The Trans-Pacific Tractor Beams Edition

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S1: This ad free podcast is part of your slate plus membership.

S2: Hello. Welcome to the Trans Pacific trek to Beam’s edition of Slate. Money Guide to the Business and Finance News of the Week.

S3: Emily, why? Why am I calling it transpacific tractor beams?

S4: I mean, I don’t really know. I guess we’re discussing trade and tractors for farmers and how the TPP could have been good.

S3: I am Felix Salmon of axios and I came. I take full responsibility for the title of this show and I apologize for it. Emily Peck of HuffPost’s. So you are utterly befuddled by the title of this show and you are probably like 99 percent of the listeners and the SHYMANSKY. You are the casting vote. Does the title of this show make any sense?

S1: I’m gonna go it. No, thank you. But thank you all for listening to this incomprehensively title, Joe. I promise you that the actual show itself will make more sense.

S3: We will talk about the tractors and the soybeans and the Chinese trade deal. We will talk about visa buying plans for 5.3 billion dollars. And we will talk about the Rooney Rule, which is a way of trying to increase minorities in the upper echelons of an organization and whether it actually works or not. Also a slate plus about Nike Vapor Flay’s. All that and more. We have a great numbers round coming up on Slate Money. OK. So the big news of the week was a trade deal with China. I mean, there were actually two trade deals this year. And in case you hadn’t noticed. And most people didn’t. The UNCA got signed or it wasn’t signed, but it was passed by the Senate by a massive bipartisan consensus. You see, bipartisanship is possible. We can all get behind us, Ankur or u.s.a.’s or NAFTA as it to the that I got some good is the new NAFTA lieutenant I think is the new NAFTA, I should say. And maybe it’s onto something we should call it NAFTA. We’ve got NAFTA that I have heard that the main reason that Donald Trump is so keen on USMC and NAFTA is just because it starts with less the U.S. and that’s America first, quite literally.

S5: That’s true. Also, because he wants to suggest that he has like gotten rid of NAFTA. So if you have a new bill that starts with NAFTA, that is going to indicate that you, in fact, have not gotten rid of NAFTA.

S3: But as we all know, USMC A is not much of a difference from NAFTA. But this phase one trade deal with China, the best phase. I mean, like. Yeah, exactly. You can’t you can’t have any other phase. If you don’t. Phase one has got to be a big deal. And it has hundreds of billions of things in it. So thankfully, I have someone here who knows about all of these billions and can unpack it for us because it gets a bit confusing a bit quickly. So, Anish SHYMANSKY. Yes. Explain. This doesn’t seem to me like a normal trade deal. It seems to me like some kind of a. We had promised by China’s to spend a bunch of money on American goods.

S6: That’s because that’s pretty much what it is. It is in fact not a normal trade deal because it’s not really about freeing up trade. It is in fact, about managing trade. And the centerpiece of this deal are these these promised $200 billion in additional purchases.

S1: And this is the Chinese government who’s going to make these purchases. So Chinese state controlled company or the Chinese government is just gonna like twist the arms of private companies.

S6: Exactly. A little bit of all of the above. Right. And the reality and granted, there are other parts of this, too. There are some nods towards English intellectual property protection, although the protections don’t look like they’re going to be that good. You know, there are a few other things. However, the purchases are really the biggest part of this. And when you start to look at these numbers, this is where pretty much everybody becomes very skeptical about this deal.

S3: So the Chinese have promised to buy a gazillion dollars of soybeans and people like you sort of get out your pencil and envelope and you’re like, there’s no way they’re going to be able to buy a gazillion dollars in soybeans. And so what’s the remedy in the deal if they don’t buy it?

S6: Well, I mean, this is a really interesting question. I mean, to me. So in December, they started to kind of put out some of these numbers, and that’s when everyone was starting to do the math. The soybean math was like, no, it’s not happening. Now, if you looked at the actual deal, it definitely includes some language that gives you a little bit of wiggle room. So my assumption are two things. One, there is some language that suggests that the Chinese could say that the reason they aren’t making these purchases is because of other things that the U.S. are doing so that they’re not in violation. And there’s also wiggle room that offers the ability for a little bit of creative accounting to pretend, you know, so you can potentially say like, oh, well, you know, we’re gonna be buying them in this period, but we’re not actually gonna be sending them until this other quarter or we’re gonna be, you know, not actually paying for them for another year, but they’re we’re gonna be booking them in this period. So my guess is if they get to anywhere close to hitting these targets, it’s going to because of creative counting, not because they’re actually buying all these soybeans.

S3: But in terms of if I’m a American soybean producer, I’m no longer really saying, hey, I produce great soybeans. And they’ve put a lot of effort into developing a relationship with soybean buyers in China who want to feed their cows, whatever they want to do with my soybeans.

S7: Instead, I’m basically saying that I’m going to produce these soybeans and then the American government and the Chinese government are going to come to some kind of a deal. And if the deal works out the way that I hope it’ll work out, then the Chinese government will buy my soybeans. And if it doesn’t, then they won’t.

S3: And it kind of feels like infantilizing. And I can’t really build up a relationship with a bio or anything like that, which it takes me out of control of my own business.

