Odd Lots

Odd Lots

bloomberg.com/podcasts/odd_lots
Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway take you on a not-so-random weekly walk through hot topics in markets, finance and economics.


Perry Mehrling Explains Why “The Money View” Is Key To Understanding Financial Markets
Jan 27 • 50 min
Even to this day, there are economists who don’t understand money or don’t think that money is an important aspect of the economy. They see the world as still operating essentially under a barter system, with money only there as a means of lubricating…
Why The Transition To Clean Energy Is Happening A Lot Faster Than People Realize
Jan 24 • 42 min
At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, there was a lot of talk about the need to change the world’s energy usage in order to address climate change. While it’s easy to get cynical about business leaders and politicians talking about sustainability…
How An Exotic Investment Product Sold In Korea Could Create Havoc In The U.S. Options Market
Jan 20 • 52 min
What’s the connection between low global interest rates, Korean retail investors, and the U.S. options market? On this week’s Odd Lots podcast, we discuss the fascinating world of Korean structured notes with Benn Eifert of QVR Advisors. He explains how a…
What It’s Like To Be An Investor In Iran’s Market Right Now
Jan 13 • 37 min
Iran’s stock market is one of the most unfamiliar equity markets in the world. With Iran under stringent U.S. sanctions, it’s hard to even find data on where Iranian stocks are trading. Then there’s geopolitical risk. This month the U.S. killed Iran’s top…
Introducing Prognosis Season 4: America’s Broken Health-Care Costs
Jan 9 • 2 min
Americans are paying more and getting less for their health care than ever before. On the new season of Prognosis, reporter John Tozzi explores what went wrong.
Why So Many Emerging Markets Are Blowing Up Right Now
Jan 6 • 33 min
From Argentina to Chile to Lebanon, we’re seeing a high degree of political and economic uncertainty among emerging market economies. On this week’s Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Paul McNamara, a veteran fund manager at GAM Investments. McNamara…
Why It’s A Big Problem That Economists Still Don’t Understand Money
Dec 30, 2019 • 43 min
The severity of the Great Financial Crisis took economists by surprise, particularly the ones who believed that markets were largely stable and self-regulating. So why did so many eminent thinkers get it so wrong? On this week’s episode of Odd Lots, we…
A Human Rights Activist Explains Why Bitcoin Is So Important to His Work
Dec 23, 2019 • 44 min
When people think about Bitcoin, they often think about neo-goldbugs who hate inflation and the Federal Reserve. But beyond the financial case for it, there’s a moral, human rights case as well. On this week’s podcast, we talk with Alex Gladstein, the…
How Online Dating Is Reshaping the Entire Economy
Dec 16, 2019 • 50 min
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,…
How Nearly Two Decades Of Fed Policy Contributed To Bubbles, Busts, And A Boom In Debt
Dec 9, 2019 • 33 min
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…
How Bond Defaults Are Changing China’s Markets
Dec 2, 2019 • 34 min
For years, defaults were few and far between in China’s corporate bond market. Most investors thought that the Chinese government would never let companies — whether they be state-owned enterprises (SOEs) or private businesses — actually default on their…
This is How Economic Crisis and Precarity Shaped the Millennial Generation
Nov 25, 2019 • 38 min
How do Millennials view investing and spending? How do the rising costs of healthcare, education, and housing affect their economic outlook? How does fear of climate change affect one’s long-term life choices? These questions are crucial for understanding…
How A Former ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Player Became the Top Tournament Poker Player Of All Time
Nov 18, 2019 • 37 min
According to the website The Hendon Mob, the top tournament poker player of all time is the American Bryn Kenney, who has won a staggering $55.5 million. In fact, he got there in just the last six months, having won $20.5 million at a single tournament!…
Why The Repo Markets Went Crazy, And Why December Could Be Even Worse
Nov 11, 2019 • 56 min
Back in September, chaos erupted in short-term funding markets, as the cost for financial institutions to borrow reserves soared. Immediately a major debate broke out over whether this represented a systemic problem for the financial system or merely a…
An Anthropologist Explains How Wall Street Culture Reshaped The Entire Economy
Nov 4, 2019 • 45 min
Where did the notion come from that the obligation of a company’s management is to maximize shareholder returns, even if it means pain for workers? On this week’s Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Karen Ho, a professor of anthropology at the University of…
Why Taiwanese Life Insurers Are The Great ‘Whodunit’ Of The Financial World
Oct 28, 2019 • 52 min
You probably haven’t thought much about the Taiwanese life insurance industry. Why would you have? But they’re among the most fascinating entities in the financial world. And for a long time they’ve been a source of incredible mystery. They’ve built up a…
Coming Soon: Travel Genius Season 2
Oct 25, 2019 • 2 min
Bloomberg’s Travel Genius podcast is back! After clocking another hundred-thousand miles in the sky, hosts Nikki Ekstein and Mark Ellwood have a whole new series of flight hacking, restaurant sleuthing, and hotel booking tips to inspire your own…
How Private Sector Balance Sheets Changed Recessions
Oct 21, 2019 • 44 min
Can the U.S. economy have a recession without it turning into a crisis? In the old days, such garden-variety recessions were fairly common. These days, less so. But why is this? And can we go back to the old-style soft recessions? The issue, arguably, is…
Why Governments Haven’t Learned The Lessons Of Japan
Oct 14, 2019 • 42 min
It’s well known that Japan has (until recently) been mired in years of mediocre economic growth. And policymakers and economists use Japan as a warning for how developed economies can enter into prolonged slumps. But has anyone learned the lessons of…
The Odd Lots Variety Show
Oct 7, 2019 • 106 min
On September 19, 2019, Odd Lots hosted its first-ever live event at the WNYC Greene Space in downtown New York City. With an all-star lineup of guests, the show featured convicted white-collar criminal Sam Antar, a panel on sovereign debt with Lee…
Introducing Stephanomics Season 2
Oct 1, 2019 • 3 min
Stephanie Flanders, head of Bloomberg Economics, returns to bring you another season of on-the-ground insight into the forces driving global growth and jobs today. From the cosmetics maker in California grappling with Donald Trump’s tariff war, to the…
How Financial Repression in China Helped Cause the Trade War
Sep 30, 2019 • 42 min
For years, China has experienced blistering growth. Driven by an investment-heavy economic model, this growth has limited household income while subsidizing business. This system worked extraordinarily well for years, but the system has recently been…
What Businesses Can Learn From the Collapse of Civilizations
Sep 23, 2019 • 45 min
History is littered with collapsed civilizations ranging from the Maya to Angkor Wat. But what can they tell us about the world today, or doing business in it?. But what can they tell us about the world today, or doing business in it? On this episode, we…
Why The Dominant U.S. Dollar Refuses To Go Away
Sep 16, 2019 • 35 min
For years, people have been predicting the demise of the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency. Although the U.S. economy has been shrinking as a share of the world’s GDP, the dollar continues to grow ever more dominant. Yet its strength is…
Huw van Steenis On What Central Banks Will Do Next
Sep 9, 2019 • 33 min
Last month, central bankers gathered at the annual Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A lot of the talk was about the limits of monetary policy when it comes to boosting economic growth and what negative interests could do to the financial…
Why Value Investing Has Been Doing Terribly
Sep 2, 2019 • 40 min
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…
Introducing Prognosis Season 3: Superbugs
Aug 27, 2019 • 3 min
On this new season of Prognosis, we look at the spread of infections that are resistant to antimicrobial medicines. You’re probably more likely to have heard of these as superbugs. Their rise has been described as a silent tsunami of catastrophic…
How to Forecast the Future
Aug 26, 2019 • 41 min
Every day, people are bombarded with predictions of what will happen in the future. In recent months, talk of ‘inflection points’ in the markets has heated up, and the possibility of the U.S. economic expansion, now the longest in history, coming to an…
John Hempton on What’s Ailing Bank Stocks
Aug 19, 2019 • 50 min
We live in a world of generally expensive stock markets and bank equities trading at 30-year lows. So says John Hempton, co-founder of hedge fund Bronte Capital and a former bank analyst, who also calls it “one of the great puzzles of the world.” On this…
What Negative Interest Rates Mean for the World
Aug 12, 2019 • 38 min
The amount of negative-yielding debt keeps climbing and now includes bonds issued by emerging market countries and some junk-rated companies. On this week’s episode, we talk to Viktor Shvets, Macquarie’s Head of Asia Strategy, about why interest rates…
How Science Fiction Explains the U.S.-China Trade War
Aug 5, 2019 • 36 min
It’s no secret that a lot of the trade tensions between the U.S. and China have centered on technology, and China has accused the U.S. of trying to stymie its economic development by suppressing its technological advancement. This week’s Odd Lots guest…
Here’s How People Are Using Cryptocurrency in Venezuela
Jul 29, 2019 • 45 min
