Winamp Logo
Hidden Forces Cover
Hidden Forces Profile

Hidden Forces

English, Finance, 1 season, 384 episodes, 1 day, 14 hours, 11 minutes
About
Get the edge with Hidden Forces where media entrepreneur and financial analyst Demetri Kofinas gives you access to the people and ideas that matter, so you can build financial security and always stay ahead of the curve.
Episode Artwork

America’s National Savings and Debt Crisis | Lacy Hunt

In Episode 359 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Economist Lacy Hunt about America’s national savings and debt crisis. Dr. Hunt is the Executive Vice President and Chief Economist of Hoisington Investment Management Company. He previously served as Chief U.S. Economist for the HSBC Group, as Executive Vice President and Chief Economist at Fidelity Bank, and as Senior Economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas during the course of a 55-year career studying markets and the economy. In the first hour, Lacy Hunt shares his broad assessment of how the global economy is doing and the monetary and cyclical economic indicators he relies on to make that assessment. He and Demetri discuss the increased role of the US Treasury as an economic policy actor in the post-pandemic period and the concerning decline in the net national savings rate. They also discuss whether the neutral rate of interest, a hotly debated topic among economists, is moving lower, and what this means for trend growth, interest rates, and inflation. In the second hour, Dr. Hunt explains why he believes that the Fed has been able to raise interest rates by more than 500 basis points in less than two years without inducing a recession. Is this because other causal factors have remained more accommodative, or have the lags just grown longer and more variable, and if so, why? What does this tell us about the business cycle and the effectiveness of monetary policy? He and Demetri also discuss the chronically high fiscal deficits and the implications of trying to reduce them in an environment where the economy is becoming more dependent on government spending to boost economic growth, support critical national investments in energy and defense, and contribute to the private savings of the economy. Finally, Lacy Hunt explains why he believes that demographics are destiny and how trends in population growth, fertility rates, and family formation in many developed countries will impact growth and inflation in the years to come. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/26/2024
4/1/202447 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Comes After the Chinese Economic Miracle? | Anne Stevenson-Yang

In Episode 358 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Anne Stevenson-Yang, the founder of J Capital Research, which publishes highly diligenced research reports on over-valued, publicly traded companies, with a particular focus on China. Anne is also the author of several books on China and the Chinese political economy, including “Hello Kitty” and “Wild Ride: A Short History of the Opening and Closing of the Chinese Economy.” The first hour of this episode is a conversation about the history of the Chinese economic miracle, as seen through the eyes of someone who experienced those changes firsthand. Anne recounts the early phases of China’s liberalization in the 1980s, the post-Tiananmen political crackdown and subsequent rapid growth of the 1990s, and how the Asian Financial crisis at the end of that decade set the scene for the go-go years of the early 2000s, culminating in the Beijing summer Olympics and the 2008 financial crisis, which was in many ways a crisis enabled by the trade and capital imbalances of China’s export-driven growth model and rapid economic integration into the global economy. In the second hour, Anne and Demetri explore the China that has emerged under the leadership of Xi Jinping and why Anne believes that this represents a dark turn for the country. They discuss the enduring impact of COVID-19 on China’s economy, on the psychology of its people, and how the communist party’s response to the pandemic showcased the country’s systems of surveillance, including its social credit system, which has its own analog in the form of Western social media and surveillance companies. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/19/2024
3/25/202451 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

Are Gold and Bitcoin Signaling the Return of Money Printing? | Michael Howell

In Episode 357 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with the CEO of CrossBorder Capital, Michael Howell, about the run-up in gold and bitcoin prices and whether this signals the return of "money printing" driven by overwhelming government debt and deficit payments. Michael Howell has had the most accurate economic and financial forecasts of any analyst Kofinas has spoken with in the last several years. Demetri asked him back on the podcast to help explain why risk assets continue to outperform despite higher interest rates and what new all-time highs in gold and Bitcoin signal about global liquidity and investor confidence in the integrity of fiat currencies as reliable stores of value amid skyrocketing government debt and deficits. In the first hour, Michael breaks down the indicators he relies on to make his forecasts and why he expects economic growth and inflation to reaccelerate this year and into 2025. In the second hour, Howell forecasts which assets and asset classes he thinks will outperform, the direction of interest rates, the steepening of the yield curve, and how the expiration of the bank-term funding program (BTFP), the draw-down in the reverse repo facility (RRP), and a temporary decline in liquidity from tax payments could create buying opportunities for investors over the next several months. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/13/2024
3/18/202446 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

A New Era for China's Semiconductor Industry | Paul Triolo

In Episode 356 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Paul Triolo, Senior Vice President for China and Technology Policy Lead at Albright Stonebridge Group, where he advises clients in technology, financial services, and other sectors as they navigate complex political and regulatory matters around the world. This episode was inspired by an article Paul recently published for American Affairs titled “A New Era for the Chinese Semiconductor Industry.” In it, he examines how semiconductor export controls levied by the US Commerce Department have been received in Beijing and how China's domestic semiconductor ecosystem has responded. Paul and Demetri spend the first hour of the episode assessing the state of the Biden administration’s strategic competition with China in the area of semiconductors. Specifically, they ask (1) what are the administration’s goals, (2) are those goals clear to Western companies that have depended on selling into the Chinese market for a large share of their revenues, (3) and is the administration itself clear on what it wants to accomplish with these efforts? In the second hour, they examine the fallout from the 2022 and 2023 semiconductor export controls, including some of the unintended consequences that could adversely impact major players in the Western semiconductor ecosystem over the long term. They discuss the Chips Act and whether more needs to be done to support America’s domestic semiconductor industry. They also do a deep dive into China’s response to these measures, including a new top-down approach to industrial policy and fully supporting open-sourced hardware architectures as a way to protect their companies from further restrictions. Lastly, they examine China’s success in electric vehicles and whether this is a harbinger of what could happen in other sectors if American policymakers are not careful. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. For a 50% discount to American Affairs, use the code “HIDDENFORCES24” during checkout. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/05//2024
3/11/202448 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Myths Can Teach Us About the AI Arms Race | Joshua Schrei

In Episode 355 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with mythologist and storyteller Joshua Schrei about the cultural, social, and political consequences of the rise of Artificial Intelligence. According to Joshua, humanity is entering an era whose only corollary is the stuff of fairy tales and myths. Powers that used to be reserved for magicians and sorcerers are no longer metaphorical, and it’s unclear if humanity has the tools and initiatory frameworks to use them responsibly. What’s at stake is our civilization, something that was obvious to the creators of the atom bomb but which seems less salient today, even though the risk of societal collapse stemming from the proliferation of AI and its associated technologies is arguably much greater. In the first hour of their conversation, Josh and Demetri discuss the role of magic, the desire for animacy, the burden of the Anthropocene, and why we keep gravitating toward powers that might kill us. In the second hour, they examine what life in a post-scientific era could be like, whether mass hysteria and a collective unmooring from reality are symptoms of the “AI moment,” and whether what we are living through today is really a spiritual crisis that cannot be solved through technological innovation, medication, or the endless pacification of media and entertainment You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. You can listen to The Emerald Podcast here and support the work Joshua is doing through Patreon here. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/28/2024
3/4/202457 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Exposing the New American Surveillance State | Byron Tau

In Episode 354 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with investigative journalist Byron Tau, who specializes in law, courts, and national security, about how a hidden alliance between technology companies and the government is creating a new American surveillance state. Many of you are probably thinking, “Yeah, I know this. We all have cell phones. They have GPS trackers, and my phone calls are being monitored. Tell me something I don’t know.” Yet, the truth is that our smartphones, wearable devices, networked homes, credit cards, and even the tires we drive on emit an overwhelming amount of data revealing details about our lives, daily habits, and most intimate behaviors that would astonish you. That data is being captured and available for sale, and the U.S. government is its biggest customer. In the first hour of this conversation, you will learn that in the years after 9/11, the U.S. government, working with scores of anonymous companies, built a foreign and domestic surveillance apparatus that can peer into the lives of nearly everyone on the planet. This cottage industry of data brokers and government bureaucrats has one directive—“Get everything. Get it all.” The result is something resembling a sci-fi dystopia, like an episode out of Black Mirror, and the public knows virtually nothing about it. In the second hour, Byron and Demetri discuss the near-term implications of this surveillance state for American democracy, personhood, and freedom. They discuss the role of TikTok and other foreign companies and actors that are able to access this same data marketplace. They discuss the role of agent provocateurs and how location-based applications can be used to foment riots and manipulate people into mobs and other forms of collective action. They also discuss the role of prominent voices on the American right and what they leave out when discussing censorship in media. Most importantly, they discuss what can be done through legislation and regulation to restrain government agencies and private companies operating in the surveillance economy and what you can do on a personal level to mitigate these entities’ and actors’ access to your private life. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/20/2024
2/26/202459 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Makes Someone a Supercommunicator? | Charles Duhigg

In Episode 353 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Charles Duhigg. Duhigg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author whose latest book, Supercommunicators, examines how we can all learn to become better at hearing one another and forge more meaningful and authentic connections with the people around us. This episode will provide you with a framework for understanding the three different types of conversations we all engage in, whether we’re aware of it or not, and how this understanding can help improve your life and make you a supercommunicator. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/12/2024
2/20/20241 hour, 11 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Coming Paradigm Shift in the Stock Market | Daniel Peris

In Episode 352 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Daniel Peris. Daniel is a Senior Portfolio Manager at Federated Investors, overseeing the firm's dividend-focused products. He’s also the author of four books on investing, including his most recent: "The Ownership Dividend: The Coming Paradigm Shift in the Stock Market.” Daniel and Demetri spend the first hour of their conversation discussing the relevant history that explains how the stock market went from a mostly cash-based system where all or almost all companies if they weren’t in distress, paid dividends to a public investment landscape driven entirely or almost entirely by near-term share price movements. The second hour provides listeners with more actionable information about how to position oneself to profit from a paradigm shift in markets that Daniel argues is already underway. They discuss the pros and cons of dividend investing, how Daniel approaches portfolio construction regarding dividend-yielding stocks, and how the changes he forecasts will alter the investment landscape and economic opportunities for businesses and workers alike. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/05/2024
2/12/202454 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Superhumans and the Race for AI Supremacy | Stephen Hsu

In Episode 351 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Stephen Hsu, a Professor of Theoretical Physics and Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Stephen is also the co-founder of multiple companies, including Genomic Prediction, which provides preimplantation genetic screening services for human embryos, and SuperFocus.ai, which builds large language models for narrow enterprise use cases. This is a conversation about some of the most important advancements and trends in genomic science and artificial intelligence, including the social and ethical dilemmas arising from implementing these technologies at scale. Stephen and I discuss the competitive landscapes in both industries, how America’s geostrategic competition with China is driving tradeoffs between innovation and safety, the risks and opportunities that these revolutionary technologies pose, and how the world’s largest companies, economies, and military powers can work together to reap the benefits of this revolution while averting some of their most disastrous potential consequences. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/31/2024
2/5/202457 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

You Will Be Assimilated: China’s Plan For Global Domination | David Goldman

In Episode 350 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with the Deputy Editor of Asia Times, David Goldman. In his previous life, David served in the Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment for the National Security Council as head of fixed-income research at Bank of America and as head of credit strategy at Credit Suisse. His books include How Civilizations Die and You Will Be Assimilated: China’s Plan to Sino-Form the World. David Goldman’s perspective is unique among American analysts and reflects the breadth and depth of his knowledge and experience working in national security, international finance, and a journalist writing about China. In the first hour of today’s episode, Kofinas and Goldman discuss China’s history, its economy, and its strategic vision for global hegemony, as well as what it will mean for American and European citizens if China comes to dominate the key technologies of the 21st century. In the second hour, they look at where our leadership in the United States has come up short and why we have failed to adopt an industrial policy that will restore our economic power and help consolidate domestic support for a multi-decade strategic competition with the People’s Republic of China. David and Demetri discuss what Washington can do differently, including when it comes to key technologies like semiconductors, the urgency with which we must adapt our policies to this challenge, and who in Washington we can look to for leadership in this extraordinarily perilous time for the country. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/16/2024
1/22/202459 minutes
Episode Artwork

AI, Transhumanism, and the Future of Humanity | Meghan O’Gieblyn

In Episode 349 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with author and essayist Meghan O'Gieblyn, who writes on matters of philosophy and religion for The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, The Guardian, and other publications. Meghan O'Gieblyn shares her personal journey growing up in a fundamentalist Christian community. She talks about the disillusionment she experienced upon leaving the faith, her forays into transhumanism and other alternative theories of consciousness, and what she thinks is really going on: what is the nature of reality, is consciousness fundamental to the universe, and what happens to us when we die? In the second hour, Demetri and Meghan O'Gieblyn examine what it means to live in a digitally intermediated and surveilled society and what philosophy can tell us about the advancements being made in artificial intelligence. They consider why this technology is unlike anything else that human beings have previously created and why its development and unrestricted application put at risk not only our lives but also our humanity. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/09/2024
1/15/202453 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Is the Middle East Headed For Another Major War? | Kamran Bokhari

In Episode 348 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Kamran Bokhari. Kamran is the Senior Director of the Eurasian Security & Prosperity Portfolio at the New Lines Institute for Strategy & Policy. He has served at the U.S. State Department and as a Senior Consultant with the World Bank. Kamran came on the podcast three months ago to discuss the violence ignited by Hamas’ October 7th attacks against Israel and the nature and scope of Iran’s involvement. Demetri asked him back on to re-examine how the war in Gaza is going and whether he still thinks that we could be headed for another major war in the Middle East. They spent the first hour discussing Israel’s bombardment and offensive in Gaza, the strategic objectives of Israel’s leaders, and whether they’re achieving those objectives. They also discuss Netanyahu’s political future and that of his governing coalition, the future of Israeli politics, and whether any hope remains for a negotiated peace process that could lead to a viable and independent Palestinian state. In the second hour, they broaden their focus to encompass the larger Middle East, including Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Houthis, and Hezbollah. They discuss how all of these different actors are repositioning themselves by exploiting the growing disorder for their own advantage as the Biden administration struggles to stabilize a region that may be on the verge of another major war. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/04/2024
1/8/202454 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

Public Interest Politics & the Human Spirit | Marianne Williamson

In Episode 347 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Marianne Williamson. Marianne is a bestselling author, political activist, and spiritual leader who is currently running for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2024 primaries. Marianne shares stories from her childhood in the 1960s and the journey that led her to become one of America's most recognizable spiritual teachers by the early 1990s. She explains her decision to enter politics, first as a candidate for Congress in 2014 and now in her run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Demetri and Marianne discuss her views about the absence of the human spirit in conversations about public policy, as well as the urgent need to confront concentrations of private power, especially in the areas of our economy commonly associated with “Big Tech.” Demetri also asks Marianne how someone like her, who preaches about love and compassion, would lead such a militarized society during a time when the international system seems to be coming apart, and wars of opportunity and conquest are breaking out everywhere. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/29/2023
1/4/20241 hour, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order | Gary Gerstle

In Episode 346 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge, Gary Gerstle. Dr. Gerstle is the author and editor of more than ten books, including the “Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order,” and his most recent, “The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order,” which was chosen as a Best Book of 2022 by the Financial Times and Prospect Magazine. Gerstle and Kofinas spend the first hour of their conversation discussing the last one hundred years of American history, which spans two political orders—that of the New Deal Order, which ascends in the early 1930s and comes apart in the mid-to-late 1970s and the Neoliberal Order, which begins its rise in the late 1970s-to-early-80s and starts to disintegrate in the mid-2010s during Obama’s second term in office and the election of Donald Trump. The second hour of their conversation is devoted exclusively to understanding the rise and fall of the Neoliberal Order and how the excesses of that period have created the conditions for the political, economic, and social crises that are currently gripping the nation. Gerstle and Kofinas also speculate about what may come out of this period, what a new order could look like, what the various factions are that will drive it forward, and what policy ideas, priorities, and ideological frameworks are likely to animate it.   You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/26/2023
1/1/202457 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Are We in a New Crypto Bull Market? | Framework Ventures

In Episode 345 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Vance Spencer and Michael Anderson about whether we are in a new crypto bull market. Mike and Vance are the founders of Framework Ventures, one of the largest venture capital firms in crypto. They have been on the podcast several times before to discuss their investment outlook for crypto, particularly decentralized finance and blockchain-based gaming. You can easily find those previous appearances in the related tab on this week’s episode page. In this end-of-year episode, Demetri asks the Framework team about their 2024 crypto investment outlook and whether they think the recent price run-up marks the beginning of a new crypto bull market. They discuss the anticipated introductions of the first Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs, the Ethereum roadmap and recent upgrades to its protocol, blockchain-based gaming, regulation, and much more. Because this conversation deals with investing, nothing that we say on this podcast can or should be viewed as financial advice. All opinions expressed by him and his guests are solely our own opinions and should not be relied upon as the basis for financial decisions. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/20/2023
12/26/202358 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

What’s Driving the Fall in Oil Prices? | Rory Johnston

In Episode 344 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with oil analyst and researcher Rory Johnston about what’s driving the fall in oil prices and how likely it is to continue. Rory shares his thoughts on investor positioning, growth in US oil production, recent M&A activity in the oil sector, OPEC production cuts, geopolitical risk in Guyana, as well as in the Strait of Hormuz, and much more. Today’s episode was originally recorded as a live Q&A for members of the Hidden Forces Genius Community. If you’re interested in learning more about the Genius community, our private dinners, in-person events, and how to become a member, you can do that at HiddenForces.io/Subscribe, where you can also subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/13/2023
12/18/202358 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Can We Make Sense of the UAP Conspiracy? | Diana Pasulka

In Episode 343 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Diana Pasulka, a professor of religious studies who writes and teaches about the history of the Catholic tradition and new religious movements. Her work in this field has led her to study UFOs, or what we now call Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP), about which she has written two books: American Cosmic and Encounters, both of which form the basis for much of this conversation. In the first hour of their conversation, Pasulka and Kofinas discuss why so many people with reputable track records and prestigious positions in academia, government, and the private sector have devoted and continue to devote their lives to investigating this phenomenon. They also discuss what it is that is being alleged by people who claim to have knowledge of the UAP and UFO phenomenon and what sorts of explanations make sense in the context of what we know to be true today. The second hour of their conversation is devoted to answering two fundamental questions. The first has to do with the nature and operational structure of government. Specifically, how is it that the United States Congress—the most powerful legislative body in the world—has been unable to get the answers to basic questions about secret UAP programs allegedly run out of government agencies and military contractors? Second, if some of what is discussed in the first hour is true, what else must be true, and what underlying assumptions about the world, our perception of it, and our place in it need to be re-evaluated or discarded altogether? You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, including Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/08/2023
12/11/202352 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Elites Don’t Understand About America | Rudy Havenstein

In Episode 342 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Rudy Havenstein, the owner and operator of a satirical Twitter account that regularly mocks Western policymakers and politicians for their endless wars, corporate bailouts, and tone-deaf public statements about the economy, American foreign policy, and the state of American democracy. Demetri asked Rudy on the podcast in order to understand what he feels has gone wrong in America and what it would take for voters like him to feel that the country is moving in the right direction. This conversation is meant to be accessible to anyone, irrespective of your beliefs, preconceptions, or pre-existing knowledge about the subjects that Kofinas and Havenstein explore in this episode. The first hour is devoted to understanding Rudy’s perspective, how he grew up, his experience of America as a young man in the 1960s and 70s, how the country has changed in the intervening decades, and what his central grievances are against the ruling class and the government in Washington. In the second hour, Rudy and Demetri discuss how those who care about the future of American and Western democracy can engage constructively in solutions that move the country forward. What is the story that we need to tell ourselves about who we are and what we’re capable of that will help bring this country together during one of the most precarious times in our history?  You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, including Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces, you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/01/2023
12/7/202352 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Who Makes The Rules In The Digital Gilded Age? | Tom Wheeler

In Episode 341 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Tom Wheeler, the former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the author of the recently published book “Techlash: Who Makes the Rules in the Digital Gilded Age?” Wheeler and Kofinas spend the first hour of their conversation discussing Tom’s time leading the FCC, what he learned during his time there  about the policy-making process and the challenges of regulating Big Tech, how industrial era regulations and agencies are ill-suited for overseeing today’s 21st century digital economy, and what’s at stake if we don’t get it right. In the second hour of their conversation, Tom and Demetri get into specific policy and regulatory proposals for dealing with both social media and artificial intelligence by challenging some of the false dichotomies and tribal biases that have dominated this conversation in recent years. They look at ways of incentivizing social media platforms to produce better quality information that reduces the incidence of costly externalities like rising rates of anxiety and depression among children, while cutting across political and ideological lines. Tom Wheeler also discusses President Joe Biden’s recently signed executive order on AI and the challenges of regulating this profoundly disruptive and potentially dangerous new technology. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/27/2023
12/4/202355 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

Reflections on Life, Markets, & Investing | Zach Abraham

In Episode 340 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Zach Abraham, the Principal and Chief Investment Officer of Bulwark Capital Management and the host of the Know Your Risk Radio Program. Zach and Demetri spend the first hour of their conversation discussing Zach’s approach to investing, where he thinks we are in the economic cycle, and why he believes we continue to see a disconnect between underlying economic fundamentals and asset prices. In the second hour, Demetri and Zach reflect on the economic, political, and cultural changes that they’ve experienced in their lives, how these changes reflect (and are reflected in) some of the policy choices that have led us to this point in developed countries, how these changes affect Zach’s economic outlook, and how they inform his philosophy as an investor, a parent, and a citizen. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/22/2023
11/27/202355 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Happened at OpenAI & Why It Matters | Nathaniel Whittemore

In Episode 339 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Nathaniel Whittemore, host of the AI Breakdown for a timely conversation about the latest news surrounding the firing of OpenAI’s CEO and co-founder Sam Altman. This was recorded on Monday, November 20th as a Live Q&A for members of our Genius community that we opened up to our newsletter subscribers. Nathaniel and Demetri discussed what is known thus far about the reasons behind Sam Altman’s firing, why it’s being described as a "coup," who the various factions are, and how much of this has to do with concerns around AI safety vs. accelerationism. We also discuss the opportunity this creates for OpenAI’s largest shareholder (Microsoft), the implications for the AI industry, as well as the largest players in the space for AI foundation models, and much, much more. You can subscribe to our free newsletter at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/.  If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can do that at https://hiddenforces.io/subscribe/. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/20/2023
11/21/202352 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

American Grand Strategy & the Logic of War | Edward Luttwak

In Episode 338 of Hidden Forces, speaks with Dr. Edward Luttwak about American grand strategy and the logic of war. Dr. Luttwak is an author and consultant to governments and companies around the world and is known for his work on grand strategy, military strategy and history, and international relations. Luttwak and Kofinas spend the first hour of their conversation discussing the logic of war and the dimensions of strategy, how the nature of a nation state’s political system influences its grand strategic objectives, and what American grand strategy is and should be given the strategic challenges the United States faces in the 21st century. In the second hour, the conversation shifts to China given U.S. President Biden’s and Xi Jinping’s recent in-person meeting at the APEC summit in San Francisco. Edward Luttwak explains why he believes that it would be a very bad idea if China attempted to take Taiwan by force, how it would find itself at war with the United States and an assortment of regional and international allies, why it would lose that war, and why that still won’t deter Xi Jinping from trying to retake the island by force. The two also discuss the implications of China’s nearly three decade-long one-child policy for its military readiness and what Beijing’s push to increase domestic grain production as part of its initiative to promote food security (even at the expense of long-standing efforts to reforest the country) can tell us about Xi Jinping’s desire to ready the country for war. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/15/2023
11/20/202356 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Leadership and the Longing to Belong | Jerry Colonna

In Episode 337 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jerry Colonna, the co-founder and CEO of the executive coaching and leadership development company Reboot, the host of the Reboot Podcast, and the author of the recently published book “Reunion: Leadership and the Longing to Belong.” Demetri got to know Jerry during their first interview together after the publication of Jerry’s last book on the subject of leadership and the art of growing up, in which he explained how the lessons of leadership are at their core, lessons in humanity—that the process of becoming a better leader and the radical self-inquiry that it requires, ultimately makes us better human beings. In their second conversation together and in his latest book Reunion, Jerry Colonna builds on those insights to help us move beyond the inner world of becoming better humans toward the outer worlds of inclusion and belonging that seem to be missing in so many people’s lives and in our world today. In their second conversation together and in his latest book Reunion, Jerry builds on those insights to help us move beyond the inner world of becoming better humans toward the outer world of creating the kind of inclusion and belonging that seem to be missing in so many people’s lives and in our world today.  You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe and Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/06/2023
11/13/202357 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Artificial Intelligence and the Containment Problem | Mustafa Suleyman

In Episode 336 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Google DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman about the containment problem and the AI dilemma that he outlines in his book, “The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-first Century's Greatest Dilemma." Mustafa Suleyman and Demetri discuss the rapid advancement and proliferation of Artificial Intelligence and Synthetic Biology, why this revolution is going to be fundamentally different from past periods of rapid technological change, and what can be done to solve the containment problem and prevent some of the more catastrophic outcomes from occurring, while still reaping the benefits of this next wave of innovation. The first hour of this episode is spent exploring how these AI systems work, how they learn, and how they perceive the world, as well as why they are so difficult to contain. And yet, we need to contain them if we want to avoid some of the more catastrophic outcomes like synthetically engineered pandemics, pandemics of public confusion that undermine our sense of reality, and moves toward totalitarianism or civilization-ending anarchy. In the second hour, Kofinas and Suleyman discuss various versions of what success and failure might look like and what we can do as a society to help move us closer toward the future that we want and away from dystopian nightmares that we’ve all seen depicted in some of the most famous movies of the last half-century.  You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/23/2023
11/6/202352 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

How to Think About This Political Moment | Marshall Kosloff

In Episode 335 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Marshall Kosloff. Marshall is the host of The Realignment and Arsenal of Democracy podcasts and is a media fellow at Hudson Institute. Marshall and Demetri spend the first hour applying Marshall’s realignment framework to U.S. foreign policy in light of the recent developments in Israel and the potential for a destabilizing regional war with Iran. In the second hour, they discuss Artificial Intelligence (AI) and social media regulation, the 2024 election, and the risk that we may be sleepwalking into a new world war that would devastate the global economy and put people’s lives at risk in ways that we haven’t experienced since the late 1930s and 1940s. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. You can listen to The Realignment here and Arsenal of Democracy here.  If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/30/2023
11/2/202356 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mounting Risk of a New World War | Walter Russell Mead

In Episode 334 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with famed historian of American Foreign policy Walter Russell Mead about the evolving war in the Middle East and why we are living through the most dangerous period in international affairs since the 1930s. Professor Mead is a Distinguished Fellow in Strategy and Statesmanship at the Hudson Institute, the Global View Columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and the James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College in New York. How have we found ourselves on the cusp of another war in the Middle East when the Biden administration’s explicit goal coming into office in 2020 was to get the United States out of this region so it could focus on China? This is the question that Mead and Kofinas look to answer in the first hour of their conversation. They also discuss the historical parallels and differences between the present moment and previous periods of immense danger in the international system, the apocalyptic strain in American politics and foreign policy, and how political ideology and the culture war inform people’s opinions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the escalating war in Gaza. In the second hour, Walter Russell Mead speculates about how international events may evolve, the possibility of outright collusion among America’s adversaries, as well as further avenues of escalation that could lead to direct U.S. involvement in Israel’s war against Hamas. The two also discuss how the war in Ukraine, as well as Chinese military provocations in the Pacific factor into American policy in the Middle East, why U.S. adversaries no longer seem deterred by American power, and what can be done to change that before it’s too late. You can subscribe to our premium content and access our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/26/2023
10/30/202357 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

How America Broke Its War Machine | Michael Brenes

In Episode 333 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Brenes, the Director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale University who recently authored an article for Foreign Affairs about the U.S. defense industrial base titled “How America Broke Its War Machine.” Michael and Demetri discuss the state of the U.S. defense industrial base, American military readiness, and the effect that great-power competition and the expansion and scope of U.S. military involvement in active conflicts overseas could have on the nation’s political stability. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/17/2023
10/23/202355 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Iran's Role in the Hamas Attacks & Implications for the United States | Kamran Bokhari

In Episode 332 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with geopolitical analyst and forecaster Kamran Bokhari. Kamran is the Senior Director of the Eurasian Security & Prosperity Portfolio at the New Lines Institute for Strategy & Policy and has served at the U.S. State Department and as a Senior Consultant with the World Bank. The subjects of today’s conversation concern the escalating violence ignited by last weekend’s brutal attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas, as well as the Israeli Defense Forces’ ongoing counteroffensive and bombing of the Gaza Strip. Kamran and Demetri spend the first hour of their conversation discussing the attacks, what we know about their original scope and intention, what role Iran may have played in helping plan the attacks, and whether or not we can expect Hezbollah to open a second front of attack in the north of Israel, as well as other potential pathways of escalation that could rope in the United States and turn this into a larger, regional conflict. In the second hour, Bokhari and Kofinas look at how the events transpiring in the Middle East fit into the story that Demetri has been telling on this podcast for years about the fragmentation of the liberal rules-based international order and the emergence of a new multipolarity where nation states will seek to resolve long-standing border or ethnic disputes by force as everyone jostles to reposition themselves favorably ahead of the emergence of a new status quo. What this means for the future of Israel, Iran, Turkey, China, Russia, and the United States, is all part of that discussion. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/15/2023
10/16/202355 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

What the Bond Sell-off Means for Investors | Andy Constan & Mike Green

In Episode 331 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Andy Constan and Mike Green after a week of turmoil in the bond market that saw a dramatic repricing of long-term government debt, raising debt servicing costs for the US government and sending yields on 10-year Treasury bonds to nearly 5%. Demetri, Andy, and Mike spend the first hour of their conversation trying to make sense of the recent sell-off, as well as what the implications of these higher long-term interest rates will be for the economy and asset markets. The second hour is dedicated to discussing the risk-reward calculus for investors who are trying to decide whether or not they want to use this opportunity to add bonds to their portfolios, in what amount, over what duration, and what the risks and opportunities are of doing so given the continued uncertainty about the direction of interest rates and inflation. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/06/2023
10/10/202352 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Rise of the New Right & the Battle for America in 2024 | Henry Olsen

In Episode 330 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Henry Olsen, author of “Working Class Republican” and “The Four Faces of the Republican Party,” about where the United States and other western democratic countries find themselves politically today, the sources of populism’s broad, international appeal, and why he believes that we are living through the kind of political realignment that hasn’t happened for almost a century. Henry is also a columnist for the Washington post and the host of the weekly podcast “Beyond the Polls” where he speaks with leading political journalists and analysts about American politics and its presidential and congressional races. Demetri and Henry spend the first hour of their conversation discussing the history of democratic politics and how we got to where are today where so many Americans and others Westerners no longer feel at home in their own parties and increasingly feel like their countries and the people who govern them are unresponsive to their needs, incompetent or corrupt in their exercise of power, and do not seem to share their most fundamental values when comes to the protection of personal freedoms, the exercise of civic responsibility, and the role of government in society. The second hour is devoted to American electoral politics, specifically the 2024 elections, whether or not we are going to see a rematch of Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden, whether Trump will be able to campaign while also fighting several ongoing lawsuits, what it would take for someone in the Republican Primary—a Ron DeSantis or Vivek Ramaswamy—to take the nomination from him, what impact a third party candidate like RFK Jr. could have on the race, and what happens if Trump actually wins. What does the country look like in that scenario? Is the “Deep State” even going to let him take office? Will he be able to exercise power and if he does, is he going to go after his political enemies with same commitment and vitriol that they have gone after him, and what does that mean for the viability of American democracy? You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/03/2023
10/9/20231 hour, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

U.S. Semiconductor Export Controls On China Are Failing | Dylan Patel

In Episode 329 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Dylan Patel, a semiconductor and A.I. analyst and the founder of boutique Semiconductor research and consulting firm SemiAnalysis, about how U.S. semiconductor export controls are failing and what the U.S. can do about it. Dylan and Demetri spend the first hour of their conversation going over Huawei’s groundbreaking new Kirin 9000s chipset produced by Chinese semiconductor foundry SMIC and what it tells us about the progress that China’s domestic chip industry has made in the year since the U.S. Commerce Department implemented a series of targeted updates to its semiconductor industry export controls. This also includes a discussion about the military and commercial implications of China’s progress for America’s strategic competition with the People’s Republic. In the second hour, Kofinas and Patel focus their attention on how exactly China’s domestic chip industry has managed to make so much progress despite the stated goals of the U.S. Commerce Department, what can be done to strengthen the existing export controls that are already in place, and what additional measures can be taken to complement those efforts that strengthen America’s own semiconductor industry and that incentivize a rebuild of American industry and society for the 21st century. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/28/2023
10/4/202352 minutes
Episode Artwork

