Simon Jack and Zing Tsjeng find out how the richest people on the planet made their billions, and then they judge them. Are they good, bad, or just another billionaire?
Good Bad Billionaire is here to lift the curtain on the minds, motives and money of some of the world's wealthiest individuals. Hosted by Simon Jack, Business Editor for BBC News, and journalist, author and podcaster Zing Tsjeng, this ground-breaking new series examines the rise of a different billionaire each week to answer the question: Are they good, bad, or just another billionaire?
From Silicon Valley tech titans and secretive CEOS, to Wall Street moguls, pop stars and sporting legends, Simon and Zing will find out how these billionaires made their riches - from the very start to the very top. No detail is too small, no story too wild and no business deal too shady for them to uncover. How did Amazon boss Jeff Bezos launch one of the biggest corporations of the internet age? How did six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan make a fortune from product endorsements with sports giant Nike? How did Rihanna come to sign with Jay-Z and to found a beauty product empire? And how did Chuck Feeney earn the title of 'the James Bond of philanthropy'?
With episodes examining Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, George Lucas and Kim Kardashian, these stories paint a vivid picture of business, entrepreneurship, capitalism and how our world really works.
But it's not just about how these billionaires made their money; it's about what they did with it next. Simon and Zing put each on trial to find out: is this billionaire a force for good or an agent of chaos? Or perhaps somewhere in between.... Join our hosts each week as they unravel tales of fortune, power, ambition and moral responsibility, and invite you to weigh in on the verdict: Good, Bad, or Just Another Billionaire?
Michael Bloomberg: Market Master
How did being fired from Wall Street lead Michael Bloomberg to a $96 billion fortune and a failed presidential campaign? Journalist Zing Tsjeng and BBC business editor Simon Jack try to understand this man of contradictions. A brash playboy and thoughtful data nerd, a lifelong Democrat who became the Republican mayor of New York, a plutocrat who spent £1 billion self-funding a short-lived presidential campaign, and one of the world’s greatest philanthropists.
In the podcast that uncovers how the world's wealthiest people made their money and asks if they are good or bad for the planet, Zing and Simon judge a man whose eponymous Bloomberg terminal sits on desks throughout the finacial world, and helps make people incredibly rich.
Patrick Soon-Shiong: Cures for Cash
Why was a brilliant surgeon and biotech billionaire sued by his brother... and Cher? BBC business editor Simon Jack and journalist Zing Tsjeng trace his journey from apartheid South Africa to the upper echelons of LA society.
He’s tried to cure cancer, diabetes, and COVID-19, and along the way rubbed shoulders with some of the most powerful people on the planet: Joe Biden, the Pope, and Donald Trump. He's made his fortune selling drugs to sick people, but his results have been described as "controversial", "hype" and even “old wine in a new bottle”.
In the podcast that uncovers how the world's wealthiest people made their money and asks if they are good or bad for the planet, Simon and Zing judge a man who made cold hard cash from controversial cures.
Bill Gates: Software Hardman
The story of the Microsoft boss who spent over a decade as the richest person in the world after becoming the youngest self-made billionaire in history.
Journalist Zing Tsjeng and BBC business editor Simon Jack follow Bill Gates' journey, from venerated, nerdy entrepreneur to ruthless monopolist, then from generous philanthropist to conspiracy theory magnet and divisive public figure.
The podcast that uncovers how the world's wealthiest people made their money and asks if they are good or bad for the planet reveals the brilliant technology, the crucial deals, and the legal difficulties, along the path to building a software empire.
Sam Bankman-Fried with Michael Lewis
The spectacular rise and incredible fall of a crypto empire and its unconventional founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire wannabe philanthropist now facing decades behind bars.
Journalist Zing Tsjeng and BBC business editor Simon Jack could not resist inviting special guest Michael Lewis (author of Liar's Poker, Moneyball and The Big Short) to tell this story. Michael was at the scene with SBF as his FTX crypto trading business crumbled and the law closed in.
They trace SBF's life from childhood in Californian academia through his rapid accumulation of wealth – surpassed only by the speed at which it was lost – and on into his prison cell. Then they decide if he is good, bad, or just another billionaire.
This programme was edited on 4 December 2023 to correct a factual error.
Denise Coates: Ultimate Gambler
How did an accountant from Stoke-on-Trent gamble it all to become the world's highest paid woman? Denise Coates founded online betting company Bet365 and soon became a billionaire. BBC business editor Simon Jack and journalist Zing Tsjeng trace the journey of this elusive figure. Geographically she's not travelled far, becoming the biggest employer in her hometown of Stoke-on-Trent. But as a businesswoman she's dominated the online gambling market globally, earning an annual salary that peaked at £421 million. In the podcast that uncovers how the world's wealthiest people made their money and asks if they are good or bad for the planet, Simon and Zing judge the woman who made billions from betting.
Michael Jordan: Most Valuable Player
How did basketball's biggest superstar become the world's first athlete billionaire? Michael Jordan turned his prodigious talent on the court into a money making machine.
Journalist Zing Tsjeng and BBC business editor Simon Jack trace Jordan's career from his childhood in North Carolina, through brilliance as a college basketball player, to his all-conquering phase with the Chicago Bulls and beyond into the billions.
The podcast that uncovers how the world's wealthiest people made their money and asks if they are good or bad for the planet reveals how much that deal with Nike contributed to his wealth and what other business ventures made the ultimate MVP so rich.
It sounds like Simon periodically covers/wipes his mouth while on mic. Super distracting.
I love this podcast! It’s interesting and informative. Think the hosts do a terrific job covering the material and offer very interesting insights. Will keep listening!!
This podcast is incredible! Simon and Tsing do an amazing job with this podcast. Hope there will be more