The Jolly Swagman Podcast

The Jolly Swagman Podcast Podcast

Conversations hosted by Joe Walker. As featured in The Australian Financial Review, The Daily Telegraph, MacroBusiness, and Pedestrian.tv. (Formerly ‘The Jolly Swagmen Podcast’ hosted by Angus and Joe.)



Housing Bubble Week Finale: It's The Housing Cycle, Stupid! -- Ed Leamer
This episode is about why housing busts cause recessions. Few understand their nexus better than Ed Leamer.Ed is the Chauncey J. Medberry Professor of Management, Professor of Economics and Professor of Statistics at UCLA and director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast.Joe and Ed discuss the problem of causal inference in economics, why housing bubbles burst, and why they ultimately lead to recession.Show notesSelected linksFollow Ed: WebsiteMacroeconomic Patterns and Stories, by Ed Leamer‘Bubble Trouble? Your H...

Housing Bubble Week: Getting Things Done in Western Sydney -- John Hempton
The logic is inevitable: credit is as much a feature of housing bubbles as the moon is of nighttime. And to sustain price rises, underwriting standards must eventually be relaxed. Few know this better than John Hempton.John is the cofounder and CIO of Australian-based hedge fund Bronte Capital. In 2016, he and Jonathan Tepper of Variant Perception toured Western Sydney -- undercover -- to investigate bank underwriting standards.John and I discuss what they uncovered as well as the likely scenario for Austra...


Housing Bubble Week: A Philosophy of Bubbles -- Timo Henckel
Bubbles are everywhere today -- or so we’re told. But what are they really?I speak with behavioural macroeconomist from the Australian National University Dr Timo Henckel. We discuss how to define bubbles, the psychology of investor contagion, and why bubbles occur not so much in the absence, but with the help, of strong “economic fundamentals”.Show notesSelected linksFollow Timo: Website‘Are Home Prices the Next “Bubble”?’, 2004 paper by Jonathan McCarthy and Richard Peach‘Assessing High House Prices: Bubb...


Housing Bubble Week: Speculation and Unchartered Waters -- Chris Joye
Chris Joye manages $3 billion as the Co-Chief Investment Officer at Australian fixed-income manager Coolabah Capital Investments, and is a contributing editor with The Australian Financial Review. He also has a long familiarity with the Australian housing market. In 2003, then-Director of the Menzies Research Centre Malcolm Turnbull commissioned Chris, fresh out of Cambridge University, to be the principal author of the 380-page Prime Minister's Home Ownership Task Force Report.In this conversation, Joe ask...

Housing Bubble Week: Housing Bubbles as Availability Cascades -- Timur Kuran
Timur Kuran is a Turkish American economist, Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor in Islamic Studies at Duke University.In 2017, Timur Kuran and legal scholar Cass Sunstein advanced an incredibly powerful construct called an availability cascade. Availability cascades combine informational cascades and reputational cascades, and are mediated by the availability heuristic (all will be explained in the podcast).Joe and Timur talk about the application of availability casca...


Housing Bubble Week: Lessons From Amsterdam's 'Gentlemen's Canal' -- Piet Eichholtz
We all know that real estate is the best long-term investment for capital gains, and property investors should just hold through the ups and downs of the market. Right? But is that really true? To answer that question we need to take a long run view of real house prices.Piet Eichholtz is the Fortis Professor of Finance and Real Estate and the Finance Department Chair at Maastricht University. In 1997, he created the Herengracht Index, which, beginning in 1628, is the longest running house prices index in th...

Housing Bubble Week: Can We Predict Housing Bubbles? -- Dean Baker
I speak with Dean Baker, US economist and co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research based in Washington, D.C.Dean is widely regarded as one of the first economists to have discovered the existence of the US housing bubble. I learn what indicators led him to make that call and what lessons his experience holds for future bubble-seers.Show notesSelected linksFollow Dean: Website | TwitterThe Center for Economic and Policy Research‘The Run-Up in Home Prices: Is It Real or Is It Another Bubble?’...


#65: ‘Housing Bubble Week’ & Joe’s Speech to Mensa
I announce ‘Housing Bubble Week’ and share a speech I gave in Sydney in September 2018.Show notesSelected linksFollow Me: Website | TwitterThe Australian Financial Review’s article featuring this podcast’s first property seriesMorgan Kelly’s paper, ‘On the Likely Extent of Falls in Irish House Prices’Eugene Fama’s seminal paper, ‘Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work’The original paper on informational cascadesThings Hidden Since the Foundation of the World, by Rene Girard...


