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This Giant Beast That is the Global Economy
Year of issue: 2019
Countries: United States
Duration: 40 minutes
Actor and former White House Associate Director of Public Engagement, Kal Penn, takes viewers around the world to meet key players behind some of the more serious and bizarre movements in today's economy.
How do you turn a suitcase full of dirty money into cash you can actually spend? To find out, Kal Penn travels across the globe – along with a million bucks. In this step-by-step guide, Kal learns from former cops and former criminals about how to gain access to a worldwide underground money laundering system.
What is it about having a lot of money and a willingness to step over anyone to get more of it that seem to go together? Is there a correlation between “richness” and “dickness”? How about success in business and being a psychopath? Kal Penn meets some unapologetic one percenters - and travels to a country that has rigged the financial game in favor of its citizens.
What if planes couldn't fly, or, more specifically, couldn't land? What if trucks couldn't transport food? This isn't some lame sci-fi plot. Without rubber, the economy as we know it ceases to exist. Kal Penn traces the path of rubber – from trees to tires to the tip of his p… uh… pencil… and uncovers a fundamental blind spot in the free market economy that is putting us all at risk.
Kal Penn meets artificial intelligence face-to-interface, and gets an anus-puckering glimpse of how A.I. is learning – on its own – how to self-drive the global economy straight into the next industrial revolution. Could you tell if a robot is stealing your job, or even writing this episode description? The answer will definitely surprise you.
A counterfeit hundred dollar bill might ruin your weekend, but did you know it could also disrupt a nation's economy? Kal Penn meets the folks in the fight against fakes, trying to save industries from the threat of bogus goods and even terrorism. But he also learns that a symbiotic relationship between copycats and creators might just be the thing that lets economies thrive in the first place.
Death is our final destination – and a real money-maker! Kal Penn takes a deep dive into the death economy to learn the true value of a human life. Hitmen and judges, funeral directors and football fans all help Kal lay his burning questions to rest: How much should I spend on a coffin? How much sex should I have to maximize my return on dying? And where can I get a good taco in the afterlife?
It's the age-old, existential question: What is money, really? Host Kal Penn navigates a modern return to the barter system, the political highs and lows of the gold standard and the “because I said so” logic of fiat currency. Kal also untangles the complexities of cryptocurrency and learns how to survive an economic apocalypse without getting eaten.
How are fancy handbag habits, broken bridges and the Hollywood red carpet connected to a looted economy? Kal Penn finds out as he uncovers the hidden world of bribery, extortion, nepotism and embezzlement. He meets brave individuals who've risked everything to stop corruption and learns how a country's attempts to appear corruption-free are tied to mandatory toilet flushing.
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