Alphabet’s research and development lab X is the breeding ground for Google’s biggest technological bets, including self-driving cars and a network of internet-providing balloons. Astro Teller, the entrepreneur and scientist at the helm of X, talks to the FT’s Richard Waters about the new technologies he is helping to bring to market, and what he has learned in the six years of running an innovation factory.

 

Matteo Renzi has lost his referendum on constitutional reform, plunging the country into political and financial crisis. Patrick Jenkins, the FT’s financial editor, discusses the fallout for the banking sector with Martin Arnold, banking editor, Rachel Sanderson, Milan correspondent, and Davide Serra of investment fund Algebris. Music by Kevin MacLeod

 

Patrick Jenkins and guests discuss the repercussions of the Italian referendum on the country’s banking sector and the costs for RBS as the UK bank tries to settle old scores with old shareholders. With special guest Davide Serra of investment fund Algebris.

 

Mexico has invited outside investors into its energy sector after a gap of nearly 80 years. It sold several deep water exploration blocs in the Gulf of Mexico, with China being one of the big winners. Jonathan Wheatley talks to David Sheppard, the FT’s energy markets editor, about the reforms, with clips from an interview they conducted recently with José Antonio Meade, Mexico’s finance minister, and José Antonio González Anaya, chief exec of state oil company Pemex.

 

To celebrate the FT’s Business Book of the Year Award, our star columnists recommend six classic business books and challenge listeners to read them in 12 weeks. In episode six, Helen Barrett, the FT’s Work and Careers editor, and FT columnists Andrew Hill and Emma Jacobs discuss ‘Sex and the Single Girl’ by Helen Gurley Brown

 

Al Shariat trained as a lawyer, but then took a job with the UNDP in Iran, working on microfinance and other projects. It was this experience that inspired him to change direction and set up a business providing ethically-sourced coconut products to western consumers.

 

With George Parker, Jim Pickard and Miranda Green from the Financial Times, plus Marcus Roberts from YouGov. Presented by Sebastian Payne.

 

Buddy Holly’s 1958 London performance of the song inspired the young Mick Jagger to form his own band.

Credits: Universal, Not Now Music

 

Cardiff Garcia sits down with Nicholas Wapshott, author of Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics, to
discuss which economist’s ideas are ascendant in the post-crisis cycle, and why both will matter during the Trump administration. Visit FT.com/Alphachat for show notes and links.

 

November awoke investors’ animal spirits, no more so than in the dollar rally, but Alan Wilde of Barings tells Roger Blitz that pitfalls lie in the way throughout December