Natural capital? But who owns it?

Here is my post about the ownership of natural capital on the ICAEW website.

The disappointment of mergers and acquisitions

Do mergers and acquisitions make sense?

Kraft and Heinz are to merge. Is that good or bad? The answer depends on who you are. But mergers and acquisitions rarely create shareholder value, according to received wisdom. Of course some (some shareholders, the advisers) are going to benefit otherwise they wouldn’t happen. But the businesses as . . . → Read More: The disappointment of mergers and acquisitions

Tax turnover not profit: VAT's nice

The debate about the tax paid – or not paid – by companies doesn’t seem to have questioned whether the right thing is being taxed. Corporation tax is levied on profit which is the typically the difference between two much larger quantities: income and expenses. Companies have got very expert at adjusting the difference between . . . → Read More: Tax turnover not profit: VAT's nice

What will the economy look like in 2050?

Here is a panel I chaired for an ACCA virtual conference in the autumn of 2012. The panelists are Luke Wreford from WWF, David Aeron-Thomas from Forum for the Future and Tony Manwaring from Tomorrow’s Company.

The session covers issues such as what the green economy is, what it will mean for companies, what its . . . → Read More: What will the economy look like in 2050?

Responsibility for Europe

Europe teeters on the edge of the Eurozone and markets thrash. So whose fault is it?

Is it the fault of those who cannot pay back their loans (poorer countries like Greece)? Or of those who made them in the first place (richer countries like Germany and investors in debt)? No doubt both sides are . . . → Read More: Responsibility for Europe

How to lose your licence to operate

You may think that McKinsey (the consultants) is an odd choice of adviser for governments trying to conserve their rainforests. And you’d be right. They may be good at economic analysis, but they seem to have got REDD+ and carbon around their necks.

Greenpeace have been looking at the activities of McKinsey in advising governments . . . → Read More: How to lose your licence to operate

Fairer insurance

Can insurance be fair?

The European Court decision to prohibit insurance premiums varying between men and women is going to upset the insurance industry. They are crying that it is not fair, since women drivers, for example, are safer than men.

But it also raises some basic questions about insurance. The whole point about insurance . . . → Read More: Fairer insurance

How the West won

Niall Fergusson thinks that there are six reasons the West has been successful over the past 500 years. Things like competition, science, medicine, representative government, consumerism and the work ethic. And now the rest of the world is catching on…

What’s wrong with this?

the West is only ‘successful’ in purely financial terms. And even . . . → Read More: How the West won

Good news or bad news?

The BBC is reporting that additional flights from Heathrow are an indicator of economic recovery.

What is not being reported is the carbon impact of that ‘recovery’. There seems to be no recognition at all of the connection between air travel and climate change – let alone between economic growth as currently structured and climate . . . → Read More: Good news or bad news?

The Health and Safety of Chilean Mines

A terrible tale of negligence is emerging from the Chilean mines disaster. The mining company San Esteban Primera says it cannot even pay the wages of the trapped miners, let alone fund their rescue. So the government steps in.

It would have been cheaper for the company to pay for health and safety measures beforehand. . . . → Read More: The Health and Safety of Chilean Mines