Odd Lots

203 EpisodesProduced by Bloomberg News

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

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What Bitcoin Has To Do With The Dream Of Cryonics

July 8th, 2019


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 …

Why a Strong Dollar Causes Most of the World Major Pain

July 1st, 2019


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 …

One of Hong Kong's Most Famous Investors Gives His Vision of the City's Future

June 24th, 2019


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 …

How Auction Guarantees Are Changing The World Of Art

June 17th, 2019


Famous, unique pieces of art are inherently illiquid. They don't sell very often, and pricing is inherently difficult to estimate. Nonetheless, it's …

What Boy Band Sensation BTS Can Teach Us About Economics

June 10th, 2019


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 …

Why President Trump's Move Against Huawei Is Such A Big Deal

June 3rd, 2019


Earlier this month, President Trump escalated the trade tensions against China by limiting exports of U.S. technology to Huawei. But what is Huawei, …

Bloomberg Presents "What Goes Up"

May 29th, 2019


“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 …

Meet The Godfather Of Cryptocurrency

May 27th, 2019


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, …

Bloomberg and Wondery Present: The Shrink Next Door

May 23rd, 2019


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 …

Behind the Scenes of Financial Fraud

May 20th, 2019


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 …

What the Russian Revolution Can Teach Us About Bond Bubbles

May 13th, 2019


When talking government bond defaults, plenty of people think of Argentina and Greece. But the biggest sovereign debt default of all time was …

Introducing: Business of Bees

May 9th, 2019


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 …

How A Poker Pro 'Reads' His Opponents

May 6th, 2019


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 …

What Will Crypto’s Market Structure Look Like?

April 29th, 2019


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 …

The End of An Era for Odd Lots

April 22nd, 2019


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 …

Introducing "What Goes Up," A New Show From Bloomberg

April 17th, 2019


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 …

Why Foreign Investors Cooled On U.S. Debt

April 15th, 2019


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 …

MMT And Emerging Markets

April 8th, 2019


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 …

From MMT Advocate To Outspoken Critic

April 1st, 2019


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 …

A Critic of Cryptocurrencies Says Bitcoin Needs To Be Burnt With Fire

March 25th, 2019


There's a problem in many debates about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. While many people are inclined to dismiss them as fraudulent …

The Evolution Of The Online Brokerage Business

March 18th, 2019


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 …

What's Next For Chinese Trade Talks

March 11th, 2019


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 …

Canada's Cannabis Market So Far

March 4th, 2019


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, …

How To Analyze An IPO

February 25th, 2019


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 …

Tech Stock Bubbles In the 17th Century

February 18th, 2019


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 …

A Message from The Pay Check

February 13th, 2019


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 …

Understanding The Big Tech Stocks

February 11th, 2019


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 …

What To Know Ahead Of India's Election

February 4th, 2019


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 …

How Does The Chinese Economy Work?

January 28th, 2019


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

January 21st, 2019


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 …

Making Bitcoin A Currency People Use

January 14th, 2019


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 …

Introducing "Works For Me," A New Podcast From Bloomberg

January 9th, 2019


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 …

He Rode The Bitcoin Boom All The Way Up, And Down

January 7th, 2019


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 …

This is What Traders Will Be Watching In 2019

December 31st, 2018


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 …

These Were The Most Important Stories for Traders In 2018

December 24th, 2018


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 …

How Passive Investing Could Change Capitalism

December 17th, 2018


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 …

The Market's Big Bet on Low Volatility

December 10th, 2018


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 …

How To Analyze The Currency Markets

December 3rd, 2018


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. …

How Paul Volcker Views His Life

November 26th, 2018


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 …

Why Blockchain May Never Benefit Corporations

November 19th, 2018


For years, a common mantra among corporate executives has been that "the blockchain," the technology underlying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, …

This Is How The Unicorn Bubble Will Burst

November 12th, 2018


So-called "unicorns" have become household names in recent years. Multi-billion dollar companies like AirBNB, Uber, and WeWork have become known for …

Travel Genius, a New Show From Bloomberg

November 6th, 2018


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 …

How The Original Rogue Trader Rebuilt His Life

November 5th, 2018

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, …

Prognosis, a New Show From Bloomberg

November 2nd, 2018


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 …

Why Eurodollars Might Be Ground Zero for De-Globalization

October 29th, 2018

Eurodollars have nothing to do with the euro-dollar exchange rate. Instead, they're effectively a source of dollars that operates outside the control …

Coming Soon: The New Economy

October 24th, 2018

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 …

What Will China’s Economy Look Like In 10 Years?

