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cover art for Has Innovation Moved The House? with guest Dror Poleg

Bubble Trouble: Laying Out Inconvenient Truths About How Business and Financial Markets Really Work

Has Innovation Moved The House? with guest Dror Poleg

One of the giant bubbles of the last decades has clearly been, in many regions of the world, real estate. For this week's episode, we're looking forward, not backward with Dror Poleg, an economic historian and inspirational thinker who's figuring out how we work, where we work, and what work we might be doing in this post pandemic world. (Repeat from December, 2022)

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  • 122. AI Bubbles are Bursting with Andrew Orlowski

    52:10
    Today we’ve got a guest who's been doing our job for decades. Andrew Orlowski is a writer who has followed the technology industry for two decades, so he’s see the hype cycle peak and trough many times.For more on Bubble Trouble, including transcripts of the show, visit us online at http://bubbletroublepodcast.comYou can learn more about Richard at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-kramer-16306b2/More on Will Page at: https://pivotaleconomics.com(Times below correspond to the episode without considering any inserted advertisements.)In this episode of Bubble Trouble, hosts Richard Kramer and Will Page are joined by veteran technology journalist Andrew Orlowski. They delve into the recurring market bubbles and dissect the relentless hype surrounding AI and machine learning. Orlowski discusses his track record in identifying technology bubbles and shares his skepticism about the transformative claims made about AI, comparing it to historical overhyped innovations like the metaverse and cryptocurrency. The discussion also touches on the implications of AI on productivity, labor markets, and the economy at large, highlighting the disconnect between policy elites’ expectations and real-world applications. Throughout, the panel emphasizes the broader societal impacts and the role of critical scrutiny in understanding technological advancements.00:00 Introduction to Bubble Trouble00:44 Part One00:49 Meet Andrew Orlowski01:43 The Origins of Bubble Trouble02:06 Spotting Bubbles: Andrew's Track Record02:39 Google's Market Manipulation07:00 The AI Hype Cycle12:08 AI's Economic Impact and Skepticism19:10 The Future of AI and Technology26:13 Debunking the Efficiency Myth in Tech Companies26:39 The Role of AI in Financial Markets28:10 AI Skepticism and the Hype Cycle28:20 Part Two29:02 The Future of Chatbots and Machine Learning30:06 Public Skepticism vs. Elite Optimism35:54 The Nature of Work and Productivity42:13 The Middle Class Advantage in the Modern Workplace45:40 The AI Bubble and Its Implications49:01 Smoke Signals: Red Flags in the AI Industry51:19 Conclusion and Final Thoughts51:51 Credits
  • When Bubbles Become Clouds

    56:51
    [Repeat from November, 2023.]For more on Bubble Trouble, including transcripts of the show, visit us online at http://bubbletroublepodcast.comYou can learn more about Richard at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-kramer-16306b2/More on Will Page at: https://pivotaleconomics.com(Times below correspond to the episode without considering any inserted advertisements.)In this engaging episode of Bubble Trouble, hosts Richard Kramer and Will Page welcome Liam Maxwell, former Chief Technology Officer for the British government and current AWS Senior Advisor, to delve into the transformative potential of the cloud. Together, they break down how cloud-based technologies are revolutionizing different sectors, from governments to private enterprises. Exploring clear cases such as the Ukrainian war situation or the everyday banking experience in Singapore, they highlight the impressive efficiency, flexibility, and speed offered by the cloud. The discussion also touches on the major productivity gains the cloud provides, the importance of building services centered on user needs, and how the digital economy is captured by government indices.00:00 Introduction01:14 Part One01:32 Interview with Liam Maxwell01:54 Liam's Journey in Tech and Government02:25 The Impact of Cloud on Government Services06:40 The Transition from Traditional IT to Cloud15:25 The Role of AI in Cloud Adoption19:24 The Ukraine War and the Role of Cloud20:35 The Process of Moving Ukraine's Data to the Cloud27:56 Reflections on the Impact of Cloud Technology29:33 The Power of Decision Making in Amazon30:26 Reflections on the UK Government's Test and Trace App30:58 Part Two31:27 The Impact of Cloud Technology on Productivity32:01 The Economic Value of Cloud Technology33:33 The Paradox of Technological Efficiency and Economic Growth35:38 The Invisible Contributions of Transformative Technology37:04 The Role of Cloud Technology in Government Services39:00 The Challenges of Measuring the Impact of Tech Jobs39:19 The Potential of Cloud Technology in Enhancing Public Services51:57 The Impact of Tech Neologisms on Service Delivery55:23 Closing Remarks and Reflections56:25 Credits
  • 121. Calling Bubbles with Benedict Evans (Part Two)