#64: Doing Good Better - Will MacAskill
Will MacAskill is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He is also one of the founders of the Effective Altruism movement and the author of Doing Good Better.In this conversation, Joe and Will discuss the origins, the why, and the how of Effective Altruism -- an exciting movement and philosophy that can help you do good better.Show notesSelected linksFollow Will: Website | Twitter80,000 HoursCentre for Effective AltruismGiving What We CanGlobal Priorities InstitutePlayPumpsAgains...


#63: The Evolution Of Bret Weinstein
Bret Weinstein came to public prominence as the professor at the centre of the 2017 Evergreen State College protests. He is a well-known member of the “Intellectual Dark Web”.This episode isn’t about any of that, for Bret’s main trade is evolutionary biology. Joe and Bret discuss his journey as a thinker in this field, and the ideas that define his evolutionary toolkit. They also address the two controversial issues of group selection and the evolution of religion.Show notesSelected linksFollow Bret: Websit...

An Update From The Lads
Sadly, Angus is stepping down as co-host, to focus on bigger and better things. Joe, your regular host......

An Update From The Lads
Sadly, Angus is stepping down as co-host, to focus on bigger and better things. Joe, your regular host in 2018, will be continuing the podcast as a lone-wolf. The lads share the news, and reflect on the journey they’ve had as well as the future of the pod....


#62: Some Highlights – 2018
Signature moments from some of our crazy conversations in the year sandwiched between 2017 and 2019. Guests Leonard......

#62: Some Highlights - 2018
Signature moments from some of our crazy conversations in the year sandwiched between 2017 and 2019.GuestsLeonard Susskind [01:14]Marc Cohodes [11:27]Yanis Varoufakis [17:09]Kevin Rudd [23:10]Harry Crane [31:50]Robin Dunbar [37:08]Jonathan Haidt [44:58]Peter Singer [49:40]Rob Wiblin [51:10]David Christian [01:01:04]...


#61: The Three Big Lies Poisoning Young Minds - Jonathan Haidt
This is a conversation with renowned moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt about his new book The Coddling of The American Mind, co-authored with Greg Lukianoff. Jonathan is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University, and the author of two acclaimed books, The Happiness Hypothesis and The Righteous Mind.In an era of microaggressions, call-outs, and trigger warnings, Joe and Jonathan discuss what underpins the new culture of political correctness. They talk about how ‘Three Great Un...

#60: On Recessions - Andrew Charlton
Andrew Charlton is a Rhodes Scholar, economist, and author. From 2008-10, in his late twenties, he was senior economic adviser to then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, helping to steer Australia through the Global Financial Crisis.Joe and Andrew discuss the human costs of recessions, Australia’s unbroken record of economic growth, and for how long this can continue.Show notesSelected linksFollow Andrew: TwitterAlphaBeta AdvisorsFair Trade For All, by Joseph Stiglitz and Andrew CharltonDragon’s Tail, by Andrew Cha...


#59: Elephants in the Room - Jonathan Tepper
Which US and Australian industries are the most concentrated? How did Standard Oil inspire the Nazis? Why are Warren Buffett's famous “moats” harmful to society?Joe speaks with Rhodes scholar, economist, founder of macro research firm Variant Perception, and author of The Myth of Capitalism Jonathan Tepper about monopolies and the death of competition.Show notesSelected linksFollow Jonathan: Website | TwitterJonathan’s new book, The Myth of CapitalismScale, by Geoffrey WestThe ‘tit for tat’ strategy in game...


#58: When The Sky Fell In - Kevin Rudd
Joe speaks with the 26th Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd. Kevin led Australia from December 2007 to June 2010 and again in 2013. His government’s fiscal stimulus package enabled Australia to avoid technical recession during the 2007-09 Global Recession. Only three other advanced economies achieved this feat (Poland, Slovakia and South Korea). Kevin also played a key role in forming the G20 and coordinating its global response to the financial crisis. Kevin is fluent in Mandarin and is internationall...


#57: The Man Who Defied Europe - Yanis Varoufakis
Joe speaks with former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, the man who defied Europe to save Greece - and failed. Yanis, the suave economics professor turned unexpected politician, has recently announced he will run for Prime Minister of Greece at the next national elections. He is the author of multiple books including And The Weak Suffer What They Must?, Adults in the Room, and Talking to My Daughter About the Economy.Show notesSelected linksFollow Yanis Varoufakis: Website | TwitterGame Theory: A Cr...

