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Odd Lots

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Bloomberg's Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway explore the most interesting topics in finance, markets and economics. Join the conversation every Monday and Thursday.
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When people talk about the special role that the US dollar plays in the global economy, that's often characterized as a privilege for the United States. It's seen as giving the government in Washington a great amount of fiscal flexibility, and it can be used as a means of punishing adversaries, by cutting them off from our banking system. But could it be that the currency dominance is actually a burden? JD Vance, the Republican nominee for vice president, has made comments to this effect that dollar dominance doesn't serve America's interests well. On this episode of Lots More, we speak with Matthew C. Klein, co-author of the book, Trade Wars Are Class Wars, which helped popularize this line of thinking. We talk about the drawbacks to the dollar's strength, how it can hurt the US economy, and what policy measures might ameliorate these effects. We also talk about trade policy more broadly, and what effects a more aggressive tariff regime might have under a second Trump administration.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
According to numerous estimates, the US is massively short of housing. Zillow, for instance, says America needs to build 4.5 million new homes to climb out of this deficit. But right now we're not coming anywhere near to closing that gap. And in fact, the efforts by the Federal Reserve to tame inflation have likely made things worse, with higher interest rates slowing the construction of multi-family dwellings. So is there a way to create more homes, even in a time of high rates? In this episode, we speak with Jim Millstein, co-chair of Guggenheim Securities and a former Treasury Department official who managed the restructuring of AIG after the 2008 financial crisis. Millstein has drawn up a plan whereby Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac can enter the market for construction finance and re-start it. He walks us through how — with their existing legal authority — these two entities could make hundreds of thousands of new affordable homes come to the market each year.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
One of the rare areas of bipartisan consensus in the US right now is taking a tough line on China. We saw President Trump put tariffs on Chinese goods, and the Biden administration has only added to them. A second Trump administration may add to them even further. Meanwhile, we're increasingly placing export restrictions on various technologies, such as semiconductors. Stephen Roach, the former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia and now a fellow at Yale Law School, foresees disaster from this. He sees an explosion of Sinophobia, with policymakers misreading China and ushering us into a new Cold War, where the risk of some kind of accidental conflict will inevitably rise. In this episode of the podcast, we talk about the current tensions, how they compare to the US-Japan trade tensions in the 1980s, and how things could go bad.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
James van Geelen, founder of Citrini Research, scored big when he made his weight loss drug-related investments last year. He was also early into artificial intelligence investments, making bets on picks and shovels plays, like Nvidia. So what's interesting him right now? And how does a thematic investor grapple with uncertainty from things like the upcoming US election? We talk about the next stage of AI investing, constructing election-related portfolios, going long water, and more.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
 Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize-winning economist known for his groundbreaking work on information gaps and risk-taking in markets. But he's recently turned his attention to supply chains and how to make them more resilient in the face of shocks like the 2020 pandemic. In this episode, we discuss why companies often hesitate to maintain extra inventories — and why this tends to be the case even during stable economic periods. We talk about possible solutions to incentivize firms to invest in larger capacity buffers and promote better long-term economic practices. The conversation also touches on industrial policy, the role of international institutions in the global economy, and strategies to ensure that economic growth benefits everyone more fairly. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Modern Monetary Theory has gained prominence over the last several years by offering an alternative view on the constraints to fiscal policy. The basic gist is that the size of the deficit is not per se problematic. What matters are real resource constraints, and that if government spending gets too high — or is spent in unproductive ways — then inflation can materialize as too much money collides with insufficient supply. Another argument that some MMT adherents make is that the conventional path to fighting inflation (higher interest rates by the Federal Reserve) can actually be inflationary, because the coupon payments made by the government to Treasury holders constitute a form of government spending or fiscal expansion. In this episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Warren Mosler, the intellectual godfather of MMT, to explain the mechanisms at play and assess the current macro environment. Perhaps surprisingly, Mosler is concerned with the combination of high government debt loads, high deficits (which he characterizes as spending like a drunken sailor), and the orthodox approach the Fed is taking to fighting inflation. With debt as high as it is, the annual interest payments due to these rate hikes has gone up significantly, creating a situation that mainstream economists might call Fiscal Dominance. He explains how this environment is a recipe for consistently higher and sustained inflation in the years ahead.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Lumber prices have tumbled dramatically in recent weeks, with benchmark futures falling about 20% in the past four months alone. What's more, this is happening at the height of the summer homebuilding season, when there should theoretically be lots of demand for construction materials. In this episode of Lots More, we speak to one of our favorite guests about what's going on in the lumber market right now, and what falling prices might say about this important part of the US economy. Stinson Dean is the founder and owner of Deacon Lumber and he talks to us about why prices are crashing, what he's seeing in the market right now, and how the current environment differs from 2020 and 2021, when lumber prices went parabolic and mills couldn't keep up with demand.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
