Yang Speaks
Yang Speaks
Jan 14, 2021
Our plans for 2021
Play • 22 min

Andrew and Zach unpack the events and consequences of the Capitol riots. Then, they talk about their big plans for 2021.

Watch this conversation on YouTube: https://youtu.be/WbZTsBX30U0

Follow Andrew Yang: https://instagram.com/andrewyang | https://twitter.com/AndrewYang

Follow Zach Graumann: https://instagram.com/zachgraumann | https://twitter.com/Zach_Graumann

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The Strong Towns Podcast
The Strong Towns Podcast
Strong Towns
Joseph Kane: Prioritizing People (Not Projects) In Infrastructure Spending
As leaders in Washington, DC look to stimulate the American economy, one course of action with bipartisan support—as per usual—is to pour money into infrastructure. Yet as Strong Towns readers know, infrastructure spending often leads cities down the road of insolvency rather than prosperity, and not all infrastructure spending is alike. In a recent two-part policy brief, Joseph W. Kane and Shalini Vajjhala of The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program wrote that “to truly improve the country’s infrastructure and help the most vulnerable households, federal leaders cannot simply throw more money at shiny new projects. Instead, they must invest with purpose and undo the harms of our legacy infrastructure systems.” They continued: “Above all, leaders should prioritize people over projects in our infrastructure plans. In practice, that means defining, measuring, and addressing our infrastructure challenges based on the needs of users of new and existing systems.” One of the authors of that brief, Joseph Kane, is the guest on this week’s episode of the Strong Towns podcast. Kane is a senior research associate and associate follow at the Metropolitan Policy Program. An economist and urban planner, his work focuses on wide array of built environment issues, including transportation and water infrastructure. In this jam-packed episode, Strong Towns president Chuck Marohn talks with Kane about the role infrastructure spending could play as part of the recovery agenda. Kane and Marohn discuss why “building back better” (President Biden’s phrase) doesn’t have to mean “build back new;” it could mean build back different, build less, and maybe even take down what we’ve already built. They also talk about whether an infrastructure bill in the trillions of dollars can address the nuances of what’s actually needed at the local level, whether Americans are more comfortable with catastrophic failures than the small ones that might teach valuable lessons along the way toward economic resilience, and about Kane and Vajjhala’s four strategies that can help undo the harms of “legacy infrastructure systems.” Additional Show Notes: * “Prioritize people, not projects: Addressing the harms of legacy infrastructure in the COVID-19 recovery,” by Joseph W. Kane and Shalini Vajjhala (Part 1) * “Four steps to undo the harms of legacy infrastructure in the COVID-19 recovery,” by Shalani Vajjhala and Joseph W. Kane (Part 2) * Joseph Kane (Twitter) * Charles Marohn (Twitter) * Select Strong Towns content on infrastructure spending * “The more we build, the poorer we get,” by Charles Marohn * “A Better Use of Federal Infrastructure Spending” (Podcast) * “The Worst Possible Thing We Can Do with This Money” (Podcast) * “What Should My City Do About Our Infrastructure Backlog?” by Charles Marohn * “Would a $2 Trillion Infrastructure Spending Surge Promote Good Planning?” by Daniel Herriges
59 min
Conversations with Tyler
Conversations with Tyler
Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Patricia Fara on Newton, Scientific Progress, and the Benefits of Unhistoric Acts
Patricia Fara is a historian of science at Cambridge University and well-known for her writings on women in science. Her forthcoming book, Life After Gravity: Isaac Newton's London Career, details the life of the titan of the so-called Scientific Revolution after his famous (though perhaps mythological) discovery under the apple tree. Her work emphasizes science as a long, continuous process composed of incremental contributions–in which women throughout history have taken a crucial part–rather than the sole province of a few monolithic innovators. Patricia joined Tyler to discuss why Newton left Cambridge to run The Royal Mint, why he was so productive during the Great Plague, why the “Scientific Revolution” should instead be understood as a gradual process, what the Antikythera device tells us about science in the ancient world, the influence of Erasmus Darwin on his grandson, why more people should know Dorothy Hodgkin, how George Eliot inspired her to commit unhistoric acts, why she opposes any kind of sex-segregated schooling, her early experience in a startup, what modern students of science can learn from studying Renaissance art, the reasons she considers Madame Lavoisier to be the greatest female science illustrator, the unusual work habit brought to her attention by house guests, the book of caricatures she’d like to write next, and more. Follow us on Twitter and IG: @cowenconvos Email: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Follow Tyler on Twitter Facebook Newsletter
58 min
The Bottom Up Revolution
The Bottom Up Revolution
Strong Towns
Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick: A Strong Towns Advocate on her City Council
