News Items Podcast with John Ellis

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Ninety percent of the news out there tells you nothing about where the world is going — ten percent of it tells you everything. Every afternoon on the News Items Podcast with John Ellis, John and Rebecca Darst focus on that ten percent — news that’s interesting, important or both. The podcast is based on John Ellis’ News Items, an email newsletter that goes out to organizations including the Council on Foreign Relations, Samsung Next, and the Wall Street Journal. Tune in every Monday through Thursday afternoon to hear decades of journalistic experience packed into 20 or so minutes of insight, plus guest interviews on finance, U.S. politics, foreign affairs, science and technology. 

Episode Date
Why Xi Jinping Is Hammering One Industry After Another
John interviews Diana Choyleva, the founder of Enodo Economics – a macroeconomic and political forecasting company focused on China. Choyleva grew up in communist Bulgaria, and her personal experience living under a command economy, combined with her Western education in market economics, give her a unique perspective on China. In this conversation with John, Choyleva explains China's debt problems; why President Xi Jinping is prioritizing economic control over short-term growth; and the strategy behind the digital yuan. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 29, 2021
Four Illusions about Biden, Trump and 2024
Science and tech headlines:  A South Korean study has found that one shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine plus another of the Pfizer vaccine produces more antibodies than getting the AstraZeneca vaccine alone. Quantum computing startup PsiQuantum has raised $450 million in a series D round. It plans to develop a quantum computer using photons to store information. News items:  A congressional panel urged US corporations to pull their sponsorships of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. John explains why the entire multi-billion dollar marketing and broadcasting edifice built round the Olympics will collapse in the next decade. Despite a blowout quarter for Google, Apple, and Facebook – actually, because of the blowout quarter – John and Rebecca agree that regulatory trouble may come for Big Tech. Fears that the Chinese government’s crackdown on the real estate and education industries may come for the health care industry has led to a selloff of Chinese health equities. Rebecca explains how the CCP is thinking in “centuries” — not quarters — as they try to solve their demographic quandary – investors be damned!  John and Rebecca discuss John’s most recent column, titled Four Illusions. In it, he explains how President Biden’s obviously declining mental acuity and Vice President Harris’ less-than-stellar performance could lead to the re-election of Donald Trump in 2024 – if inflation rears its ugly head. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 28, 2021
How Big Business Can Help Beat Climate Change with Mark Tercek
John interviews Mark Tercek, a former partner at Goldman Sachs who left the world of finance to become the CEO of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – the world’s largest environmental nonprofit organization. During his eleven years at TNC, the organization raised over $7 billion dollars to fight climate change and protect land and water around the world. Tercek is also the author of “Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature.” John and Mark discuss the move from investment banking to environmentalism, why he brought a business approach to the organization, and how the private sector can be one of the leaders in the fight against climate change. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 27, 2021
Will the Delta Variant Send Us Back Into Lockdown?
Science and tech headlines:  A consortium of 99 scientists has completed the map of the human genome, discovering more than 2,000 new genes in the process. Autonomous truck startups brought in more than $5 billion in funding in the first five months of 2021. John and Rebecca talk about the promise of self-driving semis. News items: Los Angeles County reinstated mask mandates and social distancing after official health reports found that 20% of new infections were in people who were vaccinated. Foreign investors deployed a record $900 billion in American mutual funds and ETFs in the first half of this year. Rebecca explains why US equities look so attractive these days. John and Rebecca discuss a New York Times story on Facebook’s partnering with religious organizations to create online congregations. China has sent the Biden administration a list of grievances and demands. John and Rebecca think they won’t be answered. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 26, 2021
How to Rebuild After Losing a $6 Billion Business
In the first of a series of interviews with entrepreneurs, John speaks to Jonathan Bush. He is the CEO of Zus Health, a health-tech startup that aims to become the “Build-A-Bear” of digital health platforms for health care providers; the former CEO of Athenahealth; and John Eliss’ first cousin. Bush grew Athenahealth from a small startup in his basement into a public company with a $6 billion market capitalization and 5,000 employees. He and John talk about that journey, and how he came back to health-tech after he departed Athenahealth. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 22, 2021
We're Still Not Talking About Climate Change Enough
John interviews Alice Hill, senior fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations; a former special assistant to President Obama; and author of the upcoming book, The Fight for Climate After COVID-19. Hill talks about how adapting communities to extreme and changing weather is just as important as lowering global carbon emissions. For that, Hill argues, the Biden administration ought to draw a national resilience plan. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 20, 2021
$16 Trillion and Counting: The Index Fund Turns 50 Years Old
Science and tech headlines:  England ended all pandemic-related safety restrictions today. The British tabloids are calling it “Freedom Day,” but Rebecca and John don't see it quite the same way.  China was the only country to see continued growth in robotics in 2020.  News items:  Floods in Germany have killed 200 people and hundreds more are still missing. John and Rebecca discuss how the tragedy, and the larger specter of climate change, could influence Germany’s upcoming elections.   A report by the American Association for Public Opinion Research finds that the 2020 polls were worse than in any election cycle since 1980 – John calls BS.  With Fed Chair Jay Powell’s term ending in 2022, Biden must decide whether to reappoint him, or to bow to progressive pressure, and nominate someone who will be tougher on banks. John and Rebecca explain why they’re on “Team Powell” and why the Fed Chair’s role is so tricky.  The index fund turns fifty this month! At $16 trillion, and growing, passive investing is making some Wall Street giants even bigger, and that may pose a problem. Rebecca explains the history of the index fund and what it means when she says that active fund managers are now “the underdog.”  Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 19, 2021
What to Make of ‘the War on Terror’
John interviews General (Retired) Russell Howard, former US Army Commander and founding director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. John asks Howard about whether “the War on Terror” is won and Afghanistan’s fate as US soldiers leave the country. He and John also discuss the repercussions on neighboring nations like Iran, Pakistan, and even China, as well as the state of three major terrorist organizations — ISIS, al-Qaida, and Hezbollah. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 15, 2021
France Takes on Google & the FTC Takes on Amazon
Science and tech headlines:The CEO of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin, says vaccine booster shots are critical to beating the pandemic. Apple anticipates a jump in demand for its next line of iPhones, as evidenced by its order to manufacture 90 million of them. News items:  REvil, the Russian hacking group responsible for recent cyber attacks on JBS Foods and other companies, went offline on Tuesday. Rebecca asks John who he thinks is behind the shutdown — Biden, Putin, or the hackers themselves? Peter Shepard and Morgan Stanley are working on an “ultimate index” which would track all markets, including commodities and private assets like real estate and private equity. Rebecca thinks it's a disaster in the making. France’s antitrust watchdog recently fined Google 500 million euros for failing to talk with news publishers about using their copyrighted work. Here in the US, the FTC announced a probe into Amazon’s $8.5 billion deal with MGM. John and Rebecca disagree on what big tech owes legacy media.  Holdings in both Chinese stocks and bonds have surged globally. Rebecca explains why.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 14, 2021
What’s Next for Haiti?
