A podcast about economics hardly sounds like it will set the world alight but this offering from America’s National Public Radio (NPR) is genuinely entertaining as well as featuring top production. Learn more about how the economy actually works through stories on anything from apple varieties, to Venezuela’s hyperinflation, to the history of banking.
Host Paul Blanchard knows his formula: get important people to talk about themselves. His Media Masters podcast is required listening for journalists, and Business Leaders does much the same for anyone who does a job, and probably those who don’t. (Also catch him discussing PR crises in the new year with City A.M.) Guests include Metro Bank’s founder Vernon Hill, the founder of Brooklyn Brewery, and Britain’s most influential plumber, Charlie Mullins.
Remember when the British Museum became cool with A History of the World in 100 Objects? The BBC is at it again, this time with economics. Tim Harford (aka the Undercover Economist) takes an object – from concrete to the shipping container to the iPhone – and shows how it changed (or is changing) our lives.
Mining the same “I’ve actually done it” vein but with a more US-centric focus, How I Built This (another from NPR) features entrepreneurs who founded companies you’ve heard of telling their stories. Listen to the people behind big-hitting brands – think Instagram, Airbnb, and (hot off the record press) glasses maker Warby Parker.
Everyone needs to be able to throw out a reasonably informed opinion on the politics of these strange islands. The New Statesman and the Spectator eye each other from across political divides old and new (left/right; Remain/Leave). Listen to both (we're counting them as one) for as much of a balanced view as is probably possible.
If you want to be taken really seriously at the water cooler Alphachat is probably your best bet. Its host Cardiff Garcia and expert guests discuss the more complex reaches of economics, markets and business in a way that’s accessible without holding back on the detail.
Sometimes the best way to approach something is sideways. Sideways here means the Periodic Table. The BBC’s Elements takes a chemical element and shows how it impacts modern business. Find out why we should expect phosphorus to spark the next world war, and why tonnes of silver are buried under the streets of London.
And of course no business podcast list would be complete without City A.M.’s very own Unregulated. Digital editor Emma Haslett talks to economists, entrepreneurs and, er, esports athletes to get behind-the-scenes views on the business world.