University of Chicago Podcast Network

Government • Education • News

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… Read more

Popular episodes

The Engine No. 1 David vs Exxon Goliath With Chris James

Jul 15 • 49:31
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 directors this year. Their e...

The Price Of A Vaccine With Moderna CFO David Meline

Jul 1 • 41:58
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 podcast this week to talk th...

How The Elites Are Losing Control With Martin Gurri

Jun 17 • 47:06
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 overpromised and under delivere...

Why Do We Have High Prices But Stagnating Wages?

Jun 3 • 45:54
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 proposal and possible solutions ...

Who Will Regulate The Regulators: Stigler 50 Years Later

May 20 • 30:10
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 Theory of Economic Regulatio...

Worried about Inflation? So is Fmr Central Banker Mervyn King

May 6 • 42:00
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 coming inflation, how he ...

Is The Federal Reserve An "Engine of Inequality"?

Apr 22 • 43:58
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 rate policy has benefited t...

The Power Of Access In Journalism And Academia With Kara Swisher

Apr 8 • 44:26
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 1990s. She's a New York Time...

Communisn’t: Crony Capitalism In China With David Barboza

Mar 25 • 46:21
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 rampant corruption and h...

Why We Should Tax Digital Advertising With Paul Romer

Mar 11 • 40:13
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 Romer says they may not b...

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