John interviews Amy Wilentz, a journalist; author; professor at the University of California, Irvine; and an expert on Haiti. Wilentz describes the situation after last week’s assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. The two also discuss the role of gangs in Haiti; Taiwanese interest in the country; and what happens next. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 13, 2021
Why J.D. Vance Terrifies Democrats
Science and tech headlines:  Chinese scientists have drawn up plans for a fleet of rockets that could push a potentially Earth-bound asteroid off course. Waters near areas with high levels of amphetamine use can be polluted by trace methamphetamines, and Czech researchers have found that fish can grow addicted to it. The drug reduces their overall activity and shows up in their brain tissue. News items:  England’s “Freedom Day” from COVID restrictions, set for July 19, (and amidst a surge in infections driven by the Delta variant) is a political decision – and not a smart one, according to John. Taliban forces are expected to quickly fill the void left by US troops departing Afghanistan, and neighbors Iran and Pakistan have reason to worry about their national security. Is there really a rift between Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg, as the New York Times suggests? John thinks not.  Recently announced Senate candidate J.D. Vance is currently polling at only 5%, but his campaign already has the mainstream media and Democrats freaking out. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 12, 2021
Introducing: The Recount Daily Pod
Every morning on The Recount Daily Pod, host journalist Reena Ninan will break down the most important news of the day, both domestically and abroad. In 5 minutes or less, you’ll walk away feeling smarter and more in sync with the world. Then, tune in for an interview with journalists who are on the forefront of the stories that affect us all.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 06, 2021
SPECIAL: ‘A Full-Fledged Economic Cold War’ with David Barboza
John interviews David Barboza, the Pulitzer Prize-winning co-founder of the digital newsmagazine The Wire China. They discuss how the country has changed in the last few decades; why predictions of China’s economic collapse never pan out; the potential for war over Taiwan; and how the Chinese Communist Party lost the international community’s trust. This is a longer, lightly edited version of an interview that ran on Thursday, June 17. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 02, 2021
Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman on the Red-Hot Housing Market
Rebecca interviews Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman on the housing market frenzy. They discuss the pandemic’s impact on buyers and sellers; how remote work could revitalize middle America; and the labor and lumber shortages contributing to a lack of inventory. Plus, Glenn offers his top home buying tip. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 01, 2021
Japan’s Toughest Olympic Event? Public Health
John interviews Sheila Smith, a senior fellow on Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. They discuss the successes and failures of Abenomics, the arc of the pandemic in Japan, and the tricky political and public health considerations behind hosting an Olympics during a global crisis. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 30, 2021
Resisting the Resistance with The WSJ’s Gerard Baker
John interviews Gerard Baker, editor-at-large of The Wall Street Journal (and its former editor-in-chief) on his rise to the top of the paper. They discuss what it was like to run the newsroom during the Trump presidency and the era of #Resistance journalism. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 29, 2021
Why China Is Just as Polarized As the US
John interviews Elizabeth Economy, a senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. They talk about China’s political history, Xi Jinping’s rise to power and the country’s not-so-unified front. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 28, 2021
How the GOP Became the Trump Party, with The WSJ’s Gerald Seib
John interviews Gerald Seib, executive Washington editor of The Wall Street Journal, and the author of "We Should Have Seen It Coming: From Reagan to Trump—A Front-Row Seat to a Political Revolution." They talk about the evolution of populism within the GOP, how party leadership misread its base on immigration, and what’s next for Republicans in 2022 and beyond. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 24, 2021
Oh, Canada: Always Whining about American Cultural Imperialism
Science and tech headlines:  Researchers have mapped in detail how a compound modeled on a natural microorganism produces hydrogen. One distant but possible application: clean energy. mRNA vaccines are one thing, but the next medical revolution could rely on proteins (like parts of the coronavirus spike) created entirely in labs rather than found in nature. News items: COVID-19 news: the Delta Plus variant could cause a third wave in India. The original Delta variant is 50% more transmissible than the current major strain in the U.S., and it’s expected to become the dominant strain here within a few weeks. Finally, low-vaccination areas around the country are seeing spikes in hospitalizations.  Engine No.1, the activist hedge fund that landed three board members at ExxonMobil last month, launched an ETF on Wednesday. It will try to influence the direction of the companies it invests in via shareholder elections. Rebecca is skeptical. Canada’s House of Commons passed a bill to make the digital media landscape in Canada — from TikTok to Netflix — more, well, Canadian. Now it just has to pass the Senate. John and Rebecca discuss the merits, and the chance that it’ll inspire copycat legislation across the pond. Pandemic-related protections for renters and homeowners in the U.S. are fading, and mobile home owners may stand to lose the most. John and Rebecca say the Biden administration needs to act fast. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 23, 2021
Where Is El Chapo’s Money? With Phoebe Eaton
John interviews investigative journalist Phoebe Eaton about her book, “In the Thrall of the Mountain King: The Secret History of El Chapo, the World's Most Notorious Narco.” Phoebe tells John about meeting the drug kingpin’s mother in Culiacán – and how she got her to open up by asking about the secretive religious traditions practiced by the family. She also explains why pilots are venerated in Culiacán’s narco culture; how drug bosses use straw owners to shield their earnings from seizure; and how details in the recent guilty plea by Emma Coronel (El Chapo’s wife) suggest she’s cooperating with the American government. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 22, 2021
How Biden Became a China Hawk
Science and tech headlines:  Google’s internet browser, Chrome, will block cookies starting in early 2022. John and Rebecca discuss the implications.  Cuba’s three-jab Soberana 2 vaccine has qualified for approval from the WHO, giving the world one more tool in the fight against COVID-19.   News items: BuzzFeed is negotiating the purchase of Complex Networks, and it has plans to merge with a SPAC and go public soon. But it might all be for naught – John explains why he thinks most digital media companies are doomed.  According to The New York Times media reporter Ben Smith, Tucker Carlson has been leaking stories about Trump and Fox News to the mainstream press for years. John tells why the news is underwhelming. Supply chain woes will probably lead to inflation faster than experts expected. Rebecca explains why she’s sticking with Fed chair Jay Powell.  Economic historian Adam Tooze is out with a timeline of the Biden administration’s evolution from dovish to hawkish vis-à-vis China. Rebecca and John discuss what role the strategic consulting firm WestExec might have played in that evolution, and how Trump can make hay of it in 2024. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 21, 2021