S6: Yeah, I mean, you’re right. And granted, it wouldn’t just be the Chinese government doing all the purchasing. But yes, this is true that, you know, you had a functioning market and you had Donald Trump come in and essentially destroy this functioning market. And then obviously, China started to build up and Chinese buyers started to build up relationships with other providers. You know, Brazil in particular is one that was providing a tremendous amount of soybeans. And so now you have, you know, Donald Trump out there saying, you know, buy tractors to all of these farmers, but these farmers are not stupid. And they are very, very skeptical about this. You know, the the statement that came out from the kind of farmers union is basically saying we are you know, I see he’s told he’s not telling Chinese farmers to buy American tractors.

S1: He’s telling American farmers to buy American tractors because they’re going to harvest more sorrow, need more tractors to harvest more soybeans.

S8: Feels like Donald Trump, like it’s equivalent of like I go to the doctor and I have appendicitis and the doctor performs surgery and like cuts a bunch of other stuff and injures me and then I am hurt.

S9: So I go back to the doctor and he fixes all the mistakes he made and shows me up. And he’s like, I did it. But my appendix is still swollen like nothing has happened. This deal is done like he screwed up trade relations between China and the U.S. and now the fix doesn’t even get us back to where we were, if I’m understanding this.

S6: I mean, look, now I know the argument you’re I think you’re 100 percent correct. I know the argument against that would be like, well, but if you do have, you know, all of these additional exports to China, then then that would be moving the needle in terms of the bilateral trade deficit and in terms of exports, it would be different from what you had before and you almost certainly will have additional exports. But the bigger question is, OK, let’s let’s say we even have some magical world where they’re able to come up with these magical soybeans and send them, OK, let’s pretend that world exists even then. What this deal does is it’s it’s one more step in breaking the rules based. Trade order that supported the growth of global trade and the growth of globalization. And so to me, this deal is another kind of failure of that. And the problem is that if we have more of this type of activity, more of this type of bilateral activity, that is going to be net negative for global trade, it creates more instability and it just creates more animosity because, you know, if you’re a trading partner, that all of a sudden is going to get a trade partner of China that could be damaged by this. Granted, China may say that’s not going to happen, but it almost certainly would have to happen. Well, then you might try to retaliate in other ways.

S8: Right. And I was reading, I think, in The Wall Street Journal that one thing that’s interesting about the Phase 1 deal is the arbitration provisions. Whereas so you don’t go to some neutral like WTO body to settle China and the U.S. wouldn’t to settle their disputes. There’s like rounds of negotiations that take place. And that’s sort of like a finger in the eye. Another finger in the eye.

S10: I mean, that’s I mean, it was this there in the WTO covered this. It’s like money.

S3: You can’t go to the WTO because the U.S. government has basically rendered the WTO completely useless. And I think that’s healthy. Right. What this really is, is a repudiation of capitalism. Like you used to have this capitalist system where you would set the rules and then let everyone go out and compete and get gains from trade and riccardi, an advantage in all of this kind of stuff. And now Trump is like, no, I don’t want that. I don’t want to play by the rules. I just want to fix the outcome in advance. And that just feels like a deeply not very good idea.

S5: Yeah, I guess I agreed. And it makes me sad, you know? And look, I don’t want to suggest that the previous, you know, WTO led rules based order was perfect. It obviously wasn’t. The fact that, you know, China and other actors were able to break a lot of the rules suggests that there were clear problems here. But clearly, this activity is showing that this bilateral mercantilist strategy doesn’t work either. Like there needs to be another way. There needs to be some other type of movement forward. And it’s interesting, because you did then also have Trump making these suggestions that, oh, now I’m going to be working with other countries in order to push back against, you know, Chinese subsidies to their state owned companies. You’re like, well, yeah, you should have been doing that from the very beginning. And I think what worked like this and you can’t on one hand say I’m breaking up this multilateral rules-based order and then the other hand say, I want to use this multilateral rules based order to get what I want.

S3: So the the way that the Americans were trying to create a countervailing force against China before Trump came along was TPP. Right now, that was like we are all going to join up with a bunch of other Pacific Rim countries and create a big force which can, you know, go up against China without having to enter into a trade war. Would that count, as you know, would that would that count in terms of your desire for finding something which would have been better than the status quo ante? But like, isn’t the Trump solution or was that just an incremental thing that wasn’t really going to work?

S5: I mean, I do think it was a a good step in the right direction. I mean, I was very much in favor of TPP when a lot of people were bashing it for various reasons, because I do think that it it was the entire world acknowledging that the system that they’d had previously where they were kind of saying, oh, you know, like we’re only going to push back on China so far and off obviously individual countries. We’re going to push back on China. You know, it really was, I think, a genuine step forward. But obviously, now that that has been mostly trashed and I mean, that exists right now in the U.S. in it. I mean, like it doesn’t really work. Right.

S3: Do you think that if I know Joe Biden is the next president, that he could join TPP or would that not happen?

S5: I think it’s incredibly unlikely.

S8: I feel like people Americans don’t care about trade or trade deals that much except for no one less.

S11: There’s one person in America who really, really, really cares about trade and trade deals. Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump. Right.

