Understand

Understand

By BBC Radio 4

A simple guide to the US 2024 election.

Episodes

The US Election: 5. Becoming President

What can the president do (and not do) when they are in office?This episode was hosted by Justin Webb (Today Programme host and Americast host) alongside Anthony Zurcher (BBC North America correspondent) and Margaret O’Mara (Chair of American History at the University of Washington). Producers: Dan Gordon and Alix Pickles Production coordinator: Sabine Schereck Senior News Editor: Sam Bonham
29/12/23·14m 32s

The US Election: 4. The General Election

How does election day work?This episode was hosted by Justin Webb (Today Programme host and Americast host) alongside Anthony Zurcher (BBC North America correspondent) and Mary Frances Berry (Professor of American Social Thought, History and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania). Producers: Dan Gordon and Alix Pickles Production coordinator: Sabine Schereck Senior News Editor: Sam Bonham
29/12/23·14m 3s

The US Election: 3. The TV Debates

How important is it for a candidate to "win" the live TV debate?This episode was hosted by Justin Webb (Today Programme host and Americast host) alongside Sarah Smith (BBC North America editor and Americast host) and Margaret O’Mara (Chair of American History at the University of Washington). Producers: Dan Gordon and Alix Pickles Production coordinator: Sabine Schereck Senior News Editor: Sam Bonham
29/12/23·14m 13s

The US Election: 2. The Campaign Trail

What happens on the road and who actually pays for it all?This episode was hosted by Justin Webb (Today Programme host and Americast host) alongside Anthony Zurcher (BBC North America correspondent) and Mary Frances Berry (Professor of American Social Thought, History and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania). Producers: Dan Gordon and Alix Pickles Production coordinator: Sabine Schereck Senior News Editor: Sam Bonham
29/12/23·14m 15s

The US Election: 1. Primaries, Caucuses and the National Conventions

How do the parties select their presidential candidates? This episode was hosted by Justin Webb (Today Programme host and Americast host) alongside Sarah Smith (BBC North America editor and Americast host) and Ned Foley (director of the election law program at Ohio State University). Producers: Dan Gordon and Alix Pickles Production coordinator: Sabine Schereck Senior News Editor: Sam Bonham
29/12/23·14m 4s

Israel and the Palestinians: 5. The USA and Iran

What role have the USA and Iran played in the region? Where do we stand on the 'two-state solution'? Katya Adler and guests explain the history and context of the decades long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and assess what happened to the peace process. In this episode we set out how global players have tried to influence the region at times of peace and at times of war.
20/10/23·15m 22s

Israel and the Palestinians: 4. The neighbours

How do Lebanon, Hezbollah, Egypt and Jordan view Israel and the Palestinians? Katya Adler explains the history of the formation of Hezbollah and the role it plays in the region. The US, UK and EU have designated Hezbollah's military wing as a terrorist organisation but how is it viewed in Lebanon and the region? We take a tour of this Middle Eastern neighbourhood to set out the relationships that could determine the future of the conflict.
19/10/23·14m 43s

Israel and the Palestinians: 3. Hamas

What is Hamas, what do they stand for and what do they want now? As part of our series explaining the context of today’s conflict, Katya Adler and guests take a closer look at the group responsible for orchestrating the recent attacks on Israel. They are regarded as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the US and the UK, but how are they seen by Palestinians? As well as being a militant group and an Islamist movement, they are in charge of governing more than two million people in the Gaza Strip. How did they come into being and what are they hoping to achieve?
18/10/23·14m 48s

Israel and the Palestinians: 2. Israel

Katya Adler and guests explain the context of the conflict, exploring issues and history that will help you get to grips with what’s going on today. In this episode we'll look at what’s shaped modern Israel.
17/10/23·14m 57s

Israel and the Palestinians: 1. The Palestinians

Katya Adler and guests explain the history and context of the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. In this episode we focus on life in the Palestinian territories of the Gaza strip and the West Bank and explore the history of how the state of Israel was created.
16/10/23·13m 13s

Tech and AI: 10. Can we control AI?

