Rank #1: Big Data's Lens Into the U.S. Economy
Most U.S. economic data, such as jobs and consumer spending, is based not on actual data, but on surveys of Americans and businesses. What if you could look at every single purchase that people make, or peek at the bank accounts of every small business? The JPMorgan Chase Institute is trying to do just that -- using the bank's vast customer data -- and sniff out trends in the economy that are invisible in the official numbers.
Nov 29 2018
Rank #2: Death and Despair in White America
We usually don't think about economics as a life-or-death subject. But for white Americans without a college degree, there's no other way to describe it. With job opportunities limited and an opioid epidemic in full throttle, death rates among this group are skyrocketing, an issue that probably helped elect Donald Trump as president. Anne Case and Angus Deaton, the married academic couple who brought this issue to the forefront, have just issued a followup paper to their groundbreaking 2015 study on the subject. Case returns to Benchmark to discuss the latest findings with Dan and Scott -- and offers her ominous take on what it portends for the future of the nation.
Mar 29 2017
Rank #3: Episode 2: Should You Be Freaking Out Over China?
(Bloomberg) -- When stocks crash in the world's second-largest economy, people pay attention. In this bonus episode, Brookings senior fellow Kenneth Lieberthal joins the team to discuss what's happening in China, where its economy is heading and what Dan discovered while back-to-school shopping for his son.
Sep 15 2015
Rank #4: This Country Is Winning the Trade War
The trade war between the U.S. and China is taking a toll on growth in the world's two largest economies, but there's another nation where the tariff battle is producing a clear winner: Vietnam.
This week, reporters Michelle Jamrisko and Uyen Nguyen visit a furniture maker in Hanoi to get a sense of how companies are profiting from the U.S.-China tensions. Stephanie also talks with Bloomberg Opinion columnist Daniel Moss about the trade war and other forces shaping Asia's economies, then catches up with Bloomberg trade-coverage czar Brendan Murray about the implications of an interesting recent World Trade Organization decision.
Apr 11 2019
Rank #5: The Global Economic Preview for 2020
Will trade wars go the way of 2019 or keep on raging?
Is Europe’s economy finally on a rebound?
What does U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s election victory mean for U.S. President Donald Trump and the Democrats running to replace him?
These are just a few of the questions that Stephanie Flanders and our Bloomberg panel address in a special roundtable discussion.
Flanders is joined by Bloomberg Chief Economist Tom Orlik, senior trade and economy reporter Shawn Donnan, and European economy editor Jana Randow as they reflect on the key moments of 2019, and look ahead to 2020.
Jan 02 2020
Rank #6: How the Trade War Is Reshaping Supply Chains From Los Angeles to Vietnam
Economies represent the ultimate sum of millions of people and businesses making millions of decisions. And if enough of those businesses are frozen on how to respond to the U.S.-China trade war -- like the owner of a Los Angeles cosmetics company featured in this week's episode -- then the U.S. economy will be in trouble. Sarah McGregor, editor of Bloomberg's real-economy team, reports on how the businesswoman, Dara Venekeo, is being forced to consider whether to relocate her hard-built supply chains from China to another country, such as Vietnam.
The conversation on supply chains continues as host Stephanie Flanders visits Singapore this week and checks in with Asia economy reporter Michelle Jamrisko there on how the situation is playing out in Southeast Asia and particularly Vietnam. Stephanie also talks with Asia economy editor Malcolm Scott on how the China-dependent economies of South Korea, Australia and New Zealand might need to resort to unorthodox monetary measures to shore up growth.
Oct 31 2019
Rank #7: Big Data Goes Where Economies Fear to Tread
Figuring out the global economy has always involved looking at the data. But only in recent years has big data, such as that contained in satellite imagery, become a factor in helping understand what's going on. One place where it's particularly useful is China, where official figures are far less comprehensive than in the U.S. and most other developed nations. It's also provided badly-needed insight into poverty across Africa. Scott and Dan get the scoop from UC-Berkeley professor Joshua Blumenstock and Bloomberg China economy editor Jeff Kearns.
Nov 16 2017
Rank #8: Can Free Markets Revive Brazil?
Will a dose of free-market policies -- from a populist politician, no less -- finally bring Latin America's biggest economy back to life? On this week's episode of Stephanomics, Bruce Douglas visits the region's busiest port to get a taste of what's ailing Brazil -- and the possible cure.
Stephanie also brings you the second part of her interview with Harvard University economist Larry Summers -- the former U.S. Treasury secretary and Obama adviser -- with his comments on Brazil's economy and the new thinking on progressive U.S. fiscal policy. Finally, Stephanie talks with editor Catarina Saraiva about Bloomberg’s dreaded Misery Index.
Apr 25 2019
Rank #9: Is It Curtains for the U.S.-China Economic Relationship?
Beneath the tariffs, counter-tariffs and on-again off-again negotiations between the U.S. and China over trade policy, a deeper confrontation is brewing—one with potentially bigger consequences.
In a punitive, short-term move, the U.S. is preventing Chinese companies from using some American technologies. But longer-term, the tactic may trigger a “Silicon Curtain” behind which China develops homegrown tech to rival America’s.
Carolynn Look reports from China on how this is playing out for businesses big and small, and host Stephanie Flanders talks with Bloomberg Chief Economist Tom Orlik about what it all means for China’s economy.
Then we switch gears, in more ways than one, and turn to a new list of the best (and worst) cities around for drivers. Flanders and Bloomberg economy editor Zoe Schneeweiss discuss what makes a metropolis great for automobiles. As it turns out, what’s good for driving can also be good for walking and bicycling.
Nov 14 2019
Rank #10: China's Millennials Are Changing the World
Where are there more millennials than in North America, Europe and the Middle East combined, who are vastly different from their parents' generation? China, of course. Kevin Hamlin reports on how these young people are redefining the world's second-biggest economy -- and also the world.
