Episodes

  • The US Supreme Court’s decision last week to overturn the federal right to an abortion will have profound effects on American women. And while prime ministers and presidents of the UK, France, Belgium and New Zealand criticized the ruling as a setback for women’s rights, it’s actually part of what observers call a global retrenchment when it comes to gender equality.

    In this week’s episode we explore the economic and societal fallout of the end of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling holding that there is a Constitutional right to abortion, and how it fits with that worldwide trend. First, reporter Katia Dmitrieva shares the story of Jane, a Honduran immigrant living near Dallas who induced an abortion through pills she obtained from a friend through the mail, a practice prohibited in Texas even before last week’s decision. Jane (not her real name) answers phones for a construction company that doesn’t provide paid time off or health benefits. She has neither the time, nor money to care for a child. Reverend Daniel Kanter, senior minister at the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, has called efforts to restrict abortion “a war on the poor.”

    Next, host Stephanie talks with Ngaire Woods, dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, about how many countries are rolling back protections for women’s rights. Even developed nations with robust laws, including the US and UK, are seeing declining rates of prosecution for rapes, Woods says. Meantime, women politicians are often subjected to a level of personal attacks on social media rarely endured by their male colleagues.

    Finally, reporter Claire Jiao shares how some Southeast Asian nations (among others) are trying to make the remote working trend more permanent. While many travelers would love to log into work from the beaches of Bali, they or their companies have feared the potential tax consequences. Jiao finds that Thailand is creating a long-term visa for remote workers that frees them from any tax obligations.

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  • As the US, UK and other wealthy nations grouse about the prospect of stagflation and risk of recession, people in some emerging nations are facing more perilous questions about how to find medicine to stay alive. A financial crisis gripping Sri Lanka’s 23 million people threatens to spread across the developing world and sweep up hundreds of millions more.

    This week, we explore profoundly different economic climates. The first are emerging markets exemplified by Sri Lanka and burdened with pandemic-related debt, double-digit inflation and food shortages; the second is Qatar, an already rich petro-state that’s getting richer thanks to a global energy crisis. Reporter Sudhi Ranjan Sen surveys the chaos in Colombo, where protesters angry with 40% inflation and days-long waits for fuel and cooking gas are demanding the ouster of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In the words of one Sri Lankan woman who was unable to find pharmaceuticals for her parents: “It’s really hard to see somebody die without medicine, because you have the money, you don’t have a place to buy the medicine.” 

    For the wider world, the risk is that Sri Lanka’s financial crisis spreads to other developing nations that also face high debt levels, rising interest rates and weakening currencies. Ziad Daoud, Bloomberg's chief emerging markets economist, counts five countries most at risk of following in Sri Lanka’s footsteps: Tunisia, El Salvador, Ghana, Ethiopia and Pakistan. Lenders to Sri Lanka stand to lose half of their investment, Daoud tells host Stephanie Flanders, but it’s unclear how the island nation will treat its debts to China. In the past, China has been unwilling to join multilateral agreements to write down debt. But what happens if other lenders forgive much of Sri Lanka’s debt, while the nation makes good on what it owes China?

    Finally, correspondent Simone Foxman relays the remarkable turn of events in Qatar, which this week hosted the Qatar Economic Forum. Until very recently, analysts questioned the wisdom of Qatar’s plan to boost its liquefied natural gas exports by 60%, at a cost of $30 billion. Where analysts figured Qatar was overestimating demand, Russia’s war on Ukraine has European nations lining up for Qatari energy. Meantime, the Persian Gulf nation is readying its stadiums ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Doha, set for November and December. By one estimate, the nation has pumped $350 billion into badly needed infrastructure and other improvements ahead of the games.



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  • US inflation is at a 40-year high and the UK is effectively in recession as demand slows for Chinese-made goods. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, though addressing the British economy, could have been speaking for the whole world when he said in a recent interview that “we’re going to have a difficult period, and we’ve got to be absolutely clear with people it is going to be difficult, and the government cannot solve every problem.”

