1139: Mooch and Stoll

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 24m
May 19th, 2019
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Executive Producers: John C Dvorak and Adam Curry

Cover Artist: CitizenX

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
4:33
Anthony Scaramucci Interview
Woodstock
1:08:24
Intermission
Woodstock
1:11:17
Cliff Stoll Interview
Woodstock
2:23:02
End of Show
Woodstock
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  • 0:00
    [Music]
  • 0:08
    is no agenda Madame Curie right now
  • 0:24
    Norma no I'm on the move I'm John C de
  • 0:27
    bourree everybody yes yes welcome to
  • 0:35
    episode number 1139 of the best podcast
  • 0:39
    in the universe a special day actually
  • 0:42
    you know I've seen a lot of shows that
  • 0:45
    are starting to do new numbering
  • 0:48
    differently talking about destroy you
  • 0:51
    talk about C seasons and series and no
  • 0:56
    no you know it's like I know what I know
  • 1:01
    what you're thinking I'm thinking season
  • 1:03
    I'm thinking season 11 ladies and
  • 1:05
    gentlemen wow these guys are great I
  • 1:08
    need to do it I need to binge listen to
  • 1:11
    season 11 show number 39 or whatever it
  • 1:15
    is we'll think about it yeah yeah kind
  • 1:19
    of it makes it sound more broadcast
  • 1:22
    e-even maybe that's exactly the problem
  • 1:24
    with it we shouldn't try to sound more
  • 1:26
    broadcasting or podcast these yeah this
  • 1:29
    is true so well today is a big day
  • 1:33
    yeah you're getting married yes and so
  • 1:36
    we this is actually I had to I know it's
  • 1:39
    gonna be tough for anyone to imagine how
  • 1:41
    we can do this but we're doing a show
  • 1:44
    just before the wedding yes so like a
  • 1:47
    few minutes before the wedding we're
  • 1:49
    doing this and then you're gonna run
  • 1:51
    right to the wedding right after you we
  • 1:53
    close this and ship it yeah right and
  • 1:55
    once I say I do then I go back to upload
  • 1:58
    and do the RSS feed yeah like exactly so
  • 2:04
    what we have today for the dedicated
  • 2:07
    listeners is a couple of interviews that
  • 2:10
    I did
  • 2:11
    right one with Anthony scaramouche II
  • 2:14
    now wait hold on a second this is months
  • 2:18
    ago you did this isn't it yeah but it
  • 2:21
    was I knew wasn't gonna be used to the
  • 2:23
    wedding so I may get very evergreen II
  • 2:25
    so okay well evergreen e as in ho-hum or
  • 2:29
    just Gaetano it's very interesting stuff
  • 2:31
    a lot of personal stuff we go into an
  • 2:34
    actual discussion and for example of
  • 2:36
    Donald Trump's weight now but do you
  • 2:40
    talk about that scar mood does he have a
  • 2:42
    hot wife yeah he's got a hot wife in New
  • 2:45
    York we also talked about his restaurant
  • 2:47
    he has a restaurant did you know that no
  • 2:50
    but somehow it does not surprise me and
  • 2:53
    even better I'd like to know if I can go
  • 2:55
    there when visiting Manhattan and say
  • 2:57
    tell mooch it's a curry from No Agenda
  • 3:00
    [Music]
  • 3:07
    right so the interview I couldn't get
  • 3:11
    that leeway no we're gonna have a look
  • 3:16
    just over an hour discussion with the
  • 3:18
    Chris stole cliff I said Chris yes
  • 3:24
    astronomer you can go look at his TED
  • 3:28
    Talks if you want to see what he's like
  • 3:31
    he's very excitable and he's got a lot
  • 3:34
    of thoughts and I worked with him for
  • 3:35
    years back in the days of tech TV before
  • 3:39
    actually MSNBC I believe he was on that
  • 3:42
    he was on that operation for a while hmm
  • 3:46
    like anyway I've known if he lives
  • 3:48
    nearby and so I figured and I have
  • 3:50
    nobody's heard from him for a while so I
  • 3:52
    thought an interview with him because he
  • 3:54
    has a lot of interesting thoughts so
  • 3:56
    what did you talk about with him a
  • 3:57
    little more techie than then scaramouche
  • 3:59
    yeah about the play we talked about what
  • 4:06
    your pal professor Ted talks about
  • 4:09
    usually the plague of the Internet the
  • 4:13
