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Odd Lots

Author: Bloomberg

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Bloomberg's Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway explore the most interesting topics in finance, markets and economics. Join the conversation every Monday and Thursday.
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Virtually everyone, across the ideological spectrum, has the view right now that it's too hard to build things (or get things done generally) in America. New infrastructure is thwarted by red tape and permitting. New housing is thwarted by YIMBYism. Even something that doesn't require much new construction -- like NYC's attempt to impose congestion pricing -- is difficult to get done after years and years of wrangling. What is the core problem? And what can be done to address it? On this episode, we speak with John Arnold, who started his career as an energy trader at Enron, before going on to found a highly successful energy hedge fund. Now in his role as the co-founder of Arnold Ventures, he works on policy solutions to address these key bottlenecks. We discuss how he goes about philanthropy to affect policy change, the problems he's identified, and what solutions could be put in place to improve domestic development.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Throughout history, financial markets have struggled with the issue of borders. Borders create friction, add cost and cause headaches for anyone who wants to spend money across them. On top of that, various national currencies can be wildly unstable. Could a borderless, global currency ease friction and enhance financial inclusion and stability around the world? Cryptocurrencies offer an intriguing possible solution to money’s border problem. And a particular kind of cryptocurrency, called stablecoins, could become a powerful medium of exchange for international payments - and offer people around the world increased economic freedom. This episode is sponsored by Coinbase. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
For much of this year, the S&P 500 has marched steadily higher while measures of stock market volatility, like the VIX, have stayed pretty low. But looking at the headline index only tells you part of the story. Beneath the surface of the S&P 500, individual stocks have been moving up and down a lot. And of course, traders have figured out a way to make money on the difference between the quiet overall index and all that volatility happening in individual stocks. This is the dispersion trade that's gotten quite a bit of attention in recent months. But figuring out exactly who's doing it and how pervasive it is isn't that easy. In this episode, we speak with Michael Purves, CEO and founder of Tallbacken Capital Advisors, and Josh Silva, managing partner and CIO at Passaic Partners, about this new volatility trade and what it means for the overall stock market.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A few lucky people have made generational wealth trading the ups and downs of the crypto market. And some finance professionals have shifted gears to focus primarily on the space. But what is it like to actually trade these coins day-to-day? How do people pick which ones to buy? How do they analyze the coins themselves? How do they get reliable information? And what is it like, emotionally, to trade such an infamously volatile asset? On this episode of the Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Julian Malinak. In his day job, Julian works in healthcare tech. But the rest of the time, he's looking on message boards for the next 100-bagger. At one point he had made enough to retire on. And then it all went poof. But he keeps grinding and trying to improve his craft. Julian — who we found on the Odd Lots Discord server — explains what he does all day, and how the market really works from a trading perspective. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
There's been a huge change in the market for nickel, which goes into everything from electric vehicles to steel. Indonesia has grown to absolutely dominate production and now provides more than 55% of the world's supply. A lot of that is going to China, which has partnered with Indonesia to help grow its nickel industry at a phenomenal rate. Now, there are accusations that low-grade and low-priced Indonesian nickel is flooding the global market, to the detriment of other producers. Western miners like BHP and Anglo American have been shuttering their own nickel operations, and have written them down by billions of dollars in recent years. On this episode, we speak with Michael Widmer, head of metals research at Bank of America, about the sea change that's taken place in the world's nickel market and what it says about the green energy transition, as well as the scramble for other strategically important metals. We also talk about all those bullish calls on copper, and general volatility in the metals space.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The company that Elon Musk is most known for, obviously, is Tesla. It's been extraordinarily successful and made him one of the richest people in the world. But his true love may be SpaceX, the rocket company whose technology may one day be used in getting humans to Mars. But even if interplanetary trips are a long way off, there's no historical precedent for the sheer scale of the outer space dominance that Elon Musk has built out. Between his rockets and his satellite-based internet company Starlink, no one individual has ever completely dominated outer space this way. So where are these businesses going and how do they fit into the Elon empire? On this episode, we speak to three of our Bloomberg colleagues who have covered Musk and his businesses. First, we talk about the history and science of rockets with Bloomberg News reporter Ashlee Vance, the author of the book, When the Heavens Went on Sale: The Misfits and Geniuses Racing to Put Space Within Reach. Then we speak with Dana Hull and Max Chafkin, two of the hosts of Bloomberg's Elon Inc. podcast, about Musk's broader constellation of companies and how they all fit together.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The rise of GLP-1 drugs, like Ozempic, is a potentially existential threat to the makers of salty, sugary, high-calorie snack foods. But it's obvious that the gigantic food industry will search out ways to adapt. So what types of new products will they sell? How will they be flavored? How will they be packaged and marketed? On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Barb Stuckey. She is the chief innovation and marketing officer at Mattson, a San Francisco Bay Area company that helps food producers find the next big flavor. Her team recently undertook a big study of Ozempic users to get a better understanding of how it changed their diets. She speaks to us about what they learned, what new types of products are in development, and how food manufacturers find the next big thing.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Kyla Scanlon has a great way of identifying the economic vibes, building up a massive TikTok following with videos about the Federal Reserve, inflation, markets, and more. She also coined the viral term 'vibecession' to describe the mood of many Americans who haven't been feeling the economic growth shown in official figures. In this episode of Lots More, we catch up with the Bloomberg Opinion contributor on what the vibes are right now, what resonates on social media when it comes to economic coverage, and her new book, In This Economy? How Money and Markets Really Work.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Last year was a bad one for the US wind power industry, with lots of cancelled projects, writedowns, and an overall reassessment of how the math behind these mega projects might shake out in an era of higher interest rates and supply chain disruptions. But despite all of that, renewable power from wind is still a big part of America's plans to transition towards cleaner energy, with billions of government dollars earmarked to help build out capacity. So what went wrong last year and how is the industry looking now? On this episode, we speak with David Hardy, CEO of the Americas for Orsted, one of the biggest players in wind power. He talks about recent challenges, the potential implications of another Trump presidency, as well as when we might see subsidy-free onshore wind projects in the US.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
