#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 notes

Selected links

Topics discussed

  • How did Jonathan come to write The Myth of Capitalism? [5:27]
  • What it means to be pro-market. [11:34]
  • Why Warren Buffett’s “moats” are bad for society. [12:44]
  • Why oligopolies are effectively monopolies. [16:14]
  • Why do monopolies lead to inequality, and inequality to social unrest? [20:58]
  • How monopolies pervert the political system. [25:07]
  • Are monopolies inevitable? [28:35]
  • Facebook, Amazon and Google’s monopolistic practices and how they erode productivity. [30:27]
  • Mega merger waves. [35:12]
  • Has Jonathan been too early in his calls on the Australian housing market? [39:40]
  • Has Jonathan seen any house price crashes that have been sparked without interest rate rises? [41:44]
  • How do the US tech monopolies compete with the Chinese ones if faced with antitrust enforcement? [42:52]
  • How quickly do house prices move in a crash? [43:30]
  • Could the banks pump house prices again by loosening credit supply? [44:32]
  • What is the main hallmark of bubbles? [45:35]
  • What podcasts does Jonathan listen to? [47:04]
  • G. K. Chesterton, one of Jonathan’s favourite writers. [47:50]
  • How does Jonathan manage his social media use? [49:36]
  • How does Jonathan think about life milestones? [50:53]

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