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Capitalisn't

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Capitalisn't

University of Chicago Podcast Network

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Is capitalism the engine of destruction or the engine of prosperity? On this podcast we talk about the ways capitalism is—or more often isn’t—working in our world today. Hosted by Vanity Fair contributing editor, Bethany McLean and world renowned economics professor Luigi Zingales, we explain how capitalism can go wrong, and what we can do to fix it. Cover photo attributions: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/research/stigler/about/capitalisnt
 
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If Claudia Goldin, Professor of Economics at Harvard University, wins the Nobel Prize in Economics next week, no-one will be surprised. Her work studying the intersection of gender and labor has been vital, both to the world and the field. But there's a curious argument in her newest book "Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey Toward Equi…
 
We’re taking a week off as school starts back up, but we wanted to reshare this episode with you this week. For a show about economics, we talk about democracy a lot. But there’s an important reason for that. Without a strong democracy to build capitalism on top of, it’ll always be an isn’t. So please enjoy our conversation about the important inte…
 
Environmental, social and governance investing, also know as ESG, has exploded in recent years. It promises to help us solve problems like climate change and inequality all while allowing investors to still turn a profit.But BlackRock’s former global chief investment office for sustainable investing, Tariq Fancy, says it isn't what's being advertis…
 
Capitalism doesn't work without democracy. So, it's particularly concerning that polarization and fundamentalism are threatening the underlying principles that make our democracy possible.A new book by Northwestern President and economist Morton Schapiro and literary scholar Gary Saul Morson called "Minds Wide Shut" explores the forces that are des…
 
Does meritocracy create a better world for everyone, or does it create massive inequality? There's been a lot of debate in the last few years about meritocracy, and it's become even more pressing in light of the pandemic. If essential workers are "essential", are they really less meritorious than a banker or accountant? So, we decided to discuss bo…
 
The University of Chicago Podcast Network is excited to announce the launch of a new show, it’s called "Entitled" and it’s about human rights. Co-hosted by lawyers and UChicago Law School Professors, Claudia Flores and Tom Ginsburg, Entitled explores the stories around why rights matter and what’s the matter with rights.We’re going to share the fir…
 
Does meritocracy create a better world for everyone, or does it create massive inequality? There's been a lot of debate in the last few years about meritocracy, and it's become even more pressing in light of the pandemic. If essential workers are "essential", are they really less meritorious than a banker or accountant? So, we decided to discuss bo…
 
If shareholders are the owners of a company, they should be able to get that company to do what they want. But what happens when shareholders want something other than profits at any cost?In a major moment for what's come to be called "shareholder capitalism", activist hedge fund Engine No. 1 successfully claimed three seats on Exxon's board of dir…
 
There are plenty of lingering questions about the development of the coronavirus vaccine. How was the pricing decided? Did the public-private partnership with the government work? Who's right in the debate over patent rights and profit sharing?There's no better person to put these questions to than David Meline, the CFO of Moderna. He joins our pod…
 
Occupy Wall Street, Italy's Five Star Movement, the indignados in Spain—we've seen an increase in anti-elite protests by a disabused public over the last two decades. But what has caused this "revolt of the public"?Martin Gurri, Visiting Fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center and former CIA media analyst, argues that elites have overpr…
 
In the last few decades, American wages have stagnated for everyone except those at the very top. Yet, during this same period, worker productivity and corporate profits have soared. Why these two trends have coincided has perplexed economists. But, in a new book, economist Jan Eeckhout proposes a simple answer: market power. We discuss his proposa…
 
Have you ever heard the term "regulatory capture"? It's a famous economic theory that the regulation and regulators we create to keep certain industries in check can be captured and bent to the desires of those very industries. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of the paper that first proposed this theory. It's called "The The…
 
Pres. Biden is pursuing some of the largest spending proposals in U.S. history, which should be sparking concerns about inflation and interest rates. But most prominent bankers and economists have told us not to worry. Fmr Central Banker Mervyn King says they shouldn't be so confident. On this episode, we speak with Lord King about his concerns of …
 
