14 March 2016 – I follow many media sources on economics but none more closely than I do Frances Coppola. Frances’ insight on banking fraud, regulation and on the Greek crisis has contributed significantly to my thinking on these subjects. Having her on the show to talk about Brexitis especially exciting for me and I know you will be bowled over by her as well. Her blog, Coppola Comment and other writings, at The Guardian, the Financial Times, The Economist, Forbes and her appearances on the BBC provide an accessible clarity rare among financial industry wonks.
Will is breaking news today on the Agent Orange crisis on the San Carlos Apache reservation lands in Arizona. The Environmental Protection Agency is apparently stepping up to finally (thirty years after the fact) mitigate extreme adverse impact. At the top of the show Will talks about working to focus on the big issues, the real issues in the campaign and not getting lost in the weeds of a single comment.
I finish my financial instrument backgrounders by talking about mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations. Whew! I also update on the Finnish economy which, sadly, is not being held aloft by Angry Birds. Is the Finnish economy “Finnished?”
Once again, our interstitial music is by the wonderful Irish American band, Bua. Buy their album. You won’t be sorry. – Carrots! Arliss
22 February 2016 – This week Will and I ended up with so much to say that we did the whole show ourselves. I open with an update on the economic crisis in Puerto Rico and I follow that with a quick take on economic canaries, Maersk and CSX.
I’m up next with answers to listener questions relating to the article, “It’s Not About the Debt,” by Chad Stone. I get into some detail about why using debt-to-GDP ratio as a metric makes no logical sense. As part of my explanation I draw from the excellent Levy Economics Institute Working Paper (Number 603), “Does Excessive Sovereign Debt Really Hurt Growth? A Critique of This Time It’s Different, by Reinhart and Rogoff.”
We also mark the passing of the gifted author and thinker, Umberto Eco. Both Will and I have been deeply impressed by his works and given the bent of the current US elections many of Eco’s literary themes seem inordinately timely.
In Extra Mad I venture out into the weeds of GDP; what it is, what it isn’t, what’s wrong with it and the various options. If you listen to the podcast version of the show I’m betting you will be surprised by relevancy of this topic.
We do have new interstitial music this week from Bua, the great traditional Irish band. Check out their website and support their music. Traditional music artists have an especially challenging road and artists as fluent and musically astute as Bua are rare.
As always, Hopping Mad is available here as a download as well as on Stitcher and iTunes. We are on Twitter and Facebook as IMHoppingMad. We LOVE receiving your feedback, questions and corrections. Spring is coming! – Carrots! Arliss