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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.
166 Episodes
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In Episode 149 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Orville Schell, Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society about the implications of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's monumental speech at the Nixon Library, the history of engagement with China’s Communist Party, and what a New Cold War with China will mean for the future of peace and security. Dr. Schell’s career as a China scholar spans the entire arch of US-Sino relations since Nixon’s fateful trip to the Middle Kingdom in 1972 and the opening up of China to the world. The same year (1967) that Dr. Schell earned his master's degree in Chinese studies an astounding 70 percent of Americans agreed on one thing: the greatest threat to U.S. security was the People’s Republic of China. After fifty years of engagement where relations between the two nations would improve dramatically, Americans are now back to viewing China as an enemy. A Pew Research Center poll conducted in March 2020 shows that roughly two-thirds of Americans now say they have an unfavorable view of China, the most negative rating for the country since the Center began asking the question in 2005, and up nearly 20 percentage points since the start of the Trump administration. Positive views of China’s leader, President Xi Jinping, are also at historically low levels. In a recent speech delivered at the Nixon Presidential Library, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the failure of 50 years of engagement with China and called for the free world to stand up against this “new tyranny” in what felt very much like the beginning of a new cold war.  “It’s true, there are differences,” remarked Pompeo, when contrasting China to the USSR. “Unlike the Soviet Union, China is deeply integrated into the global economy. But Beijing is more dependent on us than we are on them.” “I reject the notion,” he continued, “that we’re living in an age of inevitability, that some trap is pre-ordained, that CCP supremacy is the future. . . . If we bend the knee now, our children’s children may be at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party, whose actions are the primary challenge today in the free world. General Secretary Xi is not destined to tyrannize inside and outside of China forever unless we allow it.” In their conversation, Orville Schell and Demetri Kofinas discuss the speech, what it means for US-Sino relations, and the implications of disengagement for the US, China, and the world. 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 07/29/2020
In Episode 148 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Anderson and Vance Spencer. Mike and Vance are the founders of Framework Ventures, a thesis-driven venture capital firm whose team of technologists, researchers, and investors partner with founders and teams to build token-based networks and develop the requisite cryptoeconomics, governance, and community to scale.    The team’s focus is on the hot new space of decentralized finance, known as DeFi for short. They are the largest owners outside of the core team & exchanges of both the decentralized oracle provider Chainlink and the derivatives platform Synthetix.  Framework’s investment thesis relies on three assumptions. The first is that (1) financial institutions will realize competitive advantages as smart contract functionality allows them to streamline costs and realize new revenue streams. (2) Permissionless open protocols will provide access to financial services to a wider range of people than is possible today. (3) Token-based business models have a competitive advantage over traditional business models for some technical products. During this episode, we explore a number of use cases and applications that Framework’s founders believe will drive value in DeFi. We discuss cryptoeconomics in the context of how to capture network value, the “chicken-or-the-egg” problem of initializing a two-sided network and consider a new approach to valuation that breaks with some of the models and formulas that were popularized during the ICO craze of 2017.  The team also discusses their investments in Chainlink and Synthetix, including a discussion about the tech, tokenomics, and community of these projects. 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 07/20/2020
In Episode 147 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Muneeb Ali, co-founder of Blockstack, a full-stack decentralized computing platform and app ecosystem that puts users in control of their identity & data.  The two spend the first half of their conversation discussing the recent twitter hack and what lessons can be drawn from the attack. The rest of the episode (including the overtime) is spent on Blockstack and how protocols like it offer solutions for problems of security and privacy on the Internet today. 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 07/19/2020
