Monthly Archives: October 2015

  • Bundesbank
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    Independent central banks are here to control inflation, but they help maintain fiscal discipline too

Independent central banks are here to control inflation, but they help maintain fiscal discipline too

In the 1990s, countries worldwide reformed their central bank laws, removing monetary policy from government control. While central banks can have other legal tasks, including balanced economic growth and financial stability, more independent banks focus principally on price stability. These newly independent central banks can change interest rates and target the exchange rate or money supply to ensure price […]

  • Doha Skyline
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    As sovereign wealth funds come of age, they grow rapidly but face a number of challenges

As sovereign wealth funds come of age, they grow rapidly but face a number of challenges

The global economy has witnessed the emergence of a new set of key actors over the last two decades. Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and pension funds (PFs) – or sovereign investors – have become pivotal players in global financial markets thanks to their liquidity, and continue to grow rapidly in number and in size. This group of highly heterogeneous […]

  • agile project
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    Culturally diverse teams may require more central coordination than others

Culturally diverse teams may require more central coordination than others

Over the last 50 years organisations have changed dramatically but we have yet to understand how these changes affect organisational performance. One of the major changes was away from centralised decision-making and hierarchies and towards teamwork. During the same time organisations have grown to be more diverse. It is now more common than before that people from different cultures […]

  • fast growth companies
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    Learn fast, design and never assume you’re right: the three principles of fast-growth companies

Learn fast, design and never assume you’re right: the three principles of fast-growth companies

“Can constant drastic changes in strategy be compatible with sustained growth?” This was the question we put to a panel of founding CEOs of growth companies and a group of MBA students at Harvard Business School last month.

Growth is one of the main challenges faced by executives. “Today’s business environment requires managers to adapt their business models on an ongoing […]

  • possible featured image
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    When even central banks use Twitter to communicate, the markets turn to social media

When even central banks use Twitter to communicate, the markets turn to social media

Not long ago, any conversation about social media on trading floors was mere curiosity. That started to change when on April of 2013 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued guidance permitting companies to use social media to communicate their announcements. If investors were still shaking their heads about this development, four months later billionaire investor Carl Icahn refocused […]

  • delhi
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    Growth of emerging markets, new technologies and urbanisation are historic world shifts

Growth of emerging markets, new technologies and urbanisation are historic world shifts

What role do universities play in helping businesses understand the world and where the world is going?

“The world is undergoing fundamental structural change. The balance of economic activity is moving to emerging markets and developing countries, as they have faster growth rates than we’re seeing in the rich countries. It’s moving into towns and cities at an extraordinary rate. […]

China’s Challenges – Book Review

China’s Challenges. Jacques deLisle and Avery Goldstein (eds). University of Pennsylvania Press. 2015.

China is facing a number of daunting and complex challenges. The extraordinary pace of economic development experienced over the last thirty years has fundamentally transformed Chinese society, altering the distribution of wealth, relations between citizens, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the state as well as the […]

  • Tata-logo
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    Tata shows that private governance of adapting for climate change can work – with clearer incentives

Tata shows that private governance of adapting for climate change can work – with clearer incentives

A growing paradigm of ‘engaging the private sector’ is noticeable in all areas of climate risk management and adaptation. Particularly in the face of constrained public budgets and rising adaptation costs, policy makers internationally, nationally as well as locally appear to be increasingly interested in the contribution of the private sector to societal resilience.

However, there is limited empirical investigation […]

  • VC
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    As venture capitalists cross borders, they look for institutional trust

As venture capitalists cross borders, they look for institutional trust

Venture capitalists (VCs) are increasingly investing across jurisdictions, with the vast majority of these cross-border investments being carried out in a syndicate of two or more VCs. This paradigm shift is of interest to governments seeking to further develop local immature venture capital markets by attracting both foreign funds and expertise. Researchers, such as my co-authors Daniel Hain, Daojuan […]

  • tiki-taka
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    What tiki-taka football can teach us about boosting innovation

