In this week’s issue, family offices are a new force in global finance – but their billionaire owners will soon face uncomfortable questions. Also, how obsolete technologies could protect against new threats and the art of the perfect copy. Anne McElvoy hosts
UN-brokered peace talks, and the American Senate’s withdrawal of support for Saudi Arabia’s forces, at last represent progress in a conflict that threatens millions with starvation. What next? And, how discord and a mangled deal will haunt Britain’s parliamentarians over the holidays. Also, in Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers’ worrying efforts to hamstring incoming Democrats / Additional audio provided courtesy of Ben Wikler
Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, takes the temperature in a dramatic week in British politics with John Peet, The Economist’s Brexit editor, and Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, a proponent of a different way to solve the Brexit dilemma. They discuss Theresa May’s next moves, a Norway option and the possibility of a second referendum
The race is on to launch satellites to connect the entire world to the internet. We talk to psychologist and geneticist Robert Plomin, about his career and his latest book. And, is the fax machine facing extinction? Kenneth Cukier hosts
The Chinese tech company at the centre of the American - China trade war. How illicit trade is threatening our future with guest Professor Louise Shelley. And the exclusive and influential part of the financial landscape reserved for billionaires. Simon Long hosts.
As anti-government protests engulf France, how a little humility could yet save Emmanuel Macron. Plus, why sensible people fall for online scams and the lessons of Greek myths for artificial intelligence. Anne McElvoy hosts. (A previous version of this podcast included a story on new business regulations in Cuba which is now out of date.)
A vote in Britain’s parliament next week could well put the country on track for another Brexit referendum. So it should. We examine this year’s UN climate conference and what, amid increasingly dire climate warnings, the delegates are actually doing. And a look back at the life and presidency of George H.W. Bush, with our journalists and one of his cabinet members.
Can Steve Hilton, host of Fox News’s “The Next Revolution”, convince Yascha Mounk of Harvard University that populist movements could return power to the people? They debate whether Donald Trump will deliver on radical reforms, whether he poses a threat to a free press and if there should be a second Brexit referendum. Anne McElvoy hosts
Waymo, a division of Google's parent company Alphabet, launched its self-driving taxi service, but is it really a landmark for driverless vehicles? Also, a vast study seeks to understand the genetic underpinnings of ADHD. And we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the “Mother of all demos” computing presentation. Kenneth Cukier hosts
As the ECB brings an end to quantitative easing, is Europe’s economic recovery underway? How, despite the glamour of its fashion show, Victoria’s Secret is struggling to keep up with rivals. And the problem of online fraud in America. Simon Long hosts
China still relies on the outside world for its computer chips – how far should America go to maintain silicon supremacy? Also, democratising lunar landings and why it is so difficult to open a pub in Ireland. Christopher Lockwood hosts Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)
World leaders gathering for the G20 summit are rocked by ripples from a skirmish in the sea, when Russia captured Ukrainian ships and sailors. Citing the incident, President Trump cancelled a meeting with Vladimir Putin. Also: Mexico’s leftist president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, takes office. Is he a new broom, or a loose cannon? Josie Delap hosts.
NATO’s former commander tells Anne McElvoy why he modelled some of his own leadership on al-Qaeda. They discuss his regrets over the invasion of Iraq, the potential for ground war in Europe and whether America should still intervene abroad
A Chinese scientist has claimed to have edited the genomes of two babies using the revolutionary genome-editing technique called CRISPR-Cas9. Also, how the production of semiconductors is becoming a new battlefield. And Kenneth Cukier asks the author, technology executive and investor Elad Gil what it takes for a startup to become a technology giant.
What will America's political landscape look like once millennials outnumber the baby-boom generation? 2019 will also see a triumphant return to the moon. And how Japan is hoping to attract even more tourists. Anne McElvoy hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)
We discuss General Motors’ plans to halt production at five factories in North America and cut more than 14,000 jobs. Also, what next for Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and Renault after Carlos Ghosn was arrested on suspicion of financial misconduct and dismissed from his post as chairman? And, the challenges facing new pub landlords in Ireland. Philip Coggan hosts.
