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Businesses, of course, face risk every day, whether from supply chain disruption, calamity, or as we’ve seen from a series of hurricanes of the last years, Mother Nature. But most of these risks have a foreseeable ending – after all, at some point the hurricane passes. But among the many business risks during this Covid age are the unknown risks – …
 
This is a special live Zoom edition of Chris Riback’s Conversations, the first in our new series of political book conversations sponsored by Cornell’s Institute of Politics & Global Affairs. What does it mean for democracy when the President attacks the free press as fake news? How should journalists balance the need to avoid becoming the “opposit…
 
Chances are, you may not have heard of New Rochelle, NY before about a month ago. It’s New York’s 7th largest city, located just 30 minutes north of Manhattan. It was founded by refugee Huguenots – French Protestants – who were fleeing religious persecution in France in 1688. During the 1930s, New Rochelle was the wealthiest city per capita in New …
 
When I first scheduled an election analysis discussion with former U.S. Representative Steve Israel, it’s fair to say that my initial set of questions had nothing to do with how to run for President in a time of Coronavirus. That’s where this conversation begins, but not where it ends. Because while we all navigate this new reality, we’re also stil…
 
Today we continue with our check on the state of American democracy. We began with Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt to get an update on “How Democracies Die” and the question: How much more can our institutions take? Today we’ll look at the cornerstone of our democracy and a question that’s as shocking to ask as it sounds: Can …
 
It’s time for a democracy check. With the Trump Impeachment Trial over and the 2020 presidential primaries in full bloom, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I imagine many other people are wondering, too: How’s our democracy doing? Are America’s democratic norms still valid? How much more can our institutions take? And this was even before the Rog…
 
The first time he said it – or rather tweeted it – was in January 2018. In describing his business, television, and political accomplishments, President Trump typed: “I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius… and a very stable genius at that!” He said it again at a NATO meeting that July. Again the following July 2019. And again in Septe…
 
Rick Wilson – the sharp-witted, wise-cracking Republican political strategist, ad-maker, analyst, columnist, and crazy-good tweeter – joined me in Westchester County, NY for a live conversation about the 2020 election, impeachment, and his new book, “Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump – and Democrats from Themselves.” It w…
 
(Note: This is a DocuPod – audio reads of important public documents. No conversation; no interview. Just the document itself.) You may have noticed: Especially with the impeachment, there’s been a lot of news, coverage and discussion – tweets, speeches, rallies, angry letters, hearings, cable panels – around two branches of government: The Executi…
 
As our 2020 Presidential campaign becomes more intense and pointed, it’s clear there is a battle going on for, among other things, America’s economic soul. Politically, the debate has exploded a revival of -isms… Populism, authoritarianism, socialism. But through the issues – from Trump’s tax cuts to Elizabeth Warren’s Health Care Plan – the compli…
 
It started with the generals. Mattis. Kelley. McMaster. Along with Rex Tillerson, they were part of the “Axis of Adults,” the ones, as the story of this presidency has been told, who stood between President Trump and chaos – between President Trump and his own, unchecked impulses, particularly in foreign affairs. As we know now, only Trump is left …
 
As with any startup opportunity, when the serial and successful tech entrepreneur Alexander Mars decided in 2013 to tackle philanthropy, he had to identify the market gap. Turns out, he already knew it: The disconnect, as he describes, between how much we want to give and how much we actually give.The challenge, of course: How to bridge the gap. Ma…
 
If you’re feeling lousy about the state of politics in America, now might be the time to surround yourself with some Brits. As they surely must ask about us: What in the world is going on over there? The UK is now more than three years into Brexit, the unexpected, unplanned and so far unfinished move to pull out of the European Union. The latest de…
 
This is a special episode of Chris Riback's Conversations. For this podcast, I read the opening statement of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman to the US House Impeachment Investigators on October 29. As you surely know, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman is the decorated Iraq war veteran and top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, who li…
 
This is a special episode of Chris Riback's Conversations. For this podcast, I read the opening statement of Amb. William B. Taylor, the senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, who testified behind closed doors before the U.S. House Impeachment Investigators on Oct. 22. His extraordinary testimony has been called “the smoking gun” of President Trump’s att…
 
Between the alligator moat revelation and horrendous, inhumane taking of children from their parents, when considering Donald Trump’s immigration policy, it can be hard to get past the headlines. But it turns out, the immigration story serves as an incredibly useful way to consider the entire Trump presidency: Obsession, chaos, fear, depravity, and…
 
