Alphachatterbox

Maria Konnikova, a writer and author of “The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It… Every Time” talks to host Cardiff Garcia about her work and the challenge of judging the quality of social-science research. The two also discuss big data, open-plan offices, sleep and the psychological effects of pornography. Maria also describes the methods and traits of con artists, and explains why everyone is susceptible to being a victim.

 

In the second half of the extended interview, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker discusses his appointment as president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank of New York, his famous tenure as Fed chair in the 1980s, and some of his thoughts on the current financial system. Hosted by Cardiff Garcia. Visit FT.com/alphachat for a full transcript of the interview.

 

The former chairman of the Federal Reserve talks to host Cardiff Garcia about the years prior to his inflation-fighting days of the 1980s, including his economics education, early career at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and US treasury, and his role in ending the Bretton Woods system of global finance. Visit FT.com/alphachat for a full transcript of the interview.

 

In a comprehensive overview of US economic history, UC Berkeley professor Brad DeLong explains how the Hamiltonian economic principles of pragmatism and experimentation have repeatedly worked, which is also the subject of the book he co-authored with Stephen Cohen, Concrete Economics: The Hamilton approach to Economic growth and policy. Hosted by Cardiff Garcia.

 

Short seller Jim Chanos tells host Matt Klein about his illustrious career in investment management, including his bet against Enron before it went bust in 1999. Mr Chanos also discusses the mechanics of short selling, his research process, and some of the opportunities he said he missed. Visit FT.com/alphaville for show notes and a full transcript of the interview.

 

Brown University economics professor Emily Oster tells Shannon Bond the truth behind so-called conventional wisdom, especially in the realm of pregnancy and prenatal health, the topic of her book Expecting Better. They also discuss Oster’s career and some of her other research, including a 2005 study on the link between gender imbalance and Hepatitis B in China, whose findings she would later say were incorrect.

 

Economist Charles Kenny tells host Cardiff Garcia why he believes the rise of the rest is good for the western world, the topic of his book The Upside of Down.

 

Less than three years after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post, the newspaper publisher is as much a technology company as it is a digital news operation. Executive editor Marty Baron and chief information officer Shailesh Prakash tell Shannon Bond what they’re doing with the new investment, how they’re reaching different audiences and how they see the media’s role in the US election.

 

Writers Emily Parker and Clay Shirky join host Cardiff Garcia to discuss how accelerating technological development in China both complements and often clashes with issues of state control, censorship, and information flows. They tell the stories of smartphone company Xiaomi, the country’s burgeoning maker movement, and the activities of dissident bloggers. Plus they explain the obstacles confronting the Chinese economy as it goes from being dominated by industrial production to prioritising design and homegrown technologies. Emily Parker is a fellow at the New America Foundation and author of Now I Know Who My Comrades Are, and Clay Shirky is a professor at NYU in Shanghai and author of Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream. Go to http://ftalphaville.ft.com/ for show notes and links. Music by Los Close.

 

FT columnist Simon Kuper is joined by author-journalists Amy Raphael, Jimmy Burns and David Winner for an in-depth discussion on how culture and soccer shape one another across the world. This podcast is a recording of a live event that took place in London on 10 February 2016. Music by Minden.