October 22nd, 2018


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 …

Coming Soon: The ETF Story

October 19th, 2018


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 -- …

How To Analyze A Marijuana Stock

October 15th, 2018

Marijuana stocks have been on a tear recently, as investors bet on the explosion of a brand new, legalizing market. But, how should investors …

Saudi Arabia's IPO Drama

October 8th, 2018


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 …

What David Barse Learned From Watching A Credit Fund Blow Up

October 1st, 2018


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 …

How To Create The Safest Bank In America

September 24th, 2018


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 …

What Investors Should Know About The Correlation Between Bonds And Stocks

September 17th, 2018


Sixty percent in equities/40 percent in bonds is a popular, general approach to structuring a diversified portfolio. In theory, when times are good, …

A Forensic Accounting Expert Explains How Companies Trick Investors

September 10th, 2018

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 …

Matt Levine Dissects Elon Musk's Controversial Tweet

September 4th, 2018


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 …

The Time One Of Our Co-Hosts Launched His Own Cryptocurrency

August 27th, 2018

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 …

An Emerging Markets Fund Manager Describes What's Happening In Turkey Right Now

August 20th, 2018


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 …

How Wall Street Started Selling You Financial Products

August 13th, 2018


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 …

How A Post-Keynesian Economist Sees The Markets Right Now

August 6th, 2018


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 …

Even The World's Greatest Investors Have Made Horrible Mistakes

July 30th, 2018


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 …

Why Understanding Financial Fraud Is The Secret To Understanding Business

July 23rd, 2018

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 …

How to Listen to What the Market Is Trying to Tell You

July 16th, 2018


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 …

This Is What's Actually Happening When The Government Auctions Bonds

July 9th, 2018


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 …

The Internet Is Secretly Powered By Billions Of Tiny Auctions

July 2nd, 2018


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 …

The Creator of VaR Explains How Large Banks Measure The Risk Of Their Own Portfolios

June 25th, 2018


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 …

Meet The Chicago Floor Trader Who Helped Inspire The Tea Party Movement

June 18th, 2018

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 …

The Inventor Of 'Bond Vigilantes' Explains Why They Just Showed Up In Italy

June 11th, 2018


Longtime market analyst Ed Yardeni came up with the term "Bond Vigilantes" to describe the way bond market participants can punish governments who …

This Is How The Chocolate Market Actually Works

June 4th, 2018

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 …

What the Finance Industry's All-Night Scavenger Hunt Is Actually Like

May 28th, 2018

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 …

This Is China's Plan To Be A Technology Powerhouse By The Year 2025

May 21st, 2018


The recent trade tensions between the Trump administration and China has shone a light on the country's ambitions to become a technology powerhouse, …

Inside the Multi-Year Quest to Create a Bitcoin ETF

May 14th, 2018


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 …

Bonus: The Pay Check, a New Podcast

May 9th, 2018


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 …

This Is How The Paparazzi Business Really Works

May 7th, 2018


Everybody probably has some vague idea of what the paparazzi do. They ride around on motorcycles, hounding celebrities, and hopefully snapping photos …

These Stories Of Horse Racing Gamblers Will Get You Psyched For The Kentucky Derby

April 30th, 2018

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 …

Why The Entire Way We Talk About Millennials Is Wrong

April 23rd, 2018

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. …

We're Nominated For A Webby Award, And We Need Your Help!

April 16th, 2018


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

April 16th, 2018


By now, everyone's heard of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) where companies issue their own currency-like tokens. They boomed massively in 2017, …

This Is What A Trade War With China Would Actually Look Like

April 9th, 2018

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 …

An Economist Explains Why Losing Weight Is Kind Of Like Defeating Inflation

April 2nd, 2018


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 …

The World's Most Controversial Interest Rate Is Haunting Us Again

March 26th, 2018


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 …

What It Was Like In The Glory Days Of Trading Currencies In The Pits

March 19th, 2018


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 …

For The First Time In Years, Why People Are Suddenly Talking About Inflation Again

March 12th, 2018


For years, nobody seemed particularly concerned about inflation. Outside of a few blips, in the wake of the financial crisis, people have become …

