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Hidden Forces

Author: Demetri Kofinas

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Demetri Kofinas interviews some of the most brilliant minds in science, technology, finance, politics, and culture as he uncovers the hidden forces driving the most powerful changes we see in the world.
198 Episodes
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In Episode 180 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas provides listeners with a sneak peak into the next 5 weeks of content, including episodes on the networked state, financial warfare, cybersecurity, the loneliness epidemic, and how to rebuild the mission-driven state. You can access the episode overtimes, as well as the transcripts and rundowns to each week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou of Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/21/2021
In Episode 179 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas shares the overtime to his 4-hour-long conversation with Radigan Carter, an investor who has spent the last two decades of his life working across five continents as a member of the US military, as a private contractor, and as a special agent for the United States government. In this second-half of their conversation, Radigan shares not only his remarkable insights on geopolitics and foreign affairs, including a long discussion about the security and politics of the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, but also his perspective on what’s happening within the United States: the radicalization of the citizenry and the potential for an escalation in political violence over the next few years. The two also discuss the pro’s and con’s of decentralization and what a more decentralized world would look like in practice. A transcript to this episode is available to our premium subscribers through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. Write us a review on Apple Podcasts by following this link: http://bit.ly/rate-the-podcast If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/26/2021
In Episode 178 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Lily Francus, a 25-year-old PhD student in bioinformatics who spends her time modeling complex, dynamic systems, trading meme stocks, and writing about options, derivatives, and how stories and ideas spread on the Internet. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or don’t have an Internet connection you will already know that some really crazy shit happened in the last couple of weeks involving the video game retailer GameStop, a number of large, Wall Street institutions, and the online community subreddit r/Wall Street Bets, which has now grown to over 8 million users. There have been so many competing explanations put forward for what happened here that it would be impossible to try and summarize them all. Instead, this episode attempts to explain the mechanics of how it all happened. In other words, how an online community consisting primarily of retail investors managed to pump the price of GameStop’s stock to such a level that institutional investors who were short the stock were forced to cover and in the case of hedge fund Melvin Capital, get bailed out to the tune of nearly 3 billion dollars. In this conversation, we look at how both market structure and the endogenous dynamics of the options market, combined with the proliferation of narrative in the form of Internet memes were used to organize, coordinate, and execute what was effectively a community-sourced short squeeze that caused chaos across wall street and left the financial press and the public, scrambling for answers. While the conversation about options is specific to wall street, the memetic aspect of this story is perhaps the most fascinating, not only because understanding online culture and how narratives spread on the Internet can help you capitalize on trends and monetize momentum, but also because its application extends to pretty much any use-case you can imagine.  This week’s overtime segment is a conversation Demetri had with Real Vision Senior Editor and former CNBC reporter Ash Bennington, who he invited on the program to discuss the events of the last week and what we might expect going forward. The episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode are available through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. Time Codes: 9:38 Summary and update on "what happened" with GameStop, r/WallStreetBets, and institutional Wall Street 21:15 Discussion about market structure and endogenous factors related to options & positioning 41:37 Discussion about role of narrative and Internet memes in driving the price of GameStop If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website r/WallStreetBets Joker Meme mentioned during episode: https://www.reddit.com/r/wallstreetbets/comments/l1u036/wsb_gets_emotional_on_mad_money/  Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/02/2021
In Episode 177 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Radigan Carter, an investor who has spent the last two decades of his life working across five continents as a member of the US military, as a private contractor, and as a special agent for the United States government. He has extensive experience leading large multinational teams -- including a 350-person security force -- in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa. Ratigan’s love of history, knowledge of foreign affairs, and first-hand experience overseas give him a unique perspective from which to comment on the political, national security, and economic issues facing Western society today. We spent the first two hours of this four-hour long conversation discussing Radigan’s experience overseas, including his participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom, his work as a private contractor in Qatar, and his time spent as a special agent for the United States government in Afghanistan and North Africa. The stories that he shares are inspirational and at times unnerving, but they are always delivered with a wisdom, reflection, and authenticity that you rarely find today. In the second half of their conversation, Radigan shares not only his remarkable insights on geopolitics and foreign affairs, including a long discussion about the security and politics of the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, but also his perspective on what’s happening within the United States: the radicalization of the citizenry and the potential for an escalation in political violence over the next few years.  We also discuss his views on financial markets and the macro economy, including a conversation about cryptocurrency, its place in his own portfolio, and how it fits into his larger investing philosophy. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/26/2021
In Episode 176 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas shares his thoughts on a series of interconnected topics including Tether, Bitcoin, domestic terrorism, generational conflict, and foreign interference. The medium posted cited in this episode is “The Bit Short: Inside Crypto’s Doomsday Machine.” The two Blockchain Debate Podcast episodes cited are (1) "Tether has always been acting in bad faith (Bennett Tomlin vs. Larry Cermak, co-host: Patrick McKenzie)” and (2) "Tether will likely get crushed by authorities in the next two years, thanks to its shady practices and defiance against regulators (CasPiancey vs. Matthew Graham)” The episode of the “What Bitcoin Did Podcast” mentioned in this episode is “Questions for Tether with Paolo Ardoino & Stuart Hoegner.” You can access the transcript to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/22/2021