Last month, Facebook announced it was launching its own cryptocurrency called Libra. Facebook says Libra is going to have all sorts of benefits, including helping people without traditional bank accounts and acting as an alternative form of money in…
The Bullish Case for WeWork
Jul 22, 2019 • 39 min
Of all the “unicorn” startups in recent years, perhaps none induces more skepticism than WeWork. Thanks to its gigantic losses and unusual business practices, many view it as the ultimate emblem of Silicon Valley irrationality. But there are some bulls…
Why A Longtime Bull Just Flipped Very Bearish On The Stock Market
Jul 15, 2019 • 37 min
There’s always bears out there predicting that the stock market will tank. But many of them aren’t worth listening to because they’re always saying the same thing, regardless of the market environment. What’s interesting, though, is when a longtime bull…
What Bitcoin Has To Do With The Dream Of Cryonics
Jul 8, 2019 • 38 min
Bitcoin has been around for roughly a decade now, but people have been working on the dream of an anonymous, digital currency for a lot longer than that. On this week’s Odd Lots, we speak with NYU professor Finn Brunton, who is the author of the new book…
Why a Strong Dollar Causes Most of the World Major Pain
Jul 1, 2019 • 41 min
The vast majority of global trade is still denominated in U.S. dollars, making cross-border flows about currencies as much as manufactured goods. On this week’s episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak to Hyun Song Shin, economic adviser and head of…
One of Hong Kong’s Most Famous Investors Gives His Vision of the City’s Future
Jun 24, 2019 • 44 min
There’s been a series of historic marches in Hong Kong, with millions of people taking to the streets to protest against an extradition bill that they think will give China more power over the city. On this episode of Odd Lots, we talk to David Webb, one…
How Auction Guarantees Are Changing The World Of Art
Jun 17, 2019 • 31 min
Famous, unique pieces of art are inherently illiquid. They don’t sell very often, and pricing is inherently difficult to estimate. Nonetheless, it’s a huge business, and investors have been attempting for a long time to turn art into a proper asset class.…
What Boy Band Sensation BTS Can Teach Us About Economics
Jun 10, 2019 • 34 min
South Korean boy band BTS is rarely connected to economics, but as the biggest success to come out of K-Pop, it arguably should be. On this week’s episode of Odd Lots, we speak to Euny Hong, the author of ‘The Birth of Korean Cool,’ about how South Korea…
Why President Trump’s Move Against Huawei Is Such A Big Deal
Jun 3, 2019 • 32 min
Earlier this month, President Trump escalated the trade tensions against China by limiting exports of U.S. technology to Huawei. But what is Huawei, and why is this such a big deal? On this week’s episode, we speak to Dan Wang, a technology analyst at…
Bloomberg Presents “What Goes Up”
May 29, 2019 • 30 min
“What Goes Up” is a new show from Bloomberg that tracks the main themes influencing global markets. Hosts Sarah Ponczek and Mike Regan speak with guests about the wildest movements in markets and what they mean for your investments. The show is out now,…
Meet The Godfather Of Cryptocurrency
May 27, 2019 • 39 min
Bitcoin has been around for about ten years. But the dream of a decentralized, anonymous digital currency has been around for decades. On this week’s podcast, we speak with one of the original godfathers of the space, David Chaum, an American…
Bloomberg and Wondery Present: The Shrink Next Door
May 23, 2019 • 12 min
Marty Markowitz had his share of problems. His parents had recently died. He had troubles at work. A failing relationship. He needed someone to help him through this rough patch in his life. So he decided to get some professional help from a psychiatrist.…
Behind the Scenes of Financial Fraud
May 20, 2019 • 36 min
If you lived in NYC a few decades ago, you probably have heard of Crazy Eddie, an electronics retailer that was famous for its outlandish ads on TV. What most people didn’t know until after it went public, is that the company was built on financial fraud.…
What the Russian Revolution Can Teach Us About Bond Bubbles
May 13, 2019 • 32 min
When talking government bond defaults, plenty of people think of Argentina and Greece. But the biggest sovereign debt default of all time was arguably Russia’s repudiation of debt in 1918, after the Bolshevik revolution. In this episode, we speak to…
Introducing: Business of Bees
May 9, 2019 • 3 min
These days about one in three bites of food you eat wouldn’t be possible without commercial bee pollination. And the economic value of insect pollination worldwide is estimated to be about $217 billion. But as important as bees have become for farming,…
How A Poker Pro ‘Reads’ His Opponents
May 6, 2019 • 32 min
Whenever poker is depicted on a TV show or in a movie there’s a lot of emphasis placed on the art and science of reading the physical cues that players give off accidentally when attempting to conceal the motivations behind their bets. Poker pros call…
What Will Crypto’s Market Structure Look Like?
Apr 29, 2019 • 29 min
Recently, the cryptocurrency exchange Binance delisted a Bitcoin offshoot, causing its price to fall. Crypto’s market structure is still in its early days, and the move raises questions around decentralization and the power of exchanges. Alex…
The End of An Era for Odd Lots
Apr 22, 2019 • 34 min
No, no, don’t worry, the Odd Lots podcast isn’t coming to an end. But for actual odd lots — trades of securities in unusually-sized increments — it’s the end of an era. Some major banks announced recently that they’re getting rid of their dedicated odd…
Introducing “What Goes Up,” A New Show From Bloomberg
Apr 17, 2019 • 2 min
On this new show from Bloomberg, hosts Mike Regan and Sarah Ponczek speak with expert guests each week about the main themes influencing global markets. They explore everything from stocks to bonds to currencies and commodities, and how each asset class…
Why Foreign Investors Cooled On U.S. Debt
Apr 15, 2019 • 41 min
There’s something wrong with prices in funding and bond markets, according to this week’s Odd Lots guest. Zoltan Pozsar is a former adviser to the U.S. Treasury turned strategist at Credit Suisse. He argues that sweeping changes in the world’s money…
MMT And Emerging Markets
Apr 8, 2019 • 40 min
In discussions about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) you often hear that while it may be true that the U.S. has the space to expand its deficits significantly, that it doesn’t apply to emerging markets. On this week’s episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we…
From MMT Advocate To Outspoken Critic
Apr 1, 2019 • 36 min
Cullen Roche, the author of the financial blog Pragmatic Capitalism, explains why he went from an adherent of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) to one of its loudest critics.
A Critic of Cryptocurrencies Says Bitcoin Needs To Be Burnt With Fire
Mar 25, 2019 • 38 min
There’s a problem in many debates about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. While many people are inclined to dismiss them as fraudulent ponzi schemes, most of those critics aren’t particularly well informed by them, so their dismissals are hollow…
The Evolution Of The Online Brokerage Business
Mar 18, 2019 • 32 min
The online brokerage business burst on the scene in the late 90s, as at-home traders were lured to try their hand at winning big in the stock market. These days, investors are inundated with the message that they shouldn’t try stock picking, and that they…
What’s Next For Chinese Trade Talks
Mar 11, 2019 • 34 min
China is front and center in the news again, thanks to the trade negotiations, as well as the National People’s Congress, during which the government said it would target GDP growth between 6 and 6.5 percent. Brad Setser of the Council on Foreign…
Canada’s Cannabis Market So Far
Mar 4, 2019 • 30 min
In mid-October last year, recreational cannabis became legal in Canada. Of course, there are all kinds of complications with any attempt to introduce such a new market. On this week’s episode, we speak to Craig Wiggins, a member of a trio of analysts…
How To Analyze An IPO
Feb 25, 2019 • 28 min
Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest unicorns like Uber and Slack are expected to go public this year. But when companies finally pull the trigger and launch their IPOs, what factors should you keep in mind before investing? On this week’s Odd Lots podcast,…
Tech Stock Bubbles In the 17th Century
Feb 18, 2019 • 34 min
Jamie Catherwood is an investment analyst at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. He’s also a major financial history buff, and tells us the story of the tech stock bubble in the 17th century, when investors went crazy for schemes that facilitated underwater…
A Message from The Pay Check
Feb 13, 2019 • 1 min
The Pay Check is collecting stories for our upcoming season, and we want to hear from you! Did having a kid change your career trajectory or the way you work? If you have anything you want to share, call and leave us a voicemail at (212) 617-0166. Stay…
Understanding The Big Tech Stocks
Feb 11, 2019 • 35 min
For years, the key to beating the stock market was to invest a lot in the big tech stocks like Facebook and Apple. But in 2018, they stumbled hard, amid a general selloff in the market, concerns about their growth potential, and concerns about regulation…
What To Know Ahead Of India’s Election
Feb 4, 2019 • 35 min
India is going to have a general election in the months ahead, and so it’s important to understand the state of the economy, and what incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accomplished during his five years in office.
How Does The Chinese Economy Work?
Jan 28, 2019 • 34 min
Matt Boesler, an economics reporter for Bloomberg, had the opportunity to report from Beijing for a few months in 2018. He shares with us his experience there, and what he learned from the opportunity.