    nice of social media the negative
  • 4:16
    aspects of computers in schools the
  • 4:18
    negative distance
  • 4:20
    the unintended consequences of
  • 4:21
    technology yes and so that's a
  • 4:24
    fascinating interview I think people
  • 4:25
    will enjoy it might as well get started
  • 4:28
    let's just go right to Anthony
  • 4:31
    scaramouche II we have here Anthony
  • 4:35
    scaramouche II who just finished a book
  • 4:36
    called Trump to blue collar president
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    and I will say at the beginning I've
  • 4:41
    read this book and I think it's I can
  • 4:44
    highly recommend it it is very
  • 4:45
    entertaining it's kind of a interesting
  • 4:48
    romp between Anthony's background and
  • 4:53
    Donald Trump's background and it was
  • 4:56
    very very well structured I liked it so
  • 4:59
    what drove you to anyway welcome to the
  • 5:02
    No Agenda show well John thanks for
  • 5:04
    inviting me on and I mean you joined my
  • 5:06
    mother as the only two people I know
  • 5:08
    that have read the book so I'm very
  • 5:10
    delighted to have met you over this
  • 5:12
    pockets but in all seriousness thank you
  • 5:14
    for the comments because I really tried
  • 5:16
    to structure it in a way where I thought
  • 5:18
    it would provide some entertainment but
  • 5:20
    also some sociological background of why
  • 5:23
    the president was able to gravitate so
  • 5:25
    many blue-collar people to his base and
  • 5:28
    to his agenda a couple of things about
  • 5:30
    the book I want to ask right away which
  • 5:33
    is I've read a lot of these types of
  • 5:35
    books written by Italians and yours is
  • 5:40
    probably the only one that doesn't have
  • 5:41
    a more of an emphasis on the cooking of
  • 5:44
    the grandma now you didn't read my first
  • 5:47
    book okay I mean I got all I got it all
  • 5:50
    I got it all out of my system and
  • 5:51
    goodbye Gordon Gekko talked about my my
  • 5:54
    Nana and their how she used to hit us
  • 5:56
    with the wooden spoon if we weren't
  • 5:57
    paying attention and if you if you if
  • 5:59
    you read a lot of books about Italians
  • 6:01
    that are my age they are all reminiscent
  • 6:05
    of the plastic covering on the furniture
  • 6:08
    in those people's homes okay my my
  • 6:10
    grandmother and grandfather had rugs
  • 6:12
    that were at plastic runners over them
  • 6:15
    and they I think my grandmother waited
  • 6:17
    until she was about 65 to take the
  • 6:19
    plastic off the couch I was an
  • 6:21
    uncomfortable 40 years of that couch man
  • 6:23
    yes in fact I recall that era personally
  • 6:28
    I remember seeing people that had
  • 6:29
    everything covered with plastic I said
  • 6:31
    what are you saving it for somebody else
  • 6:33
    right
  • 6:33
    you sound like me as I said in my Nana
  • 6:36
    what is it what it's all well I mean
  • 6:38
    it's gonna be in the next generation or
  • 6:39
    what so so are you the cook uh no I'm
  • 6:44
    actually an Italian mama's boy which
  • 6:47
    makes me the eater or not the cook you
  • 6:49
    know I'm the guy that dropped his
  • 6:51
    underwear right where I took it off and
  • 6:54
    my mother swooped him behind me and next
  • 6:56
    thing you know it was ironed and pressed
  • 6:57
    okay and so unfortunately that ended for
  • 7:00
    me in 1982 when I went to college and so
  • 7:03
    no I'm basically I'm very clean I
  • 7:06
    probably shower twice a day but I'm the
  • 7:09
    most disorganized train wreck because I
  • 7:12
    had an Italian mom and I'm an Italian
  • 7:15
    mama's boy you are a hedge-fund guy
  • 7:19
    correct and I want to just asks for just
  • 7:23
    the general listener can you describe
  • 7:26
    what that means what is what is running
  • 7:28
    a hedge fund entail now what we what I
  • 7:31
    think the public generally thinks is
  • 7:32
    just you just you just rake in lots of
  • 7:35
    money doing pretty much nothing yeah I
  • 7:37
    mean obviously that's you know there's a
  • 7:39
    lot of jealousy in the media so the
