39 episodes

Deciding Factors takes a close look at decision-making, what influences it, and how to learn and apply insight to make an informed choice. In each episode, GLG’s Eric Jaffe sits down with world-class experts who share knowledge untapped by the usual sources. He dives into the world these experts know and draws out the insights that can help you navigate the decisions you make.

Deciding Factors by GLG Eric Jaffe

    • News
    • 4.9 • 68 Ratings

Deciding Factors takes a close look at decision-making, what influences it, and how to learn and apply insight to make an informed choice. In each episode, GLG’s Eric Jaffe sits down with world-class experts who share knowledge untapped by the usual sources. He dives into the world these experts know and draws out the insights that can help you navigate the decisions you make.

    John Mearsheimer and Sebastian Rosato discuss "How States Think"

    John Mearsheimer and Sebastian Rosato discuss "How States Think"

    This September, Professors John Mearsheimer and Sebastian Rosato released their controversial new book, “How States Think: The Rationality of Foreign Policy.” Mearsheimer, a longtime Professor at the University of Chicago, ranks among the most well-known advocates for the realist school of international relations. Put simply, realism argues that states act in their own interest. Rosato, a Professor at Notre Dame and fellow traveler, joins as his co-author.  

    Among other assertions, Mearsheimer and Rosato argue that our tendency to view one nation’s adversaries as irrational or amoral clouds that nation’s ability to clearly assess others’ actions and determine an appropriate response.  

    As one notable example, “How States Think” takes Vladmir Putin’s war against Ukraine as a case study in our human tendency to dismiss other states’ actions as irrational when perhaps what we mean is that we find them morally abhorrent. To be clear, Mearsheimer and Rosato don’t endorse Putin or his war, but they encourage us to reconsider our perception of his behavior and look deeper to see whether an underlying rationale may exist.  

    The two scholars bring decades of experience to the project: Mearsheimer is a West Point grad and Air Force veteran who has authored a number of seminal political science and more popular books. He serves as the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor Political Science at the University of Chicago, and has taught at the university since 1982. Rosato currently serves as the Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, and has authored several books.  

    Listen along as Mearsheimer and Rosato join host Eric Jaffe to discuss the unique writing dynamic that shaped their remarkable collaborative work, their approach to rationality and what they think policymakers could learn from it.  

    • 28 min
    Eric Rosengren: Explaining the Federal Reserve

    Eric Rosengren: Explaining the Federal Reserve

    While the US has managed to stave off a recession–at least for the time being–the global economy has nonetheless experienced a rocky couple of years: the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the U.S. this spring; the growing impact of artificial intelligence on virtually all industries; inflation in the West and deflation in China, and the subsequent interest rate hikes. 
    Fortunately, today’s guest on Deciding Factors is a veteran expert who can take us behind the curtain of the Federal Reserve to make sense of these factors and help us assess the state of the US economy.
    Eric Rosengren is the former president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, where he also served as a member of the Federal Open Market Committee—the FOMC—which sets policies for the Fed.
    Listen along as Eric helps explain the processes that the FMOC uses to guide their decision-making, offers a nuanced take on how artificial intelligence will impact the economy and shares why he’s surprised that markets have stayed resilient this year.

    • 23 min
    Danny Weiss: Taking Us Behind the Scenes in Washington

    Danny Weiss: Taking Us Behind the Scenes in Washington

    Although social media has enabled the public to obtain a more intimate and detailed understanding of the “real lives” of famous people, including our political leaders, this transparency doesn’t necessarily help us understand how the real work of lawmaking gets done in Washington. 

    In today’s political climate, the art of deal-making, of enacting an agenda, of reading a room, remains as mysterious as ever. 

    In today’s episode of Deciding Factors, Eric speaks to one of DC’s smartest operators to give us a peek behind the curtain.

    Danny Weiss is a former politics reporter who eventually left his career in media to become the communications director for the legendary California Democratic Representative George Miller. Later, Weiss served as Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Chief of Staff. In that role, he helped navigate the famously contentious relationship between President Trump’s administration and Democrats in Congress.

    These days, Weiss works in the public policy space, focused on technology, education and workforce issues, and he remains extremely tapped in to the going-ons in Washington.

    Listen along as Weiss discusses the debt-ceiling negotiations and how he thinks the White House worked with Speaker McCarthy to make a deal, reveals some of Speaker Pelosi’s work habits and quirks, explains how he thinks we can reduce extreme partisanship in Washington and much more.

