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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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. Every afternoon on the News Items Podcast with John Ellis, John and Rebecca Darst look at news that’s interesting, important or both. Tune in every Monday through Thursday 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.
Mar 19, 2021