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Crash Course

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Hosted by Bloomberg Opinion senior executive editor Tim O'Brien, Crash Course will bring listeners directly into the arenas where epic business and social upheavals occur. Every week, Crash Course will explore the lessons to be learned when creativity and ambition collide with competition and power -- on Wall Street and Main Street, and in Hollywood and Washington.
66 Episodes
The Big Take from Bloomberg News brings you inside what’s shaping the world's economies with the smartest and most informed business reporters around the world. The context you need on the stories that can move markets. Every afternoon.See for privacy information.
The Deal, hosted by Alex Rodriguez and Jason Kelly, features intimate conversations with business titans, sports champions and game-changing entrepreneurs who reveal their investment philosophies, pivotal career moves and the ones that got away. From Bloomberg Podcasts and Bloomberg Originals, The Deal is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart, Bloomberg Carplay, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also watch The Deal on Bloomberg Television, and Bloomberg Originals on YouTube.See for privacy information.
Taylor Swift embodies a rare cultural presence and moment – and she’s everywhere. She inhabits her presence (amid an unusual amount of glare) with an unusual amount of grace. But now, a lot of weird conspiracy theories from Fox and conservative commentators have attached themselves to her. Nevertheless, Taylor Swift has kept her wits about her when everyone else is losing theirs. Emma Gray co-writes a culture Substack called Rich Text, is the author of “A Girl’s Guide to Joining the Resistance,” and is a columnist with MSNBC.See for privacy information.
Joe Biden secured a victory in the Democratic primary in 2020 after Rep. Jim Clyburn threw his support, and that of his Black constituents in South Carolina, behind the candidate. Black voters – and young Black voters in particular – appear to be much less enthusiastic about Biden these days. They’re the most unenthusiastic they’ve been about a Democratic president in decades. Republicans have also intentionally thrown roadblocks in front of efforts to mobilize the full power of the Black vote: think gerrymandering, voter ID laws and the like. Nia-Malika Henderson is a political columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.See for privacy information.
Latinos represent the US electorate’s second fastest-growing voting group, with about 36.2 million Latinos expected to vote in the 2024 presidential election. Latino voters have tended to have low turnout rates in elections, but this hefty increase in that electoral pool is due to the mobilization of enthusiastic and engaged younger and US-born Latino voters. Latino voters have strong regional differences in their cultures and values and this plays out around what they care about: Entrepreneurial opportunities, abortion, voting rights, citizenship, and immigration, among other issues. Latino voters played a pivotal role in Joe Biden’s 2020 victory and they will figure prominently in a 2024 presidential race in which Donald Trump can leverage strides he’s made courting them. Maria Teresa Kumar is the CEO of Voto Latino, an influential advocacy group that mobilizes Latino voters around a range of issues. See for privacy information.
The first act in the Republican Party’s presidential primary season, the Iowa caucuses, has come and gone. Other contests in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Michigan, and the collection of 15 Super Tuesday states all lie ahead. Donald Trump registered a resounding win in Iowa and if polls are to be believed, he is situated to easily continue his sprint to the GOP nomination – the flagbearer of a party shaping itself in his image. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden comes to the race with his own strengths and weaknesses. Nancy Cook is a political reporter for Bloomberg News. See for privacy information.
In early 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a sprawling, brutal follow-up to his land-grab of Crimea in 2014. The war initially produced an international show of support for Ukraine and its embattled leader, Volodymyr Zelenskiy – after all, the broader fate of Western Europe hung in the balance, a consequential geopolitical reality for the United States, as well. The Gaza War has now captured the world’s attention and headlines, diverting attention from Ukraine, and further financial and military aid for Ukraine from Europe and the U.S. has dried up. Yet the stakes haven’t changed, and the world remains at risk. Marc Champion is a columnist with Bloomberg Opinion who has lived and worked in Russia. See for privacy information.
Our Year in Review

