Odd Lots

Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway take you on a not-so random weekly walk through hot topics in markets, finance and economics.
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The coronavirus crisis snarled global shipping in early 2020 as borders were closed, but lots of people expected it to improve as vessels returned to…
The U.S. was once a manufacturing leader in semiconductors. That's no longer the case, given the rise of contract manufacturing and outsourcing, the …
One of the surprising developments in the last year was the boom in SPACs. The so-called blank check companies raised more money in 2020 than they ha…
We're in a rare moment where chess is popular in the United States. There are two big factors driving it. One is the smash hit Netflix show "The Quee…
It's been pointed out that, after the Black Death in Europe, real wages surged because there was such a shortage of labor in the aftermath. But what …
Economics is all about improving living standards, but rarely does the dismal science deal with social justice or talk about how a lack of it could a…
2020 has been an absolutely extraordinary year for the economy. In March, we saw the fastest economic contraction in history with an extraordinary su…
This past summer, the business intelligence software company MicroStrategy made waves when it put some of its extra cash into Bitcoin. Then, as Bitco…
We talk a lot about quantitative trading on the podcast, but typically from a rather big picture perspective, and not at the level of actually buildi…
On a recent episode of Odd Lots, we talked about Intel, and how the former dominant American semiconductor company was stumbling. But big things are …
It's obviously been an extraordinary year for markets and the economy for reasons that don't need stating at this point. But what does 2021 have in s…
It's no secret that some African nations went on a borrowing spree in recent years, tapping both international markets and sovereign lenders such as …
For years, the IMF was generally of the view that free trade was good, and that open capital flows were also good. But in recent years, the latter vi…
With developed economies still operating well below pre-crisis levels, central banks face substantial pressure to pursue stimulative policies on an o…
For years, Intel has been the pre-eminent U.S. semiconductor company. But lately, the company has stumbled. This past summer, shares in the company p…
There are many similarities between cryptocurrencies and social networks. And the rise of payment apps like Venmo make the link between payments and …
Traditional quant strategies that try to screen for stocks that are "cheap" have had an extremely rough period. So is this just a temporary setback t…
Bitcoin has been on a tear lately, but it's been a bit unclear as to what's driving it. But whatever's driving it, co-host Tracy Alloway has given up…
The politics of taxes are always fraught. In theory, everyone wants to pay less of them and bristle at the prospect of paying more. But it turns out …
Investors have always had to pay attention to what's going on in Washington DC, but this year it's been on a whole new level. Between virus response …
This year's stock market boom has coincided with a boom in new listings. There have been plenty of IPOs, numerous SPACs, and an uptick in companies d…
Measuring a company's book value is a classic practice among investors seeking to understand how much a firm's actual assets are worth. But what happ…
The IPO of Ant Financial will go down as one of the most extraordinary deals of all time. And in general, Chinese internet companies have been huge w…
The COVID-19 crisis has pushed central banks around the world into uncharted territory. Typically when we talk about this, it's from the perspective …
For months now, traders have been positioning for a major volatility spike around the November election. But what are markets really expecting, and h…
Central banks around the world are increasingly launching pilot projects to explore the possibility of issuing digital currencies. But how would they…
With just two weeks until the election, talks over a stimulus deal remain ongoing, with negotiations having picked up between House Speaker Nancy Pel…
It's been an extraordinary year for traders of volatility. We had the crisis, we had this incredible surge in retail call options buying, and we have…
For over a century, tobacco stocks have been among the greatest investments in history, consistently outperforming other sectors decade after decade.…
In the wake of the Great Financial Crisis, you heard a lot of talk about the US becoming like Greece unless the budget deficit were brought under con…
Interest in quantitative investing strategies continues to grow; however, as the space gets more competitive, making money and winning gets harder an…
One of the guiding lights of Fed policy over the years has been the so-called Neutral Rate of Interest or R*. It's at this rate, theoretically, where…
In a carry trade, an investor borrows money cheaply to buy an asset that yields more. As long as nothing changes overall, the investors get to pocket…
These days it seems like all financial markets are the same big trade. A gold chart looks like a Tesla chart, which looks like an Ethereum chart, whi…
Back in 2017, during the Bitcoin boom, there were a number of different attempts to use blockchain technology to improve a host of businesses and ind…
Crypto is hot this year again. In 2020 we've not only seen a substantial rally across a lot of different coins, there's been an emergency of new expe…
The use of so-called "alternative data" has been gathering attention for some time. Investors have been looking at things like credit cards or satell…
One of the most intriguing subplots to the 2020 stock market boom has been the speculative fervor with which investors have dived into this market. A…
SPACs have been around a long time. The basic premise is that a group of people raise a bunch of money from public market investors, with the premise…
It's fun to talk about what money is, but often it's hard to connect the dots and make it actually relevant to the discussion of the economy and mark…
Paul McCulley is a former Managing Director at PIMCO and a legend of the industry, having helped coin phrases such as "shadow banking" and the "Minsk…
The Fed is facing historic challenges for two reasons. The first is the coronavirus and the task of facilitating the economic recovery. The second ch…
There are some sectors of the real estate market, such as suburban residential housing, that are doing just fine throughout this crisis. However, oth…
When COVID hit, people had visions of a plunge in home prices and a massive wave of evictions. So far, that largely hasn’t played out. On this episod…
In the United States, Black Americans have experienced persistently higher levels of unemployment than their White counterparts. While the Fed has fo…
The pandemic has been brutal for restaurants and other indoor entertainment venues. So imagine running a space that’s a restaurant, a bowling alley, …
For years, people have identified the lack of fiscal transfers and fiscal burden sharing as one of the glaring architectural flaws of the European ec…
In light of the massive disruption to the economy, there’s a widespread view that things have been permanently altered, that fiscal policy must take …
For years, macro hedge fund managers have been stalking the Hong Kong Dollar. Since 1983, the currency has been pegged at around 7.75 per US dollar, …
With so many people working at home, bored, and with no sports to bet on, there’s been an incredible explosion of retail stock market trading. One se…
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