When so-called "generative" Artificial Intelligences like Chat GPT and Google's Bard were made available to the public, they made headlines around the world and raised fears about how fast this type of AI was developing. But realistically, what harm could AI do to people? Is it an existential threat, or could it become one? And if things got really bad, couldn't we just switch it off or smash it up with a hammer? Technology has already completely altered our lives, and Artificial Intelligence may transform our world to an even greater degree. This series is your chance to get back to basics and really understand key technology terms. What's an algorithm? Where is "the Cloud" and what exactly is Blockchain? What's the difference between machine and deep learning in artificial intelligence, and should we all be using Bitcoin? Our experts will explain in the very simplest terms everything you need to know about the tech that underpins your day. We'll explore the rich history of how all these systems developed, and where they may be going next.Presenter: Spencer Kelly Producers: Ravi Naik and Nick Holland Editor: Clare Fordham Programme Coordinator: Janet Staples
07/07/23·13m 51s

Tech and AI: 9. Will AI take my job?

AI is now able to do some types of work faster and cheaper than human beings, and some workers have already found themselves out of a job. Earlier this year, a report from Goldman Sachs said that AI could potentially replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs, and a different survey of 12 thousand people suggested that a third were worried their bosses would replace them with AI. So is AI coming for your job? What type of workers are most at risk, and if you aren't replaced, could you find yourself working alongside an AI? Technology has already completely altered our lives, and Artificial Intelligence may transform our world to an even greater degree. This series is your chance to get back to basics and really understand key technology terms. What's an algorithm? where is "the Cloud" and what exactly is Blockchain? What's the difference between machine and deep learning in artificial intelligence, and is it just jobs under threat, or is it much worse than that? And before we get to the destruction of humanity, should we all be using Bitcoin? Our experts will explain in the very simplest terms everything you need to know about the tech that underpins your day. We'll explore the rich history of how all these systems developed, and where they may be going next.Presenter: Spencer Kelly Producers Ravi Naik and Nick Holland Editor: Clare Fordham Programme Coordinator: Janet Staples
07/07/23·14m 30s

Tech and AI: 8. The Algorithm

At its simplest, an algorithm is a sequence of step-by-step instructions designed to give a result. They are the building blocks of every computer program and are there to ensure every digital device gives the right results on request. For example, when we type a search query into Google, its algorithms try to give us the result we're seeking. In the case of Social Media, the algorithm's job is to keep followers on a platform, by showing engaging, interesting, and relevant posts. But over the years they’ve increasingly been entrusted with life-altering decisions, such as A-level results during the pandemic.So how are algorithms being used? Why do many people distrust them, and try to beat them?Technology has already completely altered our lives, and Artificial Intelligence may transform our world to an even greater degree. This series is your chance to get back to basics and really understand key technology terms. Where is "the Cloud" and what exactly is Blockchain? What's the difference between machine and deep learning in artificial intelligence, and is it just our jobs under threat, or is it much worse than that? And before we get to the destruction of humanity, should we all be using Bitcoin? Our experts will explain in the very simplest terms everything you need to know about the tech that underpins your day. We'll explore the rich history of how all these systems developed, and where they may be going next.Presenter: Spencer Kelly Producers: Ravi Naik and Nick Holland Editor: Clare Fordham Programme Coordinator: Janet Staples
07/07/23·13m 54s

Tech and AI: 7. Where is AI working already?

Artificial Intelligence is already here. It's being used in products and services you already use, and is working behind the scenes in medicine, transportation, robotics, science, education, the military, surveillance, finance , agriculture, entertainment, retail, customer service, and manufacturing. How is is AI being used in these sectors, and for what purpose? And with the release of chatbots that can emulate human writing, we're now seeing websites that say they're "powered by Chat GPT". What does that mean? Technology has already completely altered our lives, and Artificial Intelligence may transform our world to an even greater degree. This series is your chance to get back to basics and really understand key technology terms. What's an algorithm? where is "the Cloud" and what exactly is Blockchain? What's the difference between machine and deep learning in artificial intelligence, and is it just our jobs under threat, or is it much worse than that? And before we get to the destruction of humanity, should we all be using Bitcoin? Our experts will explain in the very simplest terms everything you need to know about the tech that underpins your day. We'll explore the rich history of how all these systems developed, and where they may be going next.Presenter: Spencer Kelly Producers: Ravi Naik and Nick Holland Editor: Clare Fordham Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
07/07/23·14m 24s