    47:46
    This week, part two of our continued conversation with Benedict Evans, an analyst with over 175,000 avid readers for his tech blog. For more on Bubble Trouble, including transcripts of the show, visit us online at http://bubbletroublepodcast.comYou can learn more about Richard at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-kramer-16306b2/More on Will Page at: https://pivotaleconomics.com(Times below correspond to the episode without considering any inserted advertisements.)In this episode of Bubble Trouble, hosts Richard Kramer and Will Page delve into the intricacies of technology bubbles with special guest Benedict Evans. The discussion revolves around AI advancements, particularly focusing on Apple's recent integrations of AI models, the differentiation between small and large models, and the implications for email summarization and other features. They explore the economic and strategic decisions behind Apple's use of AI, the potential for various large language models (LLMs) to disrupt industries like legal tech, and the broader market dynamics and antitrust considerations. The conversation also touches on the challenges and opportunities presented by these technological advancements, emphasizing the importance of careful analysis and skepticism in the face of rapid innovation.00:03 Introduction00:29 Part One00:29 AI and Apple's New Developments01:53 Apple's AI Integration and Market Dynamics04:20 The Evolution of AI Models and Market Impact12:29 Antitrust and Market Strategies17:34 Cloud Computing and Business Models24:49 The Future of Cloud Machine Learning Providers25:36 Marginal Costs in Consumer Internet Companies26:16 Generative AI and Cost Efficiency28:14 Part Two28:14 Legal Tech and Large Language Models30:05 Challenges in Selling Software to Law Firms31:08 Error Rates and AI Hallucinations34:36 Practical Use Cases for AI in Legal Scenarios36:27 Evaluating AI's Potential and Limitations41:05 Recognizing Tech Bubbles and Market Hype44:59 Concluding Thoughts on AI and Market Trends47:27 Credits
  • 120. Calling Bubbles with Benedict Evans (Part One)

    40:40
    This week we are talking bubbles - or not! - with Benedict Evans, an analyst with over 175,000 avid readers for his tech blog. We’ve done our level best to reflect on why bubbles happen, but what about calling them out  before they burst. “It would have been nice to have known” we were in a bubble before it caused trouble. That wish fits like an OJ Simpson glove into a recent column by Benedict exploring how and when to call them. With AI mania and NVIDIA up 130% this year and 700% in 18 months, lifting many other boats with it, this will be a timely conversation. For more on Bubble Trouble, including transcripts of the show, visit us online at http://bubbletroublepodcast.comYou can learn more about Richard at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-kramer-16306b2/More on Will Page at: https://pivotaleconomics.com(Times below correspond to the episode without considering any inserted advertisements.)In this episode of Bubble Trouble, hosts Richard Kramer and Will Page delve into the phenomenon of market bubbles with tech analyst Benedict Evans. They discuss the intricacies of identifying bubbles before they burst, explore the role and future implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and touch upon how companies disclose crucial data. Benedict shares his career journey and insights on tech market dynamics, providing a detailed perspective on AI's potential impacts and strategic questions surrounding tech advancements. This episode offers a mix of reflective analysis and forward-looking forecasts in the tech landscape.00:00 Introduction 01:06 Meet Benedict Evans01:22 Benedict's Career Journey02:59 The Art of Simplifying Complex Points07:48 The Role of Public Companies in Market Bubbles13:01 Tech Industry Cycles and Bubbles19:56 Part Two20:13 Generative AI: The Next Big Thing?36:44 The Future of AI and Its Impact39:48 Conclusion and Final Thoughts40:20 Credits
  • 119. Tech’s Set Piece Marketing