In this week’s issue, why America is the exception to a global decline in suicides. Also, a glimpse of the future of flight and the extraordinary powers of Stan Lee, creator of superheroes. Josie Delap hosts
This weekend, British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to finalise a withdrawal agreement on Brexit with European leaders. But her greatest hurdle is in Westminster rather than Brussels. Can she secure enough votes for her deal in parliament? Anne McElvoy does the 'fuzzy maths'. Also on the show: What does victory look like in a trade war with China? And why Donald Trump is wrong to gloss over the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Christopher Lockwood hosts
Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health in Theresa May's Cabinet, on whether the Prime Minister can get a Brexit deal through Parliament and whether a second referendum might be on the cards. Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, also quizzes him on why the NHS lags behind on technology.
In this special episode we examine the controversial gang-mapping database of London's Metropolitan Police Service. Also, a new pilot project to study how a "data trust" might increase access to information while retaining privacy. And how sharing mapping data by the big web platforms could unlock innovations for companies and society. Kenneth Cukier hosts
We speak to Kevin Hassett, Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers about the American economy.Helen Joyce hosts.
In this week’s issue, why modern capitalism needs a competition revolution. Also, how Brexit might change the face of British football and the perils of finding online fame in China. Anne McElvoy hosts
Our journalists speak with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about Japan’s growing demographic crisis, and what he wants to be remembered for. A crushing famine in a massive region of Africa may have peaked, but it still threatens millions. How can this tragedy be mitigated, or future risks avoided? And, scientists are dealing with a weight problem they’ve had for some time: the definition of the kilogram.
Anne McElvoy asks the former White House communications director whether Donald Trump is true to his base. They debate the wisdom of doing battle with the press, if the president’s lies matter and what a Democratic challenger in 2020 should learn from his populist style
Should climate change be a matter of human rights? Also, gene drives' controversial potential to wipe out entire species of mosquitoes. And, a novel watch spring that could change the way mechanical watches are designed. Kenneth Cukier hosts
How powerful firms could undermine public faith in capitalism. Shakespearean drama in Nokia’s boardroom. And most businesses are ramping up their holiday hiring, but where will they find workers? Simon Long hosts. Music by TeknoAXE CC by 4.0 (Cello Zen, The Cold of the Night)
After America's mid-term elections, how do the Democrats need to change their game to succeed in 2020? Also, a tour of the entrepreneurial city that brought blue jeans to the Soviet Union, and five minutes that changed an astronaut’s life. Anne McElvoy hosts
President Trump wastes no time after America's mid-term elections before sacking Jeff Sessions, the attorney-general. What will the ouster mean for the special counsel’s Russia investigation? As NATO concludes its largest exercises since the cold war, we look at the political and logistical headwinds the alliance faces. And next week Tencent, a Chinese tech behemoth, will report more dismal results; how can it withstand the Chinese government’s pressure on games makers? Jason Palmer hosts
After the hoopla of the mid-term elections - blue wave or red comeback - what does this all mean for America? Anne McElvoy talks to our US Editor, John Prideaux, Chip Roy, former advisor to Ted Cruz, Tim Ryan, Democratic Representative from Ohio, Deb Haaland, one of the first native American women elected to Congress, and Democratic Party strategist Celinda Lake. Who won and what does it mean for 2020?
Highlights from The Economist’s Space Summit in New York, including an interview with Apollo 9 astronaut Russell 'Rusty' Schweickart. Also, how to prepare for space exploration with Dava Newman, Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at MIT. And, astrophysicist Simonetta Di Pippo and astronaut Leroy Chiao discuss worldwide cooperation in space. Tom Standage hosts
The Renaissance scholars couldn’t keep up with new information (“Have you read the latest Erasmus book?” “I don’t have time!”) and needed a better way to organize it. Thus came the invention of tables of contents, indexes, book reviews, encyclopedias, and other shortcuts. What kinds of technological solutions might help us cope with the information overload we all experience today? Guests include: Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack; Nathan Jurgenson, Snapchat sociologist.