Tech and AI: 6. What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence has been in the news constantly this year, from a chatbot that can write anything you can imagine, in any style, to scientists and world leaders warning that AI needs to be controlled. With the big tech firms all rushing to make their AI products available to the public, it looks like AI is likely to be part of our lives from now on. But what is it? What are the different types of AI we should know about? Are they intelligent, in a way we would recognise, and are they conscious? And what does machine learning mean?Technology has already completely altered our lives, and Artificial Intelligence may transform our world to an even greater degree. This series is your chance to get back to basics and really understand key technology terms. What's an algorithm? where is "the Cloud" and what exactly is Blockchain? What's the difference between machine and deep learning in artificial intelligence, and is it just our jobs under threat, or is it much worse than that? And before we get to the destruction of humanity, should we all be using Bitcoin? Our experts will explain in the very simplest terms everything you need to know about the tech that underpins your day. We'll explore the rich history of how all these systems developed, and where they may be going next.Presenter: Spencer Kelly Producers: Ravi Naik and Nick Holland Editor: Clare Fordham Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
07/07/23·13m 50s

Tech and AI: 5. Big Data

Big data is vast, unwieldy information that is so huge that normal software traditionally used to analyse it just can't cope. It's not new. Ever since humans organised ourselves, we've been keeping records, and gathering information, from scrolls, to bank ledgers and now your internet browsing history. But his information is now flowing into organisations at a faster rate and in greater volume than ever before. Taking a good look at it could provide meaningful insights. But how can you spot patterns in the chaos, without the job taking forever? And what insights could this mega data analysis provide? Technology has already completely altered our lives, and Artificial Intelligence may transform our world to an even greater degree. This series is your chance to get back to basics and really understand key technology terms. What's an algorithm? where is "the Cloud" and what exactly is Blockchain? What's the difference between machine and deep learning in artificial intelligence, and is it just our jobs under threat, or is it much worse than that? And before we get to the destruction of humanity, should we all be using Bitcoin? Our experts will explain in the very simplest terms everything you need to know about the tech that underpins your day. We'll explore the rich history of how all these systems developed, and where they may be going next.Presenter: Spencer Kelly Producers: Ravi Naik and Nick Holland Editor: Clare Fordham Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
03/07/23·14m 17s

Tech and AI: 4. Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and the Web version 3.0

You might be wary of using digital currencies, but you probably already do. Salaries, benefits and pensions are now paid direct to banks, and when you buy a coffee, you may well use a contactless card to pay, without a flutter of a 5 pound note in sight. So what are online cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and why won't some people touch those with a barge pole? And when you hear about them, another word always pops up - Blockchain. What does it do? And how could both become important when we start to use the next version of the Internet, called web 3.0? Technology has already completely altered our lives, and Artificial Intelligence may transform our world to an even greater degree. This series is your chance to get back to basics and really understand key technology terms. What's an algorithm? where is "the Cloud" and what are VR and AR? What's the difference between machine and deep learning in artificial intelligence, and is it just our jobs under threat, or is it much worse than that? And before we get to the destruction of humanity, should we all be using Bitcoin? Our experts will explain in the very simplest terms everything you need to know about the tech that underpins your day. We'll explore the rich history of how all these systems developed, and where they may be going next.Presenter: Spencer Kelly Producers: Ravi Naik and Nick Holland Editor: Clare Fordham Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
03/07/23·13m 24s

Tech and AI: 3. VR, AR and the Metaverse

Just by putting on a headset, Virtual Reality promises to immerse you in another world, and Augmented Reality takes that world and brings it into your living room. How do they work? It's a type of technology that seems to have been "the next big thing" for at least a decade. But are they just expensive toys, or do they have a use beyond gaming? In a similar vein, you may have seen adverts for the Metaverse, and that Facebook's parent company is pumping huge amounts of money into it. But what is it? How are Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality linked to the Metaverse, and will they make it...a reality? Technology has already completely altered our lives, and Artificial Intelligence may transform our world to an even greater degree. This series is your chance to get back to basics and really understand key technology terms. What's an algorithm? How does Broadband work and what exactly is Blockchain? What's the difference between machine and deep learning in artificial intelligence, and is it just our jobs under threat, or is it much worse than that? And before we get to the destruction of humanity, should we all be using Bitcoin? Our experts will explain in the very simplest terms everything you need to know about the tech that underpins your day. We'll explore the rich history of how all these systems developed, and where they may be going next.Presenter: Spencer Kelly Producers: Ravi Naik and Nick Holland Editor: Clare Fordham Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
03/07/23·14m 35s

