What was i listening to last week?

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks exploring finance and markets related podcasts. I’ve been digging through the archives and found some amazing conversations. Given that most of this week’s recommendations are about finance, markets, and economics, you may find the recommendations a bit disappointing. But these episodes are about some of the most fascinating aspects of finance and economics.

The seen and the unseen: IL&FS and the Indian Financial System

IL&FS is an infrastructure financing company. What the company does is to finance infra projects through its group subsidiaries. The functions of the company resembles that of the bank and hence it is also labeled as a shadow bank. 

Last month they company defaulted on some of its debt repayments. This led to severe turmoil in the financial markets. The stock markets fell and the liquidity in the debt markets froze. The meant that companies wanting to raise money had to cancel their plans or pay high rates. 

This whole issue raised a stink to the high heavens. Finally the Govt. Of India had to supersede the board and take control of the beleaguered infra giant. Subsequent news flows revealed that this infra giant is in dire straits. To make things worse the company is classified as “systemically important” by the RBI. Anyways, in this episode, Amit Varma talks to journalist Vivek Kaul and economist Ashutosh Datar about this whole mess, state of Indian banking system, regulations and more. 

Invest Like the Best: The Wu Tang Clan of Finance, w/ Team Ritholtz 

Ritholtz Wealth Management is an up and coming investment advisory. The firm is led by Josh Brown, Mike Batnick, and Barry Ritholtz. If you are part of Fintwit (Financial twitter) then I am pretty sure you would have heard of them. These gentlemen along with others from the firm are known for their thoughtful commentary on investing, markets and finance in general. 

Unlike pretty much the entire industry, the Ritholtz guys are transparent and pretty much themselves in front of the world. They are the antithesis to the typical image of an investment advisor. When the entire industry prides on being closed off, these guys are a rare breed. 

In this episode Barry, Josh and Micheal talk to Patrick O’Shaughnessy about their philosophy, beliefs, thoughts on investing and some surprising life stories. The episode is full of humour and it utterly fascinating.

The ETF Story: How market destruction led to the ETF

For those of you uninitiated, Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) are a type of investment vehicle. They are just like mutual funds but they trade on the stock exchanges. What an ETF does is essentially hold a basket of securities, in simple terms. So instead of buying the individual components of the basket, a single unit of an ETF will be representative of the entire basket. 

ETFs off late have become popular and are attracting a lot of money. Today there is over $5 trillion (yes, that’s right) invested in ETFs globally. In 2005 that number was just about $400 billion. But did you know that one of worst crashes in Wall Street history is what lead to the birth of the Exchange Traded Fund. In this episode Joel Weber, editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, and ETF expert Eric Balchunas go back in history to the moment that lead to this revolution. 

I know this is an erudite topic and you’ll probably be pulling your hair as you read this recommendation but trust me, the story is absolutely fascinating. 

Conversations with Tyler: Paul Krugman

Nobel laureate, Pual Krugman is one of the biggest names in economics and has made numerous contributions to its study. In this episode of the podcast, he talks to Tyler Cowen, another economist on a range of topics ranging from inflation, politics, taxes, trade, writing, Trump and a whole lot more. This show has a bit of Q&A structure to it and the answers of Paul Krugman and the associated commentary of Tyler is just awesome. 

Posted by Bhuvanesh

A podcast junkie on a mission to make podcasts great.

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