#56: Ignore the Bond Market at Your Peril - Nicholas Bishop
Picture a Giant Anaconda, sitting in the corner of the room. Very still, observing everything - after a while you forget it is even there. One day its head moves an inch to the left. It is only a small movement, but it is enough to scare the shit out of everyone in the building.This is how Nick Bishop describes the bond market.Nick is the head of fixed income at Aberdeen Standard Investments. In this episode he pulls back the curtain on how the global bond market works and why it matters to you.The bond mar...


#55: Skype's Cofounder on the Threat of AI - Jaan Tallinn
How many people do you know who have created a verb? We ‘google’ things, we ‘uber’ to places, and thanks to this episode’s guest, we also ‘skype’ each other.Jaan Tallinn is the cofounder of Skype and Kazaa. But his entrepreneurial success in connecting the world pales into comparison next to his new goal: preventing the possible extinction of the human race due to unsafe Artificial Intelligence.To that end, Jaan has cofounded Cambridge University’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, MIT’s Future of L...

#54: The Patriarch of 'Silicon Alley' - David Rose
David Rose is the most infamous Angel Investor in America. He is a serial entrepreneur, avid investor and mentor to thousands. David is the founder of the New York Angels and has been described as the ‘Patriarch of Silicon Alley’ - New York’s equivalent of Silicon Valley. His latest company, Gust, is changing the way startups work.A native New Yorker, David founded his first company by the age of 10 and had a front row seat to the dot.com boom, and bust, while running his own startup in the 90s. The dot.com...


#53: Where Venture Capital Meets Social Purpose - May Samali
Critical technological and societal changes of the last century have been spearheaded by entrepreneurs and the investors who back them. How do innovators think about using business models to solve today’s most pressing problems? Are financial profit and social impact mutually exclusive goals?May Samali (@maysamali) is an investor at the Urban Innovation Fund, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that invests in startups shaping the future of cities.Prior to her career in venture capital, May worked as...


#52: A Short Story of Everything - David Christian
The universe is 13.8 billion years old and humans have existed for only 200,000 years. If that time span was a 360-foot-long pathway, we have been around for the last hair’s breadth. How do we make sense of this vastness?Professor David Christian is an historian, best known as the founder of ‘Big History’ - a new, multidisciplinary field that frames our human story in the context of the cosmos, weaving a story from the Big Bang to today.With Bill Gates, he is cofounder of the Big History Project, which teac...

#51: The Art/Science of a High Impact Career - Rob Wiblin
Most people want to help others with their career, but what’s the best way to do that? Become a doctor? A politician? Work at a non-profit? How can any of us figure out the best way to use our skills to improve the world?Rob Wiblin is the Director of Research at 80,000 Hours, an organisation founded in Oxford in 2011, which aims to answer just this question and help talented people find their highest-impact career path. He hosts a popular podcast on ‘the world’s most pressing problems and how you can use yo...


#50: The Brave Cookie Monster - Brendan Eich
Brendan Eich is widely regarded as a ‘Father of the Web’. He is the creator of JavaScript and cofounder of Mozilla and the Firefox browser. JavaScript is one of the three core programming languages and underpins over 90% of the web, including websites like Facebook and Google.In 2015, Brendan cofounded Brave Software, where he is also CEO. Brave provides a browser that blocks websites from dropping ‘cookies’ on users, thereby preventing adtrackers. At Brave, Brendan also led a successful ICO in 2017 and has...


#49: The Legendary, Fraud-Sniffing Short Seller - Marc Cohodes
For thirty-seven years, Marc Cohodes has bet big money against bad companies. Due to his success, he is regarded as one of the world’s greatest short sellers. From 1985 to 2008, he was General Partner at Copper River (formerly Rocker Partners), a $2 Billion mostly short hedge fund. During that period, The New York Times described Marc as “the highest-profile short-seller on Wall Street”.Many of his “shorts” have attained legendary status. These include Lernout & Hauspie, one of the largest securities fraud ...

#48: My Friend Richard, and Theories of the Universe - Leonard Susskind
Leonard Susskind is the Felix Bloch professor of Theoretical physics at Stanford University.  He is widely regarded as the father of String Theory.In this episode, Joe joins Leonard at Stanford to remember Leonard’s friend and mentor Richard Feynman, one of the great physicists of the twentieth century. They also discuss Leonard’s famous ‘Black Hole War’ with Stephen Hawking, String Theory, the multiverse, and what it’s like to be a 78-year-old physicist.Show notesSelected linksSurely You’re Joking, Mr. Fey...