The New Geopolitics of Global Finance | Brad Setser

In Episode 328 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Brad Setser, the Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations where he specializes in global trade and capital flows, financial vulnerability analysis, and sovereign debt restructuring. Brad has also served in multiple Democrat administrations as a senior advisor to the U.S. Trade Representative, as deputy assistant secretary for international economic analysis at the U.S. Treasury Department, and as a director for international economics on the staff of the National Economic and the National Security Councils. Brad and Demetri spend the first hour of their conversation discussing what Brad has described as “the new geopolitics of global finance,” how the political and national security assumptions and priorities that were taken for granted during the unipolar period are undergoing a series of transformations, and how these transformations are increasingly informing economic policymaking and driving changes in the global economy and financial markets. In the second hour, they focus our attention on China’s economy, what a viable macroeconomic equilibrium could look like for China given its extraordinarily high savings rate and export-driven growth model, and whether the country can continue to grow without making significant reforms that would increase domestic consumption and reduce the country’s structurally high current account surpluses. They also discuss the state of the German economy, the growth of China’s export market for electric vehicles, the progress that’s been made to de-risk supply chains, industrial policy in the United States and Europe, and much more. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/26/2023
10/2/20231 hour, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tech, Military, & Economic Drivers of US-China Competition | Diana Choyleva

In Episode 327 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Diana Choyleva in what was originally recorded as a live Q&A for members of our Genius Community. The subject of the Q&A is the latest state of US-China relations with an emphasis on some of the most recent headlines related Huawei’s latest 5G phone with its domestically produced 7nm chip, China’s naval exercises in the pacific, as well as some of ongoing headlines around the state of its economy. During the introduction, Demetri makes the case for why China’s rise poses a threat to the liberal world and why our response to that threat needs to be situated within a larger political and economic movement that reconstitutes civic power in the democratic institutions of government which are the birthright of every American. Diana Choyleva has been kind enough to offer Hidden Forces listeners a discount to her Enodo Economics course on US-China relations, which explores many of the issues that we tackle in today’s Q&A and that provides a roadmap for anyone trying to understand the deeper drivers of the US-China decoupling and its geopolitical, technological, and economic ramifications. Use the discount code “HIDDENFORCES30” at checkout to get 30% off the entry price. If you want to become a member of the Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can do that on our subscriber page at HiddenForces.io/Subscribe. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/20/2023
9/25/20231 hour, 1 minute, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Could America Lose a War Against China Over Taiwan? | Alex Velez-Green

In Episode 326 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Alex Velez-Green, the fmr. National Security Advisor to U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, who helped staff the senator on the Armed Services Committee and advised him on matters related to strengthening deterrence against China, including U.S. conventional and nuclear force structure and posture. Alex and Demetri discuss the perilous situation in which the U.S. now finds itself in the Pacific, how it got here, and what is required to ready the U.S. military for a war against China in the next few years, and if we are lucky, deter it altogether. The first hour of their conversation is dedicated to a discussion about the serious risks that the United States military currently faces in the pacific and why there is a real chance that the People’s Liberation Army will be able to defeat U.S. forces in a fight over Taiwan. This includes a discussion about Chinese intentions and the advancements that China’s military has made in the last several years, the consequences of losing a confrontation with China over Taiwan, and America’s ability to contain China once it has broken through the first island chain. In the second hour, Velez-Green and Kofinas assess the state of America’s defense industrial base, what is being done to restock critical weapon systems and munitions, and how long it will take before the U.S. can feel confident in its ability to sustain a protracted war against China. In this context, they also discuss trade-offs between continuing to provide arms to Ukraine and delivering those same weapons systems and munitions to Taiwan in an effort to deter a Chinese invasion. They end the episode by reflecting on the legacy of foreign policy failures that have led to this moment, how we got here, and what needs to happen in order for the United States to prevail in what is likely to be the greatest national challenge the nation has faced since World War II. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/14/2023
9/18/202355 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Reflections on Current Affairs & the Need for Frameworks

This is the first in a special series of episodes dedicated to exploring Demetri’s frameworks and ideas about the most consequential forces shaping our lives and the world around us.  You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/12/2023
9/15/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dollar Doomerism & Why Things Are Better Than You Think | Michael Nicoletos

In Episode 325 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Nicoletos, the founder and CEO of DeFi Advisors, an independent investment advisory firm specializing in macro and digital assets. Michael and Demetri spend the first twenty minutes discussing Michael’s biography, including his time living and working in the United States. What that experience taught him about the country’s capacity for change and why its embrace of failure is critical to America’s continual economic, cultural, and political renewal is also part of that conversation. The rest of the first hour is spent discussing something that Michael and Demetri often talk about in private: Dollar Doomerism—the perennial anxiety, particularly prevalent in American circles and among American media pundits that the United States Dollar is on the precipice of some kind of collapse or devaluation. The sources of this doomerism, its merits, and what proponents of this view seem to get consistently wrong is what they spend the rest of the first hour discussing. This also leads to a conversation about the Euro and a potential BRICS currency, as well as a discussion about the long-term direction for interest rates and inflation. In the second hour, Michael and Demetri focus mainly on geopolitics, including the national security challenges facing European member states over the war in Ukraine, as well as US preparations for a war over Taiwan, and how both of these dynamics are impacting and being impacted by a resurgence in American isolationism. The two also discuss the state of China’s economy, the need to rebalance the power dynamic between labor and capital, and why there are reasons to be hopeful about the future. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/05/2023
9/11/202352 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Perennials & the Post-Generational Society | Mauro Guillen

In Episode 324 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Mauro Guillen, a Professor of Multinational Management and Vice Dean of the Executive MBA Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mauro combines his training as a sociologist and his experience as a business economist to identify and quantify the most promising opportunities at the intersection of demographic, economic, and technological developments. His book “2030” was an instant bestseller and he joins me today to discuss the insights and arguments that he puts forward in his latest book “The Perennials” about the Megatrends creating what he calls “a Postgenerational Society.” In this conversation, Mauro and I explore the sweeping demographic and technology-driven changes that we are only now just beginning to experience and why he believes that these changes are creating a new “post-generational workforce” that will liberate people from the constraints of the sequential model of life that has defined industrial and post-industrial society for centuries. We discuss how this generational revolution will impact young people just entering the workforce as well as those who are living and working into their 70s, 80s, and even longer. We discuss how these changes will impact our pension, healthcare, and educational systems, our politics, the mental health of our fellow citizens, family structures, and much more.   You can find related podcasts to this one on this week’s episode at HiddenForces.io, where you can also access our premium content, including transcripts, and intelligence reports, by joining one of our three content tiers. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed which you can listen to using your favorite podcast app just like you are listening to this episode right now. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 08/15/2023
8/21/202345 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

How the US Government Will Force Banks to Fund the Deficit | Charles Calomiris

In Episode 323 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with the former Chief Economist at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Director of the Center for Politics, Economics, and History at the University of Texas at Austin, Charles Calomiris about his recently published paper “Fiscal Dominance and the Return of Zero-Interest Bank Reserve Requirements.” In the paper, Dr. Calomiris considers the possibility that the United States government will enact new and more onerous forms of financial repression, including commandeering the US banking system to fund unsustainably high debt and deficit payments that would otherwise lead to a sovereign debt crisis. In the first hour, Calomiris and Kofinas discuss the history of US bank policy and the unique characteristics of the American political economy that inform how the nation responds to political crises and the populist temptation to resolve them through the US banking system. The second hour is devoted to a discussion about when and how such measures will be taken to resolve an impending fiscal debt crisis that professor Calomiris believes is inevitable. They discuss what the signposts for such an impending crisis could be, the tradeoffs that an economy operating under the conditions of fiscal dominance would have to make, how such a period of fiscal dominance could end (i.e., either through a prolonged period of double-digit inflation or a full-blown debt crisis), and what role fintech, crypto, and other forms of decentralized finance will play in such an economy given the government’s need to fund itself without losing complete control over inflation. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 08/09/2023
8/14/202358 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Worst (Or Possibly Best) Investment Podcast EVER | Le Shrub

In Episode 322 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with someone he has gotten to know mainly by following his anonymous account on Twitter where he goes by the name Shrubbery Capital or Le Shrub, for short. Le Shrub consistently provides some of the most entertaining and clever market commentary you will find anywhere and Demetri could not resist the opportunity to have him on the podcast, especially given the fact that this conversation was conducted in person. The two spend most of the first hour discussing Le Shrub’s background, his investment philosophy, and his process for coming up with new trade ideas, as well as his experience shorting the housing market in 2008 as part of a famous team known for doing “The Big Short.” What he learned from that experience and how it applies to today’s markets is also part of that conversation. The rest of the episode including the second hour is a deep dive into many of the topics that are top of mind right now for investors and policymakers alike. Demetri and his guest discuss the divergence between bonds and equities, the bull and bear cases for commodities, the fate of emerging markets, the bull and bear cases for different European economies, China, gold, the US Dollar, and of course, no conversation is complete today without a discussion about the investment implications of A.I., and yes, Aliens. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/27/2023
8/3/202351 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Fourth Turning Is Here: Our Great National Challenge | Neil Howe

In Episode 321 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with bestselling author, renowned historian, economist, and theorist of generational change, Neil Howe. Twenty-five years ago, Neil and his late co-author William Strauss put forward a provocative new theory of American history. Looking back over the last 500 years, they’d uncovered a distinct pattern: modern history moves in cycles, each one lasting roughly 80 to 100 years, with each composed of four eras—or “turnings”—that always arrive in the same order and each last about 25 years. The last of these eras is always the most perilous. It’s a period of civic upheaval and national mobilization as traumatic and transformative as the New Deal and World War II, the Civil War, or the American Revolution. The authors called it the Fourth Turning, and Neil joins us today to explain why he thinks that the fourth turning has finally arrived, what it means for those of us living during this period, and how his theory of generational change can help us navigate it with courage, competency, and a new-found sense of resiliency that may seem unimaginable to us today. Howe and Kofinas spend the first hour of their conversation laying the foundation for his theory, discussing the four different seasons of the saecula, as well as the four different generations that propel it forward. They spend the second hour applying that framework to the Fourth Turning itself, discussing what it would take to consolidate our society, what an existential threat to our nation’s survival will look and feel like, and what we can do to prepare ourselves for this great national challenge that will draw all other problems into it and require the extraordinary mobilization of most Americans. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/24/2023
7/27/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Confidence Determines the Choices We Make | Peter Atwater

In Episode 320 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Peter Atwater, a recognized expert on the impact of confidence on individual and group decision-making, which he examines in his book, “The Confidence Map: Charting a Path From Chaos to Clarity.” In today’s conversation, you are going to learn about the hidden role that confidence plays in the choices we make, and why events that are often described as being unprecedented are more often than not entirely predictable if we know what to look for. In the first hour, Atwater and Kofinas go through the framework that Peter has put forward in his book—what he calls the confidence quadrant. In the second hour, the two apply this framework to both the world at large, as well as to our own lives by examining what we can do to be better prepared for the inevitable crises that come with living a human life. What are the steps that we can we take when facing an overwhelming challenge—when we are deep inside what Peter calls “the stress center”—to alleviate some of its symptoms and help us make better decisions on our way to higher ground? You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/19/2023
7/24/202350 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

You Will Own Nothing: Your War with a New Financial World Order | Carol Roth

In Episode 319 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Carol Roth, the author of “You Will Own Nothing: Your War with a New Financial World Order and How to Fight Back.” The argument that Carol makes in the book is that we are on the precipice of a new financial world order, one that will fundamentally change the fortunes of hundreds of millions if not billions of people across the western world. How this new financial world order is being brought about and the role being played by international organizations, governments, and multinational corporations in facilitating it forms a large part of today’s conversation. Carol and Demetri devote the second part of the episode to examining the deeper technological, socio-cultural, and spiritual forces that are driving peoples awakening. They discuss how to differentiate betwen the fear-mongering misdirection of many media entrepreneurs and other, more credible sources of information, as well as what we can do to fight back by regaining control over our finances, over our lives, and over the narratives that define our reality. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/10/2023
7/13/202356 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

The New Political-Economy | Russell Napier, Edward Chancellor, & Helen Thompson

In Episode 318 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with political and financial historians Edward Chancellor, Russell Napier, and Helen Thompson. All three have appeared individually on the podcast before and joined Demetri ahead of his latest Genius community dinner in London to discuss the changing nature of the international economic and political order. Many of the material changes we are experiencing today are driven by the reversal of multi-decade trends in demographics, globalization, and low-cost, carbon-based energy sources. The ripple effects of these changes on inflation, risk rates, wealth & income distribution, national security, and the ruling legitimacy of national governments are already starting to materialize. Learning to navigate these changes is crucial if you want to remain ahead of the curve. Today’s conversation is meant to help you do just that. The episode’s second hour begins with a discussion about the energy transition and its geostrategic consequences for resource-rich countries like the US and Russia, for countries that are heavily dependent on energy imports like those in the European Union, and for China, which is investing enormous sums of money into renewables and other, non-carbon-based sources of energy. The panel also discusses the possibility of a rapprochement between the US, Europe, and Russia, avenues for peace between the US and China, and some of the industries and sectors that are positioned to benefit, as well as those that you will want to avoid in this new economic and political paradigm. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 06/29/2023
7/3/202349 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

White Sun War: The Campaign for Taiwan | General Mick Ryan

In Episode 317 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with General Mick Ryan. Mick Ryan is an author, strategist, and retired major general who has commanded at multiple levels in the Australian Army and served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and East Timor. After decades of brinkmanship and confrontation, the United States and China finally go to war when China invades the island of Taiwan. This is the premise that General Mick Ryan explores in his latest book “White Sun War: The Campaign for Tawain.” In an era when humans no longer just use machines but partner with them in all aspects of military operations, this fictional account views this future war through the eyes of the Americans, Chinese, and Taiwanese caught up in the maelstrom, revealing the heartbreak, courage, leadership, and despair of high-tech warfare played out on land, at sea, in space, and in cyberspace. Mick Ryan and Demetri discuss some of the various scenarios by which the PLA might begin such a campaign, the base estimates for casualties that could stem from such a conflict, the exploitability of our internal division, the unique importance of Japan, its navy, and its bases in any defense of the island, the capacity of the US industrial base to sustain such a conflict, and much more. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on  06/19/2023
6/26/202347 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

What the Fed’s Rate Decision Will Mean for Markets | Andy Constan

In Episode 316 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Andy Constan about this week’s FOMC meeting and what the Federal Reserve rate decision could signal about the direction of interest rates, inflation, and economic growth. Will it be heralded as the long anticipate Fed pivot or seen as yet another head fake on our way toward “higher for longer,” serving as a drag on equity valuations and a headwind to economic growth? Because Andy’s analysis is largely quantitative and flows based, he looks at not only what policymakers and investors are saying, but also what they’re doing, what they’re buying, and how they’re buying it. This holds important information for the direction of bond prices, equities (and other risk asset), inflation, and economic growth, all of which Constan and Kofinas discuss in the second part of their conversation. The two also run through different scenarios surrounding the Federal Reserve rate decision, the significance of Janet Yellen’s decision to refill the Treasury General Account (TGA) using largely T-Bill issuance as opposed to longer duration bonds, and why the long-anticipated recession has failed to materialize despite the most aggressive interest rate increases in 40 years. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 06/13/2023
6/14/202356 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why You Should Care About Turkey’s Elections | Nicholas Danforth & Amberin Zaman

In Episode 315 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas is joined by Nicholas Danforth and Amberin Zaman to discuss the significance of the recent elections in Turkey for Turkish politics, the country’s complex relationship with its neighbors and allies in Europe and the United States, and for the Turkish economy, which has been teetering on the edge of a balance of payments crisis with no easy solution in sight. While much ink has been spilled by Western press outlets covering the recent elections, many of the stories have lacked a larger context for why Turkey’s elections matter for people outside of the country. Danforth and Zama attempt to answer this question in the first hour of today’s episode and devote the second part of their conversation to a discussion about Turkey’s political future, its orientation toward the West, and what, if anything the United States can do to improve relations with Ankara. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/30/2023
6/5/202352 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

America’s New Religions & the Cult of Self-Making | Tara Isabella Burton

In Episode 314 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with novelist, sociologist, and theologian Tara Isabella Burton about America’s new religions, the evolution of the self in contemporary culture, and what it all means for the future of Western society. Tara Isabella Burton’s writings about religion and culture provide some of the sharpest, most insightful commentary about contemporary life that you will find anywhere. Her two most recent books explore the revival of religious practices and the evolution of what she calls self-making (i.e., the increased focus on oneself and one’s own experiences as the focal point of human experience) in Western society. Her insights are nothing short of revelatory. In their conversation, Tara and Demetri discuss three different manifestations of religion that Burton has identified: (1) social justice culture, (2) techno-utopianism, (3) and what she calls “right-wing atavism,” an ideology whose more extreme elements combine nostalgia for proto-humanity with a sort of black-pilled nihilism that rejects both contemporary progressive society and any possibility of meaningfully escaping from it. While the first hour of their conversation is dedicated to exploring these themes it isn’t until the second hour that Demetri and Tara Isabella Burton begin to discuss their implications for contemporary life and for the durability of our institutions in the face of social and political upheaval. What our response to these changes should be and why there are reasons to be hopeful form an important part of that discussion. If you want to listen to that part of the conversation you can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/22/2023
5/29/202359 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Is the Recession Taking So Long to Show Up? | Bob Elliott

In Episode 313 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Bob Elliott, the co-founder and CEO of Unlimited, a financial services firm that uses machine learning to create products that replicate the index returns of alternative investments. Demetri asked Bob onto the podcast to help sort through the noise of this latest financial news cycle as it pertains to the debt ceiling debate, regional bank stocks, the Fed’s fight against inflation, and where we find ourselves in the economic cycle. Many have been surprised by how long it’s taken for an economic recession to materialize given the speed and extent of the Federal Reserve’s rate rises. Demetri and Bob discuss what might explain this and what it means for investors if supply-side factors to the economy make combating inflation difficult for the Fed to do without undermining the economy’s ability to supply the capital needed ameliorate it. This episode is an excellent overview of where we find ourselves today and provides an especially useful framework for thinking about the important issues facing the economy and markets over the next six months to twelve months. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/15/2023
5/18/20231 hour, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Generational Differences Tell Us About the Future | Jean Twenge

In Episode 312 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofians speaks with Jean Twenge, a researcher and professor of psychology who has written extensively about generational differences. Jean Twenge explains what we know about every generation born since 1925, arguing that the strongest candidate for explaining generational change is advancements in technology. Twenge spends the first hour discussing what we know about changes in fertility rates, political affiliation, income, wealth, sexuality, gender norms, attitudes toward life, mental health, and much more. The episode’s second hour is devoted to understanding Millennials and Generation Z. Jean and Demetri discuss how each of these generations is unique, what explains these differences, and what can be extrapolated about future economic, political, and other sociological trends by looking at the data. This conversation is relevant to anyone, whether you work in politics, manage money, or are trying to identify future economic opportunities informed by changes in consumer behavior. It also provides an opportunity to reflect on not only the differences between generations but also on what each generation has in common, which is more than you might initially expect. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/09/2023
5/15/202353 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Origins of the Ukraine War & What Comes Next | Serhii Plokhy

In Episode 311 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Serhii Plokhy, the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University and a leading authority on Ukraine, Russia, and Eastern Europe. Plokhii has published extensively on the international history of World War II and the Cold War and he joins Demetri to discuss the subject of his latest book on the Russo-Ukrainian war and the return of history. This is a conversation about national identity, the disintegration of empires, and what will follow from the largest European land war since WWII. How will the Ukraine war's outcome inform the evolution of the international order? And what are the most compelling theories that explain Putin’s decision to invade in the first place? Was it to build a ‘greater Russia’ as some of his detractors have claimed or did Moscow face legitimate security concerns from NATO enlargement that on their own can explain the course of events? The answer to this last question holds important lessons about the future of European security and US policy toward China, which is what Demetri and professor Plokhy spend part of the second hour discussing. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/28/2023
5/8/202346 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

“We’re Gonna Get Those Bastards!” | Jared Dillian

In Episode 310 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with writer and author Jared Dillian in what was originally aired as a Live Q&A for members of the Hidden Forces Genius Community. Jared is the editor of The Daily Dirtnap, a daily market newsletter for investment professionals focused on gauging and capitalizing on changes in market sentiment. He’s also the author of several successful books including his most recent, “We’re Gonna Get Those Bastards,” which is about everything that is depraved, especially finance, culture, music, and sex. This conversation ranges from discussions about market psychology, national security, and politics to things like how to handle financial success, how to use Twitter with integrity, and even what happens to us when we die. If you want to join in on these conversations in the future and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes regular Q&A calls like this one, access to special research and analysis provided by our contributors, in-person events, and dinners like our upcoming one in London on June 29th, you can do that at HiddenForces.io/subscribe and if you still have questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected] and Demetri or someone from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/20/2023
5/1/20231 hour, 18 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Understanding the Hoax of the Century | Jacob Siegel

In Episode 309 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jacob Siegel, a senior editor at Tablet magazine and the author of a widely shared article about disinformation titled, “A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century.” The ‘hoax’ according to Siegel is the information war itself, which he believes conflates the anti-establishment politics of domestic populists with acts of war by foreign enemies turning the American people into targets of the US government and its intelligence agencies. Demetri and Jacob spend the first hour of their conversation trying to wrap their arms around this sprawling leviathan of public and private surveillance that has left so many of us feeling increasingly disoriented and vulnerable to being manipulated and controlled. They discuss what disinformation is, what it isn’t, and how the information ecosystem has become a battlefield for narrative warfare and mass psychological operations conducted against civilians across Western countries. In the second hour, Siegel and Kofinas debate what can be done to solve the problem. Demetri is of the view that we can and should regulate the large tech platforms by introducing governing incentives, epistemic objectives, and non-partisan transparency that can produce higher quality information and while also being more conducive to consensus building. Jacob shares his views, which in some instances differ from Demetri’s in what was a spirited debate and lively conversation. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/17/2023
4/24/202350 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Disrupting the Battlefield: How Venture Capital is Changing Modern Warfare | Josh Wolfe

In Episode 308 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Josh Wolfe, co-founder and managing partner at Lux Capital about the state of venture investing and how venture capital is disrupting the battlefield and changing the nature of warfare. Josh and Demetri spend the first hour of their conversation discussing the rise of narrative warfare and how social media, synthetic media, and historically high levels of public distrust in government and mainstream media institutions have made the problem worse. They discuss potential solutions to this problem and what individuals can do to become more discerning consumers of information and better at identifying misleading narratives. In the second hour, Demetri and Josh discuss the state of venture capital investing, the opportunities, challenges, and risks posed by artificial intelligence, and how the venture community and the portfolio companies of firms like Lux Capital are disrupting the defense industry. This includes a detailed discussion about the future of warfare, automation on the battlefield, the role of artificial intelligence in military planning, the geostrategic competition with China, the militarization of space, and much more. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/11/2023
4/17/202355 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

How to Think About the Current Moment in A.I. | John Borthwick

In Episode 307 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with the founder and CEO of Betaworks, John Borthwick about the current moment in artificial intelligence. In John’s first appearance on the podcast in 2017, Demetri and he spoke about the challenges and opportunities present in the field of A.I. and how we could progress technologically into an immersive future of superintelligence and simulation without losing touch with our humanity. The incredibly rapid adoption of ChatGPT has caused both Demetri and John to revisit these questions and whether that immersive future that they spoke about then has finally arrived. How we would even know if it has and what the appropriate response to the current moment is for the public, for companies investing in this technology, and for governments seeking to regulate and exploit it is the subject of the episode’s second hour, which is available to premium subscribers. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/06/2023
4/10/202358 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Engineering Society and the Human Experience | Michael Sacasas

In Episode 306 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Sacasas. Michael is the executive director of the Christian Study Center in Gainesville Florida and the author of The Convivial Society, a widely read newsletter about technology, culture, and the moral life. Demetri and Michael discuss how we are engineering society and the human experience in ways that could have irreversible effects on humanity’s future. Many of you may be wondering if this conversation is about A.I. Not necessarily. Advancements in artificial intelligence may very well prove to be the catalysts, but if so then A.I. is just the apotheosis of trends that have been in place for decades if not longer, and which are changing the nature of our lives, our societies, and our politics in ways that are not necessarily desirable. Some of these trends threaten the values and traditions that we associate most strongly with human civilization and the flourishing of the natural world. And many of us feel the urge to “do something” to alter our trajectory, but what is to be done? Besides understanding the nature of these trends and the technological and social structures bringing them about what can we do to effectuate positive change and on what scale we can hope to make a difference? This is the central focus of today’s conversation. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/03/2023
4/6/20231 hour, 25 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Threats to US Dollar Hegemony | Daniel McDowell

In Episode 305 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Daniel McDowell, the author of “Bucking the Buck,” a timely new book that seeks to establish a clear relationship between the heightened use of financial sanctions and the rise of “anti-dollar” policies designed to reduce an economy’s reliance on the US currency. Demetri and Daniel spend the first hour of their conversation examining the sources of Dollar hegemony, how the system works, and what allows the United States government to exercise power over it and over the individuals, companies, and economies that comprise it. The second hour begins with a conversation about the role of gold in the international system, its expanded use as a bulwark against US sanctions, and why more central banks are seeking to accumulate the metal as a form of geopolitical insurance against the long arm of American economic power. They also discuss alternatives to the US dollar, what it would take to begin to displace it, and what effect widespread de-dollarization would have on the material wealth and security of the United States, its allies, and partners. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/27/2023
3/30/202344 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Does the Fed Have Any Idea What It’s Doing? | Jeff Snider & Brent Johnson

In Episode 304 of Hidden Forces, Demetri shares the recording from a Live Q&A he hosted on Thursday, March 23rd with Brent Johnson and Jeff Snider. The three discussed the FOMC’s latest rate hike decision and if the Fed is indeed as clueless as Jeff Snider believes or if there is a method to the madness as Brent and Demetri seem to suggest. They also speculate about what is likely to come after the current crisis and if it will lead to the birth of a new financial and monetary order. How and over what timeframe that new order comes into being, the forces bringing it about, and what it means for various asset classes and economies are all topics that Jeff, Brent, and Demetri discuss. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/23/2023
3/27/20231 hour, 26 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

How to Manage Risk in the Coming Recession | David Rosenberg

In Episode 303 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with economist David Rosenberg. David is the founder and president of Rosenberg Research, an economic and financial market consulting firm that provides advice to thousands of retail and institutional clients across 40 countries. Demetri and David spend the first hour of their conversation discussing Rosenberg’s economic philosophy. David also shares lessons from his experience working in the finance industry since the early 1980s and what that experience taught him about markets, investing, and the economic cycle.   The second half of their conversation is much more investment focused. Demetri asks David about specific sectors of the economy like the resource sector, housing, and commercial real estate. They also discuss the impairment of bank balance sheets that has resulted from the Fed’s dramatic tightening of interests rates and how that impairment resembles the crisis that hit the savings and loan industry in the late 80s and early 90s. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/20/2023
3/22/202352 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Is the Banking Crisis Over or Has It Just Begun? | Jeff Snider

In Episode 302 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jeff Snider. Jeff is Chief Strategist for Atlas Financial and co-host of the Eurodollar University podcast where he untangles the inner workings of the global monetary and Eurodollar reserve currency system with implications for policymakers and investors. Jeff Snider has been ringing the alarm bell in anticipation of a panic inducing event like the bank failures we experienced last week for more than a year. In his last appearance on the show he pointed to what he called an “increasing sense of dread” that he felt was reflected in credit and derivatives markets. Markets were “in a very technical sense,” according to Jeff “hedged for something,” perhaps even a deflationary event in the monetary system like a bank panic that would lead the Fed to prematurely pause its rate hikes and possibly even reverse its policy entirely to stave off another financial crisis. Whether or not the Fed reverses course this week is less important than how the system itself  — the banks, brokers, and other financial intermediaries who make up the international financial system — changes its own behavior as a result of recent events. What this means for asset prices, the prospects for economic growth, inflation, and government policy are all topics that Demetri and Jeff explore in depth during today’s episode. In the second hour they zoom out to look at the bigger picture, specifically what the system itself ends up looking like coming out the other end of this crisis. Do we get more consolidation, centralization, and government control or is there a path for something else? And how does the international security environment make today’s crisis and its potential resolution look very different from what we experienced in 2008? Join our HF Genius community Live Q&A w/Jeff Snider & Brent Johnson (Thursday, March 23 @ 5pm EST): RSVP HERE! You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/17/2023
3/20/202355 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

What the Bailout of SVB Means for the Fed's Fight Against Inflation | Steven Kelly

In Episode 301 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Steven Kelly about the government's decision to bail out depositors at Silicon Valley Bank and what this decision means for monetary policy and the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation. This conversation was recorded on the morning of Monday, March 13th less than 24hrs after the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, and the FDIC came out with a joint statement assuring depositors at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank that their deposits would be fully protected irrespective of FDIC deposit limits. While this stems the immediate fears of a bank run, the manner in which this was done creates further complications for the Federal Reserve and raises more questions than it answers about the direction of monetary policy. The goal of today’s episode is to provide you with the most up-to-date recap of what has happened thus far, why it happened, how it happened, what the government’s response has been, and the implications of that response for monetary policy, financial markets, and the economy. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/13/2023
3/13/202333 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Our Brains Model Reality & the True Nature of the World | Iain McGilchrist

In Episode 300 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Dr. Iain McGilchrist. Most people know Dr. McGilchrist for having authored “The Master and His Emissary” a book about what we popularly refer to as “the Divided Brain” and its role in the making of the modern world. It is Dr. McGilchrist’s view that we have systematically misunderstood the nature of reality, because we have depended on the aspect of our brains that is most adept at manipulating the world in order to bend it to our purposes. It’s the same part of our brains that is most proficient at constructing models or representations of the world and doubling down on them even in the face of falsifying evidence. In the conversation that follows you will learn how the brain is divided into two hemispheres: the left hemisphere, which is designed to help us apprehend the world and thus manipulate and control it, and the right hemisphere, which is designed to help us comprehend the world — to see it for all that it is in its richness, nuance, and glory. The problem, according to McGilchrist, is that the very brain mechanisms which succeed in simplifying the world so as to make it more responsive to our ambitions for power and control have become the primary obstacles to our understanding of it. The consequences of this imbalance can be seen all around us in our ecosystems, our systems of government, our economies, and within the fabric of our very own societies. The rise of narcissism, paranoia, our obsession with categories and discrete identities, the rise in depression, the policing of language, and the panopticon of surveillance and control are all symptoms in Iain’s eyes of the tyranny of the left-hemisphere made manifest in the world around us. The first hour of our conversation is devoted primarily to understanding the physiology of the divided brain and how to recognize each hemisphere’s contribution to the synthesized world-picture that we call reality. In the second hour, which is available to premium subscribers, we examine the various ways in which the dominance of the left-hemisphere is manifesting itself in society, as well as the deeper philosophical questions that have concerned humanity since time immemorial. We look at the ‘stuff’ of which the cosmos is made – time, space, motion, matter, and consciousness, – as well as why we might see it as divine in nature. We also explore its apparent paradoxical nature—a paradox that McGilchrist suggests has generally resulted from the clash between the ways in which the right and left hemispheres construe reality. This was an absolutely wonderful conversation and despite some of the audio challenges that we dealt with on Demetri’s end of the microphone, we are confident that you will walk away from it with a sense of enlightenment, inspiration, and perhaps, even a new perspective on the world and our place in it. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports (or Key Takeaways) at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/07/2023
3/13/202358 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

What’s Happened to Consensus Reality? | Jon Askonas

In Episode 299 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jon Askonas a professor of politics at the Catholic University of America where he works on the connections between the republican tradition, technology, and national security. Jon is the author of a new series of essays for the New Atlantis titled “Reality: A Postmortem,” where he looks at the forces that have conspired to break consensus reality, and what it means for humanity and the world. The last few years in many Western countries have been characterized by a growing sense of bewilderment, anger, and distrust. Distrust in mainstream institutions, in each other, and in ourselves—in our own capacity to apprehend reality and come to consensus about the nature of the world around us. Jon and Demetri spend the first hour of their conversation discussing the sources of this fragmentation, the disembodied self, and the ways in which the modern age shares more in common with the enchanted world of the middle ages than it does the secular age that has defined consensus reality in the Western world for most of the last 500 years. In the second hour, which is available to premium subscribers, they look at the pervasive effect of social media on the news business, the problem of truth and how to find it in this world of fractured realities, and what can be done to fix the problem. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/27/2023
3/6/202351 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Pre-WWII France Can Tell Us About America in 2023 | Jonathan Kirshner

