Maverick Life

PODCAST REVIEW

Let’s talk universal basic income, financial advice and crypto-scams

Image design Leila Dougan for Maverick Life

Money is a symbol and a tool which can have serious impacts on our lives. In this week’s selection, we bring you podcasts that talk about the personal and political nature of cash.

The job and employment world has and still is being redefined by the Covid-19 pandemic. The economy is shrinking, people have lost jobs and many are wondering if things will ever be the same again. The following podcasts look at everything you ever wanted to ask about money (almost) – how to plan our finances, how to redefine our blind faith in the market and why the universal basic income might be a thing for the future.

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Should You Pay For Financial Advice? – Life Kit: Money (NPR)

Length: 21 minutes

Format: Single episode

Year: 2018

Listen on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcast app or streaming service

NPR’s Life Kit is full of simple practical advice for complex topics from dating during a pandemic to how to talk to your child about climate change. Because money is such a popular topic for advice shows, Life Kit launched a channel for all your money and personal finance questions. This episode weighs up the pros and cons of hiring a financial advisor and what questions to ask if you do.

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Give Everybody Everything: The Financial Life of Bernadette Mayer – The Organist (KCRW)

Length: 44 minutes

Format: Single episode

Year: 2019

Listen on: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or any other podcast app or streaming service

At a time when we’re realizing who the real essential workers in our economy are, Bernadette Mayer’s story is a fascinating reminder of whose labour we value and whose we don’t. One of the most influential poets of her generation, Mayer, now 73, is broke. Despite being famous, she’s never made enough money to achieve financial security. What starts out as a look into the financial life of a poet ends as a contemplation of the merits of Universal Basic Income. The piece is punctuated by poetry and Mayer’s charm.

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The Missing Cryptoqueen – BBC Radio

Length: 8 episodes, 22 minutes – 1 hour each

Format: Series

Year: 2019

Listen on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, BBC Sounds or any other podcast app or streaming service

This audio thriller is hot on the trail of one of the most successful cryptocurrency scam artists around, Dr Ruja Ignatova. After convincing millions to join her OneCoin revolution, the woman behind it all disappears. The BBC’s Jamie Bartlett is on Dr. Ruja’s heels. The cult-like appeal of Dr Ruja and OneCoin is a cautionary tale against the temptation of get-rich-quick schemes that thrive in uncertain and desperate times.

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Episode 522: The Invention Of  “The Economy” – Planet Money (NPR)

Length: 14 minutes

Format: Single episode

Year: 2014

Listen on: Apple Podcasts or any other podcast app or streaming service

Tracing the history of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), this veteran NPR show lays out how the economy is based on an idea that keeps on changing depending on what you’re counting. This rapid-fire mix of host narration and expert interviews breaks down a big complex concept into bite-sized chunks, doing what Planet Money does best.

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Supersaver Julia, investing a third of her income (since 2013) – The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield (Primedia Broadcasting)

Length: 21 minutes

Format: Single episode

Year: 2019

Listen on: Apple Podcasts or any other podcast app or streaming service

If you’ve listened to Bruce Whitfield’s The Money Show on Radio 702 and Cape Talk over the last few years, you’ll know about Julia. Held up as an example of a ‘supersaver’ – someone who consistently saves a third of their monthly income – Whitfield checks in with Julia every year to see how her plan is working out. Julia’s openness about what kinds of sacrifices she’s made and the rewards she’s enjoyed, have inspired many listeners over the years to adopt similar plans. Maybe listening to Julia’s story will have a similar effect on you.

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Anand Giridharadas: When the Market Is Our Only Language – On Being with Krista Tippett

Length: 51 minutes

Format: Single episode

Year: 2018

Listen on: Apple Podcasts, Radio Public or any other podcast app or streaming service

“You can tell the rich and powerful in our age to do more good, but never tell them to do less harm.” Author and journalist, Anand Giridharadas speaks to Krista Tippett about his recent book, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, our blind faith in the market and how decent people become part of upholding indecent systems. This is a timely listen as we reckon with our vastly unequal world exacerbated by Covid-19 and choose, as Arundhati Roy writes, what to take through the portal from this world to the one we choose to imagine anew.

If you’re wondering how to listen to these audio gems, local podcast organisation, Sound Africa, has prepared a handy guide to show you how.

Happy listening! DM/ ML

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