In Episode 146 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Irshad Manji, a public intellectual, best-selling author, and Emmy award nominated documentary filmmaker whose latest book “Don’t Label Me,” attempts to educate readers on how to have conversations about politically sensitive subjects without inflaming the culture wars. It should not surprise anyone to learn, therefore, that today’s conversation with Irshad is one of the most pleasant, honest, and meaningful that we have ever had on this podcast.  Unlike this conversation, public discourse today often feels like a series of battles and skirmishes between two monolithic view points. Discussions likewise, are often seen as opportunities to try one another in the court of public opinion. If we accept that a pluralistic, democratic society is the best way to safeguard the values and freedoms that have allowed us to manifest our individual identities, then how can we be told that in order to protect those identities we should curtail the very freedoms that gave rise to them in the first place? We are living through a very dark period in American life. Diversity has become a sort of “rallying cry” whose champions espouse exclusively in terms of race, gender, and sexual orientation. When it comes to opinions, values, and beliefs, tolerance for diversity of opinion is nowhere to be found. And yet, a pluralistic society demands that its citizens are granted the freedom to express themselves and their beliefs without fear or reprisal or condemnation. Those who seek to silence us therefore are not champions of liberty. They are tyrants masquerading as victims who seek to exercise power over the very people who they label as their oppressors. Today’s conversation should serve (hopefully) as an inspiration for the types of discussions and free exchanges of ideas that we should all strive to have and which we need to have if we want to make it through this difficult period in our history. 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 07/15/2020
In Episode 145 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Camila Russo, the host of the Defiant podcast and author of “The Infinite Machine,” the first official account of the rise of the Ethereum blockchain. The first 25 minutes of this conversation explores Camila’s experience working as a journalist in Argentina, how she got interested in covering cryptocurrencies, as well as her process for writing such an ambitious book. The rest of the episode deals mostly with the book itself, including a discussion about the ICO craze of 2017 and the impact that it’s had on Ethereum, it’s developer community, and investor appetite for funding new ventures and initiatives in the space. This part of the conversation continues into the overtime, where we also debate whether or not the ICO model itself is the ideal mechanism by which to fund early-stage, open source innovations. We also discuss what it’s like to be a journalist covering crypto today, how the media industry in crypto has changed in the years since the onset of the 2018 bear market, and the opportunities for more sophisticated, high-quality journalism in the space going forward. 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 07/06/2020
In Episode 144 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with philosophers Brandon Warmke and Justin Tosi about the phenomenon of grandstanding, which they define as “the use and abuse of moral talk for the purposes of self-promotion.”  Although moral grandstanding is a spectacle most commonly associated with those on the political left, the practice of grandstanding is an entirely bipartisan phenomenon. Its increased prevalence in public discourse has dangerous implications for politics and society. For grandstanders, it isn’t the pursuit of virtue that motivates them. They aren’t concerned with doing good; they’re concerned with looking good; they want others to think that they are morally superior, and they’re willing to go to great lengths in order to do it, including using moral talk as a tactic for punishment and intimidation.   The irony is that grandstanders accomplish all of this by free-riding on the moral behavior and good intentions of others. They turn civil discourse into a moral arms race, weaponizing language, and silencing their enemies with threats of doxing and humiliation. Our society is currently going through a seismic transition. Norms are being radically upended and Americans are experiencing levels of political polarization arguably unseen since at least the 1970s. If we want to make it through this period in one piece, as one nation, undivided we need to reclaim the moral high ground in our discourse. Otherwise, I’m afraid we’re in danger of losing control of our country to the darker forces of our nature, and this would not bode well for the future of our republic. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Become a premium subscriber, which gives you access to our episode overtimes, as well as transcripts and rundowns to each week’s episode. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. 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 06/30/2020
In Episode 143 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Vivian Lee, President of Health Platforms at Verily Life Sciences (an Alphabet company) about America’s broken health system, how to fix it, and why it’s been so difficult to do until now.  