Bloomberg Benchmark-logo

Bloomberg Benchmark

Bloomberg News

A weekly podcast that examines the inner workings of the global economy.

A weekly podcast that examines the inner workings of the global economy.
More Information


United States


A weekly podcast that examines the inner workings of the global economy.






How a Red State City Fell in Love With Muslim Immigrants (Rebroadcast)

Benchmark takes the week off for the Thanksgiving holiday and re-runs an episode from March. Post-industrial Midwestern America helped propel Donald Trump to the nation's top job. You've heard that a hundred times. But did you hear about St Louis? A wave of Bosnian refugees, many of them Muslim, arrive in the city, starting in the mid-1990s. The result: a surge in business and job creation, revitalization of the community and help in the transition from a manufacturing to a service economy....

Duration: 00:25:37

Big Data Goes Where Economies Fear to Tread

Figuring out the global economy has always involved looking at the data. But only in recent years has big data, such as that contained in satellite imagery, become a factor in helping understand what's going on. One place where it's particularly useful is China, where official figures are far less comprehensive than in the U.S. and most other developed nations. It's also provided badly-needed insight into poverty across Africa. Scott and Dan get the scoop from UC-Berkeley professor Joshua...

Duration: 00:19:02

Trump's Big Gamble on a New Fed Chief

By picking Jerome Powell to replace Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chief, President Donald Trump is making a historic gamble that his five predecessors did not: appointing a new leader of the central bank in his first term instead of retaining the existing one. That move could have massive ramifications for the U.S. and global economies. But how did the Fed get so powerful? And how powerful is it really? Peter Conti-Brown, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, joins Scott and...

Duration: 00:20:37

Mexico Didn't See Trump Coming

Mexico just didn't see it coming. The free-trade backlash and anti-Mexican rhetoric that helped fuel Donald Trump's rise came as a surprise to officials and executives in the U.S.'s southern neighbor. Now they are scrambling to save not just NAFTA, but an entire economic model based around global supply chains and ever closer ties with the U.S. Thrown into the mix are elections in Mexico that could propel their own populists into the presidency and congress. Shannon O'Neil from the Council...

Duration: 00:19:48

A Crash Course in Refugee Economics

The biggest challenge refugees face is economic. A couple of financial market insiders are here to help and have recruited some of the biggest names on Wall Street. PIMCO's Greg Sharenow and Trailstone's Michelle Brouhard tell Dan and Scott about their foundation, Interfaith Refugee Project, and how to integrate refugees into the U.S. economic fabric. It's also personal: Greg describes his grandmother's flight from 1930s Germany through Panama.

Duration: 00:17:25

Creating Catalonia From Scratch

How do you create a new country? For Catalonians looking for independence from Spain, secession can give you an emotional high, but what about the bills? Every nation needs a sense of identity and community, of shared heritage and geography. That won't feed people. There's revenue to be collected and bills to be paid, not to mention possibly issuing currency and creating a central bank. And don't forget about picking up the trash. Bloomberg's Maria Tadeo and Maxime Sbaihi explain the...

Duration: 00:20:32

Puerto Rico's Economic Devastation Can Barely Be Measured

Before Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico three weeks ago, the U.S. territory's economy was already in shambles, thanks in part to an overload of debt and decades of misguided policies. Now, after a terrible storm, things are much, much worse for the 3.4 million people there, and they're likely to stay that way for a while -- though measuring just how bad is the tricky part. Bloomberg reporter Jordyn Holman shares her recent experience reporting there, and Arthur MacEwan, an...

Duration: 00:20:23

Forget Oil. Religion Is Big Business in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia may be best known for its vast supply of oil, but outside of that industry, Islamic tourism is one of the kingdom's biggest businesses. Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, as well as other Muslim pilgrimages throughout the year, have been driving growth in tourism, with a building boom to match. The country is seeking to remain a destination, while liberalizing its ultra-conservative rules such as the ban on female drivers. Scott is joined by Siraj Datoo, a Bloomberg...

Duration: 00:25:25

Will the World's Most Powerful People Lose Their Jobs?

Some of the planet's most powerful people may be out of a job in the next two years. Beginning in the next few months, terms start ending for the central bankers who control the price of money in the world. First Janet Yellen, whose term ends February. Up next, Haruhiko Kuroda in April. England's Mark Carney departs in 2019 as does Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank. How many of them will survive and, if they depart, what will be their legacy? Guest Adam Posen, president of the...

Duration: 00:19:12

North Korea's Unlikely Economic Boom

North Korea seems an unlikely place for capitalism to take hold. But markets are playing a bigger role in daily life in the country. While that's created a degree of economic stability in the short run, it's also inexorably undermining the power of the state and making ruler Kim Jong-Un more vulnerable over the longer term. What role does the economy play in the outcome of today's nuclear standoff? Professor and author Byung-Yeon Kim explains to Dan and Scott.

