Big Business is shaping the world in unprecedented ways. Through a series of conversations with today’s best business writers and thinkers, journalist Bethany McLean (co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room) cuts through the hype and hand-wringing to reframe the stories you thought you understood and uncover the ones you didn’t know were important.
Going, going, Ghosn - with Joe Nocera
39:47In the Season One finale of Making A Killing, Bethany brings back her friend, colleague and co-author Joe Nocera (Bloomberg Opinion columnist and creator of The Shrink Next Door podcast) to bookend the season with a lively analysis of the former head of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault S.A., Carlos Ghosn... sure to go down in history as one of the wildest business stories ever. Time and time again we learn that in business, truth is always stranger than fiction. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Malcolm Harris on "Keynes Was Wrong. Gen Z Will Have It Worse."
37:45John Maynard Keynes, the founder of macroeconomics, thought he knew what his grandchildren would be facing today. He imagined that capitalism would be almost over by now, having simply been a means to greater ends. About other things he was right; about capitalism being over, he was very, very wrong. Today's guest, Malcolm Harris -- editor of The New Inquiry and author of the book Shit is Fucked Up And Bullshit: History Since The End of History -- believes today's kids will have it even worse. Bethany and Malcolm have a Gen-X-meets-Gen-Y conversation about our future economy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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Liam Denning on the Price of Oil
45:15The inconvenient truth of oil is that it is still the lifeblood of industrialized nations -- and the price, politics and pollution of it matters. A lot. But one of the funny things about oil is how everyone who dares to make predictions has one thing in common: They’re wrong. In this episode, Bethany talks with Liam Denning, a well-known Bloomberg opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Kirsten Korosec on the Rocky Road for Self-Driving Cars
39:43Autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars, are often painted as a utopian-like technology that will save time (no traffic), save lives (no crashes), save money (billions!), and maybe even save the Earth (no emissions). But, as TechCrunch's Kirsten Korosec notes in her recent piece, “Who Will Own the Future of Transportation?” even if autonomous vehicles are eventually deployed en masse, the road to that future promises to be long, chaotic and complex. In this fascinating episode, Bethany and Kirsten discuss the difference between describing a grand vision, and soberly understanding the real costs and deep impact incurred by the execution of said vision. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Chris McCann on Cryptocurrency in the Real World
40:41Cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy, as it seems most people agree, but it also feels like we’ve reached a tipping point. Even in Crypto Winters when Bitcoin prices crash, undeniably formative companies and global leaders (Starbucks, Microsoft, Visa, Facebook, the entire nation of China!) continue to make significant bets on the space. As we move from a speculative era into today, driven by more and more people investing time and money into the Bitcoin ecosystem, how do we know that digital assets will find a regular, scalable place in the world? What happens if crypto totally upends the “real” (is that fair to say?) financial markets? Are we in danger of that? What happens if there is a recession in the U.S. again - does Bitcoin become more attractive as an alternative to a centralized federal money system? And what is money, anyway? Bethany's guest Chris McCann, partner at Proof of Capital, chats about all this and more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Paul Tough on How College Makes Us or Breaks Us
43:57If there’s a defining feature of upper income life for people with children, it’s school stress. How do you get your kids into the right preschool so they can get into the right high school so they can go to the best college? Paul Tough’s new book THE YEARS THAT MATTER MOST: How College Makes or Breaks Us, reveals why college, which is supposed to be the great equalizer, has become something that depends on and reinforces class and privilege. This is a huge deal for the business world. If we’re losing access to talent, we’re losing more than words can say. It also, of course, is a huge deal for our society. It’s not too grandiose to say that education determines the shape of the society in which we live. So…what shape is that? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nick Lemann on Shooting Sacred Cows (in Economics)
33:00It's easy to take the economic mores of the time in which you live for granted. It's so easy, in fact, that it doesn't occur to most of us to question them. But question them we should. In his new book, TRANSACTION MAN, longtime journalist and Dean Emeritus of the Columbia Journalism School Nick Lemann shows that the beliefs that have shaped our modern world are not inviolable truths, but rather temporary and fragile constructs. In this episode, Bethany and Nick range from the 1950's-era belief that big corporations were the keepers of the social good, to the modern era of profit maximization, and agree that we need to keep questioning economic models and trends...because you never know when you’ll realize, all of a sudden, that they’re wrong. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mark Rampolla on Peak Alt-Meat
40:48Mark Rampolla has been at the forefront of not one, but two industry-making companies. The first was his own ZICO coconut water, which birthed an $8 billion alternative beverage industry. The next saw Mark as an investor in Beyond Meat, which has been leading the plant-based food revolution. In both cases, the pioneering companies were met head on with major challenges. Both companies had to change deeply held biases of their consumers. But then, the minute they started to win people over, competitors came on strong. Is there such a thing as first-mover advantage, and if so, how do you hang onto it? What happens when you literally create an industry, and then the industry tries to cannibalize you? Pun intended! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Vanessa Grigoriadis on the Business of Ivanka Trump
37:11From the minute her dad took office, Ivanka and her business affairs have been at the center of controversy. Even though Ivanka removed herself from her Ivanka Trump fashion company when she entered the White House as a formal Adviser in 2017, she was forced to close the brand in Summer of 2018 due to continuing questions of conflicts of interest. Brands such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Gilt dropped her products after a boycott-Trump movement in backlash to the president's policies on… everything. Fair, unfair, for politics to take a toll on her business? To discuss all of this and more, Bethany sits down with New York Times Magazine writer Vanessa Grigoriadis, who also hosts the popular new podcast Tabloid, currently focusing an entire season on trying to understand none other than Ivanka Trump. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Fake News and Fact Checking on Social Media with Kyle Pope
39:41Bethany talks to Kyle Pope, editor in chief and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review, about the importance of fact checking. In this terrifying new world of fake news, it's more important than ever. Are the major social platforms doing enough, or is it just a losing battle? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.