Over the past few weeks, I have been dropping hints about a new project I am working on with the folks at Bloomberg. Now that we have an official launch date, I can reveal the details to you.
I have over the years, lamented about the state of media (see e.g., this, this and this). Rather than merely whine continuously about the state of the financial press, I wanted to do something about it.
Last summer, I floated the following idea: Why not turn the usual Wall Street interviews upside down? Speak to the key people who are the source of the ideas that shape markets, drive portfolio management, influence the economy, and make the modern world of business and finance what it is today. My elevator pitch to the powers that be at Bloomberg was “Mark Maron’s WTF meets Charlie Rose, for finance.”
Instead of focusing on the next 15 minutes, discover instead how they became who they were. Get to their philosophy, worldview, favorite books, mentors, etc.
Oh, and no stock picks and no predictions.
Instead, I want to focus on how the modern masters in business and finance got that way: Who and what were their influences? Who were their mentors? How did they get started, what odd or funny things shaped their careers? What helped to form their philosophies? How has the business of finance changed over their careers?
A deep dive into the most fascinating characters in finance.
Here is an interesting thing about Bloomberg LP: For a large and very successful organization, they are surprisingly entrepreneurial. Make a decent proposal, and they are happy to give you enough rope to hang yourself with.
Which so far, we have.
The show — which has the title Masters in Business — is half radio, half podcast. It is a weekly one-on-one interview, broadcast (repeatedly) each weekend. The first half of it is an hour of radio (about 32 minutes of record time in 4 segments). But the second half has no time restrictions at all. I didn’t want anyone to feel rushed or pressured to give a pithy answer, or time pressured. After the live-to-tape for broadcast radio is done, we just keep going. Let the recording just run, and see what happens.
This led to some amazing and surprising results. Doubleline’s Jeff Gundlach tells wonderful stories in great details about his early days as a bond manager that are fabulous. Jim Chanos, Kynikos fund manager and wonderful raconteur, regaled us for hours with all great stuff. Former SEC Chair Arthur Levitt, Jr. is sharper at 83 then most of us ever were on our best day — and may just well be the finest Human Being I have ever met in my life. Rob Arnott is full of smart insights,James O’Shaugnessy’s career path is amazing, as is Jeff Saut’s and Michael Mauboussin’s. Sheila Bair is an utter delight.
That’s the sort of folks who have already done the show. My goal is to speak to the 100+ most influential and important minds in finance over the next two years.
The result will be an hour broadcast on Bloomberg Radio — 1130 AM in NYC and on Sirius XM nationally. It will be downloadable on Apple iTunes and on the Bloomberg Radio App. You can also stream it from Bloomberg.com, SoundCloud, the Bloomberg terminal, as well as here on this blog.
The interviews I did last year with Ned Davis and Felix Zulauf were the inspiration for the show. Only these are live and in person, which creates a very different interaction.
Our first 10 shows are now recorded and scheduled, and should broadcast as follows:
Masters in Business
1. Jeff Gundlach, Doubleline (July 12)
2. Rob Arnott, Research Affiliates (July 19)
3. Arthur Levitt, SEC Chairman (July 26)
4. Michael Mauboussin, Credit Suisse, Columbia U (August 2)
5. Jack Brennan, Vanguard Chairman & CEO (August 9)
6. Jim Chanos, Kynikos (August 16)
7. Sheila Bair, FDIC Chairman (August 23)
8. James O’Shaugnessy, OSAM (August 30)
9. David Rosenberg, Merrill Lynch, GS, (September 6)
10. Larry Swedroe, Buckingham Asset Management (September 13)
As you can see, its a killer line up. We have recorded 20 interviews so far, with the first one set to broadcast this weekend.
Getting the nuances and timing of radio has been a learning process for me. It was much harder than I imagined, and I sucked much worse than I would have guessed at first. But eventually, you kind of figure out the timing, and it starts to come together.
I improve a little each week as the show progresses. But my own suckitude matters little, as the guests were so awesome. It is simply killer stuff. I promise you the shows we recorded are great stuff.
My bold forecast: This will become MUST LISTEN radio for anyone in the industry, as well as any serious investor.
Check out the show. You will not be disappointed.
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