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    Good Bad Billionaire

    Simon Jack and Zing Tsjeng find out how the richest people on the planet made their billions, and then they judge them. Are they good, bad, or just another billionaire?

    Good Bad Billionaire is here to lift the curtain on the minds, motives and money of some of the world's wealthiest individuals. Hosted by Simon Jack, Business Editor for BBC News, and journalist, author and podcaster Zing Tsjeng, this ground-breaking new series examines the rise of a different billionaire each week to answer the question: Are they good, bad, or just another billionaire?

    From Silicon Valley tech titans and secretive CEOS, to Wall Street moguls, pop stars and sporting legends, Simon and Zing will find out how these billionaires made their riches - from the very start to the very top. No detail is too small, no story too wild and no business deal too shady for them to uncover. How did Amazon boss Jeff Bezos launch one of the biggest corporations of the internet age? How did six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan make a fortune from product endorsements with sports giant Nike? How did Rihanna come to sign with Jay-Z and to found a beauty product empire? And how did Chuck Feeney earn the title of 'the James Bond of philanthropy'?

    With episodes examining Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, George Lucas and Kim Kardashian, these stories paint a vivid picture of business, entrepreneurship, capitalism and how our world really works.

    But it's not just about how these billionaires made their money; it's about what they did with it next. Simon and Zing put each on trial to find out: is this billionaire a force for good or an agent of chaos? Or perhaps somewhere in between.... Join our hosts each week as they unravel tales of fortune, power, ambition and moral responsibility, and invite you to weigh in on the verdict: Good, Bad, or Just Another Billionaire?

    enBBC30 Episodes

    Episodes (30)

    Mark Zuckerberg: Move Fast and Get Rich

    Mark Zuckerberg: Move Fast and Get Rich

    How one social media site birthed an empire. The story of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.

    BBC business editor Simon Jack and journalist Zing Tsjeng take us from his childhood to joining the billionaires club soon after, at just 23, then on to his current status as one of the four richest people on the planet. He dropped out of Harvard to mix with other founders in Silicon Valley and still retains absolute control over his company, now called Meta.

    From buying up Instagram and WhatsApp, getting investments from Peter Thiel and Bill Gates, they trace Zuckerberg's spectacular rise. Plus discover what was true and what was made up in David Fincher's film about him, The Social Network.

    Richard Branson: Sky's the Limit

    Richard Branson: Sky's the Limit

    From The Exorcist to owning 400 companies, how music sent the Virgin entrepreneur into space. He's an island owning adventurer, but he's incredibly shy. He's the record label owner who doesn't even like music. Journalist Zing Tsjeng and BBC business editor Simon Jack try to understand a man of many paradoxes and ask whether he's good, bad, or just another billionaire?

    Jim Ratcliffe: Man U Mogul

    Jim Ratcliffe: Man U Mogul

    He's spent a billion on Manchester United, but how did Jim Ratcliffe become a billionaire?

    BBC business editor Simon Jack and journalist Zing Tsjeng learn how the Premier League club's new co-owner got rich via some daring investments and impressive acquisitions. They learn how he made his name in petrochemicals before founding one of the industry's biggest conglomerates.

    Simon and Zing also discover that he mortgaged his own house to fund a business, as well as uncovering his investments in cycling, sailing and, of course, football. Then they decide if he's good, bad, or just another billionaire.

    Bernie Ecclestone: Fast Money

    Bernie Ecclestone: Fast Money

    How the Formula One supremo won control of a sport, and how it all came crashing down. BBC business editor Simon Jack and journalist Zing Tsjeng trace Bernie Ecclestone's unique rise and fall. From modest beginnings selling second hand cars, he built Formula One into a one man empire worth billions. How did he go from the very top to tax fraud, and is good, bad, or just another billionaire?

    Gina Rinehart: The Other Iron Lady

    Gina Rinehart: The Other Iron Lady

    How mining magnate Gina Rinehart amassed a $30 billion fortune to become Australia's richest person and earn a reputation for being highly litigious.

    BBC business editor Simon Jack and journalist Zing Tsjeng uncover a woman who has taken legal action against her father's widow, her own biographer and the biggest mining company in the world, and who has been sued by her own children, twice.

    They follow Rinehart's story from her outspoken father's discovery of huge deposits of iron ore in Western Australia to inheriting the business and turning it into a multi-billion dollar powerhouse. It's a story that takes in secessionist politics, indigenous land rights and lots and lots of family feuds.