#47: The Shape of Probability - Harry Crane
Harry Crane is a scholar who specialises in statistics and probability. He is currently a professor of statistics at Rutgers University.In this episode, Joe catches up with Harry in New Jersey to discuss the history of probability, how experts routinely misuse statistics, “The First Rule of Probability”, the replication crisis in science, and how Harry thinks about probability in shapes rather than numbers.Show notesSelected linksConnect with Harry Crane: Website | TwitterHarry’s book, Probabilistic Foundat...


#46: How Peter Thiel Destroyed Gawker - Ryan Holiday
In 2016, a Florida court delivered an astounding $140 million verdict against Gawker media for publishing a sex tape of Hulk Hogan. The company was bankrupted. Two months later, it was revealed that billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel had secretly funded the case. In this episode, Joe discusses the why and how of Thiel’s conspiracy with author Ryan Holiday, who had unparalleled access to the characters of this incredible story.Ryan is a bestselling author of books including Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstac...


#44: Electricity Shared - Jemma Green
Dr Jemma Green is the Co-founder and Chair of Power Ledger. Dr Green began her career as an investment banker in London, working for JP Morgan. While based in the UK she completed a Masters of Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University. After returning to her home town in Perth, Australia, she completed a doctorate on Renewable Energy at Curtain University before founding Power Ledger. Power Ledger uses blockchain technology to enable the transition to low cost, low carbon and resilient distributed e...


#43: The Number That Rules Humanity - Robin Dunbar
You only have 150 friends. How do we know that? Because that is Dunbar’s number.Robin Dunbar is a British anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist at the University of Oxford. His research proved the rule that 150 people is the ‘point beyond which members of any social group lose their ability to function effectively in social relationships.’Neolithic farming communities, Roman military armies and even global manufacturer Gore-Tex subscribe to Dunbar’s number.In this episode, we speak to Robin about wha...

#42: Going Paleo - Pete Evans
Pete Evans is a world-renowned chef, restauranteur and co-host of hit TV show, My Kitchen Rules – he is also no stranger to controversy. Pete is a strong advocate of the ‘paleo diet’, which excludes sugar, processed carbohydrates and dairy - he has also received criticism for his views on fluoride in water.In this laid-back, long-form chat, we unpick truth from fiction and uncover Pete’s philosophy on life and how he aims to get the most out of it. Hint: it isn’t by worrying about what other people think.Sh...


#41: Did The Cold War Ever End? - Kim Beazley
The Hon Kim Beazley AC is a former Leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition (1996-2001; 2005-6) and Ambassador to the US (2010-16). His parliamentary career ran from 1980 to 2007, during which he held a number of cabinet positions in the Hawke-Keating governments. He is widely regarded as one of Australia’s greatest Defence Ministers (1984-90). Kim is also a graduate of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In this episode, we join Kim to tackle the issues of Putin’s belligerence, ...


#40: Running Australia’s Busiest Emergency Department - Gordian Fulde
Dr Gordian Fulde AO is Australia’s leading emergency medicine specialist. He founded the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine in 1984 and served as Director of St Vincent’s Emergency Department from 1983 until 2018, the longest serving ED director in Australia. He often appeared on reality TV show Kings Cross ER. Gordian was named Senior Australian Citizen of the Year in 2016.In this episode we discuss the strategies ER Doctors use to keep communication lines open and the patient alive; go behind the...

#39: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World - Andrew Leigh
Dr Andrew Leigh MP is a federal Labor politician with a brilliant background. A promising lawyer and associate for former High Court Justice Michael Kirby, Andrew pulled off a stunning career-pivot to economics. He completed a PhD at Harvard University and was an economics professor at the Australian National University from 2004-2010. In 2011 he won the Economic Society of Australia’s Young Economist Award, given every two years, to an economist under the age of 40 who has made significant contributions to...


#38: Everything is Negotiable - Herb Cohen
If you’re interested in improving your negotiation, whether that’s to buy a used car or bump up your salary, you probably want to learn from the best. How about the person who invented the term ‘win-win’? Perhaps the man who advised Presidents through tense diplomatic negotiations? What about the author of NYT bestsellers including 'You Can Negotiate Anything'? That's definitely a good place to start!Our guest Herb Cohen has done all this and more. A friend of Larry King’s and a native New Yorker, his stree...


#37: Blockchain is Not the Answer - Paul Madsen
Hashgraph is a new distributed ledger technology which many experts believe will supersede the blockchain itself. Founded by Leemon Baird and monetised via his company Swirlds, hashgraph is orders of magnitude better than blockchain in speed, fairness and security. We speak to Paul Madsen, tech lead at Swirlds, about this revolutionary new technology and some of its surprising applications.Show Notes: - Swirlds Whitepaper here- Swirlds...

