We talk to political economist Helen Thompson about the birth of the Euro and its tortuous recent history. Whose idea was it in the first place and how much of its current troubles were baked into its origins? A story of ambition, intrigue and unintended consequences.
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.
We talk to Oliver Bullough about his acclaimed new book Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks Now Rule the World and How to Take it Back. Where is Moneyland? How did London become its capital? And will Brexit, or a Corbyn government, or another financial crash change how it operates? A conversation about tax havens, money-laundering, the politics of corruption and the corruption of politics. With Jason Sharman, author of The Despot's Guide to Wealth Management, and Helen Thompson.Read More
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.Read More
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.