FT Alphachat

More than 30 years after China instituted the one-child policy to temper population growth, the country’s demographics have greatly transformed. Author Mei Fong joins hosts Shannon Bond and Cardiff Garcia to talk about the societal and economic implications of the policy, the subject of her book “One Child”. Later, the blood testing device developed by Theranos was expected to disrupt the healthcare sector, but that seems less likely now that it has run into regulatory trouble. FT journalists David Crow and Sujeet Indap discuss. Go to FT.com/alphachat for show notes and links.


Peking University professor Michael Pettis visits the FT to discuss the role that debt plays in the rebalancing of the Chinese economy. Then, Trump’s bombastic stump speeches and interviews have been a ratings boon for US media. Global media editor Matt Garrahan joins hosts Shannon Bond and Cardiff Garcia to explain how the ‘Trump Effect’ has impacted conservative talk radio and television shows. Go to FT.com/alphachat for show notes and links. Music by Yeyey and Minden. Clips courtesy of The Laura Ingraham Show and The Rush Limbaugh Show.


Corporate short-termism, or a company’s tendency to reduce internal investment and focus on share price and dividend payments, is widely criticised by economists and politicians for its effect on the stock market. Michael Mauboussin, head of global financial strategies at Credit Suisse, explains his skepticism about this consensus. Then, a recent Goldman Sachs report suggests more millennials lived in their parents’ basements in 2015 than the year before, despite a strengthening jobs market. The FT’s Anna Nicolaou joins Cardiff and Shannon to discuss what’s holding millennials back despite the fact that they are not unemployed. Finally, Lex writer Sujeet Indap shares a tale of two Wall St bankers. Music by Podington Bear and Broke For Free.


As malware becomes easier for even non-technical bad actors to use, the risk of sensitive information being compromised becomes ever greater. FT investigations correspondent Kara Scannell sheds light on some of the biggest security threats facing companies in 2016. Then, Alphaville’s Matt Klein offers some explanations on the new year market jitters. Finally, the clash between Detroit’s automakers and Silicon Valley’s tech giants in the race to create the smartest vehicle. The FT’s US industry correspondent Robert Wright explains how they might end up working together. Shannon Bond and Cardiff Garcia host. Go to ft.com/alphachat for show notes. Music by Podington Bear and Kevin MacLeod.


The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum kicks off in Davos next week, replete with captains of industry and world leaders. The FT’s US managing editor Gillian Tett and Fusion’s senior editor Felix Salmon join host Cardiff Garcia to debate the merits of the gathering of the rich and powerful in the Swiss Alps. They also discuss the theme of privacy in an age of enhanced security measures and new technology. Finally, with the workforces of several developed countries expected to shrink in the near future, Alphaville’s Matt Klein dissects the economics of ageing populations. Go to ft.com/alphachat for show notes. Music by Podington Bear and Kevin MacLeod.


President Barack Obama intends to expand background checks on gun sales and target online firearm marketplaces like Armslist.com that have created a loophole for people prohibited from purchasing guns. US policy correspondent Barney Jopson explains. Then, as the Consumer Electronics Show wraps up in Las Vegas, correspondents Leslie Hook and Tim Bradshaw talk about the latest tech gadgets on display at the conference, including new developments in virtual reality and a smart phone-controlled running shoe. Finally, hosts Shannon Bond and Cardiff Garcia offer a few predictions for 2016. Music by: Blue Dot Sessions, Minden and Kevin MacLeod. Go to ft.com/alphachat for show notes.


In a year when the Federal Reserve announced the first interest rate rise since the financial crisis, mergers and acquisitions activity brought record-breaking deals, Silicon Valley’s unicorn companies continued to raise large rounds of funding, and property tycoon Donald Trump topped the polls in the Republican primary race, US reporters and editors at the FT discuss how the biggest stories of 2015 will impact what is to come in 2016. Music by Minden and Kevin MacLeod.


Cuban dissident Miriam Leiva speaks with Cardiff Garcia in Havana about the life of her late husband, Oscar Espinosa Chepe, an economist with an irrepressible instinct to tell the truth to a government that did not want to hear it – for which he was repeatedly and severely punished. Then Gary Silverman on a trip to Arizona, where he discovered a free travel zone for Mexican shoppers who want to cross the border. Finally, a review of “Hamilton”, the hip-hop Broadway musical depicting the life of US founding father Alexander Hamilton, which has become a cultural phenomenon.


Economists widely agree that Janet Yellen and the Fed board will lift interest rates at the December 16 meeting but expectations vary just as much when it comes to longer term monetary policy. Capital markets correspondent Eric Platt joins Shannon Bond to discuss. Then, a shrinking in America’s middle class to less than 50 per cent of the population for the first time since the early 1970s comes under examination from Washington-based FT correspondents Sam Fleming and Shawn Donnan. Finally, economist Claudia Goldin explains a theory about narrowing the gender pay gap in certain occupations. Music by Salmo and Kevin MacLeod.


Author Sean Silcoff calls in from Toronto to discuss the rise and fall of BlackBerry, the topic of the book he co-wrote, “Losing the Signal”. Then, Patrick Chovanec of Silvercrest Asset Management discusses the IMF’s plan to include the renminbi in its basket of reserve currencies. Finally, why is one Chicago group pushing back against George Lucas’s gift of a museum for the city? Neil Munshi discusses with host Shannon Bond. Music by Kevin MacLeod, The Womb and Kai Engel.