The 1MDB Scandal And The Nature of Debt
Jan 21, 2019 • 37 min
At the heart of government debt is a promise to pay back creditors. But governments sometimes don’t do this - either by defaulting on their bonds or restructuring their debt. How are these decisions made? And what happens to borrowings that governments…
Making Bitcoin A Currency People Use
Jan 14, 2019 • 32 min
Even at Bitcoin’s recent peak, there was very little active use of the cryptocurrency in normal commerce. On this week’s episode, we speak with Bitcoin maximalist Pierre Rochard of Bitcoin Advisory on why he’s still a believer in the currency, and the…
Introducing “Works For Me,” A New Podcast From Bloomberg
Jan 9, 2019 • 3 min
On this new show from Bloomberg, hosts Francesca Levy and Rebecca Greenfield navigate the productivity industry by way of their own experiences. In each episode, one of the two becomes a human guinea pig as she tries to solve a specific work-related…
He Rode The Bitcoin Boom All The Way Up, And Down
Jan 7, 2019 • 34 min
The last two years have been an extraordinary ride for Bitcoin. It exploded in 2017, with the price nearing $20,000 per coin. Then in 2018 it totally collapsed. On this week’s episode, we speak with Peter McCormack, a bitcoin trader, who bought in at the…
This is What Traders Will Be Watching In 2019
Dec 31, 2018 • 24 min
After a volatile 2018, few people in the market expect calm to return anytime soon. Politics, the Fed, and trade will continue to be major sources of uncertainty. And of course there will be numerous events that nobody is thinking about right now. On this…
These Were The Most Important Stories for Traders In 2018
Dec 24, 2018 • 25 min
2018 will go down as one of the most pivotal for financial markets since the financial crisis. We saw the return of significant volatility, amid poor returns in several asset classes. On this week’s episode, host Joe Weisenthal speaks with Bloomberg macro…
How Passive Investing Could Change Capitalism
Dec 17, 2018 • 38 min
The biggest macro trend in investing is the rise of so-called “passive investing.” But while this may have advantages for the individual investor, it raises a whole new host of issues, such as elevating the role of index designers, and decreasing the…
The Market’s Big Bet on Low Volatility
Dec 10, 2018 • 34 min
The past couple months have seen the return of volatility in markets. On this edition of Odd Lots, we speak to Chris Cole, the founder of Artemis Capital Management and a long-time watcher of volatility. Cole has argued that a lot of the investment…
How To Analyze The Currency Markets
Dec 3, 2018 • 32 min
With assets like stocks and bonds, there are clear techniques you can use to value them. But what about currencies? They don’t produce cash flows. They don’t offer any particular claim on assets. They’re all priced relative to other currencies. So how do…
How Paul Volcker Views His Life
Nov 26, 2018 • 28 min
Paul Volcker is widely-regarded as single-handedly halting a period of severe inflation in the U.S. during the late 1970s and early 1980s. But the former chairmen of the Federal Reserve’s reputation wasn’t always so secure. So how does he view his legacy?…
Why Blockchain May Never Benefit Corporations
Nov 19, 2018 • 36 min
For years, a common mantra among corporate executives has been that “the blockchain,” the technology underlying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is where the real value lies in the future. But on this week’s episode of Odd Lots, we speak to Angus…
This Is How The Unicorn Bubble Will Burst
Nov 12, 2018 • 35 min
So-called “unicorns” have become household names in recent years. Multi-billion dollar companies like AirBNB, Uber, and WeWork have become known for phenomenal growth, extraordinary valuations, and a general dearth of profits. That means these companies…
Travel Genius, a New Show From Bloomberg
Nov 6, 2018 • 2 min
What’s the most sure-fire way to get a flight upgrade? How can you find the best, secret local restaurants by asking just one question? What’s the first thing you should do when you get into a hotel room? On Bloomberg’s new podcast Travel Genius, we’ll…
How The Original Rogue Trader Rebuilt His Life
Nov 5, 2018 • 37 min
If there’s one person associated with the term “Rogue Trader” it’s Nick Leeson, who singlehandedly brought down Barings Bank in the early 90s, following a series of efforts to cover up bad trades. After the collapse of the bank, he spent time in a…
Prognosis, a New Show From Bloomberg
Nov 2, 2018 • 2 min
Where does a medical cure come from? 100 years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for scientists to test medicines by taking a dose themselves. As medical technologies get cheaper and more accessible, patients and DIY tinkerers are trying something similar—and…
Why Eurodollars Might Be Ground Zero for De-Globalization
Oct 29, 2018 • 35 min
Eurodollars have nothing to do with the euro-dollar exchange rate. Instead, they’re effectively a source of dollars that operates outside the control of the U.S. Jeff Snider, Head of Global Research at Alhambra, has a theory that recent market volatility…
Coming Soon: The New Economy
Oct 24, 2018 • 2 min
Bloomberg’s head of economics Stephanie Flanders calls on Bloomberg’s worldwide network of reporters and expert commentators to cast a fresh eye on looming challenges for the world economy which affect us all. This 6 part podcast combines on the ground…
What Will China’s Economy Look Like In 10 Years?
Oct 22, 2018 • 48 min
China has a plan for how it wants to transform into a modern economy. But the future of China’s economy is complicated both by internal factors like debt-fueled growth, as well as external challenges like a potentially drawn out trade war with the U.S. On…
Coming Soon: The ETF Story
Oct 19, 2018 • 2 min
The creation story of the first exchange-traded fund is actually the best way to understand how they work. And it’s not just educational, it’s entertaining. Like the PC and the MP3, the story of the creation of SPY — which turned 30 this year — is full of…
How To Analyze A Marijuana Stock
Oct 15, 2018 • 42 min
Marijuana stocks have been on a tear recently, as investors bet on the explosion of a brand new, legalizing market. But, how should investors actually go about trying to figure out which companies are well run and in a position to profit from this mark?…
Saudi Arabia’s IPO Drama
Oct 8, 2018 • 33 min
A little over two years ago, Saudi Arabia revealed plans to IPO part of its huge state-owned national oil company. The listing would have been the largest in history and a centerpiece of the Kingdom’s efforts to reduce its reliance on oil income and open…
What David Barse Learned From Watching A Credit Fund Blow Up
Oct 1, 2018 • 38 min
David Barse was the CEO of Third Avenue Management when one of its credit funds melted down in late 2015. The collapse of the fund touched off a significant debate about market structure, and the appropriate way to invest in illiquid, distressed…
How To Create The Safest Bank In America
Sep 24, 2018 • 49 min
What if there were a bank that could never experience a run? And furthermore, what if it paid higher interest rates on deposits than what you could get at other banks? That sounds pretty good, right? Well it might be possible. On this week’s episode of…
What Investors Should Know About The Correlation Between Bonds And Stocks
Sep 17, 2018 • 41 min
Sixty percent in equities/40 percent in bonds is a popular, general approach to structuring a diversified portfolio. In theory, when times are good, your stocks go up, and when times are bad, your bonds go up. But what if the correlation between bonds and…
A Forensic Accounting Expert Explains How Companies Trick Investors
Sep 10, 2018 • 36 min
Companies have all kinds of discretion in how they recognize revenue and costs. Some of this is legit. Some of this is fraud. On this week’s episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Howard Schilit, an expert in forensic accounting and the author of…
Matt Levine Dissects Elon Musk’s Controversial Tweet
Sep 4, 2018 • 32 min
There’s been an intense debate about what Tesla CEO Elon Musk meant when he tweeted in early August that he was taking the company private and that funding was “secured.” Bloomberg Opinion writer Matt Levine discusses how securities regulators might view…
The Time One Of Our Co-Hosts Launched His Own Cryptocurrency
Aug 27, 2018 • 27 min
Joe Weisenthal is a co-host of the Odd Lots podcast. He also once launched his own cryptocurrency called Stalwartbucks. On this week’s episode, we speak with Guan Yang, who along with Weisenthal helped launch Stalwartbucks in the early weeks of 2014. We…
An Emerging Markets Fund Manager Describes What’s Happening In Turkey Right Now
Aug 20, 2018 • 32 min
Are you confused about the crisis in Turkey? Today’s episode will get you cleared up. This week on Odd Lots, we spoke to Paul McNamara, an investment manager at GAM Investments, and a long-term veteran of the emerging markets world. He explained the…