According to an Institute of Medicine 2012 study, we waste 30 cents of every dollar we spend on health care. That’s over $1 trillion per year. Nearly one-fifth of the US economy goes to pay for health. That’s two to three times more than other high-income OECD nations where health coverage is universal. And yet, our life-expectancy statistics place us 26th out of 35 among those same OECD countries. How is this possible? What you are going to learn today is that while the solution to America’s broken health system is complicated, the problem is rather simple: our incentives are totally “out-of-whack.” Our fee-for-service system rewards action, not better health outcomes. It encourages overtreatment and specialty care at the expense of prevention and primary care. This is the fundamental flaw of American health care. But this isn’t the entire story. How we pay for healthcare is equally important. Most Americans don’t buy health care. They buy health insurance. This incentive structure often puts insurers and doctors at odds with patients’ interests. Insurers who pay doctors and hospitals for care are incentivized to spend as little as possible on a patient’s health. The less they payout, the more profit they make. Conversely, in a pay-for-action model, most doctors and hospitals are incentivized to spend as much as possible. This means patients (or more precisely, their premiums) are the rope in an annual trillion-dollar tug of war. Doctors and hospitals pull by ordering more tests and operations; insurers yank back by denying those services or adding restrictions like “prior authorization” paperwork for expensive medication and tests. When hospitals or doctors charge more than insurers are willing to pay, patients can get caught in the middle and be asked to pay the difference, leading to those so-called “surprise bills” that we all love so much. Normally, we could expect market forces to drive costs down in such a highly inefficient system, but the model of buying insurance (not health care) means not only that customers are price inelastic, but that they are actually incentivized to consume as many services as possible since they have already paid for them in the form of a monthly premium. Everyone is shooting in a different direction. In today’s conversation with Vivian Lee, you are going to learn how America’s health system became so dysfunctional (e.g. defensive medicine, poor primary- and self-care, astronomical end-of-life costs, etc.) and what we can do to fix it. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Become a premium subscriber, which gives you access to our episode overtimes, as well as transcripts and rundowns to each week’s episode. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. 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 06/24/2020
In Episode 142 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Tony Greer, editor of the Morning Navigator and founder of TG Macro. This episode begins with a clip from David Portnoy (a.k.a Barstool Dave or Davey Daytrader), in what is probably the most epic hype video ever created for stock trading.  Portnoy has come to personify not only the recent rip-roaring retracement in equities, but also, the philosophy that the stock market no longer bears any relationship to the real economy. “It took me a while to figure out that the stock market isn’t connected to the economy,” according to David Portnoy. “I tell people there are two rules to investing: Stocks only go up, and if you have any problems, see rule No. 1.” Extraordinary monetary interventions remain the single most important causal factor for explaining this phenomenon (what we have referred to on this show as “market nihilism”). Whether investment flows are coming from passive funds or “passive people,” what’s important is that the allocators invest indiscriminately. As the popular fraise goes: “Always buy the fucking dip” (#ABTFD) In our past episodes with Mike Green, we have explored the role of systematic passive investment vehicles in driving markets higher. With the recent return of the retail investor an additional layer of passivity has been added. Not only are these investors seemingly “price inelastic,” but they also exhibit a disturbing level of indifference to fundamentals that is qualitatively different from anything seen in past generations. Unlike the Gen-X and Boomer cohorts of 1999 who felt that they could see a future that others could not yet perceive, this generation of zoomers and millennials seems to feel that they have figured out something far more fundamental about how things work today. In their view, the notion that the stock market has any relationship to economic reality is laughable. Fundamentals can’t hold a candle to Jay Powell and his money printer. Along with this realization comes a mocking, self-deprecatory celebration of aberrance. Indeed, going through r/WallStreetBets or wojack images on crypto subreddits exposes you to imagery that is reminiscent of a scene from the Island of Dr. Moreau. In their 90-minute conversation, Tony and Demetri explore all of these themes. They discuss the recent rip-roaring retracement in equities and how the Federal Reserve, with its relentless money-printing has broken the economy, turned the stock market into a casino, and sown the seeds for a political crisis unlike any we have seen in more than a generation.  You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. This week’s rundown is particularly helpful for anyone trying to follow along or who has not been properly exposed to the subjects discussed in today’s episode. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. 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 06/15/2020