S4: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who’s like on actually, they’re kind of aligned if you watch. No, they are. They’re actually hear the Democratic debate this week. They spent a lot of time talking about trade. And it just struck me as such a waste of time because I think Democratic voters beyond not liking NAFTA. No one cares. Which is a problem. What USMC is, I think, baby like, which is actually I think is a new kind of sports league. It’s kind of good branding if you think about it, because we spent the past like, what, two decades really polarized over NAFTA, NAFTA, NAFTA. So now you sort of like gotten rid of that.

S7: And there’s the polarization could kind of go away at this point, because right now it’s hard to find Americans who hate WTO or TPP or USMC and the way they hated NAFTA welfare. Right. And but by the same token, you’re not going to find a huge amount of non completely wonkish Americans who are particularly in favor of them either. It’s just like, yeah, well, who? I’m much more interested in us. W.A. When? Right.

S9: Yeah.

S8: I just think at a policy level like there’s just not much impetus behind any of this and maybe a bite him would do differently because his powerful donors and you know, they would have some sway over him and most Americans don’t care.

S5: He can kind of go in and does it legitimately actually important like, you know, you you hide it. There are legitimate criticisms that the U.S. manufacturing sector and other sectors have against the what China has done and the way that you counter that is going to be through trade activity globally, organized trade activity. So it’s actually incredibly important. I agree with you that I don’t think actually anybody cares. However, we can’t. People want to get to where they want. They want wages to increase it. Like this kind of thing is actually really important.

S7: And and the United Nations just came out with a big global report showing that global trade grew in 3:19 at 0.3 percent, which is by far the lowest growth rate in a decade. So, yeah, we got some work to do.

S12: And that’s bad for stability, right? Yeah, political stability like world.

S3: And it’s bad. It’s bad for economic growth. It’s bad for some. Yeah, it’s bad. OK, so we have apps now?

S7: Well, I didn’t realize this, that they’ve really grown in the past four years. I’ve I’ve had a few I guess I was an early adopter. I’ve had a few little baby fintech Ηappy things on my phone for a long time. I got a simple card when they launched. And so I thought, yeah. Yeah. There are these online banks. They’ve been doing things for a while that Venmo, there’s square cash is super popular these days. Oh, yeah. This is the thing. Okay, whatever. It’s just a different way of moving money around on the same old rails. Big deal. Turns out it’s a big deal because visa, which is. Used to be owned by the banks, was then spun off into this massive IPO and is much more than just a credit card company. It’s one of the main sort of financial infrastructure companies which moves money around the planet. They just bought this startup called Plaid for $5.3 billion, which is an enormous amount of money.

S3: It’s like 50 times that revenue yet and square trades at like 10 times its revenues. Right. And so they’re like this is obviously PDA size, a hugely important strategic move. And so the big question is like, what is plaid? What what does it do that Visa doesn’t do?

S7: Why does visa value it so highly? And what does that tell us about the world? Can you on all of those questions?

S5: I mean, I know what plan you know, the basics is that it’s the kind of API. It’s it’s the move. It’s it’s basically the connecting apps to the banks. Right. It’s that kind of infrastructure.

S8: That’s your Venmo to your JP Morgan.

S3: Right. So if so, if you if you have a Venmo account, if I Venmo you money, what’s ultimately happening on some level is that. Money comes out of my bank account and it goes into your bank account, and Venmo therefore needs some kind of access to both of our bank accounts and Venmo does not do that itself. Venmo users plan to do that because plaid. Is better at that than the only company that used to do this, which was this company called Yodlee and everyone hated Yodlee. So these two, you know. Guys started plaid because they like we can do better than Yodlee and that was true, they could do better nearline. So now everyone is just flat.

S7: And, you know, the banks don’t love this because it means that your log in credentials are basically out there in the wild being used to transfer money in and out of your bank account. And they don’t have control over that. And then you can go up to them and say a bunch of money left my bank account. They’re like, well, you gave your password to Venmo or all these other companies. But by the same token, the banks realized that people want to be able to use these apps and they can’t make it completely impossible. So cloud is kind of made itself indispensable, pretty low down layer in that ecosystem.

S4: So banks would rather deal with visa than plaid, probably because plaid is just some startup visa. They know visa. So that definitely I think their end of it.

S3: And I think that’s if that’s true for American banks, it’s even more true for international banks and visa. Is this, you know, globally recognized, copper bottomed financial services behemoth. And if Visa goes along to international banks and says you’re going to you’re really going to have to allow access to this utility, to allow people to access their money in the way they want to access it. That’s going to be an easy sell.

S8: And if it’s this American startup called Platt and then from visas and they want plaid, because the fear, I guess, is that credit cards are going away and soon no money in Visa anymore.

S5: Well, thing that you. I don’t think so. I mean, I. Well, yes and no. Like, I don’t know how credit cards are going away. I mean, I do think. Well, I use them. I mean, I do think part of the reason that Visa paid as much as they did is because they definitely can see that the way people are moving money is changing and it is changing rapidly. And that is going to continue. And I think they kind of want to get out in front of that and their end because, you know, obviously, these credit card companies do still extract a lot of rent. Basically, you know, they’re getting paid fees every time money’s moving around. And I do think that there is some fear that as that system changes, that’s not it. We’re not anywhere close to that system really changing. But if it did, then that could cut into their business model until they want to get out in front of that. And that’s part of the reason they’re willing to pay as much as they did.

