In Depth

The Week Unwrapped podcast: Drug wars, hedge funds and placebos

Why has Mexico suffered its most violent year ever? Are women better at investing than men? And are placebos the answer to chronic pain?

The Week Unwrapped Team

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.

In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Drug wars

Mexico's murder rate hit a staggering new high in 2019, with nearly 35,000 homicides recorded. With the country's drug war still in full swing and a president determined to defeat the cartels using a controversial "gentle approach", the cycle of death and destruction in Mexico has reached a new peak. Where does the country go from here?

Read our full briefing here.

Hedge funds

New data from Bloomberg suggest that hedge funds run by women or people of colour perform significantly better than those run by white men, bringing in almost double the returns. Yet hedge funds — and the world of finance in general — remain predominantly white and male. Are women really better investors? And how do we encourage more diversity in finance?

Placebos

According to a growing body of evidence, patients with chronic pain can get relief from a placebo even when they know it isn’t an active medication. This has led more researchers to look at the idea of using placebos as an alternative to traditional pain medications. Could a spoonful of sugar help medicine use go down?

You can subscribe to The Week Unwrapped on the Global PlayerApple podcastsSoundCloud or wherever you get your podcasts. It is produced by Sarah Myles and the music is by Tom Mawby.

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