19/06/17 - RADIO: Fifty Things that made the Modern Economy (50 x 15 mins) Tim Harford introduces inventions, ideas and innovations that have helped to create the modern economic world.
01/05/17 - RADIO: Start the Week: Wendell Berry: The Natural World (45 mins) Andrew Marr talks to the American writer, poet and farmer Wendell Berry. In his latest collection of essays, The World-Ending Fire, Berry speaks out against the degradation of the earth and the violence and greed of unbridled consumerism, while evoking the awe he feels as he walks the land in his native Kentucky. His challenge to the false call of progress and the American Dream is echoed in the writing of Paul Kingsnorth, whose book Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist eschews the grand narrative of a global green movement to focus on what matters - the small plot of land beneath his feet. Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics, calls herself a renegade economist and, like Berry and Kingsnorth, challenges orthodox thinking, as she points to new ways to understand the global economy which take into consideration human prosperity and ecological sustainability.
21/07/16 - RADIO: How Low Can Rates Go? (42 mins) Martin Wolf, Chief Economic Commentator of the Financial Times, examines how policymakers are testing the norms of economic life as they seek solutions to slow growth. The payment of interest goes back to the Babylonians. Today, the business of banking is based on paying savers and charging borrowers for money. Negative interest rates, paying banks for holding our funds, violates this established norm. Yet, five central banks, which together oversee a quarter of the world's economy, have opted to impose negative rates on the commercial banks that must use their services. The aim of this unconventional policy is to convince people to spend and invest rather save. The results so far have been mixed. So might central banks be running out of options to boost economic growth, nearly ten years after the start of the last financial crisis? Martin Wolf talks with economists and central bankers, past and present, about why ideas once thought utterly shocking, such as "helicopter money" and a the abolition of cash, are being openly considered. How might such policies affect the way people spend and save in the future? And how low can interest rates go?
11/03/16 - Book review: ‘Dark Money’, by Jane Mayer Jane Mayer’s ‘Dark Money’ is an exhaustive study of the Koch brothers’ attempt to influence public opinion. Review by Daniel Ben-Ami
22/02/16 - RADIO: Start the Week: Future Economies (45 mins) On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks ahead to a future dominated by automation, cyber security, the 'sharing economy' and advanced life sciences with the innovation expert Alec Ross, computer scientist Steve Furber and the journalist Paul Mason who predicts such changes heralding a post-capitalist world. But cutting-edge advances in robotics and computers will have a huge but uneven impact on working lives: while previous industrial revolutions affected blue collar workers, in the future traditionally middle class jobs will be under threat. The journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai focuses on the most marginalised sector of the white working class - the British far right.
09/02/16 - Boom Bust Boom Terry Jones (Monty Python) mixes expert insight, animation, puppetry and song to explain economics to everyone. Why do crashes keep happening? Why are students taught crashes don't occur? Do you shop for grapes like a Puerto Rican monkey? A combination of playful humour and serious commentary, Boom Bust Boom draws as much on interviews and historical analysis as it does on animation, puppetry and the comedy of the absurd. With contributions from John Cusack, journalists Paul Mason and John Cassidy plus leading experts including Andy Haldane, the Chief Economist of the Bank of England and Nobel Prize winners Daniel Kahneman, Robert J. Shiller and Paul Krugman, Boom Bust Boom explains economics to everyone.
19/01/16 - The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics Applying circular economy principles to global plastic packaging flows could transform the plastics economy and drastically reduce negative externalities such as leakage into oceans, according to this new report. The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics provides, for the first time, a vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systemic shift needed.
14/11/15 - Thomas Piketty calls for investors to divest from fossil fuels ahead of climate talks Economist says Paris summit offers a decisive moment in history for investors to move out of the dirty fuels that put the ‘public’s wellbeing at risk’. The economists warned that public wellbeing was at risk from continued investment in oil, coal and gas companies whose products are driving global warming. “Set against a backdrop of record-breaking climatic extremes and weather events, capital continues to flow into the exploration and future extraction of dirty energy. Those investments are wagers on a future in which vast potentials of carbon reserves are available to be processed – a bet against the public’s wellbeing.”
29/09/15 - If you're worried about TTIP, then you need to know about CETA It will be the first trade deal of its kind to come before the British and European parliaments, and if it passes the consequences will be disastrous.