S3: I don’t I don’t think credit cards are going away. But I do think that visa season opportunity to extend its model to beyond just credit cards and they’ve done that already with debit cards. Right. That was the the first big move they made. What, like 15, 20 years ago was the Visa debit card. And that turned out to be very popular both domestically and internationally. And then this is like the next. The idea is that Visa is becoming what someone described as a network of networks. And they. And so they’re bringing on a whole bunch of different networks. So that however you want to be intermediating your financial services, they are the company that is going to do that. I don’t think, as Anna says, that it’s because they see credit cards going away.

S13: I think credit cards have a huge amount of utility, especially in the United States and United Kingdom. But, you know, there are lots of other countries where that isn’t how people pay for things and move money around. And so they want to be able to meet people wherever they want to be.

S8: It does seem like we are literally heading towards a world without literal cards that’s going away. People use their phones now so much more and apps more than they used to. Like, I I just visually see this in my day to day life that people aren’t taking out cards as much as they.

S3: So that there is contactless and contactless. It’s really interesting to see how it has taken off enormously in some countries and not in others. Australia, it’s really big U.K., it’s really big U.S. It’s creeping up slowly. And interestingly, the big winner in the contactless and the rise of contactless in the United States is Apple. Something like two thirds or I think I think it’s over half of all contactless payments in the United States are made by Apple Pay, which surprises me.

S4: But apparently it’s a thing you have your phone all the time that right.

S13: It’s like the Apple phones are a minority of phones.

S3: You stump me the minimum. But I think Apple has just made pate folk like tapping your phone somehow. Yeah. Easier than Android has. It’s a little bit like podcasts. You know, Apple was a minority of funds, but everyone used to listen to Apple. Podcasts was always the big dominant way that people use certain. Still do listen to podcasts. You know why on why isn’t it like an Android app competing with us? Because most people have Android phones or Apple phones, and I never really got a good answer to that question.

S8: So, yes, you. If you’re getting towards a world where more people are using their phones to pay for stuff like there’s going to be more innovation and more plaids and fewer pecent.

S3: Well, I know remember that if you put your life, if you pay with Apple Pay. Let’s say that you are paying with an Apple card on Apple Pay. What you’re paying is with a MasterCard. Right. And you’re going over the MasterCard rails and then you can just as easily put a Visa card and Apple Pay Visa. Right now, you’re still using your credit.

S6: And this is what I think. Is it because. Yes. So it’s it’s not clearly nothing right now is changing that dramatically. But I do think this is interesting as like an antique trust kind of thing, because you’re thinking of there they are kind of doing a little bit of like what Facebook did, you know, and kind of buying companies, buying competitors in utero. And now I’m not saying that plan is going to necessarily be a competitor to Visa, but I do think when you have a behemoth, this kind of payments behemoth like visa buying, this kind of company, partly with the idea of we think that payments are going to eventually like this is going to be a big part of the market and we want to be a big player in there. So we’re going to buy this. I just wonder how that will look down the line.

S1: You know, I mean, I I couldn’t agree more. I think you’re absolutely right. And when I saw the news, my heart sank.

S3: And my my first reaction to this was. Like right now, planned is growing very fast by being all things to all people and anyone who wants to use. It to connect to anyone else they like. Yeah. Use us to connect to anyone else. Anything going on anywhere in the world now that they’re owned by Visa. Certain applications of plaids, sudden potential customers isn’t existing and potential future customers have played on some level are going to be competing with visa. And Visa is going to now be faced with a choice. And they’re going to have to say, are we going to allow this tiny little plaid part of our business to cancel cannibalize? The main part of our business that is credit cards. Or are we going to start restricting the number of people who can use the Plaids service in order to shore up a core credit cards, networks? And, you know, that might not happen for a couple of years, but it is almost certainly that question is going to start getting raised at some point. And I agree with Anna that like there’s something monopolistic about this. Visa and MasterCard are, of course, a huge duopoly and anything that strengthens that massive duopoly is not a good thing.

S14: Yeah, and not good for consumers. I think. Only who is Rooney? He is the guy who came up from the NFL with its Dan Rooney, he had only he was the owner of the Steelers, I think. Yes, the owner of the Steelers. The Steelers is an American football team, isn’t he? And he came up with the Rooney Rule. And so season three, he he created a rule.

S11: And it was such a good rule that they named it after him. Yeah. Okay. The rule is is big.

S8: So the rule was just said in 2003, the NFL was kind of having a reckoning with the fact that there were very few black head coaches. And one season, I think three, two or three were were fired. Tony Dungy among them. And there was a lot of upset. Johnnie Cochran was involved. He was gonna sue for racial discrimination. It was it was really big news. And then Rooney comes up with the rule, which is, don’t worry, we’re gonna we’re gonna fix this. We’re gonna bring in anytime there’s a head coach opening, we’ll bring in at least one minority candidate to interview. And that’ll be a requirement. The NFL adopts this requirement. And for the next few years, a few more black head coaches do get hired. So the number goes up from like two to six to eight.

S3: So so the chap from the Philadelphia Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers implements this rule. And then the NFL, which is the whole league’s, if that’s a really good rule, enforces all of the other owners to do the same thing.

S12: Yes. So the all the teams have to interview one candidate less or they get fined.