In Episode 298 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Boston College, Jonathan Kirshner. Dr. Kirshner belongs to the school of international relations known as “classical realism,” which places a unique emphasis on the role played by uncertainty and the need to grapple more seriously with the nuance of historical context, the governing ideologies and perspectives of different states, the quality of leadership, and the character and harmony of a nation’s people. Demetri and Jonathan spend the first hour of their conversation applying the framework of analysis that Kirshner puts forward in his latest book “An Unwritten Future” toward three distinct historical conflicts: the Peloponnesian war, the war in Vietnam, and the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. All three of these wars had ruinous consequences for the aggressor state. In the case of the Iraq war, the conflict badly damaged public perceptions of (and trust in) the competency of America’s foreign policy elite, the credibility of its press, and the state of its finances. The legacy of the Iraq war, as well as the prolonged occupation of Afghanistan and the consequences of the 2008 financial crisis, are the subjects of the episode’s second hour. In it, Demetri and Jonathan compare the divisions present within contemporary American society to those present within the Third French Republic in the years leading up to its stunning defeat and subsequent collaboration with Nazi Germany. What was it about French society that made it so susceptible to co-optation and what lessons can we draw from the French experience when devising public policy meant to serve the national interest? The goal of today’s conversation is to help advance a framework that partially explains the divisions currently present in American society so that we can advocate more thoughtfully for solutions that heal our national wounds by bringing our citizens closer together rather than pushing each other further apart. Demetri believes strongly that this healing is necessary and that it will require putting the national interest ahead of our own more immediate material concerns. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Key Takeaway at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/13/2023
2/20/202355 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

How to Balance Legitimacy & Power in a Fractured World | Sir Paul Tucker

In Episode 297 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with the former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Paul Tucker. During his time at the BoE, Sir Paul sat on the bank’s monetary policy, financial stability, and prudential policy committees. He was a member of the G20 Financial Stability Board and a director of the Bank for International Settlements, which means he has worked at the highest levels of some of the most important policy-making bodies and research institutions in the world. What prompted today’s conversation was the recent publication of Paul’s book “Global Discord: Values and Power in a Fractured World.” The book deals with the incredibly important but rarely discussed subject of legitimacy and where it intersects with the world of geopolitics. How to maintain this legitimacy while navigating a change in the balance of power may be the most important question that any policymaker or politician can try and answer. It blurs the boundaries between policy fields that we are used to thinking about in isolated terms—monetary policy, the environment, trade, even war and peace—and forces us to think more concretely about our political values and our common identities. This is part of a larger story that Demetri has been trying to tell since the earliest days of the podcast. It’s the story of what has been happening to us in Western countries and how we arrived at this state of affairs where our societies have become more politically and culturally divided, where our financial systems have become less responsive to the real needs of our economies, and where the international security environment has become more precarious than it has ever been in the living memories of most people. Today’s conversation is meant to not only advance this story but to also advance a framework for understanding the changing world that we are living in. It is also meant to provide policymakers, business leaders, investors, and everyday citizens with a framework that they can use to navigate this changing world. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Key Takeaway at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/06/2023
2/13/202357 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

The 1990s and the Cancellation of the Future | Chuck Klosterman

In Episode 296 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Chuck Klosterman, a bestselling author and essayist whose work focuses on American popular culture. His most recent book about the 1990s describes a decade that happened long ago, but not nearly as long ago as it seems. The 1990s happened between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Twin Towers. During that time, one presidential election was allegedly decided by Ross Perot while another was plausibly decided by Ralph Nader. At the start of the decade everyone’s name and address was listed in a phone book, and everyone answered their landlines. By the end, exposing someone’s address was an act of emotional violence, and nobody picked up their cell phone. Pop culture accelerated without the aid of a machine that remembered everything, generating an odd comfort in never being certain about anything. On a 1990s Thursday night, more people watched any random episode of Seinfeld than the finale of Game of Thrones. It was the last era that held to the idea of a true, hegemonic mainstream before it all began to fracture. What is it about the 1990s that makes it feel this way? “The feeling of the era,” writes Chuck Klosterman “and what that feeling supposedly signified, isolates the 1990s from both its distant past and its immediate future. It was a period of ambivalence, defined by an overwhelming assumption that life, and particularly American life, was underwhelming.” That was the thinking at the time. It is not the thinking now. Now the 1990s seem like a period when the world was starting to go crazy, but not so crazy that it was unmanageable or irreparable. It was the end of the twentieth century, but also the end of an age when we controlled technology more than technology controlled us. It was as Chuck Klosterman writes “a good time that happened long ago, although not nearly as long ago as it seems.” This episode is part of a larger series that we’ve published over the years on television history and culture, technology and the human experience, and the transformation in our perceptions of the world and what it means to be a human being. You can find these and other related podcasts on this week’s episode at Hiddenforces.io, where you can also access to the second part of today’s conversation by joining one of our three content tiers. This gives you access to our premium feed which you can use to listen to the second part of today’s conversation on your mobile device using your favorite podcast app just like you are listening to this episode right now. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone from our team will get back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/31/2023
2/6/20231 hour, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Effect of China’s Reopening on Global Growth & Inflation | Shehzad Qazi

In Episode 295 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Shehzad Qazi, the Managing Director of China Beige Book, which provides institutional investors and corporate decision-makers with market-leading insights derived directly from their nationwide proprietary data on the Chinese economy. China Beige Book CEO Leland Miller was previously on Hidden Forces to talk about the impact of Covid-19 on China’s economy and banking system, the latter of which has been a persistent source of weakness for the country’s growth prospects. He and Demetri also discussed some of the geopolitical consequences that could potentially flow from the ongoing global disruptions caused by the pandemic and the effects on China’s highly levered real estate market. Today’s conversation with Shehzad Qazi picks up where that conversation with Leland Miller left off. With the Chinese economy’s long-awaited reopening potentially picking up steam and the US and Europe possibly teetering on the edge of recession, the health of the Chinese economy remains the predominant demand variable driving the market’s expectations for inflation and commodity prices globally. Shehzad shares with us what he and his team are seeing in terms of growth expectations for 2023 and why markets seem to be having such a difficult time pricing the risks associated with China’s covid re-opening and its effect on the prices of key commodities such as oil, copper, and iron ore. He and Demetri also discuss the ongoing impact of geopolitical tensions on global supply chains and the effect of recent export controls on China’s semiconductor industry. This is the latest in a series of episodes that we have published over the years on China’s economy, its political system, and the challenges to US-China relations. You can find other such related podcasts on this week’s episode page, where you can also access to the second part of today’s conversation by joining one of our three content tiers. This gives you access to our premium feed which you can use to listen to the second part of today’s conversation on your mobile device using your favorite podcast app. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/24/2023
1/30/202344 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Comes After Secular Stagnation? | Barry Eichengreen

In Episode 294 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Distinguished Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at UC Berkeley, Barry Eichengreen. In his first appearance on this podcast nearly five years ago, Dr. Eichengreen discussed the legacy of the Great Moderation, a multi-decade period of low inflation and positive economic growth that lasted between the mid-1980s and the onset of the Great Financial Crisis. Since then, developed economies have experienced a period of lackluster growth known as “secular stagnation,” characterized by historically low-interest rates, persistently low inflation, and growing levels of social and political instability. The question that Dr. Eichengreen and Demetri wrestle with in this conversation is whether the current period of higher inflation and rising interest rates is a temporary phenomenon or if we are entering a new economic paradigm where sovereign debt levels become unmanageable, multilateral cooperation breaks down, and state power grows at the expense of capital and labor. Their conversation includes a discussion about the future of the US dollar, the potential internationalization of the Chinese Yuan, the crisis brewing in the Japanese bond market, and the role of gold and other commodities as potential reserve assets in a world where fiat-based collateral comes increasingly under stress. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/17/2023
1/23/202348 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Sanctions and Export Controls Weaponize Global Trade & Finance | Agathe Demarais

In Episode 293 of Hidden Forces, Agathe Demarais, the Global forecasting director at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and author of Backfire, joins us for a discussion about the ripple effects of US sanctions and export controls, how they are reshaping the global economy by weaponizing trade and finance, and the steps that countries are taking to insulate themselves from the US Dollar-based global financial and trading system. This episode is part of a series of conversations that we’ve curated on the role and future of the US dollar, the reorganization of international trade along geopolitical lines, and the evolving impact of great power competition on global trade and finance. In the first hour of their conversation, Agathe and Demetri discuss the origins and evolution of US sanctions policy and how it has been applied successfully and unsuccessfully in countries like Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Russia. The discussion on Russian sanctions continues into the second hour where Agathe and Demetri also explore the subject of export controls and the US Commerce department’s recent announcement that it would be restricting the ability of China’s economy to obtain or otherwise manufacture specific high-end semiconductor chips used in many military and commercial technologies and applications. They also discuss what China, Russia, and other members of an emergent “anti-American” coalition of nation-states are doing to try and insulate their economies and financial systems from the US dollar and Western sanctions. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/11/2023
1/16/202346 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Navigating the Converging Worlds of Macro & Geopolitics | Roger Hirst & Jacob Shapiro

In Episode 292 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Roger Hirst and Jacob Shapiro. Roger has spent over two decades on the equity derivative desks at various investment banks and is currently the Managing Editor of Real Vision Creative Studios. Jacob is Partner & Director of Geopolitical Analysis at Cognitive Investments and Founder and Chief Strategist of the business and political risk consulting firm Perch Perspectives. Both Roger and Jacob are part of a small and highly talented team of content creators at financial media company Lykeion, where they co-author a monthly research publication focused on the converging worlds of Geopolitics & Macro. The first hour of today’s conversation is devoted to a discussion about the move from a unipolar world order to a multipolar one. The forces that are bringing that multipolarity about and its impact on global security, international trade and commerce are a key part of that conversation, as is Russia’s war in Ukraine and the future of the European Union. In the second hour, Roger and Jacob give their assessments on what all of this means for the global economy and the market opportunities available to investors. This includes a conversation about inflation, the bull case for commodities, investment opportunities in emerging markets, central bank policy, and much more. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/02/2023
1/9/202351 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Turkey-Syria & the New Geopolitics of the Greater Middle East | Joshua Landis

In Episode 291 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Joshua Landis. Landis is the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and a widely recognized Syria expert. He was last on the podcast over three years ago to discuss the then-ongoing invasion of northern Syria by the Turkish military and the long-term withdrawal of American forces from the Middle East and Central Asia. The background for today’s conversation are the ongoing negotiations between Turkey, Russia, and Syria and President Erdoğan’s desire to expand Turkey’s military presence in northern Syria. Erdoğan’s stated aim is to create a larger buffer zone in which to transfer Syrian refugees and from which to defend Turkey from the threat posed by an independent Kurdish state aligned with elements of The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Ankara’s jingoistic rhetoric may be in part responsible for bringing Russia and Syria to the table and we may be on the verge of a reset in Turkish-Syrian relations and a reproachment between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Bashar al-Assad. The implications of such a reset would be profound for the Syrian people and is further evidence of Turkey’s bid for strategic autonomy. It is also reflective of the emerging geopolitical complexities of the Middle East and Europe, which have only been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. Joshua Landis and Demetri spend the first hour of their conversation focused mostly on the historical antecedents of the conflict in Syria and the larger American presence in the Middle East. They devote the second hour to assessing long-term prospects for Turkey as a regional power, the role of the EU and NATO as counterbalancing forces to Turkish aggression in the Aegean, and the prospects for normalization of relations between Turkey and Syria and what this means for the US and Europe long-term. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/29/2022
1/2/202352 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Is Silvergate Capital & Why Does It Matter? | Edwin Dorsey

In Episode 290 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Edwin Dorsey. Edwin is the author of “The Bear Cave,” a financial newsletter focused on exposing corporate misconduct that regularly moves markets and is cited frequently in Bloomberg terminal breaking news alerts. Edwin was recently profiled in Institutional Investor and is part of a wave of new authors on Substack who are changing the landscape of financial journalism. Today’s conversation focuses on Silvergate, a little-known but very important bank that recently found itself under investigation by US Senators Elizabeth Warren, Roger Marshall, and John Kennedy for its role in facilitating the movement of funds critical to the operations of Sam Bankman-Fried's failed crypto Exchange, FTX. Silvergate describes itself as the "leading bank for innovative businesses in FinTech and cryptocurrency," but its main business appears to have been facilitating payments between crypto hedge funds like Alameda and crypto exchanges like FTX. It already faces at least one class action lawsuit, alleging that the company aided and abetted FTX's fraudulent activities and breaches of the exchange's fiduciary duty through improper transfers, and through the lending and commingling of user funds. This evolving story extends well beyond Silvergate and helps you piece together some of the larger story that we have been trying to tell on this podcast in the last few months. If you want to listen to it, you can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to email [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/21/2022
12/28/20223 minutes
Episode Artwork

Are We Headed Towards a Monetary Breakdown? | Jeff Snider

In Episode 289 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jeff Snider. Jeff is Chief Strategist for Atlas Financial and co-host of the Eurodollar University podcast where he untangles the inner workings of the global monetary and Eurodollar reserve currency system with implications for policymakers and investors. The public often takes for granted the Federal Reserve’s ability to end economic recessions by engaging in what is popularly referred to as “money printing.” Unfortunately, the reality is much more complicated and Jeff and Demetri spend the first hour of their conversation explaining what makes it so and why it matters. They spend the second hour of their conversation discussing what a recession will look like in 2023-2024, how bad it could get, and why it could lead to a monetary breakdown as we transition from a world of perpetual QE to one of permanent fiscal stimulus. What this means for investors and the value of our money is a critical part of their discussion and one you do not want to miss. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and takeaway’s at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of the Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can also do that on our subscriber page. If you still have questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/22/2022
12/26/202255 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why You Should Care About the Twitter Files | Renée DiResta

In Episode 288 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Renee DiResta about the recent revelations stemming from the Twitter Files, why we should care about them, and what we can do to fix the problems of unaccountable censorship and misinformation on social media. Renée is the technical research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory, where she investigates the spread of narratives across social media and how actors leverage these networks to exert influence. She has advised Congress, the State Department, and other academic, civic, and business organizations, and has studied disinformation and computational propaganda in the context of pseudoscience conspiracies, terrorism, and state-sponsored information warfare, which makes her the perfect person to speak to about this incredibly important and timely topic. For those who are unfamiliar with this story, Elon Musk, who recently purchased Twitter for 44 billion dollars invited Bari Weiss, Matt Taibbi, Michael Shellenberger, and several other journalists to look into the Twitter archives. What they found has confirmed many of the pre-existing beliefs of the American right, who see the published internal Twitter communications as evidence that partisan executives took deliberate actions to limit access to information and voices that could damage Democrats. The most salient argument here is that Twitter put its thumb on the scale by removing certain prominent accounts from trending, through suppression of both search and amplification. Even if the intent wasn't partisan, the impact was. At least, that’s the way the right sees it. On the left, the Twitter Files are being dismissed as a “nothing burger,” or at least as not revealing anything that we didn’t already know about for years. Defenders note that Twitter's terms of service say that the company limits the reach of certain posts in select cases and that Musk himself advocates for a similar policy. Indeed, Musk recently suspended the accounts of several journalists on the platform, including Lenett Lopez, whose social media account he raided four years ago. These defenders add further that Weiss provided anecdotes, rather than a comprehensive investigation, so it's impossible to conclude that such limitations were slanted in one direction or another. Demetri wanted to use this opportunity to shift the conversation away from politics and towards something more constructive by speaking to both sides of the political spectrum. In their conversation, Kofinas and DiResta discuss a wide range of social, philosophical, and policy issues related to social media, including ways of bringing more transparency and accountability to these technology platforms. If you want access to the second hour of today's conversation, you can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of our Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can do that through our subscriber page as well. If you have further questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/15/2022
12/19/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Much of Crypto Is a Criminal Conspiracy? | James Block

In Episode 287 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with James Block. James is the author of Dirty Bubble Media, a popular substack account that publishes critical thought pieces about the crypto industry and which was recently featured in an Atlantic magazine article titled, “Crypto Was Always Smoke and Mirrors.” In this conversation, Demetri and James discuss what they believe is a multi-billion dollar criminal conspiracy that involves money laundering, tax evasion, sanctions evasion, and other forms of illicit activity that sits at the very heart of the crypto ecosystem. One of the challenges that comes with trying to cover the seedy underbelly of crypto is that you are forced to wade through an almost infinite amount of evidence, much of which is circumstantial. The bankruptcy of FTX however, has produced new, critical pieces of information that investigators are using to sketch out the contours of this organization, the players involved, and the extent of conspiracy in ways that had previously proven difficult or impossible. It is a story that we have not heard discussed anywhere else, at least not in the framework that you are going to learn about today. It is precisely this framework that Demetri believes will help you better understand what is actually going on here. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want access to our Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/14/2022
12/15/202249 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

China's Plan to Decouple From the US Dollar | Diana Choyleva & Dinny McMahon

In Episode 286 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Diana Choyleva and Dinny McMahon, the co-authors of a comprehensive new report that examines China’s plans to decouple from the dollar-based global trading and financial system. In this conversation, Choyleva and McMahon discuss Beijing’s rationale for wanting to transform the renminbi into an international currency, how the Chinese communist party is striving to make that transformation, why it might prove unattainable, and what progress we can expect them to make over the coming decade. Regardless of whether the yuan proves capable of challenging US Dollar hegemony, the changes that Beijing is pursuing will have a profound impact on the functioning of trade and financial markets around the world. These changes will create new challenges for governments, businesses, and investors. Understanding what these challenges are, the steps that Beijing will take to overcome them, and how policymakers in the US and Europe will respond is crucial to making any reliable forecast about the future of the international political economy. If you want to listen to the second part of this conversation, which includes a discussion about the digital renminbi, how Beijing is trying to institutionalize yuan outflows and increase international demand for the yuan, and policy prescriptions for Western governments you can do that by becoming a subscriber to one of our three content tiers at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. All subscribers get access to our premium feed which you can listen to on your phone using your favorite podcast app just like you are listening to this episode right now. If you want to join in on the conversation and become a member of our Hidden Forces Genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/01/2022
12/5/202245 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

Crypto Contagion, Genesis, & the FTX-USDT Connection | Coffeezilla

In Episode 285 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Stephen Findeisen, a fraud investigator who goes by the pseudonym "Coffeezilla” and runs an eponymous YouTube channel dedicated to exposing scams, con artists, and fraudsters. His work has been widely covered in the media including on the BBC and VICE and Coffeezilla himself was recently profiled in a feature article for the New Yorker. Stephen’s investigations into FTX, Tether, Digital Currency Group, and the continued fallout and contagion sparked by the collapse of Luna and other related crypto companies, hedge funds, and lending platforms are the subjects of today’s incredibly timely conversation. Coffeezilla and Demetri recorded this episode on the afternoon of Friday, November 25th, and spent the first half bringing everyone up to speed on the latest developments. In the second hour, they do a deep dive into the crypto firm Genesis and its parent company DCG, including the important role played by the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust in serving as collateral for much of the firm’s counterparty exposure. They also devote a great deal of time discussing the stablecoin Tether, otherwise known by its acronym USDT and some of the recent revelations that have emerged from the FTX-Alameda bankruptcy. These revelations include suspicious and troubling connections between Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire, his political relationships, and the executives and proprietors of several corporate entities based both in and outside of the Bahamas, including a US Federally insured bank (Moonstone) in Washington state that has become the source of immense speculation. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want access to our Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/25/2022
11/28/202257 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

America 2024, Ukraine Politics, & the Ubermensch | Marshall Kosloff

In Episode 284 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Marshall Kosloff, the co-host of the Realignment podcast about the recent mid-terms, Trump’s announcement that he’s running for President of the United States in 2024, the politics of the Ukraine war, and an Ubermensch culture in tech that has influenced conversations about US domestic and foreign policy. The underwhelming performance of republicans in the 2022 mid-term elections has cast into doubt many pundits’ expectations about the strength of the Republican party and Trump’s own electability in 2024. What caused the underwhelming performance of Republicans in the mid-terms and whether or not that weakness will continue in the next election cycle is something that Demetri and Marshall discuss in the first hour of their conversation today. The second hour is primarily a conversation about the politics of the Ukraine war and the rise of what Demetri describes as a new “Ubermensch” or “Superman” culture in tech. This culture, which intersects with elements of transhumanism, promotes its own version of global governance and a “transnational homelessness” that Demetri believes is antithetical to the wishes and desires of most people on earth. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want access to our Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/17/2022
11/21/202251 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Downfall of FTX and Crypto’s Path Forward | Vance Spencer & Michael Anderson

In Episode 283 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Vance Spencer and Michael Anderson about the downfall of FTX, the political back-story behind Sam Bankman-Fried’s legislative push to build a regulatory moat around his business empire, and the path forward for the crypto industry. As the crisis at FTX was unfolding, Vance received a call from none other than Sam Bankman-Fried. The two had never spoken before, but Vance had become recently critical of Sam’s efforts to lobby Washington for regulation that many felt would benefit him and his companies at the expense of everyone else in the industry. The legislation that SBF was pushing for would be particularly detrimental to the ecosystem of crypto known as decentralized finance or “DeFi” for short. Cashing in on the tens of millions of dollars that he spent to curry favor with lawmakers, Fried spent his time behind the scenes persuading them to pass a bill known as the ‘Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act.’ Sponsored by Senators Debbie Stabenow and John Boozman, the DCCPA would, according to some of its critics, make it impossible for open source developers to function within the U.S., limit access to decentralized financial products and applications for U.S. consumers, and create a regulatory monopoly for FTX in the United States. On their call Sam stated multiple times that if the DCCPA didn’t go through the S.E.C. was going to come after everyone. It was going to come after the DeFi projects and it was going to come after some of Framework’s own investments. Sam Bankman-Fried was explicit, telling Vance Spencer that Framework would be “materially harmed if they did not get on side.” This was apparently part of a larger narrative being pushed by Sam Bankman-Fried in the months leading up to his phone call with Spencer. It’s what Ryan Selkis, founder of crypto market intelligence firm Messari, described in a recent tweet as a “committed contingent of crypto policy people that want you to know that the Big Bad Wolf of Gary Gensler is coming to get you if the DCCPA doesn’t pass.” At the same time there were rumors circulating that regulators may have somehow been working on behalf of SBF. Specifically, US representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota tweeted out a few days ago that there were reports coming into to his office suggesting that the chairman of the SEC was “helping SBF and FTX work on legal loopholes to obtain a regulatory monopoly.”  To our knowledge, Tom Emmer has not put forward any evidence to support his claims and no one on this call—not Demetri, Michael, or Vance—is making that assertion. While the facts of this story are still coming together, what we have learned thus far gives credence to every bias and suspicion that most Americans have about their government and the corrupting influence of money in Washington. It’s at the heart of everything that’s gone wrong with our political system and it’s a big part of why extremists on both the left and right of the political spectrum have gained the support of an increasingly radicalized electorate. Demetri’s hope with this conversation, besides telling a newsworthy story, is to prevent the narrative from being hijacked and recast as the case of some rogue, evil genius that we can easily blame for a problem that is systemic in nature. Yes, Sam Bankman-Fried a bad dude, but our system rewards bad dudes. And too often it punishes good ones. We need to change that. If we want to see a positive change in our country—whether in crypto, finance, the media, or in the nation’s capital—we have to work together to fix the problem. And we have to hold people accountable, including ourselves, because in a democracy there is no one else. You can subscribe to our premium content and gain access to our premium feed, episode transcripts, and Intelligence Reports at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you want access to our Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/11/2022
11/14/202254 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Who is Sam Bankman-Fried and What Really Happened at FTX? | Marc Cohodes

In Episode 282 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with famed short seller Marc Cohodes about Sam Bankman-Fried, the recent bankruptcy of FTX, and the bigger story behind the alleged fraud that he and his network of enablers have perpetrated. Marc Cohodes has famously exposing numerous corporate frauds at great personal expense and risk to himself and his family. So, when Cohodes began raising the alarm earlier this year by publicly calling FTX a scam, while describing Sam Bankman-Fried as a fraudster, many of us took notice. During this time, Sam Bankman-Fried was largely seen as the new golden child of crypto. He spent the last several years cultivating a cultish following and rubbing shoulders with some of the most powerful people in the world. He was the second largest donor to Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign behind only George Soros and worked hand-in-glove with politicians and policymakers to regulate the crypto industry in a manner that would favor him, his companies, and his network of financial enablers. On its surface, this looks like your typical financial fraud case. And in some sense, it is. But there are elements to this story that are uniquely suspicious, like Sam’s own origins and how he developed his wealth to begin with. The origins of his co-founder Gary Wang—who no one talks about—and the backgrounds of other members of his organization including chief compliance officer Dan Friedberg and chief operating officer Constance Wang also raise concerns. How this otherwise disheveled multi-billionaire who reportedly sleeps on a futon in the Bahamas came to exercise so much political influence and hold so many ownership stakes in companies and venture funds in and outside of crypto remains a mystery. But it’s a story that Marc Cohodes has been working on for almost a year and it is the focus of today’s explosive conversation. You can gain access to our premium feed and listen to today’s episode by subscribing to any one of our three content tiers at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. This will give you access to our entire episode library which you can listen to on your phone using your favorite podcast app just like you are listening to this episode right now If you want access to our Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/10/2022
11/14/202255 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Energy Security, Geopolitics, & the New Energy Order | Meghan O'Sullivan & Jason Bordoff

In Episode 281 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Meghan O’Sullivan and Jason Bordoff. Meghan O’Sullivan is a former deputy national security adviser on Iraq and Afghanistan. She is currently Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and a board member of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Kennedy School. She sits on the board of directors at Raytheon and the Council on Foreign relations, and is the North American Chair of the Trilateral Commission. Jason Bordoff is the Co-Founding Dean of the Columbia Climate School, the Founding Director of the Center on Global Energy Policy, and Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Relations at Columbia University. Jason also served as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change on the Staff of the National Security Council, and, prior to that, held senior policy positions on the White House's National Economic Council and Council on Environmental Quality. Our episode today focuses on energy policy and the immense challenges inherent in trying to balance national security concerns with international climate objectives. As Meghan and Jason have both argued, moving to a net-zero global economy will require an unprecedented level of global cooperation. It will also lead to conflict along the way and inevitably produce winners and losers. While government investment and private sector innovation is crucial to managing this transition, conscious steps need to be taken in order to mitigate the geopolitical risks that this change will create, of which the war in Ukraine is only the latest example. The goal of today’s conversation is to provide you with a framework for thinking about what this transition is going to look like, the challenges and opportunities that it will create along the way for governments, business, and investors, and what will be needed from all of us in order get it right. You can access the transcript and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you want access to our Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can learn more at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you have further questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/31/2022
11/7/202255 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

What are the Politics of a Fed Pivot? | Nick Timiraos

In Episode 280 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas shares the the audio from a live Q&A call that he recently hosted for members of the new Hidden Forces Genius tier with Wall Street Journal chief economics correspondent Nick Timiraos. These calls are part of our Investor Roundtable series and include discussions with experts who our members would like to hear more from and who they would like to have the chance to ask questions to directly. We had a chance to discuss some of the news coming out ahead of the FOMC meeting this week, including increased calls for the Fed to slow its rate of tightening and concerns about the Fed’s long-term independence in the face of political pressure. You can access transcript to this investor roundtable by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you want access to our Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can learn more at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you have further questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/26/2022
11/2/202254 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Does China See the World? | Kaiser Kuo

In Episode 279 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Kaiser Kuo. Kaiser is the host and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast, the editor-at-large of The China Project, and the former director of international communications for Baidu, China’s leading search engine. How does China see the world? What do we get wrong when talking about China? What are the central diving forces in Chinese politics? And what “does China want?”  While concrete answers to such complex social and political questions are illusive, grappling with them is essential if we want to find a peaceful way through what is becoming an increasingly dangerous period in US-China relations. The goal of this conversation is to provide you with a more circumspect and culturally informed perspective on China. You will learn about the country’s history, the lived experience of its people, their assumptions, values, and beliefs about the world and their place in it, and to learn to see ourselves and the world from China’s eyes. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you want access to our Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can learn more at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. feel free to send an email to [email protected] and I or someone from our team will right back to you. If you have further questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/24/2022
10/31/202255 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Conspiracy Theories: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational | Michael Shermer

In Episode 278 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Shermer. Michael is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine. He hosts his own podcast, “The Michael Shermer Show,” and is the best-selling author of books like “The Believing Brain, “Giving the Devil His Due,” “The Moral Arch,” “The Mind of the Market,” and many more. Shermer's latest book titled "Conspiracy: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational" presents an overarching review of conspiracy theories—who believes them, why, which ones are real, and what we should do about them. Long a fringe part of the American political landscape, conspiracy theories are now mainstream: 147 members of Congress voted in favor of objections to the 2020 presidential election based on an unproven theory about a rigged electoral process promoted by the mysterious group QAnon. But this is only the latest example in a long history of ideas that include the satanic panics of the 1980s, the New World Order and Vatican conspiracy theories, fears about fluoridated water, speculations about President John F. Kennedy's assassination, and the notions that the Sandy Hook massacre was a false flag operation and 9/11 was an inside job. The purpose of today’s conversation is to provide you with a framework for thinking about conspiracies—what they are, the different types of conspiracies that exist, and why we believe in them. You will also learn how to distinguish between real conspiracies and imagined ones and what we can do as a society to tilt the information landscape toward producing more accurate models of the world without resorting to censorship or the policing of thought and information. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you want access to our Hidden Forces genius community, which includes Q&A calls with guests, access to special research and analysis, in-person events, and dinners, you can learn more at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. feel free to send an email to [email protected] and I or someone from our team will right back to you. If you have further questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/21/2022
10/26/202254 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Rise of the Global Dollar System | Perry Mehrling

In Episode 277 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Perry Mehrling. Dr. Mehrling is Professor of International Political Economy at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University, where he teaches courses on global money. He is perhaps best known for having pioneered the so-called “money view,” an economic framework that attempts to put the real-world practitioners’ view of financial markets into an academic perspective. Mehrling’s most recent book, “Money and Empire,” is in some sense a biography of the US Dollar told through the life and times of the renowned economic historian, Charlie Kindleberger. The book traces the evolution of Charlie’s thinking alongside the rise of the international dollar system. It’s an illuminating history of the economic forces of international trade and finance and how those forces shape and are shaped by the politics of national interest. The goal of today’s conversation is to help deepen your understanding of a system that has proven to be far more resilient than many of its critics and most ardent supporters could have possibly imagined. What has made the system so strong, the challenges that could impede its function, and the role of politics and war in accelerating changes to it are all topics that we explore today.  You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report of this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you have questions about our genius tier, which includes access to the Hidden Forces community, Q&A calls with guests, in-person events, and dinners, you can learn more at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you have further questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/10/2022
10/24/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

How to Prepare the World for a Peaking China | Michael Beckley & Hal Brands

In Episode 276 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Beckley and Hal Brands, the authors of a recently published book titled “Danger Zone,” about how to prepare America and the world for a peaking China. The book argues that the conventional wisdom about the long-term strategic threat that China poses to the existing international order is fundamentally wrong. If a war between the US and China is to break out, it could happen much sooner than the US defense establishment prepared for. Hal Brands and Michael Beckley's basic thesis is that China is at a perilous moment in its development as a great power: strong enough to violently challenge the existing order, yet increasingly losing confidence that time is on its side. Witness its aggression toward Taiwan, its record-breaking military buildup, and its efforts to dominate the critical technologies that will shape the world's future. While a new cold war with China may last decades, both Beckley and Brands believe that the crucial battle that could determine much of what that war will look like may well be decided before the end of this decade. This episode is meant to help establish what it would take to win a battle over Taiwan and demonstrate to the leadership in Beijing that attempting to change the status quo in Asia would not only likely result in failure for China but almost certainly in the catastrophic destruction of the global economy and the permanent political isolation of the Chinese Communist Party.  If you want access to the second part of today’s conversation, which focuses on actionable steps, war planning scenarios, and thought experiments on how such a war could be waged and won, as well as the transcripts and intelligence reports, which include my takeaways from every episode, as well as my thoughts on what comes next, head over to HiddenForces.io  select the episode that you're interested in and click on the premium extras, where you can then sign up to one of our premium content tiers. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you have questions about our genius tier, which includes access to the Hidden Forces community, Q&A calls with guests, in-person events, and dinners, you can learn more at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you have further questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/28/2022
10/10/202255 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dollar Milkshake Wrecking Ball | Brent Johnson & Michael Kao