How Wall Street Started Selling You Financial Products
Aug 13, 2018 • 26 min
Open any financial publication and you’ll see ads for investment products: exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, and the like. Those ads can tell you a lot about what investors are currently thinking and feeling about the market. But did you ever wonder…
How A Post-Keynesian Economist Sees The Markets Right Now
Aug 6, 2018 • 37 min
Srinivas Thiruvadanthai is the Director of Research at the Jerome Levy Forecasting Center, and one of the most interesting commentators on markets and the economy. He’s also an economist who fits into the post-Keynesian school of thought. The…
Even The World’s Greatest Investors Have Made Horrible Mistakes
Jul 30, 2018 • 31 min
Here’s some good news for investors: If you’ve ever made a disastrous trade, you’re not alone. All of the greats have made horrible moves as well. On this week’s Odd Lots podcast, we speak to Michael Batnick, the director of research at Ritholtz Wealth…
Why Understanding Financial Fraud Is The Secret To Understanding Business
Jul 23, 2018 • 35 min
If you want to understand how the human body works, you can’t just look at healthy humans. You need to examine the ill, so you can see how the body breaks down and where its weak spots are. And so if you want to understand how business works, it makes…
How to Listen to What the Market Is Trying to Tell You
Jul 16, 2018 • 38 min
For years, it was pretty quiet in markets. Stocks kept making new highs and volatility drifted to fresh lows. That’s changed in recent months and there’s now plenty to keep investors busy, including fears of a trade war and signs that the economy be…
This Is What’s Actually Happening When The Government Auctions Bonds
Jul 9, 2018 • 29 min
Thanks to the tax cuts, the U.S. deficit is expected to surge again. And of course that’s brought greater attention to the government’s semi-regular Treasury auctions. But the government borrowing money isn’t like a household borrowing money, and…
The Internet Is Secretly Powered By Billions Of Tiny Auctions
Jul 2, 2018 • 33 min
Everyone knows that online advertising pays for a massive chunk of the internet that people know and love, whether it’s social networking sites, news, photo sharing apps, or anything else. But how do the ads get delivered to your desktop or phone? On this…
The Creator of VaR Explains How Large Banks Measure The Risk Of Their Own Portfolios
Jun 25, 2018 • 35 min
Earlier this year, markets were spooked by blow-ups in a number of volatility-linked products. But dealing with volatility is the foundation of risk management on Wall Street and there’s a particular model that’s become pervasive among big investors and…
Meet The Chicago Floor Trader Who Helped Inspire The Tea Party Movement
Jun 18, 2018 • 36 min
A pivotal moment in U.S. political history is when CNBC’s Rick Santelli went on a gigantic rant against Obama’s stimulus programs while on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. The rant is credited by some as having helped galvanize the Tea Party…
The Inventor Of ‘Bond Vigilantes’ Explains Why They Just Showed Up In Italy
Jun 11, 2018 • 32 min
Longtime market analyst Ed Yardeni came up with the term “Bond Vigilantes” to describe the way bond market participants can punish governments who run economically irresponsible policies. When Yardeni used it in the 80s, it referred to US fiscal policy…
This Is How The Chocolate Market Actually Works
Jun 4, 2018 • 36 min
When you’re eating a chocolate bar, there’s a good chance you’re not thinking about the complex commodity market that allows cocoa beans to make it into a tasty snack. But obviously cocoa trading is a huge business. On this week’s Odd Lots podcast, we…
What the Finance Industry’s All-Night Scavenger Hunt Is Actually Like
May 28, 2018 • 35 min
For years, big banks, hedge funds and other investment firms took part in an epic scavenger hunt in New York. Inspired by the 1980 movie, “Midnight Madness,” teams of quants and traders would stay out all night competing to figure out some of the world’s…
This Is China’s Plan To Be A Technology Powerhouse By The Year 2025
May 21, 2018 • 30 min
The recent trade tensions between the Trump administration and China has shone a light on the country’s ambitions to become a technology powerhouse, as one of the complaints is that China unfairly extracts intellectual property from multinationals…
Inside the Multi-Year Quest to Create a Bitcoin ETF
May 14, 2018 • 31 min
When Bitcoin first began generating headlines, there were some who thought the cryptocurrency was a fraud and others who thought it was the next big thing. Greg King, CEO of Rex Shares LLC, was one of the latter. Like the Winklevoss twins, he set out to…
Bonus: The Pay Check, a New Podcast
May 9, 2018 • 3 min
It’s a big, expensive, global mystery. Why do women still make less money—a lot less—than men? In the US, the average woman makes 80 cents to every dollar a man makes. Launching May 9, the Pay Check is an in-depth investigation into what that 20 percent…
This Is How The Paparazzi Business Really Works
May 7, 2018 • 29 min
Everybody probably has some vague idea of what the paparazzi do. They ride around on motorcycles, hounding celebrities, and hopefully snapping photos of them in embarrassing situations. But how do the business and economics really work? How do the…
These Stories Of Horse Racing Gamblers Will Get You Psyched For The Kentucky Derby
Apr 30, 2018 • 24 min
The Kentucky Derby is coming up in early May, and it’s time to get excited. On this week’s Odd Lots podcast, we talk to Bloomberg editor David Papadopoulos, who in addition to his day job has been betting on horses for a long time. In our discussion, he…
Why The Entire Way We Talk About Millennials Is Wrong
Apr 23, 2018 • 35 min
When it comes to millennials, the media has certain tropes that it likes to go back to. Millennials love avocados. Millennials aren’t into homebuying. Millennials are always killing off this or that product or service. But what if the consumption lens is…
We’re Nominated For A Webby Award, And We Need Your Help!
Apr 16, 2018 • 2 min
We’ve been nominated for a Webby Award in the business podcast category, and we need the support of our listeners to help us win. Go online to https://www.webbyawards.com/ and vote now. And thanks for listening!
Why A Florida Orange Grove In 1946 Is The Key To Understanding Regulation Of ICOs
Apr 16, 2018 • 28 min
By now, everyone’s heard of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) where companies issue their own currency-like tokens. They boomed massively in 2017, alongside the whole cryptocurrency craze. But very few people really get what they are, and how they fit into…
This Is What A Trade War With China Would Actually Look Like
Apr 9, 2018 • 40 min
Recent threats to impose tariffs on Chinese goods, coupled with China’s own retaliatory announcements have raised the prospects of a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. But what is a trade war, and what would be the economic ramifications…
An Economist Explains Why Losing Weight Is Kind Of Like Defeating Inflation
Apr 2, 2018 • 37 min
A lot of people would probably agree that there’s something wrong with much of the traditional advice in how to lose weight — or at least how it’s implemented. The economist Miles Kimball has lost weight using a different approach. He’s increased his fat…
The World’s Most Controversial Interest Rate Is Haunting Us Again
Mar 26, 2018 • 31 min
Remember LIBOR? The London Interbank Offered Rate measures the cost of money when banks borrow from each other. It famously blew out during the financial crisis, but for a long time since then it’s been dormant. Only lately it’s started to creep higher…
What It Was Like In The Glory Days Of Trading Currencies In The Pits
Mar 19, 2018 • 38 min
These days, when you think of trading, you think of people sitting at a desk with a bunch of monitors, watching charts, and maybe making decisions based on algorithmic signals. Of course if you imagine a trader a few decades ago, you think of someone in a…
For The First Time In Years, Why People Are Suddenly Talking About Inflation Again
Mar 12, 2018 • 36 min
For years, nobody seemed particularly concerned about inflation. Outside of a few blips, in the wake of the financial crisis, people have become accustomed to low inflation, and central banks providing ample stimulus to the economy. But suddenly that’s…
Why The Human Brain Loves To Be Lied To
Mar 5, 2018 • 27 min
In theory, people should want to know accurate facts about the state of the world. In practice, it’s not so simple. Because of the way we evolved, and how our brains work, there are often things that we prioritize above the truth (such as fitting in with…
Coming Soon: Decrypted Season 2
Feb 27, 2018 • 2 min
Decrypted returns on March 6th with a brand new season. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store. We’ll be releasing new episodes every Tuesday starting next week.
