The Prague Finance Institute regularly brings you interviews with leading experts from both local and global perspectives.

Episodes with global experts are hosted by Leoš Rousek, Head of Group Communications at PPF Group and former Head of the Wall Street Journal for the CEE region. Episodes in Czech are hosted by Adam Páleníček, Member of the Board at PFI and M&A manager at KPMG.


PFI Talks Vol. 18 – Dan

The story of the German financial company Wirecard sounds like the subject of a film. A company with the aura of a European tech giant challenging its American rivals collapsed in 2020, with its path to ruin punctuated by falsified accounts, empty mailboxes in the Philippines and the founder’s escape. The story of the fraud, which many have long refused to believe, has been gradually unravelled since 2014 by Dan McCrum, a journalist at the Financial Times. Last year he published a book, Money Men, and made a documentary based on his reporting. He described the ins and outs of the case during an interview on another PFI Talks podcast.

Marc Faber

PFI Talks Vol. 16 – Marc Faber

Marc Faber, a Swiss investor living in Thailand, doesn't mince his words. In 2017, he dedicated an issue of his monthly investment newsletter, The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, to the raging racial conflicts in the US. At the time, he said, "Thank God America is populated by whites and not blacks. Otherwise, the United States would look like Zimbabwe, which may happen one day, but America has enjoyed at least 200 years of economic and political prominence." He later defended himself, telling the US television network CNBC in his defence that he was not a racist, but that "the facts should be described as they are, regardless of their degree of political incorrectness". This is also why Marc Faber said goodbye after an hour-long interview, saying: "I believe it is still politically appropriate to say - Merry Christmas!"

Sumit Agarwal

PFI Talks Vol. 15 – Sumit Agarwal

When a speculative bubble bursts, many people usually lose. But history is littered with investment manias in which the suffering of individuals ultimately outweighed the benefits for all. In the 19th century, thousands of speculators burned their hands investing in the shares of American railway companies. But their losses enabled all Americans to switch from horse-drawn carriages to trains. The bursting of the internet bubble at the beginning of the 21st century left many empty family bank accounts, but also a network of data cables that allowed the digital economy to really take off within two decades. What may emerge from the ashes of the cryptocurrency mania is one of the topics Sumit Agarwal discusses.

Daniel Kahneman

PFI Talks Vol. 13 – Daniel Kahneman

As reports and polls from Russia show, a large part of the public there refuses to admit that Russia, not Ukraine, is the origin of the biggest armed conflict in Europe since World War II. According to Daniel Kahneman, such a reaction is understandable not only in terms of the effectiveness of current Russian propaganda. "The reluctance to see one's country as the culprit of aggression, of crime, is very strong in most of us," says Professor Kahneman

Stanislav Kubáček

PFI Talks Vol. 11 – Stanislav Kubáček

Zatímco v České republice žije téměř 80 procent lidí ve vlastním bytě či domě, v Rakousku či Německu si téměř polovina populace bydlení pronajímá. Ve velkých městech jako Berlín či Vídeň bydlí v nájmu dokonce více než tři čtvrtiny obyvatel. „Česko naopak prošlo v 90. letech obrovským šokem, co se vlastnění majetku a užívání služeb týče, proto je zde moderní nájemní bydlení stále ještě svým způsobem novinkou,“ popisuje Stanislav Kubáček, ředitel akvizičního týmu švédské společnosti Heimstaden.


Leoš Rousek

Leoš Rousek

Leos works as Head of Group Communications at PPF Group, focusing on investor relations in the financial sector. His previous experience included investor communications at Home Credit International and MONETA Money Bank. Before 2015, he used to work for more than two decades as a business journalist for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal, reporting from the Czech Republic, Russia, Slovenia, and Slovakia. From 2017 to 2019, he was the chief economic analyst at the Czech business daily Hospodářské noviny.

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