In Episode 275 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas publishes the audio from a recent Twitter Spaces event featuring Brent Johnson and Michael Kao, who were both later joined on stage by Michael Nicoletos and Michael Howell for a dynamic conversation about the explosive appreciation in the relative value of the US Dollar, the sources of Dollar strength, and what could bring an end to its role as the main global reserve currency. Brent Johnson is CEO of Santiago Capital and the author of the “Dollar Milkshake Theory.” Michael Kao is CIO and Portfolio Manager of Kao Family Offices and is well-known for coining “the Dollar Wrecking Ball” as a similar metaphor for describing the dynamics of Dollar hegemony. Michael Nicoletos is a macro investor and the founder and fmr. CIO at AppleTree Capital and Michael Howell is the CEO of CrossBorder Capital and a regular contributor and active member of our Hidden Forces Genius community which you can learn more about at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. Over the last six months, the US Dollar has appreciated tremendously against a basket of international currencies, from the pound sterling and the euro to the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan. Because of the Dollar’s outsized role as a global funding currency, Dollar strength often translates into foreign weakness, not just for other currencies, but for their respective economies and asset markets as well. The goal of this conversation is to help deepen your understanding of the dynamics driving Dollar strength, the consequences for the global economy and asset markets the longer it continues, and what the possible end-game could be for economies and governments. You can access the transcripts and intelligence reports of previous episodes by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you have questions about our genius tier, which includes access to the Hidden Forces community, Q&A calls with guests, in-person events, and dinners, you can learn more at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you have further questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/03/2022
10/4/20221 hour, 48 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Battle Over Semiconductors & US-China Competition | Chris Miller

In Episode 274 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Chris Miller. Chris is Associate Professor of International History at the graduate school of global affairs at Tufts University. He is also the author of Chip War, which chronicles the geopolitical history of a decades-long battle to control the modern world’s most critical resource: the microchip (or semiconductor) and the commercial industry that supports it. We spend the first hour discussing the technological, commercial, and distributional characteristics of the existing semiconductor supply chain. Chris explains the various steps involved in the production process, the incentives that operate in the industry, the technological imperatives that inform investment decisions, and the role of government subsidies and regulations, all of which explain the globally distributed and highly efficient nature of the semiconductor industry and why it is more vulnerable than ever to geopolitical disruption. The second hour is where we focus our attention on the geostrategic dimension of chip competition, the steps that are being taken to reorganize the industry, the efforts being made to build resiliency into various parts of the supply chain, and what the main challenges are to doing that successfully for both the US and China. The goal of this conversation is to bring clarity to a subject that has not only captivated the public interest but which increasingly determines the national security priorities and strategic investment decisions of the United States and without which the modern world would cease to function. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you have questions about our genius tier, which includes access to the Hidden Forces community, Q&A calls with guests, in-person events, and dinners, you can learn more at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you have further questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/27/2022
10/3/202254 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why There Are Reasons To Be Hopeful About America | Scott Galloway

In Episode 273 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Scott Galloway. Scott is a professor of marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business, a serial entrepreneur, a prolific media personality, and the author of four books. His most recent book, titled “Adrift,” attempts to tell the story of America—from the end of world war two to the present day—in order to understand how we arrived at this precarious moment in our nation’s history, the challenges that lie before, and what it will take to navigate those challenges successfully. So that we can emerge from this period with our nationhood and humanity intact. As Demetri has said on this podcast many times, in a democratic society power ultimately rests with the people. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. When things don’t feel like they are working out, we can either throw up our hands and blame somebody else or we can make the effort to engage constructively on the challenges that confront all of us. Today’s episode is a roadmap to understanding what some of those challenges are, where they come from, how to address them, and why there are reasons to be hopeful about America and the future of this imperfect experiment that is democracy. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you have questions about our genius tier, which includes access to the Hidden Forces community, Q&A calls with guests, in-person events, and dinners, you can learn more at HiddenForces.io/subscribe. If you have further questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and Demetri or someone else from our team will get right back to you. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/19/2022
9/26/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Rise of Inflation & the Great Demographic Reversal | Charles Goodhart

In Episode 272 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with economist and author Charles Goodhart. Professor Goodhart is widely recognized for his contributions to the fields of monetary economics and central bank policy and is famously associated with what we commonly refer to as “Goodhart's Law,” the stipulation that any observed statistical regularity ceases to function as an objective or accurate measure the moment that it becomes a target of public policy. Both professor Goodhart and his co-author and former colleague Manoj Pradhan recently coauthored a book titled “The Great Demographic Reversal,” which puts forward a compelling and controversial argument about the long-term effects of an aging society on inflation, interest rates, investment, savings, and consumption, as well as economic growth and public policy decisions related to things like taxes and government spending—all of which are discussed in today’s episode. The main argument put forward by both authors is that the inevitable decline in dependency ratios caused by aging demographics will lead to structural, long-term increases in interest rates and inflation that will strain government finances and jeopardize the policy-making independence of central banks as their mandates to control inflation come increasingly into conflict with the objectives of politicians and national governments.  The objective of today’s episode is to more fully explore the arguments and assumptions that Charles Goodhart and his co-author make in their book, the evidence in support of their conclusions, and the implications of their findings and projections for the economy, investors, and governments. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/14/2022
9/19/202254 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Secular Inflation & the End of the Great Moderation | Nick Timiraos

In Episode 271 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Nick Timiraos, the chief economics correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, where he covers the Federal Reserve and U.S. economic policy. Timiraos is also the author of Trillion Dollar Triage, a detailed account of the day-by-day and sometimes hour-by-hour policymaking by Federal Reserve officials during the heights of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequently between 2020-2021.  The first part of this conversation focuses on the immediate concerns that investors have about Fed policy and the path of interest rates. This includes a discussion about inflation targeting and inflation expectations, personnel and the centralization of policymaking at the Fed, and tradeoffs between economic growth, financial stability, and inflation. In the second hour, Demetri and Nick discuss quantitative tightening, balance sheet capacity, and how this Fed would react to inadvertently “breaking something” in the plumbing of the financial system. They also discuss fiscal and monetary collaboration, the ability or inability to get inflation under control long-term without stabilizing government debt, the Fed put, the stock market, and much, much more. Demetri’s goal in this conversation was to ask as many questions and learn as much as possible about how this Fed sees the challenges that lie before it, what data and information are most relevant to Fed officials when deciding how to set policy, how they think about tradeoffs, and how Jay Powell specifically, understands or thinks he understands the financial system and his role as Chairman of the most powerful central bank in the world. There are few people as qualified to answer these questions as Nick Timiraos and this conversation does not disappoint. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/07/2022
9/12/202250 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Oil Market Update Report & Live Q&A | Rory Johnston

In Episode 270 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Rory Johnson, a widely quoted researcher and expert in global commodities markets and founder of Commodity Context.com. This episode is a preview of what subscribers to the new Hidden Forces “Genius” Tier will have access to on a regular basis. This new tier will include live, quarterly calls with guests and researchers whose work Demetri relies on to help him navigate markets and make educated investment decisions for his own portfolio. The tier is scheduled to launch later this month and will also include, among other things, a first-class community purpose-built for real-team quality interaction; video recaps by Demetri provided after every episode; priority access to in-person events; and regular Q&A calls where subscribers will be able to interact with and ask questions of both Demetri and his guests in real-time. Demetri will be making a formal announcement on the podcast when this new tier goes live. If you want to learn a bit more about it in the meanwhile, Rory and Demetri spend some time at the top of the podcast today discussing it before getting into Rory’s latest research on the state of the oil complex and what he’s seeing in terms of supply/demand dynamics and market positioning. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/02/2022
9/8/202250 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Navigating a World Trapped Between Scarcity & Abundance | Mike Green

In Episode 269 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with portfolio manager & chief strategist at Simplify Asset Management, Mike Green. Mike is a deep thinker and so much of what he has to say is value-additive. It illuminates some aspect of the market or some socio-political phenomenon or dynamic that has profound explanatory power. Today’s conversation was no exception. The two spent the first hour discussing a number of topics that Demetri has explored on his podcast before, including topics related to corporate vs. state power, the role of government in the economy, the lack of leadership in government, and the types of reforms needed to resolve some of the structural challenges that our political economy faces. The second hour, which is available to premium subscribers only, drills deeper into the conversation about corporate power, as well as the roles and responsibilities of media personalities and organizations in serving the public interest. Demetri and Mike also discuss inflation, its drivers, as well as how to maintain optionality while at the same time protecting oneself from sovereign credit risk, something that is top of mind for those of you concerned about the long-term status of the US Dollar and all fiat currencies. This is especially true if you believe that we have transitioned into a new inflationary regime with structurally higher consumer prices and costs of capital. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 08/30/2022
9/5/20221 hour, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Machine Intelligence, Humanity, & the Will to Power | Demetri Kofinas

In Episode 268 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas replays a monologue that he wrote and first published nearly five years ago about the future of humanity, machine intelligence, and the power process. When he began Hidden Forces, Demetri was primarily concerned with exploring some of the recent advancements in technology and humanity’s scientific understanding of both the external world, as well the internal one that gives rise to the human experience. He believed (and still does) that many of the socio-cultural and political changes that we were experiencing in the world were being strongly influenced and shaped by these advancements, which is why so many of our early episodes were philosophical in nature, dealing with questions of epistemology, identity, and meaning. In preparing for his recent conversation with director Alex Lee Moyer, Demetri was inspired to go back and listen to a monologue that we published nearly five years ago and which dealt directly with some of these more philosophical questions. The monologue was rooted in a set of observations about the role of digital technology and machine intelligence in shaping our experience of the world, our sense of agency, and our very notions of what it means to be a human being. The monologue is even more relevant today than it was in 2017 when he first wrote it. We are living through an extortionary moment in human history. Nothing short of our humanity is at stake, whether from the growing possibility of total war, the creeping security state and surveillance capitalism, or even just the abject apathy and nihilism that seems to be infecting more and more of society. If you are a listener of this show, then these issues concern you directly, and while you may not be the CEO of Google or the head of the Federal Communications Commission, your input, activism, and engagement on these issues will be a decisive factor in determining not only the quality of our future, but the quality of the world that we leave for our children and grandchildren. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/15/2017
8/29/202231 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Alex Jones & the War on Information | Alex Lee Moyer

In Episode 267 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Alex Lee Moyer the filmmaker behind “Alex’s War,” an excellent new documentary about Alex Jones, the founder of Infowars. Alex is an incredibly controversial cultural figure and media personality whose popularity and influence have become especially difficult to measure since he was banned from YouTube and most every other major media and social media platform in 2018. Jones granted Moyer unprecedented access for a documentary that is truly unique in both its political appeal and in how it intimately captures parts of Alex’s life that very few people outside of his immediate community have been able to experience. It is an exploration of our relationship to truth and our distrust of mainstream institutions that grapples gracefully with the broader cultural and political moment that we are living through as a country. This episode is meant to expose you to many of the cultural cross-currents that inform some of the political and social views of millions of Americans, with the goal of advancing our understanding of one another and helping to bridge the cultural divide that seems to be tearing our country apart. You can access the transcript and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 08/15/2022
8/22/20221 hour, 17 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Price of Time in a World Without Interest | Edward Chancellor

In Episode 266 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with financial historian, journalist, and author Edward Chancellor. For the last twenty years, Chancellor has been arguably known best for his book, “Devil Take the Hindmost,” which is a fantastic history of the last 400 years of financial speculation. Yet, that streak may be soon coming to an end with the publication tomorrow of his latest book, “The Price of Time,” an absolutely brilliant philosophical exploration of interest and its essential role in valuing and directing the allocation of capital, labor, and resources in the economy over time. Interest rates have sometimes been described on this podcast and elsewhere as the “price of money.” While this definition is useful, it fails to capture the temporal dimension of interest rates and the role that they play in expanding the continuum of economic activity, cooperation, investment, and consumption beyond the immediate grasp of the present moment. The ability to accumulate capital in the form of money enables us to operate outside of entropy’s constraints—we aren’t limited in other words by the decomposition or decay of a sack of barley, a barrel of oil, or a concrete building. But in order to value that capital through both space and time, we need something more. And that something is interest: the price you pay to borrow money or the cost you charge to lend it over time. Over the last two decades the price of time has plummeted to levels never before seen in human history and with it have arrived a multiplicity of asset price bubbles, a reduction in productivity growth, rising wealth and income inequality, a discouragement of savings, a growth in supply chains, and an excessive amount of risk-taking encouraged by the acrobatics of yield-starved investors in search of decent return. In this excellent and timely conversation, you are going to learn about the history of interest and its historical role in promoting human cooperation, economic activity, and advancement. You are also going to learn about how interest is priced, where it comes from, and the difference between the so-called “natural rate” of interest and what central banks have claimed as their policy lever to control the scale, scope, and distribution of capital in society. In the second hour of our conversation which is available to premium subscribers only, Edward Chancellor and Demetri Kofinas apply the framework that they develop in the first part of the episode to help you understand where we find ourselves today, whether or not central banks and governments can indeed use their policy tools to fix the very problems that those tools have to help create, what some of those solutions and the path forward could look like, and what all of this means for you and your portfolio. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 08/09/2022
8/15/202253 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Global Liquidity Matters Now More Than Ever | Michael Howell

In Episode 265 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Howell. Michael is the CEO of CrossBorder Capital, a London-based, independent research and investment company that provides asset allocation and capital markets advice to institutional investors. This conversation is a natural follow-up to our recent episodes with Lev Menand on the shadow banking system and Eric Basmajian on economic cycles. Specifically, the credit cycle and its leading impact on the economy and asset prices. But this conversation with Michael also pulls directly from other episodes as well with guests like Michael Pettis on global trade and finance, Claudio Borio on financial instability, Brent Johnson on the Revenge of the Dollar, James Aitken on Digital Currency and the Pivot to Asia, Russel Napier on the New Economic Order and the Asian Financial Crisis, and of course, one of my absolute favorites, a conversation with Kevin Coldiron, Tim Lee, and Jamie Lee on the role of the US Dollar as an international funding currency and as the primary driver of recurring systemic crises in the international financial system. Global liquidity is a term that every single person working in finance and in financial media has not only heard of but has probably used at one point or another. And yet, if you were to ask most people what this term means or what it refers to they would be hard pressed to give you a clear or uniform answer. This is because the drivers of global liquidity, namely the financial and exchange rate relationships within and between countries and the determinants of cross-border flows of money, securities, goods and services, are constantly changing. In the process, they have become, in the words of Michael Howell, “the new weapons in the escalating Capital Wars between the U.S., Europe, and China,” the last of which has a vested interest in not only the long-term stability of the international financial system but perhaps even the eventual aim of displacing the Dollar in favor of the Yuan as the fulcrum around which international trade and commerce is eventually invoiced and credited The goal of today’s conversation is not only to help you gain a deeper appreciation for what global liquidity is and the geopolitical and economic forces driving it but to also help you understand how it impacts you and your portfolio directly through the outsized role that it has on shaping economic outcomes and asset prices. This comes at a time when this very liquidity is receding faster than at any point since the Great Financial Crisis and by some measures, even quicker. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation, along with the additional material provided by Michael Howell by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 08/02/2022
8/8/202254 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

How to Prepare for the Next Taiwan Strait Crisis | Dmitri Alperovitch, Elbridge Colby, & Jamil N. Jaffer

In Episode 264 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas publishes the contents of a call that he hosted on Twitter Spaces this past Tuesday evening only hours after Nancy Pelosi, the US Speaker of the House of Representatives arrived in Taiwan. The subject of the call concerns both the short and long-term consequences of Pelosi’s trip and whether or not the US is ready to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese naval blockade or invasion of the island by the People’s Liberation Army. Speakers Dmitri Alperovitch, Elbridge Colby, and Jamil N. Jaffer discuss how the US can prepare for this eventuality, the urgency of the task at hand, and the possibility and consequences of the US losing a war with China over Taiwan in the next few years. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 08/02/2022
8/5/20221 hour, 22 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Recession, More Inflation, or Both? | Eric Basmajian

In Episode 263 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Eric Basmajian. Eric is an economic cycle analyst and the Founder of EPB Macro Research, an economics-based research firm focusing on inflection points in economic growth and the impact on asset prices. His research has been featured across major financial media outlets and he’s been kind enough to provide a sample of his latest cyclical trends monthly update report for premium subscribers to our super nerd tier that you can get through this week’s episode page on our website. This conversation is the latest in a series of episodes on markets and investing, with an especially strong focus this time on the macro economy, and in particular, the secular and cyclical trends in the rate of growth and inflation. Secular forces are things like demographics, debt-to-GDP levels, trends in globalization, and the regular and predictable doubling in computing power commonly referred to as Moore’s Law—long-term trends in other words that remain in place through multiple economic cycles. Cyclical trends on the other hand are the 6-18 month fluctuations in growth determined by things like income, production, consumption, and employment. We can anticipate changes in the direction and magnitude of these trends by relying on a variety of what are known as leading as well as coincident economic indicators, things you’ve probably heard of before like building permits, new manufacturing orders, non-farm payrolls, personal consumption, industrial production, etc. Understanding where you are in an economic cycle and what the long-term, secular forces are that are pulling you or pushing you in any particular direction is as important to investors as the weather and the ocean currents are to the navigator of a sailboat. They inform the allocation strategies and performance expectations for a variety of asset classes, business models, and policy choices over time. Today’s conversation will expose you to a framework for thinking about the macroeconomy that is empirical, data-oriented, and very much based in reality—one that you can use to forecast major economic inflection points and their resulting impact on asset prices, a valuable tool for anyone trying to manage his or her portfolio or make informed investment decisions. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/26/2022
8/1/202257 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Global Macro in an Age of Great Power Conflict | Demetri Kofinas

In Episode 262 of Hidden Forces, I (Demetri Kofinas) share an interview I recently gave on “The Breakdown” with Nathaniel Whittemore, but not before delivering an important message, which has to do with a new Hidden Forces community tier that we will be launching. I’m excited to announce that we will be launching a new Hidden Forces community tier where you'll be able to get immediate access to me, my thoughts, special content, etc., along with private events that will include opportunities to ask questions directly to my guests and to me in real-time. We are giving you a preview of that experience this coming Wednesday, August 3rd, from 6:30 PM — 8 PM EST when I will be hosting a live video Q&A over zoom. Anyone can join and ask me pretty much any question they want so long as it is relevant to the podcast. The zoom call is open to anyone but we are limiting the number of people who can join this time just to keep things manageable. You can secure your spot on the list by going to HiddenForces.io/events and registering right now. The title of the event is “Investing Between the Wars,” and while listeners are free to ask any question they like, the focus of the Q&A is on how the changing political and geopolitical landscape is affecting your life and investments. Indeed, this is the subject that Nathaniel Whittemore and I discussed in my recent appearance on “The Breakdown.” I shared some of my own views and perspectives on markets and geopolitics as well as how I’ve incorporated my macro views of the political economy into my own investment decisions. The Breakdown is a daily analysis podcast that explores themes in macroeconomics, bitcoin, geopolitics, and the big picture power shifts affecting the world. You can find it on any major podcast platform and at coindesk.com/podcasts and you can follow Nathaniel on Twitter at @NLW. You can access the transcript to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/18/2022
7/28/202253 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict | Elbridge Colby

In Episode 261 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Elbridge Colby, co-founder and principal of The Marathon Initiative, an organization whose mission is to develop the diplomatic, military, and economic strategies that the United States will need to navigate a protracted era of great power competition. Colby has also served as US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development and was the chief architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS), which was by some estimates the most significant revision of U.S. defense strategy since 9/11, if not since the end of the Cold War. This is a conversation about the national security challenges that Elbridge Colby believes we face as a country, their urgency, and what is needed in terms of practical changes to our strategic objectives, the organization of our national defense, what we prioritize, and perhaps most importantly, our sense of mission, unity, and national purpose. Kofinas and Colby spend the first hour laying out the nature and scope of these challenges as they pertain to the Chinese Communist Party in particular, and to the degree that it acts in unison with Chinese objectives, the Russian Federation as well. The second hour is broken into two parts, the first of which covers specifics on how to meet the challenge, while the second focuses on Taiwan where Elbridge makes the case for why he believes that an attack on the island nation by China is not only likely but may come much sooner than most pundits and military planners expect. The consequences of such an attack would not only be destabilizing for the current equilibrium in Asia, but could escalate into a global kinetic conflict with hypersonic missiles, space warfare, cyber-attacks, and God forbid, the use of nuclear weapons. Preventing such scenarios from unfolding should be at the very top of our list of national priorities. Today’s conversation is mean to help inform you about just how salient this threat is and what we can and perhaps should do about it. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/19/2022
7/25/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

What’s Driving the Price of Oil? A Supply-Side Story | Rory Johnston

In Episode 260 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Rory Johnston. Rory is a widely quoted researcher and expert in global commodities markets. His work includes a variety of research and investment projects including his commodity market research platform at Commodity Context Dot Com, as well as both public market portfolio and private equity strategy at Price Street. This episode is for premium subscribers only and is part of an ongoing series of conversations that I’ve been curating with guests focused on investment themes and opportunities in the commodities complex. The goal of this conversation is to provide you with a more critical look at the supply side story in oil, refined products like gasoline and diesel, and to a lesser degree natural gas, including drivers of end-use demand for these commodities. The demand-side picture is much more difficult to project, as it requires assumptions about growth, monetary policy, and the further implementation of sanctions on Russian energy supplies. These are subjects we explored in recent episodes with Helen Thompson on Energy Geopolitics and Ian Bremmer on how to fight a geopolitical recession and are featured in the related tab on this week’s episode page on our website. Rory and Demetri also discuss some of the financial data compiled by Rory in his most recent Global Oil Data Deck including calendar spreads and speculative positioning in major crude contracts and how we can use that information to help us anticipate the direction of and volatility in oil prices going forward. For premium subscribers to our super nerd tier, Rory has provided you with an abridged version of his data deck for the month of July which publishes in full on his commodity context substack today. You can access the full episode and transcript, along with the abridged version of Rory’s Global Oil Data Deck by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/14/2022
7/21/202247 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

Turkish-Greek Relations & Battle Over the Eastern Mediterranean | Ryan Gingeras

In Episode 259 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Ryan Gingeras, a professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School and an expert on Turkish, Balkan, and Middle East history. Gingeras has authored six books on Turkish history and culture, including his forthcoming, “The Last Days of the Ottoman Empire,” which is scheduled for release by Penguin in October 2022. In recent years, Turkey has become an X-factor of sorts in global politics. Its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has attracted the ire of liberal-minded politicians and his transactional political style has raised questions about Turkey’s dependability as a NATO ally and about its long-term commitment to the rules-based international order. This is obviously a concern for the United States and NATO, but there is perhaps no country for whom Turkey’s long-term orientation Westward carries more existential importance than Greece, which has been on the receiving end of escalating Turkish provocations and territorial violations of its internationally recognized maritime borders and airspace. This comes during a time when Turkish cooperation within NATO itself has become a bargaining chip of sorts that Ankara has used to further its own strategic objectives, as seen most recently in negations over Finish and Swedish membership. This conversation has two primary objectives. The first is to give you an understanding of the historical, political, and geostrategic forces responsible for driving Turkish foreign policy today, including the intellectual foundations for its more assertive, revanchist, and perhaps even expansionist ambitions—concepts and doctrines such as “strategic depth” and Mavi Vatan or “Blue Homeland,” which inform and explain much of Turkey’s policy in the broader Middle East, Africa, and the Aegean. The second objective is to expose you to how the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa could evolve territorially in a world without NATO or where the post-WWII liberal international order continues to degrade or comes apart entirely. While this has more immediate implications for Greece, it also risks altering the larger territorial landscape of Eurasia in ways that most people would have found unimaginable at the beginning of the 21st century. What this could mean for citizens in these territories, for the politicians responsible for making policy within the various countries affected, and for investors and businesses looking to put capital to work in them cannot be understated. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/05/2022
7/18/20221 hour, 1 minute, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Rise of Shadow Banking & Risks of a Financial Crisis | Lev Menand

In Episode 258 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Lev Menand, author of “The Fed Unbound: Central Banking in a Time of Crisis.” Menand is an associate professor of law at Columbia Law School who has worked as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and as a senior advisor to both the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and the Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions. He joins Demetri for an important and timely conversation about the US Dollar and the evolution of the international financial system into a kind of Frankenstein’s monster whose appendages and doppelgängers reach into the deepest recesses of the global economy. Dollar balances and dollar-based lending by institutions not regulated by the Federal Reserve—what we broadly refer to as the shadow banking system—have grown so large over the years that no one, not even the Fed, can actually quantify them. For most of us, awareness of just how dangerously complex the modern banking system has become was made clear fourteen years ago with the onset of what we now call “The Global Financial Crisis,” a supposedly once-in-a-lifetime event that almost repeated itself during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic when the Fed came to the rescue of markets to stop yet another financial panic that threatened to bring down the global financial system. Panics like these ultimately stem from a fear or inability on the part of financial counterparties to settle claims and honor liabilities. With the Fed now raising interest rates more aggressively than it has in almost thirty years the question that many investors, economists, and policymakers around the world should be asking themselves is “what is the likelihood that the events we experienced in 2008 and most recently in 2020 repeat themselves today?” Our objective in bringing you this conversation is to provide you with a foundational framework for understanding the forces responsible for driving crises of liquidity in the international dollar system during a time when those forces are growing stronger and stronger. In the process you are going to learn about the plumbing of the shadow banking system, the evolution of the eurodollar market, repos, money market funds, and so much more. The majority of that conversation takes place in the second hour of today’s episode which is available to premium subscribers only. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/07/2022
7/14/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

Energy Geopolitics & the Remaking of the Modern World | Helen Thompson

In Episode 257 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Helen Thompson, author and Professor of Political Economy at the University of Cambridge. Thompson’s current research concentrates on the political economy of energy and the long history of the democratic, economic, and geopolitical disruptions of the twenty-first century, which she explores magisterially in her new book “Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century.”  For those of us who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, the nature of the world as we knew it to be only seemed to be getting better and better. The price of energy and the cost of capital kept getting cheaper, the world kept getting safer and more interconnected, and liberal democracy and free-market capitalism were seen as inevitable outcomes of the end of history. Today, all of that feels like it was almost a dream. The last two decades have brought a powerful tide of geopolitical, economic, and democratic shocks onto the world. Their fallout has led central banks to create over twenty-five trillion dollars of new money, brought about a new age of geopolitical competition, destabilized the Middle East, ruptured the European Union, and exposed old political fault lines in the United States--fault lines that seem to challenge even those of the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s when the specter of nuclear war and the trauma of violent riots and political assassinations cast a long shadow over the future of the Republic. This conversation between Helen Thompson and Demetri Kofinas endeavors to draw a line of continuity between those turbulent years and the present political moment as we try to imagine how a future situated in the long arch of human history with all its political challenges, economic imperatives, and destructive wars might unfold. It recounts three histories. One about geopolitics, one about the world economy, and one about western democracies, and explains how in the years of political disorder prior to the pandemic, the disruption in each became part of one big story, much of which originates in problems generated by fossil-fuel energies and our efforts to control them. And it explains why, as the green transition takes place, the longstanding predicaments that energy invariably shapes will remain firmly in place. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/06/2022
7/11/20221 hour, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Value Investing & How to Have “Soul in the Game" | Vitaliy Katsenelson

In Episode 256 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with the CEO of Investment Management Associates, Vitaliy Katsenelson. Vitaliy is a well-known value investor and author of several books on investing and life. His latest, “Soul in the Game,” is a philosophical exploration of the sources of life’s meaning told through a collection of day-to-day observations and insights about Vitaliy’s early childhood in Russia, his experiences as a parent, and his love of classical music, and most importantly of art, which features prominently in their discussion. This conversation combines two of the objectives that Demetri laid out in the introduction to a recent episode he published on the subject of courage and self-actualization, namely his desire to take a more holistic approach to exploring and analyzing the macro challenges that we are all facing as a community, but which affect each and every one of us as individuals. Vitaliy has made that very easy to do, because he writes so prolifically about both of these things, whether it is the principals of value investing, his thoughts on the macro economy, markets, stagflation, or the path of interest rates, as well as how to cultivate objectivity, the benefits of introducing randomness into your life, and learning how to separate the things that you can’t control from the things you can. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 06/28/2022
7/4/20221 hour, 24 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Power of Crisis & How to Fight a Geopolitical Recession | Ian Bremmer

In Episode 255 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Ian Bremmer. Ian Bremmer is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, the world’s leading global research and consulting firm, and GZERO Media, a company dedicated to providing intelligent and engaging coverage of international affairs. Bremmer is also the author of ten books, including his latest, “The Power of Crisis,” in which he argues that we are unprepared for a trio of looming crises in the areas of pandemic response, climate change, and the next technological revolution. All of these looming crises that Ian focuses on are subjects that we’ve explored in great depth over the years with folks like fmr. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, NASA’s Chief Climate Scientist Gavin Schmidt, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and so many more. You can find all of those previous and relevant conversations in the related section on the episode page of our website. Because of the ongoing war in Ukraine and its effect on global commodity markets—and in particular oil & gas—our conversation with Ian leads with a discussion about climate policy. The discussion focuses specifically on the war in Ukraine, what it reveals about our vulnerabilities as we try transition towards more sustainable, carbon-free forms of energy production, and how to balance our national security concerns while still ensuring that we can meet the long-term climate goals set out in the 2016 Paris Agreement. In the second part of their conversation Kofinas and Bremmer continue their discussion about energy markets, eventually pivoting to a much broader conversation about the upcoming elections in 2022 and 2024, and specifically why there seems to be a persistent leadership deficit in American politics today and what we can do to change that. They also discuss media reform and what we can do as individuals and in some cases as influencers with large followings to have more constructive and good-faith conversations around the issues that matter to all of us as we navigate what may well be the most dangerous time for the international system since at least the early stages of the Cold War. The goal of today’s conversation, among other things, is to bring you the perspective of someone who operates within some of the most powerful networks of people in the world—and is an advisor to many of them. Ian Bremmer has years of experience speaking with global leaders, CEO’s of Fortune 100 companies, and experts across all industries & territories, making him an invaluable resource for anyone trying to think about the future path of policy, risks to global governance, and so much more.  You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 06/21/2022
6/27/202249 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

How to Trade Market Sentiment & Why Inflation Is Coming Down | Jared Dillian

In Episode 254 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jared Dillian, editor of The Daily Dirtnap, a financial newsletter for professional investors focused on gauging market sentiment and how to capitalize on it. Dillian is also the author of two very successful books on Wall Street and investing and is the host of the Be Smart podcast, where he talks to his listeners about everything from how to sort out their personal finances to how to approach trading and investing in the stock market and everything in between. This conversation is yet another in a series of episodes that we’ve been doing focused on how to navigate the transition in market regimes and all of the challenges that this transition presents for our assumptions about markets and the world at large. Jared is the perfect person to speak to about this not just because of his focus on sentiment, but because he really is someone who stands apart. He’s a contrarian in the purest sense of that word and during a time when many of the people we’ve had on this podcast increasingly seem to share similar perspectives on the future path of interest rates, inflation, and energy prices, bringing on someone like Jared is a way of holding ourselves and our ideas accountable–something that is especially important whenever money or investing are involved.  That said, Jared Dillian also has another unique quality which is that he publishes an investment newsletter, which means that he spends an enormous amount of time thinking through his investment ideas in public and that can be very tricky to do while also managing to invest successfully in those ideas, precisely because of how easy it is to become emotionally invested in being right. This is something that you will see time and time again in the financial news business. Financial commentators and pundits will twist themselves into pretzels trying to align their public statements, personas, and track records with an ever-changing set of market conditions.  Therefore, one of the topics that Jared and Demetri discuss is how not to do that and how to know when someone else is doing it. In other words, how to filter through information so that you know who to listen to, what to take from them, and then how to exercise a level of humility in your own investment mindset so that you don’t get caught off-sides during a period of time where we think that market conditions and assumptions about risk and allocation will be changing faster than at any point since the great financial crisis. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 06/14/2022
6/20/202254 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Path Towards Self-Actualization & How to Overcome Your Fears | Demetri Kofinas