#36: Doing the Most Good - Peter Singer
Peter Singer is widely regarded as the world's most influential living moral philosopher. From kickstarting the animal rights movement to causing controversy in bioethics, Peter Singer's contributions have changed how we live.Peter is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton, and joined us for a discussion about effective altruism, a growing movement which seeks to apply reason and analysis to answer the question: How can we use our resources to benefit others the most?This episode could change...


#35: The End of Money?
Will cryptocurrency replace the financial system as we know it? What if that is only the start? In......

#35: The End of Money?
Will cryptocurrency replace the financial system as we know it? What if that is only the start?In this special episode, we speak with Michael Casey, a crypto expert working at MIT, and Daniel Woodroof, a Malaysian racing car driver turned blockchain entrepreneur.Show Notes:- The Bitcoin Whitepaper - Check out Michael Casey's books: The Age of Cryptocurrency; The Truth Machine-  1991 Paper - How to Time-Stamp a Digital Document-MichaelCasey.com- DanielWoodroof.com- The Advance of Technology and Major Bubble ...


#34: Our Fragile Economy - Matt Barrie
We feel ourselves lucky. Twenty-six years of continuous economic growth breeds a certain complacency. But our prosperity belies the reality that, as this week’s guest believes, Australia’s economy is a “house of cards”. Mining, housing: the Lucky Country. There’s only so much iron ore and negative gearing to take us into the future. Have we ever innovated our own wealth? What about an Australian Silicon Valley? When will skills overtake luck?Matt Barrie is Australia’s leading tech entrepreneur. In 2014, Sma...

#33: Two Economists Walk Into a Bar (LIVE!) - Luigi Zingales & Richard Holden
Former guests and F.O.T.P*, Luigi ZIngales (#24) and Richard Holden (#26), joined us at the inaugural Jolly Swagmen Christmas Party and we couldn't resist turning on the mics, firing up the crowd and hitting ‘record’!At this live recording we discuss the impact of Amazon's entrance into Australia, the recent repeal of Net Neutrality in America and peer behind the curtain of life on the staff at famed Chicago University.Luigi is a Professor at Chicago Booth School of Business and fierce proponent of the free...


#32: Will the Real Stoicism Please Stand Up - Margaret Graver
Stoicism, an ancient philosophy invented by the Greeks and developed by the Romans, is back in fashion. From author Ryan Holiday, to philosopher Alain de Botton and podcaster Tim Ferriss, Stoicism is being acclaimed as “an operating system for life”. But what is it? And is the modern take true to the original stoicism practiced by late Romans like Seneca and the emperor Marcus Aurelius?Margaret Graver, one of the world’s leading scholars on stoicism, has the answers. Margaret is the Aaron Lawrence Professor...


#31: Discovering the ‘Sonic Crisp’ - Charles Spence
Charles Spence is the world's leading expert in ‘Gastrophysics’ - the science of food and how our senses combine to create taste. He works personally with famed Michelin star chef and owner of The Fat Duck, Heston Blumenthal, and had a hand in the creation of the restaurant’s famous dish, 'Sounds of the Sea'. Charles is a professor at Oxford University where he heads up the Crossmodal Research Laboratory. He is the author of 2017 hit Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating, and most impressively won the 20...

#30: The Man Behind The Mic - Alan Jones
Alan Belford Jones has dominated Sydney’s airwaves for more than 30 years. Australia’s most popular radio broadcaster, he has won 206 consecutive surveys - and counting - for the preeminent breakfast slot.His long and storied career extends beyond radio. He was a speechwriter for former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, and also coached Australia’s National Rugby Union Team, The Wallabies, from 1984-87.Alan’s voice is unmistakable, his political views often controversial. But rarely does the Man sit on the oth...


#29: China's Secret Campaign - James Leibold
James Leibold is a deep expert in Chinese history and society. Educated in the US, he is now an Associate Professor at La Trobe University. He is well known for speaking out against the Chinese Communist Party's covert influence on Australian politics and culture.In this episode, we ask: Precisely how far does the CCP's influence extend into Australia? What are its aims? And which, if any, practical steps can Australia take to ensure we set our own course for the future?Show notes:- James Leibold's article ...


#28: Liar Loans - Peter White
Welcome to Part 4 of our Property Special. Fraud is a hallmark of bubbles, as mania turns to greed. It’s also key in predicting whether Australia’s housing market will crash.In this episode, we drill into the question of fraud in the housing market, speaking with a true industry insider. Peter White, a former mortgage broker who helped establish RAMS Home Loans and Wizard Home Loans, is the Executive Director of the Finance Brokers’ Association of Australia. He represents many of the 26,000-something broker...

