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The Economist Asks

The Economist

One question posed to a high-profile newsmaker, followed up with lively debate. Anne McElvoy hosts The Economist's chat show. Published every Thursday on Economist Radio.

One question posed to a high-profile newsmaker, followed up with lively debate. Anne McElvoy hosts The Economist's chat show. Published every Thursday on Economist Radio.
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London, United Kingdom


The Economist


One question posed to a high-profile newsmaker, followed up with lively debate. Anne McElvoy hosts The Economist's chat show. Published every Thursday on Economist Radio.




The Economist asks: Who will decide the fate of Hong Kong?

Former Chief Secretary of the territory, Anson Chan, has called on leader Carrie Lam to withdraw a controversial law which sparked a wave of protests. Anne McElvoy asks her whether Hong Kong’s special status is under threat and, 30 years after the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, if history might repeat itself? Anne also speaks with our Asia columnist, Dominic Ziegler, who has been reporting on the story since it began For information regarding your data privacy, visit


The Economist asks: Is LA the model for a more diverse America?

Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, argues America’s second largest city benefits from being a melting pot. Anne McElvoy asks him how he is faring in tackling the city’s housing crisis and why he is not running for the Democratic nomination in 2020. They address allegations of racism in the White House and, in the wake of two mass shootings, how to curb gun violence in America. Also, could smooth jazz prevent traffic jams? For information regarding your data privacy, visit...


The Economist asks: Should race matter on stage?

Wendell Pierce, best known for his roles in the television dramas “The Wire”, “Suits” and “Jack Ryan”, plays Willy Loman in a new production of “Death of a Salesman”, moving to London’s West End in the autumn. Anne McElvoy caught up with him backstage in July and asked him about whether casting an all-black Loman family changes the nature of the play, his thoughts on America's troubled racial history, and how that history shapes his views of the current president of the United States For...


The Economist asks: How should filmmakers depict Nazi Germany?

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck hoped never to make a film about the Third Reich. Anne McElvoy asks the Oscar-winning director of “The Lives of Others” what changed his mind. His new film, “Never Look Away”, was inspired by the life of the artist Gerhard Richter, who unwittingly married the daughter of an SS doctor responsible for the death of his aunt. Von Donnersmarck responds to criticisms of the film from Richter, and from those who say he stylises violence. And, how does his nation's...


The Economist asks: Anna Wintour

For more than 30 years as editor-in-chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour has been the gatekeeper of high style. Anne McElvoy asks if the fashion business can genuinely deliver sustainability and shift catwalk stereotypes. They discuss why Wintour personally avoids social media and the consequences of Donald Trump’s tweets about non-white congresswomen. Also, she addresses why Melania Trump has not been asked to appear on Vogue's cover since becoming first lady For information regarding your data...


The Economist asks: Is conservatism in crisis?

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, George Will, and Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist’s political editor, debate whether the conservatism movement is reorienting into one that chooses populism over prudence and they dissect the challenges that conservatism faces around the world. Anne McElvoy asks them whether the next generation of conservative leaders will be made in the image of Donald Trump. And, can a baseball nation and a cricket nation unite over conservatism? For...


The Economist asks: Mark Carney

The Governor of the Bank of England explains how central banks are preparing for a riskier world. Mark Carney, who is due to step down next year, singles out climate change as a significant emerging risk for insurance companies and markets. But what can central bankers do about it? He also responds to critics who say he's overstepping the bounds of his role and discusses why he feels that his Brexit warnings have been vindicated. And, was he a fan of Stormzy's Glastonbury performance? Anne...


The Economist asks: Can Labour solve Brexit?

While British headlines are dominated by the race to become the next Conservative prime minister, the opposition Labour party is divided over how to resolve the Brexit stalemate. Anne McElvoy interviews John McDonnell MP, the shadow chancellor, who is one of the strongest voices calling for a second referendum in which he wants Labour to campaign to remain in the EU. Anne asks him about revoking Article 50, if he would push for a vote of no confidence to force a general election, whether he...


The Economist asks: Which Democrats can challenge Donald Trump in 2020?

