. But the big food and consumer staples companies have been huge winners outside of the pandemic. In fact, as an industry, these companies have some of the best track records in the market. On this episode, we speak with Jonathan Fell, the co-founder of Ash Park, an investment firm that specializes in these companies, to talk about how these companies win year after year.


What do you love about Odd Lots? What topics do you want to see on upcoming episodes? Share your feedback about the show by completing our first-ever listener survey.

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Feb 17, 2021
How Monster Beverage Shares Soared a Monster 100,000% in the Last 20 Years
3167

When you think about the big winners in the stock market over the past couple of decades, you might think about Amazon or Apple or some other tech winner. Or maybe, if you've listened to Odd Lots before, you think about Domino's Pizza. But there's another company that's outshone them all. Monster Beverage Corporation, the maker of the popular energy drink has been, well, a monster. In the last 20 years, the stock is up over 100,000%. On this episode, we speak with Mark Astrachan, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp., about how they produced such a stellar return.

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Feb 15, 2021
ARK's Head of Research on How They Find the Next Huge Winner
4240

In a world dominated by passive investing on one end and retail YOLO traders on the other, there aren't many star fund managers these days. There's one big exception though. Cathie Wood, the head of the ARK family of funds, has become a celebrity due to the incredible performance of her stock picks. So how do they do it? On this episode, we speak with Brett Winton, ARK's Head of Research, who explains the process they use to find disruptive technologies, and the companies that will win from them.

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Feb 11, 2021
Mike Novogratz's Vision for Rebuilding Finance with Crypto
3291

Bitcoin, and crypto more broadly, have been on a huge tear lately. Then, with the chaos surrounding GameStop, there's been more discussion about whether financial markets could be rebuilt in a fairer way, perhaps involving crypto or decentralized finance. Probably one of the best positioned to take advantage of such a shift is Mike Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy Digital, which might best be described as a crypto investment bank. Prior to his current endeavors, Novogratz was a global macro fund manager at Fortress Investment Group, and prior to that he was at Goldman Sachs, meaning he's seen the traditional finance world, and this new world. He talks to us about why he's so bullish on crypto, and how it can be used to create a fairer and better financial system.

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Feb 08, 2021
Goldman's Jeff Currie on the Silver Squeeze and the Coming Boom in Commodities
2725

It's been a weird several days in the market. What started with a short squeeze in GameStop, driven by Reddit traders, somehow morphed into a huge surge in demand for silver. Whether it started on WallStreetBets is unclear, but something happened that caused demand for the metal to surge. So we talked about this with Jeff Currie, the global head of Commodities Research at Goldman Sachs. We also discussed why he sees a huge bull market coming in commodities. And why Biden's policies of green stimulus and redistributive economic policy may push the price of oil even higher.

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Feb 04, 2021
Benn Eifert Explains How Retail Trading Is Rocking Markets like Never Before
2677

We know that retail activity, much of it on Robinhood, has been surging since last spring once the lockdowns began. But just how big of an impact is it really having? Is it going to be limited to just GameStop and a few others, or is this a permanent fixture of the new market landscape? We discuss this with Benn Eifert, CIO of QVR Advisors. Benn is an expert on volatility and derivatives, and he helps us make sense of what was so unique about GameStop, and what the ripple effects of this will be.

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Feb 03, 2021
Is The GameStop Trade Really A Political Rebellion?
3335

The GameStop short squeeze is one of the most extraordinary events to ever happen in markets. But does it have political significance? Some are saying that it represents the manifestation of Occupy Wall Street, that it is some kind of class warfare against hedge fund elites. Or is it just an interesting trade. We discussed what this moment really means, and what its impact going forward will be, with George Pearkes of Bespoke Investment and Jill Carlson of Slow Ventures.

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Feb 02, 2021
Can Open-Source Semiconductors Upend the Chip Industry?
1914

We're seeing historic change happening in real time in the chip industry. The old leaders are going away, and new players and new models are emerging, particularly around fabless chips. On this episode, we speak with Chris Lattner, the President, Engineering and Product, at the open-source chip startup SiFive, about the changes afoot, and how they're trying to change the game.


*A previous version of this description misstated Chris Lattner's role at SiFive.

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Feb 01, 2021
How One Online Investor Made the Score of a Lifetime on GameStop
3687

Everyone is talking about GameStop. The physical games retailer that was left for dead has been one of the hottest stocks of the year, surging well over 50x since its lows in late 2020. But how did it come about? Why GameStop? And what was the role that social media played? We speak with Rod Alzmann, the proprietor of GMEDD.com, which collects the fundamental bullish argument for the stock, about how it all happened.


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Jan 29, 2021
Dan Wang on China's Mission to Be a World Leader in Semiconductors
3483

We've been talking a lot on the podcast about semiconductors. The stumble of Intel. The general troubles with US manufacturing, and, of course, the rise of TSMC. But, for a long time, the Chinese government has endeavored to build a successful homegrown and world-leading chip industry. On this episode, we speak with Dan Wang, a tech analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics. He discusses the state of the domestic industry, as well as broader lessons on Chinese tech and business after a year of extraordinary disruption.