Why The Human Brain Loves To Be Lied To

March 5th, 2018


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, …

Coming Soon: Decrypted Season 2

February 27th, 2018


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

February 26th, 2018

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 …

How One Of The Most Profitable Trades Of The Last Few Years Blew Up In A Single Day

February 19th, 2018


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 …

Coming Soon: What'd You Miss This Week

February 12th, 2018


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 …

Annie Duke Explains How To Apply Poker Skills To Markets And Other Business Decisions

February 12th, 2018


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 …

Why One Of The Most Successful Quant Funds Decided To Create Its Own Video Game

February 6th, 2018


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 …

How The Opioid Crisis And The Trump Administration Are Changing Middle America's Economy

January 29th, 2018


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 …

How Radical Demographic Shifts Around The World Are Changing How Assets Are Valued

January 22nd, 2018


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 …

This Explains Why Modern Markets Developed Where They Did

January 15th, 2018

For centuries, markets were highly-personalized things, often controlled by select groups of people who traded based on long-established and …

This Is What It Was Actually Like To Live Through The Tech Bubble

January 8th, 2018


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 …

These Will Be The Big Markets And Economics Stories In 2018

January 2nd, 2018


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 …

These Were The Biggest Markets And Economics Stories of 2017

December 26th, 2017


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 …

This Is How Algorithms Impact Every Aspect Of Our Lives, from News to Credit Scores to Stocks

December 18th, 2017


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 …

Two Researchers Explain How Quants Are Going To Revolutionize Long-Term Investing

December 11th, 2017


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 …

An MIT Professor Explains His Original Theory For How Markets Really Work

December 4th, 2017


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 …

Coming Soon: Trillions, a New Podcast

November 28th, 2017


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 …

Why Historic Relationships in Markets Have Been Totally Upended

November 27th, 2017


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 …

The World's Foremost Expert Explains How To Value Stock

November 20th, 2017


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 …

This Is How a Currency Trader Actually Picks What to Buy and Sell

November 13th, 2017


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 …

History Has Some Ominous Warnings for Investors in Initial Coin Offerings

November 6th, 2017


You can't go a day without hearing about ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings. By taking advantage of a regulatory gap and buzz surrounding …

Everything You've Been Taught About How to Value a Stock Might Be Wrong

October 30th, 2017


Investors are constantly poring over income statements from big companies to figure out whether they should buy or sell the business's stock. But …

ETFs Are Eating the Financial World and They're Not Done Yet

October 23rd, 2017


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 …

How One Trader Won Big While Everyone Else Panicked on Black Monday

October 16th, 2017


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 …

What We Can Learn About Market Liquidity By Looking At Everyday Life

October 9th, 2017


"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 …

Inside the Changing World of the Sell-Side Analyst

October 2nd, 2017

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 …

Revisiting The Strange Story Behind the Beanie Babies Bubble

September 25th, 2017

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 …

The Baseball Card Bubble Can Tell You A Surprising Amount About How Markets Work

September 18th, 2017


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 …

How an Austrian Economist Explains The Tulip Bubble

September 11th, 2017


The tulip bubble is the quintessential bubble. If you want to call something a bubble, just mutter something about tulips, and everybody will know …