    • 22 min
    Dr. Paul LeBlanc: Embracing Remote Learning to Make College Attainable for All

    Dr. Paul LeBlanc: Embracing Remote Learning to Make College Attainable for All

    For many of us, the word “college” conjures images of old brick buildings, studying on the quad, and lecture halls full of students fervently scribbling notes and engaging in debate. 


    But at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), the entire idea of college—and how we define success there—has been flipped on its head. 


    While four thousand students learn on-site at the school’s campus, a whopping 180,000 more study completely online.  


    The school’s innovative approach speaks to its own leadership as much as the societal challenges, and opportunities, that we face today. As a result, SNHU has been named, among other accolades, as #12 on Fast Company magazine’s “World’s Fifty Most Innovative Companies” list. 


    SNHU has succeeded in part because it recognizes that many—if not most—students today face a series of modern obstacles: they work part-time or full-time jobs with erratic schedules, face financial barriers which prevent them from attending more traditional colleges, and often have no realistic path to college straight from high school. 


    In this episode of Deciding Factors, we welcome the President of SNHU, Dr. Paul LeBlanc, for an illuminating and wide-reaching conversation about higher ed in America, and how to make it attainable for everyone. 


    Paul joined SNHU twenty years ago after a seven-year stint as the President of Marlboro College in Vermont. In addition to his work creating and leading toward a new version for the university, he is the author of several best-selling books, including “Broken: How Our Social Systems Are Failing Us and How We Can Fix Them.” 


    Listen along as Paul explains what makes SNHU’s approach different from other models of higher ed, how it embraces data to ensure quality in the courses it offers, and how AI’s potential impact on the work force could change our expectations around higher education. 

    • 37 min
    Congressman Barney Frank: Making Sense of Turmoil in the Banking Sector

    Congressman Barney Frank: Making Sense of Turmoil in the Banking Sector

    The past month has been a volatile one for the banking sector, and its impact has been felt across the entire global economy.  On Friday, March 10, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation seized control of Silicon Valley Bank after a run on its deposits left it insolvent.  The next domino to fall was crypto-friendly Signature Bank, which shut down on Sunday, March 12.   

    While Credit Suisse has also since been absorbed by UBS, many lawmakers have criticized U.S. federal agencies' actions and pointed to rollbacks of consumer protections in the Dodd-Frank Act of 2018 as a primary contributor to the banks’ collapse.  The rollback lessened scrutiny for banks with less than $250 billion in assets, meaning the landmark, post-financial crisis law would only apply to a handful of big banks.  

    In today’s episode, Representative Barney Frank, the chief architect of that regulation, joins us to make light of the current situation.  

    Congressman Frank served in Congress for over 30 years until 2013. He spent four of those years as Chair of the House Financial Services Committee.  As one of the co-authors of Dodd Frank, Frank earned a reputation as one of the most outspoken members of Congress and authorities on financial regulation.  He also happened to serve on the board of Signature Bank when it collapsed, and before taking on his role at Signature Bank, personally advocated for the $250 billion threshold adjustment.  

    Listen along as Congressman Frank sheds light on the events of the past month, why he believes they did not represent a systemic failure, and why he believes business leaders need not adjust their banking approaches in the future.    

    • 41 min
    Rajen Sheth: Where Will AI Take Us Next?

    Rajen Sheth: Where Will AI Take Us Next?

    Since it launched in November 2022, the artificial intelligence bot known as ChatGPT has generated a lot of both excitement and controversy.  
     The conversation around ChatGPT invites larger questions around the role of artificial intelligence in our lives: where and how should we set limits? How can we employ it in a way that allows us to advance while minimizing collateral damage?  And can computers ever attain the ability to demonstrate empathy? 
    In this episode, Eric speaks to Rajen Sheth, one of the leading experts in the field of AI, to help shine light on some of these profound and complicated questions. 
    Rajen spent nearly two decades at Google, where he helped create the company’s ubiquitous suite of apps, and eventually served as the VP of AI for Google Cloud. He currently serves as the CEO and Founder of Kyron Learning, a company focused on applying AI to the education system. 
    Listen along as Rajen helps us make sense of the evolution of AI, its limits and where he sees it headed next.

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
68 Ratings

68 Ratings

HeynayBill ,

Big fan

Eric always gets terrific guests and takes them through an insightful interview.

Morinb__ ,

Really informative

Great to hear these expert opinions directly, more depth than the brief interviews by the news outlets.

Jwizzzzzzzzz ,

Amazing

Love the guests they’ve brought on. Great work!

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