Duration: 00:19:53

This Food Company Is the Lehman Brothers of Croatia

A troubled company threatens a nation's entire economy. It's not Lehman Brothers a decade ago -- and it's not even a bank. No, this time it's Agrokor, Croatia's dominant food maker -- and its potential collapse could even extend Russia's influence in Eastern Europe. Scott and Dan get the scoop from Bloomberg reporters Luca Casiraghi and Jasmina Kuzmanovic.

Duration: 00:21:07

India's Surprising Economic Partition

As India and Pakistan celebrate their 70th birthdays, Benchmark looks at the economic partition of colonial India into the two independent nations. The violence and human tragedy that accompanied the division has been widely chronicled. Less discussed, but no less important, is the economic divergence between the two. How did Pakistan's economy stumble after a promising start? What happened to India in the early 1990s that led it to take off after a sluggish couple of decades? Faris Khan...

Duration: 00:18:24

Most Companies Talk Creativity; Few Walk It. Art Can Help

Western Capitalism is supposed to thrive on Joseph Schumpeter's idea of creative destruction. Yet few companies really nurture creativity. Beancounters loom, ready to take away the canvas that the next big thing is sketched on. Take heart: Thinking about art can help business and finance executives get to Point B. They don't always have to know what Point B looks like before they begin. New York University Professor and author Amy Whitaker explains why to Dan and Scott. Along the way she...

Duration: 00:22:05

Thucydides's Trap Has Implications for Economics, Not Just Conflict

What is Thucydides's trap and how does it foretell the future of U.S.-China economic ties? Much has been said about China's strategic challenges to America. Less talked about is the financial tussle between the two. Harvard's Graham Allison walks Dan through his latest book and explains why a conflict is more likely than many people imagine. Along the way, Allison talks about North Korea and how dealing with a "nutty regime" fits into the broader competition between Washington and Beijing.

Duration: 00:20:20

Make America Pay Its Bills. Again.

What is the U.S. debt ceiling, where did it come from and why does it matter? This time the familiar Washington ritual has a twist. And investors are starting to anticipate something new: The most critical of deadlines may be missed. How can this happen when the White House and Congress are controlled, nominally, by the same party? Why even have a debt ceiling? Special guests Alex Harris and Brian Chappatta join Dan to explain that this time it actually could be different.

Duration: 00:19:26

Setting a New Benchmark With Our 100th Episode

The Benchmark crew celebrates the podcast's 100th episode with a trip through highlights as picked by hosts and producers, both past and present. From the Nobel Prize to Duke Bootee, Dan and Scott — along with some special guests — share the moments that put a human face on that thing we call economics. And we look forward at what the next 100 episodes will bring.

Duration: 00:17:51

Where the U.S. Still Rules in Asia

Why does the U.S. still dominate discussion in a major Chinese city? On a multi-week trip to Asia, Dan discovers a surprising place where America's dominance in Asia is unparalleled and gains some insight into Japan's labor market during a busy lunch hour in Tokyo's financial district. Guest host Joe Weisenthal from Bloomberg's `Odd Lots' podcast holds Dan to account and road tests some of his theories.

Duration: 00:17:30

Why Everyone Needs to Care About the Fed's Shrinking Balance Sheet

The Federal Reserve said this week that it's about to try something that's never been done on this scale in the annals of central banking: reduce its $4.5 trillion stockpile of assets. The ramifications could be felt everywhere from mortgage rates, to the cost of vacationing in Thailand, even to President Donald Trump's attitude toward the Fed. Bloomberg reporter Chris Condon joins Scott to explain what's happening and try to come up with a better name than "balance sheet normalization"...

Duration: 00:14:48

What Our Trump Time Machine Got Right -- and Wrong -- About the Economy

One year ago, the Benchmark crew ventured into the future -- July 2017 -- to imagine what was then all but unimaginable: How would the U.S. economy fare in the first six months under President Donald J. Trump? Now that it's all come to pass, Scott and guest co-host Jeanna Smialek speak with our seer from 2016, Neil Dutta from Renaissance Macro Research, to explain what we got right and wrong -- and what we can expect for the rest of the president's term.

Duration: 00:15:35

The World's First Modern Financial Crisis: 1997 Edition

Twenty years ago this week, a momentous event more than a century in the making finally occurred: Hong Kong's handover to China. Turns out, that wasn't even close to the biggest story that year. What really did transfix the world in 1997 was the financial crisis that exploded a day after the handover -- in, of all places, Bangkok. Today on Benchmark, Dan, a former Malaysia bureau chief, and Hong Kong-based Malcolm Scott look back at the crisis and the wrenching economic and political...

Duration: 00:19:13

See More