To some in the business world and on Wall Street, the growing expectation that one must pair “doing good” with “doing business” – described by terms like “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) and “environmental social and corporate governance” (ESG) – feels like being told to eat more fiber. A firm’s leaders may genuinely care about social and environmental issues. They may be actively involved in philanthropic projects to address environmental and social problems. They may even acknowledge that it will enhance their brands’ reputations – “We should probably have somebody in charge of that; people care about that stuff these days.” But as a core strategy for making money? Many CEOs believe you’re naïve if you think your attention to environmental and social issues will make you money – these strategies are a money suck; they smack of inefficiency, foolish idealism, and ultra-left-wing, anti-profit-seeking, bad-for-the-economy thinking. Even Hillary Clinton told environmental activists to “get a life” in an email leaked by WikiLeaks. The question is: Can you really make money and do good at the same time? We attempt to find out in episode 7 of the Wall & Broadcast.
This is the 2nd part of a two-part episode on Charlie Shrem, America’s first Bitcoin superstar. When we left Charlie at the end of Episode 1, he was just being confronted by joint FBI, DEA, IRS task force at JFK Airport in New York. Upon his arrival, he is arrested and detained by the federal authorities. Tune into the second part of this two-part episode to find out what happened to Charlie. Why was he detained? On what charges? We follow Charlie through the shock of these events and discover how his experiences changed him and his relationship to the world of Bitcoin and blockchain. We conclude the episode with a conversation with Ned Scott, the Co-founder and CEO of Steemit, an exciting new blockchain project that Charlie is involved in.
There was a time; not so long ago, that Bitcoin was just an obscure little diversion for the hardest of the hard-core crypto geeks existing on the fringes of the internet. Out of those recesses rose a quiet young yeshiva student from Brooklyn who would seize upon a unique opportunity, using his own personal experiences and his love of computers to create one of the first successful retail Bitcoin enterprises. His name was Charlie Shrem, and by the time he was 21 years old he was a Bitcoin titan. His startup, BitInstant, allowed ordinary people to easily purchase bitcoins from retailers like 7-11 or Walmart. Within months of starting BitInstant, Charlie was traveling and speaking all over the world about Bitcoin and gaining a reputation as a Bitcoin superstar. But what goes up can also come down. Listen to episode 5 of Wall & Broadcast to learn more about how Charlie rose to prominence and ultimately found himself confronted and detained by federal authorities at JFK Airport.
If you’re anything like us here at Wall & Broadcast, you love movies about Wall Street. Whether it’s the sheer outright hilarity of Trading Places, the brutal ruthlessness of Margin Call, the gritty day to day grind of Boiler Room, or the mixture of greed, wealth and power of The Wolf of Wall Street, we can’t seem to get enough of what Hollywood is saying about our industry. But is Hollywood getting it right? Strap in for another episode of Wall & Broadcast where we try to find out if the entertainment industry’s portrayal of our industry is accurate. We speak to an actual frozen concentrated orange juice futures trader from the 80’s, a former Wall Street secretary from Staten Island, Downtown Josh Brown of CNBC fame who worked in a couple of ‘boiler rooms’ himself, and actors Rudy Eisenzopf from the Big Short and Alessandro Nivola from the upcoming Wizard of Lies to get some answers.
We at Wall & Broadcast keep hearing stories about the millennial generation’s disdain for traditional banks. And there are lots of new finance apps out there, so they should be able to opt out of traditional banking no problem right? But are millennials truly opting out of traditional banking? Walk with us as we discover what it really means to live without a bank account in America. And what alternatives really exist right now for those living an unbanked life.
Money certainly doesn’t grow on trees but what would you do if ceased to exist? In episode 2 of Wall & Broadcast, we look inside a state penitentiary where the use of US currency is forbidden but a secret economic system has taken hold. And we visit a country where the official currency has failed to see how people respond when the money they’ve come to rely on becomes worthless. In the process we discover that, in addition to love, there is one thing that money still can’t buy...
There’s an undercurrent in our mainstream culture today, a prevailing sense that our financial markets are rigged. This zeitgeist has existed very strongly since the crash of 2007/08. Some may know very little about how the markets operate and yet they tend to harbor at least a seed of doubt; ‘maybe the markets are rigged – I would believe it if they were.’ Others, who are more fluent in the language of the markets - for example, a hugely popular former presidential candidate, a best selling author, various politicians and regulators, even many market participants themselves - say regularly and emphatically that the markets are rigged or at least that they constitute an un-level playing field. We wanted make sense of this question and see whether there’s a clear answer…
Wall & Broadcast invites you inside the untold, little understood stories of Wall Street. With unparalleled access to industry insiders, and hosted by an ex-spy and a former boy band member turned finance experts, we deliver insightful interviews, hilarious asides, intriguing stories, and historical perspective on this seemingly untouchable industry that touches everybody.