FT Alphachat

Car sales in the US are set to hit a record high this year, helped by the post-recession resurgence of the sport utility vehicle. As President Barack Obama prepares to visit Paris next week for the UN climate change conference, host Shannon Bond asks FT journalists Ed Luce and Robert Wright what the SUV boom means for the government’s efforts to steer Americans toward more fuel-efficient vehicles. Then, the FT’s Robin Wigglesworth and Matt Klein examine how a $2bn IMF-led bailout program is helping to right the Jamaican economy, and Shannon previews the latest episode of Alphachatterbox. Music: “Plain Loafer” by Kevin MacLeod.


The Rise of the Robots author Martin Ford stops by to discuss his pessimistic outlook on the future of automation after winning the FT-McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award this week. Then, San Francisco correspondent Hannah Kuchler breaks down how Facebook is turning to user data to power its artificial intelligence products. Finally, US retail sales are lagging in advance of the critical holiday shopping season, even as total consumer spending grows. FT correspondents Lindsay Whipp and Eric Platt offer some explanations.

Music: “Plain Loafer” by Kevin MacLeod.


When “Reclaiming Conversation” author Sherry Turkle sat down with co-host Shannon Bond, she had more to say than could fit in this week’s episode of Alphachat. Ms Turkle talks about the effect of screens and smart phones on office conversation and productivity, and how to create device-free zones at work.


Sherry Turkle, clinical psychologist and MIT professor, stops by to speak with host Shannon Bond on how our addiction to our tech devices has stunted our ability to converse with friends, family and colleagues – the topic of her new book “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age”. Then, FT journalists break down the differences in valuing public and private tech companies, especially the so-called unicorn startups. Finally, a preview of the latest Alphachatterbox episode featuring development economist Esther Duflo.

Music: “Plain Loafer” by Kevin MacLeod.


HBO announced this week that the company will embark on a four year production deal with the former Comedy Central star, beginning with short-form content for the channel’s digital platforms. Co-hosts Cardiff Garcia and Shannon Bond discuss how Stewart’s new role signals HBO’s move to focus on growing its online-only audience. In the latest sign of the mounting difficulties faced by Bill Gross, George Soros has pulled $500 million from Janus Capital. What’s going on with the former Pimco bond king? FT financial and investment correspondents explain. Then, Joseph Coughlin of the MIT Age Lab says the future of aging is about to become more enjoyable. Cardiff travels to the lab to find out more. Music: “Plain Loafer” by Kevin MacLeod.


Alphachat went on the road this week to visit Angus Deaton at Princeton University. Host Cardiff Garcia previews a few excerpts from his conversation with the 2015 Nobel Prize in economics winner. Then, the rush of activity in the pharmaceutical sector, including a potential Pfizer and Allergan mega-deal, is discussed by pharma correspondent David Crow.


The new memoir of former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, titled The Courage to Act, is discussed by US economics editor Sam Fleming and Cardiff Garcia, and how Mr Bernanke’s legacy might affect the way in which the current Federal Reserve board decides to raise interest rates. Then a debate about the future of video content creators as streaming services take the place of traditional television with media editor Matt Garrahan and correspondent Shannon Bond. Finally, the surprisingly global reverberations of the Canadian federal election and the rise of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party is examined by reporters Matt Klein and Anna Nicolaou.


Guest host Shannon Bond speaks to FT correspondents about the blockbuster AB Inbev deal with SABMiller and what it will mean, if approved by regulators, for the beer market. Then, Matt Lieber of podcast network Gimlet Media stops by to talk about the company behind the popular StartUp podcast. Finally, Shannon previews an excerpt from the Alphachatterbox conversation with economics commentator Greg Ip on his new book Foolproof: Why safety can be dangerous and how danger makes us safe.


Media correspondent Shannon Bond asks San Francisco correspondent Hannah Kuchler and management editor Andrew Hill what Jack Dorsey’s dual CEO roles at the messaging company and payments group Square mean for both companies’ future. Producer Aimee Keane reports from the annual #FTPubQuiz in New York. Finally, Cardiff Garcia previews one more excerpt from his long-form Alphachatterbox interview with chief economics commentator Martin Wolf.


In this episode of Alphachat, Cardiff Garcia previews an interview
with Anne-Marie Slaughter about her newly released book, Unfinished
Business, on gender equality in the workplace and at home. Shannon
Bond calls in from Washington to explain how the visit to the US of
President Xi Jinping of China was eclipsed in US media by coverage of
Pope Francis, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Finally, author Emily
Parker stops by to discuss the political and societal implications of
expanding internet access in Cuba.