    33:41
    This week we’re going to split lanes as we’ve got breaking news coming out of Canada that Will’s been knee deep in: soon after their Government tried to regulate Google and Meta news, they’re now after Spotify and Netflix. Think contagion and buckle up - this may well be the sign of the regulatory times. Once we’re done with Canadians, we turn our attention to Cuppertino as we’ve just seen the WWDC wrap up the calendar of set piece marketing - Google, Meta, Microsoft and more - all now done and dusted. It's all become a slick operation, but what’s and not said can help us decipher the narratives of the most watched companies on the planet and these events have now gone mainstream.For more on Bubble Trouble, including transcripts of the show, visit us online at http://bubbletroublepodcast.comYou can learn more about Richard at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-kramer-16306b2/More on Will Page at: https://pivotaleconomics.com(Times below correspond to the episode without considering any inserted advertisements.)In this episode of Bubble Trouble, independent analyst Richard Kramer and economist Will Page delve into the recent regulatory developments in Canada targeting streaming giants like Spotify and Netflix following earlier regulation attempts on Google and Meta. They explore the implications of Canada's new gross revenue contribution policy on streaming services and its potential impact on consumers and competitors. Additionally, the duo examines the wrap-up of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and discusses the trends, leaks, and undertones of major tech company events, including the strategic presentations, the nuances of unsaid elements, and the ever-tightening grip of technological giants on the market. The episode aims to provide insights into the evolving landscape of tech regulation and market domination.00:00 Introduction and Overview00:08 Canadian Regulatory News01:12 Impact on Streaming Services01:30 Historical Context of Canadian Regulations02:24 Current Regulatory Actions and Reactions07:51 Tech Giants' Marketing Events08:39 The Magnificent Seven and Market Concentration10:17 The Role of Marketing in Tech11:17 The Evolution of Tech Events18:21 The Importance of Perception in Tech Announcements21:03 Reading Between the Lines32:14 Conclusion and Final Thoughts
  • Gatekeepers and Regulatory Bubbles

    42:43
    This week we turn to regulatory bubbles and the new buzz word: Gatekeepers! What are they, and what are they not and what gates do they actually keep? In forty five days, the European Commission drummed up an answer, while the US DoJ starts a court case about Google paying for search bar placements like Heinz beans play for shelf space in the grocery store. We’ve got 45 minutes with one of the best brains on the topic, Konstantina Bania, a Partner at the top firm Geradin Partners to understand all this. [Repeat from September, 2023.]
  • 118. DoJ Whacks Ticket Prices

    38:44
    This summer, a lot of us (and our children) will be packing our tents and heading to music festivals and concerts - there is trouble brewing. At one end, good luck buying a ticket and watching those fees add up. At the other end, the DoJ threw down the gauntlet and argued that Live Nation Ticketmaster needs to be broken up. This is big for music, and it’s also big for anti-trust - they’ve actually picked a fight and we’re ringing the bell for round one. Gloves off, where might there be punches below the belt. What can markets learn when the DoJ enters the ring?For more on Bubble Trouble, including transcripts of the show, visit us online at http://bubbletroublepodcast.comYou can learn more about Richard at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-kramer-16306b2/More on Will Page at: https://pivotaleconomics.com(Times below correspond to the episode without considering any inserted advertisements.)Bubble Trouble: The Live Nation Antitrust CaseIn this episode of Bubble Trouble, Independent Analyst Richard Kramer and Economist Will Page delve into the intricacies of the Live Nation antitrust case brought by the DOJ. They explore the history of antitrust regulations, Live Nation's market dominance, and the implications for the live music industry. The discussion covers topics such as the control of ticketing, venues, and artists by Live Nation, the bundling of services, and the economic impact on smaller venues. The hosts debate the potential outcomes of the case and critique the inefficiencies in the current ticketing system, especially the Ticketmaster app. They also touch on broader issues in live music, including the decline of small venues and the impact of social isolation on festival attendance.00:00 Introduction to Bubble Trouble01:16 Part One01:46 Understanding Antitrust and Live Nation's Market Power03:59 Live Nation's Business Model and Market Impact16:00    Part Two  17:15 The Ticketmaster Experience: A Consumer's Nightmare27:06 Economic Realities of the Live Music Industry34:44 Conclusion and Future Outlook38:15 Credits
  • 117. Why Stocks Get Whacked