Sen. Tom Cotton Part II
In the second half of John’s interview with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), they talk about what it was like to live through the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021; Biden’s goals in office; and the Senator’s recent talks with former President Donald Trump.   This is a follow up episode to part I of John’s interview with the Senator that aired on Tuesday, June 15th. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 18, 2021
Is Xi Jinping President for Life? with David Barboza
John interviews David Barboza, former Shanghai bureau chief at the New York Times and co-founder of The Wire China. The two discuss China’s leverage on the global economy, the geopolitics of Taiwan, and what’s changed since Barboza first arrived in China in 2004. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 17, 2021
Perpetually Unregulated Crypto Is a Pipe Dream
Science and tech headlines:  There are roughly a million animal and plant species at risk of extinction. A special section in The Economist argues biodiversity loss is a threat on par with climate change. A leading Arctic researcher warns that irreversible global warming may already be upon us. News Items:  Fox Corp. announced a $100 million bet on NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens. Rebecca and John explain why they like the move.  American regulators are anxious about the $100+ billion market capitalization for stablecoins. Rebecca and John say FedCoin is the answer. Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo rejected Coca-Cola in favor of water... and the beverage giant’s stock slumped. Maybe they should have Dasani, their H2O brand, sponsor him? The UK’s new conservative news channel, GB News, drew eyeballs in its debut last weekend, but John thinks it will have a long road to profitability. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 16, 2021
Sen. Tom Cotton on the Coronavirus Lab-Leak Theory
John interviews Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) on the Senator’s efforts to sound the alarm about COVID-19 early in 2020; why he thinks the lab-leak theory is the most plausible explanation for the novel coronavirus’s origins; and the CDC’s failure to meet the moment. Part two of the interview, which delves into Senator Cotton’s experiences during the January 6th Capitol riots, will be published this Friday, June 18th. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 15, 2021
Elizabeth Holmes: Folk Hero of (Alleged) Fraud
Science and tech headlines:  Writing poetry, creating pictures, modeling proteins — the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence’s latest artificial intelligence model appears to be a massive step forward for China’s AI efforts. Could machine learning help us understand (and speak to) whales? News items:  Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history, is out. John explains why he thinks Bibi may be back, in the not-too-distant future. Election officials across the country are still getting death threats over imagined election fraud. John and Rebecca discuss why that probably won’t stop anytime soon.  Has Biden’s agenda hit a wall? John and Rebecca discuss why the split Senate makes passing an infrastructure bill – let alone anything more ambitious – so tricky.  Elizabeth Holmes swag is selling fast. Ahead of the Theranos founder’s trial in August, mugs, t-shirts, and even shower curtains are in high demand. Rebecca points out the undercurrent of misogyny behind the boom — and how P.C. culture may have led to Holmes’ ascent. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 14, 2021
The Evolution of News with Veteran Journalist Stephen G. Smith
John interviews journalist and news editor Stephen G. Smith. They talk about his early days in the news business, the industry's transition from print to digital, incidents of cancel culture at The New York Times, why the media came down with “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” and more. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 10, 2021
Ohio v. Google
Science and tech headlines: Cambridge Quantum and a segment of Honeywell are merging, and one of their goals is to build the world’s first quantum operating system. Scientists at the National University of Singapore have devised a new blood test that uses measurements of light to gauge the effectiveness of a given cancer treatment in 24 hours. News items: A bond selloff continues for two of China’s largest debt issuers, fueling fears of a contagion. Rebecca explains why she doesn’t think Beijing will allow them to default. George Packer paints a compelling portrait of four separate American “national narratives,” in The Atlantic, and John offers his take. Google, a public utility? Ohio’s attorney general is suing the tech giant in an effort to make it so. Rebecca and John hash out their disagreement over the suit’s merits. According to The Recode, Facebook’s newsletter subscription service, called Bulletin, will launch later this month. John and Rebecca discuss whether or not it’ll succeed. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 09, 2021
How to XOUT Bad Investments, with David Barse
John interviews David Barse, founder of XOUT Capital (an index company) and DMB Holdings (a private family office). John talks to David about assessing the tech-driven disruption coming for just about every industry, the future of streaming, and XOUT’s unique approach to building a portfolio: weeding out losers instead of picking winners. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 08, 2021
The Warring Factions Within Idaho’s GOP
Science and tech headlines: The FDA approves a controversial new medication for Alzheimer’s — on a fast track — for the first time in nearly 20 years.  NOAA registers another record high for carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. News items: FBI Director Christopher Wray tells The Wall Street Journal that the agency is investigating around 100 ransomware attacks. John and Rebecca discuss the political implications of continued hacks on the Biden administration. The Senate is nearly certain to pass a bipartisan bill that The New York Times calls “the most expansive industrial policy legislation in U.S. history.” Rebecca explains why she’s all for it. The Republican Party is at war with itself in Idaho, and its most extreme elements may win. John breaks down the dynamics at play in the potato state. Germany’s ruling center party, the Christian Democratic Union, beat the neo-Nazi-linked Alternative for Germany in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt. John and Rebecca discuss how the win affects both parties — and others in Germany ahead of the country’s federal election in September. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 07, 2021
SPECIAL: The Value/Momentum Eclipse with Robin Wigglesworth
John interviews Robin Wigglesworth, the global finance correspondent for the Financial Times, about life in Oslo, what a sardine mania in Monterrey, California can tell us about speculation, and the upshot of the fact that most people are pretty bad at investing. This is a longer, lightly edited version of an interview that ran on Thursday, June 3. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 04, 2021
The Near-Market Meltdown and More with Robin Wigglesworth
John interviews Financial Times global finance correspondent Robin Wigglesworth about the markets’ near-meltdown in 2020, the difference between value and momentum stocks, and private equity’s image problem. Plus, Wigglesworth weighs in on the “stupendous stupidity” in today’s equity markets. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 03, 2021
The Lovable Xi Jinping?