There aren't many advanced manufacturing success stories in Latin America. And globally, there aren't many companies that can build commercial planes at scale. Yet somehow, one of the world's leading jet makers is Brazilian. Embraer is the third largest maker of commercial planes worldwide after Boeing and Airbus. On this episode, we talk about how the company came to be, what its opportunities are, and what lessons in economic development we can learn from its rise. We speak with two guests for the show. First, is Richard Aboulafia, a managing director at AeroDynamic Advisory, to understand the company's role in the aviation ecosystem. Then we speak with Juan David Rojas, a writer on Latin America, to understand the political conditions in Brazilian history that allowed the company to emerge and thrive.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Brad Jacobs has made a career of starting, consolidating, and growing whole industries. He did a trucking company. He did a warehouse company. He has a freight brokerage. He created an equipment rental company. His new venture, dubbed QXO, aims to reshape the big and sprawling market for building supplies, which can encompass residential, infrastructure and commercial real estate. And he has $4.5 billion of his and his investors' money to go out and buy and build. In this special episode of the Odd Lots podcast, recorded live at the Bloomberg Invest conference in New York City, he talks about where he is in the new process, and what he plans to do once he's made his acquisitions.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Does it feel to you like society has gone crazy? Well, you're not alone. There's a general view that all around the world, in the realms of politics, culture, business, and so forth, a lot of people are losing their minds. So if this is true, what's the reason for it? On this episode we speak with Dan Davies, the author of the new book The Unaccountability Machine: Why Big Systems Make Terrible Decisions - And How The World Lost Its Mind. Dan talks about the field of study known as cybernetics, and the inevitable outcomes of systems that grow more and more complex. This complexity -- which describes many things in the modern world, and leads to what Dan calls "accountability sinks," or entities that basically exist just to be blamed for things that have gone wrong. Dan walks us through how these emerged in the modern world, where things are headed, and how the trend could theoretically be reversed.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Neil Dutta, the top economist over at Renaissance Macro, has generally been sunny and optimistic about the economy over the last four years or so. But now he's warning of a possible mistake by the Federal Reserve. In his view, the central bank is waiting too long to get confirmation that inflation is coming back to target. Meanwhile, unemployment is starting to creep up in a meaningful way. As he sees it, if you're still worried about upside risk to inflation at this point, you need to have a theory about where that inflation is going to come from — and it's really hard to come up with an answer for that right now, given the general downward momentum in hiring and the overall economy. In this episode of Lots More, we catch up with Neil to talk about the risk that the Fed will blow the soft landing.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
 From cars to toys to clothes, we're just used to seeing the label "Made In China" on all sorts of things. But how did China become a go-to destination for manufactured goods in the first place? Who actually recognized that there was a huge opportunity to tap the abundant, low-cost labor to sell goods to Western consumers? On this episode of the podcast we speak with Elizabeth Ingleson, a professor at the London School of Economics and the author of the book Made in China: When US-China Interests Converged to Transform Global Trade. Ingleson traces the roots of the US-China trade relationship to a handful of US entrepreneurs in the early 1970s who first went into the country and recognized its opportunity as an export powerhouse. We discuss who these individuals were, the obstacles they had to overcome, and how they reshaped the entire global economy.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The stock market has had a torrid run in 2024 despite the fact that interest rate cuts haven't materialized in the way people had expected at the start of the year. In fact, outside of a few blips here and there (like spring 2020), US stocks have been phenomenal performers for years. Tom Lee, the founder of Fundstrat and FS Insight has been bullish for a long time, having caught the correct side of this lengthy trend. On this episode, we speak to the former JPMorgan strategist about how he thinks about the market, what he sees happening right now in macro and demographic trends, and why he thinks it’s plausible that the market could roughly triple in the next six years.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Everyone knows that the AI boom is built upon the voracious consumption of chips (largely sold by Nvidia) and electricity. And while the legacy cloud operators, like Amazon or Microsoft, are in this space, the nature of the computing shift is opening up new space for new players in the market. One of the hottest companies is CoreWeave, a company backed in part by Nvidia, which has grown its datacenter business massively. So how does their business actually work? How do they get energy? Where do they locate operations? How are they financed? What's the difference between a cloud AI and a legacy cloud? On this episode, we speak with CoreWeave's Chief Strategy Officer Brian Venturo about what it takes to build out operations at this scale.