If by some miracle you have arrived at this point in your life and haven’t heard the word “podcast”, you might very well be some form of alien creature.
Podcasts are simply recorded audio files, like a radio show, but available for you to listen to at any time. Recently, podcasting (at least in America, where I’m from) has exploded in popularity following the release of a podcast called Serial, which explored the mysterious circumstances around a murder in the U.S. There’s somewhere around 250,000 podcasts that all offer different things.
For our purposes, there’s a lot of excellent podcasts that address markets, finance, and economics. I’m going to give you some recommendations on my favorite podcasts and a brief description of each.
To download podcasts, you can visit the App store on your Apple device, or use any third-party podcasting app. I don’t own an Apple phone, so I don’t know of any third party apps, but my personal favorite for Android is called Pocket Casts.
1. Slate Money
Slate Money is a podcast where host Felix Salmon (a journalist from Fusion) speaks with co-hosts and guests every week. Typically the discussion is oriented around somewhat technical matters, such as how certain hedge funds profited on Argentinian bonds or interviewing a high-frequency trader about some techniques he uses. There’s some swearing occasionally, but these hosts are some of the most interesting people around.
2. Planet Money
This is an NPR (National Public Radio, a massive news organization in the U.S.) show about a wide variety of things related to the economy and financial markets. My favorite episode is about the Onion King, a man who cornered the market on onions by manipulating the futures market. Hilariously, his actions resulted in the banning of onion futures in the U.S. It’s an excellent show that covers a massive amount of content.
EconTalker is a show run by an economist at the Hoover Institution, Russ Roberts. He tends to have very dense economic discussions with new authors and Nobel prize winners. Recently he interviewed Angus Deaton, who won the Nobel in economics for his work on inequality and poverty. Even if you’re not a big fan of hardcore economics, there are often lovely nuggets of knowledge for financial professionals.
Hands down my favorite podcast of all time (and I regularly listen to about 40 different shows), StartUp is about what it takes to start a business. If you subscribe to this show, go back and listen to the first season before anything else. The creator, Alex Blumberg, is a master of storytelling and financial journalism, and he takes you on an emotional ride as he founds his own start-up company.
5. Freakonomics Radio
A radio show by the authors of the book Freakonomics. This show is spectacular, and discusses the often unconsidered sides of the economy.
These are just a small handful of the best shows out there, and I encourage you to find shows that you like. If you would like more recommendations, you want to share your favorites with me, or anything else, leave a comment below!
by Cameron Pfiffer, MSc Corporate Finance student at the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School.