    On the heels of a massive interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve, this week’s episode of “Stephanomics” tackles the bumper crop of trouble facing the globe’s central bankers—not to mention finance and trade ministers. First, host Stephanie Flanders speaks with Bloomberg Chief Economist Tom Orlik, who says the Fed’s 75 basis point hike in interest rates was necessary to help cool inflation, but it doesn’t address the root causes of spiraling prices. To do that, the Fed would have to persuade Saudi Arabia to boost oil production, Russia to stop blocking Ukraine’s wheat exports and Taiwan to produce more semiconductors.

    What’s more, the Fed’s move is likely to boost borrowing costs for emerging nations and likely won’t prevent a US downturn, Orlik says. While it may duck one this year, a recession by 2023 “is going to be pretty hard to avoid.”

    Next, correspondent Lizzy Burden discusses why the UK may want to brace for a sustained downturn rather than a short one. Consumer confidence has declined to levels last seen in the 1970s and the housing market is cooling. So even if Britain avoids two quarters of contraction, Burden says, “almost every other economic metric is screaming slowdown.”

    Finally, reporter Enda Curran reports on how Chinese manufacturers are also feeling the pinch from inflation and rising interest rates faced by their US and European customers. While it hardly qualifies as a trade recession since consumers are still spending, Chinese manufacturers such as Prime Success Enterprises, a maker of pop-up swimming pools for dogs, warn that demand is drying up. 

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  • Much of the appeal of McDonald’s comes from the chain’s consistency. A cheeseburger in the US or a McSpicy Chicken in India should taste the same every time. But what if a business had wildly different outcomes depending on which leader was making decisions? Renowned psychologist Daniel Kahneman calls this variability “noise,” and suggests controlling it is key to ensuring the best decisions get made.

    In this week’s episode, Stephanie interviews Kahneman, a best-selling author and professor emeritus at Princeton University, and Olivier Sibony, a professor of strategy at HEC Paris, about their new book, “Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment.” (Their co-author is US legal scholar Cass Sunstein of Harvard Law School.) Kahneman and Sibony argue businesses often wrongly assume their decisionmakers will make similar judgments given similar circumstances. Kahneman relates an experiment he conducted with an insurance firm and dozens of its underwriters. It’s fair to predict underwriters would reach similar conclusions about a case’s risk and put a similar dollar value on it, right? Wrong. Kahneman found judgments often varied by 50%, or five times the divergence one would reasonably expect.

    Silencing that noise often means adopting good decision “hygiene,” the authors said. Many job interviews start with employers having an initial impression and spending the rest of the interview justifying it. Instead, companies should use structured interviews with standard questions that might help disprove false impressions, Kahneman said. And while many firms use artificial intelligence to weed out job candidates, they’re likely doing themselves a disservice, Sibony said. Too often, the algorithms themselves are faulty, he said. “My worry is that companies are using this mostly to save time and money, not to actually improve the quality of their decisions,” Sibony said.

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  • It seems like things could hardly get worse for President Joe Biden, who faces 8.3% inflation, a baby formula shortage and, according to the latest Gallup poll, a 41% job approval rating. Not to mention managing a global face-off with Russia. But now it looks as though another crisis is forming in his backyard. The US is hosting the Summit of the Americas next week in Los Angeles, and Mexico and a few other Latin American nations are threatening to boycott, and even block any progress it might yield.

    In this week's episode Mexico City reporter Maya Averbuch explains the fight over the summit, during which the White House plans to raise the fraught topic of immigration. A key conference holdout has been Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who says he'll stay away unless representatives of authoritarian governments in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua are invited. The US has refused, citing their undemocratic records. In turn, the leaders of other nations, including Guatemala and Honduras, have said they may skip the summit as well.

    In a follow-up discussion, managing editor Juan Pablo Spinetto talks with Stephanie about the drama-filled history of these summits and whether Mexico's president will eventually attend. They also explain why there's a good chance rising interest rates in the US won't trigger a crisis in Latin America as they have so often in past. 

    And we end the episode with some revealing research from the McKinsey Global Institute on what it says drives workers' "human capital," or their collective knowledge, skills and experience as measured by lifetime earnings. For all the fanfare over training and education, on-the-job experience accounts for at least half of gains in lifetime earnings, according to institute head Sven Smit. The more new jobs and experiences a worker accrues, the more their earnings will rise, he tells Flanders.