The NYC Fiscal Crisis Of The 1970s Has Some Important Lessons For Today
Feb 26, 2018 • 33 min
In the 1970s, NYC teetered on the verge of bankruptcy. This crisis lead to the dismantling of the city’s generous social safety net. On this week’s Odd Lots podcast, we speak to Kim Phillips-Fein, historian and author of “Fear City: New York’s Fiscal…
How One Of The Most Profitable Trades Of The Last Few Years Blew Up In A Single Day
Feb 19, 2018 • 29 min
In recent years, one of the easiest ways to make money in this market has been to bet on low volatility. Up until recently, markets have been exceptionally tranquil, and trades predicated on that tranquility continuing have made a fortune. But two of the…
Coming Soon: What’d You Miss This Week
Feb 12, 2018 • 2 min
This month, Bloomberg is excited to bring you a brand new show. Every Friday on What’d You Miss This Week, we’ll feature the most interesting interviews from Bloomberg’s daily market close show, “What’d You Miss” hosted by Scarlet Fu, Julia Chatterley and…
Annie Duke Explains How To Apply Poker Skills To Markets And Other Business Decisions
Feb 12, 2018 • 33 min
Anyone who watched poker on TV during the golden age of coverage a few years ago is familiar with Annie Duke. She’s one of the most famous poker players of the era, and is one of the winningest women poker players of all time, with 38 money finishes at…
Why One Of The Most Successful Quant Funds Decided To Create Its Own Video Game
Feb 5, 2018 • 31 min
Quantitative finance is red hot. These days, basically everyone (banks, hedge funds etc.) is hiring mathematicians and coders. So what differentiates one quant shop from any other? On this week’s episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak to Alfred…
How The Opioid Crisis And The Trump Administration Are Changing Middle America’s Economy
Jan 29, 2018 • 28 min
If you cover the economy from New York City or Abu Dhabi, it’s easy to get caught up in a media bubble. But the U.S. economy is obviously not a monolith. On this week’s episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak to Jeff Korzenik, the Chief Investment…
How Radical Demographic Shifts Around The World Are Changing How Assets Are Valued
Jan 22, 2018 • 26 min
When we think about financial assets, we usually think of their price as being derived from some set of intrinsic characteristics. A stock price may be a function of growth, margins, interest rates, and a few other things. For government bonds, we might…
This Explains Why Modern Markets Developed Where They Did
Jan 15, 2018 • 29 min
For centuries, markets were highly-personalized things, often controlled by select groups of people who traded based on long-established and closely-knit relationships. Closed networks — such as merchant guilds in 16th century Europe — could ensure trust…
This Is What It Was Actually Like To Live Through The Tech Bubble
Jan 8, 2018 • 28 min
We talk a lot about bubbles on this podcast. Often we talk about them from the perspective of a trader or speculator. But what about the people whose lives get caught up directly in the craziness? On this week’s episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak…
These Will Be The Big Markets And Economics Stories In 2018
Jan 2, 2018 • 15 min
On last week’s episode of Odd Lots, Bloomberg’s Chris Nagi and Matt Boesler gave us their takes for the biggest stories of the past year. So naturally, for this week’s episode, we look ahead. Chris and Matt are back in the studio to give us their…
These Were The Biggest Markets And Economics Stories of 2017
Dec 26, 2017 • 14 min
The year is over, and now’s the time to look back at the big stories of the past year. On this week’s episode, we’re joined by Chris Nagi and Matt Boesler of Bloomberg News to discuss what they saw as the dominant themes of 2017. For Nagi, it was the…
This Is How Algorithms Impact Every Aspect Of Our Lives, from News to Credit Scores to Stocks
Dec 18, 2017 • 33 min
Algorithms. People talk about them all the time, particularly in relation to markets. But who actually designs them, and what do they do? On this week’s episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Frank Pasquale, a law professor at the University of…
Two Researchers Explain How Quants Are Going To Revolutionize Long-Term Investing
Dec 11, 2017 • 35 min
When we think of computer-driven or “quant” investing, we often think fast moves, algorithms making buy and sell orders at incredibly short timeframes. So in theory, the likes of great long-term investors, like Warren Buffett, should be safe from the…
An MIT Professor Explains His Original Theory For How Markets Really Work
Dec 4, 2017 • 29 min
There are two popular schools of thought with regards to how markets work. There’s the efficient markets hypothesis (EMH) which says that it’s basically impossible to beat the market, because all information is completely priced in at all times (more or…
Coming Soon: Trillions, a New Podcast
Nov 28, 2017 • 3 min
Money goes where it’s treated best. That simple truth is a big reason why more and more money—trillions, in fact—flows into a powerful, low-cost tool that’s quietly transformed investing in recent years. Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, let you invest in…
Why Historic Relationships in Markets Have Been Totally Upended
Nov 27, 2017 • 27 min
This month we saw a small sell-off in markets that got big attention. How did we get to the point where a 1 percent fall in the S&P 500 over the course of a week is huge news? And are we about to enter a time when it becomes much more normal to see…
The World’s Foremost Expert Explains How To Value Stock
Nov 20, 2017 • 32 min
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…
This Is How a Currency Trader Actually Picks What to Buy and Sell
Nov 13, 2017 • 33 min
Most asset classes move in a fairly straightforward manner. They’re either going up or down at any given time. But when it comes to currencies it’s not that simple. Since they’re all traded against each other (the pound vs. the dollar, the pound vs. the…
History Has Some Ominous Warnings for Investors in Initial Coin Offerings
Nov 6, 2017 • 22 min
You can’t go a day without hearing about ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings. By taking advantage of a regulatory gap and buzz surrounding cryptocurrencies, companies are raising millions of dollars by launching their own coins. But what’s the point of these…
Everything You’ve Been Taught About How to Value a Stock Might Be Wrong
Oct 30, 2017 • 27 min
Investors are constantly poring over income statements from big companies to figure out whether they should buy or sell the business’s stock. But should they bother? In this week’s episode, Joe and Tracy talk to Feng Gu, a professor at SUNY Buffalo, and…
ETFs Are Eating the Financial World and They’re Not Done Yet
Oct 23, 2017 • 26 min
By now, almost everyone in financial markets is familiar with ETFs (exchange-traded funds), and how they allow investors to move quickly in and out of a basket of stocks with a few clicks. But perhaps people don’t realize quite how revolutionary they are,…
How One Trader Won Big While Everyone Else Panicked on Black Monday
Oct 16, 2017 • 30 min
On Monday October 19th, 1987, the Dow Jones fell 508 points in a one day crash that will forever be known as “Black Monday”. In honor of the 30th anniversary, Joe and Tracy talk to Blair Hull, managing partner of Hull Trading Co., who was actively trading…
What We Can Learn About Market Liquidity By Looking At Everyday Life
Oct 9, 2017 • 33 min
“Liquidity” is one of the most widely-talked about yet least understood concepts in markets. Roughly speaking, a market is liquid if you can transact in it without affecting the price significantly. But there’s little agreement about why some markets are…
Inside the Changing World of the Sell-Side Analyst
Oct 2, 2017 • 38 min
The world of sell-side analysts has been upended in recent years with intense competition, new technology and regulation in the form of MIFID. At the same time, many of the issues being faced by the analyst industry are similar to the ones now faced by…
Revisiting The Strange Story Behind the Beanie Babies Bubble
Sep 25, 2017 • 30 min
To wrap up our series on financial bubbles, the Odd Lots podcast looks back at an early episode, focusing on one of the most iconic bubbles of the 20th century: Beanie Babies. Two market bubbles stand out from the late 1990s. Technology stocks that were…
The Baseball Card Bubble Can Tell You A Surprising Amount About How Markets Work
Sep 18, 2017 • 37 min
There’s a good chance that if you were a boy in the early 90s that you were a collector of baseball cards. For a few years, the baseball card industry went from being a niche collectible to a massive industry. It was, for a brief period, a legitimate…
How an Austrian Economist Explains The Tulip Bubble
Sep 11, 2017 • 33 min
The tulip bubble is the quintessential bubble. If you want to call something a bubble, just mutter something about tulips, and everybody will know what you’re arguing. But what was the tulip bubble, really, and how did it form? To get a unique perspective…
This Is What Happened During The Great Florida Real Estate Bubble
Sep 4, 2017 • 28 min
During the 2008 financial crisis, Florida was an epicenter of the real estate meltdown. But for decades before that, the state has been characterized by booms and busts. In this week’s episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we spoke with Arva Moore Parks, a…
This Is What All Great Stock Market Bubbles And Crashes Have in Common
Aug 28, 2017 • 30 min
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…
What Looking Inside a Bank Archive Can Tell Us About Modern Finance
Aug 21, 2017 • 25 min
Royal Bank of Scotland has been around, in one form or another, for hundreds of years. The company keeps artifacts from its lengthy history in an archive that features everything from a customer ledger kept during the Great Plague and Great Fire of London…
The Biggest Lesson Investors Should Have Learned From the Crisis
Aug 14, 2017 • 39 min
It’s been 10 years since the start of the credit crunch that eventually led to the global financial crisis. For many investors, the events of 2007 to 2008 shook their entire understanding of how markets are meant to work. In this week’s episode of the Odd…
What Diner’s Club Card Reveals About the Nature Of Money
Aug 7, 2017 • 33 min
We use money everyday, but it’s rare to actually think about what money is or what it represents. And in fact many of the people who are the closest to it — academics, traders, etc. — understand it the least. On this week’s episode of Odd Lots, we talk to…