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Virtually everyone, across the ideological spectrum, has the view right now that it's too hard to build things (or get things done generally) in America. New infrastructure is thwarted by red tape and permitting. New housing is thwarted by YIMBYism. Even something that doesn't require much new construction -- like NYC's attempt to impose congestion pricing -- is difficult to get done after years and years of wrangling. What is the core problem? And what can be done to address it? On this episode, we speak with John Arnold, who started his career as an energy trader at Enron, before going on to found a highly successful energy hedge fund. Now in his role as the co-founder of Arnold Ventures, he works on policy solutions to address these key bottlenecks. We discuss how he goes about philanthropy to affect policy change, the problems he's identified, and what solutions could be put in place to improve domestic development.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Throughout history, financial markets have struggled with the issue of borders. Borders create friction, add cost and cause headaches for anyone who wants to spend money across them. On top of that, various national currencies can be wildly unstable. Could a borderless, global currency ease friction and enhance financial inclusion and stability around the world? Cryptocurrencies offer an intriguing possible solution to money’s border problem. And a particular kind of cryptocurrency, called stablecoins, could become a powerful medium of exchange for international payments - and offer people around the world increased economic freedom. This episode is sponsored by Coinbase. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
For much of this year, the S&P 500 has marched steadily higher while measures of stock market volatility, like the VIX, have stayed pretty low. But looking at the headline index only tells you part of the story. Beneath the surface of the S&P 500, individual stocks have been moving up and down a lot. And of course, traders have figured out a way to make money on the difference between the quiet overall index and all that volatility happening in individual stocks. This is the dispersion trade that's gotten quite a bit of attention in recent months. But figuring out exactly who's doing it and how pervasive it is isn't that easy. In this episode, we speak with Michael Purves, CEO and founder of Tallbacken Capital Advisors, and Josh Silva, managing partner and CIO at Passaic Partners, about this new volatility trade and what it means for the overall stock market.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A few lucky people have made generational wealth trading the ups and downs of the crypto market. And some finance professionals have shifted gears to focus primarily on the space. But what is it like to actually trade these coins day-to-day? How do people pick which ones to buy? How do they analyze the coins themselves? How do they get reliable information? And what is it like, emotionally, to trade such an infamously volatile asset? On this episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Julian Malinak. In his day job, Julian works in healthcare tech. But the rest of the time, he's looking on message boards for the next 100-bagger. At one point he had made enough to retire on. And then it all went poof. But he keeps grinding and trying to improve his craft. Julian — who we found on the Odd Lots Discord server — explains what he does all day, and how the market really works from a trading perspective. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
There's been a huge change in the market for nickel, which goes into everything from electric vehicles to steel. Indonesia has grown to absolutely dominate production and now provides more than 55% of the world's supply. A lot of that is going to China, which has partnered with Indonesia to help grow its nickel industry at a phenomenal rate. Now, there are accusations that low-grade and low-priced Indonesian nickel is flooding the global market, to the detriment of other producers. Western miners like BHP and Anglo American have been shuttering their own nickel operations, and have written them down by billions of dollars in recent years. On this episode, we speak with Michael Widmer, head of metals research at Bank of America, about the sea change that's taken place in the world's nickel market and what it says about the green energy transition, as well as the scramble for other strategically important metals. We also talk about all those bullish calls on copper, and general volatility in the metals space.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The company that Elon Musk is most known for, obviously, is Tesla. It's been extraordinarily successful and made him one of the richest people in the world. But his true love may be SpaceX, the rocket company whose technology may one day be used in getting humans to Mars. But even if interplanetary trips are a long way off, there's no historical precedent for the sheer scale of the outer space dominance that Elon Musk has built out. Between his rockets and his satellite-based internet company Starlink, no one individual has ever completely dominated outer space this way. So where are these businesses going and how do they fit into the Elon empire? On this episode, we speak to three of our Bloomberg colleagues who have covered Musk and his businesses. First, we talk about the history and science of rockets with Bloomberg News reporter Ashlee Vance, the author of the book, When the Heavens Went on Sale: The Misfits and Geniuses Racing to Put Space Within Reach. Then we speak with Dana Hull and Max Chafkin, two of the hosts of Bloomberg's Elon Inc. podcast, about Musk's broader constellation of companies and how they all fit together.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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Comments (61)