  • 7:41
    media wants to characterize it that way
  • 7:42
    but there's three trillion dollars in
  • 7:44
    our industry in terms of assets under
  • 7:47
    management for a reason we actually do a
  • 7:48
    pretty good job for people so you would
  • 7:51
    come to a hedge fund manager if you were
  • 7:53
    looking for like a high single digit
  • 7:57
    rate of return a seven eight nine
  • 7:58
    percent return with very low volatility
  • 8:01
    and relative consistency and so a lot of
  • 8:05
    people have money in the stock market
  • 8:06
    but there's a lot of volatility there
  • 8:08
    which saw ten percent correction in the
  • 8:10
    month of October 2018 as an example but
  • 8:15
    what a hedge fund manager if they're
  • 8:16
    doing their jobs right they generate a
  • 8:18
    high absolute return with low volatility
  • 8:21
    and so it takes a lot of work there's 60
  • 8:24
    people in my organization I started this
  • 8:26
    company with three people in 2005 we're
  • 8:30
    about to celebrate our fourteenth year
  • 8:32
    in business this coming March and we've
  • 8:35
    got about 10 billion dollars under
  • 8:37
    management and one of the things that we
  • 8:38
    tried to do is we tried to democratize
  • 8:41
    the industry and so I set up a structure
  • 8:44
    having gone to Harvard Law School and
  • 8:46
    understand
  • 8:47
    the security regs I set up a new
  • 8:49
    structure which has been replicated now
  • 8:51
    where we're able to have investors with
  • 8:55
    minimums of about $25,000 so I I've sort
  • 8:58
    of opened up the hedge fund investing to
  • 9:00
    the mass affluent I wrote a book about
  • 9:03
    this in 2012 called the little book of
  • 9:06
    hedge funds which was basically a primer
  • 9:10
    or an explanatory book on what people
  • 9:13
    should know about hedge funds the pastas
  • 9:15
    and the minuses for that matter so and
  • 9:17
    that was well received and we have about
  • 9:19
    41,000 clients over ten billion dollars
  • 9:22
    under management and you know one thing
  • 9:25
    about the president he made me as famous
  • 9:27
    as Melania and Ivanka I didn't have to I
  • 9:29
    didn't have to sleep with him or be his
  • 9:30
    daughter but he made me pretty famous
  • 9:32
    and so it's raised the profile of my
  • 9:33
    business which has been helpful
  • 9:35
    publicity is good yeah yeah I know
  • 9:38
    question and in my business certainly
  • 9:39
    because we've got good performance that
  • 9:41
    back up the publicity well you've been
  • 9:43
    on a lot of shows I mean you've been on
  • 9:45
    dr. Phil yep you did a thing for
  • 9:49
    Facebook yeah you went on Stephen
  • 9:51
    Colbert right after you were released
  • 9:54
    from the White House yep
  • 9:57
    what did you think of that experience
  • 9:58
    cuz I watched that episode and I thought
  • 10:00
    it was I thought they were rude to be
  • 10:03
    honest about it well I mean look they're
  • 10:04
    angry about the president they don't
  • 10:06
    like the president of their there
  • 10:08
    they're building a fanbase of anti-trump
  • 10:11
    stores so when I expressed the
  • 10:14
    willingness to go on the show after
  • 10:15
    Stephen was excoriating me during my
  • 10:18
    time inside the White House I think they
  • 10:20
    were all taken aback but I know how to
  • 10:21
    take incoming I was happy to go on and
  • 10:23
    give my point of view I was on Bill
  • 10:26
    Maher show this past weekend I've done
  • 10:28
    his show a few times again it's like
  • 10:31
    being a Yankee in Fenway Park or a
  • 10:33
    Dodger in Fenway Park you know it's a
  • 10:36
    rough place but I feel that we've got to
  • 10:39
    get back to talking to each other you
  • 10:42
    know we may not agree ideologically we
  • 10:45
    may see the country going in different
  • 10:47
    directions for different reasons but if
  • 10:49
    we don't talk to each other I think it's
  • 10:51
    a very big mistake I like to tell people
  • 10:52
    I'm a patriot first and I'm partisan
  • 10:55
    last I have a certain philosophical view
  • 10:58