How The Bond Market Changed During A Veteran Trader’s Decades On Wall Street
Jul 31, 2017 • 24 min
Most people have some kind of hazy conception of how the stock market works. Stocks are simple to understand, and there are only so many of them out there to trade. But the bond market is a whole different beast, and in some ways it remains way behind…
What It’s Like to Suddenly Become a Bond Manager in the Credit Crisis
Jul 24, 2017 • 22 min
We talk a lot on Odd Lots about the idea of investing. But what’s it like to actually have to put money to work in some of the trickiest investing environments in history? David Schawel was an equity analyst who suddenly became the manager of a portfolio…
Why Wheat is the World’s Most Exciting Market Right Now
Jul 17, 2017 • 32 min
Financial markets around the world are stuck in a long period of low volatility and boredom. But one pocket is seeing some wild action — grains. Spring wheat (a form of high-protein wheat grown in the northern Midwest) has been on a tear, alongside action…
How A Former Wall Street Trader Cracked The World Of Betting On Baseball
Jul 10, 2017 • 29 min
It’s no secret that a lot of people in finance like to bet on things. But how many of them take the time to actually beat the house in gambling? On this week’s Odd Lots, we talk to Joe Peta, a former Lehman Brothers trader, and the author of “Trading…
Why a Natural Gas Company Is Shaking the World of Islamic Finance
Jul 3, 2017 • 26 min
Earlier this month, Dana Gas, a UAE-based company, rocked the world of Islamic finance by announcing that one of its Shariah-compliant bonds was, well, no longer Shariah-compliant. On this week’s episode of Odd Lots, we speak to veteran Dubai-based…
This Is What a Real-Life Wendy Rhoades Actually Does
Jun 23, 2017 • 25 min
On the TV show “Billions,” one of the most important characters is Wendy Rhoades, the psychologist at Axe Capital who helps traders get out of their slumps. What viewers may not realize is that the job exists in real life. On this week’s Odd Lots, we…
Inside The Booming World of Initial Coin Offerings
Jun 16, 2017 • 27 min
By now everyone’s heard of Bitcoin, and probably has an opinion on it. But the world of cryptocurrencies has a new object of fascination: ICOs. Whereas the tech boom in the 90s was characterized by an obsession with IPOs, these ICOs (initial coin…
The True Story Of America’s Catfish Gold Rush
Jun 9, 2017 • 30 min
America has had many well-known booms and busts in its history: Real estate, internet stocks, Beanie Babies… too many to list. But did you know there was once a catfish gold rush? Yep, starting in the 1970s, farmers in the south, in states like…
Why Everyone’s Talking About the VIX and 50 Cent
Jun 2, 2017 • 32 min
For the past few years, everyone in markets has been talking about nothing. Market moves have been subdued and the Chicago Board Options Exchange’s Volatility Index, better known as the VIX, recently sank to its lowest in about three decades. We speak…
Poker Legend Phil Hellmuth Has Advice That Traders Should Hear
May 26, 2017 • 36 min
Phil Hellmuth is one of poker’s biggest stars. His success is undeniable, as he’s won 14 bracelets at the World Series of Poker, more than anyone else. And his outsize personality at the table has earned him the nickname “The Poker Brat.” But while…
What a 150-Year Old Indian Railway System Tells Us About Trade
May 19, 2017 • 35 min
It’s no secret that international trade has been criticized lately. But why exactly are countries generally happy to trade within their borders — from one state or town to another, for example — but more reluctant to trade across international ones? And…
How Instagram Turned Into a Giant Market for Food
May 12, 2017 • 33 min
Avocado toast, unicorn frappuccinos, and kale salads. Taking photos of your food and putting them on Instagram is a now a huge trend that’s transforming markets in more ways than one. In this edition of the Odd Lots podcast we talk about how photogenic…
How a Fund Manager’s Trying to Fix Some of the Mideast’s Issues
May 5, 2017 • 34 min
When you think about the Middle East what springs to mind? Perhaps oil, maybe political instability, terrorism or even war. On this week’s episode of the Odd Lots podcast we speak to someone who’s trying to tackle the region’s biggest issues in new and…
One Of The Top Chess Players Talks Computers & Options Trading
Apr 28, 2017 • 39 min
On this week’s episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we talk to Hikaru Nakamura, one of the best chess players in the world. Currently ranking in the top seven, Nakamura achieved grandmaster status at a younger age than Bobby Fischer did. These days in…
How to Use Pop Music to Forecast the Stock Market
Apr 21, 2017 • 29 min
When most people analyze the stock market, they look at stuff like revenues, earnings, valuations, and economic conditions. But some people like to look at the Billboard music charts or what kinds of films are popular at any given moment. On this week’s…
What Happens When Markets As We Know Them Cease to Exist
Apr 13, 2017 • 26 min
What if you woke up tomorrow and found the U.S. stock market was closed for good? That happened to investors in the Russian market after the communist revolution in 1917, leading to huge losses for people who had put their money in what was then one of…
Inside the Hidden Cycles That Rule Markets and Life
Apr 7, 2017 • 41 min
History, as you may have heard, has a tendency to repeat. But does it repeat in ways that are measurable and predictable? We speak with Peter Borish, a veteran investor and trader who is currently chief strategist at the Quad Group. His experience reaches…
This Is How You Know When the Stock Market Is in a Bubble
Mar 31, 2017 • 30 min
One of the most fascinating market phenomenons is the bubble. When they occur, fortunes are made and lost, and the full spectrum of human emotions, from fear to greed, are on display. But what defines a bubble exactly, and how do you know when you’re…
How a Fund Manager Teaches His Kids About Money and Banking
Mar 27, 2017 • 30 min
Plenty of people pay their kids an allowance to teach them the value of hard work and earning money. But our guest on this week’s Odd Lots podcast takes it to the next level. Toby Nangle is a fund manager at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, who also…
What the Berkshires Learned by Launching its Own Currency
Mar 24, 2017 • 30 min
“Buy local” is a mantra that has appeal across the political spectrum. Small communities have preached this gospel for a long time. Our current president advocates a version on a national scale. So how do you put it into practice? One experiment has been…
How the Biggest Bull Market Could Go on for a Whole Lot Longer
Mar 10, 2017 • 29 min
A few weeks ago on the Odd Lots podcast, we talked to Paul Schmelzing, a Ph.D candidate at Harvard, who explained how the bull market in U.S. Treasuries could come to a screeching halt. This week we examine the other side of the debate. Our guest is…
The Incredible True Story of the Real Life ‘Trading Places’
Mar 3, 2017 • 37 min
If you have any interest at all in finance, then it’s mandatory to have seen the 1983 movie “Trading Places.” You remember, right? Two wealthy Philadelphia commodity brokers bet on whether anyone, even down-and-out Eddie Murphy, can be trained to become a…
Could Buddhism Save The Global Economy?
Feb 24, 2017 • 29 min
There’s a widespread sense that something remains broken in the global economy. Despite a comeback in official measures of economic performance, like GDP and the unemployment rate, there’s a widespread sense of disillusionment and discontentment with the…
How Poker Explains the Battle of Passive and Active Investing
Feb 17, 2017 • 30 min
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…
Why It’s Really Hard to Create a New Currency in a Revolution
Feb 10, 2017 • 28 min
Creating a new form of money is always tough. Will it hold its value? Will people trust it? Will people use it? All these challenges are even tougher if you’re in the middle of a political chaos. On this week’s Odd Lots, we speak with Rebecca Spang, a…
Why Negotiating a Ransom Is the Trickiest Trade in the World
Feb 3, 2017 • 30 min
There are all sorts of reasons why markets break down. A lack of trust. Incomplete information. Divergent incentives. A lack of experienced actors. So it’s hard to imagine a trickier market than kidnapping. Emotions are running rampant. You know very…
64: Stay in School, Even if You’re Planning to Join the Mob
Jan 27, 2017 • 26 min
It’s almost a truism that better-educated people earn more money. But suppose you’re not interested in a normal job? What if you want to go into the mafia? Well, it turns out that you should still stay in school. On this week’s Odd Lots podcast, we speak…
63: This Is How Monetary Policy Works in The Islamic State
Jan 20, 2017 • 28 min
The Islamic State is mostly discussed in terms of its threat to the safety and security of the world. But as a geopolitical entity, its leadership has to deal with mundane considerations such as operating a financial system. So how does it work? On this…
62: How The Biggest Bull Market Could Come Crashing Down
Jan 13, 2017 • 27 min
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…
61: Here’s What’s Going to Happen in 2017
Jan 6, 2017 • 29 min
Welcome to the start of the new year! 2016 defied almost everyone’s expectations, but that won’t stop us from making predictions for 2017. On this episode of Odd Lots, we’re joined by our Bloomberg News colleagues as we look ahead and forecast what will…
60: These Were the Most Interesting Stories of 2016
Dec 23, 2016 • 31 min
It was quite a year, 2016! Trump and Brexit alone made it one for the history books. But there was more than political upheaval. In this end-of-year episode of Odd Lots, we speak to five reporters and editors from Bloomberg News to find out what they…
59: What Sneakers Can Tell You About How Financial Markets Work
Dec 16, 2016 • 27 min
One of our favorite topics here at Odd Lots is market structure. On multiple occasions, for example, we’ve talked about how trading bonds is fundamentally different than trading stocks. This week our guest is Josh Luber, who has built a market for a…
58: Ignore Investing’s Mathematical Underpinnings at Your Peril
Dec 9, 2016 • 25 min
What’s the optimum amount of money you should bet on a particular outcome? The answer is dictated by mathematics, yet plenty of people still go against the laws of numbers and probabilities when it comes to investing. This week, we speak with Victor…
57: Was November the Start of a Huge Turning Point In Markets?