Our Year in Review


It’s been one year since Crash Course launched, and what a year it’s been! From Trump to Putin, Climate Change to Artificial Intelligence, SVB to SBF, Florida to Gaza, the Supreme Court to Barbie, and so much more – we covered a lot of ground this year, and we learned a lot. That’s a key part of Crash Course: we want to learn something new in every episode. So to mark the one year anniversary of Crash Course, Tim wanted to listen back through the tape and remember some of the key learnings from the past year. We’ll remember the people, conflicts, and cultural moments that made this year one for the history books. The full episodes mentioned in this episode include:  Elon Musk vs. the Twitterverse Putin’s Russia vs. Ukraine Sam Bankman-Fried vs. the Crypto Grift Trump vs. The Law Israel vs. Hamas Silicon Valley Bank vs. the Fed Fox News vs. The Big Lie Mother Nature vs. Life As We Know It Pity City vs. The Workplace Artificial Intelligence vs. Humanity Barbie vs. The Men, and The Real World See for privacy information.
Conservatives vs. ESG

Conservatives vs. ESG


Robert Netzly is an Evangelical Christian trying to realize his values and stay true to his own beliefs while working in investing – and he personifies a bigger war going on in the investment world and American politics over a little acronym called ESG. In the last year, there’s been a Republican backlash to the trillions of dollars committed to investing practices that take environmental, social, and governance concerns (such as climate change and gender inequalities) into account. We first published this special episode last spring, based on reporting Bloomberg News' ESG reporter Saijel Kishan did for a fascinating piece called “What Would Jesus Buy: Investor Charts Course for $2 Billion Fund.” In this special episode, she shares more of that story, which is a tale of two conflicts, in a way. Should there be biases in the investing world, be it faith-based or social activism? And should ESG exist at all?See for privacy information.
Remember the early days of COVID-19 lockdowns when, practically overnight, it seemed that every shop closed its doors? Do you remember how all of those small businesses you might have taken for granted – the ones that gave life and an identity to your community – suddenly felt essential to you? Tim watched lots of small businesses in his small town in New Jersey struggle, including his favorite local bakery, Montclair Bread Company. We first published this episode back in March, marking three years since the initial lockdowns in the US. But the holiday season is the most important time of year for small businesses, so it feels fitting to share this episode again now. In this episode, Tim tracks the trials and tribulations this unimaginable public health and economic crisis threw at the bakery and its owner, Rachel Wyman. See for privacy information.
Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York is drawing to a close – testimony recently ended – and sometime in early 2024 a state judge will rule on the case. It’s within the judge’s power to impose a fine of as much as $250 million on Trump and permanently ban him and his company from ever doing business in New York again. The state where Trump grew rich may send him into financial exile. The New York case is one of several lodged against the former president, all landing while Trump appears to be well on his way to securing the Republican nomination for the presidency next year. It’s serious. It’s a mess. And the rule of law is being severely tested. Andrew Weissmann is a professor at NYU Law School and spent many years as a federal prosecutor and investigator.See for privacy information.
Bloomberg News Now is a comprehensive audio report on today's top stories. Listen for the latest news, whenever you want it, covering global business stories around the world.        on Apple:     on Spotify:     Anywhere: for privacy information.
After many years of reassuring declines, some crime rates, like homicides and violent assaults, soared nationwide during the Covid-19 pandemic. These trends weren’t geographically or politically specific: Residents in cities, suburbs, and rural areas all suffered through that shift, and it didn’t matter if they lived in a city run by a Democrat or a Republican – more murders, the data showed, plagued every urban area. On the other hand, robberies, burglaries, and larcenies dropped during the pandemic’s onset. Crime statistics are subject to spotty methodology and reporting gaps, making it hard to rely on the data with absolute certainty. Public safety isn’t a trivial topic and there’s no question that many Americans say they feel less safe on some streets than they once did – despite the fact that violent crime rates are well below where they were during the 1990s. Ames Grawert is a lawyer and expert on crime statistics at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU Law School.See for privacy information.
OpenAI vs. Sam Altman