Anne McElvoy and John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, interview two distinctive hopefuls in the race to replace Donald Trump. Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, assesses America's role in the world and sets out his plan to redress racial inequality. He also reflects on what he has learned both from Mr Trump and from Leslie Knope, a character in the TV comedy, “Parks and Recreation”. And Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur, champions universal basic income as a way to...


The Economist asks: Armistead Maupin

Anne McElvoy asks the creator of “Tales of the city” about what drew him back to 28 Barbary Lane and a new batch of tales of queer America. Fifty years on from the Stonewall riots that sparked the LGBT civil rights movement, Armistead Maupin talks about how far there is still to go, what young gay men can never understand about his generation and why he has finally decided to abandon his beloved San Francisco For information regarding your data privacy, visit


The Economist asks: Who can lead Britain through Brexit?

Anne McElvoy speaks to two candidates in the race to succeed Theresa May as Conservative leader and Britain's prime minister. She catches up with Rory Stewart, the international development secretary, who proposes a “citizens’ assembly” to solve Brexit. And she asks the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, how he would avoid a no-deal Brexit and about explaining the National Health Service to President Donald Trump For information regarding your data privacy, visit


The Economist asks: Who will run tomorrow’s top companies?

Anne McElvoy asks Ursula Burns about how she became the first black woman to run a Fortune 500 company. She explains why she now champions gender quotas, having vehemently opposed them. And, as AI threatens more traditional jobs, how CEOs should balance protecting profits with protecting their employees For information regarding your data privacy, visit


The Economist asks: Are the Victorians a model for Brexit Britain?

With Theresa May on her way out of 10 Downing Street and Britain no closer to achieving the Brexit she promised, Anne McElvoy takes the long view. She asks Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative MP, and Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, to debate how the titans of the 19th century shaped modern Britain. What would Queen Victoria do? And who in the Conservative party do they tip to take over the leadership? For information regarding your data privacy, visit


The Economist asks: Cass Sunstein

Anne McElvoy asks Cass Sunstein, a former advisor to Barack Obama and co-author of "Nudge", how far the state should define our quest for personal freedom. They discuss how we might need a GPS to navigate through life, the limits of nudging and why left-wing Democrats might be their own worst enemy For information regarding your data privacy, visit


The Economist asks: Melinda Gates

Anne McElvoy asks Melinda Gates whether gender equality starts in the kitchen. The American philanthropist explains why the tech world risks entrenching bias into the future, but defends the Gates Foundation’s decision to halve its paid family leave. And Anne and Melinda swap top tips for getting teenagers to do the washing up For information regarding your data privacy, visit


The Economist asks: Bret Easton Ellis

Anne McElvoy asks author and iconoclast Bret Easton Ellis about why he has decided to take on the social mores of millennials. From the #metoo movement and freedom of expression to anger on social media, he discusses the dangers of a growing generational disconnect. And he apologises for claiming millennials don’t care about literature For information regarding your data privacy, visit


The Economist asks: Ian McEwan

Anne McElvoy asks Man Booker prize-winning novelist Ian McEwan what distinguishes humans and robots in the age of AI. They discuss his new novel "Machines Like Me", a Promethean story which argues that engineers are the mythic gods of today. They also talk about why young writers should switch off their smartphones For information regarding your data privacy, visit


The Economist asks: Renée Fleming

Anne McElvoy goes backstage at New York’s newest arts centre, The Shed, to talk to the Grammy and Polar music prize-winning soprano. They discuss bending the rules of genre and gender opposite Ben Whishaw in “Norma Jeane Baker of Troy”. Also, why opera isn’t in trouble and how to reclaim the title of “diva” for the 21st century For information regarding your data privacy, visit


The Economist asks: Preet Bharara

Anne McElvoy asks the former United States attorney for the powerful Southern District of New York whether the law can still do justice in America. He explains the failure to prosecute any Wall St executives after the financial crisis and his concern about how politicised the Mueller report has become. And, Mr Bharara reveals what crime he would be tempted to commit and why he loves mafia movies. For information regarding your data privacy, visit


The Economist asks: Juan Manuel Santos

Anne McElvoy asks the former president of Colombia whether the country can sustain a lasting peace with the left-wing FARC guerrilla group. They discuss the best way to tackle the global drug trade and why Venezuela’s dictator, Nicolás Maduro, needs a “golden bridge” to give up power peacefully For information regarding your data privacy, visit