In Episode 253 of Hidden Forces, I (Demetri Kofinas) share an interview I recently gave on the In-Bloom podcast hosted by Micaela Richmond. This was a pretty emotional conversation, and I don’t want to spoil the episode by giving it away, but I do want to say that while the subjects I mostly cover on Hidden Forces are intellectual the things that matter most to me are most definitely not. Every now and then I publish episodes that speak to those things like my episode with Jerry Colona on the hero’s journey and the art of growing up or my episode with Eugenia Zuckerman who courageously shared stories from her own experience living with Alzheimer’s. These types of conversations speak to what I believe is common in all of us. Our common humanity and our capacity to experience joy and suffering as we try and make our lives matter. And that can be really hard especially when you’re younger and you’re just starting out, full of insecurities, self-doubt, impatience, fear…I dealt with a lot of fear when I was growing up—fear of failure, fear of disappointing others, fear of not amounting to anything. That was my greatest fear that I’d die and have made nothing of my life. It wasn’t until I overcame those fears of failure and of not amounting to anything by learning to run into danger, by learning to run into the burning building that I found my path to bliss. And I say this because I know that millions of you out there feel exactly the same way even if you haven’t found the words to articulate it. My hope is that today’s conversation with Micaela can go some way in helping you identify, face, and overcome those fears regardless of where you are in your life, because those are the things that stand in the way of joy, love, and self-actualization. Those are the things that matter in life. Not money or fame or material success. The sooner you recognize that, the sooner you can come into relationship with the mystery of life from which I believe everything arises and ultimately returns. You can access the transcript to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/05/2022
6/13/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Revenge of Risk Rates & the Return of Dividend Investing | Daniel Peris

In Episode 252 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Daniel Peris, Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at Federated Hermes in Pittsburgh. Daniel is also the author of three books that together explore the intellectual underpinnings of modern portfolio allocation, with a particular focus on dividend investing, why it’s fallen out of favor with investors over the last 30 years, and why dividend-paying securities are positioned to outperform some of their more growth-oriented, cashless competitors in the next 30. While our recent episodes with Tony Greer and Jeff Currie also focus on the rotation from growth stocks to value stocks, those conversations are industry-specific, namely, they focus on commodities and industrial resources. Conversely, the objective of today’s conversation with Daniel is to narrow that focus to companies that pay some portion of their profits to shareholders, irrespective of industry. The goal of today’s episode is to help you reimagine what is possible for your portfolios and how to manage them in a stagflationary global economy characterized by rising risk rates and persistently higher levels of financial volatility. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/23/2022
5/30/202251 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

How to Trade the Great Rotation From Big Tech to Commodities | Tony Greer

In Episode 251 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Tony Greer, the founder of TG Macro, an independent research firm that provides fundamental, technical, and behavioral analysis of global markets to institutional and non-institutional clients alike. This conversation follows-up on a series of episodes we’ve published recently focused on the macro, political, and geopolitical economy, with an especially strong focus on commodities, currencies, and government policy. The goal with all of these episdoes has been to help listeners develop a framework for thinking about some of the big-picture trends driving markets and the economy, with the ultimate goal of helping them gain the type of conviction needed in order to invest successfully in them. Those who heard Demetri’s recent episode with Grant Williams know that he was able to use this framework to profitably exit long-held positions in risk-assets ahead of the recent market downturn and even rotated some of those profits into commodities, though as he has said countless times he did not allocate nearly enough because he lacked conviction. He didn’t know enough to feel confident in the Supercycle thesis that we laid out in our recent episode with Jeff Currie. He didn’t fuly appreciate the supply-side picture that the team at Doomberg has been writing about so presciently for the past year and that we spoke with them about during Doomberg’s recent appearance on Hidden Forces. So what does one do now? What does one do if he or she is persuaded by the thesis that long-term, structural forces restricting the supply of key commodities will support persistently high prices even in the face of relatively weak demand, but doesn’t have conviction around what those prices could reasonably be, especially in the short-term ahead of a Fed tightening cycle? This is why we’ve brought Tony Greer on the podcast. Tony’s specialty is trading commodities. He’s been doing it for 30 years and we’re going to rely on his experience to work through exactly the type of dilemma that has been laid out here and which many of you may also be struggling with. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/17/2022
5/23/202253 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Revenge of the Dollar & the Meltdown in Global Markets | Brent Johnson

In Episode 250 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with CEO of Santiago Capital and originator of the “Dollar Milkshake” theory, Brent Johnson. Brent and Demetri discuss his thesis on the Dollar as part of a much larger conversation about the sell-off that we’re currently experiencing in risk assets, the dislocations we’re seeing in currencies and currency pairs like Dollar-Yen, and how to position yourself as conditions change in real-time.  Because so much is happening in markets right now it is challenging to know where to focus your attention, which is why Brent’s framework around the role of the US Dollar and its impact on financial flows is crucial for understanding what we’re seeing in markets today. We have published countless episodes over the last several years in anticipation of the events that are transpiring today. We think we are in the end-game phase of what in our view has been a forty-year paradigm of falling interest rates, rising debt levels, low inflation, growing inequality, and peak globalization, all of which we believe are in the process of reversing. How that process unfolds and what assets and investments you want to be invested in during this time do not have straightforward answers, but conversations like this one with Brent are crucial in helping you think through the steps required to get you there. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/12/2022
5/16/202247 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Collapse of LUNA & UST and the Vulnerability in Crypto | Nathaniel Whittemore

In Episode 249 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Nathaniel Whittemore, host of “The Breakdown” a podcast distributed by CoinDesk, which focuses on the big picture power shifts in the economy and society, seen through the lens of crypto. It’s also the largest daily analysis podcast in the bitcoin and crypto space and one that Demetri has relied on to sort through the daily noise and to get a sense of its community’s cultural attitudes and narratives for years. Demetri asked Nathaniel to come onto the podcast today to help him make sense of the events that have transpired in crypto over the last week, including the collapse of Terra Luna and its algorithmically maintained stablecoin UST. But they also discuss the overall state of the market and the implications and consequences of collapses like LUNA’s for other stablecoins, as well as for regulation and participation in the space. Lastly, the two share their perspectives on what Demetri considers to be crypto’s biggest vulnerability, which is its use as a life raft for a generation of younger investors who see it as their ticket out of the hamster wheel of policy-induced financial inequality and modern-day serfdom. What eventually becomes of these people—their disaffection and its manifestation in American political life is a question that they also consider.  You can access the full conversation and transcript to this premium-only episode by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/13/2022
5/15/20221 hour, 23 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

The New Era of Great Power Competition | John Mearsheimer & Stephen Walt

In Episode 248 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with professors of international relations John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Professor Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and the author of multiple books including “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics,” “Why Leaders Lie,” and “The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities.” Professor Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is also the author of several books including “Revolution and War,” “Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy,” and most recently “The Hell of Good Intentions.” They both have appeared separately on the podcast before: professor Walt for a conversation on the decline of US primacy and professor Mearsheimer on the power of nationalism in international affairs. They are also both prominent members of the so-called “realist school” and their views have often run counter to the prevailing orthodoxy in Washington, which one could broadly characterize as interventionist. John Mearsheimer especially has gained attention for his views on Ukraine, which went viral after the recent Russian invasion. Just one of his videos on YouTube alone has been seen over 26 million times. Demetri asks him about that experience, why he thinks his views have resonated so strongly with the public, and if there’s a connection between peoples’ views on Ukraine and their positions on the larger culture wars that seem to be dividing so many of us in Western societies today. Of course, the conversation veers well beyond Ukraine, which is just the touching off point for a much larger discussion about the future of great power competition, the endurance of the alliance between Russia and China, America’s pivot to Asia, and how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could actually make that easier, and what should the goals of American foreign policy be. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/10/2022
5/11/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Revenge of the Old Economy & How to Invest in the Commodity Supercycle | Jeff Currie

In Episode 247 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jeff Currie, global head of Commodities Research at Goldman Sachs and an expert on commodity markets, commodity dynamics related to corporate risk management & geopolitics, and how to invest strategically in what Jeff Currie believes is a “commodity supercycle.” Currie is a fountain of knowledge and uniquely good at breaking down the market dynamics and material importance of an industry that incorporates every single aspect of the global economy from capital markets, to supply chains, to international politics. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for businesses and governments who need to navigate and plan for a future that is going to look radically different from anything that we have seen in a very long time. They are also crucial to understand for anyone managing money, as are the forces currently at work in the real economy and how multiple cycles of underinvestment, rising costs of capital, deglobalization, and wealth inequality to name just a few, are converging to create the greatest period of financial, economic, and political change in a hundred years. Fortunes will be made and many more will be lost during this period, and today’s conversation with Jeff is meant to provide yet another important piece to understanding this very big puzzle. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/04/2022
5/9/20221 hour, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

The End of the Beginning for Crypto | Michael Anderson & Vance Spencer of Framework Ventures

In Episode 246 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Anderson and Vance Spencer. Michael and Vance are the founders of Framework Ventures, a crypto-native venture capital firm with a team of technologists, researchers, and investors that actively build alongside the companies and protocols in which they invest. They were on the podcast two years ago to discuss their thesis on the opportunities in decentralized finance and they are back on today to talk about blockchain gaming and their latest, big bet on the future of the crypto industry. We are huge fans of these guys. They’re thoughtful. They’re passionate. And they’re native. They’ve grown up in this space and their investment philosophy and framework reflect this. Besides discussing the opportunities in gaming, Michael and Vance also share elements of their approach to investing in crypto, how they source deals and outcompete legacy venture funds with deep pockets in an industry that is long on capital but short on know-how: the type of know-how that results from a philosophy of active participation running nodes, staking assets, providing security reviews, building tools, and participating in network governance. Our objective in bringing you this conversation is to give you a roadmap for investing in what can often feel like an intimidating and rapidly changing space that we believe will nonetheless produce some of the biggest value generating opportunities in software and some of the most rewarding opportunities for cultivating monetizable online experiences and collaboration on the Internet. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/20/2022
5/2/202242 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

How to Position & Prepare Yourself for the End Game | Grant Williams

In Episode 245 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Grant Williams. Grant is the host of the Grant Williams Podcast and the author of the “Things that Make You Go Hmmm…” newsletter, which you can find at Grant-Williams.com. We are grappling with what will turn out to be the greatest socio-economic and political changes in one hundred years. What these changes will mean for the future of democracy, civil society, and the viability of capitalism are what today’s conversation is all about. How you choose to position yourself in anticipation of these changes is one of the most important challenges you will ever face as an investor and sovereign individual. This episode is meant to help you work through those challenges and guide you through the changes to come. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/18/2022
4/25/202254 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

Global Food Shortages & the Need for Energy Security | Doomberg

In Episode 244 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with the always congenial, yet uncompromisingly opinionated chicken, Doomberg. Doomberg’s expertise in heavy industry makes him the perfect guest to discuss what’s happening in energy and commodity markets. So, it’s no surprise that he and Demetri talked about this, as well as the investment opportunities in uranium, which Doomberg has written about extensively in his most recent post on substack titled “Sitting Down With Sprott.” The two also discuss the renewed lockdowns in Shanghai, how they compound existing global food and supply chain issues, and how those issues are part of a larger set of challenges that will lead to food shortages, particularly in the developing world. This has implications for everyone on the planet, even the developed countries, but especially the Europeans who will experience even more migratory pressure from Africa and the Middle East. This adds to the destabilizing political forces that we’ve described so many times on this podcast. this  part of the episode along with a discussion about the future monetary system are all in the second half of their conversation, which is available to premium subscribers only.  You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s episode by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/11/2022
4/18/202245 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

How to Survive in the New Economic & Financial Order | Russell Napier

In Episode 243 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with investor and financial historian Russell Napier. Russel was on the podcast a year ago for a conversation about his book on the Asian Financial Crisis and “The Birth of the Age of Debt.” Today’s episode picks up where that conversation left off, building on the foundations of the post-Bretton Woods system of flexible exchange rates and dollar hegemony to speculate on what comes next—on what the new order that is now being born will look like, how it will operate, and what its implications will be for economies, industries, portfolios, and the role of the dollar in the new, international monetary system. It’s a conversation about inflation, war, and how to position oneself for a new world where old assumptions about monetary policy, risk-taking, and the power and influence of governments to shape economic opportunities will need to be radically rethought. Understanding who the winners and losers of this new economic and political order will be, as well as the asset classes, industries, and companies that will benefit from it is an imperative for investors. This conversation is meant to help you develop the mindset and strategies that you will need to navigate this new world. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/07/2022
4/11/202254 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Information War & Things Worth Fighting For | Demetri Kofinas

In Episode 242 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas shares an appearance he made on “The Realignment” podcast a week before the invasion of Ukraine. Demetri spoke to the seriousness with which he views the information problem and the information war that we’re all combatants in today, the move from unipolarity to a world of disorder, as well as the spiritual deadening that he feels we’ve all been living through. He also discusses the need for both a national purpose and a sense of self that is inclusive, communal, and forgiving of our individual shortcomings—a sense of self that makes space for the imperfections of a human life. The world that we are living in today is not the world that most of us grew up in and the next few years are going to be crucial in determining how we want to face the challenges of this new world and more importantly who we want to be coming out the other side of it. What matters to us? Who are we, beyond the carefully curated exteriors that we present on our social media feeds? What do we deem worth fighting for? That’s a question we have yet to answer and haven’t had to answer for a very long time. This is a luxury we can no longer afford. You can access the full episode and transcript to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/16/2022
4/4/20221 hour, 16 minutes
Episode Artwork

Preparing the U.S. & Europe for Russian Cyber Attacks | Chris Painter

In Episode 241 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Chris Painter, a globally recognized leader and expert on cyber security who has been at the vanguard of U.S. and international cyber issues for over thirty years—first as a prosecutor of some of the most high-profile cybercrime cases in the country and then as a senior official at the Department of Justice, FBI, the National Security Council, and the State Department. He’s responsible for having established the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues and served as Senior Director for Cyber Policy in the National Security Council. With the Biden administration reiterating prior warnings that the Russian Government is exploring options for conducting cyberattacks against the United States in response to sanctions levied against the Russian economy, we wanted to help bring all of you up to speed on exactly what those warnings are, what steps are being taken to minimize the damage they may cause, and what the range of possible responses by the U.S. government will be depending on the nature and targets of those attacks. This conversation is meant to give you the information that you need in order to best prepare yourselves and your businesses for what might be coming next, so that you remain ahead of the curve as events evolve and as the collateral damage of the war in Ukraine potentially widens. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/24/2022
3/28/202241 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Risks of Nuclear War & the Escalation Ladder | Jon Wolfsthal

In Episode 240 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jon Wolfsthal, a veteran of the national security establishment who has served as both special assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs and senior director at the National Security Council for arms control and nonproliferation. He’s been involved in almost every aspect of U.S. nuclear weapons, arms control, nonproliferation and security policy during his 30-years of working on issues of national security. This episode is an exploration of US and Russian nuclear doctrine and decision-making protocols. It’s a conversation about how people and institutions in both the United States and Russia think about nuclear war and escalation management, acknowledging that nuclear war would be an unimaginable horror that no rational person would actually want. Today’s conversation is meant to give you the information you need to wrap your arms around what may instinctively feel like a hopelessly scary and irrational situation, so that you can develop the composure you need in order to deal with it. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/21/2022
3/24/202242 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Battle for Ukraine & Prospects for World War III | Peter Zeihan

In Episode 239 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Peter Zeihan geopolitical strategist and author of the soon-to-be-released book “The End of the World is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization.” Demetri asked Zeihan back on the podcast in order to get his perspective on the very serious situation that is unfolding in Ukraine and Eastern Europe at the moment. We discuss the European security theatre, US-Russia relations, the risks of military confrontation with NATO, nuclear escalation, and knock-on effects to global energy markets and food systems. We also speculate on China’s involvement in the diplomatic efforts over Ukraine, the implications for Taiwan, the US Dollar system, and so much more. Our objective in bringing you this conversation is to situate the war in Ukraine within this larger geopolitical framework, so that when you see things like Saudi Arabia engaging in talks with China to price some of its oil sales in Renminbi or Egyptian bonds selling off over concerns about wheat shortages and rising prices you are able to put it all in context. The full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation can be accessed by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/17/2022
3/21/202249 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hidden Forces Event in New York City | Thursday, March 31st

I'm hosting an event at Ideal Glass Studios in New York City’s Greenwich Village on Thursday, March 31st. The event includes a panel featuring the founders of Nillion, a decentralized public network based on an exciting new cryptographic primitive called Nil Message Compute (NMC) that I recently covered in Episode 234 with Miguel De Vega. Attendees will have a chance to learn more about the project, ask questions of the panelists, and socialize with fellow Hidden Forces listeners and past guests of the podcast who will also be in attendance. Doors open at 6 PM EDT and the panel will begin promptly at 7 PM. Make sure to RSVP here while there are still seats available.
3/20/20223 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Quantifying Structural Risk in 'Zombified' Markets | Hari Krishnan & Ash Bennington

In Episode 238 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Hari Krishnan (Head of Volatility Strategies at SCT Capital) and Ash Bennington (Senior & Crypto Editor at Real Vision) about their book “Market Tremors: Quantifying Structural Risks in Modern Financial Markets.” Since the Global Financial Crisis, market structure has undergone a dramatic shift. A combination of Central Bank policy, disintermediation of commercial banks through regulation, and the growth of passive products such as ETFs have ‘zombified’ markets. Risk has increasingly built up beneath the surface through a combination of excessive leverage and crowded exposure to specific asset classes and strategies. In many cases, historical volatility understates prospective risk. This conversation is meant to expose you to some of the ideas behind Market Tremors, which provides a practical and wide-ranging framework for dealing with the credit, positioning, and liquidity risk that investors face in modern markets. Ash and Hari draw on the fields of statistical physics and game theory to simplify and quantify the impact of very large agents on the distribution of forward returns, and offer techniques for dealing with situations where markets are structurally risky yet realized volatility is low. You can access the transcript and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/14/2022
3/17/202252 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

A History of Venture Capital & How to Make the Future | Sebastian Mallaby

In Episode 237 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with journalist, historian, and author Sebastian Mallaby about his latest book, “The Power Law,” which delves into the history of the venture capital industry and early-stage investing. This conversation is meant to provide you with a framework for thinking about how to invest in businesses, initiatives, and projects, which not only lack cash flows, but whose values are often fundamentally intangible, difficult to measure, and often impossible to quantify. As more and more of our economic life happens in the digital realm, the ability to assess value and invest accordingly will become an increasingly invaluable skill-set for investors. In Part Two of their conversation, which is available to premium subscribers only, Sebastian and I delve into the geopolitics of venture capital, some of the approaches to investing in this space, and how national governments can participate in order to support their domestic defense sectors without creating the malincentives that we often associate with 9-figure fighter jets and four-hundred-dollar hammers. Demetri and Sebastian also discuss Web3 in the context of initial coin offerings and how these types of crowdsourced investments have transformed the early stage landscaped and brought public capital into areas of the market that would have never been able to source it only 10 years ago. Lastly, Sebastian offers his views on the uniquely challenging situation facing the Fed Reserve at the moment and what he thinks is most important to focus on when trying to project the likely path for interest rates, economic growth, and asset prices. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/15/2022
3/14/202246 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

Economic Warfare & the Weaponization of the Dollar | Julia Friedlander

In Episode 236 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Julia Friedlander, the C. Boyden Gray senior fellow & director of the Economic Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center. Ms. Friedlander served as senior policy advisor for Europe in the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, where she collaborated with EU partners on global sanctions policy and combatting illicit finance and as director for the European Union, Southern Europe and Economic Affairs at the National Security Council, charged with coordinating U.S. interagency policy on transatlantic relations and the European Union for White House. Julia’s extensive experience in economic statecraft make her the perfect person to speak to about the the sanctions that have been and continue to be levied against the Russian economy and its political class. We discuss what these sanctions mean in practice and what it is that makes them so unprecedented, as well as the intended and unintended consequences for the prosecution of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Aditional topics include the effect of sanctions on the geopolitical stability of Europe, the future of Russia, and the position of the dollar at the center of the international, financial system. You can access the transcript and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/07/2022
3/10/202243 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Russia-Ukraine War & Risks of NATO-Russia Escalation | Dmitri Alperovitch

In Episode 235 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with the fmr. CTO and co-founder of CrowdStrike Dmitri Alperovitch about the latest developments in the war between Russia and Ukraine, including the risks of escalation between Russia & NATO, implications for US-Sino relations, cyberattacks against Western countries, political warfare, and much more. Dmitri Alperovitch was on this podcast late last year for an episode titled “Why Putin Plans to Invade Ukraine,” in which he explained why he was convinced that Vladimir Putin was going to invade Ukraine in January or February of 2022. It was a controversial view at the time that proved to be absolutely correct in retrospect. Kofinas asked him back on the podcast to help explain (1) why so many people struggled to see this war coming, (2) the ramifications of Putin’s actions, including his strategic and perhaps, even messianic motivations, (3) risks of escalation, (4) pathways for de-escalation, (5) the implications of this war for US-Sino relations in negotiations over Taiwan, (6) the remilitarization of Germany and the strategic security of Europe, (7) and much more. Dmitri’s background in cybersecurity and forensic analysis also proved useful during a discussion about cyber warfare and the dangers of cyber escalation on the part of Russia in responding to Western economic sanctions. The primary objective of today’s episode is to bring you up-to-speed on the latest developments in this geopolitical drama, with the larger, more long-term goal of helping you wrap your arms around some of the more nuanced aspects of the diplomatic crisis so that you know what to focus on, who listen to, and how to think about the types of risks that all of us face going forward.   You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/04/2022
3/7/202251 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Nillion NMC: A Secure Processing Layer for Web3 | Miguel de Vega

In Episode 234 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Dr. Miguel de Vega, the creator of Nillion’s new cryptographic primitive, Nil Message Compute (NMC). Nillion allows a decentralized network of nodes to work together using a non-blockchain technology known as Secure Multi-Party Computation (SMPC) to store and process information at essentially centralized server speed, all while remaining information-theoretic secure (ITS). This unique feature represents a significant breakthrough in decentralized systems, allowing Nillion to operate the first decentralized and permissionless public SMPC network at scale. Its security and performance characteristics enable Nillion to not only serve as a secure processing layer for Web3, but also as a source of off-chain computation, as a decentralized private enclave, and as an enabler of interoperability between ledgers. Today’s conversation is meant to give you an early introduction to this potentially transformative technology. Demetri will also be hosting a Hidden Forces panel event with Chief Scientist and inventor of Nillion, Dr. Miguel de Vega and other members of the team at Ideal Glass Studios in New York City’s Greenwich Village on Thursday, March 31st, where you can learn more about the project, meet key members of the founding team, and socialize with other listeners and guests of the podcast. Doors open at 6 PM EDT and the panel will begin promptly at 7 PM. You can RSVP for the event HERE and access a special advanced copy of the Nillion whitepaper HERE. You can get early access to the episode, as well as the episode transcript and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/18/2022
2/28/20221 hour, 1 minute, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Update on Ukraine & US-Russia Escalation

The war in Ukraine has broken out while I've been away on vacation. This is an update for listeners so that you know what to expect from the show in the next couple of weeks. In the meanwhile, you can follow me on Twitter at @kofinas, where I have been sharing my thoughts on the geopolitical situation, as well as retweeting those of the people I follow in order to stay abreast of events as they evolve. This is a dangerous time for the world, but especially for the people of Ukraine who have shown incredible courage in the face of an aggressive adversary whose motivations and final objectives remain unclear at this point in time.
2/26/20222 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

The PayPal Mafia & the Founders Who Shaped Silicon Valley | Jimmy Soni

In Episode 233 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with award-winning author and recurring Hidden Forces guest Jimmy Soni about his newst book on the PayPal Mafia and the founders who shaped Silicon Valley and transformed the Fintech and online payments industry. The history of the so-called “PayPal Mafia” does not simply constitute the individual histories of star-studded founders like Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Reed Hoffman, and others. The history of PayPal is in many ways the history of the future. It's about a company that was in so many ways ahead of its time. PayPal was fintech before anyone even knew what that word meant. It was one of the earliest pioneers of what former team member and later LinkedIn founder Reed Hoffman would dub “blitzscalling,” which is what you do when you need to grow really, really fast. And that’s what PayPal's founders did, and they did it while under constant threat of extinction, from not only criminals trying to defraud their customers or competitors trying to take their business, but also from each other. And that's because the story of the PayPal mafia is also the story of an unlikely, but nonetheless successful merger of two very different but equally competitive cultures, that of Elon Musk’s X.com and Peter Thiel’s Confinity. The objective of this episode is to give you a historical context for many of the business practices that have since become standard operating procedures across both Silicon Valley and Wallstreet. Things like CAPTCHA, blitzscalling, and micro-deposits, just to name a few. All of these innovations came out of a company under siege for almost the entire course of its pre-IPO existence, and it was in many ways this daily battle for survival that was central to shaping not only PayPal’s culture, but its success: the type of success that every entrepreneur and every founder dreams of. Most of the conversation about fraud, using financial incentives to effectively buy customers and scale quickly, as well as a discussion about the intersection of fintech and cryptocurrency is featured in the second part of our episode available on our premium subscriber feed. Anyone signed up to our Super Nerd tier can also access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/14/2022
2/21/202248 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

Monetary Tightening & the End of the Risk-on Trade | Mohamed El-Erian

In Episode 232 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Mohamed El-Erian, President of Queens' College Cambridge and chief economic adviser at Allianz, the corporate parent of PIMCO where Mohamed was CEO and co-chief investment officer from 2007 to 2014. El-Erian is one of the most gifted communicators in finance who is intimately connected with the global policymaking community. He has a unique perspective on one of the most important forces driving financial markets and his insights into government policy are invaluable to investors the world over. In this conversation, Mohamed shares his views on the direction of Fed policy, his projection for rate hikes in early 2022, and what it will take for the Fed to regain control of the inflation narrative. The growing geopolitical instability between the US, Europe, China, and Russia is another subject that El-Erian and Demetri discuss in the context of market psychology, with an eye on its potentially destabilizing effects on global liquidity. The two also discuss crypto, how it has benefited from a narrative of monetary dysfunction, and whether or not it can survive the ire of regulators in 2022 and 2023. You can access this week’s intelligence report along with the episode transcript to this conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/01/2022
2/14/202251 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Metaverse, Virtual Worlds, and the Problems of Philosophy | David Chalmers

In Episode 231 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with renowned philosopher and author of “Reality+” David Chalmers about the metaverse, the nature of reality, and the problems of philosophy in a virtual world. David’s central thesis is that the metaverse and virtual reality are genuine realities and that we may be living in such virtual worlds already. Along the way, Demetri and David conduct a grand tour of big ideas in philosophy and science, using virtual reality technology to explore new perspectives on long-established philosophical questions. How do we know that there’s an external world? Is there a god? What is the nature of reality? What’s the relation between mind and body? How can we lead a good life? All of these questions are illuminated or transformed in this mind-bending episode. In the second part of their conversation, David and Demetri imagine not only what it would be like to live in a simulated world, but whether or not it would be possible to do so without becoming a slave to someone else’s reality. David also shares his views on Web3 and whether or not such protocols could play a role in helping people live freer and better lives in the metaverse. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/01/2022
2/7/202253 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Robinhood, Reddit, & the Revolt of the Retail Investor | Spencer Jakab

In Episode 230 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Spencer Jakab, an award-winning financial journalist who edits the Wall Street Journal’s “Heard on the Street” column and who is out with a new book chronicling one of the craziest news stories of the last few years. The story centers on a motley crew of retail traders on Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets forum who almost broke the Internet by using social media, the Robinhood trading app, and a sophisticated understanding of options contracts to wreak havoc on Wall Street while making a fortune doing it. This is a retrospective on the now infamous GameStop/$GME: the video game retailer who attracted crazy amounts of media attention this time last year. Spencer and I discuss the facts of the story in detail, how the meme stock squeeze unfolded, who the winners were, and what the deeper significance of this story really is. One year later, what does it reveal to us about how our financial system works, the corrosive influence of years and years of easy money, and the dereliction of regulators to regulate? And what do we make of the metanarrative that’s taken hold in society today, which says that “it’s all just a narrative?” If that’s true, what does that say about not only where the markets are going, but our economy and society as well? These are all questions that Demetri and Spencer explore in this phenomenal and thought provoking episode. You can access the transcript and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/24/2022
1/31/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Did the Future Arrive First in Russia? | Peter Pomerantsev

In Episode 229 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Peter Pomerantsev, a Soviet-born British journalist, former TV producer, and author about the break-down in belief systems and shared mythologies that we are experiencing in the West and why this has left so many people feeling increasingly cynical about the world and indifferent towards the future. Peter was early in his diagnosis, having first experienced this phenomenon during his time living and working in Russia. It was not long after that experience and the publication of his first book “Nothing is True, But Everything Is Possible” that he began to notice some of the things that he wrote about in that book—the cynicism, the sense of surreality, the nostalgia, and what he described as an “aggressive apathy”—showing up in Western countries. And he began to ask himself the question, “Why did the future arrive first in Russia?” This is the question that we seek to answer in today’s episode, because some of the same forces that were operational in the late-Soviet Union and in early post-Soviet Russia are at work in Western societies today. If we want to understand what the future might look like when trust in institutions has completely deteriorated, when grounding notions of identity and meaning have all but disappeared, when any independent standard of truth has become so elusive that people are willing to believe in anything and the only thing left to unify us is raw and unbridled power, then we would be wise to not only understand the path that Russia has followed in the last several decades but to do everything in our power to avoid following it any further. It leads to only one place and that is a postmodern, repressive society that uses the language and institutions of democratic capitalism for authoritarian ends. You can access the full episode, transcript, and rundown to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/14/2022
1/24/202256 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Kazakhstan Protests & Russia's Standoff With the West | Joanna Lillis

In Episode 228 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Kazakhstan-based journalist Joanna Lillis, author of “Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan,” about the recent protests and unrest that unfolded in Kazakhstan over the past two weeks and how this ties into the larger geopolitical chess match currently underway in Eastern Europe. This is the multi-polar world in action. It’s no longer some theoretical thing that we’ve read about or that we’re moving towards—we are in it. This is the world we live in, and in this world, everything is up for grabs. Every crisis, every border skirmish, every negotiation is an opportunity for any and all of the major powers to change the status quo and to change the rules of the game to their advantage. And this starts with taking control of the story and telling a narrative about events before the facts emerge and before people have had a chance to even begin to form an educated opinion about whatever it is that’s happening. Today’s episode is meant to provide you with a sense of where and how the events in Kazakhstan fit into this new global disorder of nation states, non-state actors, mercenaries, agitators, hackers—pretty much everyone interested in exercising influence on an international stage that is fluid and where power is constantly up for grabs. The world is becoming ever more complex and if you want to exercise a level of agency over your own sense of reality and be anything other than a spectator in someone else’s story you need to step back from all the noise and all the hustles and exercise a level of informed skepticism without simply resorting to questioning everything and therefore believing in nothing. This is what Hidden Forces is all about. You can access the full episode, transcript, and rundown to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/11/2022
1/17/202239 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Is America Undergoing a Narrative Reset or Realignment? | Saagar Enjeti & Marshall Kosloff

In Episode 227 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Saagar Enjeti and Marshall Kosloff, the co-hosts of “The Realignment,” an absolutely phenomenal podcast that consistently produces some of the best conversations at the intersection of politics and society that you will find anywhere. They are both successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders in their own rights—Saagar Enjeti interviewed former president Donald Trump four separate times in his capacity as Chief Whitehouse Correspondent for the Daily Caller and currently co-hosts the immensely popular “Breaking Points” with Krystal Ball. Marshall Kosloff is an executive producer at “On Deck” where he also hosts “The Deep End,” a podcast where he interviews visionary builders, creators, and experts with world-changing ideas related to the futures of commerce, higher education, governance, longevity, art, and more. Demetri asked them both to come onto the podcast in order to help him better understand the forces driving dysfunction in American politics, along with phenomenon of rising public mistrust of institutions, and a deeping sense of paranoia in the body politic. Saagar, Marshall, and Demetri spend the first hour of their conversation discussing how we got here, why the so-called “political experts” whose job it is to explain what’s happening have consistently failed to do so, what the new political consensus is that’s forming in American life, and what it is that the majority of Americans want—what in other words, would constitute a popular platform on which to not only run a successful campaign but from which to govern successfully or are these two things fundamentally incompatible in today’s celebrity-driven, fake it till you make it culture that seems to reward the aesthetics over power in place of power itself? The second hour of their conversation is spent discussing what Kofinas suggests may be a multi-decade breakdown in belief systems driven by a series of recurring failures, covered up by lies, succeeded by more failures like the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the 2008 financial crisis and its culture of never-ending bailouts, and most recently the Covid-19 pandemic and the confusing directives and open disregard by health authorities of legitimate public concerns around the vaccines, the risks associated with taking them, mandating who should take them, etc. This also opens the door to a conversation about the changing media landscape and the growing power of independent voices like Joe Rogan’s to influence public opinion and force issues into the public square that would otherwise be deemed off-limits by those in positions of public authority.   You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. For those interested in gaining early access to the new Hidden Foces subscription platform on Supercast, please email [email protected] for a discount link. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/04/2022
1/10/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Putin Plans to Invade Ukraine & What the West Can Do About It | Dmitri Alperovitch

