112: Bethany McLean, part 1: the Business and People of Fracking

2019-01-01

Bethany made her name as the first to report that Enron was overpriced, which meant going deep into the numbers and people, understanding them, and then facing overwhelming criticism. Turns out she was right, but can you imagine the friction and hostility she must have faced? Now she's looking at fracking. We want journalists like her investigating and reporting what's happening that we don't know about. Are we increasing our nation's security? She looks at the people and numbers, makes sense of them, and wrote a short, colorful, informative book on it. The short answer is that it doesn't make sense except for some economic anomalies, but getting into more detail helps you understand the direction of the country. She explains the short-term perspective of oil and gas, though the main point seems that the U.S. has no energy policy. This is our world. If you want to influence fracking, environment is not the most effective lever. If you want to understand this critical part of the U.S. becoming an exporter again and what may happen next, you'll appreciate the book. Listen for the intersection of leadership, economics, and finance. (I also recommend reading her Vanity Fair cover story on Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez for two engaging profiles and pictures.)

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