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  • While the world's multimillionaires and billionaires (and multibillionaires) ponder inflation and supply shortages in the Swiss Alps, they might get a better view from the dusty landscape of Midland, Texas. Residents of the oil town have lived through inflation around 10% or higher for six months. Even worse, the forces driving up prices there may take months or even years to unwind.

    Bloomberg reporter Katia Dmitrieva takes listeners to that West Texas boom-and-bust community, home to the highest inflation rate among roughly 400 metropolitan areas tracked by Moody's Analytics. While there, she meets an excavation company owner who's run out of heavy-duty pickup trucks and bulldozers because of supply-chain shortages. Nurses are in such short supply that a local health-care company is paying $280 an hour to get them on contract. And the line of cars waiting at the West Texas Food Bank is longer than it's been since the worst days of the ongoing pandemic.

    Back in Davos, host Stephanie Flanders chats about deglobalization with economist Richard Baldwin, a professor at Geneva's Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. He's skeptical that trade actually is fragmenting, arguing that China is the "OPEC of industrial inputs" and that "you can't shut off OPEC." Finally, Flanders talks global commerce at the World Economic Forum with the head of the World Trade Organization and the European Union trade commissioner, as well as officials with the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry and US-based logistics firm Flexport.

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  • Touted as a potential prime minister not long ago, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak's star has been falling fast of late. Some of the blame can be placed on inflation hovering at a 40-year high and embarrassing headlines about his rich wife's taxes. To resurrect his political career, Sunak may want to help Britons out of their financial funk while persuading them he's not disastrously out of touch. 

    Sunak tells Stephanie how the UK government is trying to alleviate the pain inflicted by 9% inflation. It's providing about £350 ($431) in energy bill discounts to families while also providing families with about £100 in relief by cutting fuel duties. Still, the efforts may be too little too late, as the average family is seeing a £2,100 increase in its cost of living, according to Bloomberg estimates. 

    It didn't help matters that Sunak's wife, Akshata Murthy, daughter of an Indian billionaire, was forgoing paying UK taxes on her overseas earnings, which while technically legal is arguably terrible politics. "I do think part of being a good husband is not presuming to dictate to my wife what to do, because she's an independent person and I support her decisions,'' Sunak says. 

    Also, in a discussion from Bloomberg's New Economy Gateway Latin America forum in Panama City, Panama, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet speaks about troubling abuses in Venezuela, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Haiti, as well as efforts to hold Vladimir Putin accountable for war crimes in Ukraine. Finally, she calls the potential end of federal abortion rights in the US a "massive setback for women's rights."

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  • The old axiom about the sins of the father being visited upon their children got a shocking rebuttal this week, when Ferdinand Marcos Jr. won a landslide victory in the Philippines's presidential election. Whether Marcos will embrace progressive economic and social values or take after his father, the late dictator and kleptocrat Ferdinand Marcos, is anyone's guess. 

    Singapore-based Bloomberg Opinion columnist Daniel Moss explains how the younger Marcos deftly sidestepped press interviews and avoided revealing any policy preferences during his campaign. That ambiguity and a strong social media strategy helped to "if not erase, then dilute the memory of his father's period for a huge chunk of voters,'' Moss tells host Stephanie Flanders. Marcos comes into power at a precarious time. The Philippine economy has been far more robust than those of its neighbors, but its embrace of Chinese investment could backfire if China's economy continues to decline.

    In a second segment, Bloomberg's chief U.S. economist, Anna Wong, explains how China's slowdown might provide at least a little relief to the US's inflation woes. And, Rome-based economy reporter Alessandra Migliaccio takes listeners to bucolic Trevinano, Italy, where local leaders hope an injection of money from the European Union will help turn the hamlet into a center for tourists and artisans and stem years of depopulation.

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  • Persistently higher inflation and interest rates are probably in the offing as the world transitions to a greener economy. That’s hardly a selling point for politicians pushing climate-friendly policies, but it’s one they’ll have to cozy up to, says Isabel Schnabel, an executive board member of the European Central Bank. Unfortunately, she adds, before politicians will show enough urgency toward the threat of global warming, “it really seems that bad things have to happen.”