What is causing the widening wealth gap in America? People point fingers in many different directions, but a fairly new idea is to blame The Federal Reserve. In a new book, "Engine of Inequality: The Fed and The Future of Wealth In America", Karen Petrou, a managing partner at Federal Financial Analytics, argues that The Fed's ultra-low interest ra…
 
When it comes to probing the problems of Big Tech, either as a journalist or academic, access is key. Necessary data is highly guarded, often in a "black box", and these companies carefully select what they share and with whom. Few people understand this better than Kara Swisher who has been fearlessly covering and critiquing Big Tech since the 199…
 
The only thing worse than crony capitalism may be crony capitalism controlled by a centralized communist authority. This is the system that has led to massive wealth disparities in China, even as the country has seen record growth.Former New York Times correspondent, David Barboza, has gotten a first-hand look at how this system in China has led to…
 
Concerns about the political power of Big Tech and lack of competition are at an all-time high. The business model of Facebook, Google, Twitter, ect. seem to be creating a race to the bottom for the discourse in our social and political lives.Many have argued we should turn to anti-trust laws as a way to solve this problem, but Nobel laureate Paul …
 
The consulting firm McKinsey has agreed to pay nearly $600 million for its role in advising Purdue on how to push opioids sales, even at the cost of human lives. The details of their work are gruesome and should demand self-reflection among all those who work in big business. Has the profit motive gone out of control, and do business schools have a…
 
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard the story of GameStop and Robinhood. Most writers and outlets have claimed this is either a positive David vs Goliath story or a dangerous new trend. On this episode, we're joined by Matt Stoller, Director of Research at the American Economic Liberties Project, who has an entirely differ…
 
In 1998, the U.S. government filed antitrust charges against Microsoft. Today, with a new Department of Justice antitrust case filed against Google, it's worthwhile to track the eerie similarities between these cases in order to understand how one informs the other and vice versa. In order to walk us through both cases, we invited two people on the…
 
We’re taking time off to be with our families, even if it’s only over a screen, so we're sharing a shorter episode with you this week. Inspired by our recent election, Bethany and Luigi sit down, just the two of them, to talk through why a robust and strong democracy is essential for capitalism to work. We hope you enjoy this conversation, and we’l…
 
Few people have deeply investigated the inner workings of our problematic student debt system. One person who has is Constantine Yannelis, Assistant Professor of Finance at The University of Chicago. With a proposal by the Biden Administration to forgive some portion of student debt possibly on the table, Yannelis takes us behind the curtain of our…
 
It's not hard to find original conversations about the dangers of "Big Tech", but it is rare to find original solutions. On this episode, we sit down with renowned professor and author, Francis Fukuyama, who has developed a fresh answer to the question of how to rein in the big digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google.…
 
During confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees, the debate is always focused on social questions like abortion, but rarely economic questions—the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett was no exception. But the Supreme Court can have a massive influence on our economy and how we conduct business. On this episode, we're joined by appeals lawyer, R…
 
This week, another University of Chicago Podcast Network show called "Big Brains" asked Luigi to share his biggest takeaways from the 2020 election. They covered why the polls got the election so wrong, what messages the record turnout send to our politicians, and what Joe Biden may change in the economy. We’re going to share that episode with you …
 
It's been 50 years since Milton Friedman's world changing article which argued the only social responsibility of business is to increase profits. Since the Great Financial Crisis, that view has been increasingly challenged. On this anniversary, we revisit Friedman's legacy with New Yorker staff writer and author of "Transaction Man", Nick Lemann. T…
 
In recent weeks, The Great Barrington Declaration erupted the debate about how best to continue the fight against COVID-19. On this episode, we try to have an honest and difficult conversation about the tradeoffs of different strategies for the future, from lockdowns to herd immunity.We also speak to people on both sides of the aisle: Sunetra Gupta…
 