    based on my years of explain
  • 11:00
    in business and my observation about
  • 11:03
    what works from a point of view of
  • 11:05
    policy about what I don't want to do is
  • 11:07
    ever close myself off to the other
  • 11:09
    person's point of view John John Kennedy
  • 11:11
    had a great line which I share with
  • 11:13
    everybody he said I spent a lot of time
  • 11:15
    understanding the other side because
  • 11:17
    there's obviously very smart people on
  • 11:19
    the other side and I may learn something
  • 11:22
    from them or conversely they may sharpen
  • 11:25
    and provide me with more ammunition for
  • 11:28
    my own argument and so we have to do
  • 11:30
    that in our society you get a perverse
  • 11:32
    thrill when you try to describe a
  • 11:35
    situation and Bill Maher and part of
  • 11:38
    that description entails somebody
  • 11:40
    getting all worked up and Bill Maher
  • 11:42
    actually goes kind of ballistic right in
  • 11:44
    front of you well I mean I can't tell
  • 11:47
    you I'm getting a throw because I'm
  • 11:48
    trying to explain something and you know
  • 11:50
    but they sometimes they have a hard time
  • 11:52
    they you know it's very emotionally
  • 11:54
    charged you know so but I think what I'm
  • 11:57
    able to do though is I'm able to detach
  • 12:01
    myself a little bit from the heat of the
  • 12:04
    argument and try to relate to people
  • 12:07
    where I think they really live is when
  • 12:09
    all the emotions die down where they
  • 12:12
    really live is in that common sense
  • 12:14
    altimeter where they can sense when
  • 12:16
    someone's speaking common sense as
  • 12:19
    opposed to spin or ideological pablum
  • 12:23
    and I like going on these shows because
  • 12:26
    you know I I experienced Washington I
  • 12:28
    felt everybody in Washington was on spin
  • 12:30
    cycle but most New Yorkers are on a
  • 12:33
    rinse cycle and so for me I can sit
  • 12:35
    there and you know I don't have any
  • 12:37
    prepared notes I don't have any sound
  • 12:41
    bites that I'm ready to spill out of my
  • 12:44
    mouth at a moment's notice and I'm just
  • 12:46
    trying to respond and interact with
  • 12:48
    somebody on an intellectual basis and
  • 12:50
    and hopefully you know if I'm not
  • 12:53
    winning them over at least I can explain
  • 12:55
    directionally why half the country feels
  • 12:57
    the way I do what do you think Trump's
  • 13:01
    top skills are he's got an unnatural
  • 13:07
    unnatural level of charisma unnatural it
  • 13:11
    has to do with the fact that
  • 13:13
    he has decided that he is going to be
  • 13:16
    completely uninhibited in a media
  • 13:19
    environment that's 45 years of doing
  • 13:22
    radio television public speaking signing
  • 13:26
    books writing books promoting his brands
  • 13:31
    he has a completely uninhibited approach
  • 13:35
    and again I'm not picking on these
  • 13:37
    people but let's go over the 17 other
  • 13:39
    candidates that were in that race that
  • 13:41
    we're running against them for the
  • 13:42
    Republican nomination you know they are
  • 13:45
    you know they've got the Millstone on
  • 13:48
    their necks of consultants speak the
  • 13:50
    Millstone on their necks of practiced
  • 13:52
    can't say certain things that could be
  • 13:55
    offensive and so he has that capability
  • 13:59
    he's got unbelievable political
  • 14:02
    instincts unbelievable and I write about
  • 14:05
    that in my book at the end of the day he
  • 14:07
    could have had ten political consultants
  • 14:09
    telling him to pick choice a but he felt
  • 14:13
    Joyce B was the right choice he would go
  • 14:15
    a choice B he had people telling him
  • 14:17
    listen you're not gonna win in Wisconsin
  • 14:19
    or uh or Michigan don't spend any time
  • 14:21
    there and don't spending time in
  • 14:23
    Pennsylvania that that states really not
  • 14:25
    purple it's been blue for 32 years don't
  • 14:27
    spend any time there and he looked at
  • 14:29
    that and said no there's an opportunity
  • 14:31