#27: Not If, When – Jonathan Tepper
In Part 3 of our Property Series we consult the ‘housing bubble whisperer’, Jonathan Tepper (@jtepper2). He is the founder of research house Variant......

#27: Not If, When - Jonathan Tepper
In Part 3 of our Property Series we consult the 'housing bubble whisperer', Jonathan Tepper (@jtepper2). He is the founder of research house Variant Perception, which provides macroeconomic advice to the biggest hedge funds in the world. Jonathan successfully predicted the Irish, Spanish, and US housing bubbles before they all spectacularly burst. He is a Rhodes Scholar, former Bank of America VP of Proprietary Trading, and founded and exited a media company, Demotix. Jonathan also co-authored two best-sell...


#26: What's in a Bubble? - Professor Richard Holden
Welcome to part 2 of our Property Series! The term "bubble" gets bandied about a lot these days, but what is it? How do you separate intrinsic value from true mania? And is the Australian housing market in a Michael Bublé of its own?We brought in leading Australian economist Richard Holden to help us answer these questions and more. Richard received a PhD from Harvard University in 2006, as a Frank Knox Scholar. He has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard, MIT, and the University of Chicago, and now teaches...


#25: Safe as Houses - John Flavell
Welcome to episode 1 of our 4-part series on the Australian property market. In this episode, Mortgage Choice CEO and former NAB senior executive John Flavell gives us his best reasons to believe that the housing market is no such bubble. Mortgage Choice is one of Australia’s leading brokerage firms.Mortgage brokers have been in the driver’s seat of the housing boom. In March, ASIC released a report on brokerage remuneration practices in response to allegations that brokers were receiving huge bonuses and “...

#24: Saving Capitalism - Luigi Zingales
Trump. Cronyism. Inequality. Monopolies. Weren’t we promised better than this? What happened to a “new nation, conceived in Liberty"?  What’s happening to capitalism?Professor Luigi Zingales knows a thing or two about the destructive powers of nepotism and corruption. Emigrating from the land of Berlusconi to the home of the brave, he received his PhD in economics from MIT in 1992, before joining the Chicago Booth School of Business. He has written two acclaimed books, A Capitalism for the People (2012) and...


#23: “Small-l liberal, Big-L Lesbian” - Christine Forster
Christine Forster is currently the only Liberal party member of the City of Sydney Council, having left a career in journalism in 2012 to pursue her local government stripes in one of the world’s great global cities. She is a well-known member of the Abbott family, and is the sister of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. But belonging to the same party doesn’t mean they see eye to eye on every matter. Tony is the staunchest crusader for maintaining the current definition of marriage under Australian law, whi...

#22: Bittersweet: How To Make Money On A Housing Market Crash - Andrew Baker
Andrew Baker is an INCREDIBLY successful self-taught investor based in Sydney. During the day he specialises in building machine learning at global firm Accenture; by night he's trading cryptocurrency, ASX stocks and NASDAQ derivatives. He began his investing journey after seeing the Global Financial Crisis unfold around him, and he hasn't looked back since. Although we can't give over too many details about Andrew, we can say: watch this space!Andrew is a strident critique of mania, bubbles, and the latest...


#21: Beating My Ice Addiction - Dave Oliver
Dave Oliver is Australia’s first openly gay premiership rugby coach. Throughout his school and sporting career spanning the first 30 years of his life, he hid his homosexuality from his teammates, friends and family. This pressure eventually drove Dave to try Methamphetamine (Ice) one evening after the end of a long work day at his pub in Cowra. Over the next 18 months Dave entered a downward spiral as he tried to manage his pub, maintain his ice addiction and deal with his sexuality. This cycle was only br...


#20: Changing the Constitution Is As Easy As - Anne Twomey
Professor Anne Twomey is one of Australia's leading constitutional law experts. She has practiced as a solicitor at the High Court of Australia, worked as a researcher for High Court Justices, and advised the Commonwealth Parliament on legal issues. She currently teaches at the famous University of Sydney Law School.In this charming constitutional conversation, Anne reveals some of the intricacies and tricks involved in changing a nation's founding document - it's not as easy as you think! We shine the ligh...


#19: Columbia MBA Professor Teaches You How to Find Strategic Insight in Any Scenario - William Duggan
Would you like the ability to reliably experience those "breakthrough moments"? We've found your guru. William Duggan teaches Executive MBA courses at the renowned Columbia Business School in New York. He has taught innovation and strategy to 1000s of company executives around the world. William has written three books on innovation and "strategic intuition," that elusive spark of insight which helps you creatively solve hard problems. His 2007 book, Strategic Intuition, was named "Best Strategy Book of the...

