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

Unethical Economics

Hypothetical News, 2013 “Deep in a London slum, 25 people were arrested by the authorities today for not paying their air-bill. A. Person, spokesman for air-aid said, ‘the government must act on this- it is ridiculous that we have a society where some people can afford air, and some people can’t. How long are we going to sit by while more people die?’. Meanwhile, traders at the Singapore Global Air Exchange [SGAx] racked up record…

Continue Reading...

Learned Helplessness in Democracies and Economies

In my article of September 01st 2010 “Thinking Ourselves Into Another Recession” I discussed how psychology plays a critical role in the well-being of an economy.  Using the paradigm of eating disorders, we discussed how: “…When we talk of economic confidence, business confidence, or even confidence in global markets, we are talking of the mindset of the majority of participants in that market.   In a ‘booming’ market, participants feel happy, with little sense of risk-…

Continue Reading...

Basel III – Thicker Gloves in a Boxing Match

As the Economist reported, “On September 12th the Basel Committee, a club of supervisors and bank regulators, finally reached agreement on how much extra stuffing needs to go into the cushions [of banks] to absorb losses and buffer the financial system against the next crisis.” The “Basel III” recommendations set out the revised global minimum capital requirements for banks.  As Felix Salmon (Reuters) analyses, “Possibly the most important thing here is the existence of the…

Continue Reading...

Thinking Ourselves into Another Recession

Reporting on the increased perceived risk of a double-dip recession, the Huffington Posted noted how there is “..a growing sense of doom among some prominent economists“.  They went on to cite Nouriel Roubini, the cofounder and chairman of Roubini Global Economics and a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, who stated the, “Risk of a double dip recession in advanced economies (US, Japan, Eurozone) has now risen to 40%.” along with Mohamed…

Continue Reading...

Why Must Some People Beg For Aid?

UN Dispatch reported the words of Ban Ki Moon (UN Secretary General), who visited the Pakistan floods, saying, “This has been a heart-wrenching day, and I will never forget the destruction and suffering that I have witnessed.  I have visited the scenes of many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this. The scale is so large: so many people, in so many places, in so much need… I am also here to send…

Continue Reading...

Protecting the Rights of Planet Earth

In this interview we talk to Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace. We discuss, in detail, the profound issues affecting our earth, including energy and climate change, food security, oceans, forests, international trade, economics, the structure of society, technology and more.

Continue Reading...

Learning About Ourselves Using Technology

At an academic level, behaviour refers to, “…the actions of an organism or system, usually in relation to its environment, which includes the other organisms or systems around as well as the physical environment. It is the response of the organism or system to various stimuli or inputs, whether internal or external, conscious or subconscious, overt or covert, and voluntary or involuntary.” Contextualising this, researchers from fields as diverse as psychiatry, psychology, sociology, economics and…

Continue Reading...

Charities – The New Management Consultants…

In July 2010, the Economist observed how non-profit organisations “…are commonly advised to become more like for-profit businesses. Management experts and consultants view them as horribly inefficient due to the absence of the concentrating power of the profit motive… [however] there has been barely any reciprocal pressure on for-profit firms to learn from the non-profits.” Organisations in the third-sector (an umbrella phrase used to describe the not-for-profit sector) have a number of key characteristics which …

Continue Reading...

Labour Market Arbitrage in China

In his 1817 book, “On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation“, David Ricardo explained the principle of economic comparative advantage.  He drew example from the production of wine and cloth in England and Portugal and explained, “In England it is very hard to produce wine, and only moderately difficult to produce cloth. In Portugal both are easy to produce. Therefore while it is cheaper to produce cloth in Portugal than England, it is cheaper…

Continue Reading...

Taxation and Economic Self-Harm

There is little doubt that taxation is an economically necessary and ethically valid part of society’s structure.  “Taxes” stated Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. “…are the price of civilisation.” Many cite taxation as having four ‘key’ roles in society, The generation of revenue for the state to provide infrastructure, education, defence, welfare, public services and so forth The re-distribution of wealth from the richer to the poorer parts of society to aid social development and reduce…

Continue Reading...

Speaker