In the 1980s, Satyajit Das worked for a finance company that owned a large stake in an airline.
Das got the airline to start making speculative bets on the price of oil. That decision was good for the bottom line: One year, the company made more money from trading than it did from selling tickets on its planes.
But in the long run, Das says on today’s show, this was part of a much larger shift in the global economy — and that shift turned out to be a disaster.
[More episodes and the Planet Money blog can be found here and in our links section. – Ed.]