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Sean Jacobs

Author: Sean Jacobs

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Proud of Australia, exploring ideas and building better individuals
37 Episodes
In part two Will and I, continuing our 'enduring' theme, allude to John Howard - the seminal political figure in Australian politics of the last 20 years - and his capacity to provide stability with change. And, at least by the temporary standards of modern prime ministers, deliver a solid dose of political endurance. We also talk about Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams' advice on when to give in or keep 'enduring', and discuss how generalists can triumph in an age of specialisation.
What endures? Clearly things that have been around for a while will tend to go on persisting, from Broadway musicals to timeless virtues. Economist Will Witheridge and I talk about how important principles are, why they appeal and why they’re making a comeback, from author Ryan Holiday’s commitment to stoicism to Jordan Peterson’s philosophy of self-help. This show is split in two so please tune in next week for Part II.
On this episode we take things around the world, covering everything from Brexit and the late Christopher Hitchens to index funds and the common sense of JFK. Sorry it’s been a while in between drinks.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) has 8 million people, 800-plus languages and over a thousand cultural groupings. Understandably, running the PNG state can be more than difficult, amplified by a swelling resource sector and huge challenges around health, education and security. But not all is an uphill battle. Over the years I’ve been enthusiastic about economic growth in PNG and the opportunities that it can deliver. From the unusual benefits of PNG’s Westminster system to skirmishes on the Indonesian border, and property rights to Bougainville independence, I hope you enjoy this primer on an interesting nation close to home.
Warren Buffett - investment and business titan, man of steady temperament and, as Whig Capital's Jordan Shopov explains, a 'learning machine'. As someone who knew only a little about Buffett I learnt a lot from this discussion with Jordan, who has read the most on the 'Oracle from Omaha' than perhaps anyone in Australia. We talk about Buffett's principles for success, the value of role models, circles of competence and how getting a dollar for fifty cents means constant growth and learning. To tap into Jordan's wealth of knowledge please get in touch with him at
Join Jordan and I for a casual post-election wrap up. From franking credits to betting odds, and inner-city politics to Q-exit, we unpack the Labor leadership, the background noise of the ‘culture wars’, and talk next steps for ScoMo. We even find time briefly to talk Izzy, and hypothesize about a world where millennials possess the same enthusiasm for debt as carbon reduction.
In any national election the stakes are high. But if Labor wins they have committed to holding a referendum on an Australian republic.  This issue was put to the Australian people in 1999 but lost.  Yet, as I explain, it is an issue that will always be with us.  For this episode, we flip things around and Whig Capital's Jordan Shopov interviews me on the republican versus monarchy debate.  Full disclosure - I am a spokesman for the Australian Monarchist League (and a member of the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy).  But I hope I can give this important issue the fair background it deserves.  As always, please remember to rate the podcast or share with your friends.
For this episode I'm joined by Sam Rebecchi - a Melbourne-based communications adviser and part-time writer for the Spectator Blog. I saw his recent Spectator article - 'Shock News: politics and consumer goods are two different things' - as a good opportunity to talk about the elevation of consumption politics, the evacuation of values from public life, and the perceived lack of distinction between the two major Australian political parties.  Politics, he concludes, has sadly been reduced to nothing more than the goods on our shelves.  Tune in to hear how we can turn this around, the path to good citizenship and building strong communities.
For this episode I’m fortunate to be joined by Bastion CEO Jack Watts ( Jack and I met over a decade ago on a leadership course in China, and he has since grown a small sports marketing opportunity into a firm with global reach and employing hundreds of people. We talk about the importance of experience, taking on risk, avoiding bad decisions, managing people and dealing with growth. I enjoyed Jack’s principles – design the life you want to live, tap into your thrill of the chase, fail fast, ‘corterize’ it, get the bad news out, and move on with the best you’ve got. Hope you enjoy this episode. Please remember to rate and share the podcast with your friends.
On this episode economist Will Witheridge and I discuss the philosophy behind privatisation, the wisdom of Adam Smith, and cartels and monopolies. We also talk about the challenges of the privatisation journey in the West (Australia's Two Airlines Policy for example), some of the areas where privatisation doesn't entirely work and the balance between government regulation and 'nationalisation in new clothes' - excessive green and red tape.
To start 2019 we are putting an ‘older head on younger shoulders’ with Richard Krohn – author of The Parallel University: Create A Balanced Life And Have It All. From superannuation to resilience, we talk about the importance of creating a plan, avoiding binge television and surrounding yourself with positive people. We also cover how individuals should respond to the allure of progressive politics, the hefty fees from planet finance, and test general assumptions around inequality and globalisation. Now is a time when a lot is being asked of individuals. Not all are answering the call, which only underlines the importance of Krohn’s lessons from Parallel University.
From bitcoin to Australian federalism, I like to think The Jacobs Podcast, which I started in early 2018, has been a very small contribution to good old fashioned ‘long form’ discussion. Jordan Shopov, Will Witheridge and I reflect on our favourite podcasters of the year, which includes heavies like Tyler Cowan and Russ Roberts to Dave Rubin and, of course, this year’s big sensation – Jordan Peterson. We also talk about our favourite books and our thoughts on 2019, where we predict the ‘values and capitalism’ debate will re-emerge as planet finance revolves back into earth’s orbit, laying bare the effects of low interest rates and the timeless question of inequality.
Who are your role models? Who are your anti-role models? We all have both. Join Will Witheridge, Jordan Shopov and I as we discuss economists, politicians, writers, sports stars, financiers, military leaders and many others. Sometimes the best role models are the people right in front of you. Let us know who yours are at
On this episode I'm joined by Gerard Benedet for a very brief chat on Advance Australia - a new organisation challenging the dominance of progressive advocacy groups like Get Up. This is a shorter episode but it comes at an informative time. Hope you enjoy the listen. For more on Advance Australia please go to
A dollar today, a dollar tomorrow. Join Whig Capital’s Jordan Shopov and economist Will Witheridge for a discussion on the state of housing in Australia. From lending practices to the Banking Royal Commission, and the difference between ‘value’ and ‘price’, we cover some pretty heavy terrain. Regardless of where you sit, it’s worth a listen.
My guest is former Australian Ambassador and regional trouble-shooter James Batley, who has taken on some of our most challenging foreign policy roles – from Bougainville and East Timor to the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
After meeting for the first time at the recent Liberty Fest 2018, Dr Dillon and I thought a podcast would be a good idea. Anthony's work is available at We discuss a range of topics, from symbolism and Aboriginal history to building better capabilities and thriving in the modern world. And please remember to rate or share the podcast! Happy listening and please get in touch at
Squares or Towers? Join economist Will Witheridge, businessman Jordan Shopov and I for a discussion on how networks and hierarchies have worked throughout history and in the modern age. We look at this by basing the discussion around Niall Ferguson's newest book on the subject. But you don't need to have read the book. Enjoy and remember to rate the podcast!
For this episode it's just me 'running solo' and talking about my recent article on books that I think young Aussies should read. Check out the article at and leave a message with your thoughts. Happy listening!
For this conversation I’m joined by the Beijing-based Enoch Li – founder of Bearapy ( – to talk about avoiding burnout, the nature of depression, mindfulness and how ‘play’ can lead to good outcomes in staying fresh and fulfilled.
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