    On this week’s episode, Schnabel tells Stephanie about the financial consequences of the green transition, as the world moves away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. Eventually, she sees energy costs from solar, wind and other renewable sources falling below today’s prices for oil, gas and coal. But in the interim, people can expect traditional energy prices to rise as producers have less and less incentive to invest in fossil fuels. There’s also likely to be a spike in lithium, copper and nickel prices as green energy companies expand, Schnabel says. Finally, the massive investment needed from governments and the private sector to make the transition happen will probably lead to higher interest rates.

    Still, procrastinating isn’t an option. “Waiting makes everything much worse, much more costly in economic terms,” Schnabel says. In a related report, Bloomberg Opinion columnist Jonathan Levin shares how people in Miami don’t seem to be heeding the looming threat posed by the climate crisis. Despite rising sea levels, the tourist mecca’s real estate market is soaring and buyers seldom see disclosures about future flood risk.

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  • It’s hard to imagine a more chaotic world than the one we’re in right now—what with Russia’s war on Ukraine, a Covid-19 pandemic that won’t quit and the lockdowns spreading across China as a result. Now, add to the mix a debt crisis that’s threatening to cripple emerging markets. In the words of a former International Monetary Fund official earlier this month, “We can see this train wreck coming towards us.”

    Washington-based reporter Eric Martin explores a burgeoning economic crisis in the developing world, one exacerbated by the debt loads assumed by low-income nations as they try to cope with the coronavirus. In Tunis, a mother of two children relates how she comes away empty-handed when out searching for sugar and oil; and in Rio de Janeiro, a market vendor shares his struggle to buy vegetables in a nation with 12% inflation. All told, 60% of low-income countries are in debt distress or at high risk of it, according to the World Bank. 

    In a follow-up discussion on the crisis, Tim Adams, chief executive of the Institute of International Finance, tells host Stephanie Flanders about the particular risks facing Turkey and Egypt, both heavily dependent on food imports and reeling from fallout from the war. Finally, in a dispatch from France, reporters share why President Emmanuel Macron has precious little time to celebrate his victory over far-right opponent Marine Le Pen.

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  • When visiting El Salvador, be sure to bring sunscreen, a long-lens camera to memorialize its bountiful biodiversity and … Bitcoin. But have some U.S. dollars on hand just in case local merchants don’t accept it.

    On this week’s episode, we dive into the disparate ways in which global leaders approach digital currencies, from the Salvadoran embrace to the tentative exploration by central banks. Tiny El Salvador, population 6.5 million, was the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender, providing a test case for its widespread use. Bloomberg reporter Michael McDonald filed a dispatch from the Central American nation after testing Bitcoin at various restaurants, rental car agencies and street vendors. While some transactions went through just fine, McDonald reports, many Salvadoran merchants have sworn off crypto and are sticking with the country’s other legal tender, the U.S. greenback.

    Elsewhere, Stephanie finds central bankers and economists to be more circumspect about whether and how to create central bank digital currencies. Such crypto would be regulated by a country’s central bank and theoretically offer price stability. In a discussion sponsored by the Bank for International Settlements, a central banker from Sweden, the chief executive of Santander Bank and a Yale University finance professor weigh in on how to protect consumers while exploring this alternative form of payment.

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  • Last year, Larry Summers famously shot down one of the Federal Reserve's favorite buzzwords, "transitory." This year, he's taking aim at "soft landing."

    The Harvard University professor, former Treasury secretary and paid Bloomberg contributor says a combination of high inflation and low unemployment historically has spawned a recession. So, he's skeptical that the Fed can chart a path that will see the country out of its inflationary funk without causing an economic downturn. Once again, Summers is more pessimistic than his peers, with economists pegging the chance of recession in the next year at just 27.5% in a recent Bloomberg survey.

    This week, Summers shares his thoughts on why the Fed needs to be more willing to acknowledge what he calls its monetary policy failures. He also comments on why he thinks some recent Biden administration moves to ease prices increases will be ineffectual, and about why he thinks Americans need to sacrifice more in order to punish Russia for the "worst threat in 75 years of naked aggression."

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  • We may live in a global economy, but beyond the war in Ukraine, what's front-of-mind for policymakers in the U.S., Europe and China is very different. For China it’s Covid-19; for Europe, it’s the price of energy; and for the U.S., it's inflation. 

