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

Is it Time to Rethink Sovereign Debt?

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 as doctors do not wish to invest any more medical-capital into a patient who only has a sixty percent chance of survival…” On the face…

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The Risks and Opportunities of Unforeseen ‘Black swan’ Market Events

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 to the events which followed including the failures of large financial institutions, global contagion, market interventions and (more recently) potential sovereign defaults throughout europe.  All…

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The Role of Film in Society

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.

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Blowing bubbles and capturing them in real time

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 process exhibits a bubble. Due to recent progress in the characterization of asset price bubbles using the arbitrage-free martingale pricing technology, we are able to…

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The Need to Call it Business

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 house, Narsama Anthaiah flings herself prostrate and wailing onto the dirt floor to touch their feet. Her theatrical grief is heartfelt. Two months ago her…

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Why Are Wars Becoming Endless?

The nature of global conflict is changing. Until the apocalyptic end of World War II, we had seen a ‘textbook’ approach to war, with ever increasing competition in the dimensions of firepower, manpower and speed contributing to the success of any given belligerent. Since then, war has moved into its fourth generation. As William Lind (a military expert) explains in a paper for the USAF Air University, “…In Fourth Generation war, the state loses its…

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Our Understanding of Life

In this exclusive interview, we talk to Professor Stefano Mancuso, founder of the study of plant neurobiology, and co-founder of the LINV (the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology). We discuss the very fundamental questions surrounding life itself and the profound discoveries he and his team have made about the nature of intelligence in our own ecosystem.

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How Technology and Innovation Drive Global Development

In this exclusive interview, we talk to Dr. Sam Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation with the Rank of Cabinet Minister. Dr. Pitroda takes us on a very personal journey on India’s technology driven revolution looking at areas ranging from the impact of the phone, through to the sweeping changes in economics, social-structure and even national security.

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The Moral Hazard of Asymmetric Information

Regardless of whether one agrees with the rationale behind Wikileaks‘ release of thousands of diplomatic cables, one certainty is that their appearance has opened a necessary debate on moral hazard’s in our own democracy. Manifesting Moral Hazard Information Asymmetry is an important concept, usually noted in transactional situations, where one party has more (or better) information than another- creating an imbalance of power (or influence) in a transaction- affecting the outcome.  “Moral Hazard” is a…

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The Dangers of Economic Inequality

The Guardian, along with many major news agencies around the world have been reporting the tragic story of how, “South African police chiefs have called for residents of a township near Cape Town to help track down the “useless scoundrels” who on Saturday killed a bride on honeymoon with her British husband. Anni Dewani, 28, a Swedish-born engineer, who had been married for less than two weeks to 31-year-old Shrien Dewani from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, was…

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