In Episode 141 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Joseph Nye, the co-founder of the international relations theory of neoliberalism who is credited with developing the concept of "soft power."  In his latest book “Do Morals Matter?,” Dr. Nye meticulously weighs the ethics of the foreign policy decisions of American presidents from F.D.R. to Donald Trump. He argues that good moral reasoning should be three-dimensional, weighing and balancing the intentions, the means, and the consequences of a president's decisions. “A moral foreign policy is not a matter of intentions versus consequences but must involve both as well as the means that were used,” professes Joseph Nye.   In this conversation, Demetri and professor Nye discuss the presidencies of Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. Nye compares and contrasts the various presidents, their tenures, policy challenges & opportunities, as well as the moral dimensions of some of their most consequential decisions. The second hour of today’s episode, which is available to our premium subscribers, deals primarily with the Obama and Trump presidencies, including a detailed discussion about the contemporary challenges facing the United States in a multi-polar world. 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. 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 06/08/2020
In Episode 140 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Thomas Rid, Professor of Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies about active measures, the history of disinformation, and political warfare. We live in the age of organized deception. Spy agencies pour vast resources into hacking, leaking, and forging data, often with the goal of weakening the very foundation of liberal democracy: trust in facts. As a renowned expert on technology and national security, Thomas Rid was one of the first to sound the alarm. More than four months before the 2016 election, he warned that Russian military intelligence was “carefully planning and timing a high-stakes political campaign" to disrupt the democratic process. But as crafty as such so-called active measures have become, they are not new. The story of modern disinformation begins with the post-Russian Revolution clash between communism and capitalism, which would come to define the Cold War. In this conversation about active measures, Rid reveals startling intelligence and security secrets from materials written in more than ten languages across several nations, and from interviews with current and former operatives. He exposes the disturbing yet colorful history of professional, organized lying, tracks the rise of leaking, and shows how spies began to exploit emerging internet culture many years before WikiLeaks. Finally, he sheds new light on the 2016 election, especially the role of the infamous “troll farm” in St. Petersburg as well as a much more harmful attack that unfolded in the shadows.   During a period of heightened emotions, extreme politics, and dangerous precedents, this conversation will help listeners to understand how we got here and what we can do in order to make it safely through the other side. 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. 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 05/25/2020
In Episode 139 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. In this nearly two-hour long conversation, we discuss how monopoly, commercial concentration, and regulatory capture drive outcomes in our economy, markets, and political system and what we can do to take that power back. This episode was recorded on Friday, May 29th, amidst the riots that have been unfolding across the country in response to the death of George Floyd, a 46-year old African American man who appears to have been suffocated by Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin. Neither Matt or Demetri are in any position to provide further insight into what is transpiring in Minneapolis, but they do discuss the response by some members of the media, the White House, as well as the President’s statement that he is going to issue an executive order to roll back Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act with its legal protections for social media companies.  We also discuss the Joe Rogan-Spotify deal in the context of antitrust regulation and concentration in the podcast industry, the arrest of a CNN crew in Minneapolis, private equity and the regulatory capture of government by the financial sector, and perhaps most importantly a conversation about the future of the Democratic and Republican parties and whether we are living through the early stages of a new political consensus forming in American life. 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. 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 05/29/2020
In Episode 138 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Adam Tooze, professor of history and Director of the European Institute at Columbia University about the German Constitutional Court’s recent ruling. In its decision, the German Court finds that the European Central Bank’s 2015 bond-buying program would be illegal under German law unless the ECB can prove the purchases are justified. The ruling threatens to undermine the very credibility of Central Bank independence, which has always been predicated on a political consensus about what the proper role of monetary policy is, how it should operate, and what its objectives should be.  This consensus no longer holds, not only in Europe but across much of the developed world. Left unresolved, the contradictions between the mandates of central banks and their policy actions will only worsen the type of political dysfunction that threatens the very independence that they seek to protect.  For Hidden Forces premium subscribers, this week’s hour-long episode overtime looks at how our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic may say more about our own fear of death and disease than about the actual dangers posed by the virus. By calling into question our mastery over life and death the disease shakes the psychological basis of our social and economic order. It poses fundamental questions about priorities; it upends the terms of debate. It’s a conversation about history, philosophy, and the benefits and consequences of human progress. 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. 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