    In the first episode of the new season, Stephanie Flanders takes us on a tour of the world economy, opening a window on the top concerns in all three regions. Bloomberg Chief Economist Tom Orlik reveals what’s behind his growth forecasts and how geopolitical tensions may affect globalization. Senior Reporter Shawn Donnan visits Indiana, where the red hot jobs market has laid bare the reality of finding workers for U.S. factories, and the perks needed to get them in the door.

    In Europe, reporters Carolynn Look and Jana Randow explore how Russia's invasion is overturning long-held views on both economic and foreign policy. And finally, Chief Asia Economics Correspondent Enda Curran turns his gaze to his long-time home of Hong Kong, and questions its future path amid increasingly aggressive interventions by Beijing. 

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  • With his poll numbers falling, U.S. President Joe Biden is under pressure to do something—anything—to get inflation under control. That’s led his administration to scrutinize the prices you pay at the grocery store, even if some critics argue alleged price-gouging by consumer products giants is a convenient bogeyman.

    This week’s episode dives into the debate around corporate consolidation and whether it’s giving too much power to those companies. First, Bloomberg editor Molly Smith visits a New Jersey butcher shop where the owner suspects greedy multinational firms are behind the doubling of prices for some cuts of meat. The companies are pleading innocent, blaming instead labor shortages and soaring demand. But Bill Baer, a former antitrust chief at both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, sides with the butcher. He tells host Stephanie Flanders that some companies in concentrated industries are boosting prices well beyond just covering their extra costs.

    Finally, Rome-based reporter Alessandra Migliaccio reports on the “Groundhog Day” nature of the Italian government, with its long history of cyclical political crisis, salvation, infighting and crisis again. With Prime Minister Mario Draghi potentially leaving his post to become Italy’s next president, a more ceremonial role, many worry it won’t be long until the cycle begins again. 

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  • When facing an economic crisis, the Fed's playbook normally skews toward juicing the economy too much rather than too little. After all, in the last go-round in 2007, being too stingy might have helped trigger a depression. Fifteen years later though, America's central bankers face the opposite problem: they need to move fast to cool inflation.

    That's one of the takeaways from a panel discussion among economists this week, moderated by Stephanie. With U.S. inflation at 7%, the Fed needs to do more than expected, said Bill Dudley, a former president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank and senior adviser to Bloomberg Economics. Dramatically raising interest rates by a half-point in March is worth a look, Dudley said, though unlikely to happen. 

    Meantime, Bloomberg chief U.S. economist Anna Wong explains why U.S. workers, who've gone missing lately, are likely to rejoin the labor force soon. And, chief global economist Tom Orlik shares why President Xi Jinping isn't about to let China's economy implode while he seeks to cement lifetime power. Finally, on a lighter note, reporter David Hood shares everyone's frustrations with the IRS, where customer service is so bad that some tax professionals are hiring robots to wait in line for them.

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  • Closed schools. Empty shelves. Workers out sick. Almost two years after Covid-19 overturned the U.S. economy, "it's like deja vu all over again,'' in the words of baseball great and eminent wordsmith Yogi Berra. This week, we dive into how the omicron variant is likely to disrupt plans across America this winter. But we also explore how another country is bouncing back, as Stephanie chats with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire about his nation's robust economic comeback. 

    But first, senior reporter Shawn Donnan gets a firsthand look at omicron's disruption at a Washington-area pizzeria. He explains why one economist likens the current infection surge to the "mother of all winter storms," one that cancels flights and causes supermarket shortages of everything from chicken to tofu. 

    Next, we size up French President Emmanuel Macron's reelection chances this spring and a campaign centered on the nation's humming economy. Le Maire tells Flanders that France's employment rate, its highest in 50 years, is a sign of Macron's success. Paris-based economics reporter Will Horobin shares why the nation's economic recovery may sway France's voters more than its culture-war clashes. 

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  • With shortages at the grocery store and not enough people willing to work, 2022 is starting to look a lot like 2020. But beneath the ugly exterior, the world's economies have learned to cope with Covid's fallout, and the supply chain debacle in particular. One country is even thriving. 