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Jan 28, 2021
The Story of How TSMC Came to Dominate the World
3049

In every conversation about computer chips, it always comes back to the dominant player: TSMC. Founded in the 1980s, it's far and away the biggest and most advanced manufacturer. And, as our guest points out, it's virtually impossible to find any piece of consumer tech hardware that Taiwan Semi hasn't touched in some way. On this episode, we speak with Tim Culpan, a Bloomberg Opinion columnist who has been reporting from Taipei for over 20 years, about how the company came to be, why it's so dominant, its geopolitical importance, and what could plausibly dislodge it.

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Jan 25, 2021
The Important Lesson a Quant Manager Learned in 2020
3109

It goes without saying that 2020 was a year like no other when it comes to the markets. A historic crash, and then a raging recovery, all set against the backdrop of a pandemic and deeply depressed economy. One implication of this is that trading strategies based on historic rules and patterns didn't perform particularly well in this environment. On this episode, we speak with Corey Hoffstein, a fund manager at Newfound Research, which employs trend following and momentum signals in its trading. He talks about what worked and didn't last year and what that says about overall market structure.

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Jan 21, 2021
Why the Cost of Shipping Goods From China Is Suddenly Soaring
2742

The coronavirus crisis snarled global shipping in early 2020 as borders were closed, but lots of people expected it to improve as vessels returned to position. Instead, more than a year later, the shipping crisis has only gotten worse and standard container rates on some transpacific routes have more than quadrupled, leading to yet another headwind for economies in the midst of fragile recoveries and global trade. On this episode, we speak to economist, historian, and author Marc Levinson. He talks about where all this transport disruption is coming from, what it means for global trade, and whether it will lead to a big rethink of the shipping industry.

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Jan 18, 2021
How the U.S. Lost Chip Dominance and How It Can Be Regained
3381

The U.S. was once a manufacturing leader in semiconductors. That's no longer the case, given the rise of contract manufacturing and outsourcing, the dominance of Taiwan Semiconductor, and Intel's own design stumbles. But how did it come to this? And can it be reversed by government policy? On this episode we speak with Willy Shih, a longtime tech industry veteran and a professor at the Harvard Business School, to answer these questions.


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Jan 14, 2021
Cowen's Co-President on Why SPACs Are Having Such a Moment
2958

One of the surprising developments in the last year was the boom in SPACs. The so-called blank check companies raised more money in 2020 than they had in the several years prior combined. But why? Why did a year that saw a pandemic and economic devastation turn into such a boon for what has historically been a speculative financing vehicle? On this Odd Lots, we speak with Larry Wieseneck, a longtime capital markets veteran and Co-President of the investment bank Cowen, who breaks down why the stars all align for the surge in SPACs.

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Jan 11, 2021
Chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura on Twitch Streaming and “The Queen's Gambit”
2838

We're in a rare moment where chess is popular in the United States. There are two big factors driving it. One is the smash hit Netflix show "The Queen's Gambit." The other is the rise of Twitch streaming, as gamers play online for thousands of fans. On this episode, we speak with Hikaru Nakamura, a popular chess streamer, about the economics of this new environment for chess.

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Jan 07, 2021
What Happened to Europe's Economy After the Black Death
2741

It's been pointed out that, after the Black Death in Europe, real wages surged because there was such a shortage of labor in the aftermath. But what was the structure of the economy that allowed this transfer of power to workers in the first place? On this episode, we speak with Patrick Wyman, historian and the host of the Tides of History podcast, to get the real story of Europe's post-pandemic economy during the 1300s.

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Jan 04, 2021
This Is How Prejudice Can Hinder the Economy
2110

Economics is all about improving living standards, but rarely does the dismal science deal with social justice or talk about how a lack of it could actually hinder growth. In this episode, UBS Global Chief Economist Paul Donovan discusses how prejudice and labor markets are intertwined, and why discrimination can restrict development. Donovan describes how historical technological advances have often increased racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice as people sought out scapegoats to blame for lost jobs and wealth. He also describes how the current 'fourth industrial revolution' is fomenting more blame, and what economists can do about it.

Odd Lots listeners are eligible for a 25% discount on the hardback or eBook edition of Paul Donovan’s new book, Profit and Prejudice: The Luddites of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, via the Routledge website by using the offer code “OL25” at checkout. 

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Dec 31, 2020
Goldman's Jan Hatzius on the Lessons Learned in 2020
3458

2020 has been an absolutely extraordinary year for the economy. In March, we saw the fastest economic contraction in history with an extraordinary surge in unemployment. Now, as the year closes out, we've had a housing boom, an extraordinary rise in financial assets, and unemployment has fallen much faster than most people expected. We spoke about this with Jan Hatzius, the chief economist at Goldman Sachs. We talked about the lessons learned, inflation, the outlook for 2021, his sectoral balances framework for analyzing the economy, and MMT.

