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.
“the only way to deliver growth – proper, sustainable, cake-growing growth – is by supporting the private sector. Every job created, every product sold, every pound in tax paid, is a tiny victory in the war for our collective prosperity.”
“The coronavirus pandemic is forcing America to confront its epidemic low-wage problem.”
“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.
“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.”
“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.”
“Economists typically ignore the social norms and customs on which markets depend and treat them as part of the woodwork, because they are so unchanging in normal times. But a disruption such as the one caused by COVID-19 makes these tacit assumptions explicit, reminding us how much we take for granted.”
“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.”
“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.”
“For Torben Iversen, capitalism is not responsible for the crisis democracies are currently facing. After Jenny Andersson, Cyril Benoît underlines the limits of this optimistic interpretation.”
” 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.”
“Historically, during national emergencies like World War II, the U.S. government subordinated business interests to the public good. Why can’t it do so in the Covid-19 crisis?”
“For Torben Iversen, capitalism is not responsible for the crisis democracies are currently facing. Responding to this argument, Jenny Andersson underlines the limits of this optimistic interpretation.”
“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.”
“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.”