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Odd Lots

Author: Bloomberg

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Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway take you on a not-so random walk through hot topics in markets, finance and economics.

358 Episodes
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SPACs, sometimes referred to as blank check companies, are incredibly hot. After being a sort of sleepy and sometimes sketchy backwater of the finance world, the last several months have seen them go on an absolute tear, with several of them fronted by celebrities like Alex Rodriguez or Colin Kaepernick. On this episode, we speak with longtime investor and VC Howard Lindzon about his journey towards launching one of his own: how it came about and why he is excited about the model.
There are lots of hot areas in the market, which everybody knows. Stocks are obviously hot, as are industrial commodities like copper. Agricultural commodities are surging as well. If you look at a chart of corn or soy or even oats, they've been on a tear. One big factor: Chinese demand, in part driven by a desire to stock up on supplies. Meanwhile, China is launching agricultural futures of its own, including a new contract on hogs. On this episode, we speak about what's going on right now in agricultural commodities with Scott Irwin, an economist at the University of Illinois, who helps us break it all down.
The world is facing a chip shortage. Numerous companies, including the auto sector, are facing an inability to get semiconductors, hampering their ability to manufacture their goods and generate sales. Part of this is an acute crisis, related to the virus. But there's also a long-term structural issue, with so few companies able to manufacture at scale. On this episode, we speak with Stacy Rasgon of Bernstein Research, who helped kick off our semiconductor series last fall, with a discussion about the current problem, and how it will get fixed.
As you might have heard, so-called value investing has not had a good run. At least from a quantitative standpoint, strategies that aim to buy low-valued stocks (based on metrics such as price-to-earnings or price-to-book) are quite out of favor, as fast growing names, loaded up on intangible capital, have outperformed. So is there any way to resuscitate the concept of value, or do investors just need to wait for the tides to change? On the latest Odd Lots, we speak with Rafe Resendes, a portfolio manager and co-founder of the Applied Finance Group, who argues for another way of reconceptualizing value, beyond just cheapness, in a way that works across market environments. What do you love about Odd Lots? What topics do you want to see on upcoming episodes? Share your feedback about the show by completing our first-ever listener survey.
During the worst of the pandemic, people loaded up on staples from their grocery store. Shelf-stable food items, beverages, canned tuna, canned soup, chips... all that kind of stuff. But the big food and consumer staples companies have been huge winners outside of the pandemic. In fact, as an industry, these companies have some of the best track records in the market. On this episode, we speak with Jonathan Fell, the co-founder of Ash Park, an investment firm that specializes in these companies, to talk about how these companies win year after year. What do you love about Odd Lots? What topics do you want to see on upcoming episodes? Share your feedback about the show by completing our first-ever listener survey.
When you think about the big winners in the stock market over the past couple of decades, you might think about Amazon or Apple or some other tech winner. Or maybe, if you've listened to Odd Lots before, you think about Domino's Pizza. But there's another company that's outshone them all. Monster Beverage Corporation, the maker of the popular energy drink has been, well, a monster. In the last 20 years, the stock is up over 100,000%. On this episode, we speak with Mark Astrachan, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp., about how they produced such a stellar return.
In a world dominated by passive investing on one end and retail YOLO traders on the other, there aren't many star fund managers these days. There's one big exception though. Cathie Wood, the head of the ARK family of funds, has become a celebrity due to the incredible performance of her stock picks. So how do they do it? On this episode, we speak with Brett Winton, ARK's Head of Research, who explains the process they use to find disruptive technologies, and the companies that will win from them.
Bitcoin, and crypto more broadly, have been on a huge tear lately. Then, with the chaos surrounding GameStop, there's been more discussion about whether financial markets could be rebuilt in a fairer way, perhaps involving crypto or decentralized finance. Probably one of the best positioned to take advantage of such a shift is Mike Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy Digital, which might best be described as a crypto investment bank. Prior to his current endeavors, Novogratz was a global macro fund manager at Fortress Investment Group, and prior to that he was at Goldman Sachs, meaning he's seen the traditional finance world, and this new world. He talks to us about why he's so bullish on crypto, and how it can be used to create a fairer and better financial system.
It's been a weird several days in the market. What started with a short squeeze in GameStop, driven by Reddit traders, somehow morphed into a huge surge in demand for silver. Whether it started on WallStreetBets is unclear, but something happened that caused demand for the metal to surge. So we talked about this with Jeff Currie, the global head of Commodities Research at Goldman Sachs. We also discussed why he sees a huge bull market coming in commodities. And why Biden's policies of green stimulus and redistributive economic policy may push the price of oil even higher.