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Dec 28, 2020
Michael Saylor, the CEO Who Turned a Software Company Into a Bitcoin Company
4507

This past summer, the business intelligence software company MicroStrategy made waves when it put some of its extra cash into Bitcoin. Then, as Bitcoin ran up, it bought more, and the stock has now soared thanks to the bet. But what's the reasoning behind the move? We speak with MicroStrategy’s CEO, Michael Saylor, on why he thinks Bitcoin is the best reserve asset for any company.

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Dec 24, 2020
Camille Fournier on Building Tech at Two Sigma
3937

We talk a lot about quantitative trading on the podcast, but typically from a rather big picture perspective, and not at the level of actually building the systems needed for trading and data analysis. On this episode, we speak with Camille Fournier, the head of Platform Engineering at Two Sigma, the financial services firm that, among other things, runs a large hedge fund. Fournier, previously the CTO at Rent the Runway, discusses how her job works, the challenge of managing software engineers, and how tech within a financial services company is different than tech within a consumer-facing startup.

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Dec 21, 2020
Apple Is at the Cutting Edge of a Revolution in Chips
2638

On a recent episode of Odd Lots, we talked about Intel, and how the former dominant American semiconductor company was stumbling. But big things are happening in the chip industry beyond the manufacturing woes of one company. As it turns out, we're seeing a dramatic rethink of chip architecture, and what they can do, with more emphasis on specialized semiconductors that are really good at performing a specific task. One company that's blazing new ground is Apple, whose M1 chip is earning rave reviews online. We speak with Doug O'Laughlin, a former buy-sider, who now writes the newsletter Mule's Musings, on the industry and other things in tech.

Correction: A previous version of this description misspelled Doug O'Laughlin's name.

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Dec 17, 2020
This Is the Macro Picture Going Into 2021
3081

It's obviously been an extraordinary year for markets and the economy for reasons that don't need stating at this point. But what does 2021 have in store? Can the current trends continue? We talked with two of the smartest macro thinkers we know: Jon Turek, the author of the Cheap Convexity Blog, and Naufal Sanaullah, the Chief Macro Strategist at EIA All Weather Alpha Partners, to discuss the big themes and what to watch for next year.

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Dec 14, 2020
Why Africa Borrowed Billions of Dollars From China
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It's no secret that some African nations went on a borrowing spree in recent years, tapping both international markets and sovereign lenders such as China to finance massive infrastructure projects. But all that debt is becoming problematic as the coronavirus crisis strains public finances, resulting in a slow-motion debt crisis. In November, Zambia became the first African country to default on its debt this year, sparking a series of fraught negotiations with its creditors. Zambia famously owes a lot of money to China and the default is now casting more scrutiny on China's approach to its borrowers. On this episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak to Gyude Moore, Liberia's former Minister of Public Works and Deputy Chief of Staff, turned Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development. He talks to us about how and why parts of Africa became so indebted to China, and whether China might be on the cusp of cutting borrowers some slack. 

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Dec 10, 2020
Why the IMF Changed Its Views on Capital Controls
3057

For years, the IMF was generally of the view that free trade was good, and that open capital flows were also good. But in recent years, the latter view has started to change. Increasingly the IMF, while continuing to promote openness, has viewed restricting the capital account for emerging markets as a useful tactical macro tool. On this episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Prakash Loungani and Sriram Balasubramanian of the IMF's Independent Evaluation Office on their examination of the IMF's work, and how its perspective has changed over the last several years. 

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Dec 07, 2020
Former ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet on What's Next For Central Banks
3823

With developed economies still operating well below pre-crisis levels, central banks face substantial pressure to pursue stimulative policies on an ongoing basis. But what more can they do with the tools at hand? And how much do political fights get in the way? On the latest Odd Lots, we speak with Peter Praet, the former Chief Economist at the ECB, who served under Mario Draghi for almost a decade, about the lessons learned during that experience, and how they apply going forward.

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Dec 03, 2020
How the Number One U.S. Semiconductor Company Stumbled
2561

For years, Intel has been the pre-eminent U.S. semiconductor company. But lately, the company has stumbled. This past summer, shares in the company plunged after it said it was experiencing delays in the production of its next generation chips. And while most tech companies have been on an absolute tear, Intel is still close to its lowest levels since the March bottom. So what went wrong and what do they need to do to right the ship? On this episode, we speak with Stacy Rasgon, a semiconductor analyst at Bernstein Research on Intel and the general state of U.S. high-tech manufacturing.

