Monthly Archives: September 2016

Apple has a business strategy behind the iPhone 7

Apple’s corporate strategy is changing and, once again, not in a way that benefits customers. Here are some of Apple’s latest decisions. Making the iPhone 7 just an incremental improvement over the iPhone 6. Developing a brand new iWatch with several new features. Introducing the Earbuds and in the process removing the earbuds jack and, perhaps the most important […]

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    Called to Account: How Corporate Bad Behaviour and Government Waste Combine To Cost Us Millions – Book Review

Called to Account: How Corporate Bad Behaviour and Government Waste Combine To Cost Us Millions – Book Review

Called To Account: How Corporate Bad Behaviour and Government Waste Combine to Cost Us Millions. Margaret Hodge. Little, Brown. 2016.

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If ‘sunlight be the best of disinfectants’, then Margaret Hodge dispenses it in abundance in Called To Account: How Corporate Bad Behaviour and Government Waste Combine to Cost Us Millions – an account of her years as chair […]

September 18th, 2016|Book Review, Chris Harmer|0 Comments|
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    The City of London will decline – and we will all be the poorer for it

The City of London will decline – and we will all be the poorer for it

“Brexit frees us to build a truly global Britain,” enthused Boris Johnson in his Telegraph column immediately after being appointed Foreign Secretary. If anything presently embodies the vision of “Global Britain,” it is the City of London, that marvel of a world-leading, cosmopolitan, ferociously competitive and efficient financial centre that serves as a powerhouse for the entire UK economy. But just […]

September 17th, 2016|Economics, Nicolas Véron|0 Comments|
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    Nigeria in recession: the devaluation came a day late, a dollar short

Nigeria in recession: the devaluation came a day late, a dollar short

Nigeria – Five Naira (₦5), (cropped), by Shardayyy, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
In January 2016, I tabled a prognosis for Nigeria anchored on the premise of an economy set to tread a tight rope between soaring inflation and deceleration of its growth momentum. Seven months later, inflation had inched to a high of 17.1 per cent and the economy had […]

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    Now Indonesia has a sovereign wealth fund – and it won’t be the last

Now Indonesia has a sovereign wealth fund – and it won’t be the last

Key players in international finance

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are large state owned investment funds. With assets under management of about US $7 trillion globally, SWFs have become key players in international finance – even surpassing the combined size of global hedge funds and private equity firms.

In the vast majority of cases SWFs were funded by the proceeds of oil and […]

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    Worker-managed firms reduce their internal wage gap, but top performers tend to quit

Worker-managed firms reduce their internal wage gap, but top performers tend to quit

The relationship between democracy, redistribution, and inequality has been a topic of enduring interest to the social sciences, even though the evidence is far from conclusive. In those studies, democracy refers to the rules governing the political system and its effect on inequality is usually measured at the country level. But what about the effects of democratic provisions embedded […]

September 15th, 2016|Economics, Gabriel Burdin|0 Comments|
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    When enough countries lead by example, they create a tipping point for climate agreements

When enough countries lead by example, they create a tipping point for climate agreements

Avoiding dangerous climate change is one of the most complex problems for international cooperation. It requires overcoming several barriers to collective action and success hinges on widespread cooperation by countries faced with incentives to delay costly mitigation and free-ride on the efforts of others.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has warned that climate change may be “abrupt […]

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    Regional disparities in Italy may have to do with trust and cooperation

Regional disparities in Italy may have to do with trust and cooperation

Regional economic differences within Italy will not be reduced simply by building infrastructure, tackling organised crime or increasing productive investment in the South: people’s norms of cooperation need to change too.

That is the central finding of a series of economic experiments. Our study involved nearly 700 ordinary citizens from the North and South of Italy, who were presented with […]

Self-employment is precarious work

Coming from a trade union and mental health background, I’m familiar with the drill of being wheeled out to deliver bad news. Last week I was invited to join a discussion about the sharing economy for the BBC’s Talking Business. Is the ‘new’ sharing economy of Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit – the love children of social enterprise and digital […]

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    A Few Hares to Chase: The Economic Life and Times of Bill Phillips – Book Review

A Few Hares to Chase: The Economic Life and Times of Bill Phillips – Book Review

A Few Hares to Chase: The Economic Life and Times of Bill Phillips. Alan Bollard. Oxford University Press. 2016.