We know that retail activity, much of it on Robinhood, has been surging since last spring once the lockdowns began. But just how big of an impact is it really having? Is it going to be limited to just GameStop and a few others, or is this a permanent fixture of the new market landscape? We discuss this with Benn Eifert, CIO of QVR Advisors. Benn is an expert on volatility and derivatives, and he helps us make sense of what was so unique about GameStop, and what the ripple effects of this will be.
The GameStop short squeeze is one of the most extraordinary events to ever happen in markets. But does it have political significance? Some are saying that it represents the manifestation of Occupy Wall Street, that it is some kind of class warfare against hedge fund elites. Or is it just an interesting trade. We discussed what this moment really means, and what its impact going forward will be, with George Pearkes of Bespoke Investment and Jill Carlson of Slow Ventures.
We're seeing historic change happening in real time in the chip industry. The old leaders are going away, and new players and new models are emerging, particularly around fabless chips. On this episode, we speak with Chris Lattner, the President, Engineering and Product, at the open-source chip startup SiFive, about the changes afoot, and how they're trying to change the game. *A previous version of this description misstated Chris Lattner's role at SiFive.
Everyone is talking about GameStop. The physical games retailer that was left for dead has been one of the hottest stocks of the year, surging well over 50x since its lows in late 2020. But how did it come about? Why GameStop? And what was the role that social media played? We speak with Rod Alzmann, the proprietor of GMEDD.com, which collects the fundamental bullish argument for the stock, about how it all happened.
We've been talking a lot on the podcast about semiconductors. The stumble of Intel. The general troubles with US manufacturing, and, of course, the rise of TSMC. But, for a long time, the Chinese government has endeavored to build a successful homegrown and world-leading chip industry. On this episode, we speak with Dan Wang, a tech analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics. He discusses the state of the domestic industry, as well as broader lessons on Chinese tech and business after a year of extraordinary disruption.
In every conversation about computer chips, it always comes back to the dominant player: TSMC. Founded in the 1980s, it's far and away the biggest and most advanced manufacturer. And, as our guest points out, it's virtually impossible to find any piece of consumer tech hardware that Taiwan Semi hasn't touched in some way. On this episode, we speak with Tim Culpan, a Bloomberg Opinion columnist who has been reporting from Taipei for over 20 years, about how the company came to be, why it's so dominant, its geopolitical importance, and what could plausibly dislodge it.
It goes without saying that 2020 was a year like no other when it comes to the markets. A historic crash, and then a raging recovery, all set against the backdrop of a pandemic and deeply depressed economy. One implication of this is that trading strategies based on historic rules and patterns didn't perform particularly well in this environment. On this episode, we speak with Corey Hoffstein, a fund manager at Newfound Research, which employs trend following and momentum signals in its trading. He talks about what worked and didn't last year and what that says about overall market structure.
The coronavirus crisis snarled global shipping in early 2020 as borders were closed, but lots of people expected it to improve as vessels returned to position. Instead, more than a year later, the shipping crisis has only gotten worse and standard container rates on some transpacific routes have more than quadrupled, leading to yet another headwind for economies in the midst of fragile recoveries and global trade. On this episode, we speak to economist, historian, and author Marc Levinson. He talks about where all this transport disruption is coming from, what it means for global trade, and whether it will lead to a big rethink of the shipping industry.
The U.S. was once a manufacturing leader in semiconductors. That's no longer the case, given the rise of contract manufacturing and outsourcing, the dominance of Taiwan Semiconductor, and Intel's own design stumbles. But how did it come to this? And can it be reversed by government policy? On this episode we speak with Willy Shih, a longtime tech industry veteran and a professor at the Harvard Business School, to answer these questions.
One of the surprising developments in the last year was the boom in SPACs. The so-called blank check companies raised more money in 2020 than they had in the several years prior combined. But why? Why did a year that saw a pandemic and economic devastation turn into such a boon for what has historically been a speculative financing vehicle? On this Odd Lots, we speak with Larry Wieseneck, a longtime capital markets veteran and Co-President of the investment bank Cowen, who breaks down why the stars all align for the surge in SPACs.
We're in a rare moment where chess is popular in the United States. There are two big factors driving it. One is the smash hit Netflix show "The Queen's Gambit." The other is the rise of Twitch streaming, as gamers play online for thousands of fans. On this episode, we speak with Hikaru Nakamura, a popular chess streamer, about the economics of this new environment for chess.
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Comments (20)

