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Bloomberg News

Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway take you on a not-so random weekly walk through hot topics in markets, finance and economics.

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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New York City, NY


Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway take you on a not-so random weekly walk through hot topics in markets, finance and economics.






The World's Foremost Expert Explains How To Value Stock

In this age of algorithms and quants, you hear less and less about good old stock picking. You know, like the style of investing associated with Warren Buffet or Benjamin Graham. But that doesn't mean you can't still dive into a balance sheet or cash flow statement in order to divine a stock's true worth. On this week's Odd Lots we speak to Aswath Damodaran, a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, and the foremost expert on stock valuation. He explains his general approach to valuing...

Duration: 00:31:38

This Is How a Currency Trader Actually Picks What to Buy and Sell

Most asset classes move in a fairly straightforward manner. They're either going up or down at any given time. But when it comes to currencies it's not that simple. Since they're all traded against each other (the pound vs. the dollar, the pound vs. the euro, the pound vs. the yen) there's always some rising and some falling at any given time. Everything's relative. So what drives these relative movements, and how do traders decide what bets to place? On this week's episode of the Odd Lots...

Duration: 00:32:39

History Has Some Ominous Warnings for Investors in Initial Coin Offerings

You can't go a day without hearing about ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings. By taking advantage of a regulatory gap and buzz surrounding cryptocurrencies, companies are raising millions of dollars by launching their own coins. But what's the point of these coins? What are they supposed to do? And what are the pitfalls? On this week's podcast, we talk to Elaine Ou, a blockchain engineer at Global Financial Access and a Bloomberg View contributor about the economics of ICOs, and how previous...

Duration: 00:21:37

Everything You've Been Taught About How to Value a Stock Might Be Wrong

Investors are constantly poring over income statements from big companies to figure out whether they should buy or sell the business's stock. But should they bother? In this week's episode, Joe and Tracy talk to Feng Gu, a professor at SUNY Buffalo, and Baruch Lev, a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, about why the way we account for a company's earnings might be massively outdated.

Duration: 00:26:39

ETFs Are Eating the Financial World and They're Not Done Yet

By now, almost everyone in financial markets is familiar with ETFs (exchange-traded funds), and how they allow investors to move quickly in and out of a basket of stocks with a few clicks. But perhaps people don't realize quite how revolutionary they are, and how much of an impact they've had on the financial system. On this week's episode we talk to Eric Balchunas, an ETFs analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence and Joel Weber, the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg Markets magazine about how...

Duration: 00:25:48

How One Trader Won Big While Everyone Else Panicked On Black Monday

On Monday October 19th, 1987, the Dow Jones fell 508 points in a one day crash that will forever be known as "Black Monday". In honor of the 30th anniversary, Joe and Tracy talk to Blair Hull, managing partner of Hull Trading Co., who was actively trading that day. While everyone else panicked, Hull spotted an opportunity and won big in the chaos. On this episode, we talk about how he was able to keep his head above water and what lessons that day holds for markets today.

Duration: 00:30:08

What We Can Learn About Market Liquidity By Looking At Everyday Life

"Liquidity" is one of the most widely-talked about yet least understood concepts in markets. Roughly speaking, a market is liquid if you can transact in it without affecting the price significantly. But there's little agreement about why some markets are more liquid than others, or why liquidity sometimes just evaporates with little notice. This week we speak to Karthik Shashidhar, the author of "Between The Buyer And The Seller" about what we can learn about liquidity from things like...

Duration: 00:33:07

Inside the Changing World of the Sell-Side Analyst

The world of sell-side analysts has been upended in recent years with intense competition, new technology and regulation in the form of MIFID. At the same time, many of the issues being faced by the analyst industry are similar to the ones now faced by the media. On this week's episode, we talk to Steven Abrahams, the former head of mortgage bond and securitization research at Deutsche Bank AG, and now the co-founder and CEO of Milepost Capital Management, about his two decades of...

Duration: 00:37:51

Revisiting The Strange Story Behind the Beanie Babies Bubble

To wrap up our series on financial bubbles, the Odd Lots podcast looks back at an early episode, focusing on one of the most iconic bubbles of the 20th century: Beanie Babies. Two market bubbles stand out from the late 1990s. Technology stocks that were supposed to make everyone a zillionaire. The other: A series of mass-produced stuffed animals priced at $5 each. Odd Lots hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway speak with Zac Bissonnette, author of "The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass...

Duration: 00:30:15

The Baseball Card Bubble Can Tell You A Surprising Amount About How Markets Work

There's a good chance that if you were a boy in the early 90s that you were a collector of baseball cards. For a few years, the baseball card industry went from being a niche collectible to a massive industry. It was, for a brief period, a legitimate bubble. On this week's Odd Lots podcast we talk to Dave Jamieson, the author of Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession. Among the topics we discussed include the role that pricing guides had in exacerbating the boom,...