This Is What Happened During The Great Florida Real Estate Bubble

September 4th, 2017


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, …

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

August 28th, 2017


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 …

What Looking Inside a Bank Archive Can Tell Us About Modern Finance

August 21st, 2017

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 …

The Biggest Lesson Investors Should Have Learned From the Crisis

August 14th, 2017

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 …

What Diner's Club Card Reveals About the Nature Of Money

August 7th, 2017


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 …

How The Bond Market Changed During A Veteran Trader's Decades On Wall Street

July 31st, 2017


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 …

What It's Like to Suddenly Become a Bond Manager in the Credit Crisis

July 24th, 2017


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 …

Why Wheat is the World's Most Exciting Market Right Now

July 17th, 2017


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. …

How A Former Wall Street Trader Cracked The World Of Betting On Baseball

July 10th, 2017


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 …

Why a Natural Gas Company Is Shaking the World of Islamic Finance

July 3rd, 2017


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 …

This Is What a Real-Life Wendy Rhoades Actually Does

June 23rd, 2017


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 …

Inside The Booming World of Initial Coin Offerings

June 16th, 2017


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 …

The True Story Of America's Catfish Gold Rush

June 9th, 2017


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 …

Why Everyone's Talking About the VIX and 50 Cent

June 2nd, 2017


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 …

Poker Legend Phil Hellmuth Has Advice That Traders Should Hear

May 26th, 2017


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 …

What a 150-Year Old Indian Railway System Tells Us About Trade

May 19th, 2017


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 …

How Instagram Turned Into a Giant Market for Food

May 12th, 2017


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 …

How a Fund Manager's Trying to Fix Some of the Mideast's Issues

May 5th, 2017


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 …

One Of The Top Chess Players Talks Computers & Options Trading

April 28th, 2017


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 …

How to Use Pop Music to Forecast the Stock Market

April 21st, 2017


When most people analyze the stock market, they look at stuff like revenues, earnings, valuations, and economic conditions. But some people like to …

What Happens When Markets As We Know Them Cease to Exist

April 13th, 2017


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 …

Inside the Hidden Cycles That Rule Markets and Life

April 7th, 2017


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 …

This Is How You Know When the Stock Market Is in a Bubble

March 31st, 2017


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, …

How a Fund Manager Teaches His Kids About Money and Banking

March 27th, 2017


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 …

What the Berkshires Learned by Launching its Own Currency

March 24th, 2017


"Buy local" is a mantra that has appeal across the political spectrum. Small communities have preached this gospel for a long time. Our current …

How the Biggest Bull Market Could Go on for a Whole Lot Longer

March 10th, 2017


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. …

The Incredible True Story of the Real Life 'Trading Places'

March 3rd, 2017


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 …

Could Buddhism Save The Global Economy?

February 24th, 2017


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 …

How Poker Explains the Battle of Passive and Active Investing

February 17th, 2017


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 …

Why It's Really Hard to Create a New Currency in a Revolution

February 10th, 2017


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 …

Why Negotiating a Ransom Is the Trickiest Trade in the World

February 3rd, 2017


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 …

64: Stay in School, Even if You're Planning to Join the Mob

January 27th, 2017


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 …

63: This Is How Monetary Policy Works in The Islamic State

January 20th, 2017


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 …

62: How The Biggest Bull Market Could Come Crashing Down

January 13th, 2017


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 …

61: Here's What's Going to Happen in 2017

January 6th, 2017


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 …

60: These Were the Most Interesting Stories of 2016

December 23rd, 2016


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 …

59: What Sneakers Can Tell You About How Financial Markets Work

December 16th, 2016


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 …

58: Ignore Investing's Mathematical Underpinnings at Your Peril

December 9th, 2016


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 …

57: Was November the Start of a Huge Turning Point In Markets?

December 2nd, 2016


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 …

56: How To Launch Your Own Form Of Money

November 25th, 2016


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 …

55: Here Are The Signs That A Civilization Is About To Collapse

November 18th, 2016


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 …

54: How Trump Did Something Yellen, Draghi Could Only Dream Of

November 11th, 2016


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 …

53: Why We Stopped Trusting Experts

November 4th, 2016


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 …

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

October 28th, 2016


Investors are often said to exhibit herding behavior when they follow each other into crowded positions — creating market bubbles that are …

51: Why Everyone Is Freaking Out About Globalization

October 21st, 2016


Dani Rodrik, a professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University, was writing about the downside of globalization before it was …

49: The Man Who Wants to Better Trading by Slowing It (Correct)

October 12th, 2016


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 …

48: The Lost History of Financial Market Modernization

October 3rd, 2016


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 …

47: Why it's Time to Stop Using the Word 'Disruption'

September 23rd, 2016


"Disruption," "incubation," "innovation"... you hear these words nonstop these days as people talk about the incredible changes taking place in …

46: Space Robots Are Helping Hedge Funds Invest

September 16th, 2016


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 …

45: Why A Whistleblower Walked Away From Over $8 Million

September 12th, 2016


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 …

44: What a 12-Year Knows About Money That an Economist Doesn't

September 2nd, 2016


"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? …

43: Seinfeld Can Teach You Everything You Need About Economics

August 29th, 2016


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 …

The Millennial Generation Is Stagnant And Older People Are Part

August 22nd, 2016


In developed economies, younger generations have faced stagnant wages, mediocre employment prospects and dizzying costs of homeownership. One …