    Good Bad Billionaire Presents….Business Daily

    Good Bad Billionaire Presents….Business Daily

    In this special episode, Simon Jack and Zing Tseng bring you the Business Daily podcast, looking at the four sportspeople who’ve made it big enough in business to become billionaires. Listen as presenter Matt Lines finds out the secrets behind the fortunes of Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Lebron James and Magic Johnson. Listen to every episode of Business Daily on BBC Sounds.

    Charles Koch: Dark Money’s Slick Operator

    Charles Koch: Dark Money’s Slick Operator

    How oilman Charles Koch turned black gold into dark money. BBC business editor Simon Jack and journalist Zing Tsjeng investigate the feuding family that has shaped US politics for decades. The Koch family battles made “Dallas and Dynasty look like a playpen” with brother against brother, and even twin against twin. But Charles Koch succeeded as heir to the oil fortune, and spent the billions earnt from oil creating a right wing political network dubbed 'The Kochtopus'. So is he good, bad or just another billionaire?

    Warren Buffett: The Oracle of Omaha

    Warren Buffett: The Oracle of Omaha

    How Warren Buffett became the richest investor in history, amassing a fortune of over $120 billion, without moving from the Nebraska home he bought in 1958.

    BBC business editor Simon Jack and journalist Zing Tsjeng discover how Buffett earned his first money as a six year old, bought his first shares at 11 and filed his first tax return at 13. He went on to formulate his own investment philosophy on the way to becoming incredibly rich.

    Simon and Zing reveal Buffett's biggest deals and pithiest phrases from his decades if investing, as well as his unconventional love life. Then they decide if he's good, bad, or just another billionaire.

    NR Narayana Murthy: India's IT Innovator

    NR Narayana Murthy: India's IT Innovator

    How NR Narayana Murthy, now known as the father-in-law of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, first became known as the father of India's IT boom.

    Journalist Zing Tsjeng and BBC business editor Simon Jack explain how Murthy made Infosys, the technology company he founded with six friends and some cash borrowed from his wife, a world leader in outsourcing.

    Simon and Zing reveal how 20th Century Indian politics, an early passion for computers, and a shocking experience behind the Iron Curtain all played a role in making Murthy spectacularly rich. Then they decide if he's good, bad, or just another billionaire.

    Rupert Murdoch: The Succession Prequel

    Rupert Murdoch: The Succession Prequel

    How a young man inherited an Australian newspaper and turned it into a global media empire. BBC business editor Simon Jack and journalist Zing Tsjeng tell the origin story of the 92-year-old media magnate. He’s been called ‘evil’ and ‘a cancer’, for others he’s the champion of free press. He’s also one of the most powerful people on the planet. So which Rupert Murdoch is it: is he good bad, or just another billionaire?

    El Chapo: Cocaine Kingpin

    El Chapo: Cocaine Kingpin

    The story of Mexican drug lord Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, better known as El Chapo, the leader of one of the world’s most prolific, violent and powerful drug cartels.

    BBC business editor Simon Jack and journalist Zing Tsjeng follow El Chapo from childhood in the Mexican mountain region of Sinaloa to the very top of the drug business and into the New York prison cell where he now resides.

    Simon and Zing reveal how El Chapo innovated with tunnels along the US-Mexican border, escaped prison twice, and used extreme violence to gain power. Then they are given the simple task of deciding if he's good, bad, or just another billionaire.

    Jay-Z: A Business, Man

    Jay-Z: A Business, Man

    How hip-hop’s first billionaire went from grams to Grammys. Journalist Zing Tsjeng and BBC business editor Simon Jack chart Jay-Z's meteoric rise from drug dealing in the projects to sipping champagne in a private jet. Jay-Z turned his aspirational lifestyle into cash, rapping about the champagne that he owned. And the private jet? A gift from his wife, Beyonce.

    In the podcast that uncovers how the world's wealthiest people made their money and asks if they are good or bad for the planet, Zing and Simon judge the man who shot his brother, who signed Kayne West, whose adultery gave use Lemonade, and the man who has been called the greatest rapper of all time.

    Michael Bloomberg: Market Master

    Michael Bloomberg: Market Master

    How did being fired from Wall Street lead Michael Bloomberg to a $96 billion fortune and a failed presidential campaign? Journalist Zing Tsjeng and BBC business editor Simon Jack try to understand this man of contradictions. A brash playboy and thoughtful data nerd, a lifelong Democrat who became the Republican mayor of New York, a plutocrat who spent $1 billion self-funding a short-lived presidential campaign, and one of the world’s greatest philanthropists.

