This week’s Pickens Podcast is a wide-ranging discussion with the Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo! Finance, Andy Serwer. We discussed everything from the changing news business to energy to the Presidential campaign.
Andy, the Managing Editor of Fortune before he moved over to Yahoo!, told me that we are witnessing the end of traditional newspapers. “It’s a generational thing,” Andy said. “You just don’t see 20-year-olds with printed newspapers.”
Andy knows about business, period. Not just the news business. I asked him where people should look for news about business in general and he listed Yahoo! Finance, Facebook, and (after some prodding from me) The Wall Street Journal or other printed newspapers like the The Washington Post. He also agreed that Politico was a good resource.
On the Presidential campaign, Andy said that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders “have gotten a lot of traction because they have both positioned themselves as complete outsiders looking to knock out the status quo.” He said he thought that a lot of Republicans will come around to supporting Trump who “is crazy like a fox.”
The issue of “flip-flopping” came up and we agreed that when new facts come to light, the smart businessperson will change course to meet those facts. In politics, people become wedded to a stated position and won’t change no matter what.
We talked about climate change, and I told him my position: “It’s a big enough issue so we shouldn’t ignore it, but I don’t think it’s as dangerous as some think it is.” Andy said, “You’ve changed your mind about it. You used to say you didn’t believe in it at all, but as you’ve read more about it you’re willing take another look.”
On fracking, I pointed out that the largest aquifer in the United States, the Ogallala, stretches from Midland, Texas to the South Dakota border — across eight states. 800,000 wells have been drilled within that vast territory and there is not one case of fracking damaging the ground water.
We talked about Sec. Hillary Clinton’s and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ opposition to fossil fuels. I reminded Andy Serwer that of the 94 million barrels of oil used every day in the world, 70 percent of it is used for transportation. What are Clinton and Sanders going to replace it with? Serwer said, “you can’t have solar powered airplanes or trains.”
Andy Serwer is a very smart and engaging guy and I know you’ll enjoy our conversation as much as I did.