In Episode 175 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Kevin Vallier, an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University, whose interests lie primarily in political philosophy, ethics, philosophy of religion, and economics.    In his latest book, “Trust in a Polarized Age,” Kevin draws on empirical data and liberal political philosophy to demonstrate that rising levels of political polarization can be largely attributed to a multi-decade decline in trust. If we want to reduce political polarization, argues Kevin, “we have to start by rebuilding social and political trust.” While this may seem like a tall order during a time in which Americans are less trusting than at any point since at least the 1960’s when measurements began, the situation is not hopeless.  In this conversation we discuss the causes and consequences of declining social and political trust, the two-way relationship between trust and polarization, and what sorts of practical steps can be taken at both an individual and societal level to begin to restore faith in each other and in our political and legal institutions.   In the overtime, Kevin and Demetri touch on a number of timely topics, including concerns about domestic terrorism and the parallels that can be drawn between the early 1990’s and today. One of the more interesting parts of the discussion deals with the “mainstreaming” so to speak, of conspiracy theory. Unlike in the early 1990’s where domestic terror groups and individuals were motivated primarily by extreme ideological beliefs, those being monitored today, some of which were involved in the attack on the US Capitol building, combine political violence with mainstream views that are shared by a significant percentage of the American people. You can access the second part of this conversation, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/12/2021
In Episode 174 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Ippolito and Jason Yanowitz, the founders of Blockworks, a financial media brand that delivers breaking news and premium insights about digital assets to millions of investors. In this conversation, Jason and Michael share news about the recent launch of their editorial site, including anecdotes from their experience creating a crypto-focused, financial media company from scratch in an industry that has seen explosive growth in investor interest over the last 12 months. If you are interested in blockchain technology, decentralized finance, cryptocurrencies, or just generally fascinated by the culture in crypto and blockchain, you will love this conversation. Michael and Jason explain how they bootstrapped the company without any outside funding, creating a stable of talented podcast hosts like Ted Seides, Peter McCormack, Preston Pysh, and most famously, Anthony Pompliano, whose podcast they started together and which has since become the most popular podcast in crypto. The second half of the conversation focuses primarily on understanding the content and business models of BlockWorks and how they compare to their competitors. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript to this episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/07/2021
In Episode 173 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Matt Stoller, Director of Research at the American Economic Liberties Project and author of Goliath: The Hundred Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy. The two discuss the reaction of Big Tech to the storming of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. this past week, what it reveals about the power that these data monopolies have over their competitors and the government, and how we can use the law and regulation to restore equilibrium between corporate power and governance in American life. Topics include: Section 230, common carriage laws, the de-platforming of Trump by Facebook & Twitter, the banning of Parler from the Apple iOS & Android app stores and Amazon’s servers, and more. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/11/2021
In Episode 172 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Grant Williams and Ben Hunt. Ben is the founder of the widely read Epsilon Theory, a newsletter and website that is known for its insights and analysis on markets and society with a particular focus on how narrative drives our perception of the world and our place in it. Grant is the long-time publisher of a popular financial newsletter and the host of the very popular Grant Williams Podcast, which you can find on any major podcast platform. The three of them discuss the urgent social, political, and economic issues facing the United States and what Americans can do to help themselves and their country in this moment of heightened uncertainty. Topics include equity markets, cryptocurrencies, politics, national security, social media, & more. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/05/2021
In Episode 171 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Katharina Pistor, a leading scholar of corporate governance, money & finance, property rights, and comparative law & legal institutions. She’s also a prominent commentator on cryptocurrencies, has testified before Congress about them, and has written papers dealing with the issues of digital statehood and monetary sovereignty. Her latest book, “The Code of Capital,” is a tour de force that explains in captivating detail how the law is used to code and construct capital, protecting some assets over others, how this creates wealth for society, and how its use and abuse can make the difference between societal cohesion and political revolution. In today’s conversation, you will learn how the law—a powerful tool for social ordering and wealth creation—has been put to work in the service of private consolidation and political control. This leads us to focus on three, interrelated topics: The first deals with the nature of property and how the legal system and its network of lawyers turn assets into capital by encoding them with certain, key attributes. One of these attributes, convertibility, has been notably expanded in its application over the last thirteen years, as central banks have accepted an ever broader basket of assets as collateral and used their balance sheets to monetize not only government debt, but mortgages, corporate bonds, and stock ETFs. The second deals with a knock-on effect of the first, namely, the astronomical growth in the market value of Bitcoin. In this context, Bitcoin can be seen as an exogenous response to the erosion of trust and credibility in the conduct of monetary policy by central banks and in response to questions about the integrity of public money. But questions remain about whether or not a private form of money like Bitcoin can replace state-issued fiat money or if monetary sovereignty even exists without territorial sovereignty. The third and final area of discussion looks at how creatures of the legal code, like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others, are using that same code to not only control markets but effectively break them and transform the economic space into something that more closely resembles a system of bonded labour. After listening to today’s episode, you should be better able to understand how the world we live in today came to be, how its code has been altered, and why promises of a frictionless, deterministic future are chimeras; they are designed to divest us of not only our power but of the very agency that makes this experiment in democratic self-governance possible in the first place. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/29/2020