#18: Why I Was Really Fired by Google - James Damore
Former Google Senior Software Engineer now martyr to political correctness and hero of the alt-right, James Damore is the softly-spoken yet controversial author of the 'Google memo', the infamous 10-page document in which he criticised the company's gender diversity policies. James is in favour of removing barriers to the tech sector for women, but he felt Google was going too far in its efforts for equal representation. The memo, titled 'Google's Ideological Echo Chamber: How Bias Clouds Our Thinking About...


#17: The Two Reasons Why Gays Shouldn't Marry (According to the Coalition For Marriage) - Monica Doumit
Australia is in the midst of debating whether to legalise same-sex marriage, with a national postal vote underway. The Jolly Swagmen are firm supporters of marriage equality, but we felt it was time to talk to someone on the other side, to see what all the fuss is about. Monica Doumit is a lawyer and Coordinator at Catholic Talk, with a Masters in Bioethics. She is now the spokesperson for the Coalition for Marriage - the movement fighting to make sure marriage equality doesn't happen. So what are their bes...


#16: Procrastination, Perfectionism, And Diagnosing Donald Trump - John Tsilimparis
John Tsilimparis MFT is a celebrity psychologist based in LA, where he runs his own private clinic in Brentwood. He has appeared on Larry King Live and The View, and is perhaps most famous for his book, the self-development/psychology classic Retrain Your Anxious Brain. He is an expert in helping his clients to become more effective people. Battling a brutal time difference and a broken call recorder, the Sydney-based Swagmen swallow John's advice whole and eschew perfectionism for pragmatism. Even if the s...

#15: Can We Avoid Nuclear Catastrophe? - Gareth Evans
Gareth Evans AC, QC was Australia's greatest ever Foreign Minister. Holding that position from 1988-96, he also held a number of other cabinet positions in the Hawke-Keating Governments, being one of two longest serving cabinet ministers in Labor Party history. Educated at the Universities of Melbourne and Oxford, Gareth pioneered concepts in international relations such as the 'responsibility to protect' and 'good international citizenship' - ideas which have since changed the norms and rules of engagement...


#14: When Will Australia Become an Independent Nation? - Peter Fitzsimons
Peter Fitzsimons is the current Chair of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) - fighting to move Australia from rule by the British Monarchy to independent nationhood. He is a former Wallaby (player for Australia's national rugby union side), and has written over 27 bestselling books, mostly on Australian history.  Peter is also a well-known sports columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald, and has been described as "Australia's finest" in that field.The Swagmen sat down with Peter before the ARM Gala Din...


#13: Cocaine, Ritalin and the Finance Industry - Peter Luc Bossaerts
Peter Luc Bossaerts is the world's leading expert in experimental finance and pioneered the field of "neuroeconomics". He is now the Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Professor of Experimental Finance and Decision Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne, and was Division Chair at the California Institute of Technology, and his articles have been published in journals like Econometrica.He is currently conducting research with Dr Carsten Murawski on the use of smart drugs, such as Modafinil, Rital...

#12: Why You Shouldn't Eat, Two Days a Week - Dr Michael Mosley
#1 New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist, presenter or producer of over 25 BBC documentaries, and self-confessed "human guinea pig" Dr Michael Mosley joins us this week on the pod. We are so excited to bring you this episode because Michael has revolutionised how literally millions of people think about their health - including the Swagmen. Best known for popularising the 5:2 diet, where you drastically restrict your calorie intake on two days every week, his medical investigations hav...


#11: 'London Bridge is Down' - Sam Knight
Queen Elizabeth II has ruled as Britain’s monarch for 65 years. At the age of 91, her reign will end very soon, and Charles will be crowned King. But what happens when a Queen dies? And what on earth does ‘London Bridge is Down’ mean?The Jolly Swagmen catch up with New Yorker and Guardian journalist Sam Knight, an Englishman who earlier this year wrote a stunning article about Buckingham Palace’s secret plans for the Queen’s death and funeral. We discuss the details of these plans, what her passing will mea...


#10: Fearlessness, Founding Companies, and Full-time Adventuring - Patrick Sweeney
Patrick Sweeney is making a career as an adventurer and fear guru. Whether it's cycling the seven summits or biking to Everest Base Camp, Patrick is officially setting world records. His frontier-busting attitude was forged in the single scull, winning international races from Norway to Canada as a young man. Patrick then moved into startups, and has been successful as both entrepreneur and investor, founding multi-million dollar tech companies and now advising or investing in up to thirty companies. The Sw...