Today’s guest is Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick— a Strong Towns reader and advocate based in Rochester, MN who owns her own local business, has been very active in food access issues and was recently elected to the Rochester City Council. She had actually been sworn in just a couple days before we recorded (which is why this conversation was pretty short—she's quite busy!). In this conversation, Kelly discusses what got her fired up about food and farming, and how she decided to run for office—plus what that was all like during the pandemic year of 2020. And she talks about how the Strong Towns approach inspires her work. We’ve been honored to feature a couple local elected officials on this show now and it’s always great to hear about how they made that journey from advocate to leader. Just last week, we were also hearing from a farmer and we’ve had on other guests who are involved in food growing and selling. These are such important building blocks for a strong town—access to local food, and dedicated, thoughtful local leaders. Additional Show Notes * Transition Rochester Facebook page * An article about the ‘Plant a Seed’ initiative * Enter the Strongest Town contest today! * 2021 Local-Motive Tour * Send us your own voicemail about the small (or big) thing you’re doing to make your town stronger. Just record a voice memo on your phone and email it to rachel@strongtowns.org. * Support this show and our many other resources for helping your town grow stronger by becoming a member today.
17 min
Finance & Fury Podcast
Finance & Fury Podcast
Finance & Fury
Investing in infrastructure as part of a wealth accumulation strategy.
Welcome to Finance and Fury. This episode will looking at infrastructure as an asset class, to see if it can help to provide some diversification for portfolios and decent moving forward. * Infrastructure – physical assets that provide services that are essential for us to live our lives. The aim is to invest in assets that if the market booms or busts, it provides some diversification to traditional asset classes. * Traditional Asset classes – * Defensive – Cash, Fixed interest (gov, corporate bonds, credit) * Growth – Property, Shares – Australian or international * Where does infrastructure sit – still in the growth category - In my view – can help to provide a real asset can play a role in an investment portfolio – two component for reasons to invest in infrastructure * Diversification – infrastructure allows an investment in lower correlation to other asset classes – however, depending on the type on investment purchased, some may have “higher beta and therefore less diversifying” * Real use – value – investment in areas that we generally interact with these essential services every single day, gas, water, electricity, transport * Traditional infrastructure * Transport – seaports, airports, major roads, bridges, tunnels * Utilities – Power generation, energy distribution and storage, water, sewage * Renewable energy – big asset class moving forward * Communication – network towers, satellites, phone networks * Infrastructure at the moment is potentially undervalued due to not seeing the same rebound as many other growth investments over the past 6 months – oil prices also went down – the year returns haven’t been great – * effects are cyclical - there may be an opportunity today from a pricing perspective - the market has marked down real assets and infrastructure at the moment - * Lot of money being spent on infrastructure – there is a major need in developed economies for revamping of aging infrastructure, and for new infrastructure projects * In addition - emerging markets which have their economies growing as well as their population’s wealth increasing, the demand for more and better infrastructure continues to rise * But government budget pressures have been affecting their ability and willingness to fund infrastructure projects, creating more opportunities for private capital in the asset class – however, with the invention of green bonds as well as cash rates for funding being close to zero, this could increase the amount of money available to fund projects Benefits – * Predictability of cashflow - Infrastructure assets usually have a pretty high level of visibility and security when it comes to their future cash flows. * When talking to fund managers, they say that they look for projects that almost have guaranteed revenues – those that are underpinned by regulation or long-term contracts with highly creditworthy counterparties - such as governments – compare this to other companies where their cashflows are not as secure – the valuations can be hard * However – most infrastructure could be considered to be a Public Private Partnerships - where the public sector partners with a private sector company - The private sector company develops, constructs, finances, operates and maintains the infrastructure, and the public sector pays for those services -the concessions for the assets are often granted over lengthy contractual periods, which can be over 30 years – so the cashflows can be relatively secure * Also – they have Inflation-linked revenues - The revenues that infrastructure assets earn are often linked to inflation - rates of return set by regulators frequently linked to future inflation expectations in in a long-term contract. * A competitive advantage – A lot of the time, infrastructure assets have a form of a monopoly in the services that they provide – or in other cases, they operate in markets with high barriers to entry * Therefore, the