In Episode 226 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Dmitri Alperovitch, the former CTO and co-founder of CrowdStrike, the world’s largest cybersecurity company, which has been involved in investigations of several high-profile cyberattacks including the 2014 Sony Pictures hack, the 2015–2016 cyber-attacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the 2016 email leak involving the DNC. Alperovitch currently serves as Chairman of the non-profit Silverado Policy Accelerator, where he focuses on advancing American prosperity and global leadership by working directly with both the executive branch and Capitol Hill on issues related to cyber, trade & industrial security, and ecological & economic security. What prompted this conversation was a Twitter thread that Dmitri published recently, in which he explained why he believes the Kremlin has already made its decision to invade Ukraine later this winter—in late January or possibly early February—and that military confrontation is in fact the preferred route for Putin at this point. It’s a fascinating thread and we encourage you all to read through it after listening to today’s episode. Kofinas and Alperovitch spend the first half of their conversation discussing the various signals that Dimitri believes point to the increased likelihood of a military invasion of Ukraine and the partitioning of the country by Russia in the next several months, as well Putin’s possible motivations and objectives in doing so. The second part of their conversation, which is available to premium subscribers focuses on the cyber component of this conflict, including evidence of increased cyber intrusions into the Ukrainian government and civilian networks, what the targets have been, and what can be further inferred about the Kremlin’s objectives based on the nature of those targets. Alperovitch also shares his views on how he thinks the Biden administration can credibly respond to the mounting pressure on Ukraine’s defenses, the effectiveness of sanctions as a tool for dissuading Russian aggression as well as for punishing Kremlin leadership after the fact, and the similarities between Ukraine and Taiwan and what lessons the Chinese communist party may be drawing from our response or failure to respond to mounting Russian aggression on Ukraine’s eastern border. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/27/2021
1/3/202243 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Meditations on Courage & Why Fortune Favors the Brave | Ryan Holiday

In Episode 225 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Ryan Holiday, a popular author whose books have made philosophy and the writings of the ancients interesting and accessible to millions of people. He’s done this with bestselling books like “The Obstacle is the Way” and “Ego is the Enemy” and he continues to do this with his latest book “Courage is Calling.”  Demetri and Ryan discuss what courage is, why it matters, and if we can learn to live and act courageously. We are living in a time when people would rather stand on the sidelines than speak out against injustice, go along with convention, or bet on their own talents and abilities. And yet, Ryan would argue that we need courage now more than ever. Our hope is that today’s conversation with Ryan will give cause to reflect on how you want to meet the challenges in your own life and what will give you the courage to face your fears and to make choices in this new year from a place of integrity that honors who you are and who you aspire to be. If you want access to this week’s premium episode with Ryan Holiday, as well as the transcript and rundown to his conversation with Demetri, you can access all of those through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/22/2021
12/27/20214 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

The 'Restart of History' & How to Invest in a Broken Economy | Demetri Kofinas

In Episode 224 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas appears as a guest on the Mining Stock Daily, a podcast by Trevor Hall which focuses on the junior mining and mineral exploration sector. Their conversation centers on the macro, big-picture themes of society, polity, economy, and culture that preoccupy most of Demetri’s attention, as well as on his own approach to investing. You can find more information about Trevor’s podcast at miningstockdaily.com where you can listen to the entire, original episode, which mainly includes stories from Demetri’s time working in media and his thoughts about the difference between mediums like radio, TV, and podcasting.  There is no overtime to this episode, but you can still subscribe to our premium content and gain access to all past and future overtimes, transcripts, and rundowns through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/09/2021
12/20/202149 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Power of Independent Voices & How to Make It in the Gig Economy | Doomberg

In Episode 223 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Doomberg, an anonymous publisher and the proprietor of a bespoke consulting firm that provides advisory services to family offices and c-suite executives. The firm’s principals apply their decades of experience across heavy industry, private equity, and finance to deliver innovative thinking and clarity to complex problems. In the first hour of today’s conversation, Demetri and Doomberg discuss how to build a successful publishing company and what it takes to cultivate an audience in today’s decentralized, networked economy and fragmented media ecosystem. They discuss what that process has been like for the Doomberg team, what goes into building a brand from scratch, and the opportunities that have emerged for independent voices, and how to capitalize on them. In the second hour, they transition into a conversation about cancel culture, the power of platforms vs. audiences, and what it means to have a dedicated group of followers who are willing to go to defend you in the event that you end up in the crosshairs of the censors or a mob of activists. Demetri and Doomberg also discuss some of the topics that he writes about on his doomberg.substack.com page, including America’s and Europe’s energy policies, why he thinks they don’t work, and what it will take in order to fix them. The two end with a more macro-oriented conversation about inflation and the influence of the economy on asset markets vs. the influence of monetary policy and which one is really in the driver’s seat. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/06/2021
12/13/202151 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

How the US Navy Creates Prosperity & Why We'll Miss It | Gregg Easterbrook

In Episode 222 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Gregg Easterbrook. Gregg was a staff writer, national correspondent, and contributing editor at The Atlantic and has authored thirteen books about a variety of subjects including climate change, globalization, philosophy, and American football. Demetri and Gregg explore the subject of Easterbrook’s latest book, “The Blue Age.” They discuss the extraordinary transformation of the international trading order that we’ve been living through over the last seventy years and the unique role that the US Navy and advancements in naval architecture and marine engineering have played in making all of that possible. It’s difficult to appreciate just how unprecedented this long period of peace on the oceans has been and how extraordinary the deflationary pressures are that this peace has unleashed. It has also had huge implications for the expansion of credit, the reduction of volatility, and the growth in asset values in Western markets—topics that we’ve explored from a variety of different angles on the Hidden Forces podcast. What it might mean for our economies and for our lives if the Blue Age comes to an end is a question that is addressed directly during the first hour of today’s episode. In the second half of today’s episode, which is available to premium subscribers only, Gregg and Demetri focus on the economic and geopolitical aspects of the Blue Age, the likelihood of conflict on the high seas, the incentives for and against it, and its consequences for the global economy. They also discuss some of the factors driving the current bottlenecks in global supply chains, the shipping industry’s contribution to this, and why Gregg feels that those bottlenecks will be largely resolved before the end of next year. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/30/2021
12/6/202149 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Jim Grant on What Inflation Means for Asset Values, Crypto, and Meme Stocks

In Episode 221 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jim Grant, the founder of Grant's Interest Rate Observer: a legend in the business of investor education and financial media. What separates Jim from millions of his fellow financial journalists, commentators, and authors is the historical perspective that he brings, informed not just by the immense volume of books and periodicals that he’s consumed over the course of his lifetime, but primarily by the wisdom of his own lived experiences and lessons learned from the experiences of others that he’s had the privilege to know and interview over the course his life. Given the ongoing controversy around inflation—its causes and consequences—we couldn’t think of anyone better to talk to than Jim Grant. Jim has been warning his readers about the unintended consequences of overly-accommodative Fed policy and dollar debasement for as long as we have known him and he is uniquely positioned to provide us with the historical context to understand where we find ourselves in the present cycle. What we came to this conversation wanting to know from Jim, as someone who has lived through at least 3 major credit cycles, is if in fact he feels that this inflation is not transitory. If in fact, he thinks that we are in the process of up-anchoring inflation expectations and what this means for the Fed’s policy options, with important implications for assets like stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency, etc., whose prices have depended on the free-flow of credit that becomes less readily available in an environment of rising consumer and producer prices. This is a phenomenal conversation that will help you integrate the history of inflation and what we know about its causes into the unique circumstances of our modern political-economy, which is characterized by historically high debt levels, aging demographics, and technology-driven deflation, in a way that can make you a better, more thoughtful investor.  Topics discussed during the Overtime include precious metals, cryptocurrency, meme stocks, ethics in journalism, and more. You can access that part of the conversation, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/18/2021
11/29/202151 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Happened to the American Economy & How to Fix It | Julius Krein

In Episode 220 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Julius Krein, the editor of American Affairs, a quarterly journal of policy and political-economy that delves into the deeper sociopolitical, cultural, and economic issues facing America and other Western countries. The episode is broken into two parts, the first hour of which focuses on issues of political-economy, policy, and market dynamics that have driven the American economy into a state of “proletarianization,” where its citizens are increasingly ruled by an oligarchy of global elites whose insatiable appetite for wealth and power is endangering the very systems of free-market capitalism and liberal democracy that this kakistocracy claims to uphold. It’s an outcome that Julius Klein would refer to as “capitalism without competence and feudalism without nobility.” The second hour of today’s conversation is, unsurprisingly, the most satisfying insofar as Demetri and Julius tackle the socio-political and cultural dimensions and manifestations of the problems created by the perversions of what was earlier described as the “proletarianization” or conversion of the American economy and political system into a more corrupt, upwardly sclerotic, and extractive system of governance than anything experienced in America since at least the Gilded Age. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/15/2021
11/22/20211 hour, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Lab-Leak Hypothesis & the Origin of Covid-19 | Alina Chan & Matt Ridley

In Episode 219 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Matt Ridley and Alina Chan. Alina is a Canadian molecular biologist specializing in gene therapy and cell engineering at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Matt is a British science journalist who has written countless bestselling books on subjects ranging from evolution, to innovation, to genomic science. They are the co-authors of an electrifying new book titled “Viral” that grapples with the mystery of how Covid-19, a virus whose closest known relatives live in bats residing in subtropical southern China, somehow managed to begin spreading among people more than 1,500 kilometers away in the city of Wuhan, while leaving none of the expected traces that such outbreaks usually create. Instead, nearly two years into this pandemic we’re presented with a trail of evidence that increasingly points towards the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the so-called “Lab Leak Hypothesis” as the most plausible source of the outbreak. This is a critically important conversation to be having and Matt and Alina have made an invaluable contribution to it by working tirelessly and at great risk to themselves and to their careers in order to bring clarity to many of the facts and much of the evidence in support of the lab leak hypothesis—a theory that was consistently attacked and discredited by various actors, both wittingly and unwittingly, in the earliest days of the pandemic. We normally release the second half of our episodes for our subscribers only, but because of how important this conversation is and because of how much Matt and Alina have sacrificed in order to educate us all on the origins of Covid-19, we thought it was only right to do as much as we can to share as much of their work as possible. If you enjoy today’s episode, please take a moment to write us a review on Apple Podcasts and consider being a premium subscriber, if you haven’t already. There's no commitment. You can cancel at any time and the entire library of Hidden Forces subscriber content going all the way back to Episode 1 becomes instantly available to you, including the transcripts, and rundowns, to this episode and every other episode we’ve ever done. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/09/2021
11/15/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Age of A.I. and Our Human Future | Eric Schmidt & Dan Huttenlocher

In Episode 218 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Eric Schmidt and Daniel Huttenlocher. Eric is co-founder of Schmidt Futures and the former CEO & Chairman of Google and Daniel is the inaugural dean of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. They are the co-authors, along with Henry Kissinger, of a phenomenal new book titled, “The Age of AI And Our Human Future,” which explores how Artificial Intelligence is transforming human society—and what it means for all of us. Eric and Dan spend the first hour discussing the technical dimensions of artificial intelligence—what it is and how it works—as well as how it will continue to shape and transform our social and physical realities. The second half of the conversation focuses on the national security dimensions of artificial intelligence, as well as the profound philosophical challenges that it poses for humanity, specifically our need to find meaning in a world where machines will provide answers to more and more questions but without the ability, in many cases, to provide us with a rational or methodology by which they arrived at those answer. For those of you who are interested in the field of blockchain and DLT-enabled applications and smart contracts, Demetri had a chance to ask Eric about where he thinks these technologies fit in an AI future, what the main hurdles are going to be, and what some of the interesting projects in the space are. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/08/2021
11/11/202146 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Memoir of Illness, Discovery, & the Body Politic | Ross Douthat

In Episode 217 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with New York Times Op-Ed columnist Ross Douthat about his five-year struggle with a disease that in his own words, officially, doesn't exist. It’s a story about personal suffering but also about what happens when we become terribly ill only to realize that even the doctors who are willing to treat us can only do so much. Demetri and Ross spend the first half of their conversation discussing the book and its lessons for not only those dealing with chronic illnesses like Lyme disease, which has afflicted Ross, but for anyone who feels the need to challenge or circumvent the medical establishment in order to treat an illness or cure a serious disease. Unsurprisingly, this leads directly into a conversation about Covid-19, a disease which has inspired its own set of alternative treatment modalities and which has afflicted tens of millions of people with symptoms that the medical establishment is still struggling to understand. In the second hour, Demetri has a chance to ask Ross about a number of political and social issues and questions surrounding the upcoming elections, the enduring popularity of Donald Trump, the ongoing transformation of the news media, the Biden presidency, and much more. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 11/02/2021
11/8/202159 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Index Funds, ETFs, & the Passive Investing Revolution | Robin Wigglesworth

In Episode 216 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Robin Wigglesworth, the Financial Times global finance correspondent and author of “Trillions,” a book which chronicles the origins, history, and future of the index fund, arguably the most disruptive financial innovation of the last 50 years. Robin and Demetri spend the first half of their conversation exploring the history of passive investing and its evolution into what some argue has become a market-distorting phenomenon that is making markets less efficient by inhibiting price discovery and concentrating power in the hands of an increasingly smaller number of index fund managers and purveyors of indices. In the overtime, the two switch gears to discuss some of the timelier stories concerning investors, including inflation, whether or not it is transitory, and what central banks are able and prepared to do in order to curb it. Robin and Demetri also discuss the ongoing trading scandals at the Federal Reserve and what they say about the extent of corruption in government, the loss of faith in public institutions on the part of investors, and how that loss of faith is reflected in the casinofication of markets and the speculative manias we’ve seen in meme stocks and cryptocurrencies. It’s a phenomenal, hour-long overtime that you will not want to miss. You can access the second hour of this week’s episode, as well as the transcript and rundown through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/18/2021
10/25/202148 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Andrew Yang on His Forward Party and the Rise of a New Political Consensus

In Episode 215 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with 2020 Presidential candidate and Founder of the Forward Party, Andrew Yang. Yang is perhaps best known for popularizing the idea of universal basic income, what he called “the freedom dividend” during his run for president in 2020. He recently launched “the Forward Party,” a political party focused on breaking what Andrew sees as a two-party duopoly that is no longer working and whose members and policies have fallen increasingly out of favor with the majority of Americans. He details many of his policy proposals in his new book “Forward,” including ranked-choice voting, open primaries, term limits, campaign reform, and of course universal basic income: one-thousand dollars for every man and woman in America. Demetri spent most of the first half of their conversation asking Andrew Yang about his experience on the campaign trail, what it was like to run for president, and what it taught him about the American political system and how to go viral in today’s attention economy. The overtime is where Kofinas really had the opportunity to dig into Yang’s policy platform. They discussed Andrew's UBI proposal, its potential impact on inflation, and how to implement such a policy without making politics even more transactional than it is today. They also discuss how to crack the gerontocracy that currently exists in Washington, the misaligned incentives in our news media, as well as how Andrew Yang thinks blockchain and distributed ledger technology can be leveraged for the public good and why crypto is a potential path to universal basic income. If you enjoy the free content we produce every week, we encourage you to take the leap and become a premium subscriber, if you haven’t already. There's no commitment. You can cancel at any time and the entire library of subscriber content going all the way back to Episode 1 becomes instantly available to you, including the overtimes, afterthoughts, transcripts, and rundowns, depending on your tier. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 10/11/2021
10/18/202146 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

Uncontrolled Spread: How COVID-19 Crushed Us & How to Fight the Next Pandemic | Scott Gottlieb

In Episode 214 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Scott Gottlieb. Dr. Gottlieb is a physician who served as the head of the FDA from 2017 to 2019. He currently serves on the boards of Pfizer and Illumina and is a regular contributor to CNBC where he has become one of the most recognizable faces in America. His recently published book, “Uncontrolled Spread,” examines how the coronavirus and its variants overwhelmed our national defenses and outlines the steps he thinks we need to take in order to better protect ourselves and our country from the next pandemic. The first half of Demetri’s conversation with Scott was spent examining the systemic failures that Dr. Gottlieb thinks exacerbated the scope of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the economic costs associated with the various lockdowns and shutdowns that were imposed in the very early days of the outbreak. Gottlieb also goes into detail about the biological mechanics of the virus, how it spreads, and what we’ve learned about best practices for protecting ourselves and those around us. The conversation then shifts to a discussion about the various vaccines, their effectiveness, how they work, as well as the risk of taking them and how to evaluate those risks when making your own decision about whether or not to get vaccinated. Demetri asks Dr. Gottlieb about alternative treatment options like Ivermectin and whether or not he thinks the mainstream media is censoring information about these types of alternative treatments. This week’s premium content is a forty-minute afterthoughts segment that Demetri recorded right after the end of his conversation with Scott, where he reflects on not only what was discussed during the first hour, but also, many of the things that the two didn’t get to talk about like the lab leak hypothesis, the arguments for and against mandated vaccinations, the future of sequencing and genomic epidemiology, new antiviral drugs, the risk of new BSL-4 Facilities, and so much more. If you enjoy the free content we produce every week, we encourage you to take the leap and become a premium subscriber, if you haven’t already. There's no commitment. You can cancel at any time and the entire library of subscriber content going all the way back to Episode 1 becomes instantly available to you, including the overtimes, afterthoughts, transcripts, and rundowns, depending on your tier. The rundown to this week’s episode is a nearly 30-page compendium full of notes, questions, images, and other materials that Demetri put together to help guide you through this conversation. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/05/2021
10/11/202157 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Washington Works in the New Gilded Age | David Wessel

In Episode 213 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with David Wessel, a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy. David is also the author of a new book titled, “Only the Rich Can Play: How Washington Works in the New Gilded Age.” In the book, Wessel tells the story of the creation of a lucrative tax break in which wealthy elites attend to one another, under the guise of social justice and redistribution. This tax break, known as “Opportunity Zones,” was sold as a way to incentivizing people to invest in distressed, low-income communities, with the official purpose of spurring economic growth and job creation, but which in practice, seems to have served primarily as yet another tax loophole in an already convoluted tax code full of them. The first part of today’s conversation is spent discussing the Opportunity Zone provision itself, the story of its creation and implementation into law, and what this tells us about how financial and political power are wielded in Washington. The second part includes a discussion about political corruption, corporate concentration, the current infrastructure bill and its associated tax provisions, as well as the upcoming elections and Trump’s chances in 2024. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/29/2021
10/4/202141 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

Wireless Wars: China’s Dangerous Domination of 5G | Jon Pelson

In Episode 212 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with telecom industry veteran and author of “Wireless Wars,” Jon Pelson, about how American companies invented cellular technology, transferred that technology to China, and then sat by and watched as their Chinese competitors drove them out of business. He shares stories from the executives and scientists who built the industry, as well as those of Western politicians, businesspeople, and members of the military who cooperated with and in some cases actively aided the Chinese government and its state champions in their efforts to overtake and crush their western competitors. The first part of today’s conversation is spent familiarizing listeners with 5G technology, how it works, and why it’s important to the future of automation, commerce, and national security. Pelson also goes into some of the details around technology transfers, the rise of Huawei, and the relationship between the Chinese telecommunications industry and the CCP. The episode Overtime focuses mainly on how China uses our weaknesses against us, corrupting public officials and top corporate executives in their effort to overtake American companies in key industries that the Chinese Communist Party deems vital for its national security and global ambitions. Jon also explains how the United States can fight back, turning those same weaknesses into strengths by leveraging a culture of permissionless innovation to retake the lead in global telecommunications and related industries that are vital for the long-term competitiveness of American industry & national security. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/20/2021
9/27/202149 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Nihilist’s Guidebook for the Modern Investor | Demetri Kofinas

In Episode 211 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas shares his recent appearance on “The Empire’s New Clothes,” a documentary series where host Bradford Pope McArthur examines the cyclical forces that make and break empires and tries to answer the big questions of how we got here as a society and what might be in store for us in the years to come. Topics include global macro, cryptocurrencies, geopolitics, and more. You can access the transcript to this conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/01/2021
9/23/202151 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

A.I. Future: Utopia or Apocalypse? Ten Visions For Our Future | Kai-Fu Lee

In Episode 210 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Kai-Fu Lee, CEO of Sinovation Ventures, a leading Chinese technology venture firm. Dr. Lee was formerly the president of Google China and the New York Times bestselling author of AI Superpowers. His latest book, “AI2041: Ten Visions for Our Future,” provides the foundation for today’s conversation about the future of a world driven by artificial intelligence, what it will look like, and the challenges and opportunities for humanity that such a world will create. In the first part of today’s episode, Kai-Fu and Demetri discuss a number of key technologies that Dr. Lee believes will play a pivotal role in transforming our lives over the next 20 years such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing, how these technologies work, and their application in fields such as autonomous driving and predictive analytics. Most of the first half, however, is spent on the subject of “deep learning,” which is a subset of machine learning, which itself is fundamental to many of the transformative technologies that the two speak about in this episode. In the Overtime, which is available to our premium subscribers, our conversation turns to the subjects of deep fakes and autonomous weapons, job displacement, as well as digital currency and how to think about money in the type of post-scarcity world that Kai-Fu believes we are progressively moving towards as the technologies we discuss today are increasingly integrated into our applications, devices, and systems. This is a fascinating discussion that fits right in with the type of content that you have come to expect from this podcast. If you enjoy the first half of today’s conversation, we encourage you to take the leap and become a premium subscriber. There is no commitment; you can cancel at any time, and the entire library of premium content going all the way back to episode 1 becomes instantly available to you, including the overtimes, transcripts, and rundowns depending on your tier. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application.  gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/13/2021
9/20/202141 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons from the Soviet Union and the Flight to Safety | Simon Mikhailovich

In Episode 209 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Simon Mikhailovich, founder and Managing Partner of “The Bullion Reserve,” a professionally managed private vehicle providing full-service solutions that ensure legal compliance, jurisdictional diversification, liquidity, physical access, and deliverability of gold bullion. Operating within a single structure, TBR maximizes flexibility and enables the use of gold bullion as a deep out of the money put option on the failure of extreme monetary policies with an asymmetric upside. Demetri and Simon spend most of the podcast discussing Simon’s experience growing up in and emigrating from the Soviet Union, and the economic and political lessons that he has drawn from that experience and that we can apply to our present predicament in Western society. The last twenty to twenty-five minutes or so is spent specifically on TBR and the value proposition of holding gold bullion in a world where the traditional, safe-haven asset of US treasuries no longer inspires the same amount of investor confidence that it did only 10 or 20 years ago and what that means for not only portfolio construction but political and social stability as well. Because some of today’s conversation deals with investing, it’s important to make absolutely clear that nothing discussed on this podcast can or should be viewed as financial advice. All opinions expressed by podcast participants are solely their own opinions and should not be relied upon as the basis for financial decisions. You can access the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application.  gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/06/2021
9/16/20211 hour, 40 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Age of Crisis: COVID-19 & our Post-Pandemic Future | Adam Tooze

In Episode 208 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Adam Tooze, professor of history and the director of the European Institute at Columbia University. He’s also a prolific public commentator and author of several prize-winning books including his latest, “Shutdown: How COVID Shook the World Economy.” In the first part of their conversation, Demetri and Adam work their way through the chain of events that occurred between the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in January 2020 and the inauguration of Joe Biden in January 2021. Effectively the period that we now consider to be the first full year of the pandemic. In Adam’s own words we “wrestle with power and knowledge in time,” in an effort to understand the nature of the forces that this pandemic has unleashed, their constancy, and their implications for shaping not only our children’s futures but more immediately, ours as well. In the second part of our conversation, Demetri and Adam begin to dissect specific aspects and features of the modern world whether those be the fragility of our debt-financed economy and the neoliberal order, the threat, perceived or imagined to the United States, its citizenry, and its power structure posed by the rise of a potential peer-competitor in the form China, as well as the future of warfare and how to think about the proper relationship between the state and the private sector in the context of the types of polycrises of the Anthropocene that Adam and Demetri discuss during this conversation. It’s a phenomenal episode that you will not want to miss. You can access the second part of this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s conversation through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 09/09/2021
9/13/202147 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

China's Western Horizon: Beijing and the New Geopolitics of Eurasia | Daniel Markey

In Episode 207 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Daniel Markey, Senior Expert on South Asia at the United States Institute of Peace who recently served as senior research professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and as the academic director of the school’s Global Policy Program. He is also the author of “China’s Western Horizon: Beijing and the New Geopolitics of Eurasia,” which provides the roadmap for this conversation. In the first part of their discussion, Demetri and Daniel examine how the communist party in China views the lands, countries, and regions to its west, both historically and in terms of its contemporary security concerns and economic ambitions. How do its Eurasian neighbors view China? What motivates the CCP’s influence campaigns, investments, and diplomatic overtures in its Western region? We also discuss China’s Belt & Road initiative, and how it fits into a larger economic and political vision for a stronger, wealthier, and more assertive China on the international stage. In the Overtime, the conversation shifts to how the recent US withdrawal from Afghanistan is beginning to alter the geopolitical dynamics of the Greater Middle East by putting pressure on existing relationships, while opening the door to new partnerships and strategic alliances. Daniel explains what this means for the durability of China’s strategic partnership with Russia, how the internal politics of Pakistan and its relations with India are affected by China’s increased involvement there, and the economic and security implications of these developments for other regional players such as Kazakhstan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, and what this means for US policy in the region. You can access the episode Overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 08/30/2021
9/6/202152 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

How America Lost the ‘Good War’ in Afghanistan | Jonathan Schroden

In Episode 206 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jonathan Schroden, Director of the Countering Threats & Challenges Program at CNA. Schroden has served as a strategic advisor on Afghanistan to the US military since 2008, ranging from commands in-country to operational commands outside of Afghanistan, as well as strategic elements in the Pentagon, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In the first part of today’s conversation, Jonathan and Demetri examine the lens through which the public has become informed about the events unfolding in Kabul over the last two weeks and the public narrative that has quickly formed around what is truly a humanitarian and political disaster.   The question however that has been lost in all of this is why the United States is leaving Afghanistan in the first place, the cost-calculation behind the decision to withdraw, and how this decision fits into a broader strategic shift in the focus of American Foreign policy. In the second half the two focus on the specific elements that contributed to America’s defeat in Afghanistan, from the adroit battlefield tactics of the Taliban and their use of commercial technologies to fight an information war to massive corruption on the part of America’s partners in the Afghan government. We also look at the ecosystem of terrorist organizations operating in-country and the international threat they pose to Americans, as well as the geopolitical implications of America’s withdrawal for countries like China and Russia, as well as the supporting role played by Pakistan to aid the Taliban in its 20-year resistance against the US occupation. The goal of this episode, as well as our recent episode with Laurel Miller, is to help you fill in the gaps and put together some of the important pieces that have gone missing in what has largely been a unanimous condemnation of the President’s actions. By the end of this episode, you should be able to understand clearly (1) what went wrong, (2) why it went wrong, (3) and the larger, longer-term implications for the tragic events that are currently unfolding. You can access the episode Overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 08/24/2021
8/30/202147 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Afghanistan Withdrawal & Implications for U.S. Policy in Asia | Laurel Miller

In Episode 205 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Laurel Miller, Director of International Crisis Group’s Asia Program who previously served as deputy and then acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in the U.S. State Department. Laurel also held the position of senior foreign policy expert at the RAND Corporation and served as a Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Senior Advisor to the U.S. special envoy for the Balkans, and Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues during her previous time in government. Today’s episode is meant to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the situation currently unfolding in Afghanistan, the unique circumstances leading up to the collapse of the Afghan government, and the political and geopolitical implications of the reconstitution of a Taliban-led Afghanistan for the United States, its allies, as well as its competitors in the region. The first hour of Demetri’s conversation with Laurel is about the specific events that transpired in Afghanistan over the last several weeks, specifically looking at the contributing factors that led to the seemingly sudden collapse of the Afghan army and the evacuation of the capital by President Ghani and other members of the Afghan government. What were the facts on the ground leading up to the collapse? Who was aware of those facts? And why did the Biden Whitehouse and the US State and Defense departments fail so astonishingly in planning for this contingency? The two also discuss the history of America’s involvement in Afghanistan, if things could have turned out differently, and what could have been done differently in the context of what we knew then and the priorities and risks facing previous administrations going back to George W. Bush in 2001. The second half of this conversation is spent looking forward at not only the various scenarios for how Afghanistan’s political and economic future is likely to play out under a Taliban regime, but also how the US’s military withdrawal from Afghanistan changes the geopolitical chessboard for other regional players like Russia, China, Pakistan, India, and Iran, who have a complex set of competing security and commercial interests in Central Asia, along with an equally complex set of bilateral strategic relationships with Afghanistan’s neighbors, as well as with each other. Kofinas and Miller also discuss the political and diplomatic fallout stemming from how the Biden administration is perceived to have handled this withdrawal and its implications for the upcoming midterm and presidential elections in 2022 and 2024. Finally, the talk about how all of this impacts America’s strategic relationships with its allies, in particular its European partners like Germany and the UK, who played such an integral role in the mission to rebuild Afghanistan over the last two decades.  You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 08/23/2021
8/26/202155 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Opportunities for Value Investing, China's Digital Currency, & the Pivot to Asia | James Aitken

In Episode 204 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with investor and macro-financial strategist James Aitken. This is an over 2-hour-long conversation that ranges from a discussion about the oil industry and the impact of ESG mandates on prices, to the short-and-medium-term impacts of monetary & fiscal policy on inflation, to the post-Covid economy and opportunities for value investing. In the Overtime, James and Demetri pivot their discussion to Asia and the ongoing crackdown in Chinese capital markets, as well as the disruptive implications of China’s deployment of its digital currency electronic payments (DCEP) system and what it means for companies and investors doing business in China. They also discuss the impact that these drastic regulatory changes and disruptive technological innovations will have on American foreign policy and the future of the dollar. You can access the episode Overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 08/18/2021
8/23/202154 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Kofinas Answers Audience Questions in First-Ever “Ask Me Anything” Episode

In Episode 203 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas answers dozens of audience questions about his process for guest selection, outreach, and preparation, thoughts about certain conspiracies, the business side of podcasting, his experience creating a TV show on RT, and much, much more. All questions were submitted through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. Premium subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 08/10/2021
8/16/20211 hour, 27 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

A History of the Future: Hope & Fear in the Social Smartphone Era | Rory Cellan-Jones

In Episode 202 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with veteran BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones about the biggest developments and news stories in tech from the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s to the rise of Google and Facebook. These stories and more are included in Rory’s new book “Always On,” which chronicles the rise of the smartphone era and how technology has altered our customs, expectations, and lives in ways that are easy to forget only fifteen years since the launch of the first iPhone. This is a conversation unlike most any other that you will have heard on this podcast, because there isn’t any one particular lesson that you are meant to take away from it. Instead, we want you to use it as an opportunity to reflect on just how much change we’ve seen in our lives over the last fifteen years and think about not only the causes of that change, but how different the world will be over the next fifteen if current trends continue and what that’s going to mean for our lives, for our businesses, and for our political systems. In the overtime, Rory shares his impressions of Silicon Valley culture and what he’s learned from interviewing some of the most powerful people in tech. Demetri and Rory also discuss the transformation of media, cultural differences between British and American journalists and the press, and the future of independent publishing and podcasting and what it means for the viability of traditional news outlets, especially those that depend evermore on sensationalism and controversy in order eke out a profit in this hyper-competitive media landscape. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/20/2021
8/9/202140 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Is Elon Musk Humanity’s Savior or a Supervillain? | Tim Higgins