    In the first episode of the new year, we offer two fairly optimistic assessments. Bloomberg Senior Editor Brendan Murray shares with Stephanie Flanders how companies are adapting to the fast-spreading omicron variant and finding ways to function as more workers fall ill. He also explains that the success of China's zero tolerance policy may determine the length of the supply chain crisis.

    We then travel to Mexico and the Chihuahuan Desert, where U.S. companies can't build factories fast enough. Tired of backups at Los Angeles-area ports and no-shows by American workers, manufacturers are moving production to the booming border town of Ciudad Juarez, Bloomberg manufacturing reporter Thomas Black reports, in a pandemic victory for Mexico's economy. 

    Finally, Tokyo-based economics reporter Yoshiaki Nohara brings us a dispatch about the side effects of moving toward a greener future. Japan's leadership is trying develop its renewable energy industry by putting offshore wind farms near places like Iki island, off Japan's southwestern coast. But fishermen worry the noise and radio waves will drive away all the fish and cripple their industry.

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  • While still recovering from a coronavirus-induced recession, the U.S. may be rushing into a new downturn, this time thanks to inflation. Its economy faces no shortage of potential peril in 2022, Bloomberg chief economist Tom Orlik says, with the Federal Reserve looking set to raise interest rates to fight rising prices, and as Congress seems unlikely to pass any more big spending bills. That's one of the takeaways from the Stephanomics global preview of 2022, in which Stephanie and a panel of experts look into their crystal balls for political and economic insights.

    On the political front, French President Emmanuel Macron looks poised to win reelection in France next spring, but U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a 40% chance of losing power, with "strong upward pressure" on that number, says Mujtaba Rahman of the political risk consultancy Eurasia Group. In the U.S., the fate of President Joe Biden and fellow Democrats may depend on inflation. With midterm elections on the horizon, they could be toast if it lingers too long, Bloomberg White House reporter Nancy Cook says.

    Bloomberg Green editor Aaron Rutkoff sees Biden being powerless to improve U.S. emissions if he can't get the climate component of his Build Back Better agenda passed. And Orlik sees a novelty in the U.S.-China relationship, where China will probably go its own way and cut interest rates while the U.S. raises them.

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  • Economically at least, this holiday season feels a bit more like it belongs to Ebenezer Scrooge than Santa Claus. Amid a resurgent pandemic, there are shortages at the grocery store and the highest inflation in almost 40 years. So who better to sum up 2021 and forecast 2022 than Larry Summers, whose contrarian warnings about inflation have, at least at this point, largely proven accurate.

    On this special holiday edition of Stephanomics, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary shares with host Stephanie Flanders how he arrived at his prediction that inflation would run higher than most everyone else expected, and why he fears "we are already reaching a point where it will be challenging to reduce inflation without giving rise to recession.” Summers, a Harvard University professor and paid Bloomberg contributor, also explains why he thinks "running the economy hot" is unlikely to help U.S. workers get a larger slice of the economic pie.

    If inflation isn't enough to further dampen your spirits, Summers also tells Flanders why the nation may see a double whammy of recession and "secular stagnation," an unappealing mix of weak growth and persistently low interest rates.

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  • The so-called great resignation that’s confounding businesses in the West has a counterpart in a most unlikely place: China. This week, we offer a double dose of China’s “lie flat” movement, which is challenging the nation’s historic industriousness, as well as a glimpse into how America’s massive pandemic bailout juiced spending, especially among historically disadvantaged groups.

    First, Hong Kong-based economics reporter Tom Hancock explains why many Chinese workers are suddenly whiling away the hours playing online games instead of toiling on the factory floor. After years of clocking in at 9 a.m. and clocking out at 9 p.m., six days a week, some are saying enough is enough. Bloomberg Opinion columnist Shuli Ren shares how President Xi Jinping isn’t amused with this trend. China’s leadership meanwhile is eager to stop pumping out so many university graduates, preferring instead to steer youth into vocational training and high-value manufacturing. The hope is to replicate Germany’s success.

    Next, data reporter Andre Tartar unearths some revealing credit and debit card numbers to show how government payments during the pandemic boosted spending by Black Americans as much as 40% over 2019 levels. For a time at least, it shrunk the nation's persistent racial wealth gap. Finally, Hong Kong reporter Oanh Ha shares why some big food producers are betting that soon you may be getting some of your protein from crickets.

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