    there there's a vacuum of advocacy for
  • 14:34
    these blue-collar people you know the
  • 14:36
    the left spent their time focused on
  • 14:39
    listen a couple of dolphins got killed
  • 14:42
    from eating plastic straws absolute
  • 14:44
    tragedy I'm not trying to make light of
  • 14:45
    it but they spent their time focused on
  • 14:48
    that or the polar ice caps melting again
  • 14:50
    a disturbing fact and not trying to make
  • 14:54
    light of it but they left out of the
  • 14:56
    equation for at least a generation what
  • 14:58
    was going on in the middle class and the
  • 15:00
    lower middle class and whether you like
  • 15:03
    the president or not he saw that opening
  • 15:05
    and he did something that has to be
  • 15:08
    marveled at if you're a political
  • 15:09
    scientist he he hijacked the Republican
  • 15:12
    Party from the establishment Republicans
  • 15:15
    who hate his guts and then he reached
  • 15:17
    into the Democratic Party and he stole
  • 15:19
    their base and moved it over to the
  • 15:20
    Republicans so again you can hate him
  • 15:22
    but this guy's got incredible political
  • 15:25
    instincts and he's a showman
  • 15:27
    and by the way he's an entertainer don't
  • 15:29
    lose sight of that he's the entertainer
  • 15:32
    in chief he knows how to get a crowd
  • 15:34
    riled up he once said or somebody wrote
  • 15:37
    about him that he's the only guy that
  • 15:39
    can fill an arena without a musical
  • 15:41
    instrument right he just shows up he's
  • 15:43
    gonna say some crazy stuff that you you
  • 15:46
    at any moment it looks like there's
  • 15:48
    gonna be a car crash and he's out there
  • 15:50
    malla propagande talking and as usual is
  • 15:53
    a ninis and there's eight ten thousand
  • 15:56
    people waiting on line to get into the
  • 15:58
    overfilled capacity of that arena those
  • 16:01
    those are skills he's also a gregarious
  • 16:03
    guy you know the media will paint him
  • 16:05
    that's not being the case but when
  • 16:07
    you're in his presence he's a lot of fun
  • 16:09
    to be with
  • 16:10
    does he get a lot of sleep I actually
  • 16:14
    cannot figure that out I mean somebody
  • 16:17
    should examine this guy because he has a
  • 16:20
    supernatural capacity to not get sleep
  • 16:23
    and I'll just quote one of his doctors
  • 16:25
    he's the only human being that we've met
  • 16:27
    where his eating habits are not
  • 16:29
    affecting his health so I can't figure
  • 16:31
    that out either okay I I've had more
  • 16:33
    than one meal with him one interesting
  • 16:35
    one in the White House where he was
  • 16:37
    pounding down the beef wellington which
  • 16:39
    is like a filet mignon wrapped in this
  • 16:41
    bakery crust and he was again passed the
  • 16:44
    sauce over here passed more of that
  • 16:46
    gravy I like him in this grave he's
  • 16:47
    probably like five million calories you
  • 16:49
    know I mean but he pounds it down no
  • 16:51
    problem has unlimited amounts of energy
  • 16:54
    this is a guy that can do 11 campaign
  • 16:57
    stops in four days prior to an election
  • 16:59
    this is a guy that was speaking in
  • 17:01
    Altoona PA at 10:30 at night we were all
  • 17:05
    exhausted he gets back on the plane
  • 17:07
    wants to fly to Michigan do one more
  • 17:08
    campaign stop at 12:30 in the morning
  • 17:11
    that's him I don't know how he does it
  • 17:13
    but that's him and he's 72 buddy but
  • 17:15
    here's a lesson for your listeners this
  • 17:17
    podcast don't smoke and don't drink
  • 17:20
    which neither thing the president does
  • 17:23
    and you too can fly around on Air Force
  • 17:26
    One like a maniac what do you think he
  • 17:30
    weighs oh why you need me in trouble
  • 17:32
    this is like breaking news well how
  • 17:35
    about this had it not 239 as that
  • 17:39
    I mean I think his published weight is
  • 17:41
    239 I would take the over on that he'd
  • 17:44
    be mad at me for saying that I don't
  • 17:45
    know what he weighs but it's not 239 one
  • 17:50