Granny InSanDiego

Nuclear power is hugely expensive. The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) to produce 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of power from a solar farm is US$ 40, according to a 2020 report. The LCOE of nuclear power facilities, in contrast, is US$ 155  to produce the same amount. So FOUR TIMES AS EXPENSIVE. And nuclear power is DANGEROUS and results in deadly side products for which there is no disposal mechanism.

May 31st
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Granny InSanDiego

The underlying assumptions are that electricity generation, a commodity that EVERY AMERICAN USES, should 1)generate a profit & 2)that it should be run by an investor owned utility-IOU. There are over 2000 publicly owned electric utilities in the US. In California, Sacramento and Los Angeles have publicly owned electric systems. San Diego has an IOU. Per kwh, San Diegans pay twice what LosAngelinos pay & triple what Sacramentans pay. All electric generation should be publicly owned!

May 31st
Reply (5)

Annette Bickel

learned alot about copper from listening to this. Excellent interview.

May 21st
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Granny InSanDiego

This is a new low for this fundamentally boring and useless podcast.

May 12th
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Granny InSanDiego

This is an excellent episode on the abuse of power practiced by the US because the dollar is the world's reserve currency. However, there are now cracks in this system. When the US put extreme sanctions on Russia, Russia, China and India as well as other south Asian nations started trading in other currencies, including and especially the ruble to buy Russian oil at prices much lower than available to countries observing the US sanctions.

Mar 21st
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Granny InSanDiego

In 1995, we attended the graduation ceremony at Carnegie Melon's school of engineering. About 50 grads received PhD degrees. Most of them were Asian and South Asian. Since the 1970s, when China had no high tech professionals, they are now only slightly behind the US. When China could import advanced tech, they did not need to develop their own. By shutting them out, they developed their own capabilities. Soon they will surpass the US and Taiwan.