What's the price of a hamburger? Well, it depends. Are you making the purchase on the spot? Did you order ahead using an app? Are you a frequent customer of the burger chain? With inflation having surged at the fastest rate in roughly four decades, there's suddenly a lot more interest in how companies figure out the most that they can charge you for a given purchase at that moment in time. As it turns out, much of the economy is becoming like the airline industry, where there is no one price for a good, but rather a complex range of factors that go into what you're willing to pay. Thanks to algorithms, apps, personalized data, and a bevy of ancillary revenues, companies are increasingly learning how to not leave any pennies on the table. So how did this come about? What exactly is happening? And when did everything become gamified? On this episode we speak with Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, and David Dayen, the executive editor of The American Prospect. The two of them have put together a special episode of the magazine that's all about the world of pricing strategies, the tools companies use, and the industries that exist to help companies figure out what they can charge. We discuss what they learned and the impact this is having on the economy.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Over the past two weeks, two New York City office buildings have become major talking points in the market for commercial real estate. Troubles at 1740 Broadway led to the first loss in the AAA-rated tranche of a commercial mortgage bond since the financial crisis. Meanwhile, issues at 1440 Broadway recently propelled the serious delinquency rate for office loans to its highest level since early 2007. So what do these two properties tell us about the outlook for commercial real estate, and how these deals work? On this episode of Lots More, we bring back Hiten Samtani, founder of ten31 Media, to talk about the future of these buildings, as well as their storied history.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The modern electricity grid is a weird thing. The delivery of electricity is a natural monopoly, for kind of obvious reasons. Despite that, we still attempt to shoehorn market-based mechanisms into the system. Many utilities are shareholder-owned, yet heavily regulated. In many markets around the country, producers of natural gas, wind, coal, nuclear, solar and so on, compete to sell their electricity into the grid. Now that we're looking for ways to decarbonize the grid, we're running headlong into complications and perverse outcomes of what we've built. On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Matt Huber, a professor at Syracuse University, and Fred Stafford, a pseudonymous writer who talks about energy markets, grid history, and nuclear power. We talk to them about how we got the current grid, and why nuclear energy in particular is squeezed out of existing markets.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The cost of solar has been plunging for years. Everyday there's a new headline about growing installation of renewables or batteries, or some other sign of progress when it comes to decarbonization. But there's still a long way to go and, in the meantime, the US continues to add new fossil fuel generation. So is there something wrong with the mechanisms we're using to change our energy mix? On this episode, we're speaking with Brett Christophers. He's a professor at Uppsala University and the author of the new book The Price is Wrong: Why Capitalism Won't Save The Planet. His basic argument is that using market-based mechanisms will conflict with the imperative to clean the grid and that the incentives aren't aligned for both goals. We discuss the economics of clean energy production, and why they don't lend themselves to a rapid buildout.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The gambling industry in the US has exploded in recent years, and suffused every aspect of sports consumption. You can bet on who will win or lose just about any game in the world from your phone. In fact, you don't even have to just bet on games. You can bet on how many home runs a player will hit, or how many sets it will take to complete a given tennis match. So how does it all work? Who is setting the lines? Can a user actually make money? And how do the sportsbooks make money? On this episode, we speak with Isaac Rose-Berman, a professional sports gambler and author of the How Gambling Works newsletter. He talks about the tactics he uses to make money, and also how the betting sites make money from their users. We discuss market structure, the societal impact of the gambling boom, and what types of regulations might best curb the more harmful aspects of the industry.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Remember GameStop? The poster-child for 2021's memestock mania recently surged almost 5x in a matter of days — and it was all catalyzed by a few tweets from Keith Gill, aka "Roaring Kitty." So what's going on? How similar and how different was this move to what captivated the world's attention three years ago? On this episode of Lots More, we speak with Luke Kawa, markets editor at Sherwood Media, who was one of the first to chronicle the world of WallStreetBets and memestocks for Bloomberg News. He breaks down what we just saw and the lessons we can take away from it.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have taken an invigorated approach to antitrust under the Biden administration, targeting companies for labor issues like non-competes, in addition to looking at more traditional measures of anti-competitive behavior, like higher pricing. But how does an economist examine the impact of monopoly practices on the overall economy, or take into account new and different measures of their effects? In this episode, we speak with Ioana Marinescu, principle economist at the DOJ's Antitrust Division, about how she analyzes these thorny issues and what she's learned from specific recent cases, like Activision/Overwatch League, or Penguin Random House’s attempted acquisition of Simon & Schuster.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We’re taking The Big Take to Asia. Each week, Bloomberg’s Oanh Ha tells a story from the home of the world's most dynamic economies - and the markets, tycoons and businesses that drive the ever-shifting region. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Multi-strategy hedge funds are all the rage right now. But there's also a lot of confusion about what exactly they do, and how the the so-called "pod shops" differ from more traditional hedge funds. In this episode of the podcast, we speak with Giuseppe 'Gappy' Paleologo, a long-time veteran of the space. In addition to writing books about quantitative finance, Gappy was director of risk and quantitative analysis at Citadel and head of enterprise risk at Millennium, among many other jobs. He walks us through what multi-strat traders actually do all day, what makes for a good multi-strat candidate, and how to win in the pod shop game.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Copper has long been touted as a big winner from the world's drive towards electrification. All those electric vehicles and new grids need lots of the metal to work. At the same time, since it takes years for new copper mining capacity to actually come on stream, many people expect a long-term shortage of the metal to materialize. But despite all that excitement, copper prices actually fell over the past few years. Now, copper bulls are getting another chance as the metal surges towards a new record. So why didn't the thesis play out before? And what does the mismatch between short-term prices and long-term supply actually mean for the world? In this episode, we speak to Jeff Currie, a long-time copper bull and commodities veteran who's now at Carlyle Group. We talk to him about why copper is his highest-conviction trade ever, plus the outlook for oil and big changes in petrodollars.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Pierre Andurand made his name trading oil and other energy-related assets, but wild swings in the price of cocoa have recently lured the founder of Andurand Capital Management into a new market. He bet on cocoa earlier this year and saw the trade pay off as the price of the beans surged to a record $12,000 a ton. Prices have since fallen back to around $7,800, but Andurand sees scope for further upside as extreme deficits in the building blocks of chocolate loom. In this episode, we talk about how he entered the cocoa market, how he formed his investment thesis, and potential interest in other soft commodities, like coffee and orange juice. We also talk about copper, where a similar story of structural shortages is now playing out in prices.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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Comments (61)