Science and tech headlines: Amazon has a new plan for increased interconnectivity — and customers in the US only have a week to opt out. Researchers at Google and Harvard have released a detailed rendering of one cubic millimeter of the human brain's cortex, the outer layer that makes humans so complex. News Items: Former President Donald Trump kicks off a series of rallies this Saturday. John explains why looming indictments may have motivated him to go back on the road. President Xi Jinping wants China to be seen as “trustworthy, lovable, and respectable” — is he changing tack because he’s worried about his job? High bond prices, low yields, and historically high stock valuations have some institutional money managers looking for new investment strategies... potentially imported from Canada?  New York City and 21 of New York State’s counties are suing McKinsey & Company, alleging it fueled the opioid epidemic. John and Rebecca discuss the firm’s reputation, whether or not it’s been tarnished, and whether or not “optimization” needs to be re-evaluated. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 02, 2021
Cartels, Immigration, and AMLO with CFR’s Shannon O’Neil
John interviews Shannon O’Neil from the Council on Foreign Relations about the state of America’s southern neighbor. They discuss Mexico’s fight against COVID-19, President López Obrador’s surprisingly austere fiscal policies, why cartels are changing their business model, and the difference between President Biden and former President Trump’s approach to immigration. Plus: how AMLO — as Mexico's president is known — is actually more conservative than President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 01, 2021
Why America’s Economy Doesn’t Work for the Bottom 50%
John interviews Nicholas Eberstadt, who holds the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute, about two of his essays. First, “Our Miserable 21st Century,” from 2017, which used economic data to show how America has been declining since 2000 – and how that explains the election of Donald Trump. That essay became the most-read piece in the history of “Commentary Magazine.” And second, a recent article for “Foreign Affairs” where Eberstadt argues that, despite the recent doomsday predictions over America’s demographic decline, the U.S. is still well-positioned demographically – at least compared to its chief rivals, China and Russia. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 27, 2021
An ‘Outbreak of Lunacy’ in Arizona
Science and tech headlines: India’s “black fungus” could be a preview of the global health risk posed by fungi adapting into effective pathogens. CNBC has auctioned off an NFT of the “Haines bottom,” the iconic moment when CNBC host Mark Haines correctly surmised — on March 10th, 2009 — that the worst of the Great Recession was over. News items: Analysts say we’re at the start of a “red-hot capex cycle,” and predict that global capital expenditures will have risen to 121% of pre-recession levels by the end of the year. Rebecca explains why this is good news. As Iran claims it's enriching uranium at 60% purity (well beyond the 3.67% cap it had agreed to in 2015), the International Atomic Energy Agency warns that its bomb-building knowledge cannot be unlearned. John breaks down Iran’s reasons for investing in uranium enrichment even though its economy is in shambles.  John and Rebecca discuss the latest news out of Arizona: the state's Republican-led House Appropriations Committee has stripped Katie Hobbs, the Democratic Secretary of State, of her ability to defend election lawsuits. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 26, 2021
Just Because Trump Said It, Doesn’t Mean It’s Wrong
Science and tech headlines: Singapore's health authority has approved a rapid COVID-19 test that works like a breathalyzer. Apple CEO Tim Cook’s claim that the company hasn't looked up its App Store profits and losses seems laughable – and it may hurt Apple in court. News items: Now that the economy is recovering and investors are looking for high yields, more of them seem willing to take a risk on collateralized loan obligations. Shades of 2008? Rebecca breaks it down. “Havana Syndrome” was first reported by a few CIA and State Department employees in Cuba, and has since hit more than 130 U.S. government employees around the world. Amazon is reportedly close to buying the legendary film studio MGM for $9 billion, including debt. John and Rebecca discuss the latest news out of Wuhan – that three researchers at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology sought hospital care in November 2019 – and why the lab leak theory was characterized as a conspiracy theory for so long. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 25, 2021
The Secret History of Wall Street
Rebecca interviews Zach Karabell, the author of a new book on the country's oldest private investment bank. In "Inside Money: Brown Brothers Harriman and the American Way of Power", Karabell argues that the wealth generated by the firm — and the ventures it backed — fueled America’s transformation from an agrarian society into a global superpower. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 24, 2021
Why the GOP (Secretly) Fears the Overturning of Roe v. Wade
Here are the news items: Google lays out an idea for voice-based search, involving AI trained on the page results.  Researchers from Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology have developed a lab concept for a rechargeable cement-based battery. John explains the politics surrounding the Democrats’ attempt to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the Capitol. The International Energy Agency says the world can reach net zero emissions by 2050 – and simultaneously increase global GDP. Rebecca explains why this push for renewable energy will be less moralistic than the last. A conservative opposition party in Japan wants to replace much of the country's welfare with a universal basic income. PLUS: In the wake of the Supreme Court’s announcement that it will review a Mississippi law restricting abortions to pregnancies before 15 weeks, John and Rebecca discuss how overturning Roe v. Wade could backfire politically for the GOP. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 20, 2021
Charlie Cook: ‘It’s Not Good to Bet Against History’
John interviews Charlie Cook – creator of the renowned Cook Political Report – about waning enthusiasm for Trump among GOP voters; the Democratic Party’s uphill battle in next year’s midterm elections; and his predictions for the Virginia governor’s race and the California recall election. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 19, 2021
Jeff Bezos is on a Whole New Mission, with Brad Stone
Rebecca interviews Brad Stone, the Bloomberg reporter with two books on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. His latest, "Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire", examines the company and its founder's transformation within the echelons of power, wealth, and ubiquity. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 18, 2021
Melinda Gates: 28, Bill Gates: 0