OpenAI vs. Sam Altman


OpenAI, which you may have heard a lot about lately, is the company that developed ChatGPT, a wildly popular AI bot which you most certainly have heard of. OpenAI’s board of directors recently purged the company’s CEO, Sam Altman, and various stakeholders – employees, investors, Microsoft – saw to it that Altman was reinstated. The board itself then faced a purge. This particular collision has it all: Silicon Valley innovation and Silicon Valley hubris, money, managerial snafus, ugly battles, promising outcomes, and, of course, artificial intelligence. AI is set to transform the world, we’re told. Ingenuity and upheaval at OpenAI offer a way for us to consider all of that. Parmy Olson and Dave Lee are both Bloomberg Opinion technology columnists.See for privacy information.
Digital disruption is knock knock knockin’ at the music industry’s door, 20 years after the MP3 and Napster made CD collections obsolete. Artificial intelligence is now filling playlists with ambient music and making pitch-perfect copies of human stars like Grimes, who Bloomberg Opinion columnist Lionel Laurent interviewed for this special episode of Crash Course. He dives into the risky race to make musical robots and how record labels and artists are fighting back with new business models, new types of music, and new ideas about copyright — which could serve as a guide for how the wider economy and the rest of society can deal with AI. NOTE: This episode incorrectly states the name of Grimes' manager. It is Daouda Leonard, not Leonard Daouda.See for privacy information.
Trump vs. Democracy

Trump vs. Democracy


Donald Trump’s political speeches of late are chock full of warnings about “the threat from within” posed by his myriad opponents – those he decries as “vermin” out to destroy the US and the American Dream. He routinely promises to crush his critics and “make America great again.” As always with Trump, there’s a method to his madness. Historian Heather Cox Richardson argues that Trumpism claws at American democracy’s true roots – at what she describes as “the idea that a nation can be based not in land or religion or race or hierarchies, but rather in the concept of human equality.”See for privacy information.
Speech has probably never been freer in the world than it is today: Multiple venues – especially social media – allow people’s perspectives to take flight fluently, globally, and frequently. The culture of free speech is also under steady and ever more sophisticated assaults, perhaps because its ubiquity is threatening to any person or institution that holds an opposing viewpoint. The very thing that makes speech so free right now – ease of motion – is, perhaps, what also makes it more threatening. Jameel Jaffer is an attorney and the director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.See for privacy information.
At Bloomberg, we’re always talking about the biggest business stories, and no one is bigger than Elon Musk. In this new chat weekly show, host David Papadopoulos and a panel of guests including Businessweek’s Max Chafkin, Tesla reporter Dana Hull, Big Tech editor Sarah Frier, and more, will break down the most important stories on Musk and his empire. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.See for privacy information.
China is home to 1.4 billion people (about 18% of the planet’s total population), it has the world’s second-largest economy, and its geographic footprint covers more than 3.6 million square miles. China is home to a thriving technology sector, has lifted 800 million people out of poverty, and has also built a formidable military capacity featuring a world-class navy, air force, nuclear missiles, and cyber warfare proficiencies. But China’s economic growth may have plateaued, and its politics have been so reshaped by President Xi Jinping that a cult of personality and raw authoritarianism have recast the country’s image abroad and its direction at home. Karishma Vaswani is a political analyst and Shuli Ren covers markets and China’s economy, and both are columnists for Bloomberg Opinion. See for privacy information.
Alaska has been an object of fascination, exploration, and exploitation for nearly two centuries, but its most inhospitable reaches – those that creep toward the Arctic Circle mile by frozen mile – have managed to hold on to their secrets for a very long time. Ice, plunging temperatures, and brutal tundras have kept outsiders at bay. That’s all shifting now: Climate change has warmed the Arctic’s formidable barriers, sparking a geopolitical and commercial footrace. Liam Denning is an energy and climate columnist for Bloomberg Opinion who has repeatedly traveled to the Arctic to report on the military, oil and gas, and fisheries. See for privacy information.
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