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Jim Grant Sees an Era of Higher Rates That Could Last For Years
If you think interest rates seem high right now, you might be operating with too short of a perspective. For a longer-term perspective, you'd want to talk to someone like Jim Grant. On this episode of the Odd Lots podcast, the founder and editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer and a long-time financial commentator talks to us about why we're at the beginning of a longer-term trend of higher rates that could last decades. He argues that investors will struggle to shake off years of "buy the dip" behavior, a ZIRP mentality, and a misplaced faith in the Federal Reserve. We also discuss what it means for market behavior today.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Counterfeiting Scandals Keep Slamming the Commodities Market
Earlier this year, it emerged that the London Metals Exchange had been holding a bunch of bags filled with stones instead of the nickel needed to back trades for major commodities players, including Trafigura. Before that, commodities trader Mercuria was given painted rocks instead of the copper it was supposed to take delivery of. In short, the commodities world is no stranger to fraud. But what is it about the business of trading, moving and storing commodities that makes it so susceptible to scandal? In this episode, we speak to repeat Odd Lots guests and commodities collateral specialists Mercury Group CEO Anton Posner and President Margo Brock, about some recent episodes of counterfeiting in commodities world, why they seem to keep happening, and what could be done to prevent further instances from occurring.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This Is How We'll Know If the CHIPS Act Is Working
The US government is spending billions of dollars to build out state-of-the-art domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity. But spending money is no guarantee of success. In fact, there are already worries that the CHIPS Act passed by the Biden administration isn't succeeding, due to various roadblocks, speedbumps and unforced errors. So what are the odds that it will pay off? And what should we be watching for as evidence of its efficacy? On this episode of the podcast, we spoke with Dan Wang, technology analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics and Adam Ozimek, chief economist at the Economic Innovation Group. This episode was recorded live at Decades, Adam's bowling alley in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, during the #EconTwitterIRL event in April.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Slack Founder Stewart Butterfield on AI, Software, and the End of the Tech Boom
Stewart Butterfield has been at the forefront of two epochal turning points for tech. First, he was the co-founder of the photo sharing site Flickr, that was one of the defining brands of the so-called Web 2.0 and the world of user-generated content. Several years after that, he co-founded Slack, one of the big winners of the software-as-a-service wars, changing how people work and how companies operate. Now we're at another turning point for the tech industry. Layoffs have occurred across the space and AI is putting traditional business models into doubt. On this episode, we speak with Butterfield about his experiences and what he sees coming next for tech.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On the Debt Ceiling, the White House Is Doing What It Said It Wouldn't Do
In 2011, then-Vice President Biden had a front row seat to a bruising debt ceiling standoff between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. That fight arguably derailed the Obama presidency and the nascent economic recovery. After that experience, Biden and his team had insisted that this time they would not negotiate over a debt ceiling increase. Yet here we are, and the current administration is doing exactly that. According to the Treasury Department, we're just days away from the so called "X-date" (when a US default would occur) and both the White House and new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have been debating what conditions a hike in the debt ceiling should come with. So how did they get into this situation? And what were the other options? On this episode we speak with Skanda Amarnath, executive director of Employ America, and Arnab Datta, senior counsel of Employ America, about the current state of play and how it might have been avoided.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.