From gender-based pay gaps to leadership roles, advancement opportunity to corporate culture, the treatment of women in the workplace – and how to enhance growth opportunities for women executives – is and has been under continual focus.But now this focus is frequently combined with a new, and growing trend: The aging and multigenerational workforc…
 
If one question has driven mankind’s quest for innovation, it very well might be this: How can we get more from less?For most of our time on this planet, the answer was simple: We couldn’t. As my guest Andrew McAfee points out, for just about all of human history – particularly the Industrial Era – our prosperity has been tightly coupled to our abi…
 
If one question has driven mankind’s quest for innovation, it very well might be this: How can we get more from less? For most of our time on this planet, the answer was simple: We couldn’t. As my guest Andrew McAfee points out, for just about all of human history – particularly the Industrial Era – our prosperity has been tightly coupled to our ab…
 
October 1st marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China – the name given by Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong in 1949. To understate the reality, a lot has happened in China over the last 70 years. The fact is, a lot has happened in China over the last 70 days – much of it unexpected, confusing, and on-go…
 
October 1st marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China – the name given by Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong in 1949.To understate the reality, a lot has happened in China over the last 70 years. The fact is, a lot has happened in China over the last 70 days – much of it unexpected, confusing, and on-goin…
 
As regular listeners of this podcast know, I read a lot of books. Most of them, frankly, are excellent – smart people making thoughtful arguments in engaging ways. Every once in a while, though, I read one that’s not just excellent, but delivers something more: It shifts your lens on the world. Alters your focus. New York Times Chief Television Cri…
 
What happened to Facebook?Particularly in the post-2016 political campaign, the realities of data, personas and manipulation have come out into the open, from the front pages to Congressional hearings. As policymakers consider regulating companies like Facebook and Google around issues ranging from speech to monopolies, companies and consumers are …
 
For a long time in business and private equity, corporate sustainability – also known as ESG, the initials for Environmental, social and governance – was a rear guard part of the business that took front stage only when PR required.That time has most definitely passed.Today, ESG is not only front stage, but it’s often fully integrated into the deal…
 
If you thought the battle between machines and jobs – the dislocation of labor and society resulting from digitization or automation – has been one-sided so far, just wait. The next wave of attack is well underway, and it’s called AI. Artificial Intelligence, most simply, refers to computers that perform tasks that normally require human intelligen…
 
It was a perfect week to have Philip Mudd, CNN counterterrorism analyst, on the podcast. Phil spent some 25 years at the highest levels of the CIA – reaching Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center – and FBI, where he was hired to be its first National Security Branch Deputy Director by Robert Mueller. So when you have Mueller’s Con…
 
What happened to the Republican Party? You’ve heard of it: One of the two major political collectives in America… the one that counts Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan among its heroes? The modern GOP branded itself on ideals of fiscal responsibility, fighting dictators from the Soviet Union to Saddam Hussein, and personal morality. Today, of cours…
 
You may have heard last week’s conversation on the Supreme Court. Well, there’s something about the Supreme Court that gets listeners’ attention. I received a lot of follow-up questions – so many, that I wished I had immediate access to another constitutional scholar. Turns out, I did. I already had recorded the second half of the conversation you’…
 
It was the Supreme Court session Democrats feared and Republicans had waited a generation for – a solidly conservative 5-4 majority. It took the Merrick Garland block and Brett Kavanaugh hearings to get here, and now that first session is complete. So how’d it go? Were the fears and hopes realized? That’s what I asked Adam Liptak, who covers the Su…
 
Here’s a parlor game: Outside of President Trump, who’s the most curious figure on the world stage today? China’s Xi? North Korea’s Kim? MBS of Saudi Arabia?As Trump’s interactions with global leaders raise never-ending questions, few are as perplexing – or, if we only could understand it, might explain so much – as the one with Vladimir Putin.When…
 
With 20 candidates and 2 Democratic debates spread over 48 hours this week, the 2020 Presidential campaign season is officially underway. We know the process: For the next 16 months, candidates will debate, boast, fundraise, debate, and fundraise some more. Then on Nov. 3, 2020, we’ll have the decision – the President will be chosen. But what about…
 
It’s already one of the major issues of the 2020 presidential campaign: Does American capitalism still work? In the face of ever widening income disparity – not just exponential upward movement at the top, but also, at best, stagnation near the bottom — economic inequality is a key social and political topic. Which is why Joseph Stiglitz’ 55th high…
 