41: Billionaires Help Tell the Story of Brazil's Boom and Bust

August 15th, 2016


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 …

40: Why Summer Has Just Gone on Sale

August 8th, 2016


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 …

39: The Insurance Market for Modern-Day Pirates

July 29th, 2016


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 …

37: Why We Are Increasingly Divided Into Ideological Bubbles

July 18th, 2016


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., …

36: How A Quant Saw Huge Changes That Took Place on Wall Street

July 11th, 2016


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 …

36: How A Quant Saw Huge Changes That Took Place on Wall Street

July 11th, 2016


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 …

35: There Was a Huge Opportunity The Night of the Brexit Vote

July 1st, 2016


In the runup to the Brexit vote polls were mixed. Some showed remain winning. Others showed leave winning. Nonetheless, markets, pundits, and …

32: The Amateur Activists Who Took On The Foreclosure Machine

June 13th, 2016


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 …

30: How Finance Took Over the World

May 27th, 2016


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 …

29: How an Old-School Chess Shop Survives in Modern New York

May 23rd, 2016


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 …

28: Finance's Hot New Thing Ended Up In An Old-School Scandal

May 13th, 2016


Peer-to-peer lending was supposed to disrupt the traditional way people borrowed money. Instead of going to some giant, soulless institution, online …

27: Kentucky Derby Edition: Flip This Horse

May 4th, 2016


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 …

26: How To Make Money By Betting On The U.K.’s Big Referendum

May 2nd, 2016


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 …

25: Americans Are Miserable, and It's Swaying The Election

April 25th, 2016


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 …

24: Meet The Most Important Country Singer in Economics

April 15th, 2016


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 …

23: Iceland Jailed Its Bad Bankers But People Are Still Angry

April 8th, 2016


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 …

22: The Unbearable Brightness of Being a Shadow Bank

April 4th, 2016


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. …

21: The Fraught Life of a Dumpster-Diving U.S. Short-Seller

March 28th, 2016


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 …

20: The Time NYSE Floor Traders Tried to Prank President Reagan

March 21st, 2016


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 …

Episode 19: Pow! Pow! El-Erian Talks Central Bank Ammunition

March 14th, 2016


Asset purchases! Currency devaluations! Low interest rates! Negative interest rates! And... more? The world's central banks have unleashed a torrent …

Episode 18: The Obscure Report That Spawned the ETF Industry

March 7th, 2016


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 …

Episode 17: How One Analyst Uncovered a $7 Billion Fraud

February 29th, 2016


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 …

Episode 16: Making Money When Everyone Else is Losing Theirs

February 22nd, 2016


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 …

How a Rural Irish Farmer Became an Expert on the Euro Crisis

February 16th, 2016


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 …

Episode 14: The World’s Only Stand-Up Economist

February 8th, 2016


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 …

Episode 13: How a Professor Won Gambling on an Obscure Sport

February 1st, 2016


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, …

Episode 12: How a Consultant Foresaw the 2015 Commodities Crash

January 25th, 2016


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 …

Episode 11: How David Bowie Became a Financial Product

January 19th, 2016


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 …

Episode 10: How the World Ended Up With a Boring Banana

January 11th, 2016


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 …

Episode 9: The 2016 Predictions Episode

January 4th, 2016


(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, …

Episode 8: These Were Our Favorite Stories of 2015

December 28th, 2015


(Bloomberg) -- Gather ‘round the Odd Lots fire. Co-hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway have assembled a collection of Bloomberg News reporters and …

Episode 7: How One Woman Tried To Sound Housing Crash Alarm

December 21st, 2015


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 …

Episode 6: Meet The Man Who Made Millions Trading Mules

December 14th, 2015


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 …

Episode 5: 6,000 Years of Interest Rates

December 7th, 2015


(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 …

Episode 4: Can a Hedge Funder Cut Prescription Drug Costs?

November 30th, 2015


(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 …

Episode 3: The Strange Story Behind the Beanie Babies Bubble

November 23rd, 2015


(Bloomberg) -- Two market bubbles stand out from the late 1990s. Technology stocks that were supposed to make everyone a zillionaire. The other: A …

Episode 2: Under the Hood of the $8 Trln Corporate Bond Market

November 16th, 2015


(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 …

Episode 1: Tom Keene on Mathiness and His Favorite Guitar

November 6th, 2015


(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 …

The Odd Lots Preview

November 4th, 2015


(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 …

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