Here are the news items: The WHO and the CDC finally agree: COVID-19 is airborne. Rebecca explains what the smart money play is.  As cars move toward an all-electric future, the automotive and electronics industries are beginning to fuse. Thomas Friedman makes the case, in a New York Times column, that Hamas and Benjamin Netanyahu need each other. John breaks down Bibi’s latest power play.  The Bill and Melinda Gates divorce will be litigated in the press, and Melinda appears to have struck first – with a piece in The New York Times that’s full of discomfiting details about Bill. John explains why it’s a “hit piece.” China has become the world’s biggest supplier of armed drones, in part because the U.S. only exports drones to its closest allies. John explains why falling behind on drone AI is a massive risk. PLUS: John and Rebecca discuss the AT&T and Discovery Inc. merger, which will create a new media giant (and a big player in the streaming wars). Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 17, 2021
On Cybersecurity, the U.S. Should Go on Offense
Here are the news items: For the first time, scientists have captured detailed images of key receptors in the hippocampus, that deep part of the brain where memory and learning happen. The manipulation of mRNA has proven critical to the fight against COVID-19 — and it just might help treat heart defects, HIV, and cancer, too. President Biden’s executive order to beef up the government's digital defenses is great, but how about going on offense? Digital advertising growth has boosted the profits of giants like Facebook and Google. Now it's reaching media and news sites, too. A new poll shows former Brazil president Lula da Silva would crush the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in an electoral matchup. PLUS: John and Rebecca discuss Facebook’s latest plans for its cryptocurrency and what it could mean for small businesses. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 13, 2021
Are Israel and Gaza Destined for Another War?
Here are the news items: Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine is proving highly effective, burnishing China’s “vaccine diplomacy” as it exports millions of doses around the world. Two human rights groups allege Apple is sourcing hardware and assembly work from Chinese companies engaged in forced labor of oppressed minorities. Israelis and Palestinians may be headed for war again — John and Rebecca look at whether the window for de-escalation is closing.  American companies have announced $484 billion in share buybacks as they spend excess profits after a surprisingly strong year.  The FBI is reportedly looking into the investment practices (and foreign adventures) of Pennsylvania’s biggest pension fund, which holds $62 billion for public school teachers. PLUS: John and Rebecca discuss the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline — the most important channel for fuel distribution in the country — and how the shutdown is affecting gas and heating oil commodities. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 12, 2021
'A Complete Fairy Tale': Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges On Russia's Mock De-Escalation
John interviews a former Commanding General of US Army Europe, Ben Hodges, about the ongoing military threat Russia poses in the region. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 11, 2021
SPECIAL: Around the World with CFR President Richard Haass
John interviews Richard Haass, the President of the Council on Foreign Relations, about a range of foreign policy issues, including Putin's real motives, the future of power in France and Germany, and our increasingly multipolar world. This is a longer, unedited version of the interview that ran earlier on Monday, May 10. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 10, 2021
‘Export Vaccines to India Today!’ — CFR president Richard Haass
Here are the news items: SpaceX has launched more objects into space (measured by mass) in the first quarter of 2021 than all its competitors combined. The goal: beam internet to remote parts of the globe. Controversial new research suggests that the COVID-19 virus’s genes can integrate with human DNA. House Minority Speaker Keven McCarthy (R-CA) endorsed Rep Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as the Republican Conference chair – John breaks down McCarthy’s misguided motivations.  Exchange traded funds, also known as ETFs, have (probably) surpassed index-tracking mutual funds in terms of global assets under management. Rebecca explains why, and makes a few bold predictions about the future of the ETF industry. The Scottish National Party has won 64 seats in the country’s parliament. That leaves the party one seat short of a majority, and makes it more difficult for the SNP to forge ahead with a referendum on Scottish independence. PLUS: John interviews Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, about COVID-19 in India and the history and reasoning behind America’s "strategic ambiguity" policy in Taiwan. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 10, 2021
SPECIAL: How Walter Russell Mead Covers the Globe (From Home)
John interviews Walter Russell Mead, Global View Columnist at The Wall Street Journal, about America's evolving role as the world's leading power. This is a longer, unedited version of the interview that ran on Monday, May 3. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 07, 2021
The Retail Investor Will Be Last in Line
Here are the news items: Author and science journalist Nicholas Wade publishes a detailed Medium post making his case for the “lab escape” theory of SARS-CoV-2 origin. IBM has reached a new level of smallness in computer chip manufacture: 2 nanometers. Embattled Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) goes after Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in an op-ed for The Washington Post – is her combativeness a prelude to a presidential run? The Economist says “private equity is losing its mystique,” but John and Rebecca disagree.  Corporate sponsors face pressure to pull out the 2022 Winter Olympics in response to Beijing’s human rights abuses. None of them have budged, and John makes the case for why they may regret it. PLUS: John and Rebecca discuss SEC chair Gary Gensler’s warning that his agency may take a stronger role regulating the markets and Rebecca makes her case for managing the exchanges as public utilities. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 06, 2021
The Absurdity of Facebook’s Oversight Board
Here are the news items: China is on track to build eight million electric cars a year by 2028, more than the rest of the world combined. Researchers at the University of Michigan think they’ve found a “gate for conscious awareness” — the part of the brain that filters information and controls which stimuli reaches our consciousness Facebook’s Oversight Board has upheld the platform’s ban on former President Trump, while also calling the indefinite suspension “inappropriate.” Regional election results in Madrid and the success of CNews (France's equivalent to Fox News) provide more evidence that the right is ascendant in Europe. The White House’s top Asia official warns against ditching the policy of "strategic ambiguity" regarding Taiwan.  PLUS: John and Rebecca discuss inflation fears, and the Biden administration’s rare communications missteps regarding the stimulus, interest rates and Fed Chairman Jay Powell. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 05, 2021
'Sheer Luck': WaPo India Bureau Chief On Who Survives The Crisis
John interviews Washington Post India bureau chief Joanna Slater on the scale of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak, and the collapse of the healthcare system around it. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 04, 2021
America Is Not In Decline, with Walter Russell Mead