Dec 2, 2016 • 27 min
Something huge happened in November. No, we’re not talking about the U.S. presidential election. We mean the worst month in history for the the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Total Return Index, a bond market index that’s more than two decades old.…
56: How To Launch Your Own Form Of Money
Nov 25, 2016 • 24 min
By now you’ve probably heard of Bitcoin. But Bitcoin isn’t the only digital currency. In fact, there are hundreds of “altcoins” out there, all of which are different from Bitcoin in varying degrees. One of the hottest new currencies is ZCash, a digital…
55: Here Are The Signs That A Civilization Is About To Collapse
Nov 18, 2016 • 29 min
All great civilizations eventually collapse. It’s inevitable. So what are the signs of their demise? On the latest edition of Odd Lots, we speak with Arthur Demarest, a professor at Vanderbilt University who specializes in the end of civilization.…
54: How Trump Did Something Yellen, Draghi Could Only Dream Of
Nov 11, 2016 • 28 min
There’s a lot to process from last week’s U.S. election. One surprising thing already is the market reaction. Equities surged following the vote, and interest rates are sharply higher. Market measures of inflation expectations and Fed hikes now suggest…
53: Why We Stopped Trusting Experts
Nov 4, 2016 • 31 min
One could argue that “expert” has become a bad word. People routinely roll their eyes at the advice of experts and sometimes mock them. Perhaps nowhere is this more clear than the Federal Reserve. In the 90s, Alan Greenspan was lauded as the author of the…
52: What Math Models of Herding Cows Can Teach Us About Markets
Oct 28, 2016 • 31 min
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…
51: Why Everyone Is Freaking Out About Globalization
Oct 21, 2016 • 34 min
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…
50: What Slavoj Žižek Would Say About Poker and the Peso
Oct 14, 2016 • 32 min
What does psychoanalytic philosophy tell us about capitalism? In this edition of Odd Lots, we speak to Ole Bjerg, a professor at the Copenhagen Business School. Bjerg studies the work of Slavoj Žižek, a Slovenian philosopher, and also writes about matters…
49: The Man Who Wants to Better Trading by Slowing It (Correct)
Oct 12, 2016 • 36 min
Brad Katsuyama has racked up oceans of newspaper ink since being propelled into the public spotlight as the protagonist of Michael Lewis’s book on high-frequency trading, Flash Boys. The 38-year-old co-founder and chief executive of IEX, an exchange with…
48: The Lost History of Financial Market Modernization
Oct 3, 2016 • 28 min
How is it that stocks are traded on electronic exchanges in the blink of an eye but bonds still trade over-the-counter by phone and sometimes even by fax? Today we discuss one of the most pervasive mysteries of market structure with Chris White, the…
47: Why it’s Time to Stop Using the Word ‘Disruption’
Sep 23, 2016 • 28 min
“Disruption,” “incubation,” “innovation”… you hear these words nonstop these days as people talk about the incredible changes taking place in society thanks to technology. This week on the Odd Lots podcast our guest tells us we all need to stop. Or at…
46: Space Robots Are Helping Hedge Funds Invest
Sep 16, 2016 • 29 min
The most valuable commodity for investors is information, and hedge funds and asset managers are going to great lengths to get it — even to outer space. This week on the Odd Lots podcast, Tracy Alloway and Bloomberg View columnist Matt Levine are joined…
45: Why A Whistleblower Walked Away From Over $8 Million
Sep 12, 2016 • 34 min
Could you walk away from a reward of over $8 million? The guest on our latest episode of the Odd Lots podcast did just that. Eric Ben-Artzi was a risk officer at Deutsche Bank who concluded that his bank was mis-marking the assets of part of his…
44: What a 12-Year Knows About Money That an Economist Doesn’t
Sep 2, 2016 • 33 min
“What is money?” This seemingly simple question has the ability to drive people crazy. Is it a unit of account? Is it something about exchange? Does it have to be blessed by the government or backed by something hard? On this week’s podcast, we speak with…
43: Seinfeld Can Teach You Everything You Need About Economics
Aug 29, 2016 • 22 min
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…
The Millennial Generation Is Stagnant And Older People Are Part
Aug 22, 2016 • 27 min
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…
41: Billionaires Help Tell the Story of Brazil’s Boom and Bust
Aug 15, 2016 • 32 min
The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro have been tainted by protests, economic slowdown, and a massive political scandal. In this episode we take a look at Brazil’s boom and bust as told through the prism of the country’s elite. Alex Cuadros is the…
40: Why Summer Has Just Gone on Sale
Aug 8, 2016 • 21 min
This week is the summer edition of Odd Lots and we’re talking about the market forces shaping the price of two essential ingredients for any pool party: inflatable toys and barbecue meat. Bloomberg Reporter Polly Mosendz walks us through the $4 million…
39: The Insurance Market for Modern-Day Pirates
Jul 29, 2016 • 21 min
This week Odd Lots takes to the high seas to discuss how modern-day pirates in the form of illegal fishers are able to take out insurance policies on their blacklisted boats. We speak with Dana Miller, a marine scientist who published a study last month…
38: The Fed Made a Massive Mistake Letting Lehman Go
Jul 25, 2016 • 27 min
There’s nothing better than financial crisis hindsight and earlier this month we got a big dose of it in the form of a 218-page paper by Laurence Ball, Department of Economics Chair at Johns Hopkins. In the paper, Ball makes the case that — contrary to…
37: Why We Are Increasingly Divided Into Ideological Bubbles
Jul 18, 2016 • 23 min
The result of the U.K.’s Brexit referendum blindsided many and led to acrimonious accusations by supporters on either side of the vote. In the U.S., the rapid rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as presidential candidates has similarly surprised.…
36: How A Quant Saw Huge Changes That Took Place on Wall Street
Jul 11, 2016 • 30 min
Emanuel Derman was one of the pioneers of quantitative finance, having gone from studying physics to working on Wall Street in 1985. His memoir, My Life as a Quant, is a must-read book that tracks the evolution of finance in recent decades as it’s become…
36: How A Quant Saw Huge Changes That Took Place on Wall Street
Jul 11, 2016 • 30 min
Emanuel Derman was one of the pioneers of quantitative finance, having gone from studying physics to working on Wall Street in 1985. His memoir, My Life as a Quant, is a must-read book that tracks the evolution of finance in recent decades as it’s become…
35: There Was a Huge Opportunity The Night of the Brexit Vote
Jul 1, 2016 • 23 min
In the runup to the Brexit vote polls were mixed. Some showed remain winning. Others showed leave winning. Nonetheless, markets, pundits, and bookmakers always seemed to be pretty sure that remain was going to win. Whoops! In this episode of Odd Lots, we…
34: The Highway Built by Oil Markets and Political Intrigue
Jun 27, 2016 • 21 min
On this week’s episode we take a trip down one particular road on the Gulf peninsula to explore how sudden market shocks — and the political discord that sometimes comes with them — can help shape the physical space around us. In the 1960s, the Middle…
33: How “Fed Watching” Became a Thing
Jun 20, 2016 • 26 min
When Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks, the world watches — and one group watches especially closely. “Fed watchers” have made a career out of analyzing and dissecting the words and actions of Fed policymakers, particularly in the aftermath of the…
32: The Amateur Activists Who Took On The Foreclosure Machine
Jun 13, 2016 • 27 min
The Great Recession was characterized by a historic and gigantic wave of foreclosures all around the country. Left and right, people were being removed from their homes. But because of the explosion of mortgage securitization — the slicing and dicing of…
31: Welcome Aboard Starship Bank
Jun 6, 2016 • 20 min
David Hendler made his reputation as a bank analyst at the independent research firm CreditSights Inc., foreseeing many of the problems that led to the financial crisis of 2008 and vocally criticizing the “too good to be true” trading profits posted by…
30: How Finance Took Over the World
May 27, 2016 • 23 min
The U.S. spends 8 percent of its GDP on finance — twice the amount it did 40 years ago, according to economist Brad DeLong. That figure set off a wave of soul-searching recently as commentators asked how “the financialization of the world” came to be and…
29: How an Old-School Chess Shop Survives in Modern New York
May 23, 2016 • 25 min
At a time when retail sales are dominated by online behemoths like Amazon Inc. and big chain stores, independent brick-and-mortar shops are under growing pressure. Imad Khachan defies the odds to run the Chess Forum in New York’s Greenwich Village. Here,…
28: Finance’s Hot New Thing Ended Up In An Old-School Scandal
May 13, 2016 • 26 min
Peer-to-peer lending was supposed to disrupt the traditional way people borrowed money. Instead of going to some giant, soulless institution, online platforms offered a way for people to post what they needed to borrow money for, and for other individuals…
