The Exchange

The Exchange is a regular conversation with some of the most influential movers and shakers in business and markets hosted by Peter Thal Larsen, global editor of Breakingviews, the commentary publication of Thomson Reuters. Breakingviews debates and discusses trends in finance and economics with those who shape them, from central bankers and corporate executives to authors and film directors.

The rocky road to an ‘eBay for carbon credits’
Markets that trade the right to emit greenhouse gases have a ropey history. Still, in this Exchange podcast Harvard University Fellow Ely Sandler argues that companies and countries may increasingly pay carbon taxes via emission permits – and unlock cash for the green transition.
37 min
The green agenda’s best shot at a revival
Economic distress prompted by globalisation undermines support for the energy transition, climate change economist Valentina Bosetti tells The Exchange podcast. That matters as key US and EU elections approach. Using proceeds from carbon taxes to address inequality is paramount.
31 min
Why tech giants will rake in AI’s big gains
Amazon, Microsoft, Nvidia and Alphabet powered roughly 8% of 2023’s North American venture deals, largely in artificial intelligence. In this Exchange podcast, Altimeter Capital investor Apoorv Agrawal explains why these companies are reaping rewards from the latest tech craze.
28 min
Shipping giants can withstand Red Sea crisis
Houthi attacks near the Suez Canal are slowing global trade. In this Exchange podcast, Zvi Schreiber, CEO of shipping platform Freightos, discusses how the sector was caught by surprise, but excess container ships and more air cargo capacity are helping limit the immediate pain.
27 min
Fixed income investors have reasons to be fearful
Uncertainty over the direction of inflation and monetary policy is buffeting markets. In this Exchange podcast Jim Grant, founder of ‘Grant’s Interest Rate Observer’, discusses his gloomy outlook for US bonds and sounds a warning about the risks of shadow banking.
25 min
Bain is keeping the private in private equity
Rivals like Apollo and KKR went public more than a decade ago, over time de-emphasizing their buyout roots, especially amid a recent deal drought. In this Exchange podcast John Connaughton of Bain Capital explains why his firm isn’t following them, and how the market is healing.
36 min
AI startups’ key challenge is creativity, not cost
Developing humanlike models is notoriously expensive. In this Exchange podcast, venture capital investor Konstantine Buhler of Sequoia Capital discusses how new breakthroughs are starting to lower costs and how that presents opportunities for challengers like OpenAI.
35 min
Global energy fissures are a risk for the West
Falling oil prices despite recent cuts imply a weak OPEC+. Yet the producer group may increasingly align with other emerging market states on areas like Russia and climate change. In this Exchange podcast commodities expert Helima Croft says that’s an issue for Europe and the US.
33 min
Subsidies are crucial to the green transition
The world is short not of capital, but of projects to fund and sovereigns willing to share risk. In this Exchange podcast, Fortescue’s Andrew Forrest discusses why all countries need an IRA and the lessons of leading the world’s 4th-largest iron ore miner through change.
34 min
COP28’s big dilemma: fossil fuel cuts, or fudges
The success of the Dubai climate shindig rests on how much it slashes emissions via cuts to oil production, and how much it relies on carbon storage or removal. In this Exchange podcast, Energy Transitions Commission chair Adair Turner warns against relying on the latter.
36 min
How the West can win the green metals race
China dominates the processing of stuff essential to the energy transition. Rich countries can shift the balance if they accept more mining at home. Most of all, Europe needs to be better at recycling, critical materials expert Gavin Harper explains in the Exchange podcast.
33 min
Labour is weak link in Israeli economic defences
The Middle Eastern country has withstood the financial pain of a war with Hamas, William Wechsler at the US think tank the Atlantic Council says in this Exchange podcast. But as the conflict continues, an increasing labour shortage will pile pressure on the economy.
23 min
Drug shortages demand quick and costly action
Chemotherapy and penicillin ran short over the past year amid supply-chain disruptions and regulatory pressure. In this Exchange podcast, Dr. Steffen Denzinger, president of the European Fine Chemicals Group, argues that safeguarding medicines may require patients to pay more.
26 min
Israel’s war is a risk and opportunity for Saudi
Hamas’s attacks complicate Mohammed bin Salman’s aim to build relations with the Israeli state, Gulf expert Kristian Coates Ulrichsen says in this Exchange podcast. But if the Saudi crown prince can use his leverage to help Palestinians, it may help his image at home and abroad.
32 min
How to spur investments in greener power grids
Electricity networks need to be upgraded and adapted to a carbon-free world. That means doubling investments to $750 bln a year. With returns uncertain, attracting cash is not easy, Secure Meters CEO Suket Singhal argues in this Exchange podcast. New pricing models would help.
27 min
The financial ramifications of US-China tensions
The rivalry between the world’s two largest powers is having an impact on almost every aspect of global business and finance. In this episode of The Exchange podcast, Jared Cohen from Goldman Sachs discusses how investors should approach geopolitics, and the limits of decoupling.
34 min
How the Federal Reserve got inflation wrong
US policymakers underplayed the spike in consumer prices in 2021. In this Exchange podcast, Don Kohn, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former Fed vice chair, argues that a rule change a year earlier was a key reason why the central bank failed to lift rates faster.
25 min
China’s electric cars reinvent the wheel for good
The country’s automakers are overtaking legacy marques at home and abroad. In this Exchange podcast, industry consultant Tu Le explains what has given BYD, especially, the edge over rivals. He also makes the case for treating Elon Musk’s Tesla as a Chinese carmaker.
32 min
EU regulators have tech giants in their sights
Brussels is taking on the likes of Amazon and Apple with a slew of new rules aimed at curbing market dominance and taking back control over data. Former EU Commission economist Bertin Martens explains to The Exchange podcast how the industry giants could be forced to open up.
29 min
How Ukraine’s banks can survive another war
The country’s former central bank Governor Valeria Gontareva explains on The Exchange podcast how the radical steps implemented in 2014 helped Ukrainian lenders withstand the Russian invasion and kept the financial system afloat, and why Ukraine needs to keep reforming.
23 min
Grocers learn lessons of ‘greedflation’ drama
Food-price rises are easing, which is good news for supermarkets that stand accused of profiting from consumer pain. In this Exchange podcast, Ahold Delhaize CEO Frans Muller explains why demand for own-brand goods gives the Dutch group an upper hand in supplier negotiations.
32 min
The obesity drug boom is just getting started
Over 1 bln people are obese, the WHO reckons. Denmark’s Novo Nordisk is ahead of the pharma pack with its Wegovy weight-loss drug. In this Exchange podcast, recorded in August as a Reuters Newsmaker, CEO Lars Jorgensen says the market will be big enough for other players too.
47 min
‘Lipstick effect’ boosts beauty’s resilience
30 min
Jho Low could create a new world of 1MDB pain
The fugitive at the centre of Malaysia’s sovereign fund scandal, is in China. In this Exchange podcast Billion Dollar Whale co-author Bradley Hope explains why Beijing may soon give him up and how his return could be difficult for all involved, from global banks to celebrities.
27 min
How Europe can square the circle on green economy
Shifting away from fossil fuels is an opportunity for the bloc, argues economy tsar Paolo Gentiloni in this Exchange podcast. But it will have to overcome challenges, such as US competition for investment and the EU’s own narrow set of financial tools.
32 min