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Nov 30, 2020
How Money Became A Form Of Social Media
2794

There are many similarities between cryptocurrencies and social networks. And the rise of payment apps like Venmo make the link between payments and social media explicit. But this convergence between money and social media goes back a long time. On this episode, we speak with Lana Swartz, a media studies professor at the University of Virginia, about her book, New Money: How Payment Became Social Media.

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Nov 26, 2020
Inigo Fraser-Jenkins and Aaron Brown Debate The Future Of Quant Investing
2849

Traditional quant strategies that try to screen for stocks that are "cheap" have had an extremely rough period. So is this just a temporary setback that will eventually mean revert, or are the existing strategies dead and busted? Earlier this year, Inigo Fraser-Jenkins of Bernstein Research provocatively said he was sticking a fork in the quant world. But not everyone agrees with him that it's a lost cause. So in addition to talking with Fraser-Jenkins, we also brought on Aaron Brown, formerly of AQR Capital Management, for a debate on what works in quant and what the future holds

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Nov 23, 2020
The Episode That Turned Tracy Into A Bitcoin Bull
2231

Bitcoin has been on a tear lately, but it's been a bit unclear as to what's driving it. But whatever's driving it, co-host Tracy Alloway has given up her longtime skepticism on the digital currency and now believes in its value. This episode is why. We spoke with Meltem Demirors, the Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, a firm that offers vehicles for investing in digital assets, about this year's move and why people are buying now.

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Nov 19, 2020
This Is How People Really Feel About Paying Taxes
2430

The politics of taxes are always fraught. In theory, everyone wants to pay less of them and bristle at the prospect of paying more. But it turns out that our feelings are more complicated and nuanced. On this episode, we speak with Stefanie Stantcheva, a Harvard economist who has done deep survey work on how people really feel about taxes. What she's discovered could be useful going forward in terms of thinking about how to design the optimal policy.

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Nov 16, 2020
A Political Reporter Argues That Wall Street Doesn't Get DC
2484

Investors have always had to pay attention to what's going on in Washington DC, but this year it's been on a whole new level. Between virus response policy, fiscal stimulus talks, and, of course, the recent election, there's been a huge demand for understanding of politics. On this episode, we speak with Jake Sherman, a reporter from Politico, who argues that investors are badly confused about how the city really works.

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Nov 12, 2020
This Is The NYSE's Plan To Win More Direct Listings
2808

This year's stock market boom has coincided with a boom in new listings. There have been plenty of IPOs, numerous SPACs, and an uptick in companies doing direct listings on the exchange. That third category has gotten relatively less attention, but it potentially represents a powerful offering from the NYSE, which unlike many other financial companies, has performed quite well. On this episode, we speak with John Tuttle, Vice Chairman and Chief Commercial Officer at NYSE about how direct listings work, and why the NYSE sees them becoming a much bigger vehicle for going public in the future.

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Nov 09, 2020
Michael Mauboussin On Valuing Intangible Assets
2572

Measuring a company's book value is a classic practice among investors seeking to understand how much a firm's actual assets are worth. But what happens when a firm's assets are not things like buildings, factories, and land, but intangible assets, such as intellectual property and brand value? How does that change the task of analyzing a company's intrinsic worth? On this episode, we speak with Michael Mauboussin, Head of Consilient Research at Counterpoint Global (part of Morgan Stanley) about valuing these assets, and how investors can use this information to get a better read on their investments.

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Nov 05, 2020
A Forensic Accountant On Why Chinese Internet Companies Are So Tough To Analyze
3137

The IPO of Ant Financial will go down as one of the most extraordinary deals of all time. And in general, Chinese internet companies have been huge winners in the post-crisis period. But what does it take to really analyze the quality of their businesses? On this episode, we speak with Stephen Clapham, a forensic accountant, and the founder of Behind The Balance Sheet, who explains why understanding what's really going on with these companies is so tricky.

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Nov 02, 2020
Lessons From Ruth Krivoy, the Former Head of Venezuela's Central Bank
3090

The COVID-19 crisis has pushed central banks around the world into uncharted territory. Typically when we talk about this, it's from the perspective of the Fed or the ECB. But this has also been an extraordinary period for emerging market central banks. On this episode, we speak with Ruth Krivoy who ran the Venezuelan central bank in the early 1990s. She discusses the lessons she learned during that period and how they apply now.

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Oct 29, 2020
JPMorgan's Josh Younger on Rate Derivatives and Volatility Ahead of the Election
3202

For months now, traders have been positioning for a major volatility spike around the November election. But what are markets really expecting, and how are investors hedging? On this episode, we speak with Josh Younger, a rate derivatives strategist at JPMorgan to discuss how he goes about finding signal in the market's noise, how traders are positioning, and what could be a shock to the market on election day.

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Oct 26, 2020
Benoît Cœuré On Central Bank Digital Currencies And The Future Of Monetary Policy
3235

Central banks around the world are increasingly launching pilot projects to explore the possibility of issuing digital currencies. But how would they work and what would they accomplish? On this episode, we speak with Benoît Cœuré, the head of the BIS Innovation Hub and a former member of the ECB Executive Board. We discuss CBDCs as well as the future of monetary policy more broadly.