29/09/15 - Breaking the tragedy of the horizon – climate change and financial stability - speech by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, given at Lloyd's of London.
08/09/15 - RADIO: The Long View: The Living Wage (28 mins) Jonathan Freedland examines current debates about the "living wage" in the light of a publication by woollen manufacturer, Sir Mark Oldroyd in 1894. As Liberal MP and the owner of a number of mills in Dewsbury in Yorkshire, he delivered a lecture to the Dewsbury Pioneers Industrial Society called "A Living Wage". It said: "A living wage must be sufficient to maintain the worker in the highest state of industrial efficiency, with decent surroundings and sufficient leisure". Jonathan is joined by Dr Stephen Davies from the Institute of Economic Affairs, Dr Sheila Blackburn from the University of Liverpool, Margaret Watson, former editor of Dewsbury Reporter, Father Simon Cuff, a leader with Citizens UK and actor Barrie Rutter.
6/09/15 - Our duty to engage with the world Drawing on his five decades in business, former BP chief executive John Browne has composed a manifesto to heal the rift between business and society.
09/06/15 - Why artists are saying No to TTIP A group of artists including actors Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott and Juliet Stevenson and designer Vivienne Westwood are fronting a campaign (artistsagainstttip.org) to raise public awareness of the trade deal TTIP (pronounced tee-tip) which is being secretly negotiated between the EU and the US. They are questioning its democratic validity, as no UK MP has had access to the negotiating documents. This week a European petition against TTIP has reached a record 2 million signatures, a few days ahead of a crucial vote on the deal by MEPs in the European parliament .
22/05/15 - Capitalism is just a story and other dangerous thoughts How many of us have a sneaking suspicion that something pretty fundamental is going wrong in the world? We keep hearing about the potentially devastating consequences of climate change but we are pumping more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every single year. We are forced into economic crisis after economic crisis and the only people who aren’t brought to their knees are those that cause it. In fact, they often just get richer and more powerful while the rest of us work harder and harder for less reward. Politicians all say the same basic thing. No one, it seems, is offering anything that is really different. The whole operating system is somehow wrong, but also somehow inevitable. Nothing can really be changed because this is just how things are. At least, that’s what we’re told, and how it can feel. But this way of living – our system of modern capitalism – is just a story. And this story is not the only one there is. It’s not inherent within us. It was invented by human beings, and so human beings can change it. But in order to get there, we first have to face up to some difficult truths.
03/05/15 - RADIO: Something Understood (30 mins) Economics is the discipline that politicians obey at all costs. Economists have become the most trusted advisers to those in power. But Mark Tully asks if the economic growth that politicians use to judge their country's state of health is undermining our spiritual well being. What would society look like if spirituality and economics were linked, if religious organisations were more actively engaged with material concerns, or if the purpose of economic policy was not just to maximise production but to increase a sense of inner peace which spirituality can give? Mark examines this question with the help of Joseph Prabhu who studied with some of India's greatest economists and who refuses to place the blame solely at the door of governments and policy advisors. He suggests that those who stress the importance of spirituality are also partly to blame for what he calls 'greed-based economics' because they have ignored our material needs. Maybe this, he feels, is one reason why economic thinking that ignores spirituality has such a grip on us that it seems to be the way of life.
21/04/15 - Economic growth doesn't create jobs, it destroys them It’s time to face up to the fact that economic growth does not create jobs, does not reduce inequality and does not solve environmental problems.
06/04/15 - Requiem for the American Dream Noam Chomsky is one of America's most important thinkers, critical minds, and voices of dissent, and thus it's hardly a surprise that his gripping ideas have been the subject of more than one documentary. 1992's "Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media" might be the most well known, and Michel Gondry's "Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?" the quirkiest. In his final long-form documentary interview - filmed over four years - Chomsky unpacks the principles that have brought us to the crossroads of historically unprecedented inequality. Tracing a half-century of policies designed to favor the most wealthy at the expense of the majority, Chomsky lays bare the costly debris left in its wake: the evisceration of the American worker, disappearance of the living wage, collapse of the dream of home ownership, skyrocketing higher education costs placing betterment beyond reach or shackling students to suffocating debt, and a loss of solidarity that has left us divided against ourselves. Profoundly personal and thought provoking, REQUIEM is a potent reminder that power ultimately rests in the hands of the governed - and is required viewing for all who maintain hope in a shared stake in the future.