Here are the news items: Researchers at the Salk Institute and UC San Diego have confirmed that COVID-19 is primarily a vascular disease, instead of a respiratory one. Scientists have used machine learning to identify four different types of Alzheimer’s. The findings could help explain why patients suffer different symptoms, and lead to new treatment ideas. The “jungle primary” in Texas’ 6th Congressional District gives us another chance to assess the value of a Donald Trump endorsement. Do progressive millennial attitudes explain the schism between corporate America and the Republican Party? Verizon is selling its media assets — including Yahoo, AOL, TechCrunch and Engadget — to the private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $5 billion. PLUS: John interviews Walter Russell Mead, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, about whether American decline (or lack thereof), whether China can escape the Thucydides Trap, and Putin’s plans for Ukraine. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 03, 2021
SPECIAL: Journalist Mickey Kaus on Biden's First 100 Days
John interviews journalist Mickey Kaus about President Biden's policies for welfare reform and immigration, and the Republican Party's best hopes for 2024. This is a longer, unedited version of the interview that ran on Thursday, April 29. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 01, 2021
SPECIAL: Juan Enriquez On How He Saw America's Polarization Coming
John interviews academic and business leader Juan Enriquez on the themes of his prescient 2005 book, The Untied States of America: Polarization, Fracturing, and Our Future. This is a longer, unedited version of the interview that ran on Wednesday, April 28. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 30, 2021
‘The Left Never Sleeps,’ with Mickey Kaus
Here are the news items: A global chip shortage has forced carmakers like Honda, BMW, and Volvo to idle their factories, while Samsung and Apple expect the shortage to cost them billions. Scientists announce a breakthrough in quantum technology: cooling thousands of molecules to the point where they start behaving like a single atom. The co-founder of BioNTech, who helped develop the first COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with Pfizer, says he’s confident it will protect against B.1.617, the coronavirus variant that originated in India. Is the Golden Gate City’s reign as the tech capital of the world coming to an end? The Cato Institute's 2021 Immigration and Identity National Survey finds that, among Americans, “68% prefer a ‘low level’ of immigration and 23% want a ‘high level’ of immigration.” PLUS: John interviews journalist Mickey Kaus about the American Rescue Plan and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance’s chances at higher office. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 29, 2021
'Countries Fall Apart All the Time' with Juan Enriquez
Here are the news items: Research from the University of Washington suggests new daily cases in India run in the millions.  Researchers have found a new way to collect the tiny fragments of plastic that pollute the world’s waters: using bacteria.  US agencies are asserting themselves on the WHO’s next investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s recently established cheddar futures market is heating up. News Corp has dropped plans to launch a Fox News-style channel in the UK.  PLUS: John interviews Juan Enriquez, author of “The Untied States of America: Polarization, Fracturing, and Our Future,” about the forces pulling the country apart. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 28, 2021
India’s Real Daily COVID-19 Increase Could Be In the Millions
Here are the news items: Official counts put the number of daily COVID-19 cases in India in the hundreds of thousands but the real number could be much, much higher.  Researchers at the University of Delaware find a way to turn even tough-to-recycle plastics into fuel.  Lumber prices are at record highs – up more than 300% year-on-year.  The fallout from a suspected terrorist attack boosts Marine Le Pen’s message, and her increasingly credible challenge to French president Emmanuel Macron. Americans started buying guns in unprecedented numbers last year. Now ammunition is expensive and scarce.  PLUS: John and Rebecca discuss the recall effort in California, which now has enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 27, 2021
Why California Should Start Its Own Public Bank
Here are the news items: Apple is rolling out an iPhone software update with a Facebook-rebuffing privacy feature. New research shows how neurons act in complementary ways as the brain analyzes the past and present.  He’s nearly 100 days into his presidency, and Joe Biden’s approval ratings are decent but lower than most of his predecessors’ at this mark. Dominic Cummings, the former top advisor to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is preparing to make the case that Johnson is personally responsible for tens of thousands of second-wave COVID deaths. Environmental, social, and governance-oriented (ESG) funds have raked in $340 billion in the last two years – almost twice as much as other stock funds – but the Financial Times’ Robin Wigglesworth says that creates premium returns for “sinful” industries. PLUS: John and Rebecca explain why they like a proposal to create a public bank in California. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 26, 2021
SPECIAL: Steen Jakobsen on the Return of Big Government
Rebecca interviews Saxo Bank CIO Steen Jakobsen about the global economic outlook, underlying challenges of the Green New Deal, and why the boomer generation had it easy. This is a longer, unedited version of the interview that ran on Thursday, April 22. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 23, 2021
Steen Jakobsen: The Greatest Inequality is Generational
Here are the news items: More than half of American healthcare workers said in a recent poll they felt "burned out," and 3 out of 10 are considering leaving their professions. New research shows male dolphins recognize their “friends’” signature whistles. A catastrophic second wave of COVID-19 is sweeping across India.  The mega LBO (or leveraged buyout) might be making a comeback as the private equity world sits on a record $1.6 trillion in cash. Mexico will likely legalize marijuana this year, and that could have major implications for marijuana policies in the US. PLUS: Rebecca interviews Steen Jakobsen, the CIO of Saxo Bank and creator of its famous yearly “Outrageous Predictions,” about inflation and inequality. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 22, 2021
Sally Jenkins: Why US Companies Should Skip the Beijing Olympics
Our co-host Rebecca is out today, so John discusses four news items from the world of sports with legendary Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins. Here are the news items: What to make of Major League Baseball moving its All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver to protest a restrictive voting rights law in Georgia.  Can Jordan Spieth become golf’s next marquee player? Should the seven American corporations sponsoring the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing pull out because of China’s abysmal human rights record? Sally’s advice to future sports writers. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 21, 2021
Sneakers are an Asset Class with StockX CEO Scott Cutler