S3: And the rule has stayed in effect to the present day and it still exists.

S12: Yes, the rules still exist. So the rules exist the whole time. Meanwhile, so and it looks like it’s working somewhat for the NFL. Meanwhile, a lot of companies, especially tech companies, are coming under fire for not hiring any non-white people or not any women. So a lot of companies start saying we’re going to use the Rooney Rule to it’s such a good rule. So becomes really popular right alongside in the NFL.

S3: It becomes like a management fad.

S12: Yeah. It’s like if you get criticized for something, you can say, oh, we’re gonna do the Rooney Rule. Like Amazon had an all white board a few years ago and activist investor said you should adopt the Rooney Rule. And a first there were they said, no, we’re not going to do it. And then people got very upset with them, including their employees. And they’re like, okay, fine, we’ll do it. So now they do it and they they put two black women on their board.

S7: What is the reason why people might not want to adopt the Rooney Rule?

S15: I mean.

S12: Amazon. So Amazon told that they said at first there’s research that shows the Rooney Rule just doesn’t work. And also common sense. So if you’re just if you’re hiring, you have like four candidates in your final round. And one of them is not like the others. There is perhaps unconsciously, oh, you kind of think, well, that’s it. That is different. I don’t want that different person, no matter woman, nonwhite or whatever. There might be some natural prejudice and there’s some research done that shows that if you just have one minority or a female candidate in your pool, they’re statistically their chance of getting hired as essentially zero. It doesn’t work. So you have to have at least two or three candidates in your. And you have to have a diverse slate of candidates await the argument.

S3: The argument against adopting the Rooney Rule is one is basically the same in 03. Me, if I stick with the zero.

S8: Yeah. I mean, there’s no. It’s disingenuous, I think, to argue against that because it’s it’s it’s not even a reason not to.

S10: It feels like the bare minimum. No reason. If you don’t have a minority candidate, you’re pretty much guaranteed not to hire. Exactly.

S12: There’s no reason not to do it, which is why there is such an uproar over Amazon. And they quickly were like, no, no, no, we’ll do it. Fine, sorry. But that said, the rule itself, it’s not very effective because of what I just said. Just one. If it’s just one candidate, statistically zero chance. So it’s cool to do the Rooney Rule. And a lot of companies have. But if you don’t do other stuff, then nothing is going to change in my company, as evidenced by the NFL we’re talking about this week. Well, you know, why are you talking about it? Because head coach hiring season is kind of just wrapped up. And we’re down to only three black head coaches in the NFL and one Hispanic coach. Everyone else is a white guy. There were five open positions this season and four were filled again by white guys. And there’s a lot of debate like this. It’s all male. Yes. Yes. And there’s a lot of debate in the sports world over like did the most qualified candidates, even when they point to this guy and they say, oh, he only coached one season in the NFL in this qualified black coach. You know, is he, you know, coaches like the MVP quarterback in the league. And, you know, there’s a lot of it’s it’s quite controversial, but just got me thinking about this this rule that all these companies are like, we do it.

S3: And like in business, does it work about as well as it works in the NFL, which is like if you’re doing it because, you know, the NFL or some activist shareholder or something is is forcing you to do it, then it’s not really going to make any difference. You have to actually want to hire minorities in order to be able to. Yeah.

S12: I mean, I’m so in business. The rule alone probably isn’t going to work beyond maybe the board where it’s very easy of 10 slots to fill and you can kind of really intentionally get it done.

S3: Well, I mean, I guess even at board level, there’s a huge difference between we want to have a minority board member vs. when we’re hiring a new board member. One of the candidates needs to be a minority.

S12: Yeah, you sort of have both be true in order for it to affect change. And then in the business world, the Rooney Rule alone doesn’t work. And the companies that use it, that have been successful in diversifying a little bit do a lot of other stuff like they look at, you know, where their weaknesses are. Like, I was looking at Air BMB as very intentional about this stuff. And they looked at their hiring process, which was like three stage process. And one of the stages they noticed there was a lot of drop off of of women and minority candidates. And that stage was where the engineers like go in a room and like do something at a board and look at I’m an editor. I don’t know what they do. What are they like, do stuff with stuff. And people evaluate them in the room. And they found out that’s where like a lot of women were dropping out. So they kind of intentionally then like revamped how that process worked. So they had like the woman have like an informal coffee with someone on the staff. So and make sure that person was in the room. So they knew someone in the room. And they always made sure there was another woman evaluating whatever happens on the whiteboard. No, no. And then that actually like increased the number of women they were hiring. So it’s like you have to be like a scientist, like kind of tinkering with all this stuff. You can’t just be like have one minority person.

S6: Well, and I think one of the things you saw in the NFL, which I think has parallels outside of the NFL, is that one of the reasons that you don’t have as many African-American or Hispanic head coaches is because you don’t have as many offensive coordinators who are African-American or Hispanic. And that tends to be there tends to it’s often you pick from offensive corners. You also don’t have as many head coaches in college football or who are minority.

S1: And so like this is this is the pipeline defense, which we’ve heard. It’s not a bunch of different ways yet.