Granny InSanDiego

Nuclear power is hugely expensive. The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) to produce 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of power from a solar farm is US$ 40, according to a 2020 report. The LCOE of nuclear power facilities, in contrast, is US$ 155  to produce the same amount. So FOUR TIMES AS EXPENSIVE. And nuclear power is DANGEROUS and results in deadly side products for which there is no disposal mechanism.

May 31st
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Granny InSanDiego

The underlying assumptions are that electricity generation, a commodity that EVERY AMERICAN USES, should 1)generate a profit & 2)that it should be run by an investor owned utility-IOU. There are over 2000 publicly owned electric utilities in the US. In California, Sacramento and Los Angeles have publicly owned electric systems. San Diego has an IOU. Per kwh, San Diegans pay twice what LosAngelinos pay & triple what Sacramentans pay. All electric generation should be publicly owned!

May 31st
Reply (5)

Annette Bickel

learned alot about copper from listening to this. Excellent interview.

May 21st
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Granny InSanDiego

This is a new low for this fundamentally boring and useless podcast.

May 12th
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Granny InSanDiego

This is an excellent episode on the abuse of power practiced by the US because the dollar is the world's reserve currency. However, there are now cracks in this system. When the US put extreme sanctions on Russia, Russia, China and India as well as other south Asian nations started trading in other currencies, including and especially the ruble to buy Russian oil at prices much lower than available to countries observing the US sanctions.