    47:24
    When markets get fooled, stocks get …well, WHACKED, to quote a famous Kramerism. Our audience deserves to know more about volatility - for all the PhDs, MBAs and CFAs working on Wall Street, for all the compliance rules and regulations, why is it that a stock can go from hero to zero so quickly? Why is stability in itself destabilizing?For more on Bubble Trouble, including transcripts of the show, visit us online at http://bubbletroublepodcast.comYou can learn more about Richard at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-kramer-16306b2/More on Will Page at: https://pivotaleconomics.com(Times below correspond to the episode without considering any inserted advertisements.)Understanding Market Volatility: The Seven Deadly Sins That Get Stocks WhackedIn this episode of Bubble Trouble, hosted by independent analyst Richard Kramer and economist Will Page, the duo delves into the intricacies of stock market volatility and the factors that lead to significant drops in stock values, often referred to as getting 'whacked.' They explore why financial markets remain volatile despite compliance rules and thorough analysis by Wall Street's experts. Using recent examples like Duolingo and Double Verify, they highlight how sentiment, market expectations, and artificial intelligence fears influence stock performance. They introduce the concept of the seven deadly sins—ranging from expectations management to fake it till you make it—that companies and analysts commit, causing stocks to tank. The discussion covers essential themes like the role of credibility, influence of peer performance, external market factors, and the impact of fear and greed. They also touch on larger market dynamics, such as the dominance of tech giants and the influence of algorithmic trading. The episode is both an educational dive into market mechanics and a cautionary tale for investors, emphasizing the importance of understanding broader market sentiments and the potential pitfalls of speculative trading.00:00 Introduction01:18 Part One02:30 Recent Examples of Stocks Getting Whacked06:08 The Role of Expectations in Market Behavior10:53 Credibility and Its Impact on Stocks16:17 The Influence of Peer Groups and Market Share18:19 Mathematical Models and Black Swans23:09 Part Two24:15 The Sheer Size of Companies and Market Impact25:13 Big Companies and Revenue Growth Challenges26:33 Market Dynamics and Money Managers27:04 Thought Experiment: Market Crowding28:53 Taxing Market Capitalization34:18 Fear and Greed in Financial Markets40:11 Unprofitable IPOs and Market Distortions42:47 Seven Deadly Sins of Stock Trading46:22 Conclusion and Final Thoughts46:53 Credits
  • 116. The Post-Bubble World of Podcasting with James Cridland and Jonas Woost

    50:10
    This week, with the world of podcasting descending on London for the Podcast Show, we’re going to turn the tables on ourselves and get a little introspective, figuring out what is happening with this Podcast format. This time two years ago, we got a little ahead of our skis with Spotify, Amazon and the like spending eight (and nine) figure sums on podcast companies. That bubble burst and now we’re picking up the pieces to see what the future might resemble given its recent roller coaster past. To do that, two guests and two of the very best: James Cridland, author of the bible that is Podnews and Jonas Woost of Bumper. The former understands the industry, the latter understands the listener and by the end of this conversation you’ll find podcasts and podcasting a more rewarding listen. For more on Bubble Trouble, including transcripts of the show, visit us online at http://bubbletroublepodcast.comYou can learn more about Richard at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-kramer-16306b2/More on Will Page at: https://pivotaleconomics.com(Times below correspond to the episode without considering any inserted advertisements.)The episode features a discussion on the evolving dynamics of podcasting, including the recent burst of the investment bubble in the sector, the impact of this shift, and what the future holds for podcast creators and companies. Guests include James Cridland, editor of Pod News, and Jonas Woost from Bumper, who share insights into the industry trends, listener engagement, and the complexities of podcast advertising. The conversation also explores the nuances of podcast data analysis, the importance of understanding 'actual listening' versus 'downloads', and strategies for podcast growth and monetization. The episode aims to provide a comprehensive look at both the business side of podcasting and the listener engagement aspect, intending to inform and guide podcast creators and industry stakeholders.00:02 Introduction01:02 Part One01:10 Introducing the Experts: Insights from the Front Lines02:43 The Podcasting Landscape: Numbers, Growth, and Challenges06:53 Adapting to Change: Strategies for Success in Podcasting15:48 Understanding Podcast Advertising: Data, Attribution, and Impact22:34 The Evolution of Podcast Metrics: Attention Over Downloads22:43 The Power of Feedback: From Music to Podcasts23:37 Part Two23:46 Navigating the Podcast Landscape: Insights and Strategies24:25 Decoding Podcast Listenership: Beyond the Numbers32:02 The Future of Podcast Advertising: Challenges and Opportunities32:10 The Intimacy of Podcasting: Engaging Niche Audiences41:48 The Podcast Show Preview: Expectations and Predictions