Friday, October 28, 2011

Interview: Nicholas Pardini

Today I share with you my interview with Nicholas Pardini, co-host of the What If History podcast.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am current graduate student in Finance at Villanova University. For my undergraduate years I studied Economics and Entrepreneurship at UC Santa Barbara. Once I graduate, I plan pursuing my start up investment firm full time (Nomadic Capital Partners). I also write extensively about economics and the financial markets for leading investment commentary website Seeking Alpha. Outside of finance, history is my favorite subject to learn and read about in my spare time. It also useful for analyzing current market trends versus the past. Other things I like to do include playing golf, traveling, and other outdoor activities.

You were recently quoted in a USA Today article on student loan debt recently. Can you tell us about that?

I wrote a column on Seeking Alpha about how student loans are the next major debt bubble two months ago. A USA today columnist read it and interviewed me about the implications of this issue and how it will create severe problems for my indebted peers while being a severe drag on the economy.

What got you interested in alternate history?

I've always been a big history buff and during my undergrad years in UCSB, I read a book about counterfactuals by Niall Ferguson, that got me thinking about alternate outcomes for various other historical events. It is interesting how fragile certain directions in history really are.

What gave you the idea to start an alternate history podcast?

I wanted to do a history podcast with a unique approach. After discovering that there was no podcast related to alternate history available on the market, I thought by doing this show I would fill a gap of content for history fans. I talk history with Brian anyway on a regular basis, so we just transformed our conversations into a podcast.

How did you come up with the title?

I wanted a title that effectively describes the content of the show. The Alternate History Podcast and analyzes the alternative paths of history by contemplating what if historical events went the other way.

What do you use to record and edit your podcast?

I use garage band and a skype recorder podcast to record the show.

How does one actually get their podcast available to be downloaded on iTunes?

To get your podcast on iTunes, you produces three shows and submit your feed for review on iTunes. If you get it approved, you will have the show on iTunes. Popularity of your show, however, is up to your own efforts to make quality content.

How did you and Brian meet?

I met Brian Peotter in my AP US History class in high school. He was the only other class mate who actually enjoyed history. Now six years later, he is only one of just a few friends from high school I'm still in touch with. I brought Brian on the show because of his in depth knowledge of history and perspective for the gravity of the aftermath of various events.

You seem to focus on a lot of American history PODs, is that because you enjoy American history or do you find that is what your audience prefers?

Brian and I tend to focus on American history because we have the most knowledge about it. I also am strongly into Roman history, and post-medieval European history. However, my favorite type of history to cover is economic history as it ties with my strong interest in the financial markets. We will cover scenarios from all eras and regions of world history, but listeners should expect more content related to US History and economic history in the near future.

What does the future hold for the What If History podcast?

Expect a new show to come out every week or two. Eventually we will add more written content to the What If History website.

With your background in economics, are we going to see more economic what ifs in the future?

I think we will. I just have to figure out how to convey the subject material in a way that people who do not follow the stock market every day understand what I am talking about. I currently do economic and investment analysis on my other podcast Wall Street University for current news. In Wall Street University, my co=host Jeremy Saltzberg and myself discuss current events in the markets, make quick stock picks, and teach a weakly investing lesson.

However, for What if History, I will focus on more on historical issues. Topics I want to eventually do a show on include passing the Community Reinvestment Act, Glass Steagall's repeal, the New Deal, and what if's related to the US failing to embrace free trade in the 1990's.

What book(s) are you reading now?

I am currently reading a lot of trading related books such as Fooling Some of the People All of the Time by David Einhorn. However, in the realm of history I am currently reading the Decline and Fall of the British Empire by Piers Brendon. The British Empire is fascinating subject and Brendon portrays it a very comprehensive way. Also, I recommend reading Niall Ferguson's books and I plan on reading his book Civilization once it is released state side.

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