Martin Baba

Overall good episode, but mentioning Singapore for large semiconductor foundry (what's in Singapore?) and not mentioning Samsung?

Jan 25th
Reply

Todd Reynolds

Qualcomm had this in laptop products with MSFT (#windowsRT) in stores before Apple even announced they were working on the M1. There are also Chromebooks, etc. The migration away from INT started a while ago. Servers are also moving to ARM. This guy should have done some more homework before the interview.

Jan 3rd
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larry g

Great listen. Viktor has some excellent insights. However- Re shift in values from freedom and personal liberties at all costs (baby boomers) to equality with costs (recent generations); is it not common for most 20 somethings over the last 200 years to be idealistic and prioritize equality/fairness which soon shifts with age into earnings/savings growth, tax minimization, and overall personal gain?

Oct 7th
Reply

ncooty

@21:06: What a bunch of crap. I had to stop listening shortly after hearing "alpha creation," measurement "via our modelling," and "now-casting." Gag. Another non-value-adding mountebank in the financial industry trying to hide his ignorance of methods, validity, etc. via vague, useless, or absurd neologisms and euphemisms. If he says enough words, idiots will think he's earned his portfolio management fee (nonsensically calculated as a % of assets, of course).

Sep 20th
Reply

larry g

Great episode. Personal thoughts- Not so sure re the direct interdepency of capitalism and democracy, but hmm, maybe, kind of, sometimes. Disinflation not going anywhere as long as globalization lives or until technological advancement hits the wall.

Sep 6th
Reply

David Smith

The guest is almost inaudible.

May 18th
Reply

Emmanuel Chukwu

The stone age did not end because we ran out stones. 👏🏾

Mar 16th
Reply

Matthew Mendez

this podcast has an Austrian economics edge to it 😎🙌💯🦸‍♂️ #economics #austrian #thenewmainstream

Dec 9th
Reply

ayush aggarwal

great listen! spotting a millennial is easy.... 95% of millenials have suffered losses trading crypto!

Dec 5th
Reply

Rbgnl67

What a horrible podcast! W.O.T.(waste of time) All 3 people on the podcast are ill informed on Trading on a whole. If they really do know something, they didn't show it.

Nov 13th
Reply (4)

larry g

While Mark makes some good points, of course the main question is when is the right time to be out? Now? Plus another 5%? Plus another 10%? Or perhaps once it's on the decline? That sai, should retail ever get out? If you're already above retirement age and don't want to risk any loss then a conservative approach is warranted. But if you're young and have time ahead why risk getting the timing wrong. Next question- Mark is looking for a 20% correction. Mind you 'correction'. Then what? V shaped recovery? Or trawling 20% lower levels for prolonged extended time frames? The answer to those expectations dictates strategy. History's lesson here has been clear. Last point- While Mark overweights the trade deal, personally I would underweight that impact calling it mostly theater. It's politics and will be timed to garner maximum political benefit. As alternative indicators to timing the turn, because it will come as it's a question of when not if, I'd suggest 1- liquidity (as mentioned by Mark), 2- Buybacks which have had a huge impact on price, and 3- Employment. Once employment starts to drop the whole cycle turns. Good luck and thanks for a great episode.

Jul 17th
Reply (1)

space_junk

Why would you want to interview those racist wankers?

Jun 19th
Reply

שי רוזנפלד 99.7 כול נצרת עלית ו הסביבה

שי רוזנפלד שדרן

Jun 13th
Reply

Kevin Boyle

Please stop the inane conversation at the beginning and end of the episodes. If one of you doesn't know who the guest is then you didn't do your homework. A brief intro to the topic and guest will suffice. Also spend more time and fig deeper. One hour is a good length.

Dec 24th
Reply (1)
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