assets cannot be easily replicated and often remain free of the competitive pressures confronting more traditional organisations – so again, the risks that an established project all of a sudden has a new up coming competition are very low – helping to reduce uncertainty risks * The Essential nature of infrastructure and correlation – * People tend to use these essential services on a daily basis and that utilisation (and returns) can often depend less on the economic climate at a point in time than other investments - Because of that essential character, economic factors often have less of an influence on infrastructure assets than on numerous other businesses, which can assist in delivering stable returns through market cycles * infrastructure as an asset class, particularly unlisted infrastructure, has historically demonstrated low levels of correlation with other growth asset classes – can help to reduce volatility of a portfolio The risks of infrastructure * Too much leverage and interest rates * Debt and the cost of that debt can be a big factor in the future performance of a project – * Technically – with interest low or falling – the cost of debt declines – this means the costs of capital also decline in the valuation of projects – * This means that the values of the project increase – but the opposite is true, if interest rates rise, then the valuations can also decline * on average, most infrastructure stocks have higher debt to equity or gearing levels than the average stock and therefore are more vulnerable to interest rate rises. * Greenfield risk – this is a major risk for new projects – where the estimates don’t stack up to reality – an example of this would be a toll road at the beginning of its life, when it has the most uncertainty - what traffic levels of the road will really be like remains to be seen. Tolls may have been set, but again, sufficient usage of the new road is essential – there can be too much uncertainty which can be dangerous * You can also have Construction risks, delay risks and cost blowouts - Example – The Queensland Government contracted BrisConnections to run its Airportlink Project, which opened to the public in 2012. Initial forecasts were for the 6.7km tunnel, linking Brisbane Airport with the CBD, to carry 170,000 vehicles per day. Six months after opening, there were only 50,000 vehicles using the road and BrisConnections went into receivership. The roadway was eventually sold for $2 billion to Transurban, despite having cost $4.8 billion to construct. Many retail investors who invested in the initial public offer at $1.00 lost most of their money when the shares plunged to $0.001 within months. Further, the shares were structured as instalment warrants carrying a further two instalments of $1 each. People who thought they were being canny traders, picking up a bargain, suddenly found that for each $1,000 they invested, they incurred a $2 million liability. * Lesson – investing in early infrastructure projects is very risky – especially if there aren’t government guarantees on the returns * Management and ESG factors - while real assets like infrastructure can be fairly low risk, this can be negated by the people that run them – the same with any company * When looking at infrastructure businesses - It might be the case that too much risk is taken on, a white elephant is built, or the capital structure is not right and there is too much leverage. The human element is very important to assess as the humans are the ones making the decisions on what to build based around assumptions – if enough mis management occurs, a company can lose its licence to operate an infrastructure asset if the asset is not well managed. * In Italy – Autostrade is a company that controls the roads forming the Italian system of motorways - currently at risk of having its mot…
26 min
Short Circuit
Short Circuit
Institute for Justice
Short Circuit 163 | The Law of Johnny 5 Is Alive
For once living up to the 1980s-movie-sense of our name, we’re talking about robots. How should the law treat robots? What do we analogize to, the law of traditional machines? Animals? Something else? How should that law be “made,” by courts or by legislatures? And how does the Constitution interact with artificial intelligence? When a robot writes a novel is it “speech?” In a special Short Circuit, we look into all of these questions with our guest Ed Walters, founder and CEO of Fastcase, and an adjunct professor who teaches robot and artificial intelligence law at Georgetown Law School. Transcript: https://ij.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/short-circuit-163_otter.ai_.pdf Copyrighting all the melodies to avoid accidental-infringement, https://www.ted.com/talks/damien_riehl_copyrighting_all_the_melodies_to_avoid_accidental_infringement I, Robot, http://ekladata.com/-Byix64G_NtE0xI4A6PA1--o1Hc/Asimov-Isaac-I-Robot.pdf Ed Walters: https://www.law.georgetown.edu/faculty/edward-j-walters/ Anthony Sanders: https://ij.org/staff/asanders/ iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/short-circuit/id309062019 Spotify: https://podcasters.spotify.com/podcast/1DFCqDbZTI7kIws11kEhed/overview Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/institute-for-justice/short-circuit Google: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iz26kyzdcpodkfm5cpz7rlvf76a Newsletter: ij.org/about-us/shortcircuit/ Want to email us? shortcircuit@ij.org
52 min
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