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Professor A.W. (Bill) Phillips was best known for his academic success as a macro-economist. Alan Bollard’s new biography, A Few Hares to Chase: The Economic Life and Times of Bill Phillips, shows that Phillips’s talents spanned far beyond the […]

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    Keeping the Eurozone together likely costs more than breaking it up

Keeping the Eurozone together likely costs more than breaking it up

Your new book, The Euro: And its Threat to Europe, outlines the problems at the heart of the euro and their effects on European economies. Can the euro be saved?

The fundamental thesis of the book is that it is the structure of the Eurozone itself, not the actions of individual countries, which is at the root of the problem. […]

Should we build robots that feel human emotions?

I recently wrote an article for Scientific American called ‘Robots with Heart’. In the piece, I described our work into incorporating an ’empathy module’ into robots in order for them to better serve the emotional and physical needs of humans. While many readers offered ideas on how we might apply these empathetic robots to medical or other applications, some […]

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    Untied to economic fluctuations, insurers are less likely to generate systemic risks

Untied to economic fluctuations, insurers are less likely to generate systemic risks

In a nutshell, macroprudential regulation is made up of two building blocks: surveillance and supervision. Surveillance is concerned with identifying, assessing and monitoring the build-up of systemic risks, i.e., those regarding the financial stability of a country or region. Supervision is aimed at preventing, mitigating and managing systemic risks.

A key lesson from the recent global financial crisis is that […]

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    What Jeremy Corbyn should have said about the after-work pint

What Jeremy Corbyn should have said about the after-work pint

So here is what Jeremy Corbyn should have said: “Workplace cultures in which out-of-hours networking is key to professional success and career advancement indirectly discriminate against women because these networking practices exclude workers with caring responsibilities and the majority of those workers are still female.” I’m glad he didn’t say that. It would have got absolutely zero attention in […]

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    Climate change impacts the economic development of low-income countries

Climate change impacts the economic development of low-income countries

The Earth has warmed on average by about 1 degree Celsius since the late 19th century. Regardless of international commitments to reduce emissions, further substantial warming is now locked in for the next several decades at least. The worst effects of this warming, for societies and economies, will be felt in low-income countries, where livelihoods depend strongly on the […]

How can you maintain your sanity in a toxic workplace?

There is no question that workplaces have taken a perverse turn, and I mean that in its brutal Freudian sense. We live in a society where receiving chemotherapy means you are fit for work and ‘toxic leadership’ has become a mainstream topic on business school curricula. A lot of working life is just unfair.

As precarious work grows, most of […]

  • Permalink Beets for sale at the Bath County Agricultural Education and Marketing Center, Owingsville, KY, on Friday, July15, 2011. The Center was the recipient of a $400,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant. It has given farmers and producers from Bath and surrounding counties the opportunity to manufacture and market their locally grown and locally produced value-added and “Kentucky Proud” branded products, including but not limited to, fresh produce, artisan crafts and specialty food products. The Center is open year-round and allow residents to sell products in four different retail categories, including Kentucky products, regional crafts, “green” groceries and bakery/deli.  Several producers expressed their gratitude for Rural Development’s assistance in making the center a reality.  The project was made possible through funding enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009 and signed into law on February 17, 2009, by President Barack Obama.. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.Gallery

    Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat? – Book Review

Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat? – Book Review

Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat? Philip H. Howard. Bloomsbury. 2016.

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‘Who controls what we eat?’

Even before opening the book, this question, found on the cover of Concentration and Power in the Food System, is posed, inviting readers to contemplate just who exactly is involved in supplying our food.

The author, Philip H. […]

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    Shareholder committees can restore responsible company ownership

Shareholder committees can restore responsible company ownership

For capitalism to work, the holders of capital (i.e. shareholders) need to exercise a measure of control and oversight over the companies they own. Without this, directors may simply run corporations in their own interests. For example, Shareholders today often merely rubber stamp recommendations for Director nominations and have a very limited formal role in setting executive pay. Symptoms of […]

How to come up with a strategy under true uncertainty

What is true uncertainty?

This has been a pleasant summer for London. The sun’s up, the sky is clear, and people are out. But London’s economy doesn’t feel as pleasant as the weather, as it still grapples with the “Brexit shock”. The Friday morning of 24th June, after the EU referendum, was supposed to be business as usual. However, the […]

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    Commission trading allowed Italian merchant banks to flourish in the 16th century

Commission trading allowed Italian merchant banks to flourish in the 16th century

… it may please your worships to understand, that the chiefest living and maintenance that we have is upon the commissions that are sent unto us of our friends from beyond the seas…     

— Italian merchants explaining their foreign exchanges to Sir Thomas Gresham and other royal commissioners [Ms. of Lord Calthorpe, Vol XX, f. 28].

Most of today’s banks […]