In Episode 170 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas shares an interview he recently did on the Bankless podcast, where he gives his views on the future of freedom and governance. Topics include cryptocurrencies, global macro, monetary policy, geopolitics, and more.  Since our episode with Rohan Grey aired, we have seen new regulatory proposals including the FinCen KYC regulations on self-hosted wallets and the recent securities fraud lawsuit filed by the SEC against Ripple. As part of our effort to educate listeners about the ongoing transition towards a pro-regulatory environment, we have put together a couple of episodes in the new year dealing with these issues head-on.  Today’s conversation deals with some of these topics, specifically this notion of a networked state or a digital state. David and Ryan seem to feel that code can supplant legal structures as an operating framework for society. While Demetri may agree that smart contracts can automate agreements, he doesn’t believe that self-executing software can or should supplant our legal systems. He also thinks that it is naïve and dangerous to synonymize open-source software with liberal democracy, an argument that he expands on in this episode. You can access the transcript to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/24/2020
In Episode 169 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Sandel, professor of Government Theory at Harvard University Law School, host of the BBC series “The Public Philosopher,” and author of numerous, bestselling books including his latest, “The Tyranny of Merit.”   When people complain about meritocracy, the complaint is usually not about the ideal but about our failure to live up to it. According to this complaint, meritocracy is a myth, a distant promise yet to be redeemed. This complaint is certainly valid. But what if the problem runs deeper? What if the real problem with meritocracy is not that we have failed to achieve it but that the ideal is flawed? What if the rhetoric of rising no longer inspires, not simply because social mobility has stalled but, more fundamentally, because helping people scramble up the ladder of success in a competitive meritocracy is a hollow political project that reflects an impoverished conception of citizenship and freedom?  Perhaps nowhere has this mindset around success and failure been more evident than in our response to the pandemic, where we were continually assured by our public officials that we are “all in this together.” And yet, for those of who have been working from home during this time or who are economically independent enough to prioritize social distancing, take the necessary health precautions, and access the highest quality health services this catchphrase rings hollow. We know it’s not true. We know that there are two different realities for two different classes of people in this society, the winners and the losers.   In their conversation today, Michael and Demetri explore how we got to this point, what it means for our society, and how we might begin to engage in the moral and political renewal required to fix it. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces  Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 12/14/2020
In Episode 168 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Rohan Grey, an expert on the legal design and regulation of digital fiat currency and one of the prime authors of the recently proposed STABLE Act put forward by congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and congressmen Jesús García and Stephen Lynch of Illinois and Massachusetts respectively.    The stated justification for the bill is to “protect consumers from the risks posed by emerging digital payment instruments, such as Facebook’s Libra and other Stablecoins,” which the authors define as “digital currencies, whose value is permanently pegged to or stabilized against a conventional currency like the dollar and which pose new regulatory challenges while also representing a growing source of market, liquidity, and credit risk.”   The goal of this conversation was to get absolutely clear on the language and intent of the regulation, not just as a standalone document but as part of a much larger regulatory agenda that is being put forward by the more progressive factions of the democratic party. What is clear is that much of this depends on how we define money and what we mean when we talk about “a deposit.” Regardless of what your personal beliefs are, regulation is coming. The question is what is it going to look like and how is it going to impact you and your community, whether that community is your local community, your business community, or a crypto community? This conversation is meant to help you begin to wrap your arms around this new paradigm, to understand what you think about it and how you want to respond to it. You can gain access to the episode overtime, Demetri’s additional conversation with Jeremy Allaire, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page.  All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces  Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 12/08/2020
In Episode 167 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with political data scientist David Shor. David was recently described in New York Magazine as Obama’s “In-House Nate Silver” for his work on the president’s re-election campaign where he was responsible for building and maintaining the campaign's election forecasting system, which accurately predicted the outcome to within a point in every state and was the primary input to the campaign's resource allocation decisions in the 2012 election. In this conversation, David shares his theory about why Democrats have struggled to win elections in recent years, why the polls have been so off in both of the last two presidential elections, and what the implications of his findings are for the viability of the party and its ideological platform and rhetoric.  We also look at how Republicans gained support from African American men and Hispanics in an election year that we were told was supposed to be a referendum on white privilege. Does this mean that identity politics has run its course, or does it just validate the assertions of people like New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow who claim that this is simply further evidence of the entrenchment of white supremacy in American society? David also shares his predictions on the Georgia senate races and gives his opinion on how polling should be reformed. Lastly, Shor explains how education levels correlate with ideological extremism, how this has put Democratic candidates out of step with the majority of Americans, and what this means for policy choices in the event that the Democrats retake control of the senate in 2020 or 2022.  You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces  Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 12/01/2020
