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Bill Janeway | Venture Capitalism and the Future of the Innovation Economy

In Episode 67 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Bill Janeway about capitalism in the innovation economy. Janeway is a senior advisor and managing director of Warburg Pincus, where he was responsible for building the investment firm’s information technology investment practice. Bill is also a co-founder and member of the board of governors of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. In 1948, the same year in which Claude Shannon’s revolutionary paper on information theory was...


Renewed Focus on Finance, Markets, and the Economy

I have decided to focus more of my coverage on financial markets heading into the new year. This update was recorded on my iPhone only hours before being released. It includes my thoughts and reflections about Day 1 at the Robin Hood Investors Conference that I was invited to attend on account of my episode with Montana Skeptic.


Brian McCullough | How the Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone

In Episode 66 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with serial technology entrepreneur and host of the Internet History Podcast, as well as the Techmeme Ride Home, Brian McCullough. Brian is also the author of HOW THE INTERNET HAPPENED, published by Liveright, a subsidiary of W.W. Norton. In 2014 he was the co-founder of a startup human named Penelope, and in 2016 he launched Maxwell into beta. In March of 1989, CERN scientist Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal to develop a distributed...


Dinny McMahon | Debt, Dysfunction, and the End of the Chinese Miracle

In Episode 65 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with China expert Dinny McMahon, who spent ten years as a financial journalist in China, including six years in Beijing at The Wall Street Journal and four years with Dow Jones Newswires in Shanghai. Demetri and Dinny discuss how Chinese malinvestment, massive debt burdens, and a population that is aging faster than anywhere else in the world has created the conditions for the worst economic and political crisis in modern history. It...


Hannah Fry | Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms

In Episode 64 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with mathematician and public educator, Hannah Fry. Dr. Fry’s mathematical expertise has led to the development of several documentaries on the BBC, where she also hosts her own, long-running Radio 4 program: The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry. Already a two-time author, Hannah is out with her third and latest book, Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms. Since the turn of the twentieth century, algorithms have assumed...


Howard Marks | Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side

In Episode 63 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with legendary value investor Howard Marks. Howard serves as the co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, a leading investment management firm responsible for over 120 billion dollars in client assets. This week’s conversation centers on the market cycle, its origins and impact. Howard shares his philosophy on risk management, asset bubbles, contrarianism, and what he calls second-level thinking – an approach thinking...


Elon Musk and the Fall of the Church of Tesla | Lawrence Fossi

In Episode 62 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Lawrence Fossi, known by his pen name as Montana Skeptic. Lawrence is the portfolio manager for a family office with over one billion dollars under management. A graduate of Yale Law School, he has 30 years of experience as a commercial trial attorney. Fossi started writing about Tesla three years ago under the pseudonym Montana Skeptic. He quickly developed a reputation as one of Tesla’s most thoughtful critics until earlier this...


Collapsing Demand at Tesla amid Elon Musk SEC Fraud Charges | Gordon Johnson

In Episode 61 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with equity research analyst Gordon Johnson, about a possible bankruptcy of Tesla amid the recently announced SEC fraud charges levied against its CEO Elon Musk. The two also discuss the ongoing criminal probe of its CEO Elon Musk, by the Department of Justice, and the impact that it may have on the company's stock price. Gordon Johnson has been called the biggest bear on Tesla by Bloomberg and CNBC, and has the lowest price target on...


Bruce Schneier | Cyberattacks and Survival in a Hyperconnected World

In Episode 60 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Bruce Schneier, about cyberattacks, cyberwar, and survival in a hyperconnected world. Cyberattacks constitute one of the most urgent threats facing collective humanity according to Bruce Schneier. History has proven him right. In the summer of 2017, a weapon of cyberwar was dropped onto a world without borders, where the heavy artillery and nuclear warheads that defined the battlelines of the 20th century have been rendered...


Grant Williams | Quantum Uncertainty and Spooky Correlations at the Zero-Bound

In Episode 59 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Grant Williams about the crisis brewing in emerging markets, the collapse in cryptocurrencies, and the palace intrigues of Elon Musk. All of these phenomena exhibit the common feature of “quantum weirdness at the zero-bound,” where the laws of classical economics break down, space-time preferences collapse, and quantum entanglements lead to spooky correlations that threaten the very fabric upon which markets are made and prices...