MMT—modern monetary theory—has become one of the hottest topics in economics. The best selling book, "The Deficit Myth", by economist Stephanie Kelton has even made this little understood theory go mainstream. But deeply analyzing these ideas has become more pressing than ever as we debate, in the middle of a pandemic, whether the government should…
 
Will rich people be able to buy a coronavirus vaccine before everyone else? Should we pay people to be part of clinical trials? Is a market for vaccine vouchers a terrible idea?On this episode, we tackle the complex questions around developing and distributing a coronavirus vaccine in a capitalist system. And to get some help with the answers, Luig…
 
As we start a new season of Capitalisn't, we welcome our new co-host, Vanity Fair contributing editor Bethany McLean. Academics tend to think journalists are too driven by anecdotes and journalists tend to think that academics are irrelevant. But in our new season, we hope to combine these two expertises to illuminate the ways capitalism is and isn…
 
Capitalisn't will be returning with a new co-host in September! In the meantime, as we develop the re-launch of our show, we'll be airing previously unreleased content and re-releasing some of our favorite episodes. In light of the upcoming 2020 election, we thought it would be worthwhile to rebroadcast a conversation Kate and Luigi had about money…
 
Capitalisn't will be returning with a new co-host in September! In the meantime, as we develop the re-launch of our show, we'll be airing previously unreleased content and re-releasing some of our favorite episodes. In light of a recent threat by the Department of Justice to bring a lawsuit against Yale University for allegedly discriminating again…
 
CapitalIsn't will be returning with a new co-host in September! In the meantime, as we develop the re-launch of our show, we'll be airing previously unreleased content and re-releasing some of our favorite episodes. On our last episode, we aired pieces of an interview with Lisa Cook, a professor from Michigan State University. We actually had a muc…
 
On this episode—Kate Waldock's final episode as a co-host of CapitalIsn't—we tackle a crucial question the economics field is facing: what is it going to do about its lack of diversity? To fully investigate this question, Kate and Luigi are joined by a series of guests who each offer a different perspective on why there's a lack of diversity in eco…
 
There is an ongoing debate about whether private equity adds value or simply extracts value. In the economic literature, benefits are better documented than extraction for a very simple reason: when value is created everybody is willing to share the data to show it. When value is extracted, much less so. On this episode, Kate and Luigi present an o…
 
The coronavirus has taken a heavy toll on most businesses, but it has been especially hard on small businesses. But should those businesses file for bankruptcy, and what will happen to them if they do? On this episode, Kate and Luigi explain how bankruptcy works...or doesn't work...for small businesses and how the system needs to change.…
 
Congress has already passed a $2 trillion dollar coronavirus relief bill, the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history. It's half the size of the entire annual federal budget, and another stimulus bill may be on the way. On this episode, Kate and Luigi explain the economic labyrinth of how we pay for these relief bills. Are we just printing mon…
 
In order to combat the coronavirus, Congress has passed a $2 trillion-dollar stimulus bill. It targets individuals, small business and large corporations. But, from an economic point of view, who are the real winners and losers in this bill. On this episode, Kate and Luigi analyze the CARES Act. Is it enough money to stabilize our tanking economy, …
 
One of the prominent economic debates to emerge during the coronavirus outbreak has been whether to continue with shelter in place measures that are hurting the economy but, hopefully, slowing the virus' spread. On this episode, Luigi does a cost-benefit analysis that shows why it could be better to keep the economy closed, and debates his proposal…
 
If you had to name the most famous living economist, it would be hard to come up with anyone other than Paul Krugman. On this episode, Kate and Luigi talk with Krugman about his new book "Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future", why he thinks America's economy has failed the middle class, and how we can create …
 
Are the economists of the 60s and 70s to blame for our current state of affairs? That's the argument Binyamin Appelbaum makes in his book "The Economists' Hour". On this episode, Kate and Luigi debate the history of economists, the problems with economics today, and what changes could lead to a better economic future.…
 
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