171 | Libra

What does it mean when Facebook says it wants its own currency? We explore the power, the potential and the pitfalls of Libra. How does Facebook plan to make money out of making money? Can anyone stop it? And does this represent a fundamental shift in the model of surveillance capitalism? Plus we consider some of the rivals it faces: Bitcoin, WeChat and the good old dollar.

Finally, this week we pay tribute to our dear friend and regular Talking Politics contributor Aaron Rapport (1980-2019) with some memories of his many appearances on the podcast.

113 | Crashed

Helen and David talk to historian Adam Tooze about his epic new book Crashed: How A Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World. Why did the crash of 2008 take so many people by surprise? How did it spread from the US around the world? Why was Europe so vulnerable? And how do the answers to these questions help explain Brexit, Trump and what's now going on in places from Hungary to China? Plus, as we approach the 10-year anniversary of the event the triggered the crisis, we explore what might have happened if Lehman Brothers had been saved.

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32 | John Lanchester

David and Helen talk to novelist and LRB essayist John Lanchester about banks, money and power.  Why have so few bankers gone to jail since the financial crisis?  Can the Euro survive?  Should we be more frightened of unaccountable power in Wall Street or in Silicon Valley?  Plus John updates us on how he's getting on with his Amazon Echo: it's scarier than you think.  In collaboration with the London Review of Books.