The redoubtable Andy Dean is, like I just said, redoubtable. But he's also human and needs a vacation every now and then. Hence the absence of our weekly business and economics rundown two Fridays ago. But we were back at it last Friday, rested and ready to go. A good thing, as we covered a good bit of ground. For starters, Jeffrey Katzenberg, a big Obama donor, and the studio he runs, DreamWorks, has gotten itself embroiled in a bribery scandal in China. And...Joe Biden is mixed in.
As if that alone wasn't enough, we then moved on to the always thrilling realm of French politics, where the socialist candidate, François Hollande, beat out Nicholas Sarkozy, the current president, in the first round of elections. Interesting, whenever I rap with Andy about this stuff, I wind up thinking about the issues in ways that I hadn't before. As the European debt crisis enters what seems like a new phase, with Spain struggling with a potential banking meltdown, there is a good chance that, if Sarkozy loses and his partner in rescuing the Euro, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, suffers some political setbacks, the unified front that's been subjecting countries like Greece and Ireland to austerity measures will crack. It's unclear that the opposite — massive spending to prop up underperforming economies — will work, either. So a financial crisis may morph into a political one, as Europe gropes for a new solution and voters get disgusted.
We also discussed Apple's possible introduction of an iTV later this year, as well as — Wait for it! — Mad Cow disease in California. We wrapped it up by talking about legal-defense crowdfunding.
Oh, and it turns out Andy owns a Dell TV — yes, Dell made TVs — that he can use to cook dinner. Just for the record.
You can listen in live this coming Friday live at 4 p.m. Pacific Time. We may get into some of my findings from the Milken Institute Global Conference, an annual gathering of business, finance, and government professionals that I'm attending for the first half of this week.