In Episode 137 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with professor of finance at Beijing’s Peking University, Michael Pettis. Profesor Pettis’ research has focused mainly on Chinese financial markets, global trade & capital flows, and central banking. He spent seventeen years on Wall Street running fixed-income trading and capital market desks and has advised governments on privatizations of national banking systems and commercial bank debt restructuring & loan issuance.  In their latest book, “Trade Wars are Class Wars,” Michael Pettis and his co-author Matthew Klein argue that rising inequality within countries heightens trade conflicts between them.   The entire conversation lasts for approximately two hours and we devote the first hour to understanding how balance of payments and capital flows—themselves heavily dependent on the dynamics of wealth and income distribution within a country’s borders—can generate imbalances in trade, asset prices, interest rates, debt levels, and currency valuations, often leading to misallocations of capital for the surplus and deficit countries alike.   The second hour is devoted to applying this balance of payments framework to specific economies—namely, the United States, the Eurozone, and China. Demetri and Michael discuss how the financial instability generated from the sorts of imbalances discussed in this episode are now seeping into our systems of government, turning a financial crisis into a political one. For Super Nerds and Autodidacts, you will want to consult your rundowns and have your transcripts handy for this episode. There are links in the rundown to many of the concepts and theories discussed, as well as charts and images that are relevant to the discussion.  You can access the overtime of Demetri’s conversation with Michael Pettis, as well as obtain copies of 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. 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 May 16th, 2020
In Episode 136 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with CoinDesk Chief Content Officer Michael Casey about “The Great Monetary Inflation” and the future of digital money. The two chronicle the financialization of the global economy that occured between the end of gold convertibility in 1971 and the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. They discuss how the period of the 1970’s weighed heavily on the American zeitgeist and the political transformation that occurred between the start of the Iran hostage crisis and the fall of the Berlin Wall. The episode culminates in a conversation about the political and monetary forces that have been unleashed in response to the spread of COVID-19 and their implications for the future of capitalism and liberal democracy. For those interested in attending the Consensus 2020 conference, you can find more information at https://www.coindesk.com/events/consensus-2020. You can also sign up for Michael’s weekly email newsletter, Money Reimagined, as well as other CoinDesk newsletters at https://www.coindesk.com/newsletters.  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. 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
In Episode 135 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Lowell Randel, Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs for the Global Cold Chain Alliance, which serves as the voice of the cold chain industry, representing 1,300 member companies in over 85 countries. The two discuss the impact that COVID-19 and the government shutdowns have had on food supply chains, processing facilities, and the industrial farm sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant shifts in consumer demand away from food service businesses like restaurants and towards foot retail outlets like supermarkets and groceries. Food industry players are in turn looking to adapt, redirecting products originally destined for the food service sector to retail instead. This has created challenges for farmers that have led, in some cases, to the euthanization of livestock and the wholesale destruction of crops ready for harvest. This episode uses the crisis caused by COVID-19 and the government mandated shutdowns in order to understand the vulnerabilities of our food supply networks with an eye on finding ways to improve their resiliency going forward. You can access my conversation with TeslaCharts & Georgia Owell, 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. 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
In Episode 134 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management and author of Weekend Notes about investing in a volatile world where four decades of assumptions about markets, politics, and policy no longer hold.  We are living through a period of radical uncertainty and disillusionment with institutions and markets that we haven’t seen for a hundred years. International alliances are shifting. National priorities are changing. The role of government in society is growing. The stakes for portfolio managers, politicians and individuals have never been higher. Learning how to navigate the volatility and radical uncertainty of the present moment is the seminal challenge that we face. How we manage that uncertainty in the years to come presents not only a financial challenge but an emotional one as well. It will define a generation and shape the fortunes of more to come. If you want access to Demetri’s overtime with Eric Peters, as well as to the transcript and rundown for this week’s episode you can find those on our Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. Demeri does not take sponsors. Hidden Forces is 100% listener funded. If you value the show please consider joining our over 1000 premium subscribers. Learn more at HiddenForces.io/Subscribe. 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
