I love Yuval Malchi's podcast קטעים בהיסטוריה (pieces of history). It is one of those amateur history podcasts, where the author occasionally finds the time to share his knowledge with us. In Yuval's case this means jumping back and forth through periods and subjects in history, just as his personal research has come up - I assume.
And so, apparently, Yuval has taken up an economics perspective on history. His previous episode was about the Tulip Mania in 17th century Netherlands as the oldest and most obvious example of market bubble. Now, Mr. Malchi has come with two issues with more stories of economic history, this time from 19th and 20th century US. Why this had to be cut into two episodes, escapes me. The chapters came out simultaneously and neatly connect on to another. But this is merely a side step.
The stories we get are presented as the biggest enterprise mistakes on the last centuries, but although they are about enterprise decisions that were proven wrong by consecutive events, one can hardly cast the label mistake in advance. If Western Union didn't see anything in Bell's telephony or Mars didn't want to sponsor the movie ET, consecutive events may have caused the decision makers to deeply regret the route taken, but they must still have felt that the considerations were sound. There must be business decisions taken on much worse grounds and regardless the consequences, they could be regarded as more faulty. Still, the stories are very poignant, making the podcast informative and entertaining.
More קטעים בהיסטוריה (Pieces of History):
The Tulip Mania,
Lewis and Clark.