Raghuram Rajan has an unparalleled view into the social and economic consequences of globalization and their ultimate effect on our politics. Rajan’s background is extraordinary: He has served as Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund and Head of India’s Central Bank. He’s written several books, including one that won the Financial Time…
 
A few updates: First, we’re back. I’ve been doing a lot of prep for this new podcast season. I think you’re going to like it. Second – and maybe this should be first – you may have noticed the name change from Political Wire Conversations to Chris Riback’s Conversations. Why the change? I love politics and public policy. In these podcasts, I’ve tal…
 
Ron Williams knows leadership. He was, after all, Chairman and CEO of Aetna. When he joined Aetna in 2001, its loss from continuing operations was $292 million, with earnings per share loss of $0.46. By the time Williams left in 2011, the company’s full-year operating earnings were $2 billion, with operating earnings per share of $5.17. Beyond the …
 
About four years ago, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz was attending his 55th high school reunion in Gary, IN, when he heard a story that made him stand up straight. Then he heard another. And another. These classmates’ stories – about themselves and their families – brought to life the statistics Stiglitz had been seeing in his econom…
 
As anyone with even a passing interest knows, over the last decade, private equity has had quite a run: Deal multiples have hit record highs; while deal count declined, investment value grew again last year; and so-called “dry powder” – capital sitting ready to invest – hit a record high of $2 trillion in December 2018 across all fund types.And yet…
 
Quick business and health question: How much medical debt exists in this country? Keep in mind, the U.S. is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. In fact, the U.S. spends more per capita on healthcare than any other country. Well, the amount according to RIP Medical Debt will blow your mind: $1 Trillion. What can be done about it? That's th…
 
We know that the health care system can be confusing – never mind the actual medical care. It also is costly. And from changing coverage to high deductibles to co-pays and more, the question remains: Who pays?Jonathan Wiik has an answer. Jonathan is a Principal in Healthcare Strategy at TransUnion. He’s also the author of “Healthcare Revolution: Th…
 
We frequently hear the complaint: Our education systems – particularly public education – are broken. Invest in these approaches? That’s just throwing good money after bad.For example, investing in Head Start may make sense. In other cases, investing in K-12 might be the right approach. But coordinate and sustain ongoing investment in both? Forget …
 
So you’re in a restaurant. Great meal. The bill comes, and it’s got a surprise – an unexpected $10 charge because, well it turns out your entrée required a special ingredient the server forgot to mention. Would you pay it? Would you expect to have to pay it?Now look at our health care. You go to the Emergency Room. They take your insurance. Only it…
 
You know Silicon Valley – that magical place were people, ideas, investment, and opportunities have come together for years to generate the next generation of disruptive businesses. The big challenge for Silicon Valley has not been bringing all of those assets from around to the world to one place in Northern California – it’s been how to bring Sil…
 
Not only is innovation perhaps one of the most overused words in business, it also might be one of the most misunderstood.Many people think of innovation as “eureka” moments. It’s not. Those are “eureka” moments. Instead, as you’ll hear, innovation requires purpose, design, process, and, yes, the room to take some chances.Lee Clark-Sellers is the I…
 
If you thought Uber’s network of cars is strong, you’ll be very interested to learn about a new network that two former executives are spinning off – and how they’re impacting the venture capital world.Josh Mohrer is one of those former Uber execs – he was the General Manager of Uber in NY, NJ, CT and PA and helped grow revenues there from zero to …
 
This is a special live edition of Political Wire Conversations. On Friday, I hosted an outstanding live event and discussion at Harvard’s Kennedy School: Midterm Elections Preview: Blue Wave or Red Save? I was joined onstage by an All Star cast of panelists: Rick Wilson, Republican Political Strategist Asha Rangappa, CNN Legal & National Affairs An…
 
The countdown to Midterms is on. With less than three weeks to go, many questions remain and the stakes couldn’t be higher. How high? According to my guest today, “the nature of our democracy is on the ballot.” I’m not sure I disagree.You may remember Richard Clarke for his 30 years in the U.S government, including 10 continuous years as a White Ho…
 
You know that John Chambers has been a CEO. After all, he spent more than 25 years at Cisco, helping grow the company from $70 million when he joined in 1991, to $1.2 billion when he became CEO in 1995, to $47 billion when he stepped down as CEO in 2015.What you may not know is that Chambers is also – perhaps foremost – a teacher. In fact, it’s a b…
 
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