S6: I’m not defending it. I’m saying that when you’re thinking about the Rooney Rule, you would need to have it at every level. It can’t just be at the top level, which is essentially what it was if you want there to be enough candidates. So then she would. Neither Renee Rogan’s you just have so many candidates, it wouldn’t you know, you need to start at lower levels. You need to start pushing people out at lower levels to get into the types of positions that get you on that track.

S12: But here’s the thing also. I was I was reading some article I missed because I wrote a story about this this week, a study from a few years ago that ESPN wrote up. Basically, the problem is baked in at the entry level, just like you’re saying, Anna, because of discrimination against black coaches who are hired at like half the they’re promoted at half the rate of white coaches. Like it’s just baked in. The study look pretty good. They’re kind of controls for everything else, every other possible idea, like is it because more white people coach quarterbacks versus this or that or that and they controlled for everything and it’s just like basic racism, like kind of baked in the system. So you really need to go, like you’re saying, back down to the entry level and sort of make that all right to like you have to work at every layer of the cake.

S6: And I think within sports, I think it’s just so glaring because so many of the athletes are obviously minorities. And so it’s like when you’re thinking of where ultimately coaching talent is run, usually coaches have played at some levels. Now, sometimes coaches haven’t actually played at the professional level, but often they have or they play the college level, the high school, whatever. And so it just seems so absurd that when you have this enormous pool of talent, that somehow that’s not getting into these leadership roles. I mean, I think and this is something that it is this kind of racist thing that you see. And I think in football you see its most glaring as football’s kind of a weird team sport because you have a leader like quarterbacks, like historically, quarterbacks have almost always been white. That is changing, thankfully, but you still see a tremendous amount of weight, I think, because there is still these like racist assumptions about who is best fit for a leadership role.

S8: Absolutely. And I think that the parallel to corporate America is pretty it is pretty obvious you see the same things that the entry level, it’s like half women and at the top it’s like 80 percent men. So what’s happening and there’s always a lot of blame about mothers and stuff, but we all know that’s that’s not the story. Right. Right.

S6: It’s like we’re going, obviously. Yes. It’s incredibly hard for women who have kids to do what in theory you are expected to do into these roles. But then the idea is, OK, well, if we want anyone other than old white men to be in these rules, then we need to accept that you need to put in things in place that enable people who have children and are going to have some of those responsibilities to also be able to do this role.

S15: But part of the.

S10: Let’s have a numbers round. Emily was her number 38. What’s that? That’s the number of states who have now ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. We’ve got another one year later.

S8: The latest was Virginia, which their legislature yesterday, House and Senate both said yes to the NRA.

S3: And third, this has been going on since the 60s.

S8: So, yes, so well, if you really want it now. So the era was first conceived in the 20s. Wow. And they kept proposing it in Congress, which all the men in Congress said, no, no, no, no, no.

S9: Finally, 1972, they said fine and voted the era out of Congress and it went to the states ratification. And everyone was really excited. A lot of states ratified it. But then conservatives got really upset and they started talking about bathrooms and stuff.

S8: Always bathrooms, always the bathrooms are and bathrooms, gay marriage and housewives, blah, blah, blah, backlash, blah, blah, blah. So the whole thing kind of ends in 1982 with only 35 states that.

S10: How many do you need? 38. Felix Oh, this is it. Yeah. So no, it’s good. We have a new constitutional amendment. No.

S9: So now it’s kind of a mess because they revived the effort, the three state strategy in like 2015 or 2016. They got the three states was Arizona, Illinois and Virginia. However, there was a deadline for ratification. The deadline was 1982.

S12: So, you know, activists were like the deadline was unconstitutional because the last time we amended the constitution, it took literally from James Madison to George H.W. Bush. That’s how long it took from proposing to get. So they’re like, it’s fine, it’s unconstitutional. We’ll get the deadline removed. And then, you know, and then in the meantime, some of the states that ratified, liked are trying to take it back and ratify it. They’re trying to rescind which they like.

S10: Steph Curry, she’s resigning just like Steph Curry.

S8: And also now, if we’re in the Obama years, this is probably going get into the constitution, but we’re not. So some the Republican attorney generals in three states are like, no i._r._a. It’s bad.

S3: They filed a lawsuit. So what? Just let me I mean, why forever very quickly? Because this is the lightning round. But in like a real nutshell, what does the NRA actually do and why do Republican attorney general oppose it?

S9: So in a nutshell, it’s unclear what the area would do. It’s a line. It says that you would not be denied equal protection under the law because of sex.

S8: That’s it. That’s all set. So you’d think so. Whatever. Just stick it in the constitution, like make the ladies happy. Right. So, yeah, it’s the kind of thing like once it went into the constitution, then there would be lots of like laws that would be passed in lawsuits that would be filed. And you kind of like figure out what it means over the years and decades, just like all the other ones. Right. The reason they’re the the Republicans are upset. I don’t know. They think it’ll lead to more abortion rights and things like that. And they don’t want equality for women. They don’t want equal pay lawsuits and all this stuff and the bathrooms. I honestly don’t understand why you would oppose something like that. There was even a piece in The New York Times, an editorial from a feminist, Joan Williams, who’s like a work life advocate kind of person, saying like, we shouldn’t even do this, because if it did get into the Constitution, conservatives would go bonkers and file all kinds of crazy bathroom kinds of lawsuits that would just turn everyone against women, basically. So, I mean, it’s crazy. Anyway, go on. Everyone else, too. No.