Jonathan Haidt | Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces, and the Coddling of the American Mind

In Episode 58 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jonathan Haidt about how trigger warnings, safe spaces, and microaggressions are setting up the iGeneration for failure on America’s college campuses. In the Fall of 2013, the President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Greg Lukianoff, noticed that something odd was happening on America’s college campuses. Words were increasingly being seen as dangerous. A series of strange reports began to emerge of...


Joseph Lubin | ConsenSys and the Nature of the Firm in a Decentralized Economy

In Episode 57 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Joseph Lubin about the progress being made at Consensys and precisely how Joe believes that Ethereum will overcome the scalability challenges that have plagued its network since the earliest days of its founding. For the last few years, many blockchain enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating the release of what many have referred to as “the Netflix moment.” In other words, blockchain enthusiasts expect to see a killer...


Hedera Hashgraph and the Second Internet Revolution | Tom Trowbridge

In Episode 56 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Hedera Hashgraph President Tom Trowbridge about the latest news from the company that made its splash on the Hidden Forces podcast less than one year ago. In the Fall of 2008, equity markets were in free fall. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite were all on their way towards making lows not seen since the mid-1990’s. Stock valuations would collapse by more than fifty percent, prominent investment banks...


Ryan Selkis | Token-Curated Registries: Building the Information Database for a New Financial System

In Episode 55 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Ryan Selkis about how his company, Messari, is bringing a new level of data gathering and analysis to the crypto space by building what are known as token-curated registries. Information has become, quite literally, the currency of the digital age. Yet, even before the advent of cryptocurrencies, investors have always understood information to be a valuable asset. “The most valuable commodity I know of is information,” said the...


Barry Eichengreen | The Legacy of the Great Moderation: Currency, Populism, and Credit

In Episode 54 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with economic historian Barry Eichengreen about his experience studying currency pegs and exchange rate mechanisms, as the two explore how the legacy of globalization, trade liberalization, and the great moderation laid the foundation for the challenges facing the modern economy. Barry Eichengreen has made a career of studying the history of money and the role that currency has played in the international order. Currency regimes are not...


Gillian Tett | an Anthropologist's Field Guide to Wall Street and Silicon Valley

In Episode 53 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Gillian Tett, Managing Editor of the Financial Times US about her experience at the paper and how her background in anthropology has helped her identify financial bubbles in technology and the economy. “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” said the famous Yankee captain, Yogi Berra, and yet, this hasn’t stopped us from trying. Attempting to predict the future is a sport as old as civilization itself....


Simon Winchester | a History of Precision Engineering and the Making of the Modern World

In Episode 52 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Simon Winchester about the value of precision (and imperfection) in the modern age. Few things are as responsible for the making of the modern world as precision engineering; yet, it is largely invisible to us. We live our lives in a customizable fashion, expecting the world to conform to our expectations, wants, and desires. And yet, below this surface layer of personalization and complexity exists a world of exactness so precise...


Mind-Body Philosophy: Solving the Hard Problem of Consciousness | Patrick Grim

In Episode 51 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Patrick Grim, a world-renowned philosopher, and bestselling author, about the roots of human consciousness. Recent advances in science and technology have allowed us to reveal — and in some cases even alter — the innermost workings of the human body. With electron microscopes, we can see our DNA, the source code of life itself. With nanobots, we can send cameras throughout our bodies and deliver drugs directly into the areas where...


The Hard Problem of Currency: Are Stablecoins Possible? | Nevin Freeman

In Episode 50 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Nevin Freeman, the founder of a new stable-value cryptocurrency project, about the hard problem of currency. 2018 is the year of the stablecoin, or so says Nevin Freeman, the founder of a new stable-value cryptocurrency project based in the San Francisco Bay area. In order to understand what stablecoins and how they work, we first need to understand money. In order for something to qualify as money, it has traditionally needed to...


Vitalik Buterin and Vlad Zamfir | The Ethereum Roadmap and Solving the Blockchain Scalability Problem

In Episode 49 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Vitalik Buterin and Vlad Zamfir about the future roadmap for Ethereum. If contracts are the foundation of modern civilization, then our record systems are the infrastructure that keep this foundation from falling apart. These features allow our society to establish and verify identities; give value to goods and services; create and enforce laws; govern interactions between individuals, organizations, and nations — in short, they...