As Americans go to the polls, how will Mr. Trump's economic policies play out in the mid-term elections? Who will benefit from America's opportunity zones? And, the buzz around the SEC and what business bosses really think about President Trump. Simon Long hosts
In this week’s issue, could America’s mid-term elections stop the toxic polarisation of federal politics? Plus, how artificial intelligence could transform life for urban commuters. And a glimpse of the treasures to be found in translation. Anne McElvoy hostsMusic: “Sad Marimba Planet” by Lee Rosevere (CCx4.0)
Next week, Americans head to the polls. Why will it be such a consequential election? President Donald Trump has made a caravan of Central American migrants into an object of scaremongering—but the migrants don’t know of the political fight they’re heading into. And voter suppression is likely to have big effects in tight races; we take a look at the one for Georgia’s governor. Jason Palmer hosts
Joschka Fischer, former foreign minister and leader of the Green party in Germany, and Anne McElvoy discuss life after Chancellor Merkel’s retreat from power and whether Germany’s dominance in Europe is in jeopardy. Also Merkel's historian, Andreas Roedder, and our Europe Editor, Christopher Lockwood, on who could succeed her. Music: “Sad Marimba Planet” by Lee Rosevere, “What Does Anybody Know About Anything” by Chris Zabriskie (CC x 4.0)
Can greenhouse emissions be cut in maritime transport? Also, with the US midterms a week away, Courtney Kennedy from PEW Research Centre discusses the reliability of polling data. And the artificial intelligence system being tested as a way to cut down train delays. Kenneth Cukier hosts
Some people thought the laying of the transatlantic cable might bring world peace, because connecting humans could only lead to better understanding and empathy. That wasn’t the outcome, and recent utopian ideas about communication (Facebook might bring us together and make us all friends!) have also met with a darker reality (Facebook might polarize us and spread false information!). Should we be scared of technology that promises to connect the world? Guests include: Robin Dunbar, inventor of ...more
Analysis of Britain's budget with our Britain economics correspondent. What is driving the fall in tech stocks? And, is Harley Davidson struggling to fire on all cylinders?Helen Joyce hosts. Sound effect: THE_bizniss (cc x 3.0)
Australia’s economy has been growing for a record 27 years without a recession—could the rest of the world benefit from playing by Aussie rules? Also, how China’s tech giants are revolutionising pig farming. And the ethical dilemmas of programming autonomous cars. Christopher Lockwood hosts. Music: "Super Hero" by TeknoAXE, "Candlepower" by Chris Zabriskie (CCx4.0)
What will the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist, do to Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s image, and to already-jittery oil markets? Eritreans continue to spill across the border with Ethiopia, which opened last month—but they worry about it closing again. And our journalists vote on the face to grace Britain’s new £50 note; why do banknotes’ famous figures stir such fervour? Jason Palmer hostsMusic: "Making a Change"; "Evocative"; "I'm going for a Coffee"; by Lee Rosevere(CC...more
What would it look like if every child around the world attended school? And we also consider how far the ‘gig economy’ can go. Also, we ask the question: what foodstuff will be sustaining mankind in the future? Hal Hodson hosts Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC by 4.0)
Tara Westover was 17 when she first stepped into a classroom, but went on to earn a PhD. She talks to Anne McElvoy about a childhood on the edge of society, why she chose philosophy over coding—and what unorthodox education might teach the mainstream
Could delivering goods by drone soon become a common occurrence? Also, cyber-security expert Bruce Schneier discusses his latest book. And a new innovation for the disposing of human waste from Mount Everest. Hal Hodson hosts
In the Victorian era, plaster casts became a way to preserve important artifacts in 3-D. Now, virtual reality promises to preserve places and experiences. But who decides what gets preserved? And is the technology an accurate recreation of the experience, or does it fool us into thinking we’ve encountered the real thing when we’ve done nothing of the sort? Guests include: Jaron Lanier, VR pioneer; Nonny de la Pena, VR artist; Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Is China’s slowing economic growth a cause for concern and will the market jitters spread? Amazon moves into digital advertising in a big way. And, our very own super-hero Captain Sensible takes us on a tour of effective economic policies. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts. Music: Super Hero by TeknoAXE (CC x 4.0)
The era of engagement is over. America now sees China as an increasingly dangerous rival. Plus, how Bollywood is boosting domestic tourism in India. And a portrait created by AI goes under the hammer, but is it art or artifice? Anne McElvoy hosts
Afghans vote in parliamentary elections on Saturday, amid Taliban attacks. Will Donald Trump’s shift in strategy at last weaken the extremists? And a by-election in Australia threatens to upend the ruling coalition’s razor-thin majority. Also, can a painting done by computer algorithm be considered art? Jason Palmer hostsMusic: "Introducing the Pre-roll"; "Sad Marimba Planet"; "All the Answers"; by Lee Rosevere (CC x 4.0). And "Rain" by Meydän (CC x 4.0).
Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and The Economist’s Adrian Wooldridge discuss America's rise to global economic prominence and its future outlook. Also, what caused the 2008 financial crash, can another bust be avoided — and the challenge posed by China. Anne McElvoy hosts.
Is the internet about to be unravelled by quantum computing? And how artificial intelligence could be used to diagnose the need for lung transplants in patients with cystic fibrosis. Also, our technology correspondent, Hal Hodson, discuss some of the latest happenings in robotics. Kenneth Cukier hosts
In 1714, British parliament offered a huge cash prize to anyone who could find a way to determine longitude at sea. And it worked, sort of ... several decades later. Are modern contests (DARPA challenges, the X Prize) offering riches and glory an effective way to spur technological innovation? Guests include: Dava Sobel, author of Longitude.
Sears, the giant of American retail, goes bankrupt. The shale boom has made America the world’s top oil producer: is it sustainable? And is Weight Watchers over “weight”? Helen Joyce hosts
Many economies are not ready to deal with even a mild recession—they need to start preparing now. Also, winemakers square up to the weed entrepreneurs of California. And why London is the money-laundering capital of the world. Josie Delap hosts
After the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia is starting to look like an old-fashioned Arab dictatorship. And could the drug MDMA help sufferers recover from post-traumatic stress disorder? Also, in France Marine Le Pen’s new National Rally is hoping to come top in next year’s European elections. Jason Palmer hostsMusic: "An Empty Place" by Sarin, "Rain" by Meydän, "Cylinder Four" by Chris Zabriskie (CC x 4.0)
We ask Andrew Roberts, historian and Churchill biographer, how the most famous British Prime Minister might have responded to today’s global turmoil. What can current politicians learn from his legacy - and are 21st century critics right about his flaws? Anne McElvoy hosts
This week's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report recommends keeping the global increase in temperature below 1.5°C. We ask how governments and companies can reach "net zero" and whether the global economy can both grow and go green? Kenneth Cukier talks to one of the authors of the report, an advisor to Costa Rica on its pioneering decarbonisation plan and the European refineries industry body on its green efforts.Music: Smooth as Glass by The Freeharmonic Orchestra (CC x 4.0)
In 1969, an anthropologist introduced photographs and films to people in Papua New Guinea who’d never seen themselves represented in media before. It changed their conception of the world. In modern society, social media floods us with imagery at a pace we’ve never encountered before, and powerful video manipulation technology threatens to blur the line between real and fake. Are we the new Papuans, about to be overwhelmed by a wholesale media shift? Guests include: Nathan Jurgenson, Snapchat’s ...more
The next president of Brazil will inherit a public-finance crisis. Far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro is on track to win - what are the implications if he's elected? Britain’s crackdown on dirty money. And the challenges of overcoming another global recession. Helen Joyce hosts.
Chinese investment in Europe is soaring, with benefits for both parties, but Europeans are beginning to worry. The design decisions in our favourite technologies that bring out the worst versions of ourselves. And why potatoes are no longer cheap as chips. Anne McElvoy hosts
After a contentious party conference in Birmingham, has Prime Minister Theresa May emerged intact? Lessons from the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Indonesia. And: why is the European potato in crisis? Christopher Lockwood hosts.