Journalist Bethany McLean digs deep into the cycles of boom and bust that have plagued the American oil industry for the past decade, from the financial wizardry and mysterious death of fracking pioneer Aubrey McClendon, to the investors who are questioning the very economics of shale itself. McLean finds that fracking is a business built on attracting ever-more gigantic amounts of capital investment, while promises of huge returns have yet to bear out. Saudi America tells a remarkable story that will persuade you to think about the power of oil in a new way.
Best known for coining the phrase “net neutrality” and his book The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, Tim Wu has a new book coming out in November called The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age. In it, he argues compellingly for a return to aggressive antitrust enforcement in the style of… more
Please join Columbia Global Reports in the launch of our newest book, Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It’s Changing the World by Bethany McClean. In the last few years, the fracking industry has boomed, leading many—including the President—to declare that soon America will be energy-independent, and free of the influence of foreign… more
Via "The Investor's Field Guide" podcast | I’ve often heard that good investors are a bit like journalists: doggedly collecting evidence and building an understanding of how all the pieces of a company or investment fit together. My guest this week is one of my favorite writers and journalists, Bethany McLean. Across her career, Bethany… more
Via WNYC | For this week's Please Explain, Emily Witt, journalist and author of Nollywood: The Making of a Film Empire, explains all things Nollywood. Nollywood began in Nigeria in the 1990s and has grown into one of the most recognized cultural centers of the world, producing more movies every year than Hollywood. Witt's book takes readers on a… more
Via WNYC, Guest host Arun Venugopal speaks with journalist Will Doig about his new book, High-Speed Empire: Chinese Expansion and the Future of Southeast Asia. Today, China owns a network of 14,000 miles of high-speed rail, far more than the rest of the world combined, and it is now pushing its railway expansion further into Southeast Asia. The… more
The Democratic Republic of Congo is known best for its robust but troubled mining sector, which attracts 80 percent of the country’s Foreign Direct Investment but generates only 10 percent of its tax revenue. But far less attention is paid to Congo’s agriculture, which generates 42 percent of its GDP and involves the majority of… more
Less than a decade ago, China did not have a single high-speed train in service. Now, the Pan-Asia Railway portion of the One Belt One Road initiative could transform Southeast Asia. Will Doig traveled through Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore to chronicle the dramatic transformations taking place. Do ordinary people have a voice in this… more