The Week Unwrapped podcast: Farming, forecasting and a global downgrade

Can the past predict the future? Why has Moody’s issued a global debt downgrade? And how is CAP being exploited by populists?


Friday, November 15, 2019 – 7:50am

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.

In this week’s episode, we discuss:


Every year, the 28-countries of the European Union pay out £50bn in farm subsidies, aimed to help support farmers around the continent and communities living in rural areas. But across Hungary and much of central and eastern Europe, the majority of the money ends up lining the pockets of a connected and powerful few – including oligarchs and populist leaders.


Professor Peter Turchin, from the University of Connecticut, has dedicated his career to developing mathematical principles to understand the past and forecast the future. After working on a massive database of world history for eight years, he is getting closer to testing his theories. So what can we learn?

Read our full briefing on Cliodynamics.

A global downgrade

Credit ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded the outlook for the entire world’s government debt, amid fears over rising political instability and damaging trade wars. But governments don’t care – every politician claims to be a big spender these days. What – if anything – does it mean for you?

You can subscribe to The Week Unwrapped on the Global PlayerApple podcastsSoundCloud or wherever you get your podcasts. It is produced by Sarah Myles and the music is by Tom Mawby.

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