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The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.

The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.


United Kingdom




The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.




Giving care in crisis

As the coronavirus outbreak worsens in many areas, the mental health of those providing frontline care is under strain. We’ll hear from one care worker in Spain afraid of passing the virus to her family, as well as health care workers around the world who are scared. Laura Hawryluck, associate professor at the Toronto Western Hospital Critical Care Response team in Canada, tells us what the SARS outbreak can teach us about the experience and resilience of care workers and Dr Alys Cole-King,...


The cost of lockdown in the developing world

India has been put in lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Already the growing restrictions have caused turmoil in India's big cities. Hundreds of thousands of migrant wage labourers have suddenly found themselves jobless. Jayati Ghosh, professor of economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, says there is a critical lack of planning for the hundreds of millions of people who are near the breadline. Meanwhile, poor countries around the world are seeing their citizens...


Are there exit strategies for coronavirus?

As many countries and cities around the western world go into lockdown, China is beginning to ease restrictions, claiming several days with no new domestic cases of coronavirus. But people have their doubts whether this is true, as the BBC’s Kerry Allen explains. Meanwhile, president Trump wants to ease restrictions as well, hoping for an Easter end date to the lockdown. Dr. Susy Hota, Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at the University Health Network in Toronto, explains...


The working from home challenge

Snapshots of working from home across the world, as the coronavirus outbreak increases in intensity. From Kaitlin Funaro in LA to Katy Watson in Brazil and Kinjal Pandya in New Delhi: how is the global workforce coping with enforced home working? And is working from home even possible when there are bored children running around?


Do we have the right data on coronavirus?

As we face an economic collapse caused by the global coronavirus outbreak, data becomes more valuable than ever. John Ioannidis, Stanford professor of epidemiology, worries about our lack of hard data about the disease, while Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist Michael Levitt says he may have spotted a ray of hope in all the noise. And economist Vicky Pryce joins the programme live to discuss economic responses to the crisis. (Picture:The Diamond Princess cruise ship. Picture credit: Getty...


Life under lockdown

What is life like under lockdown in some of the world’s poorest cities? We hear from Nairobi and Manila, two cities facing tough measures to combat Covid-19. But is the cure worse than the disease? We’ll also hear from Mohammed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, who is concerned about the impact on the streets if the whole economy freezes up. (Picture: A worker sprays disinfectant to curb the spread of COVID-19 in a residential area on March 19, 2020 in San Juan, Metro Manila,...


Coronavirus: Where's the joined-up thinking?

What can be learned from East Asia's response to Covid-19, and from West Africa's Ebola epidemic? And why hasn't there been a unifed global response to the pandemic? Manuela Saragosa speaks to Francois Balloux, professor of computational biology at University College London, about the difficult options facing the world as we seek to manage coronavirus over the next year or two without crushing the global economy. But what lessons are there from the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa for...


Can the private sector help struggling hospitals?

Hand-gels, face masks, even nasal swabs – as the coronavirus spreads, health services are reporting a growing number of shortages at the moment as supplies and supply chains freeze up. Increasingly governments are calling on private companies and individuals to meet the urgent demand. Chad Butters, founder of the Eight Oaks Farm Distillery in Pennsylvania, has turned his facilities over to producing hand sanitizer for local people in need. Meanwhile Project Open Air is crowdsourcing the...


Can airlines survive coronavirus?

Travel restrictions and a slump in demand due to the coronavirus have forced airlines to cancel most flights and temporarily reduce staff. Will this mean a permanent end to the low-cost travel that many of us have become used to? Travel expert Simon Calder joins the show to round up the latest industry news and what it means for travellers, while aviation consultant John Strickland explains why the airlines were so vulnerable to begin with. Meanwhile, calls are rising for governments to bail...


Coronavirus: Can the risk be contained?

The US has cut interest rates to almost zero and launched a $700bn stimulus programme in a bid to protect the economy from the effect of coronavirus. Ed Butler asks Chris Ralph, chief global strategist at St. James’s Place Wealth, whether anything can prop up the financial markets and minimise the economic impact as the US and Europe go into lockdown, with governments shutting down nightlife and ordering the elderly to stay home. Professor Liam Smeeth, epidemiologist at the London School of...