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Oct 22, 2020
Rep. Ro Khanna On Why Democrats Should Cut A Stimulus Deal With The White House
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With just two weeks until the election, talks over a stimulus deal remain ongoing, with negotiations having picked up between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Many of the disagreements haven't been about the price tag per se, but around language on such things as a national testing strategy and workplace liability. One of the most outspoken voices on the Democrat side, urging a deal, has been California Congressman Ro Khanna whose district encompasses much of Silicon Valley. He explains why, from his perspective, it's so important to get a deal done now. We also discuss the fiscal policy priorities of a theoretical Biden administration.

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Oct 20, 2020
A Volatility Arbitrage Trader On What Markets Are Saying Right Now
2468

It's been an extraordinary year for traders of volatility. We had the crisis, we had this incredible surge in retail call options buying, and we have the election coming up. On this episode, we speak with Kris Sidial, a co-founder and vice president at The Ambrus Group, to discuss volatility arbitrage trading in this extraordinary environment.

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Oct 19, 2020
How Tobacco Became One Of The Greatest Investments In History
3140

For over a century, tobacco stocks have been among the greatest investments in history, consistently outperforming other sectors decade after decade. But what is it about tobacco companies specifically that has led to this incredible performance? On this episode, we speak with financial advisor Lawrence Hamtil along with Gene Hoots, a financial advisor and the author of “Going Down Tobacco Road”, to discuss the extraordinary performance of this sector.

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Oct 15, 2020
Michael Hudson On Why The US Risks Becoming The Next Greece
3231

In the wake of the Great Financial Crisis, you heard a lot of talk about the US becoming like Greece unless the budget deficit were brought under control. However, these warnings proved to be unfounded. That being said, there are risks of a different variety. On the latest Odd Lots, we speak with the economist Michael Hudson on the risk of too much private sector debt, which could lead to permanently degraded consumption and investment.

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Oct 12, 2020
What It Takes To Win At Quant Investing
2783

Interest in quantitative investing strategies continues to grow; however, as the space gets more competitive, making money and winning gets harder and harder. Computation costs alone can be prohibitive. On the latest episode, we speak with Columbia Business School professor Ciamac Moallemi about how the world's best quant funds thrive.

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Oct 08, 2020
An IMF Economist On The Challenge Of Finding The Neutral Rate Of Interest
2986

One of the guiding lights of Fed policy over the years has been the so-called Neutral Rate of Interest or R*. It's at this rate, theoretically, where the economy comes into balance, with full employment and stable prices. Yet, not only has discovering that level become challenging, but the premise itself has been called into question. On this episode, we speak with Peter Williams, an analyst and economist at the IMF, on what it takes to find the right level, and how the concept itself can be salvaged.

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Oct 05, 2020
Volatility Suppression Turned The Entire Economy Into One Big Carry Trade
2541

In a carry trade, an investor borrows money cheaply to buy an asset that yields more. As long as nothing changes overall, the investors get to pocket the spread. In our latest episode, our guests argue that more and more aspects of the economy resemble this trade, and that the culprit is the policymaker suppression of volatility. We speak with Tim Lee, Jamie Lee, and Kevin Coldiron, the authors of the new book “The Rise Of Carry: The Dangerous Consequences of Volatility Suppression and the New Financial Order of Decaying Growth and Recurring Crisis”.

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Oct 01, 2020
How All Financial Markets Turned Into The Same Big Trade
2516

These days it seems like all financial markets are the same big trade. A gold chart looks like a Tesla chart, which looks like an Ethereum chart, which looks like a chart of a basket of cloud computing stocks. So why is this? And what could cause that to change? On this episode, we speak with Jared Woodard, the head of the Research Investment Committee at Bank of America, who recently published a report on exactly this. As Woodard explains it, the question starts with low growth and inequality, and the premium that investors will pay for certain types of securities in such an environment. He walked us through how that might change, and what investors can do in the meantime to discover under-appreciated values in the market.

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Sep 28, 2020
This Is What Happened When They Tried To Fix Journalism Using Blockchain
2328

Back in 2017, during the Bitcoin boom, there were a number of different attempts to use blockchain technology to improve a host of businesses and industries. Many of those were cynical attempts to cash in on the bubble, but some did have loftier ambitions. On this episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Maria Bustillos, who was the co-founder of a project called Civil, which aimed to fund a series of newsrooms, backed by their own Ethereum-based token. Maria talked about what the vision was, why it didn't work, and the lessons learned for journalism business models and new endeavors.

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Sep 24, 2020
A Top Crypto Exchange CEO Explains Why The 2020 Boom Is Different
2967

Crypto is hot this year again. In 2020, we've not only seen a substantial rally across a lot of different coins, there's been an emergency of new experiments, categories, and protocols. Is it more sustainable this time around, or is it going to fizzle like it did last time? On this episode, we speak with Catherine Coley, the CEO of Binance US about trends in this market, why she left the traditional finance world to go crypto, and where all of this new activity is actually going. 