    thing you would in so far his as his
  • 17:52
    skills are concerned something that you
  • 17:54
    kind of pointed out in the book which is
  • 17:56
    the skill of timing and this is related
  • 18:01
    to his doing the New York skating rink
  • 18:04
    yeah and it seems as though he was in
  • 18:07
    the right place at the right time or if
  • 18:10
    he was premature and trying to do
  • 18:13
    something he would come back at exactly
  • 18:15
    the right moment and kind of swoop in
  • 18:17
    and which is the way kind of felt he ran
  • 18:19
    for president no question it was a
  • 18:22
    timing night no question because he
  • 18:24
    looked at running for president in 88
  • 18:25
    pause I'd stopped he looked again for
  • 18:29
    running at president in 1993 and stopped
  • 18:32
    and then he took a very serious for Ray
  • 18:35
    in 2000 to potentially grab the
  • 18:39
    nomination of the Reform Party flew out
  • 18:41
    to LA he was practicing his negatives on
  • 18:44
    John McCain who we thought was going to
  • 18:46
    be the Republican nominee the first time
  • 18:48
    I heard the words I like my heroes
  • 18:51
    uncaptured were in an interview can go
  • 18:54
    back and google this he was being
  • 18:56
    interviewed in 2000 by Dan Rather for 60
  • 18:59
    minutes and he was testing that out
  • 19:02
    because he thought John McCain was going
  • 19:04
    to be the Republican nominee in 2000 he
  • 19:06
    abandoned that because his political
  • 19:08
    instincts correctly dictated that you're
  • 19:10
    not going to win the presidency in this
  • 19:11
    country from a third party and so he
  • 19:14
    stayed out of the fray really
  • 19:16
    contemplated a 2012 race did not want to
  • 19:18
    run against than a presidential
  • 19:19
    incumbent good instincts there because
  • 19:22
    very hard to defeat an incumbent unless
  • 19:24
    you have a disaster going on in the
  • 19:26
    economy and so we didn't have a if
  • 19:28
    anything we had a stable economy in 12
  • 19:30
    improving an economy very hard to beat a
  • 19:33
    sitting president so he waited it out
  • 19:34
    and then he struck the nerve of the
  • 19:39
    anxiety that's taking place in our
  • 19:41
    system related to the blue-collar
  • 19:43
    experience and the decline in living
  • 19:45
    standards and he went out there and
  • 19:47
    preached that mantra and that mantra by
  • 19:51
    the way is tied to immigration because
  • 19:53
    at
  • 19:53
    the illegal immigration has certainly
  • 19:55
    affected wage growth in our society and
  • 19:59
    he went out there and he made that case
  • 20:01
    and he made the case in a way that was
  • 20:03
    unbelievably unorthodox and even though
  • 20:06
    we were outspent almost two to one by
  • 20:09
    secretary Clinton's campaign and we were
  • 20:11
    out manned I would say almost
  • 20:14
    three-to-one by her he was able to
  • 20:17
    capture the presidency because he was
  • 20:19
    able to get his message out in the
  • 20:21
    American media in a way that was nothing
  • 20:23
    short of staggering it was billions and
  • 20:26
    billions of dollars of free media
  • 20:29
    whether they were televising a rally or
  • 20:32
    they were interviewing him or he was
  • 20:34
    calling into their shows he literally
  • 20:37
    was able to use the media as almost a
  • 20:40
    third arm of his campaign strategy do
  • 20:44
    you surf I don't but did you did you
  • 20:47
    catch that analogy about surfing in
  • 20:50
    there yeah I mean read this is what is
  • 20:53
    this doing in here he doesn't seem like
  • 20:54
    a surfer on I'm not a I'm not a surfer
  • 20:57
    but I can discern waves because you know
  • 21:00
    there's a contradict anomic system and
  • 21:05
    there are other waves Elliot wave theory
  • 21:07
    for investing and my point the metaphor
  • 21:11
    of the surfing for your listeners was I
  • 21:13
    really feel that these politicians are
  • 21:15
    surfers and they have to get on that
  • 21:18
    surfboard and ride a wave into Shore
  • 21:22
    that fits their personality as an
  • 21:24