Host Stephanie Flanders then turns to Andrew Browne, head of Bloomberg's New Economy Forum, and Bloomberg chief economist Tom Orlik for their perspective what makes Chinese millennials special and the impact they will have. Finally, Bloomberg senior trade reporter Shawn Donnan returns to Stephanomics to talk about the latest developments in the U.S.-China tariff war.
May 09 2019
Rank #11: Why Millions of Americans Still Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck
Millions of middle-class Americans face an unexpected reality in today's era of economic growth: their paychecks vary so much that paying bills and saving for the future is exhausting and challenging month after month. This week on Benchmark, Dan and Scott speak with Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider, whose book, "The Financial Diaries," vividly illustrates the financial struggles of more than 200 U.S. families.
May 31 2017
Rank #12: What the Sanders or Warren Wealth Tax Means for Inequality in the U.S.
The 2020 U.S. presidential election may be a year away but one policy idea is already stirring fierce debate: a big-time tax on the richest Americans. Katia Dmitrieva reports on why Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren want to implement a wealth tax, and how it might work. Many economists have also been warming to the idea of taxing wealth. But you can't help noticing that most of the European countries that have tried wealth taxes have later junked them. Host Stephanie Flanders talks with Bloomberg economists Johanna Jeansson and Maeva Cousin about the death of wealth taxes in Sweden and France and the possible lessons for the US.
Then Stephanie talks with Frankfurt-based economy editor Jana Randow about two major milestones in the region: Christine Lagarde taking over as president of the European Central Bank and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Randow -- the co-author of a recent book about outgoing ECB head Mario Draghi -- explains how Lagarde is likely to differ from her predecessor. She then shares her personal memories of November 1989 from the standpoint of a child growing up in East Germany.
Nov 07 2019
Rank #13: Trade War Footing
On this week's episode, former Obama administration official Wendy Cutler draws on her deep experience as a trade negotiator to offer her views on the tariff standoff between the U.S. and China. Guest host Tom Orlik, Bloomberg's chief economist, also gets an inside look at the talks from reporter Jenny Leonard in Washington.
Meanwhile, reporter Ivan Levingston sheds light on how Israel is desperate to fill jobs and is turning to a religious group that's also crucial to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling coalition.
May 30 2019
Rank #14: Why Everyone Needs to Care About the Fed's Shrinking Balance Sheet
The Federal Reserve said this week that it's about to try something that's never been done on this scale in the annals of central banking: reduce its $4.5 trillion stockpile of assets. The ramifications could be felt everywhere from mortgage rates, to the cost of vacationing in Thailand, even to President Donald Trump's attitude toward the Fed. Bloomberg reporter Chris Condon joins Scott to explain what's happening and try to come up with a better name than "balance sheet normalization" for the whole process.
Jul 27 2017
Rank #15: Episode 4: The Millennials Go Rogue
(Bloomberg) -- With Dan on vacation, Tori and Aki take the chance to talk about their generation: the millennials. They push past the stereotypes and fact-check some common assumptions using real data. Listen to find out if millennials are forever scarred by the recession, when they'll start having children, and just how big the consequences of their economic decision-making could be.
Sep 24 2015
Rank #16: Is Populism the End or Salvation of Liberal Democracy?
This week we bring you a special conversation between host Stephanie Flanders and Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf. They try to make sense of the rise in populism in recent years, what it means for the global economy, and whether it spells the end of liberal democracy. The event was recorded in London on July 1.
Jul 04 2019
Rank #17: Four Days a Week
If you live in the U.K., your workweek could soon be a day shorter if the political winds tilt more heavily toward the left. Jess Shankleman reports on how the proposal is gaining momentum and how it might affect Britain, then Bloomberg Opinion columnist Noah Smith joins host Stephanie Flanders for a deeper look at the economic questions raised by the four-day week.
Jun 06 2019
Rank #18: Can't Stop, Won't Stop (Working)
Many older Americans are living longer and are happy to keep working. Others can't afford to retire. Those are just a couple of the reasons why people over age 65 are swelling the ranks of U.S. employees in recent decades. On this week's episode of Stephanomics, Matthew Boesler takes a closer look at this phenomenon and how it's reshaping the world's largest economy.
Stephanie Flanders delves deeper into this issue in an interview with Teresa Ghilarducci, an economist at the New School for Social Research, from the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California. Then Stephanie visits Bloomberg's Los Angeles bureau to chat with reporter Anousha Sakoui about the new economics of global cinema following the record-setting haul of the latest Avengers film.
May 02 2019
Rank #19: Most Companies Talk Creativity; Few Walk It. Art Can Help
Western Capitalism is supposed to thrive on Joseph Schumpeter's idea of creative destruction. Yet few companies really nurture creativity. Beancounters loom, ready to take away the canvas that the next big thing is sketched on. Take heart: Thinking about art can help business and finance executives get to Point B. They don't always have to know what Point B looks like before they begin. New York University Professor and author Amy Whitaker explains why to Dan and Scott. Along the way she shares anecdotes about investment bankers in pinstripes mucking it up in a London studio. And how did Oscar-winning `Dallas Buyers Club' almost not get made?
Aug 31 2017
Rank #20: This Nation Has the Secret to Trump's GDP Goal
Donald Trump's road to 3 percent growth might run through New Zealand. The faraway nation is the only developed economy that's been expanding at such a torrid pace, thanks to the one factor that Trump railed against on the campaign trail: immigration. How did the land of "Lord of the Rings" become such a desired destination, and how are all those people squeezing into such a small country? Joining Dan and Scott is Tracy Withers, who has spent almost two decades covering the economy of his native land as a Bloomberg reporter in Wellington.
May 17 2017