In Episode 201 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Wall Street Journal automotive and technology reporter Tim Higgins, about his new book “Power Play,” which chronicles the incredible and chaotic rise of Tesla and its controversial CEO Elon Musk. In the first part of their conversation, Tim and Demetri discuss the origin story of Tesla all the way up until the successful launch of the Model S: a truly remarkable achievement that came during a time when Americans were desperate to find something in their economy to feel hopeful about. Unfortunately, the success that Tesla enjoyed during that period was not something the company would be able to replicate and this is what most of the second half of this conversation is spent discussing. The two examine the difficulties that Tesla faced after the deployment of the Model S, why it faced those challenges, how management and the board dealt with them, and the stunning disconnect between the public’s perception of Musk as a “Tony Starkian innovator” and planetary savior, and the reality of who he is, what he knows, and what he’s willing to do whenever he finds himself backed into a corner. At the end of the day, it’s going to be up to listeners to decide for themselves where they fall on this story. How many people believe the hype around the man and the company? Will he ultimately deliver on the promises that he’s made—despite a long track record of making promises that he consistently fails to deliver on but which have non-the-less substantially improved his personal financials and helped grow the equity value of his companies?  You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/27/2021
8/2/202140 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

WeWork, Adam Neumann, & the Great Startup Debacle | Maureen Farrell

In Episode 200 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Maureen Farrell, author of “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neuman, and the Great Startup Delusion.” Maureen, along with her colleague and co-author Eliot Brown, were some of the first reporters at the Wall Street Journal to cover what is arguably the biggest financial debacle in the history of early-stage investing. And yet, this description doesn’t even begin to capture the incredible story that is the rise and fall of WeWork: a story about a real estate company that was at one point the most valuable start-up in America, despite racking up over $10 billion dollars in losses over the course of just nine years and vaporizing nearly forty billion dollars in equity value practically overnight. The reality of WeWork—of what it is and what it was—stands in stark contrast to what its founder, Adam Neuman said it was to his investors, employees, and the media. It was going to be worth ten trillion dollars, more than any other company in the world. It wasn’t just an office space provider. It was a tech play. Its spin-offs like “WeGrow” and “WeLive” were going to revolutionize education and change the world. Adam Neuman was going to solve Middle East peace and WeWork would help colonize Mars. As crazy as all of this sounds, it is emblematic of a larger decay in the most basic principles of capitalism that prioritizes the raising of capital over the turning of profits. It rewards storytellers over businesspeople. Price overvalue. This episode is broken into two parts, the first half of which is focused mainly on the particulars of WeWork, the characters involved, and the disastrous decisions made by its management along with the dereliction of its board. The second half focuses on the larger macro forces that are responsible for encouraging the type of behavior that we’ve seen in the case of WeWork and applying that template to other companies and their executives. We also explore the intersection of politics and finance, including a rise in demagoguery that parallels the institutional and moral decay we are witnessing across many parts of Western society. You can access the second half of this conversation, as well as the transcript, and show notes to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/18/2021
7/26/202155 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Asian Financial Crisis & the Birth of the Age of Debt | Russell Napier

In Episode 199 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with investor and financial historian Russell Napier. Napier’s latest book, “The Asian Financial Crisis: 1995-1998,” covers a period of time that many investors are either not familiar with or haven’t studied anywhere near as closely as they should given its relevance to the investment regime in which we are living today. Today’s investment regime—what Russell Napier called “The Age of Debt”—is characterized by excessive private and public debt levels, financial repression, market concentration, and all of the unintended consequences that arise from the perverse incentives that these dynamics create. We spend the first hour of our conversation discussing the crisis itself, its drivers, as well as the practices and policies that made it possible. The second hour is spent on the resolution of the crisis and applying the lessons learned from that period to today, with implications for the future path of interest rates, inflation, growth, political stability, and most practically, opportunities for investing in the new market regime that we are moving into. Since this episode deals with markets and investing, we want to make absolutely clear that nothing we say on this podcast can or should be viewed as financial advice. All opinions expressed by Demetri Kofinas and Russell Napier are solely their own opinions and should not be relied upon as the basis for financial decisions. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/09/2021
7/19/202153 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Memory Thief & the Secrets Behind How We Remember | Lauren Aguirre

In Episode 198 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Lauren Aguirre, an award-winning science journalist whose book “The Memory Thief,” tells the story of a team of doctors responsible for discovering a surprising connection between the use of opioids—specifically fentanyl—and memory loss. This condition, first detected in drug overdose victims with severe damage to their hippocampus has since led to a series of discoveries about the nature of memory, as well as the mysteries that persist about how we remember—where memories live, how they’re formed, and why we forget most of what happens to us in a day but can remember some events with stunning clarity, years, even decades later. Perhaps the greatest mystery that Lauren tackles in her book is why Alzheimer’s—a degenerative brain disease responsible for causing dementia and early death—has evaded scientific capture for a hundred years despite afflicting tens of millions of people around the world. It’s one of the questions we explore in-depth during the episode overtime, where Lauren also reveals promising new strategies and developments that may finally lead to an effective treatment and perhaps even cure of this devastating disease. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/03/2021
7/12/202140 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Revenge of the Real: Politics for a Post-Pandemic World | Benjamin Bratton

In Episode 197 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Benjamin Bratton, professor of visual arts at UC San Diego and the author of “Revenge of the Real: Politics, for a post-pandemic world.” Bratton’s book explores how our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates a critical inability on the part of society to govern itself. The pandemic in this sense serves as a sort of non-negotiable reality-check that upends the comfortable illusions of a world that increasingly bears no resemblance to the one we have vacated.  Benjamin raises important questions about not only how we came to find ourselves in our current predicament of mask wars, urban riots, and institutional decay, but also, how we might go about constructing a world that is more representative of reality and the needs of the present moment.   In the overtime, Bratton and Demetri explore what a post-pandemic world might look like and what this means for our conceptions of governance and the individual. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 06/28/2021
7/5/202146 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Crypto Ethics & How to ‘Make Money Great Again’ | Hasu & Demetri

In Episode 196 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas is interviewed at the ETHGlobal HackMoney Summit by crypto researcher and writer Hasu, whose work Demetri has relied to educate himself on some of the most important issues in crypto over the years. In this conversation, Demetri explores many of the same themes of financial nihilism, hyperreality, and transformation that he recently discussed in his appearance on the Grant Williams Podcast, but with a much deeper focus on Bitcoin, Ethereum, DeFi, and the larger crypto ecosystem. This includes a discussion about crypto ethics and moral accountability, particularly among some of Bitcoin’s most outspoken promoters. Anyone interested in following Hasu can do so on twitter at @hasufl or by subscribing to his podcast “Uncommon Core.” Those interested in learning more about ETHGlobal and how to attend any one of their upcoming events, conferences, or hackathons can do so at ethglobal.co.  You can follow Demetri on twitter at @kofinas and you can subscribe to the Hidden Forces mailing list, explore our episode library, and subscribe to our premium content at HiddenForces.io. You can access our episode overtimes, as well as transcripts and rundowns to each episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 06/18/2021
6/28/202155 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mental Immunity & the Search for a Better Way to Think | Andy Norman

In Episode 195 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Andy Norman, an award-winning author, public philosopher, and prominent advocate for the field of “cognitive immunology,” which studies the mind’s resistance to bad ideas. In this conversation you will learn how mental immunity works, how epidemics of irrationality occur, and how present cultural conditions exacerbate the spread of bad ideas by compromising our mental faculties, exploiting loopholes in the evidentiary chain of reasoning that most of us rely on in order to assess, accept, or reject claims and assertions. Whether we’re talking about the spread of baseless online conspiracies, increased political polarization, or the bewildering popularity of cancel culture, rethinking and reforming our approach to inquiry and dialectic is urgently needed. In the Overtime, Andy and Demetri discuss ontological truth and explore the limitations of science and reason in helping ascertain reality. It includes discussions about spirituality, religion, the immaterial, and whether or not it is possible to know something authoritatively, even if you can’t explain it logically or through evidentiary reasoning. They also discuss mattering theory, something Demetri has covered in a prior episode with Rebecca Goldstein, as well as how to build up our mental immunity using concrete steps that help us become better thinkers and better brokers of information during a time when this is desperately needed. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 06/15/2021
6/21/202156 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Power of Mimetic Desire in Markets, Politics, & Culture | Luke Burgis

In Episode 194 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Lukis Burgis, founder and director of Fourth Wall Ventures and author of “Wanting,” a book about the power of mimetic desire and how it impacts our behavior in markets, politics, and culture. The goal of this conversation is to help you understand what mimetic desire is and how it operates in your own life and in society at large, whether that be in financial markets, politics, or the broader economy. In practical terms, this means understanding the forces that shape how we come to want the things that we desire, from fancy degrees to high-flying stocks, to political ideologies, so that we can learn how to extract ourselves from the systems of wanting that leave us exhausted. Mimetic desire is not something we can eliminate, conquer, or transcend. It’s a power, like gravity, that we have to find a way to live with—and thrive in. This episode reveals how we can tune into our mimetic desires to counteract their destructive forces and learn to desire differently. In the overtime, Luke and Demetri discuss the mimetic consequences of social media, and how the hyperconnectivity of modern life has fundamentally altered our perception of reality with dramatic implications for our political and economic systems. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/26/2021
6/14/202156 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness | Tim Grover

In Episode 193 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with world-renowned trainer, author, and CEO of Attack Athletics, Tim Grover. Tim has personally trained and worked with some of the most elite, iconic athletes in the world, including Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and hundreds of other sports and business professionals. He is the preeminent authority on the science and art of physical and mental dominance and his latest book, “Winning: the Unforgiving Race to Greatness,” is a testament to that life-long dedication. This is not a conversation that’s going to give you a roadmap to victory. Not even close. In fact, we wouldn’t even describe it as motivational. For some people, Tim’s words will be incredibly validating. For others, unnerving, because “winning doesn’t apologize,” as Tim would say. “It doesn’t explain. In the language of Winning, there is no talk about motivation.” Words can’t capture it. Only you can if you’re willing to pay the price, and even then, there are no guarantees. If you’re already addicted to the taste of success, if you’ve been chasing it for as long as you can remember, if you’ve caught it, and want it again, then this conversation will speak to you. In this episode, you’re going to learn about some of the tools and techniques that Tim and his athletes and high-achievers have used to execute and compete at the highest level of human performance. You’re going to learn about how to harness your dark-side, about how not to care about what others think, about letting go of entitlement, clearing your mind, and learning to focus on the details, and on what matters most to you. As Tim will say, “winning is not a marathon, it’s a sprint, with no finish line.” There is no balance. In order to win anything, you have to live your life with urgency, at every moment, because winning wants all of you—there’s never enough time, so why waste any of it? For those of you who are basketball fans, Tim shares stories from his experience working with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant during the pinnacles of their basketball careers, about what they were like as individuals, and about what it was like for him to play a part in their success. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/26/2021
6/7/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Financial Nihilism, Narrative Investing, & the Hyperreality of Markets

In Episode 192 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas shares a recent appearance he made on the Grant Williams Podcast. Grant has been on the Hidden Forces Podcast before, twice on his own and twice as a guest along with Ben Hunt. We have provided links to all of those previous appearances in the related section on the episode page on our website. Grant spent the first 20 minutes asking Demetri questions related to his bio and how he got started in media, as well as the origins of Hidden Forces. The rest of the episode is devoted to discussing many of the various forces that Demetri has talked about on this podcast—things like the phenomenon of financial nihilism, the hyperreality of markets & society, China and the changing geopolitical order, and much more. If you are interested in learning more about Grant and how to become a subscriber to both his podcast and his monthly newsletter, you can do that at grant-williams.com. If you are interested in learning how to become a subscriber to Hidden Forces, you can do that through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. For more information about previous guests and topics, we invite you to explore our episode library at HiddenForces.io. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/17/2021
6/1/20211 hour, 36 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Podcast Update: The Will to Win, Mimetic Desire, & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Demetri shares his thoughts about the news cycle and provides listeners with a sneak peak into the next 5 weeks of content, including episodes on the will to win and memetic desire.
5/24/20219 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ultrasound Money & the Ethereum Triple Halving | Nikhil Shamapant

In Episode 191 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Nikhil Shamapant, the author of a recently published and widely circulated 79-page report that sets an ambitious 18-month price target on Ethereum of $150,000 per ETH—more than 30x the current level. Nikhil believes this will be driven primarily by two upcoming changes to the underlying Ethereum protocol which will reduce the supply of ETH by the equivalent of roughly three Bitcoin halving cycles. The changes are scheduled to take place in two phases beginning with the adoption of EIP-1559 in mid-July of this year and culminating with the formal transition to proof-of-stake in late 2021, turning Ethereum into the preferred savings vehicle in crypto, according to Nikhil. The second part of this episode is an hour-long conversation that we recorded with one of EIP-1559’s main champions, Tim Beiko. We brought Tim on the program in order to do a deeper dive on the protocol changes referenced in our conversation with Nikhil, including changes to the network fee model (i.e., basefee burning & tips) and the block reward subsidy (i.e., staking), as well as changes to the user experience, the impact on miners and miner extractable value (MEV), network scalability, staking rewards, & much more. You can access our episode with Tim and download the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/07/2021
5/17/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Sources of Chinese Communist Party Conduct | Josh Rogin

In Episode 190 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Josh Rogin, a Washington Post foreign-policy columnist and author of the book Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the 21st Century. Rogin’s book explains for mainstream audiences how the Chinese Communist Party works: its history, nature, motivations, operations, and objectives. It does so in a language that is both accessible and at times entertaining because it’s full of personal anecdotes colored by Josh’s own reporting which is a testament to his skill as an investigative journalist and as someone with a reputation for breaking big stories. While we don’t break any stories today, some of what you will hear in this episode is probably going to be news to you. You are going to learn how CCP influence operations work, who they target, and how they compromise influential individuals in both the public and private sectors, including CEOs, University administrators, and elected officials, along with their spouses, friends, and family members. You’re also going to learn how the CCP uses tactics of blackmail, repression, and counterprogramming, both within and outside of China's borders in order to coerce and drown out its critics as part of a relentless culture of intimidation that is foundational to the party’s identity and history as an underground influence organization. Lastly, you’re going to learn why all of this matters to those of us living outside of China and how Western governments should respond to a threat that is no longer gathering but is in fact quite clear and immediate to those of us who have devoted time and attention to understanding this very important issue. In the subscriber overtime, Kofinas and Rogin delve deeper into the financial side of this story, and how for years, the CCP has used US financial markets to fund the buildout of not only China’s military but also its surveillance systems, including those used to monitor and control repressed minorities in the country’s autonomous regions. Most notable among these is Xinjiang province, where over 12 million Uyghurs are currently living under what international human rights organizations and governments agree are genocidal conditions that involve atrocities such as forced labor, compulsory reeducation, and coercive harvesting of hair and bodily organs. We also delve into Josh’s independent reporting on the origins of Covid-19, the troubling connections between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and America’s own public health officials, and why the lab-release hypothesis is actually much more credible than the mainstream media would have you believe. This is a serious conversation. No doubt about it. But everything that you are about to hear today has been widely reported on and is becoming increasingly well understood among those in positions of power within the corporate and policymaking communities. The rise of China in this context signifies something very different than what most of us imagined and hoped for at the beginning of the 21st century. Confronting it demands urgency and resoluteness that is arguably comparable to that last seen in our collective response to the Soviet threat enunciated most clearly in George Kennan’s seminal 8,000-word telegram to the US State Department in 1946. It is a challenge that we can and will overcome, but it’s time that we all get on the same page about what it means, what is required of us in order to confront it, and how our lives will drastically change as a result. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 05/04/2021
5/10/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe | Niall Ferguson

In Episode 189 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with historian Niall Ferguson about his latest book, “Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe.” The book is a historical tour de force of epic disasters ranging from pandemics to botched military responses, to nuclear accidents. What all these catastrophes share in common is a striking combination of operator and managerial error resulting from systemic problems that became calamities in the face of predictable, though unimaginable crises. While Doom is mainly a history of disaster, its lessons apply most urgently in our own time, which provided us an opportunity to explore some of the contemporary challenges that we face in western society with someone who thinks and writes about such risks and opportunities regularly. At the top of this list is an emerging cold war between the United States and a coalition of authoritarian powers led by China and Russia, two nations that are increasingly cooperating on matters of national and economic security. This episode also includes a discussion about financial markets, digital assets, and the health of Western economies. In place of an overtime, Demetri recorded a premium-only episode with Grant Williams on endgame scenarios for the economy, including a conversation about the prospects for runaway inflation and how to manage that risk for your portfolio. You can access the premium episode, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/26/2021
5/3/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Existential Risks & the Future of Humanity | Toby Ord

In Episode 188 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Toby Ord, a Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at Oxford University and author of “The Precipice,” a book that focuses on the big picture questions facing humanity’s long-term future and the risks which threaten to put a premature end to our existence. The purpose of today’s conversation is first, to get you to reflect on this question of whether or not humanity and our future is worth fighting for, and second, to reflect on what that means in terms of human action, politics, and global cooperation. What are the existential risks that we face as a species? How do we calculate those risks? Where do we focus our attention, how do we prioritize, and finally, what can we do to mitigate those risks that we deem worthy of our attention? For those interested in learning about existential risk factors, this part of the discussion begins near the forty-minute mark and focuses mainly on the threat of nuclear war and the geopolitical dimensions that escalate its likelihood. The overtime is spent primarily discussing the risks posed by both natural and engineered pandemics, biological terrorism, and artificial intelligence. The two also discuss asteroid impacts, climate change, and supervolcanic eruptions. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/21/2021
4/26/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters | Steven Koonin

In Episode 187 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Steven Koonin, author of “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.” Dr. Koonin serves as Director of NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress. He previously served as Undersecretary for Science in the U.S. Department of Energy under Barack Obama and as Chief Scientist at BP, where he was a strong advocate for research into renewable energies and alternative fuel sources. The science of climate change has become, like almost everything else, a matter of political identity in 21st century America. A recent Pew Research study found that Democrats are more than three times as likely as Republicans to say that dealing with climate change should be a top priority. And yet, if you ask people independent of party affiliation for their views on climate change and why they believe what they believe, most of them will struggle to give you a coherent answer. In fact, very few people, and this goes for politicians, journalists, and even academics, have actually read the reports put out by organizations like the IPCC and others responsible for doing the actual research that we all cite when we talk about “the science.” And to be honest, can you blame them? Afterall, why would anyone want to spend a minute of their time learning about exactly why we are so screwed? About how we’ve destroyed the planet and “broken the climate?”  We’ve read all the headlines. “Climate Catastrophe.” “Climate Disaster.” “The earth is burning!” But how true is this, exactly? Are we really facing a “Climate Apocalypse?” Is climate science really “more reliable than physics,” something that journalist David Wallace-Wells said in a recent appearance on the Joe Rogan Podcast. Not according to my guest, but more importantly, not according to the science, which, to borrow from the book’s title, is very much “Unsettled.” Before you react to that very provocative book title, you should know that no one is saying climate change is a hoax or that anthropogenic warming isn’t real. The purpose of this conversation is not to surreptitiously undermine the consensus view or to troll those who believe strongly in it. Rather, it is simply meant to help inform those of you who either haven’t read the reports or are simply skeptical about just how bad the situation is and what’s required from us in order to solve it. This is a subject that deeply concerns all of us, but the doom and gloom narrative surrounding it has arguably become counterproductive in helping us actually address the problem. Steven and Demetri spend two hours—between the first half and the overtime—working their way through the data, what it says, and what the models predict about not only future warming, but also the incidences of droughts, forest fires, hurricanes, rising sea levels, climate-induced migration, and pandemics driven by a warming planet.  In the subscriber overtime, they focus most of their attention on the incentives that account for these widely divergent narratives on climate, the importance of morals and values in thinking about how to structure climate policy, and the missing components of costs and tradeoffs that we all need to think about when coming to decisions on how best to adapt our societies and ourselves to the changing climate. Kofinas and Koonin also discuss geoengineering, including carbon extraction and the use of aerosols to dampen the sun’s rays, as well as alternative sources of energy like wind, solar, and nuclear, and their respective roles as alternatives to fossil fuels in the coming decades. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/12/2021
4/19/20211 hour, 5 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

Solving the Oracle Problem: Blockchain’s Missing Link | Sergey Nazarov

In Episode 186 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Sergey Nazarov, Co-founder of Chainlink, the leading decentralized oracle network used by global enterprises and projects at the forefront of the blockchain space, which enables smart contracts on any distributed ledger to reliably connect to real-world data, securing billions of dollars in value across decentralized finance, insurance, gaming, and other industries. Chainlink and other decentralized oracles are not blockchains. They are not, in other words, monolithic networks of distributed databases that all operate in unison. Instead, they consist of a potentially infinite subset of networks that support blockchains and operate in parallel to them and to each other by relying on a common framework that is highly customizable and adaptable to the unique needs of their users, who consist of decentralized applications, data providers, enterprises, etc. The purpose of today’s conversation is to help educate you on not only what Chainlink is and its value proposition, but also to help you understand how this industry is evolving, the design choices that are being made at the heart of these critical networks, and the opportunities that have presented and will continue to present themselves to anyone interested in capitalizing on the disruptive efficiencies and novel sets of use cases created by these systems. In the subscriber overtime, Sergey and Demetri delve deeper into Chainlink’s architecture, how smart contracts interface with oracle networks, how such networks come together to service their users, how they come to consensus about events in the real world, and much, much more. Sergey also shares his views on Internet culture, ontology & epistemology, futurism, and how governance is going to work in a world where more and more of our lives, relationships, and experiences are happening online. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 04/01/2021
4/5/20211 hour, 14 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism | Mariana Mazzucato

In Episode 185 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Mariana Mazzucato, a Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), where she is Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP). She is the winner of numerous, prestigious international prizes including the 2020 John von Neumann Award, Chairs the World Health Organization's Council on “the Economics of Health for All,” and is also the author of three highly-acclaimed books, the latest of which is “Mission Economy: a Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism.”  In it, Mariana argues that if we want to meet the principal challenges facing us in the 21st century, we need to rethink the capacities and role of government and above all recover a sense of public purpose. We need to be innovative, collaborative, and mission-oriented in our thinking, while also taking a stakeholder view of public-private partnerships, which means that when we take risks together that we also share in the rewards that derive from those risks.   The purpose of today’s conversation is to help you think bigger about how we as a community of citizens and nations can mobilize our resources in a way that is bold, inspirational, and oriented towards solving the most ‘wicked’ social problems of our time. This means changing government tools and culture, creating new markers of corporate governance, and ensuring that corporations, society, and the government can coalesce around a common set of goals, ambitions, and objectives.   In the subscriber overtime, Mariana and Demetri discuss how the politics of divisiveness impact our ability to work towards shared outcomes, why Western society seems to have become more individualistic, and what we can do to shift our cultural awareness towards a more collaborative mind-set when it comes to value creation in both the public and private sectors. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/22/2021
3/29/202154 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Lonely Century: Coming Together in a World That’s Pulling Apart | Noreena Hertz

In Episode 184 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Noreena Hertz, a renowned thought leader, academic, and broadcaster, named by The Observer as “one of the world’s leading thinkers” and by Vogue as “one of the world’s most inspiring women.”  Over the course of her career, Hertz has grappled with issues of political-economy, markets, business, culture, and technology. In her latest book, “The Lonely Century,” she draws from this well-spring of knowledge, as well as from her research in the fields of psychology, philosophy, and evolutionary biology in order to help us understand how our growing sense of loneliness and isolation—from ourselves and from each other—is contributing to much of the social instability, political dysfunction, and existential angst that many of us experience in our daily lives. The purpose of this episode is not only to help you understand the scale of the loneliness epidemic and its drivers but also to draw the connections between its more visible effects like mental and emotional illness and those whose pathways and relationships remain largely hidden. As you will learn during the course of today’s conversation, there is good reason to believe that loneliness has a role to play in everything from rising levels of political polarization and social instability to environmental degradation and neglect.   In the subscriber overtime, Noreena and Demetri delve deeper into the health consequences of isolation, as well as how the world of online dating has impacted intimacy in a way that is rarely discussed. They also consider solutions, both at the individual and community-levels that Noreena thinks can immediately begin to help stem this rising tide of loneliness that impacts so many people in society today. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/17/2021
3/22/202158 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Engine of Inequality: The Fed & the Future of Wealth in America | Karen Petrou

In Episode 183 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Karen Petrou, co-founder and Managing Partner of Federal Financial Analytics and author of “Engine of Inequality: The Fed and the Future of Wealth in America.” The objective of this episode is to help you better understand how monetary policy and financial regulations have changed in the years since the great financial crisis and how those changes have destabilized financial markets by transferring risk from the more tightly regulated banking sector to other parts of the system. In the subscriber overtime, Karen and Demetri discuss solutions to this predicament and what policy actions the Fed and regulators can take to rectify the problem. The two also discuss some of the limitations of the current policy and how much more room policymakers have to stimulate the economy before inflation finally begins to pick up or before we start seeing yields in the treasury market rise precipitously. We may already be there. You can access the subscriber overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/09/2021
3/15/202157 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyber-Weapons Arms Race | Nicole Perlroth

In Episode 182 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Nicole Perlroth, award-winning cybersecurity journalist for The New York Times and author of a recently published book on the cyber-weapons arms race titled “This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends.”   This is the latest episode in a series that we’ve devoted to the subject of information security and the threat posed to our infrastructure and to our lives by the cyber-weapons industry.   Cyberattacks against individuals, companies, and infrastructure have increased steadily year after year. Attacks like the recent one targeting a water treatment facility in Florida or the Solarwinds hack, discovered last December and which compromised thousands of private and government users — including Homeland Security, the Pentagon, and the NSA — are only the tip of the iceberg. These types of attacks are happening 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, and the costs that they impose on individuals and organizations are measured in the trillions of dollars every single year.   The purpose of today’s conversation is to highlight both the nature and the urgency of the threat posed by the cyber-weapons industry. You will learn details about the market for exploits and vulnerabilities and what measures we can take to protect ourselves individually and as a society. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 03/05/2021
3/8/202159 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Silicon Valley’s Ultimate Exit: Arguments for and Against the Network State | Balaji Srinivasan

In Episode 181 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Balaji Srinivasan, an angel investor, entrepreneur, and prominent futurist who’s views on crypto, the future of education, and the network state put him at the forefront of innovation and disruption in money, business, and politics.  The two discuss Balaji’s thesis for the rise of the network state, what it means for existing institutions of money & power, and what life will look like for human beings in this not-too-distant future. Demetri’s thesis is that Silicon Valley culture and the ongoing disruptive dynamics associated with social networks, mobile devices, automation, and now cryptocurrencies, are not only restructuring and remaking the commercial world but increasingly encroaching upon the traditional assignments and obligations of government and the state. We see this perhaps most notably in the case of privately issued cryptocurrencies, but one can argue that this culture of disruption runs much deeper and its consequences for society are much broader than most of us realize. In this sense, what we are living to today is nothing short of a political revolution and while our systems of government are ripe for disruption, the solutions being put forward by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, financiers, and the broader commercial sector may not adequately reflect the interests or the concerns of the vast majority of people whose lives would be most affected by these changes. This conversation is an exploration of the methods, opportunities, and consequences of such solutions and their implications for individuals and the state. You can access the first part of this conversation, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/23/2021
3/1/20211 hour, 56 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Podcast Update: Cybersecurity, Financial Warfare, the Mission Driven State, & More

In Episode 180 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas provides listeners with a sneak peak into the next 5 weeks of content, including episodes on the networked state, financial warfare, cybersecurity, the loneliness epidemic, and how to rebuild the mission-driven state. You can access the episode overtimes, as well as the transcripts and rundowns to each week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou of Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/21/2021
2/22/20219 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

Generational Conflict, Decentralization, & Global Disorder | Radigan Carter

In Episode 179 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas shares the overtime to his 4-hour-long conversation with Radigan Carter, an investor who has spent the last two decades of his life working across five continents as a member of the US military, as a private contractor, and as a special agent for the United States government. In this second-half of their conversation, Radigan shares not only his remarkable insights on geopolitics and foreign affairs, including a long discussion about the security and politics of the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, but also his perspective on what’s happening within the United States: the radicalization of the citizenry and the potential for an escalation in political violence over the next few years. The two also discuss the pro’s and con’s of decentralization and what a more decentralized world would look like in practice. A transcript to this episode is available to our premium subscribers through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. Write us a review on Apple Podcasts by following this link: http://bit.ly/rate-the-podcast If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/26/2021
2/15/20211 hour, 50 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

Meme ‘Stonks’: How Call Options & Reddit Broke Wall Street | Lily Francus

In Episode 178 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Lily Francus, a 25-year-old PhD student in bioinformatics who spends her time modeling complex, dynamic systems, trading meme stocks, and writing about options, derivatives, and how stories and ideas spread on the Internet. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or don’t have an Internet connection you will already know that some really crazy shit happened in the last couple of weeks involving the video game retailer GameStop, a number of large, Wall Street institutions, and the online community subreddit r/Wall Street Bets, which has now grown to over 8 million users. There have been so many competing explanations put forward for what happened here that it would be impossible to try and summarize them all. Instead, this episode attempts to explain the mechanics of how it all happened. In other words, how an online community consisting primarily of retail investors managed to pump the price of GameStop’s stock to such a level that institutional investors who were short the stock were forced to cover and in the case of hedge fund Melvin Capital, get bailed out to the tune of nearly 3 billion dollars. In this conversation, we look at how both market structure and the endogenous dynamics of the options market, combined with the proliferation of narrative in the form of Internet memes were used to organize, coordinate, and execute what was effectively a community-sourced short squeeze that caused chaos across wall street and left the financial press and the public, scrambling for answers. While the conversation about options is specific to wall street, the memetic aspect of this story is perhaps the most fascinating, not only because understanding online culture and how narratives spread on the Internet can help you capitalize on trends and monetize momentum, but also because its application extends to pretty much any use-case you can imagine.  This week’s overtime segment is a conversation Demetri had with Real Vision Senior Editor and former CNBC reporter Ash Bennington, who he invited on the program to discuss the events of the last week and what we might expect going forward. The episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode are available through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. Time Codes: 9:38 Summary and update on "what happened" with GameStop, r/WallStreetBets, and institutional Wall Street 21:15 Discussion about market structure and endogenous factors related to options & positioning 41:37 Discussion about role of narrative and Internet memes in driving the price of GameStop If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website r/WallStreetBets Joker Meme mentioned during episode: https://www.reddit.com/r/wallstreetbets/comments/l1u036/wsb_gets_emotional_on_mad_money/  Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/02/2021
2/8/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Generational Wealth-Building During a Fourth Turning | Radigan Carter

In Episode 177 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Radigan Carter, an investor who has spent the last two decades of his life working across five continents as a member of the US military, as a private contractor, and as a special agent for the United States government. He has extensive experience leading large multinational teams -- including a 350-person security force -- in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa. Ratigan’s love of history, knowledge of foreign affairs, and first-hand experience overseas give him a unique perspective from which to comment on the political, national security, and economic issues facing Western society today. We spent the first two hours of this four-hour long conversation discussing Radigan’s experience overseas, including his participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom, his work as a private contractor in Qatar, and his time spent as a special agent for the United States government in Afghanistan and North Africa. The stories that he shares are inspirational and at times unnerving, but they are always delivered with a wisdom, reflection, and authenticity that you rarely find today. In the second half of their conversation, Radigan shares not only his remarkable insights on geopolitics and foreign affairs, including a long discussion about the security and politics of the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, but also his perspective on what’s happening within the United States: the radicalization of the citizenry and the potential for an escalation in political violence over the next few years.  We also discuss his views on financial markets and the macro economy, including a conversation about cryptocurrency, its place in his own portfolio, and how it fits into his larger investing philosophy. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/26/2021
2/1/20212 hours, 6 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Cryptocurrencies, Foreign Threats, & the Fight of a Generation

In Episode 176 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas shares his thoughts on a series of interconnected topics including Tether, Bitcoin, domestic terrorism, generational conflict, and foreign interference. The medium posted cited in this episode is “The Bit Short: Inside Crypto’s Doomsday Machine.” The two Blockchain Debate Podcast episodes cited are (1) "Tether has always been acting in bad faith (Bennett Tomlin vs. Larry Cermak, co-host: Patrick McKenzie)” and (2) "Tether will likely get crushed by authorities in the next two years, thanks to its shady practices and defiance against regulators (CasPiancey vs. Matthew Graham)” The episode of the “What Bitcoin Did Podcast” mentioned in this episode is “Questions for Tether with Paolo Ardoino & Stuart Hoegner.” You can access the transcript to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/22/2021
1/25/202114 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