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Sep 21, 2020
How Traders Used Google Searches To See The Economic Recovery In Real Time
2255

The use of so-called "alternative data" has been gathering attention for some time. Investors have been looking at things like credit cards or satellite photos of Walmart parking lots for insights into businesses before earnings or official government numbers come out. But during this crisis, alternative data has really come into its own. The speed of the crash and recovery happened so fast, it was clear that traditional numbers weren’t timely enough to get a read on what was going on. On this week's episode, we speak with Ben Breitholtz of Arbor Data Science, who explains how he's been able to monitor thousands of different categories of Google Search queries to know instantly when the recovery started to happen and what sectors of the economy were leading the way. 

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Sep 17, 2020
How SoftBank And Robinhooders Added Fuel To The Stock Market Boom
2596

One of the most intriguing subplots to the 2020 stock market boom has been the speculative fervor with which investors have dived into this market. And it's not just that participants have bought a lot of stock, but that they've been using aggressive options strategies to do so. What's more, it's a range of players doing it, from retail traders on Robinhood (and other platforms) to large institutions like SoftBank. On this episode, we speak with Benn Eifert of QVR Advisors, who breaks it all down.

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Sep 14, 2020
Why Blank Check Companies Are The Hottest Thing This Year
2942

SPACs have been around a long time. The basic premise is that a group of people raise a bunch of money from public market investors, with the premise of then going out to buy a specific, individual company. They're seen as an alternative to IPOs. While historically they've had a reputation for some questionable deals, this year they've been booming. All kinds of big names like Bill Ackman and Paul Ryan (yes, that one) are getting in on the action. On this episode, we speak with Kelly Driscoll, one of the founders of the SPAC Fusion Acquisition Corp, who explains why these entities are so hot right now.

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Sep 10, 2020
How A New Type Of Money Helped Cause The Great Financial Crisis
2660

It's fun to talk about what money is, but often it's hard to connect the dots and make it actually relevant to the discussion of the economy and markets. But, in this episode, we do just that. Our guest is Jacob Goldstein, a co-host of Planet Money and the author of the new book, “Money: The True Story Of A Made-Up Thing”. He explains the story of money market mutual funds, how they constituted a new form of money, and how they contributed to the Great Financial Crisis. 

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Sep 07, 2020
Paul McCulley: We Are "Unambiguously" On The Verge Of A Profound Change In The Economy
3603

Paul McCulley is a former Managing Director at PIMCO and a legend of the industry, having helped coin phrases such as "shadow banking" and the "Minsky moment." On this episode, we discuss the history of economic policy ideas, starting with the monetary and supply side revolutions roughly forty years ago, and how they've dominated thinking until today. But the break is coming. He says that we are "unambiguously" on the verge of a profound change to a more democratically managed economy (one more driven by fiscal policy), a change that will have significant changes for the real economy as well as markets and portfolio management.

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Sep 03, 2020
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari On The Historic Challenges For Monetary Policy
3003

The Fed is facing historic challenges for two reasons. The first is the coronavirus and the task of facilitating the economic recovery. The second challenge is one that precedes the crisis, and it has to do with how the Fed operates generally as well as the limits of effective monetary policy. How can the Fed better achieve its goals? Can monetary policy spread the benefits of growth more broadly? How can it avoid snuffing out growth prematurely? On this week’s episode, we’re joined by Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, who is thinking about all of these things and more.


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Aug 31, 2020
The Father Of CMBS Says We’re In ‘Uncharted Territory’ When It Comes To Valuing Real Estate
2860

There are some sectors of the real estate market, such as suburban residential housing, that are doing just fine throughout this crisis. However, other areas are facing true existential risk. The value of commercial real estate in big cities is extremely uncertain due to the combination of the virus itself, potential migration out of cities, and the fact that so many people can work from home. On this episode, we speak with Mosaic Real Estate Partners Managing Partner Ethan Penner, who has been described as the father of Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities, on real estate market structure and what it means for the billions of dollars worth of assets that are on the line.

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Aug 27, 2020
The CEO of a $1.4 Billion REIT Explains The Surprising Year In Housing
2086

When COVID hit, people had visions of a plunge in home prices and a massive wave of evictions. So far, that largely hasn’t played out. On this episode, we speak with Ivan Kaufman, the CEO of Arbor Realty Trust, a $1.4 billion player in the real estate finance market, about what’s going on, and how the industry has weathered the storm.

