245 episodes

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

Odd Lots Bloomberg

    • Investing

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

    What the Coronavirus Means for Pandemic Bonds

    What the Coronavirus Means for Pandemic Bonds

    Back in 2017, the World Bank issued the world's first pandemic bonds. The bonds are meant to shift some of the financial risk of a global pandemic on to investors, but they've been criticized for having 'triggers' that are too tough to generate payouts. Now, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, it's worth looking at how these bonds are structured and what they can tell us about the future of public-private partnerships in finance. In this episode of Odd Lots, we speak with Olga Jonas of the Harvard Global Health Institute, and a former economist at the World Bank with significant pandemic experience. She gives us her take on the bonds as well as the economic impact of big epidemics.

    • 30 min
    Why The Rise of Passive Investing Might Be Distorting The Market

    Why The Rise of Passive Investing Might Be Distorting The Market

    Over the last decade or so, we've seen an incredible rise in so-called passive investing. While definitions differ over what this means, we've seen more and more money poured into index funds (which own every stock in a given basket). Meanwhile, money has been yanked away from money managers who attempt to select individual stocks. One school of thought argues that this is a positive, in part due to lower fees. But is there a dark side? On this week's episode, we speak to Mike Green of hedge fund Logica Capital, who argues that the trend is causing major market distortions that will eventually unwind with ugly consequences.

    • 47 min
    How To Use Fiscal Stimulus To Stave Off The Next Recession

    How To Use Fiscal Stimulus To Stave Off The Next Recession

    There's a growing consensus that governments need to act more aggressively in using fiscal policy to stave off the next recession, and that monetary policy simply isn't powerful enough. But how do you actually go about it? What do you spend the money on, and how do you get politicians to disburse it in a timely manner? On this week's Odd Lots, we speak with Claudia Sahm, a former Fed economist who is now at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, on ways to systematize and automate an early and aggressive fiscal response to economic weakness. Sahm has achieved fame for her so-called "Sahm Rule" which can provide policymakers with an early warning sign of when a recession might be brewing.

    • 1 hr
    Perry Mehrling Explains Why "The Money View" Is Key To Understanding Financial Markets

    Perry Mehrling Explains Why "The Money View" Is Key To Understanding Financial Markets

    Even to this day, there are economists who don't understand money or don't think that money is an important aspect of the economy. They see the world as still operating essentially under a barter system, with money only there as a means of lubricating transactions. But this is precisely the opposite way you should be looking at things, according to this week's guest. Perry Mehrling is a Professor of International Political Economy at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University, and he's known for advocating what he calls "The Money View." In his framework, money is front and center (not something to be abstracted away). In our discussion, he explains how this view helps explain the financial crisis, the repo blowup, and the weaknesses of post-crisis regulations.

    • 50 min
    Why The Transition To Clean Energy Is Happening A Lot Faster Than People Realize

    Why The Transition To Clean Energy Is Happening A Lot Faster Than People Realize

    At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, there was a lot of talk about the need to change the world's energy usage in order to address climate change. While it's easy to get cynical about business leaders and politicians talking about sustainability on a mountaintop in Switzerland, it turns out that a lot is already happening right now. On the latest Odd Lots episode, we speak with journalist and analyst Gregor Macdonald, the editor of The Gregor Letter, about what's actually happening on the ground. And why the transition to renewable energy is happening fast, even in the absence of aggressive government subsidies.

    • 42 min
    How An Exotic Investment Product Sold In Korea Could Create Havoc In The U.S. Options Market

    How An Exotic Investment Product Sold In Korea Could Create Havoc In The U.S. Options Market

    What's the connection between low global interest rates, Korean retail investors, and the U.S. options market? On this week's Odd Lots podcast, we discuss the fascinating world of Korean structured notes with Benn Eifert of QVR Advisors. He explains how a very exotic type of investment sold to Korean retail investors could, through a series of hedging requirements, end up causing massive volatility in the market for S&P 500 options.

    • 52 min

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