Vikas Shah MBE DL Interviews the world's leading thinkers, and the people shaping the century.

In my June 2011 article “Is it Time to Rethink Sovereign Debt” I described how, “…in our globalised economy, no country is an island.  Every nation has internal debt (owed to lenders within a country- often that countries citizens or banks) and external debt (owed to foreign lenders- often other…

Thought Economics

“..It is hard to overestimate how much is at stake for the world after the sudden death of Kim Jong Il, the North Korean despot, on December 17th…” wrote the Economist.  Political leaders (particularly those in the West) looked on as this poverty stricken failed state (armed with nuclear weapons)…

Thought Economics

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/12/15/alpha-hunters-investing-in-global-development/ From our ‘developed world viewpoint‘ it is sometimes easy for us to forget that there was a time when the United States and Europe were (as we would classify…

Thought Economics

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/12/01/new-techniques-to-manage-sovereign-credit-risk/ In a recent paper entitled Managing Sovereign Credit Risk in Bond Portfolios (Bruder, Hereil & Roncalli October 2011) the writers assert that, “…with the recent development of the European…

Thought Economics

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/11/03/generating-alpha-in-alternative-markets/ Even against the backdrop of a global recession, the top 50 fastest growing companies in the USA averaged growth rates between 3,893% and 40,882% in the three years to…

Thought Economics

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/10/20/alpha-hunter-using-twitter-to-predict-the-markets/ Our understanding of financial markets in the last few decades has shifted.  Professor Johan Bollen (Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing) states, “..I think behavioural economics has now…

Thought Economics

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/10/03/alpha-hunters-craig-donohue-on-the-secrets-of-futures-options-exchanges/ The concept underpinning financial exchanges can be traced back through much of human history. In Aristotle’s Politics, “…there is the anecdote of Thales and his financial device…. he knew…

Thought Economics

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/09/15/alpha-hunter-jim-oneill-gsams-man-of-brics/ With over US$714 billion under management, Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) ranks as one of the top 10 asset managers in the world.  At the helm is Jim O’Neill,…

Thought Economics

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/09/06/the-secrets-of-high-frequency-trading/ In recent years, advances in telecommunications, computing capacity and financial software platform capabilities have seen huge growth in the field of High Frequency and Algorithmic Trading (now accounting for…

Thought Economics

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/08/11/alpha-hunter-krishna-menani-the-opportunities-and-risks-in-bond-markets/ In any economic system, the fixed-income (bond) market plays an essential role as one of the principal ways of financing enterprise (be it corporate or sovereign).  Research shows that…

Thought Economics

As we sit here today, London remains in the grip of escalating riots, violence and disruption as young people have taken to the streets across the city looting stores, torching vehicles, engaging in arson and more.  As the Guardian newspaper reported, “London’s emergency services were on full-scale alert on Monday…

Thought Economics

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/08/04/alpha-hunter-the-dna-of-financial-markets/ The discovery of DNA’s structure revolutionized our understanding of how the human body works, revealing the source of our biological successes alongside the true sources of previously ‘unpredictable’ diseases. …

Thought Economics

In this exclusive interview, we speak to Celso Amorim (Foreign Minister of Brazil from 2003-2011, and current Minister of Defence), a man who has been described as having “…masterminded a transformation of Brazil’s role in the world that is almost unprecedented in modern history…” We look at what it takes to build a great country exploring areas including economics, politics, society and culture.

Thought Economics

In July 2011, the Guardian newspaper reported that in India, “… as the country’s economy booms and millions make the leap from poverty to the ranks of the new middle class, there has been a corresponding surge in kidnapping for ransom as those who feel left behind seek a share…

Thought Economics

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/07/21/alpha-hunter-john-brynjolfsson-the-hidden-risks-of-inflation/ Inflation (the general rise of prices of goods and services in an economy or conversely, the erosion of purchasing power of money) is not a new phenomenon. Even when…

Thought Economics

Hypothetical News: “…Traders around the world today began to sell all of the USA’s  military assets after a devastating terrorist attack removed confidence in the nation’s ability to protect itself.  In other news, a patient who may become terminally ill in the next few weeks has had all treatment ceased…

Thought Economics

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/06/27/the-risks-and-opportunities-of-unforeseen-black-swan-market-events/ The precipitous market-collapse which began the 2007 financial crisis was considered to be a ‘once in a thousand year’ event.  Similar ‘not in our lifetime’ rarity was also assigned…

Thought Economics

In this exclusive interview we talk to Tom Sherak, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (best known for their Academy Awards, also referred to as “Oscars”). We look at the role of film in society and how it has grown to become such a ubiquitous art. We discuss what makes a ‘great’ movie, some history of film, the economics and future of the industry, and how the internet and other technologies such as CGI and 3D have affected the movie business.

Thought Economics

In a recent paper entitled, “How to Detect an Asset Bubble” Jarrow, Kchia and Protter state that, “…After the 2007 credit crisis, Financial bubbles have once again emerged as a topic of current concern. An open problem is to determine in real time whether or not a given asset’s price…

Thought Economics

In 2010, The Economist reported the story of Narsama Anthaiah who’s “…sobbing can be heard throughout her village, Nagaram, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (AP).” They continue to explain, “When visitors from Hyderabad, the state capital, some 80km (50 miles) away, cross the threshold of her bare little…

Thought Economics

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