    In the podcast that uncovers how the world's wealthiest people made their money and asks if they are good or bad for the planet, Zing and Simon judge a man whose eponymous Bloomberg terminal sits on desks throughout the finacial world, and helps make people incredibly rich.

    Patrick Soon-Shiong: Cures for Cash

    Patrick Soon-Shiong: Cures for Cash

    Why was a brilliant surgeon and biotech billionaire sued by his brother... and Cher? BBC business editor Simon Jack and journalist Zing Tsjeng trace his journey from apartheid South Africa to the upper echelons of LA society.

    He’s tried to cure cancer, diabetes, and COVID-19, and along the way rubbed shoulders with some of the most powerful people on the planet: Joe Biden, the Pope, and Donald Trump. He's made his fortune selling drugs to sick people, but his results have been described as "controversial", "hype" and even “old wine in a new bottle”.

    In the podcast that uncovers how the world's wealthiest people made their money and asks if they are good or bad for the planet, Simon and Zing judge a man who made cold hard cash from controversial cures.

    Bill Gates: Software Hardman

    Bill Gates: Software Hardman

    The story of the Microsoft boss who spent over a decade as the richest person in the world after becoming the youngest self-made billionaire in history.

    Journalist Zing Tsjeng and BBC business editor Simon Jack follow Bill Gates' journey, from venerated, nerdy entrepreneur to ruthless monopolist, then from generous philanthropist to conspiracy theory magnet and divisive public figure.

    The podcast that uncovers how the world's wealthiest people made their money and asks if they are good or bad for the planet reveals the brilliant technology, the crucial deals, and the legal difficulties, along the path to building a software empire.

    Sam Bankman-Fried with Michael Lewis

    Sam Bankman-Fried with Michael Lewis

    The spectacular rise and incredible fall of a crypto empire and its unconventional founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire wannabe philanthropist now facing decades behind bars.

    Journalist Zing Tsjeng and BBC business editor Simon Jack could not resist inviting special guest Michael Lewis (author of Liar's Poker, Moneyball and The Big Short) to tell this story. Michael was at the scene with SBF as his FTX crypto trading business crumbled and the law closed in.

    They trace SBF's life from childhood in Californian academia through his rapid accumulation of wealth – surpassed only by the speed at which it was lost – and on into his prison cell. Then they decide if he is good, bad, or just another billionaire.

    This programme was edited on 4 December 2023 to correct a factual error.

    Denise Coates: Ultimate Gambler

    Denise Coates: Ultimate Gambler

    How did an accountant from Stoke-on-Trent gamble it all to become the world's highest paid woman? Denise Coates founded online betting company Bet365 and soon became a billionaire. BBC business editor Simon Jack and journalist Zing Tsjeng trace the journey of this elusive figure. Geographically she's not travelled far, becoming the biggest employer in her hometown of Stoke-on-Trent. But as a businesswoman she's dominated the online gambling market globally, earning an annual salary that peaked at £421 million. In the podcast that uncovers how the world's wealthiest people made their money and asks if they are good or bad for the planet, Simon and Zing judge the woman who made billions from betting.

    Michael Jordan: Most Valuable Player

    Michael Jordan: Most Valuable Player

    How did basketball's biggest superstar become the world's first athlete billionaire? Michael Jordan turned his prodigious talent on the court into a money making machine.

    Journalist Zing Tsjeng and BBC business editor Simon Jack trace Jordan's career from his childhood in North Carolina, through brilliance as a college basketball player, to his all-conquering phase with the Chicago Bulls and beyond into the billions.

    The podcast that uncovers how the world's wealthiest people made their money and asks if they are good or bad for the planet reveals how much that deal with Nike contributed to his wealth and what other business ventures made the ultimate MVP so rich.

    Kim Kardashian: Breaking the Internet

    Kim Kardashian: Breaking the Internet

    How does the subject of a leaked sex tape become a billionaire business mogul? Journalist Zing Tsjeng and BBC business editor Simon Jack find out how Kim Kardashian leveraged her fame and sold her privacy to earn billions, breaking the internet along the way.

    They follow her money making schemes, from selling celebrities' clothes online and styling Paris Hilton, to multi-million dollar weddings and public family feuds. But they discover that Kim actually made her billions in a much more traditional way.

    She's one of the most famous faces in the world, loved and loathed by millions. In the podcast that uncovers how the world's wealthiest people made their money and asks if they are good or bad for the planet, Simon and Zing judge Kim Kardashian.

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