Wet markets and the coronavirus

Where the coronavirus came from and why these diseases aren't a one-off. Manuela Saragosa speaks to Dr Juan Lubroth, former chief veterinary officer at the UN's Food and Agricultural Association in Rome, about the risks around so-called 'wet' markets prevalent in East Asia and South East Asia where live animals are sold. Professor Tim Benton, research director of the emerging risks team at the think tank Chatham House tells us why animals are often the source of pathogens that go on to...


The great North Korean crypto hack

Crypto-currency and cybercrime have together provided the DPRK with the hard currency it needed to continue with its nuclear weapons programme. Ed Butler speaks to sanctions specialist Nigel Kushner of W Legal about how Bitcoin and the like are used by sanctioned individuals to continue doing business outside the official banking system. In North Korea's case, much of the business involves outright theft - be it the Wannacry ransomware attack, the hacking of the Bangladeshi central bank's...


How to stop coronavirus crashing your economy

As much of Italy goes into self-imposed quarantine, what can the authorities do to stop empty shops and restaurants going bust? It's an urgent question for Marco d'Arrigo, who runs the California Bakery chain in Milan, who has spent his day reassuring nervous staff at their eerily empty branches. Nations facing spiralling coronavirus cases and to need to lock down entire cities, do have macroeconomic tools at their disposal. But in Italy's case, those tools are not entirely in Rome's hands....


The psychology of panic buying

How the spread of coronavirus is changing consumer behaviour. Elizabeth Hotson goes on the hunt for toilet paper and hand sanitizer on the streets of London. Ed Butler speaks to Charlene Chan, marketing researcher and consumer psychology researcher at Nanyang School of Business in Singapore about how feeling a loss of control influences our buying behaviour. Steven Taylor, a clinical psychologist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, tells us what panic buying says about the...


The superforecasters

How to predict the future and beat the wisdom of the crowds. Manuela Saragosa speaks to Warren Hatch, chief executive of Good Judgement, a consultancy that specialises in superforecasters - individuals with a knack for predicting future events - and the techniques they use to make their guesses. We also hear from Andreas Katsouris from PredictIt, a political betting platform that harnesses the wisdom of the crowds in making predictions about politics. (Photo: a crystal ball, Credit: Getty...


The great face hack

Tech start-up Clearview scraped billions of people's public photos off social media, and then sold their facial recognition service to police forces, private security firms and banks around the world. Were the company's actions an invasion of privacy? Were they even illegal? Is their technology as reliable as they claim? Or could it have resulted in multiple false arrests of misidentified suspects? Manuela Saragosa explores the thorny questions raised by the latest data privacy scandal. She...


Coronavirus: Global recession?

Central banks are rushing to provide liquidity as many fear that the disruption from the coronavirus outbreak could push the world into technical recession. We hear from a host of eminent economists trying to navigate the uncertainty: Sarah Bloom Raskin, deputy secretary to the Treasury under US President Barack Obama; former ECB chief economist Peter Praet; and Cornell University professor of trade policy Eswar Prasad. Plus Ed Butler looks at one of the industries feeling the most pain -...


Do stock-pickers have a future?

Research suggests that they underperform robot traders, and most can't even beat the market, so are the days of the celebrity investors and stock market tipsters numbered? Ed Butler speaks to David Aferiat, whose computer-based trading system Holly has been picking the best performing stock picking algorithms since 2016. He claims that Holly consistently outperforms the market. So why rely on humans to make these decisions? Among those weighing the case for man versus machine are an old hand...


Moving Uighur workers in China

A new report brings together fresh evidence of the forced transportation of Uighur Muslims from Xinjiang province to provide labour in factories across China. Ed Butler speaks to one of the report authors, Nathan Ruser from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. In some cases the factories are linked to major brands like Nike, Apple and Volkswagen. Yuan Yang, Beijing correspondent for the Financial Times, says she for one is not surprised by the reports. (Photo: Protesters attend a rally...


Trump's immigration crackdown

How fewer Latin Americans crossing the US border is affecting the economy. Alice Fordham reports from Juarez on the Mexican side of the border on the migrants forced to make Mexico their home while they await the outcome of their asylum cases in the US. Ed Butler speaks to Jessica Bolter from the Migration Policy Institute in Washington DC about the slowing rate of people trying to cross into the US illegally. And Giovanni Peri, economist at the University of California, Davis, discusses the...