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Odd Lots

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.

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This Is How the World Ended up with a Shortage of Semiconductors

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.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


22 Feb 2021

Rank #1

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52: What Math Models of Herding Cows Can Teach Us About Markets

Investors are often said to exhibit herding behavior when they follow each other into crowded positions — creating market bubbles that are susceptible to sudden pops when everyone begins stampeding for the exit. This week we take the analogy literally and speak to three professors who have created a mathematical model to examine why cows synchronize their behavior and — crucially — why they stop. Jie Sun, Erik Bollt, and Mason Porter, the authors of "A Mathematical Model for the Dynamics and Synchronization of Cows," extrapolate their findings to humans and modern markets. This episode is co-hosted by our resident bovine expert, Lorcan Roche-Kelly.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


28 Oct 2016

Rank #2

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How A New Type Of Money Helped Cause The Great Financial Crisis

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. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


7 Sep 2020

Rank #3

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How Online Dating Is Reshaping the Entire Economy

By this point, everybody knows that online dating is a massive phenomenon, reshaping the social habits of the young and the single. But perhaps people are still not appreciating the significance of it. On this week's podcast, we speak with Dan McMurtrie, a hedge fund manager, who has done significant research on the impact of online dating. Through his work, he has found huge potential ramifications in terms of family formation, economic development, commerce, and more.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


16 Dec 2019

Rank #4

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The Millennial Generation Is Stagnant And Older People Are Part

In developed economies, younger generations have faced stagnant wages, mediocre employment prospects and dizzying costs of homeownership. One culprit: The generations that came before. Policies that helped older generations recieve strong pensions and affordable housing have made life more difficult for the young. In this week's Odd Lots podcast we talked to Laura Gardiner of the Resolution Foundation about her new report on "renewing the generational contract" between generations.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


22 Aug 2016

Rank #5

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The ECB’s Former Vice-President Explains The Historic Step That Europe Just Took

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.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


10 Aug 2020

Rank #6

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Why Studying Keynes Is More Important Than Ever

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.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


13 Jul 2020

Rank #7

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How Poker Explains the Battle of Passive and Active Investing

Among the biggest trends in the world of markets is the rise of passive investing. Rather than pay high fees to active mutual fund managers (who often fail to beat the market), people are pouring money into passive strategies that track major indices, but with little cost. So what are the ramifications of this trend for investors who choose to remain active? On this week's Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Michael Mauboussin, who heads global financial strategies at Credit Suisse and is not just an expert on the world of investing, but also on the role of luck in success. As he sees it, trading is like a game of poker, and in poker you want to play against weaker, less-skilled players. But as more and more of those less-skilled players opt not to trade (choosing passive strategies) then the game gets harder.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


17 Feb 2017

Rank #8

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How The Government Can Guarantee Everyone A Job And Fix The Unemployment Crisis Immediately

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.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


9 Jul 2020

Rank #9

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How the Number One U.S. Semiconductor Company Stumbled

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.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


30 Nov 2020

Rank #10

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43: Seinfeld Can Teach You Everything You Need About Economics

The hit show Seinfeld is often referred to as the show about nothing, but maybe it's actually a show all about economics. Alan Grant is an associate professor of economics at Baker University and a proprietor of The Economics of Seinfeld, a website that catalogues all the ways the legendary sitcom imparts valuable economic lessons. In the latest edition of the Odd Lots podcast, Grant talks about what you can learn from watching the show, and the specific lessons of various episodes, including The Chinese Restaurant (a lesson in opportunity cost), The Contest (a lesson in time preference) and the apartment (rationing mechanisms and rent control).See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


29 Aug 2016

Rank #11

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Why Value Investing Has Been Doing Terribly

One of the oldest, most basic strategies in investing is value investing, which, for lack of a better way to put it, means "buy stocks that are cheap." Value investing, a style associated with Warren Buffett, systematically attempts to uncover low-priced stocks. But by many measures, value investing hasn't been working recently, as high-priced growth stocks (think: technology) have trounced cheap stocks. On this week's episode, we speak with Chris Meredith, Co-CIO of O'Shaughnessy Asset Management about what's behind this underperformance, and why that may be coming to an end.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


2 Sep 2019

Rank #12

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The World's Foremost Expert Explains How To Value Stock

In this age of algorithms and quants, you hear less and less about good old stock picking. You know, like the style of investing associated with Warren Buffet or Benjamin Graham. But that doesn't mean you can't still dive into a balance sheet or cash flow statement in order to divine a stock's true worth. On this week's Odd Lots we speak to Aswath Damodaran, a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, and the foremost expert on stock valuation. He explains his general approach to valuing stocks, and how he might use that framework on companies like GE, Tesla, and Uber.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


20 Nov 2017

Rank #13

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51: Why Everyone Is Freaking Out About Globalization

Dani Rodrik, a professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University, was writing about the downside of globalization before it was cool. The rise of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union and the expansion of nationalist political parties around the world has since given fresh impetus to the notion that globalization isn't working for everyone. In this episode we discuss how we ended up with 'hyperglobalization,' what the technocrats got wrong, and what exactly can be done to fix it.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


21 Oct 2016

Rank #14

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Michael Saylor, the CEO Who Turned a Software Company Into a Bitcoin Company

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.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

1hr 15mins

24 Dec 2020

Rank #15

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62: How The Biggest Bull Market Could Come Crashing Down

The stock market is currently in one of its longest bull markets ever, but that doesn't hold a candle to what's going on bonds. According to Paul Schmelzing, a PhD candidate at Harvard and a visiting researcher at the Bank of England, you have to go back more than 500 years (!) to find a bull market in bonds longer than than the one we're experiencing now. After bonds tumbled since last summer (especially since the election) there's a lot of interest in whether we're on the cusp of a major downturn. In this week's Odd Lots, Schmelzing walks us through the history of bull and bear markets in bonds and explains why we could see some gigantic losses ahead.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


13 Jan 2017

Rank #16

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This Is What All Great Stock Market Bubbles And Crashes Have in Common

Markets are at their most exciting when they're in a bubble. Spectacular fortunes can be made and lost in the blink of an eye. So how do bubbles form and end? On this week's episode of the Odd Lots podcast we talk to Scott Nations, the president and chief investment officer of NationsShares, and the author of "A History of The United States in Five Crashes." We discuss with him various stock market crashes and bubbles in U.S history, and what they all have in common.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


28 Aug 2017

Rank #17

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How Nearly Two Decades Of Fed Policy Contributed To Bubbles, Busts, And A Boom In Debt

Many people like to claim that the Federal Reserve is responsible for the high degree of leverage and speculation in the economy. But the mechanism via which this happens is often misunderstood. On this week's episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Srinivas Thiruvadanthai of the Jerome Levy Forecasting Center about how the Fed's goal of inflation targeting contributed to a massive buildup in private debt. As he explains, the approach to minimizing the volatility of inflation at a low level created a perfect environment for lenders, creating all kinds of other risks elsewhere in the economy.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


9 Dec 2019

Rank #18

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Michael Hudson On Why The US Risks Becoming The Next Greece

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.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


12 Oct 2020

Rank #19

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This Is Why The China Bubble Never Seems To Pop

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.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


29 Jun 2020

Rank #20