In Episode 166 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Thomas Ricks about his book “First Principles: What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks & Romans.” The two discuss the influence of Greco-Roman thought and culture on America’s founding generation, while drawing lessons that can be applied to our democracy today. First Principles is a timely book, in that we find ourselves grappling today with many of the same questions, concerns, and anxieties that animated and vexed the drafters of the American constitution. It is also a deeply profound one, because it reminds us that America was, is, and always will be an experiment. The constitution was constructed after all, in the midst of the Enlightenment. “What was most important and really new about the Age of Reason,” writes the scholar William Goetzmann, “was the sublime confidence of the intellectuals and societal leaders in the power of man’s reason...Human nature, like all other nature, was a constant that yielded to rational inquiry.” In other words, the enlightenment showed the founding generation that it was possible to use reason and observation to discern the eternal laws of nature and then to use that understanding to aid human progress. To be enlightened was to have an energetic way of examining the world with skepticism and self-confidence and that self-confidence came from the knowledge that the world was knowable, that truths could be discovered, and inquiries made into the nature of things. “To be enlightened,” as the intellectual historian Caroline Winterer put it, “was to be filled with hope.” It was with this sense of hope and empowerment that America’s founding generation set about to construct the American constitution and bill of rights. What were their objectives? Who did they look up to? What books did they read? And why the obsession with the ancients? What lessons did they take from the successes and failures of the Greeks and Romans? What did they value in themselves and in others? How did these values inform their construction of the union? And what can we learn from their experience when grappling with our own challenges today, whether we’re talking about executive power, media censorship, political division, or any of the other issues that animate the spirit of today’s generations?   The purpose of this episode is to provide a historical context for the challenges we face today in an effort to understand that they are not altogether new, nor are they insurmountable.  You can access the overtime to this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces  Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 11/24/2020
In Episode 165 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Paul McNamara, an Investment Director at global asset manager GAM who serves as the company’s lead manager on hedge fund, emerging market bond and currency long-only strategies. The first half of this conversation focuses on the macro forces driving EM overall, including how the latest vaccines could affect the global recovery and the service and export sectors in emerging markets, the global debt picture and its impact on economic recovery, the resumption of trade, etc. The second half of our conversation focuses exclusively on one emerging market country in particular: Turkey. Turkey is a uniquely important country, not least because of its geostrategic positioning as a gateway between east and west, straddling multiple important theatres of conflict, diplomacy, and trade that matter greatly to all the major powers, including the United States. What happens to Turkey’s economy, the country’s ability to service its debts, and the value of its currency are materially important for its geopolitical stability and for the stability of its neighbors and NATO allies. To that effect, we examine some of the latest government-family drama in Turkey involving the president’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak and the significance of his ouster as Minister of Finance and Treasury, along with the implications for Turkey’s economy. We also discuss the recent 475 basis point rate hike by the Turkish central bank and what this means for the economy, domestic bank lending, and the value of the Lira going forward.  Lastly, given the turmoil in relations between Turkey, the US, and Europe, it’s an open question as to how an incoming Biden administration will deal with this important NATO ally and if sanctions could be used against Ankara in the event that diplomatic headway isn’t made and Turkey’s president continues to go his own way on issues that are vital to both the US and Europe. You can access the afterthought segment, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces  Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 11/19/2020
In Episode 164 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with legendary short-seller Jim Chanos, founder of Kynikos Associates, about the art and science of selling short. What is short-selling? What does it mean to sell something short? How does one learn to do it successfully? These are just some of the questions that Demetri and Jim explore in their two-hour-long conversation on markets, politics, and life. Demetri asks Jim for his philosophy on investing and why value-oriented allocators have had a difficult time profiting during the later stages of this bull market. A vocal critic of corporate excess and malfeasance, Chanos also offers his view on what a Biden administration will mean for financial regulation, capital markets, equity valuations, and the broader economy. The two also dissect the business models and prospects of companies like Tesla and Uber and consider the value proposition of Bitcoin amid its extraordinary rise in recent weeks. They end with a conversation about history and what we might come to expect from the future by looking into the past. This is yet another excellent, engaging, and profoundly eye-opening conversation in a series of such discussions that we have released in recent weeks. We hope you enjoy it! You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces  Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 11/17/2020
In Episode 163 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with CNN host and bestselling author Fareed Zakaria, about his book “Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World.”  The two explore a wide range of economic, political, social, & geopolitical issues facing America and the world in 2020. They discuss the outcome of the US election and its implications for the republican and democratic parties. Fareed shares his thoughts on what he believes are the major foreign policy challenges currently facing the United States and how a Biden administration will differ in its approach to meeting them. Zakaria also provides lengthy commentary on the news media, censorship, Big Tech, the future of US-China relations, the fate of globalization, the rise of illiberal democracy, and much, much more. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 11/10/2020
In Episode 162 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Matt Taibbi, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, co-host of the “Useful Idiots” podcast, and author of several, best-selling books on politics, finance, media, and culture. The two discuss the state of the US presidential election and speculate about what may have contributed to Trump’s outperformance, how this election may eventually draw to a close, and when we will know for sure who the winner is. In the overtime, Demetri and Matt discuss what a post-Trump presidency may look like in the event that he loses, the dangerous role played by tech platforms during this election, and how we may all find ourselves in a much darker place before 2024. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 11/05/2020
In Episode 161 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas plays an interview he recently gave to Sebastien Couture and Friederike Ernst on Epicenter.TV. This is a wide-ranging, macro conversation focused on markets, politics, geopolitics, and crypto. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 09/30/2020
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Comments (11)