Tech and AI: 2. The Cloud

We all get that sinking feeling when we accidentally delete a valuable photo or document, but there's now a good chance you can find a backup copy - thanks to the Cloud. Cloud computing has drifted into our lives without many people even realising - apart from those irritating emails, offering to sell you ever greater amounts of storage space. Some laptops now have very little memory built-in, and rely on the Cloud to store files. But where does it all that information go? What does the Cloud look like and where exactly is it? How are vast amounts of computer memory and processing power being put to use? And are those precious photos of your pet cat being kept securely?Technology has already completely altered our lives, and Artificial Intelligence may transform our world to an even greater degree. This series is your chance to get back to basics and really understand key technology terms. What's an algorithm? How does Broadband work and what exactly is Blockchain? What's the difference between machine and deep learning in artificial intelligence, and is it just our jobs under threat, or is it much worse than that? And before we get to the destruction of humanity, should we all be using Bitcoin? Our experts will explain in the very simplest terms everything you need to know about the tech that underpins your day. We'll explore the rich history of how all these systems developed, and where they may be going next.Presenter: Spencer Kelly Producers: Ravi Naik and Nick Holland Editor: Clare Fordham Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
03/07/23·13m 52s

Tech and AI: 1. How do you get connected?

You're probably reading this on a device connected to the internet, while listening to this episode. But how did the digital files that make up this description, and the digital sound files that you can hear, appear, on demand, on your phone, tablet or other device? How are you connected to the internet? In this episode, we'll explain how 4G and 5G, work, Broadband through cables and satellites, and the final connection inside your home - Wi-Fi. Technology has already completely altered our lives, and Artificial Intelligence may transform our world to an even greater degree. This series is your chance to get back to basics and really understand key technology terms. What's an algorithm? where is "the Cloud" and what exactly is Blockchain? What's the difference between machine and deep learning in artificial intelligence, and is it just our jobs under threat, or is it much worse than that? And before we get to the destruction of humanity, should we all be using Bitcoin? Our experts will explain in the very simplest terms everything you need to know about the tech that underpins your day. We'll explore the rich history of how all these systems developed, and where they may be going next.Presenter: Spencer Kelly Producers: Ravi Naik and Nick Holland Editor: Clare Fordham Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
03/07/23·14m 54s

Welcome to Understand: Tech and AI

Do you know your Blockchain from your Bitcoin, or your Virtual reality from your Augmented Reality? Are you clueless about AI but are worried it might take your job?If so, you’ve come to the right place.Welcome to Understand: Tech and AI.The pace of change in technology is daunting - and new developments are happening all the time. Artificial Intelligence has exploded into the public consciousness. So it’s ever-more important for us to understand where these technological enhancements are coming from and how we can best use them.In each episode we'll demystify all the technology that’s become part of all our daily lives, and take the sting out of those buzzwords that tech companies are so fond of.On Understand Tech and AI we’ll take one concept per episode, explain what it is and what it does - without any technical jargon - so that you can get a better grasp of the technology that’s in your hand, on your desk or in your living room.Welcome to Understand: Tech and AI from BBC Radio 4. Subscribe now on BBC Sounds.Presenter: Spencer Kelly Producers: Ravi Naik and Nick Holland Editor: Clare Fordham
30/06/23·2m 35s

The Economy: 15. Energy market

The rising cost of living really brought home how those big, global economic shocks can mean some pretty bad bumps for our individual finances. Probably the most obvious, immediate and, painful way that global economic events hit our household budgets is through the price of energy. In 2022 we saw our bills almost double - causing the government to step in and guarantee energy prices, with the Treasury picking up the rest of the tab. Even with that support, many people are struggling and we’re all paying a bit more attention to our bills. How does the market for energy work? Exactly what are we paying for, who sets the prices and why are our bills so much higher? And where did it all begin: economic historian Dr Victoria Bateman gives us a brief history of the National Grid. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news such as Inflation, GDP, National Debt, energy markets and more. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills.Guest: Mike Waterson, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick Producer: Louise Clarke-Rowbotham Researcher: Beth Ashmead-Latham Technical Producer: Nicky Edwards Editor: Clare Fordham Theme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
30/01/23·15m 23s