Here are the news items: Researchers at Ohio State University have developed software that allows for the rapid design and simulation of complex nanodevices, or tiny robots. China says it will build a $3 billion supercomputing center by the end of the year. Cyberwarfare: China’s military appears to be behind a massive hack of over 200 Japanese companies. Meanwhile, North Korea’s military hackers bring in billions through run-of-the-mill criminal schemes. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s spoke on the 26th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and hinted at how he’ll address domestic terrorism.  Governments around the world are finally starting to try to rein in the power of Big Tech, through antitrust measures, content moderation, the defense of privacy, and more. PLUS: Rebecca interviews Scott Cutler, the CEO of StockX, about the platform, sneakers as an asset class, and COVID-19’s impact on consumer behavior. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 20, 2021
Buy the Virus, Sell the Vaccine with Ed Meir
Here are the news items: Researchers in San Diego have identified dozens of genes involved in fighting off COVID-19 infections. Toyota is going all in on electric vehicles, with plans to introduce 15 models by 2025. Europe has surpassed the US as the top market for Colombian drug cartels. A dozen elite European soccer teams announced they are leaving the UEFA to start their own “Super League.”  The Green Party is rising in Germany's national polls, and its candidate for chancellor, Annalena Baerbock, could be the country's youngest leader ever.  PLUS: Rebecca interviews the world’s foremost experts in metals, Ed Meir, about Biden’s infrastructure plan, the aftermath of the slowdown in the Suez Canal, and whether to chase copper rallies. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 19, 2021
SPECIAL: Governor Jeb Bush on Why Young People Move to Florida
John interviews his cousin Jeb Bush about the state of Florida, which he served as governor for two terms. Former Governor Bush talks about the future of the state, who’s moving in and why, and how he prepared for hurricanes as governor. This is a longer, unedited version of the interview that ran on Wednesday, April 14. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 17, 2021
SPECIAL: Unpacking the Coronavirus 'Lab Leak' Theory with veteran journalist Chris Isham
John interviews veteran journalist Chris Isham about his research into the origins of the coronavirus. Isham is currently working on a documentary on the topic, and the two focus on emerging evidence that points towards a potential lab leak from Wuhan. This is a longer, unedited version of the interview that ran on Tuesday, April 13. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 16, 2021
Maggie Haberman on Trump: ‘A Party Leader in Exile’
Here are the news items: A new World Health Organization report warns that antibiotic medicines under development today are ineffective against drug-resistant bacteria. The theory that the coronavirus behind COVID-19 may have escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan is gaining credibility.  China Huarong’s bonds have plunged, but it’s just too big (and state-owned) for China to let it fail. A new weapon can take down even advanced military drones by emitting a microwave beam.  “Woke capitalism” has led to a rocky relationship between the Republican Party and corporate America – and created strange bedfellows in Democrats and big business. PLUS: John interviews New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman about Trump’s post-presidency — and the Republican Party post-Trump. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 15, 2021
Jeb Bush On Handling Hurricanes As Florida Governor
Here are the news items: The Mayo Clinic is forming two companies to collect and analyze round-the-clock data from patients connected to monitoring devices. On a per capita basis, Canada’s seven-day average of confirmed COVID-19 cases has surpassed the US’s. President Biden announces the U.S. will pull virtually all troops from Afghanistan by September 11th, 2021. How one Shanghai hedge fund manager went all in on leverage (and is criticizing Ray Dalio's winning investment strategy). The Suez Canal blockage showed us just how opaque the shipping industry really is.  PLUS: John interviews Jeb Bush, his cousin and former governor of Florida, about how the state has changed since his two terms in office. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 14, 2021
Taking the Covid ‘Lab Leak’ Theory Seriously with journalist Chris Isham
Here are the news items: DARPA has selected General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, and Blue Origin to develop concepts for a nuclear-powered space rocket. It hopes to reach orbit in 2025.  Domino’s is launching an autonomous vehicle program to deliver pizzas in Houston. Democratic polling firms analyze their “major errors” in 2020. Coinbase will be the first major cryptocurrency company to go public on Wednesday. Germany’s nationalist, right-wing party has come out in support of leaving the European Union. PLUS: John interviews journalist and documentary filmmaker Chris Isham about the ongoing efforts to find the origins of COVID-19. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 13, 2021
'The Craziest 12 Months' with Oil Expert Andy Lebow
Here are the news items:  An influential analyst is extremely bullish on Tesla’s energy generation and storage business.  Microsoft will spend about $16 billion acquiring Nuance, the voice tech company behind Apples’s Siri. Its big focus: health care. A former US commander says Russian provocations at the Ukrainian border are all about taking control of the Black Sea.  The Biden administration proposes a budget windfall for federal science agencies.  Artificial intelligence may soon surpass our understanding of the cellular processes that lead to brain disease.  PLUS: Rebecca interviews oil and gas industry expert Andy Lebow about the the oil market’s wild ride and how China’s sanctioned purchases of Iranian oil may affect the global market. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 12, 2021
SPECIAL: Jill Abramson on Covering 9/11 For The New York Times
In this special episode, John interviews Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times, about reporting on 9/11, covering the historic elections of Presidents Obama and Trump, and how social media and Trump changed the business of journalism. This is a longer, unedited version of the interview that ran on Wednesday, March 31. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 09, 2021
Lt. Col. Brandon Newell on The Future of 5G
Here are the news items: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon sent out his annual letter to shareholders, and in it he warns that fintech firms pose big risks – not only to traditional banks' business model but also to the American economy itself. A Thomas Edsall column looks at the perception of many white voters that they are on their way to minority status and analyzes how that might affect upcoming elections. Peter Thiel says Bitcoin may be "a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S." The percentage of Americans using YouTube is way higher than any other social media platform.  A new study finds that feeding malnourished children in a way that helps develop the microbiome leads to more weight gain. PLUS: Rebecca interviews Lieutenant Colonel Brandon Newell, the director of the Naval X SoCal TechBridge, about the future of 5G. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 08, 2021
Bob Rice: Where's the Inflation?