Nic Carter is a partner at Castle Island Ventures, a Cambridge MA-based venture fund focused on seed stage investments in public blockchain startups. He’s also the cofounder and chairman of Coin Metrics, a blockchain analytics company and he is a regular columnist at CoinDesk where he writes thoughtfully about the political economy and issues concerning bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market. Nic been on the show before; he was our guest on episode 97. He’s thoughtful; he’s interesting to talk to, and this conversation turned out to be so enjoyable that we’ve decided to make it available to everyone. If you like what you hear, please take a moment to share your thoughts and feelings about the podcast on twitter or as a review on Apple Podcasts. If you are interested in supporting the show and gaining access to our premium RSS feed, as well as to transcripts, notes, & rundowns from every episode you can do this directly through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our RSS feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application.
In this Special Episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas releases the overtime segment to Episode 123 with Grant Williams and Ben Hunt. The three discuss the power of authenticity and narrative in an era of fake news and “ponzi people,” what it’s like to build a content business, what they’ve learned doing it, and what drives them to keep going. You can support Demetri and the team at Hidden Forces by becoming a premium subscriber, which gives you access to transcripts, rundowns, and overtime segments, including this week’s special recording with Castle Island Ventures partner Nic Carter. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. Your support is what makes this program possible. 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
In Episode 133 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Leland Miller, CEO of China Beige Book, which runs the largest private Chinese data collection operation in the world, about the state of China’s economy in the wake of COVID-19. The two discuss the impact of the global shutdown on all the major sectors of China’s economy, as well as the implications for China’s already fragile banking system. During the overtime, Leland and Demetri consider a host of geopolitical consequences that could flow from the ongoing global disruptions. They also discuss the effects to Chinese real estate and how the CCP may try a catastrophic contraction. 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. 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
In Episode 132 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Tom Derry, CEO of the Institute for Supply Management and publisher of the market-moving ISM Manufacturing Index about the impact of COVID-19 on global supply chains. This is a deep-dive into how the  intricate world of just-in-time manufacturing, outsourcing, and globalization has been impacted by the world-wide disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus. In recent years, global supply chains have been in the process of a fundamental shift, in part to strengthen their immune systems to mitigate the risk of multiple threats — unprecedented trade turbulence, as well as economic uncertainty, geopolitical events and rising labor costs. COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) has provided a severe new test to these global supply chains. Since its genesis in the manufacturing hub of Wuhan, China, in December, the outbreak has resulted in more than one million documented cases and nearly sixty thousand deaths worldwide, quarantined workers, temporarily shuttered factories, canceled high-profile events, shaken markets and handcuffed supply management organizations at many companies. The gravity of the situation was exemplified in a survey by Institute for Supply Management, which found that nearly three-fourths (72%) of U.S. companies have experienced supply chain disruptions due to coronavirus-related transportation restrictions, and 81% of organizations expect their procurement operations to be impacted by COVID-19. For some of those companies, the infection goes beyond the supply chain, as 16% of survey respondents report lowering annual revenue targets by an average of 5.6%. More than half (53%) of the 628 respondents in ISM’s recent survey said their companies are having trouble getting supply chain information from China. 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.
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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
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unk_anon

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

Apr 1st
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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
Reply

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
Reply

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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