What tiki-taka football can teach us about boosting innovation

As the Premiership juggernaut rumbles back to centre stage, bringing with it the usual impassioned debate about footballing philosophies and the respective merits of “parking the bus” and possession, spare a thought for innovation policy. Innovation is often defined as the successful application of new ideas to create wealth. But innovation policy is itself in need of innovation – […]

October 22nd, 2015|Economics, Peter Swann|0 Comments|
  • Gloucester Road
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    EU countries’ shadow economy should be included in credit rating calculations

EU countries’ shadow economy should be included in credit rating calculations

Few are those economists or politicians who could have imagined in advance the macroeconomic changes that have been taking place since the beginning of the last global economic crisis. In the early 2000s, it was unthinkable that some EU countries would come close to the economic, social and political collapse they have recently been experiencing. The public debt of […]

Why do some teams succeed while others fail?

Work teams have become increasingly prevalent around the world in the past two decades. Underlying their popularity is the belief that they can creatively integrate individual members’ talents and skills to more effectively respond to the changing and competitive business environment. However, not all teams are functional and individual members may not automatically work together smoothly. A question that naturally […]

Why are commodity markets behaving like stock markets?

Ten years ago, a course on commodity markets would teach students that commodity returns are uncorrelated with the returns of other financial assets. Commodities were praised as excellent portfolio diversifiers, providing financial protection when it is needed most. Since the early 2000s, however, the behaviour of commodity prices has changed in fundamental ways. Popular investment commodities such as crude […]

  • boardroom
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    The state of gender representation on corporate boards around the world

The state of gender representation on corporate boards around the world

Although women have increasingly achieved equality in some domains, there are vast differences in their participation at the highest echelons of the corporate world: boards of directors. In the EU, women hold 17.8 percent of board directorships; in the US, they represent 19.2 percent of S&P 500 board directors. Recently, several countries have taken proactive steps to introduce quotas (hard law) that […]

  • County-Council
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    A Government That Worked Better and Cost Less? – Book Review

A Government That Worked Better and Cost Less? – Book Review

A Government That Worked Better And Cost Less?: Evaluating Three Decades of Reform and Change in UK Central Government. Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon. Oxford University Press. 2015.

The need to reduce public sector spending has been a recurrent theme in British politics in recent times. Yet thirty years of administrative innovation have produced little evidence of cost savings or […]

  • glacier
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    Why the EU should redouble its efforts to reach full decarbonisation

Why the EU should redouble its efforts to reach full decarbonisation

As the world approaches the Paris climate conference, where it is expected to adopt a new global climate agreement, the European Union is striving to maintain its traditional leadership role on climate change. This leadership seemed to hit a high point in October 2009, when the European Council of Heads of State and Government agreed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) […]

When do charismatic leaders rise to the top job?

As every US presidential race shows, politicians work tirelessly to convince voters that they have what it takes to run the country — the mother of all institutions! In a way, this is also the plight of top-level leaders who never interact with those individuals on whose support they depend. Think of corporate heads; just like politicians, they too […]

  • older people
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    Something is missing in the idea of entrepreneurs as young and empowered

Something is missing in the idea of entrepreneurs as young and empowered

The UK is facing an increasingly ageing population that brings big economic burdens in pension and medical provisions while tax contributions diminish. This situation has become worse since the start of the 2008 global financial crisis as almost one million people aged 50-64 have become ‘involuntarily jobless’ during this period. A growing number of public institutions are promoting entrepreneurial […]

  • managers racing
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    Managers with a history of good results get more flexible performance targets

Managers with a history of good results get more flexible performance targets

Here is one diehard maxim of business: don’t overshoot your performance target this year, because before you know it the one for next year will be tougher yet. This is target ratcheting at work: when you do better than the established goal, your next objective will be even higher; but the converse is not true. If you do worse, the company will […]

  • MNCs photo
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    Where do multinationals fit in global efforts to adapt to climate change?

Where do multinationals fit in global efforts to adapt to climate change?

Climate change is widely recognized as one of the critical global challenges on the political agenda and is not a new topic for the boardrooms of multinational corporations (MNCs) either. Ahead of the upcoming climate change summit in Paris in December governments and companies are pledging emission reduction targets and are working on new initiatives to lower their carbon […]