Here are the news items: Greenlanders have voted for a new left-wing parliament that may stop plans to mine rare earth minerals. Topps, the 83-year-old bubble gum and baseball card company, is going public via a SPAC. A Gallup poll shows Democrats have the biggest numerical advantage over Republicans since 2012. Iran is speeding up its production of highly enriched uranium even as the country engages in talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. Brazil continues to struggle with a huge surge in Covid-19 deaths. PLUS: Rebecca interviews entrepreneur and best-selling author Bob Rice, who explains the deflationary power of technology. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 07, 2021
New Law Makes it Easier to Overturn an Election in Georgia
Here are the news items: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wants a global minimum corporate tax rate.  Russia has sent about 4,000 additional troops to the Ukraine border in what amounts to a test for the Biden administration. When it came to Archegos, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley tried to have their cake and eat it, too – and they might have pulled it off. A new Covid-19 vaccine that could be mass-produced via chicken eggs enters clinical trials.  A study published in Nature Medicine analyzing bloodstream protein levels suggests humans age in three big shifts.  PLUS: John and Rebecca discuss the new election law in Georgia. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 06, 2021
Jim Cramer: China Might Take Taiwan, Where America's IP Lives
Here are the news items: The Jalisco New Generation Cartel is threatening Mexico's federal government in ways the Sinaloa cartel never dared to.  A parliamentary election in Greenland could have big implications for the superpower contest over the most valuable resources in the world: rare earth minerals. A new poll suggests Scottish nationalist parties may win a "supermajority" in next month’s election, and that could lead to second independence referendum in only seven years. Yet another Facebook leak was reported over the weekend. Scientists at CERN have successfully cooled the temperature of antimatter to near absolute zero for the first time. PLUS: John talks with CNBC’s Jim Cramer about China’s ambitions in Taiwan, and the case for Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell as an unsung hero of “the left.” Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 05, 2021
SPECIAL: Jim Cramer Picks His "10 Most Impressive People"
In this special episode, John interviews TV fixture Jim Cramer about how he lived in his car (and made it work), why he thinks anti-trust law won’t come for big tech, and what makes Costco “the greatest retailer of all time.” This is a longer, unedited version of the interview that ran on Monday, April 5. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 02, 2021
Digital Advertising isn't Dead! with the NYT's Ben Smith
Here are the news items: China has stepped up its incursions into Taiwanese air space in recent days, which has Taiwan, the US, and its allies in the region on edge. The NCAA has long avoided paying student athletes – even as coaches and the schools themselves land massive paychecks – and now the Supreme Court is weighing in on non-remunerative compensation. Mergers and acquisitions are flying high, with more dealmaking in the first quarter around the world than in any quarter since 1980. Noble laureate Hamilton Smith, the scientist who discovered "molecular scissors," retired last year and we give him his due. The legacy of this year's Turing Award winners. PLUS: John interviews "Media Equation" columnist Ben Smith about The New York Times' business model and free speech in the era of social media Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 01, 2021
Why Jill Abramson Killed the NYT Wine Club
Here are the news items: The head of the World Health Organization calls for further investigation into the possibility that the coronavirus escaped from a laboratory in China. China is considering establishing a whole new stock exchange, in part to attract foreign companies like Apple and Tesla. With Europe's vaccine rollout in shambles, some leaders are talking about importing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine. One of the world’s biggest smartphone companies is investing $10 billion in a new electric car business. Scientists have found the coldest natural temperature ever measured on planet Earth. PLUS: An interview with Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times, about the Times’ business model and the future of the paper. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Mar 31, 2021
Archegos Collapse Is a Huge Lesson in Risk Management
Here are the news items: President Biden has tasked V.P. Harris with fixing the crisis on the southern border, and it's a politically fraught assignment. Natural gas frackers are getting in on Bitcoin mining. For the first time, fewer than half of Americans say they belong to a house of worship. Facebook plans to build submarine cables connecting North America, Indonesia, and Singapore. Vaccine reluctance is fading. PLUS: John and Rebecca discuss Archegos, the multibillion-dollar family office that's rattled Wall Street in the last week, and the risks and regulations associated with these kinds of funds. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Mar 30, 2021
Introducing: News Items Podcast with John Ellis
Ninety percent of the news out there tells you nothing about where the world is going — ten percent of it tells you everything. On the News Items Podcast with John Ellis, John and Rebecca Darst dissect news items that help you understand where the world is going. Tune in every Monday through Thursday afternoon to hear decades of journalistic experience packed into 20 of minutes insight, plus guest interviews on finance, U.S. politics, foreign affairs, science and technology. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Mar 19, 2021