Steve Craig

What a great conversation! You exchange ideas on a level that is so rare these days! Keep up your amazing work, and thanks!

Jul 24th
Reply

unk_anon

it's June 24th...and we haven't had the massive military takeover suggested by the host.

Jun 24th
Reply

pepper

Not informative and generally naive discussion from 2 obviously smart individuals.

May 13th
Reply

unk_anon

yeah, this guy seemed so Anti-American. Ridiculous to believe the Chinese...who are now see reinfections.

Apr 1st
Reply

Jimmy Bobby

lol he believes China's data. What a joke. I can't even listen to this.

Mar 21st
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Mike Coffey

Months back I listened to Hidden Forces podcast where Chinese espionage, intellectual and technological theft were discussed also mentioned how basically all companies based in China were government run / controlled. It was an excellent episode that I'd like to listen to again but can't seem to find it; wondering if it's been deleted as some may have thought it wasn't politically correct enough. If by chance it is still is in the archives and I've missed it, it would be much appreciated if someone knew and could mention the title. A channel that is willing to intelligently discuss the reality of world affairs as was covered, is a podcast I'd gladly pay to subscribe to.

Feb 2nd
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Olga Musayev

I really like this podcast. I like how the host becomes very engaged with the guest and digs into the arguments. I don't share some of the views, but that does not make it any worse -- very fun to argue mentally while listening.

Nov 16th
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Jordan Jackson

so good omg

Oct 30th
Reply (1)

Ryan McHutchon

sounds like the Roman Empire

Oct 27th
Reply

Pete Jan

Shorting the Canadian banks is not a good trade. Our situation is unlike the US in 2008. Look into CMHC (not the same as Freddie and Fannie) as well as policies put in place to reduce foreign investments. There may very well be a bubble but the banks do not have the exposure that the US banks did in 2008. I agree that debt levels are high and that is of concern.

May 11th
Reply
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