Duration: 00:36:58

How an Austrian Economist Explains The Tulip Bubble

The tulip bubble is the quintessential bubble. If you want to call something a bubble, just mutter something about tulips, and everybody will know what you're arguing. But what was the tulip bubble, really, and how did it form? To get a unique perspective on this historical episode, on this week's podcast we speak with Douglas French, an adherent of Austrian economics, and the author of a book on Tulip Mania. He argues that like many bubbles subsequently, this historical episode can be...

Duration: 00:32:38

This Is What Happened During The Great Florida Real Estate Bubble

During the 2008 financial crisis, Florida was an epicenter of the real estate meltdown. But for decades before that, the state has been characterized by booms and busts. In this week's episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we spoke with Arva Moore Parks, a Florida historian and preservationist about the great Florida real estate bubble of the 1920s, or as she calls it "The Boom." Parks tells us about the role of the real estate visionary George Merrick, whose influence on Florida remains today,...

Duration: 00:28:09

This Is What All Great Stock Market Bubbles And Crashes Have in Common

Markets are at their most exciting when they're in a bubble. Spectacular fortunes can be made and lost in the blink of an eye. So how do bubbles form and end? On this week's episode of the Odd Lots podcast we talk to Scott Nations, the president and chief investment officer of NationsShares, and the author of "A History of The United States in Five Crashes." We discuss with him various stock market crashes and bubbles in U.S history, and what they all have in common.

Duration: 00:29:55

What Looking Inside a Bank Archive Can Tell Us About Modern Finance

Royal Bank of Scotland has been around, in one form or another, for hundreds of years. The company keeps artifacts from its lengthy history in an archive that features everything from a customer ledger kept during the Great Plague and Great Fire of London in the 1600s, to a notice sent to branches in 1914 to shut down ahead of the start of World War I. On this week's episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Ruth Reed, Head of Archives and Art at RBS, about what it's like to be the...

Duration: 00:24:59

The Biggest Lesson Investors Should Have Learned From the Crisis

It's been 10 years since the start of the credit crunch that eventually led to the global financial crisis. For many investors, the events of 2007 to 2008 shook their entire understanding of how markets are meant to work. In this week's episode of the Odd Lots podcast we speak to Mark Dow, a global macro trader and financial blogger, as well as a former economist at the U.S. Treasury and the International Monetary Fund. He walks us through some of the most important lessons that investors...

Duration: 00:38:47

What Diner's Club Card Reveals About the Nature Of Money

We use money everyday, but it's rare to actually think about what money is or what it represents. And in fact many of the people who are the closest to it -- academics, traders, etc. -- understand it the least. On this week's episode of Odd Lots, we talk to Lana Swartz, an Assistant Professor at the University of Virgnia in the department of media studies. We discuss why money can be understood as a form of media, and specifically we talk about her work on Diner's Club, the original charge...

Duration: 00:32:26

How The Bond Market Changed During A Veteran Trader's Decades On Wall Street

Most people have some kind of hazy conception of how the stock market works. Stocks are simple to understand, and there are only so many of them out there to trade. But the bond market is a whole different beast, and in some ways it remains way behind stocks in terms of how technology has changed the industry. On this weeks' Odd Lots podcast, we talk to Bloomberg's Rob Elson, a former trader, who spent decades in the industry. During our conversation, he talks about how he got into the...

Duration: 00:23:17

What It's Like to Suddenly Become a Bond Manager in the Credit Crisis

We talk a lot on Odd Lots about the idea of investing. But what's it like to actually have to put money to work in some of the trickiest investing environments in history? David Schawel was an equity analyst who suddenly became the manager of a portfolio of subprime mortgage bonds during the worst of the credit crunch. Now he manages fixed-income portfolios for New River Investments. We talk to him about what it was like to manage a subprime portfolio back in 2008, the differences between...

Duration: 00:20:32

Why Wheat is the World's Most Exciting Market Right Now

Financial markets around the world are stuck in a long period of low volatility and boredom. But one pocket is seeing some wild action -- grains. Spring wheat (a form of high-protein wheat grown in the northern Midwest) has been on a tear, alongside action in soy and corn. What explains the whipsaw? Joe and Tracy speak with Tommy Grisafi, a longtime trader who works as a risk manager at Advance Trading, a firm that helps farmers take advantage of financial markets. Grisafi walks us through...

Duration: 00:30:38

Why a Natural Gas Company Is Shaking the World of Islamic Finance

Earlier this month, Dana Gas, a UAE-based company, rocked the world of Islamic finance by announcing that one of its Shariah-compliant bonds was, well, no longer Shariah-compliant. On this week's episode of Odd Lots, we speak to veteran Dubai-based journalist Frank Kane about the rise of Islamic finance (what it is, how it works, why it's grown so fast) and why the Dana Gas announcement is such a big deal.

Duration: 00:24:29