579 episodes

Bloomberg's Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway analyze the weird patterns, the complex issues and the newest market crazes. Join the conversation every Monday and Thursday for interviews with the most interesting minds in finance, economics and markets.

Odd Lots Bloomberg Finance Talk

    • Business
    • 4.4 • 962 Ratings

Bloomberg's Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway analyze the weird patterns, the complex issues and the newest market crazes. Join the conversation every Monday and Thursday for interviews with the most interesting minds in finance, economics and markets.

    Why Corporate America Still Runs on Ancient Software That Breaks

    Why Corporate America Still Runs on Ancient Software That Breaks

    Southwest Airlines had a disastrous holiday season, thanks in part to a software bug that left crews out of place and grounded thousands of flights. But Southwest isn't alone in having software in the headlines lately. The New York Stock Exchange recently had a software error that caused weird pricing on stocks and the FAA had its own computer issue that grounded planes earlier this month. So what's the deal with corporate software? Why do these crashes happen? And why does the user experience typically leave something to be desired? On this episode of the podcast we speak with Patrick McKenzie, an expert on engineering and infrastructure, who writes the Bits About Money newsletter and recently left payments company Stripe after six years. We talked about the challenges of keeping any software system alive after years of upgrades and updates, the distribution of tech talent across industries, and whether non-tech companies can close the gap with Silicon Valley.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 47 min
    What The Heck Is Happening With the Price of Eggs?

    What The Heck Is Happening With the Price of Eggs?

    The price of eggs rose 60% in 2022, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Meanwhile, wholesale egg prices are up 300% in the last year, creating a chart that looks almost parabolic. So what's going on? And is there any relief in sight? On this episode, we speak with Glenn Hickman, president of Hickman's Family Farms, an Arizona egg farm with roughly 10 million chickens. Glenn explains why egg prices have been shooting higher, the role of the Covid-19 pandemic, and how farms are responding to the outbreak of avian flu.
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    • 40 min
    The 'Widowmaker' Crypto Trade That Helped Blow Up an Industry

    The 'Widowmaker' Crypto Trade That Helped Blow Up an Industry

    Over the last year, numerous things have gone wrong for the crypto industry. (Too many to list.) But one thing we've learned is that there's an incredibly high degree of interconnectedness between various firms, all borrowing and lending from each other in a way that created a tremendous amount of fragility. A key entity in all this is GBTC, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which was one of the first regulated entities that allowed ordinary investors to get Bitcoin price exposure. Over time, this trust turned into a behemoth, with numerous players making massive leveraged bets on it. On this episode, we speak with Ram Ahulwalia, the CEO of Lumida Wealth, who explains how the fund works, how the trade worked for investors, and why it's ended in tears for so many players.
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    • 37 min
    Isabella Weber On a New Way to Think About Inflation

    Isabella Weber On a New Way to Think About Inflation

    In economics, there tends to be two dominant ways of thinking about inflation. Either you agree with Milton Friedman, who described inflation as always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon (the result of too much money printing). Or you're more of a New Keynesian who thinks that higher prices are all about the relationship between demand and capacity. In a new paper inspired by Odd Lots and the series of disruptions that have rocked the economy since the global pandemic, UMass Amherst Economics Professor Isabella Weber describes a potential third way of thinking about inflation. She identifies systemically significant sources of inflation, or industries that could end up having a broader impact on a wide variety of prices. The hope is that by identifying these important sources of inflation early, policymakers can put in place measures to make sure price increases don't get out of hand. 
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    • 37 min
    Ex-Logger Aims to Beat Elon Musk in Electric Trucks

    Ex-Logger Aims to Beat Elon Musk in Electric Trucks

    While electric vehicle use is growing rapidly, the internal combustion engine remains completely dominant in the world of heavy trucks. At some point in the future, Tesla has a plan to commercialize an electric semi, but nobody really knows when. Meanwhile, other entities are looking to compete in the world of industrial vehicles. Chace Barber is a former trucker in the logging industry, which has some very different characteristics than the type of freight trucking you typically see on a highway. When you're driving over the Rocky Mountains, without easy proximity to mechanics, tow trucks or service stations, you need power and reliability. His company, Edison Motors, is building its own trucks with a hybrid diesel-electric approach that it sees as a better path forward. On this episode, we discuss the challenges of hauling logs, as well as how it's possible for a small entity to get in the game of building such large industrial equipment.
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    • 52 min
    Why Banks Are Suddenly Borrowing From the Fed's Discount Window

    Why Banks Are Suddenly Borrowing From the Fed's Discount Window

    The discount window at the Federal Reserve allows banks to borrow money at an above-market rate in exchange for high-quality collateral. The facility is always available to use, but typically nobody does. Not only is the borrowing costlier, there's also a "stigma" associated with its usage, since the perception is that if you use it your institution might be in some kind of financial distress. So why has some entity (or multiple entities) been using it lately? On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Bill Nelson, chief economist at the Bank Policy Institute and a former employee of the Federal Reserve who helped design and manage the discount window for 10 years. We discuss what the program is, its history and how it's used today.
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    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
962 Ratings

962 Ratings

JudyPaonia ,

Fascinating

Just listened to the ex- logger talk about his hands on practical knowledge of how to build electric- diesal big trucks. Learned more about supply chain, peak vs average electric supply needs and the world of real applications. And loved every bit of the questions and responses..
what a relief to hear real vs pie in the sky predictions

nicolasaf ,

I really love this podcast

There is something about this podcast that just makes sense. For one, the production quality is insane. And two… the hosts are amazing. They don’t spend 10 minutes asking a question that doesn’t make sense. They just ask their guest to speak their mind and then offer a great breakdown of what was just said. I love it.

I can listed to this podcast all day and will learn things all. Day. I love it.

ZZ1949 ,

The two dumbest.. like… people…

Like… in.. making… like… podcast… like crypto?

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