The Economy: 14. Bankruptcy and insolvency

The cost of living crisis is putting more pressure on more people - but what happens when that pressure becomes too much, and is bankruptcy always a bad thing? Professor Diane Coyle explains the processes and wider economic impact of bankruptcy, and Dr Victoria Bateman takes us back to the very beginning of the idea in the time of Henry VIII. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news such as Inflation, GDP, National Debt, energy markets and more. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills.Guest: Professor Diane Coyle, the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. Producer: Louise Clarke-Rowbotham Researcher: Beth Ashmead-Latham Technical Producer: Nicky Edwards Editor: Clare Fordham Theme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
30/01/23·14m 1s

The Economy: 13. National Debt

Politicians talk about government debt a lot. When Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised to tackle Britain's five most pressing problems, he included making sure our debt was falling. But what is the debt? In this episode Dr Gemma Tetlow explains why we have the debt at all, how much we owe, who we owe it to, and whether we should worry about it. Plus Dr Victoria Bateman takes us back in time to hear about historical debts we are still repaying today. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news such as Inflation, GDP, National Debt, energy markets and more. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills.Guest: Dr Gemma Tetlow, Chief Economist at the Institute for Government Producer: Louise Clarke-Rowbotham Researcher: Beth Ashmead-Latham Technical Producer: Nicky Edwards Editor: Clare Fordham Theme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
30/01/23·14m 55s

The Economy: 12. Credit

Collectively, our individual financial decisions have a big impact on what the wider economy does. That includes how we manage our own money, including what we buy and how we buy it. One way we make large purchases, smooth out big bills and sometimes just spend some cash we can’t afford - is credit. In this episode Dr Victoria Bateman looks back to the Tallyman in the 19th century, a very early way of shopping with credit. We’ll explore what exactly credit is and how we use it. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news such as Inflation, GDP, National Debt, energy markets and more. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills.Guest: Prof John Gathergood, Professor of Economics at the University of Nottingham Producer: Louise Clarke-Rowbotham Researcher: Beth Ashmead-Latham Technical Producer: Nicky Edwards Editor: Clare Fordham Theme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4. This programme has been edited to change a section of music.
30/01/23·14m 3s

The Economy: 11. Pricing and discounting

On one hand, we’ve all experienced the things we buy getting more expensive, from the price of fuel to a tub of butter. On the other hand, retailers desperately try to entice us to buy with discounts. Shops seem to constantly have their ‘best ever’ sales and there are days like ‘Black Friday’ when prices are slashed. How can prices go up and up, and at the same time drop? In this episode, Felicity Hannah speaks to Rupal Patel, Economist at the Bank of England, to de-mystify how prices work and figure out who has the power in the buyer seller relationship. Dr Victoria Bateman, economic Historian from the University of Cambridge brings us the history of bulk buying. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to help you understand the complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, National Debt, energy markets and more. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills.Guest: Rupal Patel, Economist at the Bank of England and co-author of ‘Can’t we just print more money? Economics in Ten Simple Questions’ Producer: Louise Clarke-Rowbotham Researcher: Beth Ashmead-Latham Technical Producer: Nicky Edwards Editor: Clare Fordham Theme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
30/01/23·15m 19s

The Economy: 10. Inequality

Why are the rich, rich and the poor, poor, and was it always this way? Tim Harford explains what’s happened to inequality over the last 100 years in the UK and why things might be better than you think. Economic historian Victoria Bateman explains the surprising effect The Great Plague had on income and gender equality. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, Interest rates, and bonds, Tim Harford and friends explain them all. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills. We’ll also bring you surprising histories, from the war hungry Kings who have shaped how things are counted today to the greedy merchants flooding Spain with Silver coins. So if your eyes usually glaze over when someone says ‘cutting taxes stimulates growth’, fear no more, we’ve got you covered.Guest: Xiaowei Xu, Senior Research Economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies Producer: Phoebe KeaneResearchers: Drew Hyndman and Kirsteen KnightEditor: Clare FordhamTheme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
18/11/22·15m 14s

