Articles & Blogs on the Ethics of Markets / Economics / Business

Resetting Capitalism; Searching for Common Ground (Webinar)

Resetting Capitalism; Searching for Common Ground (Webinar)

Already before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic there were grave concerns about the state of our global economy and the future of capitalism. The current COVID-19 crisis only adds fuel to this debate. What will this reset look like and who can and/or will enforce it? Moral Markets is one of the partners in the organisation of a webinar on Monday 29 June from 16.00 to 17.30 CET on this topic.

Reimagining Capitalism for a Broken World

Reimagining Capitalism for a Broken World

“More than half of the world’s population believe capitalism is doing more harm than good. But is it beyond repair, or can it be fixed from within? Harvard Business School professor Rebecca Henderson joins Azeem Azhar to share her vision of purpose-driven capitalism, where companies can make good profits by doing the right thing. They also explore:

  • Why strong government and civil society are fundamental for healthy capitalism.
  • Why highly-rated ESG companies have proved to be more profitable and resilient.
  • The flaw in relying on a few philanthropists to fund public services.

Socially Responsible Investing Can Be Like Searching for Fool’s Gold

Socially Responsible Investing Can Be Like Searching for Fool’s Gold

“ESG proponents argue that when companies place importance on reducing their carbon footprint, emphasizing workplace management or improving board diversity, they are doing good business that will generate greater long-term financial returns for their investors. […] Many academic and industry studies have looked into this, however, and there is no conclusive evidence that ESG investing leads to superior returns for investors.”

Has the [Australian] Government Given Up on Markets?

Has the [Australian] Government Given Up on Markets?

“The federal government announced last week that it would be changing the fees charged for different degrees at Australia’s universities. Some degrees will be made cheaper and others more expensive. Which ones? Well, that’s based on the government’s best guess as to which industries will need more workers in the future. Economics — ironically one of the disciplines that will be made more expensive by these changes — would suggest this is unwise. Australian governments have a long and unusually proud history of being terrible at picking winners. The changes to university fees are just the latest example.”

Book Review: The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy

Book Review: The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy

“In The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy, Stephanie Kelton dispels six key myths that have shaped the conventional understanding of deficits as inherently bad, instead arguing that deficits can strengthen economies and lead to faster growth. This book is a triumph, writes Professor Hans G. Despain, shifting normative grounds of government spending away from the false and unproductive idea that deficits are irresponsible and ruinous towards the productive political activity of deciding which spending programmes should be prioritised.”

Private Gain, Public Loss

Private Gain, Public Loss

“The project of selling state or public assets to be owned or run by private businesses has always been controversial. What characterises the controversy, though, is that both advocates and opponents tend to cast it in instrumental terms. That is, the identity of the body or entity doesn’t matter in and of itself; what matters is whether or not they achieve a good outcome or do a better job. […] But that view is shortsighted. We don’t just care about what the decision is and whether a decision is right, just, efficient or good. We also care about who makes the decision.”

Amazon’s Private Government

Amazon’s Private Government

” The patent, for a form of blockchain ledgering technology, will allow Amazon to oversee the collection of an unprecedented amount of data about the business operations of its sellers, including their entire supply chain. In essence, the patent fulfills Amazon’s plans to create a private regulatory regime, where it uses proprietary information to create a “certification” bureaucracy: a private, for-profit alternative to the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Trade Commission. Unlike governmental agencies, however, it will have no public oversight, and can use its certifying power to squeeze sellers and consolidate control.”

A Greener Economy: How We Make Sustainability Central to Business

A Greener Economy: How We Make Sustainability Central to Business

“what role can individuals within businesses play in actually achieving a more profound change? How can just one person help turn what has been a traumatic period in human history, into one that future generations will benefit from, and create a more sustainable world? We studied 44 heads of sustainability at companies around the world, exploring what they did to build sustainability into their organisation.”

We’re Entering the Age of Corporate Social Justice

We’re Entering the Age of Corporate Social Justice

“Research has shown that companies with effective Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs are more profitable than those that aren’t. Over the last 50 years, corporations have relied on these programs, which include social issue marketing, philanthropic efforts, employee volunteer initiatives, and diversity and inclusion work, to build their brands and satisfy customers. Now, consumers and employees are raising the bar. […] Consumers and employees are now looking for more than CSR — they’re looking for what I call Corporate Social Justice.”

Also available in: Dutch

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