#9: A Soldier's Guide to Survival in Afghanistan - Charlie Thompson
Charlie Thompson served in Canada's elite Close Protection Unit, completing two tours of Afghanistan in 2006 and 2008. His job was to protect dignitaries, foreign leaders, and VIPs in one of the world's most dangerous regions - Kandahar Province. Perhaps more impressively for Charlie, he has successfully reintegrated into civilian life after returning from service. Sadly, the story of coming home is not as easy for many military personnel.Charlie cracked a fresh bottle of Maple Syrup to chat with the Swagme...


#8: Not Drinking (Alcohol) For a Year - Chris Raine
Chris Raine is CEO and Founder of Hello Sunday Morning, a charity that challenges people to give up alcohol for 3, 6 or 12 months. The organisation grew out of his own experience going dry in 2009, and has since taken him to Oxford as a Skoll Scholar and the Young Australian of the Year Awards as a National Finalist. HSM has changed the lives of thousands of Australians seeking to go sober.Your jolly, but not tipsy, Swagmen catch up with Chris on a Sunday morning at his Bondi apartment to discover strategie...


#7: Life's a Pitch - Ian Elliot
Ian Elliot is Australia's advertising guru. Former CEO and Chairman of George Patterson, he worked his way from the mail room to the very top, turning it into the largest ad agency in the country. He was the architect behind iconic brands including Optus, VB, Arnotts, and designed the communications strategy for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Chances are, you bought several things in the 90s or early 2000s because of Ian. But, having the best ideas didn't always guarantee he'd win the account - which is why he m...

#6: Really Bad Memes - Dart Sultan
Dart Sultan: enigma, humourist, meme king. An anonymous Melbourne man on the rise, having amassed 185,000 Facebook followers (at time of recording) on his page Shit Memes, Dart Sultan is out to expose really bad memes for what they are.The Jolly Swagmen unmask him in Melbourne to learn which social media trends grind his gears most, how much money he's been offered for his Facebook page, and the most beautiful meme of all. ...


#5: A Crash in Two Years - Steve Keen
Few people saw the Global Financial Crisis coming. Steve Keen was one of them. He is a ferocious critic of the neoclassical school of economics, which continues to dictate thinking within governments, universities and the financial sector. Steve is a maverick and a contrarian, with an anti-authoritarian streak – labels you rarely hear applied to economics professors. In 2001, he published his central critique in a book, Debunking Economics. He now teaches at Kingston University in London.In this episode, St...

#4: Building a Restaurant Empire - Matt Moran
Matt Moran is well known on the Australian restaurant scene. Raised on a dairy farm in Sydney's West, he started in the kitchen at 15, with ambitions of one day being promoted to the deep fryer. Matt made it to the fryer and just kept on going. He now has a sprawling empire, comprising over 30 businesses, spread from Melbourne to Brisbane, with 1800 staff on the books.In this episode, the Swagmen sit down with Matt at his Sydney restaurant Chiswick. We discuss the need for constant evolution, constructing a...


#3: Summiting and Surviving Mount Everest - Ben and Laura Darlington
Outside of their day jobs, Australian couple Ben and Laura Darlington are irrepressible adventurers. Ben, who runs his own business, is a two-time cancer survivor who has summited Mount Everest twice - in 2012 and 2016. Laura, an Associate Director at KPMG, is one of very few Australian women to have successfully summited the Earth's highest mountain, reaching the top with Ben on his second trek. Before meeting the Swagmen, they had never publicly shared the full details of their story. We chat about what l...


#2: The Art and Ethics of Political Speechwriting, Part 2 - Don Watson
Don Watson was Prime Minister Paul Keating's speechwriter from 1992-1996. Don's work included the Unknown Soldier Speech, and the famous Redfern Park Address, the writing of which he described in his biography of the Keating era, Recollections of a Bleeding Heart. Don is also an award-winning author and an academic historian.The Swagmen meet Don in Melbourne to discuss what's gone wrong with the use of language in Australian public life, why key differences exist between US and Australian political rhetoric...

#1: The Art and Ethics of Political Speechwriting, Part 1 - Bob Lehrman
Bob Lehrman was Chief Speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore from 1993-95. An accomplished author and novelist, he was mentored by none other than Kurt Vonnegut. Bob's book, The Political Speechwriters Companion: A Guide for Speakers and Writers, is acclaimed by both the left and right of politics.The Swagmen chat with Bob about life in the White House, Obama's best speeches, and how you can persuade audiences using time-honoured rhetorical techniques. ...