Mar 21st
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Granny InSanDiego

In 1995, we attended the graduation ceremony at Carnegie Melon's school of engineering. About 50 grads received PhD degrees. Most of them were Asian and South Asian. Since the 1970s, when China had no high tech professionals, they are now only slightly behind the US. When China could import advanced tech, they did not need to develop their own. By shutting them out, they developed their own capabilities. Soon they will surpass the US and Taiwan.

Mar 18th
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Amin Bolandi

Hello, Sultan We know that some time ago These monetary policies saved Credit Suisse from bankruptcy, and so on. But you are right about often of objects. Thanks

Feb 25th
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Ecere Seluk

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Jan 18th
Reply

Ali

please don't invest in Iranian stock market by investing you help the regime people of Iran are in a civil struggle and many of us decided to sell all the stock we had this regime is killing people of Iran thanks

Nov 21st
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Yuriy Tchaikovsky

Why are the Jewish presenters on Bloomberg always doing some add for Africa? We don't care... Nobody cares

Oct 21st
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Granny InSanDiego

Mr. Posen seems to have forgotten how we got to the current state of affairs in which a tiny, truly miniscule number of private investors benefitted enormously from lax government policies with respect to investment in China while neglecting to invest in the US manufacturing sector. This was done to leverage cheap, slave-like labor in China to increase investor value. It worked by crushing American industrial workers and enriching that tiny fraction of those already wealthy few to levels beyond imagining. In return for this loss of manufacturing jobs, Americans were promised high paying tech jobs and some Americans got those, but not those factory workers who did not have the STEM skills to benefit. This new policy assumes that China will not itself change how it conducts its own industrial policy. With its huge advantage in size, it will quickly adapt and catch up to the small advantage the US has in tech and may surpass us. Meanwhile, Posen ignores the real elephant in the room, the

Sep 7th
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Aakash Amanat

I find the concept of "Odd Lots" quite intriguing. It's fascinating how these smaller, unconventional quantities of stocks can sometimes carry unique implications for investors. While they might not be as significant as the larger block trades, odd lots can offer insights into retail investor sentiment and market dynamics. https://500px.com/p/parchment-crafters In some cases, odd lots might reflect individual investors making decisions based on personal preferences rather than institutional strategies. This could result in a diverse range of motivations, from testing the waters of a new investment to following a hunch based on personal research. https://dribbble.com/Parchment-Crafters/about

Aug 21st
Reply

Granny InSanDiego

The internet may boost sales. As to unexpectedly low productivity gains from the Internet, that seems obvious. Instead of working, people are surfing the web, listening to music, and texting their friends. Clearly Paul Krugman should have cottoned on to this phenomenon by virtue of his love of YouTube music videos. However, speaking from personal experience as a software engineer, I have found incredibly helpful ideas and explanations online which I would never have found with microfiche or in technical books. This is surely a plus in the productivity column.

Aug 13th
Reply

steve

38:15

Aug 12th
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Zhang Hake

Nice

Jul 12th
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larry g

This was a VERY interesting episode especially from a non-media person perspective. It was refreshing to hear a reflection of the media industry on something other than the persecution of journalists which too often becomes a self obsession among journalists. Perhaps you can consider doing a semi annual review of the media industry especially given the importance the media will play in the 2024 elections.

Jun 19th
Reply

Granny InSanDiego

Biden had two good options to avoid this humiliating subservience to the GQP. He could have taken the advice of Lawrence Tribe, Harvard Law professor and expert on Constitutional law, and invoked the 4th clause of the 14th Amendment which states that the US will pay its debts no matter what. Or he could have followed the advice of Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate in Economics, and asked Sec. Yellen to mint the Trillion Dollar Coin and deposit it in the US Treasury. Instead, he went with the timid Obama game plan and gave in to the despicable bullies who represent the billionaire thugs who run the country. He is too old, too weak, too unimaginative, and too dimwitted to be POTUS. Bernie would never have caved like this. If he runs again, he will lose to the moronic MAGA grifter. It makes me feel so hopeless to see this shill who allowed CT to get onto the Supreme Court of Injustice make a mockery of the rule of law and the Democrats who voted for him in 2020.

May 27th
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Granny InSanDiego

So why does Powell get a pass? He raised interest rates too fast for banks holding 10 year treasuries to adjust to in time. And why is 2% inflation the magic number? And what if many economists are right that the causes of inflation would naturally wind down over time? Like govt hand outs during COVID, worker shortages due to COVID, supply chain issues like China's COVID lockdowns, and gas and food inflation due to the war in Ukraine.

Mar 17th
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steve

22:40

Feb 15th
Reply

steve

19:05

Jan 26th
Reply