By Bloomberg News
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.
Fast news explainers for a world in flux. Every week, Bloomberg Radio's Charlie Pellett brings you the context, background and meaning for an issue, event or idea in the news.
||CleanWhat Countries Are Doing About Deforestation||When it comes to saving the world’s rainforests, governments can make a big difference, and fast. Take Indonesia, which in 2012 surpassed Brazil as the world’s leader in tropical rainforest destruction. In 2017, it engineered a 60 percent drop in tree loss from the previous year by strictly enforcing protections in vulnerable regions. On the other hand, governments can reverse course just as swiftly. Take Brazil, where a decade-long trend of improving forest protections has now gone into reverse. It’s a concern both in and beyond the tropics, with multinational companies coming under increasing pressure to stop doing business with suppliers that ravage the environment. Rainforests host half the species on Earth, help regulate global weather patterns and produce much of the planet’s oxygen. Their disappearance, through burning or felling, creates about 10 percent of the greenhouse gases the world produces in a given year that drive climate change. By one estimate, more tropical tree cover was lost globally in 2016 and 2017 than in any other years this century.||10/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFintech and the Digital Future||Not so long ago, homebuyers, entrepreneurs and investors went hat-in-hand to the bank to apply for a mortgage, small-business credit line or brokerage account. Financial technology, or fintech, is rapidly changing all that by making it easier to save, borrow and invest online or with a mobile device, without ever dealing with a traditional bank. For old-fashioned banks and money managers, fintech is causing dramatic upheaval, possibly the most since mainframe computers first whirred to life on Wall Street in the 1960s. It’s caught the attention of regulators, consumer advocates and industry veterans. Will a digitized financial-services industry mean lower costs, more innovation and greater access for all? Or will the dominant players ultimately stay on top, with their hefty fees, commissions and compensation, largely intact?||10/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhen Will Ultrafast Internet Come to Your Phone?||A surge in mobile-data demand worldwide has more and more people asking when they’ll get that speedy next-generation 5G mobile service. Companies are wondering, too, since 5G has the potential to revolutionize everything from self-driving cars to robotic surgery. Mobile providers are racing to patent technologies that will form the industry standards and build working networks. Yet not all nations are embracing the push with equal vigor. And concerns about China’s ability to use 5G equipment to spy on other nations may limit its manufacturers’ ability to profit from the world’s next mobile upgrade.||9/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFaking Videos Is Easier Than Ever, and That's Scary||A minute-long video of Barack Obama has been seen more than 4.8 million times since April. It shows the former U.S. president seated, with the American flag in the background, speaking directly to the viewer and using an obscenity to refer to his successor, Donald Trump. Or rather, his lips move as the words are spoken. The video is actually a so-called deep fake made by actor-director Jordan Peele, who impersonated Obama’s voice. Peele created the video to illustrate the dangers of fabricated audio and video content depicting people saying or doing things they never actually said or did. Researchers at New York University describe deep fakes as a “menace on the horizon.”||9/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhy the World Is Watching Canada's Pot Legalization||All eyes are on Canada as it prepares to legalize recreational marijuana in October, becoming only the second country to do so after Uruguay. The pending change has touched off an investment boom and pushed up valuations of Canada’s cannabis producers. They’re enjoying a first-mover advantage as medical and recreational pot gain traction from the U.S. to Germany. Canada’s industry will also be the litmus test for whether governments can stamp out illicit sales, transfer billions of dollars in revenue to an emerging industry, generate taxes and create jobs. Charlie Pellet talks to Bloomberg's Jen Skerritt in Winnipeg.||9/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow Raging Heatwaves Affect the Global Economy||To see the impact of record-breaking temperatures around the world, watch wheat. Found in everything from bread to noodles, biscuits to cereals, beer to cakes -- there is no more widely grown staple crop and more than 170 million metric tons trade every year. So when the weather ruins harvests in one spot, it can shock markets and economies that are thousands of miles away. Charlie Pellet speaks to Agnieszka De Sousa about what current global temperatures are doing to crops, and your pocketbook.||9/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMarket Meltup||Once again, stocks are hot. Following a drubbing earlier in the year, benchmark indexes are setting new records as investors ignore warning signs and keep piling in. Is this another rally justified by robust earnings, lower taxes and less regulation? Or is it something that rings alarms, a melt-up? Charlie Pellet talks to Luke Kawa to sort out the difference.||8/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanStandoff in Ukraine||The allure of the West has helped shape Russian history since Peter the Great three centuries ago. Now it’s shattering even older bonds with Russia's neighbor, Ukraine. In 2013, a rebellion sparked by pro-European Ukrainians seeking a decisive break from the nation’s Soviet past set in motion a chain of events that created the tensest standoff between Russia and the West since the Cold War. Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in March 2014, proclaiming a duty to defend the ethnic Russians who dominate the population there and sending shockwaves through the post-World War II order.||8/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanErasing Your DNA Footprint is Harder Than You Think||Genetic testing at home can unlock secrets but it leaves footprints.||8/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|