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At-Home Covid Tests and Other Powers of a Tech Billionaire

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Chamath Palihapitiya is one of Silicon Valley’s most successful tech investors. He’s also among the most candid. “I aspire to be a Koch brother before I aspire to be an under secretary,” he tells Kara Swisher on this episode of “Sway.” His definition of power has little to do with politics — it’s profits, he says, that empower you to “control the resources.”

Mr. Palihapitiya made his first fortune as an early executive at Facebook. He has since multiplied his wealth as an investor, with big bets and bold forecasts about the future. These days, he’s behind one of the most lucrative and controversial trends — SPACs, the acronym for blank check or special purpose acquisition companies, which some call the next bubble.

On this episode of “Sway,” Mr. Palihapitiya shares his predictions for American economic recovery and the return of centrism — and his prescriptions for what the Biden administration should do first.

This episode contains strong language.

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Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

A podcast about power, hosted by Kara Swisher (@karaswisher). Every Monday and Thursday, from New York Times Opinion. Listen and subscribe.

This episode of “Sway” was produced by Nayeema Raza, Heba Elorbany, Matt Kwong and Vishakha Darbha and edited by Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones. Special thanks to Renan Borelli, Liriel Higa and Kathy Tu.

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