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

The Arrogance of Globalisation

On March 29th 2010, The Economist reported that, “When the trials of four Rio Tinto employees opened in Shanghai last week, their guilty pleas to the first of the charges, of bribe-taking, dampened hopes that the matter might be settled without any severe penalties. Even so, the harshness of sentences handed down on Monday March 29th was unexpected. The mining giant’s four executives—three Chinese, one an Australian of Chinese descent—were jailed for between seven and…

Continue Reading...

Business Without Borders

In a statement issued on March 22nd 2010, Human Rights Watch said, “Google’s decision to stop censoring its Chinese search engine is a strong step in favour of freedom of expression and information, and an indictment of the Chinese government’s insistence on censorship of the internet…” They continued, “China is one of the world’s largest economies, but hundreds of millions of Chinese internet users are denied the basic access to information that people around the…

Continue Reading...

Economic Dependencies and Disasters

On March 11, 2011 at 05:46 UTC, Japan was hit with a Magnitude 9.0 Mega-Quake (the fourth largest earthquake ever recorded) .  To put the size of this quake in perspective, it was 8,000 times more powerful than the one which devastated Christchurch (New Zealand) in February 2011, and around twice as powerful as the 2004 Indian Earthquake and Tsunami which killed over 220,000 people.  The earthquake moved Honshu 2.4 m (7.9 ft) east and…

Continue Reading...

Global Health

In this interview, we speak to Sir Richard Feachem, who is Professor of Global Health at both the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Global Health Group. Sir Feachem was also the founding Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which has saved over 4.9 million lives globally. We discuss the key issues facing health in the developed and developing world, strategies to eradicate some of the most prevalent conditions, and the future of global health.

Continue Reading...

The New Danger of Financial & Economic Bubbles

Recent economic events have brought the concept of financial bubbles from academic texts to the forefront of economic and commercial thought.  Whereas economies used to be slow laborious creatures, the globalisation of capital markets, and growth of technology within them, has increased the ‘speed’ of economies to a pace never seen before. The New Structure of Bubbles The Financial Times define a bubble as existing “….When the prices of securities or other assets rise so…

Continue Reading...

Learning Lessons from Crisis

“Just two days after Haiti’s earthquake, Leonel Fernández, the president of the neighbouring Dominican Republic, ordered a helicopter to fly him over the border for an unannounced visit. He was worried that his Haitian counterpart and friend, René Préval, was still incommunicado. What made this neighbourly gesture remarkable was that the two countries that share the island of Hispaniola have long been divided by mutual suspicion. During a previous term in the 1990s, Mr Fernández…

Continue Reading...

The Toyota Recall

“[Shares in] Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest carmaker, fell in Tokyo as it expanded a U.S. recall by more than 1 million vehicles to 5.35 million, adding to concerns its reputation for quality may be permanently tarnished.” The article continues, “…Toyota’s “reputation for long-term quality is finished,” said Maryann Keller, senior adviser at Casesa Shapiro Group LLC in New York, a strategic adviser to the auto industry. ‘People aren’t going to buy Toyotas, period….

Continue Reading...

Dictators, Democracy and Some Home Truths…

As Foreign Policy Magazine reports, “Equatorial Guinea’s economy depends almost entirely on oil, which generated revenues last year of well over $4 billion, giving it a per capita annual income of $37,900, on par with Belgium.” While this has given the country’s ruler (Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo) an estimated net worth of over $600m (which in reality will be many magnitudes higher) it has left the population impoverished with one in three dying before the…

Continue Reading...

The Start of The Great Unwind?

“The Federal Reserve Board sent its most explicit signal yet that the emergency supply of liquidity to financial markets is done and the most aggressive monetary policy easing in its 96-year history will eventually reverse.” – February 19th, Bloomberg. Citing “continued improvement in financial market conditions”, the US Federal Reserve raised its discount rate (the rate banks are able to borrow directly from the Fed) by 25 basis points to 0.75% (from 0.50%).  This may…

Continue Reading...

Could Greece End the Euro?

As I write this, my Bloomberg feed shows that, “Euro-region leaders [have] ordered Greece to get the bloc’s highest budget deficit under control and said they are prepared to take “determined” action to staunch the worst crisis in the currency’s 11-year history.”, with the FT adding, “Under an agreement hammered out in last minute negotiations in Brussels, the 16-country eurozone stopped short of providing immediate financial support for Greece, but gave an implicit assurance to…

Continue Reading...

Speaker