Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford
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Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford

Podcast af Pushkin Industries

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We tell our children unsettling fairy tales to teach them valuable lessons, but these Cautionary Tales are for the education of the grown ups – and they are all true. Tim Harford (Financial Times, BBC, author of “The Data Detective”) brings you stories of awful human error, tragic catastrophes, and hilarious fiascos. They'll delight you, scare you, but also make you wiser. New episodes every other Friday. 

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Alle episoder

138 episoder
episode WW2: How Britain Ignored the Mother of All Secrets artwork
WW2: How Britain Ignored the Mother of All Secrets
Cautionary Tales will be LIVE on stage in London this May. Tickets are on sale now: https://www.tegeurope.com/events/cautionary-tales/ [https://www.tegeurope.com/events/cautionary-tales/] Neatly dressed in his suit, Hans Ferdinand Mayer was every inch the unassuming corporate executive. So, when he asked to borrow a typewriter from his hotel in Oslo, nobody could have guessed he would use it for one of the most extraordinary intelligence leaks in history. Mayer's gloved fingers punched out the details of Nazi Germany's most sensitive military operations and, when he had finished, he immediately dispatched his documents to the British  —  who did nothing. Why did the British ignore Mayer? Did they fail to pick out a crucial signal amid the noise of detail — or was something else going on? This episode of Cautionary Tales is based, with permission, on Tom Whipple’s book The Battle of the Beams, which is available from all good booksellers. For a full list of sources, see the show notes at timharford.com [http://timharford.com/]. See omnystudio.com/listener [https://omnystudio.com/listener] for privacy information.
10. maj 2024 - 43 min
episode The Fraudster's Guide to Magic Money artwork
The Fraudster's Guide to Magic Money
Cautionary Tales will be LIVE on stage in London this May. Tickets are on sale now: https://www.tegeurope.com/events/cautionary-tales/ [https://www.tegeurope.com/events/cautionary-tales/] Sam Israel had a problem. The investors in his hedge fund, Bayou Capital, were expecting spectacular returns. Sam himself had spent years proclaiming the fund's brilliant results. But in reality, Sam had been marking his own homework, publishing fraudulent accounts and using these to lure in new investors.  What to do? Well, the logical thing of course: wait around for an extraordinary profitable streak, and in the meantime keep up the ruse... This episode of Cautionary Tales was recorded live at the Bristol Festival of Economics and studies three incredible investment scams. How do pyramid and ponzi schemes snowball out of control, flattening victim and fraudster alike? For a full list of sources, see the show notes at timharford.com [http://timharford.com/]. See omnystudio.com/listener [https://omnystudio.com/listener] for privacy information.
26. apr. 2024 - 1 h 1 min
episode Blood and Gold (with Dan Snow) artwork
Blood and Gold (with Dan Snow)
Bonus: When Spanish conquistadors arrived in Peru in 1526, it was the beginning of the end for the Inca. Their bloody pursuit of gold, fame and fortune was rife with treachery and deceit. Within a few short years, the once-thriving Inca empire had been decimated. Tim Harford is joined by Dan Snow for a special crossover episode of Cautionary Tales and Dan Snow's History Hit. Tim and Dan first recap the spectacular defeat of the French knights at the Battle of Crécy in 1346, and then draw surprising parallels with the fall of the Inca Empire two centuries later. See omnystudio.com/listener [https://omnystudio.com/listener] for privacy information.
23. apr. 2024 - 40 min
episode The Rise and Fall of a Megalomaniac artwork
The Rise and Fall of a Megalomaniac
Nicolae Ceaușescu was not beloved. His regime was vicious and he treated Romania as his personal wallet: while Ceaușescu emptied the coffers to construct a vast, ornate palace, his people starved. He imposed disastrous population control policies on his country, too, which saw hundreds of thousands of unwanted children left to rot in squalid orphanages. Ceaușescu's rule endured for a quarter of a century - then crumbled overnight. How do dictatorships unravel? In a second episode, Tim Harford partners with HBO's new series "The Regime" to investigate real-life dictatorships and the social science that explains them. For a full list of sources, see the show notes at timharford.com [http://timharford.com/]. See omnystudio.com/listener [https://omnystudio.com/listener] for privacy information.
12. apr. 2024 - 58 min
episode Inside the Bizarre World of Dictators artwork
Inside the Bizarre World of Dictators
Why are so many autocrats germaphobes? Why was the truth so dangerous for Soviet engineers? And what can salami reveal to us about the mind of Vladimir Putin? This is the first of two special episodes in partnership with HBO's new series "The Regime". Tim Harford investigates real-life dictatorships and the social science that explains them, drawing on insights from game theory and psychology. For a full list of sources, see the show notes at timharford.com [http://timharford.com/]. See omnystudio.com/listener [https://omnystudio.com/listener] for privacy information.
29. mar. 2024 - 42 min

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