The Economy: 9. International Trade and Currency Markets

The reason we can eat pineapples and sell aeroplane parts. But why might the value of the pound fall and what does that mean if it does? Tim Harford explains who wins and who loses if the pound is cheap against the dollar and economic historian Victoria Bateman tells the story of a trade deal with Portugal that flooded England with wine and Port. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, Interest rates, and bonds, Tim Harford and friends explain them all. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills. We’ll also bring you surprising histories, from the war hungry Kings who have shaped how things are counted today to the greedy merchants flooding Spain with Silver coins. So if your eyes usually glaze over when someone says ‘cutting taxes stimulates growth’, fear no more, we’ve got you covered.Guest: Professor Richard Davies, The University of BristolProducer: Phoebe KeaneResearcher: Drew Hyndman Editor: Clare FordhamTheme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
18/11/22·14m 42s

The Economy: 8. Pensions

Why is it so hard to save for retirement? Will future generations even get a pension? Why is the pension age rising and what is the state pension age? Tim Harford explains the problem an aging population is causing for the state pension and explores the gender pension gap. Economic historian Victoria Bateman tells the story of the very first pensions in the UK. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, Interest rates, and bonds, Tim Harford and friends explain them all. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills. We’ll also bring you surprising histories, from the war hungry Kings who have shaped how things are counted today to the greedy merchants flooding Spain with Silver coins. So if your eyes usually glaze over when someone says ‘cutting taxes stimulates growth’, fear no more, we’ve got you covered.Guest: Dr. Rajiv Prabhakar, The Open UniversityProducer: Phoebe KeaneResearcher: Drew Hyndman Editor: Clare FordhamTheme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
16/11/22·14m 47s

The Economy: 7. Jobs and Unemployment

What happens when lots of people lose their jobs? Why might wages be low even though everyone who wants a job, has one? What do we mean by employment and unemployment and what does 'economic inactivity' mean? What is productivity and how does it relate to you and your job? Tim Harford explains, and Cambridge University Economic Historian Victoria Bateman tells the story of what happened when unemployment in the North East of England reached 70%. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, Interest rates, and bonds, Tim Harford and friends explain them all. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills. We’ll also bring you surprising histories, from the war-hungry kings who have shaped how things are counted today to the greedy merchants flooding Spain with silver coins. So if your eyes usually glaze over when someone says ‘cutting taxes stimulates growth’, fear no more, we’ve got you covered.Guest: Professor Richard Davies, The University of BristolProducer: Phoebe KeaneResearcher: Drew HyndmanEditor: Clare FordhamTheme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
10/11/22·14m 0s

The Economy: 6. Recessions

What is a recession and what causes a recession? Whether something suddenly makes you poorer or just makes you worry about becoming poorer, when you cut your spending in the shops, this affects other people and ripples through the economy. Tim Harford explains the role a government can play in pulling a country out of a recession and Cambridge University Economic Historian Victoria Bateman tells the story of one of our longest recessions that started in 1921. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, Interest rates, and bonds, Tim Harford and friends explain them all. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills. We’ll also bring you surprising histories, from the war-hungry kings who have shaped how things are counted today to the greedy merchants flooding Spain with silver coins. So if your eyes usually glaze over when someone says ‘cutting taxes stimulates growth’, fear no more, we’ve got you covered.Guest: Professor Richard Davies, University of BristolProducer: Phoebe KeaneResearcher: Drew HyndmanEditor: Clare FordhamTheme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
10/11/22·14m 0s

The Economy: 5. Banks

What are banks and what do they do with our money? Tim Harford explains where your money goes when you put it in a bank account and reveals that your bank might actually be a shadow bank. Economic historian Victoria Bateman tells the story of Priscilla Wakefield, one of Britain's forgotten female economists, who created the first saving bank for working-class women in a Tottenham grammar school. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, Interest rates, and bonds, Tim Harford and friends explain them all. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills. We’ll also bring you surprising histories, from the war-hungry kings who have shaped how things are counted today to the greedy merchants flooding Spain with silver coins. So if your eyes usually glaze over when someone says ‘cutting taxes stimulates growth’, fear no more, we’ve got you covered.Guest: Professor Wendy Carlin, University College London and Director of CORE Econ (Curriculum Open-access Resources in Economics)Producer: Phoebe KeaneResearchers: Drew Hyndman and Marianna BrainEditor: Clare FordhamTheme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
04/11/22·14m 18s