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Aug 24, 2020
Rep. Ayanna Pressley On How The Fed Can Fight Racial Inequality
1809

In the United States, Black Americans have experienced persistently higher levels of unemployment than their White counterparts. While the Fed has focused on aggregate unemployment levels, racial disparities has historically not been a major focus. On this episode, our guest says it should be. Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley argues that monetary policy can and should be a tool of ending racial inequality. She discusses the history of this idea, and how it can work in practice. Pressley also talked to us about progressive economic policies for the future.

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Aug 20, 2020
How To Run A Bowling Alley-Arcade-Restaurant-Bar In The Middle Of A Pandemic
3074

The pandemic has been brutal for restaurants and other indoor entertainment venues. So imagine running a space that's a restaurant, a bowling alley, an arcade, and bar all in one. Our guest on this episode does just that. Adam Ozimek is the co-founder of Decades in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He's also the chief economist at online freelance marketplace UpWork. We talked about the crisis from the micro-perspective (running the space) and the macro-perspective (what he sees in the broader economy right now). He also explained what we need from a policy perspective to save the restaurant industry right now.

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Aug 17, 2020
The ECB’s Former Vice-President Explains The Historic Step That Europe Just Took
3464

For years, people have identified the lack of fiscal transfers and fiscal burden sharing as one of the glaring architectural flaws of the European economy (particularly within the eurozone). One positive that may result from this crisis is the potential for that to change. Last month, EU governments made an agreement to establish a recovery fund that would see wealthy, thriving countries (like Germany) directly aid in the economic recovery of countries that are struggling (such as Italy). It’s something people hoped to see during the eurozone crisis of nearly a decade ago, but which never quite panned out. On this episode, we speak with former ECB Vice-President Vítor Constâncio about the historic step, and the future for central banking at a time when fiscal firepower is becoming even more important.

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Aug 10, 2020
Viktor Shvets On Why There’s No Going Back To Pre-COVID Capitalism
2840

In light of the massive disruption to the economy, there’s a widespread view that things have been permanently altered, that fiscal policy must take a more active role in economic stabilization, and that the job of central banks will inevitably change. While this is a trendy thing to say now, the guest on this episode has been anticipating it for a while. Viktor Shvets is a Managing Director at the investment bank Macquarie Group Limited and the author of the new book, The Great Rupture: Three Empires, Four Turning Points, and the Future of Humanity. He explains how the old model of economic growth, which he argues widened inequality by being dependent on the growth in asset values, must give way, and that an attempt to return to to the pre-crisis model will be a disaster.

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Aug 06, 2020
Why Investors Keep Losing Money Betting Against The Hong Kong Dollar Peg
2514

For years, macro hedge fund managers have been stalking the Hong Kong Dollar. Since 1983, the currency has been pegged at around 7.75 per US dollar, and it basically has never budged from that. But that hasn’t stopped investors from taking big bets, with potentially major payoffs, that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority would sever the peg in some way. So why do traders keep making this bet, and is now the moment when it finally pays off? On this episode, we speak with Christopher Wiegand, the Chief Investment Officer and Co-Founder of Royal Bridge Capital, about the history of the Hong Kong Dollar, and the factors that have made betting against it such a loser over the years.

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Aug 03, 2020
How They’re Really Making Money On Your Free Robinhood Trades
2551

With so many people working at home, bored, and with no sports to bet on, there’s been an incredible explosion of retail stock market trading. One service, Robinhood, in particular has gotten a lot of attention due to its free trading, and videogame-like appeal to young users. But how are they really making money on those free trades, and how does the economics of the business work these days? On this episode, we speak with Larry Tabb, the Head of Market Structure Research at Bloomberg Intelligence, who explains how it all works.

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Jul 30, 2020
Introducing: Blood River
223

The killers of Berta Caceres had every reason to believe they’d get away with murder. More than 100 other environmental activists in Honduras had been killed in the previous five years, yet almost no one had been punished for the crimes. Bloomberg’s Blood River follows a four-year quest to find her killers – a twisting trail that leads into the country’s circles of power.

Blood River is out now.

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Jul 28, 2020
How A Professional Writer Turned Herself Into A World Class Poker Player
3255

Switching careers is always difficult. But former New Yorker staff writer Maria Konnikova did it in dramatic fashion. Konnikova decided that the best way to learn about the role of skill and luck in life is through poker, and so she decided to become a great poker player. And she made it happen, winning just over $300,000 in tournament play in a couple of years. On this episode, we speak with her about how she did it, and her new book, "The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned To Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win”.

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Jul 27, 2020
Meet The Mayor Who Printed His Own Currency To Fight The Virus
1939

With the virus crushing economic activity, local governments have had to cut spending and rely on Federal support in order to maintain basic services. But one town in Washington is also trying something else. Tenino, Washington has printed its own wooden currency to stimulate activity, and help out its residents and businesses that have been hit by the crisis. On this episode, we speak with Mayor Wayne Fournier about how he got the idea, how it’s going, and what he plans to do next.

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Jul 20, 2020
Why Studying Keynes Is More Important Than Ever
3413

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.

