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

How Board Members Really Feel About ESG, from Deniers to True Believers

“we interviewed 25 experienced European non-executive directors representing 50 large, well-known companies. […] Unsurprisingly, we encountered a wide range of individual attitudes — from out-and-out skepticism around the importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria to fervent belief. But when we looked a little more closely we discovered that directors cohere around five distinct archetypes of behavior. In profiling the different types, we identified strategies to help directors overcome resistance to ESG issues at the director level.”

Why the World Is Due a Revolution in Economics Education

“Economic thinking governs much of our world. But the discipline’s teaching is stuck in the past. Centred around antiquated 19th-century models built on Newtonian physics, economics treats humans as atomic particles, rather than as social beings. While academic research often manages to transcend this simplicity, undergraduate education does not – and the influence of these simplified ideas is carried by graduates as they go on to work in politics, media, business and the civil service.”

Capitalism May Be under Fire, But Competition Is Extremely Popular

“Competition is a central tenet of a market economy. As long as scarcity exists, not all wants can be fulfilled, so economic actors must compete for scarce resources.

This is, of course, something far more straightforward to those versed in economic theory than it is to the average consumer. It’s interesting, therefore, to examine what the public thinks about competition between businesses. Thanks to the latest Flash Eurobarometer, we can do just that.”

“Capitalism; The Future of an Illusion” – New on Our Bookshelf

Capitalism; The Future of an Illusion argues that economies organized around the pursuit of private profit are contradictory, incoherent, and heavily shaped by politics and governmental action. But the illusion remains hugely consequential because it has been embraced by political and economic elites who are convinced that they are powerless to change this system.

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No, Walmart Is Not Evidence that Centrally-Planned Economies Work

“Their argument is essentially this: free-market economists are wrong to denounce the possibility of economic planning, because major companies such as Amazon and Walmart plan extensively every day. […] The problem, in Phillips and Rozworkski’s view, is that these planning tools are currently being put to the ends of generating profits. But what is profitable is not always socially useful. […] Therefore, they conclude, what we need is a planned socialist economy harnessing the techniques of Walmart and others to socially productive ends. It’s difficult to know where to start with this line of reasoning.”

‘The Road to Serfdom’ at 75: Reflecting on Hayek’s Enduring Work

“Friedrich A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom was first published 75 years ago this month. Initially written as a brief memo in 1933, it eventually grew into a book and is probably the Nobel Laureate economist’s most well-known work. How does TRS hold up this many years later? What does it have to say about where we find ourselves today as a civilization and where we might be headed?”

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Market Rules: A Discussion on the US Banking System with Professor Mark H. Rose

“The US banking system includes a few giant “financial supermarket” institutions and thousands of small community banks. This unique structure has been shaped by more than a century of political dealmaking. In his new book, Market Rules: Bankers, Presidents, and the Origins of the Great Recession (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), Mark Rose discusses the politics that have shaped the banking system. From political battles fought to overturn federal Glass-Steagall Depression-era restrictions and state prohibitions against branching to more recent postcrisis fights to repeal Dodd-Frank regulations, Dr. Rose recounts the arguments, politicians, and bankers that shaped the industry over the past half century.”

Why I’m Excited about the Conscious Capitalism Certification Program

“Over the years, there are three things I’ve longed for as I built my consulting practice: (1) A community of fellow consultants who are hungry to grow this movement leader by leader, company by company until conscious capitalism is the new business as usual, (2) Somewhere to go to show my work to people who understand this stuff and who can help me get continually better at what I do, (3)…”

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