The Economy: 4. Bonds, Gilts, Stocks and Shares

Who lends the government money and why? And what exactly does the stock market do? All those people in the movies shouting at the screens are buying and selling something, but what? Tim Harford explains why government debt isn’t always a bad thing and why the prices agreed in a room in London affect the prices you pay for petrol and food. Economic Historian Victoria Bateman tells the story of the East India Company, one of the first companies to ask for money and in return, give people a share of their profits. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, Interest rates, and bonds, Tim Harford and friends explain them all. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills. We’ll also bring you surprising histories, from the war-hungry kings who have shaped how things are counted today to the greedy merchants flooding Spain with silver coins. So if your eyes usually glaze over when someone says ‘cutting taxes stimulates growth’, fear no more, we’ve got you covered.Guest: Professor Wendy Carlin, University College London and Director of CORE Econ (Curriculum Open-access Resources in Economics).Producer: Phoebe KeaneResearchers: Drew Hyndman and Marianna BrainEditor: Clare FordhamTheme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Radio Current Affairs Production for BBC Radio 4
04/11/22·14m 56s

The Economy: 3. Economic Growth and GDP

What is economic growth, and what happens if there isn’t any? And what does that GDP figure stand for? Tim Harford explains how and why we measure everything.If the economy stops growing, that could mean things like job cuts, so measuring what’s going on is crucial. In this episode Tim Harford explains how the economy is measured and what is missed out. Economic historian Victoria Bateman tells us why people first started to measure this in the first place. Spoiler alert…. it’s to do with war!Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, Interest rates, and bonds, Tim Harford and friends explain them all. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills. We’ll also bring you surprising histories, from the war-hungry kings who have shaped how things are counted today to the greedy merchants flooding Spain with silver coins. So if your eyes usually glaze over when someone says ‘cutting taxes stimulates growth’, fear no more, we’ve got you covered.Guest: Dimitri Zenghelis, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of EconomicsProducer: Phoebe KeaneResearchers: Drew Hyndman and Marianna BrainEditor: Clare FordhamTheme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Radio Current Affairs Production for BBC Radio 4
04/11/22·15m 1s

The Economy: 2. Interest Rates and Mortgage Rates

Why does the interest you pay on your credit card or your mortgage rate go up and down? What’s the Bank of England got to do with it all? In this episode, Tim Harford explains why the banks need to charge you interest when you borrow money and explains why the Bank of England might put interest rates up. Economic historian Victoria Bateman tells us why the Bank of England first lent money to the government. Spoiler alert…. it was to wage war.Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, Interest rates, and bonds, Tim Harford and friends explain them all. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills. We’ll also bring you surprising histories, from the war-hungry kings who have shaped how things are counted today to the greedy merchants flooding Spain with silver coins. So if your eyes usually glaze over when someone says ‘cutting taxes stimulates growth’, fear no more, we’ve got you covered.Guest: Richard Davies, Professor of Economics at Bristol UniversityProducer: Phoebe KeaneResearchers: Drew Hyndman and Marianna BrainEditor: Clare FordhamTheme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
03/11/22·14m 42s

The Economy: 1. Inflation

What is inflation, why does it matter, and is someone to blame if it goes up? Understanding inflation will help you understand why your shopping is getting more and more expensive and why prices rarely seem to come down. Tim Harford explains why the inflation figure you see on the TV might not reflect the price rises you’re experiencing and economic historian Victoria Bateman tells us why having a boat load of silver coins isn’t always a good thing. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, Interest rates, and bonds, Tim Harford and friends explain them all. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills. We’ll also bring you surprising histories, from the war-hungry kings who have shaped how things are counted today to the greedy merchants flooding Spain with silver coins. So if your eyes usually glaze over when someone says ‘cutting taxes stimulates growth’, fear no more, we’ve got you covered.Guest: Richard Davies, Professor of Economics at Bristol UniversityProducer: Phoebe KeaneResearchers: Drew Hyndman and Marianna BrainEditor: Clare FordhamTheme music: Don’t Fret, Beats Fresh MusicA BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
03/11/22·14m 31s

Welcome to Understand: The Economy

Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, Interest rates, and bonds, Tim Harford and friends explain them all. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills. We’ll also bring you surprising histories, from the war hungry Kings who have shaped how things are counted today to the greedy merchants flooding Spain with Silver coins. So if your eyes usually glaze over when someone says ‘cutting taxes stimulates growth’, fear no more, we’ve got you covered.Producer: Phoebe Keane Researchers: Drew Hyndman and Marianna Bain Editor: Clare Fordham A BBC Radio Current Affairs Production for BBC Radio 4
31/10/22·1m 17s
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