S7: All right. I’m going to do thirty six point two billion, which is the number of dollars that JP Morgan made in profit in twenty nineteen, which is not only a record profit for JP Morgan. It is a record profit for any bank ever in the history of America and is more than double the highest amount of money it ever made at the height of the pre-crisis in late 2007. It is beyond beyond like enormous profits. And part of it is the Trump tax cuts. They like paying lower taxes, but most of it isn’t. Most of it is just like these banks in general and JP Morgan in particular are just raking in money hand over fist and no one is competing that way. And they just get to make more and more money. And I guess the employees who in the pre-crisis Go-Go years of Wall Street would just eat up all of those extra profits in terms of bonuses, don’t have that amount of leverage anymore. And so that their bonuses that you don’t hear quite as much about the, you know, eight figure bonuses anymore. And so now it just goes to shareholders. Yay!

S1: Bankers don’t get big bonuses, they get paid bonuses, give me a bonus. The bonus.

S7: The base salaries are higher and bonuses are low. That’s part of the post-crisis, you know, financial regulation.

S5: Yeah. And this is this is something we can all say. It’s a larger discussion. Yeah. Talk about any a. My numbers really like. Not that interesting. What’s your number. I think it’s kind of interesting is ninety seven point five. It’s that a percentage as well. It’s not a percentage. It’s a temperature. Turns out humans are getting colder. What? What? Yes. No longer is ninety eight point six. Actually, the average temperature, it is ninety seven point five. Oh, this is so high. Yes. Yes. Do you understand?

S3: I do. I’ve been living in America for 23 years now. And so just for those listeners who don’t speak American, Hasari, what’s ninety seven point five degrees Fahrenheit in Celsius?

S16: Ninety seven point five degrees Fahrenheit is thirty six point four degrees Celsius.

S3: They got thirty six point four in real money is now the official. And that’s the average temperature like human beings in the world.

S6: Yeah. So basically they they’ve had the same thing for like 150 years. It’s not that they think that it was wrong. They think that people are actually getting slightly colder.

S1: And this is this is this is this is global. This is American.

S6: I think it’s considered global. Like I believe I’m only I’m hesitating slightly because I know the article. I believe the people they were looking at were essentially all American. But I believe the person who first came up with it was, I think, German.

S8: So does that mean to have a fever like fevers are lower, like your tea?

S5: You would think they wouldn’t be right? I don’t know. Right.

S8: I mean, I would imagine that’s always very controversial. Black households who has a fever and who doesn’t wear eyes trying to figure it out.

S5: Yeah, I’ve I’ve been I think part of the reason I’ve been I’ve been sick much less two weeks. I mean, consider taking my temperature. So that’s also like it turns out.

S3: So there you have it. If your temperature is above thirty six point four or ninety seven point five, depending on like what language you speak, then you’re running a temperature. So I say to all of you parents out there, just hand out those sick notes with abandon, because even when you thought it wasn’t temperature, it probably was. But that’s because I always side with the kids. And I think they should just stay home from school on which. No, I think it’s. Thank you very much for listening. Bruce Lee, many thank you. Doesn’t mean Molly for producing. Thank you, Emily, for being amazing.

S17: And thank you all lovely listeners for keeping the e-mails coming on Slate Monday at sleep. dot com. We will talk to you next week on Slate Money.

S3: All right. So since we have an athletics themed show this week with American football, let’s talk about running, which is an official competitive sport and has rules does. And there is a clever way of running faster within the rules, which is that you wear Nike vaper flies because they make you run faster. And now everyone’s like, that’s not fair. I don’t have a $250 pair of Nike. Veber flies. Then that puts me at an artificial disadvantage. And so the obvious solution is let’s just ban Nike vapor flies.

S6: And it looks like this might actually happen, possibly like we don’t know yet if this is actually going to happen. But there have been some rumblings. Now, of course, this will mean that you cannot buy and wear Nike. It will just mean that in competitions you’re not allowed to use us.

S3: And it’s who’s the governing body. That’s a good question. There is a governing body, which I’m sure has a board of directors, and I’m sure the board of directors is sitting in the room as we speak, saying on the one hand, people have been running around in these shoes for, what, two years now. And so like all of the records of the past two years, it’s going to stand in perpetuity because they will. We’re not going to make those retroactively bad.

S5: Right. In in it’s. And I think it’s kind of complicated. Right. Because there’s also you know, we don’t actually 100 percent know how much faster these make you now from data and also from like Strava data. It does suggest that there is is a slight lead. It does appear that they help you slightly now this whole like 4 percent that you hear people quote like I think that that’s actually not yet 4 percent faster. Yeah. Now it’s actually they make you more 4 percent more efficient, which is not the same thing. Now, granted, for most runners, it’s going to be a nice little difference. And as a runner, as I like have by my massive garment, I mean, I’d like you to become like obsessed with small little amounts of time, but it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. However, for like really, seriously, obviously professional riders and that can make a big difference. Now, it’s I do think these things are interesting, though, because this is the type of technology, this kind of carbon fiber plates that they have in the shoes that the ideas do or do they not act as a spraying, which is the whole thing. Like it’s not as though other companies couldn’t design shoes that are very, very similar. Right. So then I guess the question is, do you ban this technology?