Mar 18th
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Amin Bolandi

Hello, Sultan We know that some time ago These monetary policies saved Credit Suisse from bankruptcy, and so on. But you are right about often of objects. Thanks

Feb 25th
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Ecere Seluk

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Jan 18th
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Ali

please don't invest in Iranian stock market by investing you help the regime people of Iran are in a civil struggle and many of us decided to sell all the stock we had this regime is killing people of Iran thanks

Nov 21st
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Yuriy Tchaikovsky

Why are the Jewish presenters on Bloomberg always doing some add for Africa? We don't care... Nobody cares

Oct 21st
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Granny InSanDiego

Mr. Posen seems to have forgotten how we got to the current state of affairs in which a tiny, truly miniscule number of private investors benefitted enormously from lax government policies with respect to investment in China while neglecting to invest in the US manufacturing sector. This was done to leverage cheap, slave-like labor in China to increase investor value. It worked by crushing American industrial workers and enriching that tiny fraction of those already wealthy few to levels beyond imagining. In return for this loss of manufacturing jobs, Americans were promised high paying tech jobs and some Americans got those, but not those factory workers who did not have the STEM skills to benefit. This new policy assumes that China will not itself change how it conducts its own industrial policy. With its huge advantage in size, it will quickly adapt and catch up to the small advantage the US has in tech and may surpass us. Meanwhile, Posen ignores the real elephant in the room, the

Sep 7th
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Aakash Amanat

I find the concept of "Odd Lots" quite intriguing. It's fascinating how these smaller, unconventional quantities of stocks can sometimes carry unique implications for investors. While they might not be as significant as the larger block trades, odd lots can offer insights into retail investor sentiment and market dynamics. https://500px.com/p/parchment-crafters In some cases, odd lots might reflect individual investors making decisions based on personal preferences rather than institutional strategies. This could result in a diverse range of motivations, from testing the waters of a new investment to following a hunch based on personal research. https://dribbble.com/Parchment-Crafters/about

Aug 21st
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Granny InSanDiego

The internet may boost sales. As to unexpectedly low productivity gains from the Internet, that seems obvious. Instead of working, people are surfing the web, listening to music, and texting their friends. Clearly Paul Krugman should have cottoned on to this phenomenon by virtue of his love of YouTube music videos. However, speaking from personal experience as a software engineer, I have found incredibly helpful ideas and explanations online which I would never have found with microfiche or in technical books. This is surely a plus in the productivity column.

Aug 13th
Reply

steve

38:15

Aug 12th
Reply

Zhang Hake

Nice

Jul 12th
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larry g

This was a VERY interesting episode especially from a non-media person perspective. It was refreshing to hear a reflection of the media industry on something other than the persecution of journalists which too often becomes a self obsession among journalists. Perhaps you can consider doing a semi annual review of the media industry especially given the importance the media will play in the 2024 elections.

Jun 19th
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Granny InSanDiego

Biden had two good options to avoid this humiliating subservience to the GQP. He could have taken the advice of Lawrence Tribe, Harvard Law professor and expert on Constitutional law, and invoked the 4th clause of the 14th Amendment which states that the US will pay its debts no matter what. Or he could have followed the advice of Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate in Economics, and asked Sec. Yellen to mint the Trillion Dollar Coin and deposit it in the US Treasury. Instead, he went with the timid Obama game plan and gave in to the despicable bullies who represent the billionaire thugs who run the country. He is too old, too weak, too unimaginative, and too dimwitted to be POTUS. Bernie would never have caved like this. If he runs again, he will lose to the moronic MAGA grifter. It makes me feel so hopeless to see this shill who allowed CT to get onto the Supreme Court of Injustice make a mockery of the rule of law and the Democrats who voted for him in 2020.

May 27th
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Granny InSanDiego

So why does Powell get a pass? He raised interest rates too fast for banks holding 10 year treasuries to adjust to in time. And why is 2% inflation the magic number? And what if many economists are right that the causes of inflation would naturally wind down over time? Like govt hand outs during COVID, worker shortages due to COVID, supply chain issues like China's COVID lockdowns, and gas and food inflation due to the war in Ukraine.

Mar 17th
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steve

22:40

Feb 15th
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steve

19:05

Jan 26th
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