Restoring Trust in an Age of Political Polarization | Kevin Vallier

In Episode 175 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Kevin Vallier, an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University, whose interests lie primarily in political philosophy, ethics, philosophy of religion, and economics.    In his latest book, “Trust in a Polarized Age,” Kevin draws on empirical data and liberal political philosophy to demonstrate that rising levels of political polarization can be largely attributed to a multi-decade decline in trust. If we want to reduce political polarization, argues Kevin, “we have to start by rebuilding social and political trust.” While this may seem like a tall order during a time in which Americans are less trusting than at any point since at least the 1960’s when measurements began, the situation is not hopeless.  In this conversation we discuss the causes and consequences of declining social and political trust, the two-way relationship between trust and polarization, and what sorts of practical steps can be taken at both an individual and societal level to begin to restore faith in each other and in our political and legal institutions.   In the overtime, Kevin and Demetri touch on a number of timely topics, including concerns about domestic terrorism and the parallels that can be drawn between the early 1990’s and today. One of the more interesting parts of the discussion deals with the “mainstreaming” so to speak, of conspiracy theory. Unlike in the early 1990’s where domestic terror groups and individuals were motivated primarily by extreme ideological beliefs, those being monitored today, some of which were involved in the attack on the US Capitol building, combine political violence with mainstream views that are shared by a significant percentage of the American people. You can access the second part of this conversation, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/12/2021
1/18/202159 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

Future of Financial Media & Digital Assets | Jason Yanowitz & Michael Ippolito

In Episode 174 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Ippolito and Jason Yanowitz, the founders of Blockworks, a financial media brand that delivers breaking news and premium insights about digital assets to millions of investors. In this conversation, Jason and Michael share news about the recent launch of their editorial site, including anecdotes from their experience creating a crypto-focused, financial media company from scratch in an industry that has seen explosive growth in investor interest over the last 12 months. If you are interested in blockchain technology, decentralized finance, cryptocurrencies, or just generally fascinated by the culture in crypto and blockchain, you will love this conversation. Michael and Jason explain how they bootstrapped the company without any outside funding, creating a stable of talented podcast hosts like Ted Seides, Peter McCormack, Preston Pysh, and most famously, Anthony Pompliano, whose podcast they started together and which has since become the most popular podcast in crypto. The second half of the conversation focuses primarily on understanding the content and business models of BlockWorks and how they compare to their competitors. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript to this episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/07/2021
1/15/202149 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Social Media Purge: The Urgent Need to Regulate Big Tech | Matt Stoller

In Episode 173 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Matt Stoller, Director of Research at the American Economic Liberties Project and author of Goliath: The Hundred Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy. The two discuss the reaction of Big Tech to the storming of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. this past week, what it reveals about the power that these data monopolies have over their competitors and the government, and how we can use the law and regulation to restore equilibrium between corporate power and governance in American life. Topics include: Section 230, common carriage laws, the de-platforming of Trump by Facebook & Twitter, the banning of Parler from the Apple iOS & Android app stores and Amazon’s servers, and more. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/11/2021
1/13/202153 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

America’s Political Precipice & the Hyperreality of Markets: Grant Williams & Ben Hunt

In Episode 172 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Grant Williams and Ben Hunt. Ben is the founder of the widely read Epsilon Theory, a newsletter and website that is known for its insights and analysis on markets and society with a particular focus on how narrative drives our perception of the world and our place in it. Grant is the long-time publisher of a popular financial newsletter and the host of the very popular Grant Williams Podcast, which you can find on any major podcast platform. The three of them discuss the urgent social, political, and economic issues facing the United States and what Americans can do to help themselves and their country in this moment of heightened uncertainty. Topics include equity markets, cryptocurrencies, politics, national security, social media, & more. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 01/05/2021
1/11/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Code of Capital: Markets, Big Tech, & Blockchain | Katharina Pistor

In Episode 171 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Katharina Pistor, a leading scholar of corporate governance, money & finance, property rights, and comparative law & legal institutions. She’s also a prominent commentator on cryptocurrencies, has testified before Congress about them, and has written papers dealing with the issues of digital statehood and monetary sovereignty. Her latest book, “The Code of Capital,” is a tour de force that explains in captivating detail how the law is used to code and construct capital, protecting some assets over others, how this creates wealth for society, and how its use and abuse can make the difference between societal cohesion and political revolution. In today’s conversation, you will learn how the law—a powerful tool for social ordering and wealth creation—has been put to work in the service of private consolidation and political control. This leads us to focus on three, interrelated topics: The first deals with the nature of property and how the legal system and its network of lawyers turn assets into capital by encoding them with certain, key attributes. One of these attributes, convertibility, has been notably expanded in its application over the last thirteen years, as central banks have accepted an ever broader basket of assets as collateral and used their balance sheets to monetize not only government debt, but mortgages, corporate bonds, and stock ETFs. The second deals with a knock-on effect of the first, namely, the astronomical growth in the market value of Bitcoin. In this context, Bitcoin can be seen as an exogenous response to the erosion of trust and credibility in the conduct of monetary policy by central banks and in response to questions about the integrity of public money. But questions remain about whether or not a private form of money like Bitcoin can replace state-issued fiat money or if monetary sovereignty even exists without territorial sovereignty. The third and final area of discussion looks at how creatures of the legal code, like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others, are using that same code to not only control markets but effectively break them and transform the economic space into something that more closely resembles a system of bonded labour. After listening to today’s episode, you should be better able to understand how the world we live in today came to be, how its code has been altered, and why promises of a frictionless, deterministic future are chimeras; they are designed to divest us of not only our power but of the very agency that makes this experiment in democratic self-governance possible in the first place. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/29/2020
1/4/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Future of Freedom, Governance, and the Networked State

In Episode 170 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas shares an interview he recently did on the Bankless podcast, where he gives his views on the future of freedom and governance. Topics include cryptocurrencies, global macro, monetary policy, geopolitics, and more.  Since our episode with Rohan Grey aired, we have seen new regulatory proposals including the FinCen KYC regulations on self-hosted wallets and the recent securities fraud lawsuit filed by the SEC against Ripple. As part of our effort to educate listeners about the ongoing transition towards a pro-regulatory environment, we have put together a couple of episodes in the new year dealing with these issues head-on.  Today’s conversation deals with some of these topics, specifically this notion of a networked state or a digital state. David and Ryan seem to feel that code can supplant legal structures as an operating framework for society. While Demetri may agree that smart contracts can automate agreements, he doesn’t believe that self-executing software can or should supplant our legal systems. He also thinks that it is naïve and dangerous to synonymize open-source software with liberal democracy, an argument that he expands on in this episode. You can access the transcript to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 12/24/2020
12/28/20201 hour, 41 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Tyranny of Merit: What Has Become of the Common Good? | Michael Sandel

In Episode 169 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Sandel, professor of Government Theory at Harvard University Law School, host of the BBC series “The Public Philosopher,” and author of numerous, bestselling books including his latest, “The Tyranny of Merit.”   When people complain about meritocracy, the complaint is usually not about the ideal but about our failure to live up to it. According to this complaint, meritocracy is a myth, a distant promise yet to be redeemed. This complaint is certainly valid. But what if the problem runs deeper? What if the real problem with meritocracy is not that we have failed to achieve it but that the ideal is flawed? What if the rhetoric of rising no longer inspires, not simply because social mobility has stalled but, more fundamentally, because helping people scramble up the ladder of success in a competitive meritocracy is a hollow political project that reflects an impoverished conception of citizenship and freedom?  Perhaps nowhere has this mindset around success and failure been more evident than in our response to the pandemic, where we were continually assured by our public officials that we are “all in this together.” And yet, for those of who have been working from home during this time or who are economically independent enough to prioritize social distancing, take the necessary health precautions, and access the highest quality health services this catchphrase rings hollow. We know it’s not true. We know that there are two different realities for two different classes of people in this society, the winners and the losers.   In their conversation today, Michael and Demetri explore how we got to this point, what it means for our society, and how we might begin to engage in the moral and political renewal required to fix it. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces  Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 12/14/2020
12/21/202057 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Understanding the STABLE Act and the Push to Regulate Crypto | Rohan Grey

In Episode 168 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Rohan Grey, an expert on the legal design and regulation of digital fiat currency and one of the prime authors of the recently proposed STABLE Act put forward by congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and congressmen Jesús García and Stephen Lynch of Illinois and Massachusetts respectively.    The stated justification for the bill is to “protect consumers from the risks posed by emerging digital payment instruments, such as Facebook’s Libra and other Stablecoins,” which the authors define as “digital currencies, whose value is permanently pegged to or stabilized against a conventional currency like the dollar and which pose new regulatory challenges while also representing a growing source of market, liquidity, and credit risk.”   The goal of this conversation was to get absolutely clear on the language and intent of the regulation, not just as a standalone document but as part of a much larger regulatory agenda that is being put forward by the more progressive factions of the democratic party. What is clear is that much of this depends on how we define money and what we mean when we talk about “a deposit.” Regardless of what your personal beliefs are, regulation is coming. The question is what is it going to look like and how is it going to impact you and your community, whether that community is your local community, your business community, or a crypto community? This conversation is meant to help you begin to wrap your arms around this new paradigm, to understand what you think about it and how you want to respond to it. You can gain access to the episode overtime, Demetri’s additional conversation with Jeremy Allaire, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page.  All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces  Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 12/08/2020
12/14/20201 hour, 1 minute, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

What’s Gone Wrong with the Democratic Party & How to Fix it | David Shor

In Episode 167 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with political data scientist David Shor. David was recently described in New York Magazine as Obama’s “In-House Nate Silver” for his work on the president’s re-election campaign where he was responsible for building and maintaining the campaign's election forecasting system, which accurately predicted the outcome to within a point in every state and was the primary input to the campaign's resource allocation decisions in the 2012 election. In this conversation, David shares his theory about why Democrats have struggled to win elections in recent years, why the polls have been so off in both of the last two presidential elections, and what the implications of his findings are for the viability of the party and its ideological platform and rhetoric.  We also look at how Republicans gained support from African American men and Hispanics in an election year that we were told was supposed to be a referendum on white privilege. Does this mean that identity politics has run its course, or does it just validate the assertions of people like New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow who claim that this is simply further evidence of the entrenchment of white supremacy in American society? David also shares his predictions on the Georgia senate races and gives his opinion on how polling should be reformed. Lastly, Shor explains how education levels correlate with ideological extremism, how this has put Democratic candidates out of step with the majority of Americans, and what this means for policy choices in the event that the Democrats retake control of the senate in 2020 or 2022.  You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces  Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 12/01/2020
12/7/202059 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks & Romans | Thomas E. Ricks

In Episode 166 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Thomas Ricks about his book “First Principles: What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks & Romans.” The two discuss the influence of Greco-Roman thought and culture on America’s founding generation, while drawing lessons that can be applied to our democracy today. First Principles is a timely book, in that we find ourselves grappling today with many of the same questions, concerns, and anxieties that animated and vexed the drafters of the American constitution. It is also a deeply profound one, because it reminds us that America was, is, and always will be an experiment. The constitution was constructed after all, in the midst of the Enlightenment. “What was most important and really new about the Age of Reason,” writes the scholar William Goetzmann, “was the sublime confidence of the intellectuals and societal leaders in the power of man’s reason...Human nature, like all other nature, was a constant that yielded to rational inquiry.” In other words, the enlightenment showed the founding generation that it was possible to use reason and observation to discern the eternal laws of nature and then to use that understanding to aid human progress. To be enlightened was to have an energetic way of examining the world with skepticism and self-confidence and that self-confidence came from the knowledge that the world was knowable, that truths could be discovered, and inquiries made into the nature of things. “To be enlightened,” as the intellectual historian Caroline Winterer put it, “was to be filled with hope.” It was with this sense of hope and empowerment that America’s founding generation set about to construct the American constitution and bill of rights. What were their objectives? Who did they look up to? What books did they read? And why the obsession with the ancients? What lessons did they take from the successes and failures of the Greeks and Romans? What did they value in themselves and in others? How did these values inform their construction of the union? And what can we learn from their experience when grappling with our own challenges today, whether we’re talking about executive power, media censorship, political division, or any of the other issues that animate the spirit of today’s generations?   The purpose of this episode is to provide a historical context for the challenges we face today in an effort to understand that they are not altogether new, nor are they insurmountable.  You can access the overtime to this episode, as well as the transcript and rundown through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces  Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 11/24/2020
11/30/202058 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Emerging Markets & the Turkish Lira: Assessing the Risks & Opportunities | Paul McNamara

In Episode 165 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Paul McNamara, an Investment Director at global asset manager GAM who serves as the company’s lead manager on hedge fund, emerging market bond and currency long-only strategies. The first half of this conversation focuses on the macro forces driving EM overall, including how the latest vaccines could affect the global recovery and the service and export sectors in emerging markets, the global debt picture and its impact on economic recovery, the resumption of trade, etc. The second half of our conversation focuses exclusively on one emerging market country in particular: Turkey. Turkey is a uniquely important country, not least because of its geostrategic positioning as a gateway between east and west, straddling multiple important theatres of conflict, diplomacy, and trade that matter greatly to all the major powers, including the United States. What happens to Turkey’s economy, the country’s ability to service its debts, and the value of its currency are materially important for its geopolitical stability and for the stability of its neighbors and NATO allies. To that effect, we examine some of the latest government-family drama in Turkey involving the president’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak and the significance of his ouster as Minister of Finance and Treasury, along with the implications for Turkey’s economy. We also discuss the recent 475 basis point rate hike by the Turkish central bank and what this means for the economy, domestic bank lending, and the value of the Lira going forward.  Lastly, given the turmoil in relations between Turkey, the US, and Europe, it’s an open question as to how an incoming Biden administration will deal with this important NATO ally and if sanctions could be used against Ankara in the event that diplomatic headway isn’t made and Turkey’s president continues to go his own way on issues that are vital to both the US and Europe. You can access the afterthought segment, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces  Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 11/19/2020
11/23/202053 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Long (and Short) of it: A Cynic’s Take on Markets & Investing | Jim Chanos

In Episode 164 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with legendary short-seller Jim Chanos, founder of Kynikos Associates, about the art and science of selling short. What is short-selling? What does it mean to sell something short? How does one learn to do it successfully? These are just some of the questions that Demetri and Jim explore in their two-hour-long conversation on markets, politics, and life. Demetri asks Jim for his philosophy on investing and why value-oriented allocators have had a difficult time profiting during the later stages of this bull market. A vocal critic of corporate excess and malfeasance, Chanos also offers his view on what a Biden administration will mean for financial regulation, capital markets, equity valuations, and the broader economy. The two also dissect the business models and prospects of companies like Tesla and Uber and consider the value proposition of Bitcoin amid its extraordinary rise in recent weeks. They end with a conversation about history and what we might come to expect from the future by looking into the past. This is yet another excellent, engaging, and profoundly eye-opening conversation in a series of such discussions that we have released in recent weeks. We hope you enjoy it! You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces  Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 11/17/2020
11/19/202056 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World | Fareed Zakaria

In Episode 163 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with CNN host and bestselling author Fareed Zakaria, about his book “Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World.”  The two explore a wide range of economic, political, social, & geopolitical issues facing America and the world in 2020. They discuss the outcome of the US election and its implications for the republican and democratic parties. Fareed shares his thoughts on what he believes are the major foreign policy challenges currently facing the United States and how a Biden administration will differ in its approach to meeting them. Zakaria also provides lengthy commentary on the news media, censorship, Big Tech, the future of US-China relations, the fate of globalization, the rise of illiberal democracy, and much, much more. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 11/10/2020
11/16/202054 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Making Sense of Election 2020 and Its Aftermath | Matt Taibb

In Episode 162 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Matt Taibbi, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, co-host of the “Useful Idiots” podcast, and author of several, best-selling books on politics, finance, media, and culture. The two discuss the state of the US presidential election and speculate about what may have contributed to Trump’s outperformance, how this election may eventually draw to a close, and when we will know for sure who the winner is. In the overtime, Demetri and Matt discuss what a post-Trump presidency may look like in the event that he loses, the dangerous role played by tech platforms during this election, and how we may all find ourselves in a much darker place before 2024. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 11/05/2020
11/6/202045 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Limits and Consequences of Ponzi Economics on Politics, Markets, & Society

In Episode 161 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas plays an interview he recently gave to Sebastien Couture and Friederike Ernst on Epicenter.TV. This is a wide-ranging, macro conversation focused on markets, politics, geopolitics, and crypto. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 09/30/2020
11/2/202051 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Rise of a New Kleptocracy: How Dirty Money is Conquering the World | Tom Burgis

In Episode 160 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Tom Burgis, an investigations correspondent at the Financial Times who is also the author of Kletopia, a book that chronicles the world of dirty money, with its complex web of criminals, money launderers, and politicians who enable it.   In recent decades, we have witnessed in the West the rise of a new kleptocracy that knows no boundaries and obeys few laws, which is enabled by a sort of political consensus to loot. This looting has become so pervasive that the money extracted by its members is enough to buy the political power needed to change the laws and loot some more. It's a self-perpetuating cycle of fraud, criminality, and widespread corruption of the very systems of liberal, democratic capitalism that these kleptocrats depend upon for their survival.   Unfortunately, the conduits through which we learn about this phenomenon are themselves often held captive, to one degree or another, by these same forces. The more obvious their looting becomes and the more our elected officials choose to ignore or divert our attention away, the more radicalized and susceptible the electorates become to the promises of candidates who seek to fill the vacuum of trust left by our politicians with power.   In their conversation today, Demetri and Tom discuss the nature of this problem and why it poses such a serious threat to the very systems that it seeks to exploit. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 10/19/2020
10/26/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare | Chris Brose

In Episode 159 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Chris Brose, fmr. Staff Director of the Senate Armed Services Committee, a fmr. speechwriter to two Secretaries of State, and the current Head of Strategy at Anduril Industries, a defense product company working at the bleeding edge of innovation in defense strategy, procurement, and development. This is a conversation about the story that the American public tells itself about the strength and primacy of American military power and how that story has increasingly fallen out of step with the reality of how our military operates, the technologies it has at its disposal, and the threat that countries like Russia and China pose to America’s battle-networks, systems, and platforms. How do we navigate these challenges while still trying to maintain peace and security both at home and abroad? How is the nature of warfare changing, and how can America’s military evolve to meet the challenge posed by new systems of automated warfare, next-generation weaponry, and shorter development cycles? And as we work to meet these challenges, how do we guard against the weakening of our civil and political institutions in an effort to overcome them? These are just a few of the questions that Chris and Demetri tackle in the first part of today’s conversation. In the overtime, the two discuss some of the initiatives and projects that Chris is most excited about at Anduril, and how the company is revolutionizing the way we think about the relationship between commercial technologies and military technologies, battle networks and platforms, as well as the overall budgetary procurement and acquisition process. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 10/13/2020
10/19/20201 hour, 1 minute, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Isolationism: A History of America’s Efforts to Shield Itself from the World | Charles Kupchan

In Episode 158 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Charles Kupchan, a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University, who served as special assistant to the president for national security affairs in the Obama Whitehouse and on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton.  The two explore the history of isolationism in the United States and apply those lessons towards a broader conversation about the future of America and the 2020 election during the episode overtime. You can access the overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page.  All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 10/07/2020
10/12/202042 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan's Defense & American Strategy in Asia | Ian Easton

In Episode 157 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Ian Easton, Senior Director at the Project 2049 Institute and author of "The Chinese Invasion Threat” about the likelihood and consequences of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. The Taiwan Strait is one of the most dangerous flashpoints on earth and the island of Taiwan sits right in the middle of one of the busiest maritime sea and air routes in the world. It is situated at the very center of what is known as the first island chain, stretching from as far south as Vietnam and Indonesia, all the way up through the Philippines and north of Japan, giving it unique strategic and commercial significance as a gateway to the pacific.  In this two-hour long conversation, Ian provides us with an extraordinary overview of the island’s history, its strategic, commercial, and political significance, and what an invasion of Taiwan would mean for the United States, its allies, and the world. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 09/30/2020
10/5/20201 hour, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Rise of Mohammed bin Salman and the Future of Saudi Arabia | Bradley Hope & Justin Scheck

In Episode 156 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Wall Street Journal reporters Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck about their new book, “Blood & Oil” that chronicles the rise to power of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, a story full of multi-billion dollar business deals, high-powered finance, and political intrigue. The first 15 minutes or so of their conversation deal with Bradley and Justin’s process for writing the book, their cultivation of leads, and how they went about fact-checking stories. The rest of the episode and the overtime focuses on Salman’s approach to statesmanship, his role and that of his family as “swing investors” in silicon valley, and what it means for the politics of the greater Middle East should he assume the throne. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 09/11/2020
9/28/202051 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

'Accommodative' Monetary Policy & Risks to Central Bank Independence | Bill Nelson

In Episode 155 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Bill Nelson, Chief Economist & Executive Vice President at the Bank Policy Institute, who spent most of his career working at the Federal Reserve, with a brief stint at the Bank For International Settlements. Before joining BPI, Dr. Nelson served as a deputy director of the Division of Monetary Affairs at the Federal Reserve Board and actually helped design and manage several of the Fed’s emergency liquidity facilities during the 2008 crisis. Dr. Nelson’s expert understanding of the plumbing of our monetary system and how monetary policy is effectuated at the ground level is important because, despite all the ways in which the Fed has sought to increase transparency and further communication with the public over the years, the mechanics of monetary policy remain baffling to most people. Even those of us who think we understand how it works are often only scratching the surface. Consequently, one of the items we discuss in this episode is how monetary policy has changed operationally since the 2008 crisis -- how a combination of regulations introduced by Basel III and Dodd-Frank, as well as emergency actions taken by the Fed during the financial crisis explain some of what we are seeing in markets today. We also discuss inflation and inflation expectations, as well as credible threats to the Fed’s independence given how far it’s gone in expanding its balance sheet and in purchasing corporate bonds and corporate bond ETFs. In addition, we look at what it would take for the Fed to bring out “the Bazooka” as Bill Nelson refers to it, and what that Bazooka would look like. Would it include equities, and if so, how would Fed officials justify those purchases? Lastly, what type of language should we be focused on? What types of signs should we be looking for that might give us a hint that we are about to enter a new phase of policy action? You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 09/16/2020
9/21/202057 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Hype Machine: The Promise and the Peril of Social Media | Sinan Aral

In Episode 154 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Sinan Aral, MIT Professor and author of “The Hype Machine,” about the promise and the peril of social media. Is social media a force for meaningful connection, collaboration, social support, and access to life-saving information? Or is it a propaganda machine that, left unchecked, will destroy democracy, civil society, and our health? Can the promise of social media be realized without the peril? Or are they inexorably linked? This episode is the latest in a series of thoughtful conversations that we have hosted on Hidden Forces dealing with some of the more problematic issues surrounding social media and its influence on politics & society. Demetri’s conversations with Shoshana Zuboff and Rana Faroohar come most immediately to mind, but my episodes with Cal Newport on digital minimalism, Hanna Fry on artificial intelligence, and John Borthwick with whom we have explored numerous interesting philosophical questions are also very much worth revisiting for anyone interested in further exploring the topics discussed today.   You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 09/04/2020
9/14/20201 hour, 2 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Rise of Carry: the New Financial Order of Decaying Growth & Recurring Crisis

In Episode 153 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with authors Kevin Coldiron, Jamie Lee, and Tim Lee, as they explain how the behavior of financial markets today is not, as is commonly believed, some function of the economy, interest rates, or political developments, but rather a manifestation of what they call “the rise of carry” or the suppression of volatility.  In finance, a carry trade is typically thought of as an interest rate arbitrage expressed as a trade between two currencies, where the more historically stable currency is used to fund the purchase of an historically less-stable but higher-yielding alternative in exchange for taking on currency risk. The authors extend this principle across every facet of the economy in an effort to show that the logic of carry has increasingly become the dominant force driving market behavior and by extension, asset prices.  If we are to agree that financial markets play a vital function in a capitalist economy and that their value ultimately derives from the underlying businesses and cash flows that their prices should reflect, then the rise of carry in a highly levered, fiat economy represents an existential threat to all aspects of human affairs. The authors argue that we appear to be closer to this eventuality than ever before, but what will the collapse of carry or its ignition create? What will it look and feel like? What could allow it to continue? How might we stop it? Or is it already too late? We tackle all these questions and more during the course of this nearly two-hour-long conversation. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 09/01/2020
9/7/202056 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Some Thoughts to End the Summer...

In this short segment, Demetri Kofinas shares some thoughts to end the summer and looks ahead at what listeners can expect to hear in the next few months. You can access the Hidden Forces episode overtimes, transcripts, and rundowns to through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 08/29/2020
8/31/202013 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Erdoğan’s Turkey & the Revival of the Ottoman Empire | Soner Çağaptay

In Episode 152 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Soner Çağaptay, the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. Soner has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish domestic politics, and Turkish nationalism and is the author of several books on Turkey including his latest “Erdoğan's Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East.” Turkey’s neighborhood is arguably ground zero for anyone interested in studying the effects of the breakdown of the American-led international order. America and its Western allies have more or less kept the peace in the greater Middle East and Europe for the better half of the 20th century, but the misadventures in Iraq and Libya, along with the Obama administration’s decision not to intervene in Syria, coupled with Trump’s latest maneuvering of troops out of Rojava have reinforced the view that the United States is no longer committed to providing a security guarantee to the region’s most insecure countries. And to this point, Turkey has a lot to feel insecure about. To its south, it borders Iraq and Syria, two countries that remain highly politically fractious with large Kurdish populations. To the east, it borders its strategic, regional competitor Iran. To the north, across the black sea sits Turkey’s historical nemesis Russia and to the west lie the Mediterranean and Europe. Turkey is therefore both strategically insecure and simultaneously capable of projecting influence across a wide territory, which is why it has been such an important part of NATO going back to the earliest days of the Cold War. This makes the latest crisis that has broken out in the eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and an alliance of regional actors including fellow NATO member states Greece and France very concerning. Not only is there a real risk of military conflict, but the fractures that started in the Middle East with Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and Syria are now extending into Europe. This poses huge security challenges for the EU, while simultaneously creating opportunities for Russia and perhaps Turkey, the latter of which stands to benefit from a reconfiguration of its western territories that would allow it to capitalize on untapped natural gas reserves in the Aegean. Anyone interested in accessing the overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this episode can do so through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you have trouble connecting the RSS feed, please send us a direct message through Patreon and we will help you out. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 08/19/2020
8/24/202053 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

Uncharted Future: Learning to Navigate an Unpredictable World | Margaret Heffernan

In Episode 151 of Hidden Forces, In Episode 151 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with journalist, author, and documentary filmmaker Margaret Heffernan, whose best-selling book Willful Blindness, was named one of the most important business books of the decade by the Financial Times. Her latest book, “Uncharted,” addresses many of the core themes and subjects that have captivated our attention on this podcast for years. In today’s conversation, Margaret and Demetri explore many of the various phenomena that arise from our unhealthy relationship with the future. Whether it’s the on-air financial host pumping & dumping stocks to his viewers, the policymaker forecasting unemployment figures and growth rates, or the Silicon Valley executive predicting autonomous fleets of vehicles, telepathy, and jobs on mars, all within a decade, it is our discomfort with uncertainty and simultaneous craving for reassurance that fuels so many of the commercial and political operations of daily life. And yet, history is an incomplete data set. We know this because the future is full of things that have never been here before. So, if we want to successfully confront the unknown challenges to come, we need to begin by acknowledging that we cannot plan for them. The best we can hope to do is prepare, and fortunately for us, Margaret Heffernan is just the person to help us do it. For those who want access to the episode overtime, as well as to the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode, you can find all of that on the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 07/27/2020
8/17/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Is Gold in a New Bull Market? A Deep-Dive Into Humanity’s 5,000-Year-Old Obsession | Rick Rule

In Episode 150 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Rick Rule, President & CEO of Sprott US Holdings and Senior Managing Director of Sprott Inc. a global, alternative asset manager focused on precious metals and real assets with approximately 12 billion dollars in assets under management. After spending most of the last decade in a period of prolonged underperformance, gold has spent the last two years on a tear, up 67% since September 2018. This episode is meant to introduce Hidden Forces listeners to gold, precious metals, and the larger natural resource industry. We discuss gold’s physical qualities as a commodity that needs to be prospected, mined, extracted, refined, and stored, as well as its investment profile in the form of bullion, equities, and derivative products like futures, options, and ETFs. We also spend time in the regular episode discussing gold in philosophical terms. What is gold? What is it that gives gold its value? Is gold a hedge against inflation? Is it insurance, and if so, insurance against what? Finally, is it possible to even talk about gold without discussing the macroeconomy, credit markets, and ultimately people’s faith in the institution of paper money? Other topics include the supply and demand-side drivers of the gold price, what Rick Rule sees in terms of institutional demand for gold, how the mining industry has changed over the last few decades, the relationship of gold to silver and where the silver market is trending, the use of public ledgers and blockchain-related technologies in the precious metals industry, and much, much more. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 08/03/2020
8/10/202051 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Death of Engagement: America’s New Cold War with China | Orville Schell

In Episode 149 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Orville Schell, Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society about the implications of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's monumental speech at the Nixon Library, the history of engagement with China’s Communist Party, and what a New Cold War with China will mean for the future of peace and security. Dr. Schell’s career as a China scholar spans the entire arch of US-Sino relations since Nixon’s fateful trip to the Middle Kingdom in 1972 and the opening up of China to the world. The same year (1967) that Dr. Schell earned his master's degree in Chinese studies an astounding 70 percent of Americans agreed on one thing: the greatest threat to U.S. security was the People’s Republic of China. After fifty years of engagement where relations between the two nations would improve dramatically, Americans are now back to viewing China as an enemy. A Pew Research Center poll conducted in March 2020 shows that roughly two-thirds of Americans now say they have an unfavorable view of China, the most negative rating for the country since the Center began asking the question in 2005, and up nearly 20 percentage points since the start of the Trump administration. Positive views of China’s leader, President Xi Jinping, are also at historically low levels. In a recent speech delivered at the Nixon Presidential Library, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the failure of 50 years of engagement with China and called for the free world to stand up against this “new tyranny” in what felt very much like the beginning of a new cold war.  “It’s true, there are differences,” remarked Pompeo, when contrasting China to the USSR. “Unlike the Soviet Union, China is deeply integrated into the global economy. But Beijing is more dependent on us than we are on them.” “I reject the notion,” he continued, “that we’re living in an age of inevitability, that some trap is pre-ordained, that CCP supremacy is the future. . . . If we bend the knee now, our children’s children may be at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party, whose actions are the primary challenge today in the free world. General Secretary Xi is not destined to tyrannize inside and outside of China forever unless we allow it.” In their conversation, Orville Schell and Demetri Kofinas discuss the speech, what it means for US-Sino relations, and the implications of disengagement for the US, China, and the world. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 07/29/2020
8/3/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Rise of Decentralized Finance | Framework Ventures’ Michael Anderson & Vance Spencer

In Episode 148 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Anderson and Vance Spencer. Mike and Vance are the founders of Framework Ventures, a thesis-driven venture capital firm whose team of technologists, researchers, and investors partner with founders and teams to build token-based networks and develop the requisite cryptoeconomics, governance, and community to scale.    The team’s focus is on the hot new space of decentralized finance, known as DeFi for short. They are the largest owners outside of the core team & exchanges of both the decentralized oracle provider Chainlink and the derivatives platform Synthetix.  Framework’s investment thesis relies on three assumptions. The first is that (1) financial institutions will realize competitive advantages as smart contract functionality allows them to streamline costs and realize new revenue streams. (2) Permissionless open protocols will provide access to financial services to a wider range of people than is possible today. (3) Token-based business models have a competitive advantage over traditional business models for some technical products. During this episode, we explore a number of use cases and applications that Framework’s founders believe will drive value in DeFi. We discuss cryptoeconomics in the context of how to capture network value, the “chicken-or-the-egg” problem of initializing a two-sided network and consider a new approach to valuation that breaks with some of the models and formulas that were popularized during the ICO craze of 2017.  The team also discusses their investments in Chainlink and Synthetix, including a discussion about the tech, tokenomics, and community of these projects. You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Ho