S6: Do you think that this is giving just humans in general too much of a kind of artificial help, or is this just another evolution in running shoe technology, which has like a really developed quite well? And should you just kind of allow it to play out?

S8: I think you have to allow allow it to play out. You have to let technological advancements are good in running. I mean, we’re talking about very, very competitive athletes who can afford to get the shoes. And if everyone’s getting the shoes and the competitive advantage goes away.

S3: I mean, the the other place that this is happening right now is Formula One, where the amount of computing power you need to model the fluid dynamics of turbulence, basically, and how you one of the most important things in Formula One is being able to overtake the car in front of you.

S13: And cars have like a million little wings and wingless and the stuff right now to make them more aerodynamic. And that creates a huge amount of turbulence behind them. And then if you’re running into that, turbulence makes so much more much more difficult to overtake the car in front. And what this winds up with is, is basically increasing inequality in Formula One. And you have one car at the front, which is made by the best team and it’s going through nice clean air and then all the other cars behind it coming in like second or third. And they can’t overtake it because they’re running into all of this turbulence. And that means they don’t have as much prize money and they can’t invest as much money in computers to model this stuff. And the you just get a bigger and bigger advantage for the one winner. And that’s what we’ve been seeing in Formula One. And so the solution to this problem, Formula One implemented was we’re just going to stop you from researching this book.

S5: Yeah. And to me, the other thing that I find so silly about some of this is that where we make these arbitrary distinctions, because like if you’re looking at the difference between like an elite runner and a non elite runner, the difference is not the shoes. The difference is just like the natural body type. The difference is the nutrition, the differences, the training. I mean, like if you look at runners now compared to where they were even 10, 15, 20 years ago, I mean, they’re so much faster. And it’s not just in the shoes are the least of it. It’s all of these other things. So it’s like there’s this one artificial thing that you’d be like, oh, the shoes. You’re like, what? You also got to say, you can’t research better nutrition. You’re also gonna to say you can’t figure out that, oh, this type of training is better than this type of. Training.

S4: Right. There’s sort of a natural technological advancement in all these things, and you just you do kind of, I think, have to let it happen. Like imagine if bike racing, they had just stuck with whatever bikes were 60 like you have to let they kind of put that.

S3: But there was you know, I mean I mean, at some level, you have to have rules, right, in bike racing. You’re not allowed batteries in the bicycle. So you can’t have electric bikes. It has to be human powered. Right.

S13: There was a technical and technological advancement. It made the bet bike faster. And they were like, yeah, you’re not allowed that. And there have been multiple instances of professional bike races cheating by putting electric wheels onto their bikes. And you know, you and that’s clearly an obviously cheating.

S7: That’s not. Oh, well, we have to make do with we have to embrace all technological advances.

S8: But the sneakers are not clearly and obviously cheating like sneakers have always been have have been getting better. As I said, this is just getting better, like a bigger step up, getting better. Sometimes there’s a big leap in progress.

S5: And if we’re just say this, be the last thing I’ll say. But if we just stay in sports like this just makes me think I’ve saw the big scandal right now in baseball about the sign stealing like the Astros you’d like. They’re stealing signs. And it’s interesting because in baseball, you’ve always had people who steal signs they see like what the pitcher’s going to pitch. But if it was done by just like a human being able to kind of like see it, that was fine. But when you’re if you’re using technology in order to see all the signs now that is is seen as something that’s a violation. It’s got to just take a look. It’s fundamentally the same thing.

S8: That’s true. Yeah. But it’s like it’s like that famous Supreme Court case where pornography, you know it when you see it rising. I guess the vapor fly sneakers are not immediately, not when you see a kind of a situation.

S7: How about this? Since I’m I’m doing my, like, lawyerly hypothetical thing.

S13: What would happen if Nike made the vapor fly as a limited edition and said there’s only going to be 200 pairs and we’re just going to auction them off to the highest bidder?

S9: And if you don’t have them hard-luck, that’s obviously not fair.

S18: Yeah, that I I agree.

S8: Yeah, that’s not fair, I think. And I don’t know what the IP is on the vaper fly like, well, other snooker or other sneaker companies able to meet the exact same thing.

S5: But yeah, I mean you the kind of carbon fiber plaiting thing like I think other shoe companies are designing with that kind of technology. So it’s niggah not the exact same thing obviously, but that same type of technology. So my guess is you are going to have other shoe brands that are going to have very similar.

S4: They just have to let this happen. Yeah. Just let it happen. It honestly doesn’t define all of this. Is the world’s best advertising for Nike. Oh, my God. I run and I’m like it’s kind of like walking, basically, but I still am like 50.

S19: I mean, if I could be a little faster. That might be good.

S10: Now I have to get new shoes. I think there’s not even like I’m like I’m probably going to get bigger. It’s like, why not?

S4: The Times wrote a whole article about the vapor fly sneakers. They studied all this data to to make the case that it actually makes you faster.

S13: Nick Thompson, the editor of Wired, is a hardcore marathon runner and he eats like 100 things, like he got the shoes before anyone else put them on and ran into. Oh, my God. I’m logit first.

S4: Now I want them. Yeah.