27: Kentucky Derby Edition: Flip This Horse
May 4, 2016 • 30 min
If you’re like most people, you only bet on horses once a year, the day of the Kentucky Derby. You might try to cram a little beforehand, bone up about the favorites, and then place an ignorant losing wager. This year can be different! On this week’s Odd…
26: How To Make Money By Betting On The U.K.’s Big Referendum
May 2, 2016 • 23 min
In less than two months, the U.K. will vote on whether to leave the EU in the so-called Brexit referendum. The stakes are potentially massive for the economies of the U.K. and Europe, for the London financial industry and for the British pound. Gamblers…
25: Americans Are Miserable, and It’s Swaying The Election
Apr 25, 2016 • 28 min
How can you tell whether people in any given country are happy or not? That’s the topic we wrestle with on the latest edition of the Odd Lots podcast. First we talk to Peter Atwater of the firm Financial Insyghts about the growing signs that a significant…
24: Meet The Most Important Country Singer in Economics
Apr 15, 2016 • 23 min
Country music lost a legend when Merle Haggard passed away earlier this month at the age of 78. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much connection between Haggard’s music and markets (excluding the fact that he once pined for the days of…
23: Iceland Jailed Its Bad Bankers But People Are Still Angry
Apr 8, 2016 • 29 min
Iceland is known for geothermal beauty, fishing and as the birthplace of Bjork. It also made international headlines in 2008 thanks to a banking crisis that tipped the country into recession and reverberated around Europe. Now, Iceland is back in the…
22: The Unbearable Brightness of Being a Shadow Bank
Apr 4, 2016 • 27 min
A high-flying hedge fund manager lost everything back in 2007 after an accounting scandal prompted investors to pull money from his $12 billion fund. Almost a decade later, Dan Zwirn has been cleared of all wrongdoing by U.S. securities regulators and is…
21: The Fraught Life of a Dumpster-Diving U.S. Short-Seller
Mar 28, 2016 • 26 min
Short-selling, the practice of betting against stocks by agreeing to sell equities that you don’t own, has been in the headlines recently. The share price of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. has fallen nearly 90 percent from its peak since being…
20: The Time NYSE Floor Traders Tried to Prank President Reagan
Mar 21, 2016 • 27 min
For years, the image of a stock market trader was synonymous with images of Testosterone-fueled traders wheeling and dealing on the floor of big exchanges. But change has swept stock markets in recent years, diminishing their role in everyday trading.…
Episode 19: Pow! Pow! El-Erian Talks Central Bank Ammunition
Mar 14, 2016 • 23 min
Asset purchases! Currency devaluations! Low interest rates! Negative interest rates! And… more? The world’s central banks have unleashed a torrent of unconventional monetary policy since the 2008 financial crisis, hoping to heal economic wounds and revive…
Episode 18: The Obscure Report That Spawned the ETF Industry
Mar 7, 2016 • 29 min
In 1987, investors watched in horror as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 22 percent in an event that became known as “Black Monday.” Months later, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission published an 840-page report into the incident; in it…
Episode 17: How One Analyst Uncovered a $7 Billion Fraud
Feb 29, 2016 • 25 min
In late 2008, as markets tanked thanks the the global financial crisis, two massive Ponzi schemes unraveled. One was the $17.5 billion fraud engineered by Bernie Madoff. The other was the smaller but no less interesting one run by R. Allen Stanford, a…
Episode 16: Making Money When Everyone Else is Losing Theirs
Feb 22, 2016 • 23 min
Everybody knows by now that a handful of hedge funders made a fortune by betting against housing before the market crashed back in 2008. But, people who bought at the bottom, when everyone else was panicking, also did extremely well. In the latest episode…
How a Rural Irish Farmer Became an Expert on the Euro Crisis
Feb 16, 2016 • 30 min
In theory, anyone with an internet connection can became an expert on just about anything from just about anywhere. In the latest edition of Odd Lots, we speak with Lorcan Roche Kelly, a cattle farmer, and former explosives engineer in rural Ireland who…
Episode 14: The World’s Only Stand-Up Economist
Feb 8, 2016 • 25 min
On today’s episode, we’re taking the “dismal” out of the dismal science by interviewing Yoram Bauman, who bills himself as the world’s only stand-up economist. Join us for a Laffer curve-a-minute romp through the humor of homo economicus. Along the way,…
Episode 13: How a Professor Won Gambling on an Obscure Sport
Feb 1, 2016 • 26 min
Episode 13: Everyone dreams of being able to win almost every time when gambling. Of course, whether it’s blackjack, horse betting, poker or the stock market, it’s really hard to consistently win. But one professor, armed with advanced mathematical…
Episode 12: How a Consultant Foresaw the 2015 Commodities Crash
Jan 25, 2016 • 24 min
On this episode, co-host Tracy Alloway is joined by Bloomberg Markets reporter Luke Kawa for a journey back in time. As the global elite mingle at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, we look back at a WEF gathering five years…
Episode 11: How David Bowie Became a Financial Product
Jan 19, 2016 • 34 min
When the world lost David Bowie this month, it lost one of modern music’s undisputed geniuses. Less well-known is Bowie’s contribution to the financial world. In this episode of Odd Lots, hosts Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal speak with David Pullman,…
Episode 10: How the World Ended Up With a Boring Banana
Jan 11, 2016 • 31 min
This week, we’re taking on one of the most fragile commodities markets around. No, it’s not oil (though we do get to that later in the program), it’s the market for bananas. Dangerously reliant on a single, boring breed of the tropical fruit, banana…
Episode 9: The 2016 Predictions Episode
Jan 4, 2016 • 23 min
(Bloomberg) — It’s a new year and a new episode of Odd Lots. Co-hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway have re-stoked our proverbial holiday fire, refilled our wine glasses and are ready to continue our conversation with a newly relaxed group of Bloomberg…
Episode 8: These Were Our Favorite Stories of 2015
Dec 28, 2015 • 23 min
(Bloomberg) — Gather ‘round the Odd Lots fire. Co-hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway have assembled a collection of Bloomberg News reporters and editors to spread holiday cheer by sharing their favorite market stories and happenings of 2015. We…
Episode 7: How One Woman Tried To Sound Housing Crash Alarm
Dec 21, 2015 • 23 min
The film “The Big Short” has sparked lots of attention about the origins of the financial crisis and the people who saw it coming. While lot of attention is being paid to a few men who made a fortune on the housing collapse, this week Tracy and Joe talk…
Episode 6: Meet The Man Who Made Millions Trading Mules
Dec 14, 2015 • 25 min
This week we’re thinking about what it means to be a trader in today’s electronified markets and contrast it with trading in the era of horse and buggies. That’s right, we’re going back in time to talk mule trading and the story of the legendary Ray Lum,…
Episode 5: 6,000 Years of Interest Rates
Dec 7, 2015 • 23 min
(Bloomberg) — What better way to prepare for what may be the first U.S. rate hike in almost a decade than to tour 6,000 years of interest-rate history? This week, Joe and Tracy speak with NYU Stern finance professor Richard Sylla, co-author of A History…
Episode 4: Can a Hedge Funder Cut Prescription Drug Costs?
Nov 30, 2015 • 20 min
(Bloomberg) — Hedge-fund manager Kyle Bass has a plan that could cut the high cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. — and make himself a lot of money. The strategy: Take short positions in a number of pharmaceutical companies while also trying to…
Episode 3: The Strange Story Behind the Beanie Babies Bubble
Nov 23, 2015 • 23 min
(Bloomberg) — Two market bubbles stand out from the late 1990s. Technology stocks that were supposed to make everyone a zillionaire. The other: A series of mass-produced stuffed animals priced at $5 each. Odd Lots hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway…
Episode 2: Under the Hood of the $8 Trln Corporate Bond Market
Nov 16, 2015 • 21 min
(Bloomberg) — It’s definitely big and it might be broken. It’s the bond market! The corporate bond market, that is. In the second episode of Odd Lots, hosts Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal talk corporate debt with Chris White, the creator of a Goldman…
Episode 1: Tom Keene on Mathiness and His Favorite Guitar
Nov 6, 2015 • 22 min
(Bloomberg) — Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal kick off the Odd Lots podcast by interviewing the legendary television and radio host Tom Keene. On Tom’s mind this week: Fat tail risks, mathiness on Wall Street and how he rediscovered his favorite guitar.…
The Odd Lots Preview
Nov 4, 2015 • 3 min
(Bloomberg) — Welcome to Episode Zero of the Odd Lots podcast! Every week, hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway take you on a not-so random weekly walk through hot topics in markets, finance and economics. In this introduction, Joe and Tracy discuss…