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Jul 13, 2020
How The Government Can Guarantee Everyone A Job And Fix The Unemployment Crisis Immediately
2803

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.

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Jul 09, 2020
Why The World Is Getting Angrier, And What Says About The Economy
2560

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. 

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Jul 06, 2020
Hyun Song Shin On What Central Banks Have Learned From The Crisis
2748

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.

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Jul 02, 2020
This Is Why The China Bubble Never Seems To Pop
2285

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.

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Jun 29, 2020
Introducing Foundering
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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.

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Jun 25, 2020
What The Black Death And Spanish Flu Can Tell Us About What Comes Next
1835

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.

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Jun 22, 2020
Chamath Palihapitiya Says A Reckoning Is Coming For Big Tech
2665

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.

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Jun 18, 2020
Domino’s: This Is How A Pizza Chain Stock Did Just As Well As Google
2485

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.

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Jun 15, 2020
Why You Can’t Blame The Fed For Ultra-Low Interest Rates And Soaring Asset Prices
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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.

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Jun 11, 2020
Two Investors Did A Tour Of The Globe To Find The Best Place To Put Their Money
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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. 

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Jun 08, 2020
This Is What Happened To LIBOR During The COVID Crisis
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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.

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Jun 05, 2020
How The Transition Away From LIBOR Is Actually Going
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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.

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Jun 04, 2020
The Case for AMERIBOR As The Replacement for LIBOR
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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.

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Jun 03, 2020
This Is The Index That's Supposed To Replace LIBOR
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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?

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Jun 02, 2020
Meet the Man Who Blew the Whistle on LIBOR
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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.

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Jun 01, 2020
Here’s Who Really Benefits From The Dominance Of The U.S. Dollar
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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.

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May 28, 2020
Three Sovereign Debt Experts Explain How The World Can Instantly Bring Aid To Emerging Markets
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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.

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May 25, 2020
What The Weak Recovery In Japan Can Teach Us About Re-Igniting The U.S. Economy
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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.

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May 21, 2020
Mark Cuban On Why The Government Should Directly Hire Millions Of People
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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.

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May 18, 2020
The Coronavirus Crisis Could Lead To The Mother Of All Trade Imbalances
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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.

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May 14, 2020
Richard Koo Explains Why The Recovery Will Be So Difficult
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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.

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May 11, 2020
What the Market Crash Says About How Investing Works
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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.

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May 07, 2020
Nouriel Roubini Sees A Bad Recovery, Then Inflation, Then A Depression
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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.

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May 04, 2020
How To Fund The Search For A COVID-19 Vaccine And Boost The Recovery
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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.

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Apr 30, 2020
Adam Tooze On How This Crisis Is Different Than The Last
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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.

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Apr 27, 2020
How The Coronavirus Crisis Pushed The Fed Into Truly Uncharted Territory
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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.

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Apr 23, 2020
Emerging Markets Have Never Experienced A Crisis Like This Before
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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.

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Apr 20, 2020
Why The War On Physical Cash Is A War On Freedom
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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.

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Apr 17, 2020
Marco Rubio On The Effort To Save Jobs And Get People Working Again
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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. 

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Apr 15, 2020
How To Stop The Fiscal Emergency Facing U.S. Cities And States
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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.

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Apr 13, 2020
Here’s What’s Happening With Those Korean Structured Notes That Bet Against Market Volatility
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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.

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Apr 09, 2020
Tom Barrack On The Crisis In The Commercial Real Estate Market
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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.

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Apr 06, 2020
Zoltan Pozsar and Perry Mehrling On The Historic Crisis Of Financial Market Plumbing
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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.

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Mar 30, 2020
How The Crisis Nearly Blew Up One Of The World’s Safest Trades
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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.

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Mar 26, 2020
A Longstanding Fear About The Corporate Debt Market May Finally Be Coming True
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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.

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Mar 23, 2020
How A Macro Manager Is Trading On One Of The Wildest Markets In History
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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.

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Mar 19, 2020
How Saudi Arabia Delivered A Blow To U.S. Shale Companies At The Worst Possible Moment
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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.

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Mar 16, 2020
How To Stop The Recession From Happening Right Now
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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.

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Mar 12, 2020
Did Passive Investing Fuel A Bubble In Ultra-Large Tech Stocks?
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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.

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Mar 09, 2020
How A Profane Subreddit Moved The Market
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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.

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Mar 05, 2020
How Iraq Pulled Off One Of The Biggest Sovereign Debt Restructurings Of All Time
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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.

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Mar 02, 2020
This Is What The Coronavirus Means For The Chinese Supply Chain
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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.

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Feb 26, 2020
The Jeweler From Uncut Gems Explains Why People Go Crazy For Gold And Diamonds
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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.

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Feb 24, 2020
What the Coronavirus Means for Pandemic Bonds
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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.

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Feb 17, 2020
Why The Rise of Passive Investing Might Be Distorting The Market