05/03/15 - RADIO: What does the future hold for India's Tamil Nadu? (55 mins) In the third of our special live programmes from Chennai in India we explore the impact of rapid development on the region and its people. Presenter Fergus Nicoll heads to the seaside town of Nagapattinam to find out how the fishing industry is faring ten years after the Indian Ocean tsunami which led to tragedy on its shores. We also hear from millionaire Nandan Nilekani, the co-founder of Infosys - he tells us that entrepreneurs can help grow the Indian economy. BBC Correspondent Theo Leggett heads to Dehradun in Northern India to learn about the struggle to retain traditional agricultural techniques - in the face of GM seeds and hi-tech practices. Also, our reporter Vishala Sri-Pathma discovers how young Indian couples are navigating arranged marriages and dowries. Our live guests this morning are N. Sathyamoorthy, director of the Observer Research Foundation and Hema Venkatraman, an architect and blogger.
25/01/15 - RADIO: Global Business: The Circular Economy (25 mins) As Dame Ellen MacArthur circumnavigated the globe she got first-hand knowledge of the finite nature of the world’s resources. When she retired from sailing she created a foundation to promote the concept of a circular economy - where resources are reused and waste reduced to zero. Many companies around the world, including some of the biggest like Unilever, are responding to her ideas. Peter Day talks to the record breaking sailor and Paul Polman, the CEO of the Anglo Dutch company, about why these concepts are so important and how businesses can take them on board.
11/01/15 - RADIO: The City on the Couch (28 mins) Psychoanalyst Mary Bradbury investigates why a growing number of big businesses in the financial sector are taking more care of their employees' mental health.
08/12/14 - Oxfordshire's Low Carbon Economy Report Published by Low Carbon Oxford, ECI and University Of Oxford, it provides a snapshot of Oxfordshire’s low carbon economy and the potential opportunities for growth, jobs and a vibrant local economy.
02/12/14 - RADIO: Teaching Economics After the Crash (38 mins) The banking crash plunged economies around the world into crisis - but it also created questions for economics itself. Even the Queen asked why hardly any economists saw the meltdown coming. Yet economics graduates still roll out of exam halls and off to government departments or the City with much the same toolkit that, just five years ago, produced a massive crash.
22/11/14 - RADIO: Bottom Line: Upside-down Management (24 mins) What is the role of a business leader? To tell staff what to do or allow them to decide for themselves? One theory about management is that it should turn itself upside-down and permit those closest to the customer to dictate all sorts of business decisions including pricing, marketing and how to deal with complaints. This programme, first broadcast in 2013, won the Wincott Radio Journalism of the Year Award.
13/11/14 - BBC VIDEO: Indonesia's protective sea wall sparks controversy (2 mins) The two major economic summits between the 21-strong Apec group and the smaller Asean club have spent much of their time occupied with infrastructure. Billions of dollars of spending is needed across the continent. The biggest infrastructure project in the region is currently underway in Indonesia with $40bn (£25bn) being spent to try to protect the capital Jakarta from flooding.
04/11/14 - RADIO: Costing the Earth: Arctic Future (30 mins) The melting sea ice of the Arctic creates opportunities and threats for the people and wildlife of the region. This week the leaders of the polar nations are in Iceland to map out a future for the region at the Arctic Circle conference. Will oil and gas production ravage the north or bring jobs and money to impoverished local people? Will Russian designs on Arctic riches provoke conflict or link the region to the global economy? And what's in it for Britain? Can our expertise in polar science help us influence the development of the region?
04/11/14 - RADIO: Shared Planet: Beavers in Business(28 mins) Viewing nature in terms of the services it provides, or evaluating nature in financial terms, is a growing movement in conservation. Nature can be seen on balance sheets and hopefully respected for all that it gives us for free. But there is concern that monetising nature leaves it open to the ruthless world of finance and trading and diverts attention away from the real aims of conservation. Monty Don grabs this thorny issue and chairs a debate between the writer and conservationist Tony Juniper and the economist Clive Spash. There are no easy answers but plenty of food for thought.
08/10/14 - Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP: Why I’m fighting the anti-democratic TTIP EU-US trade deal TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) - many might question why we need to be concerned, or how a trade deal might have repercussions for our everyday lives. The reason this deal demands concern is that it’s stated aim is to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ to trade.
23/09/14 - Professor Steve Keen on the problem of private debt, bank reform and the 'political-financial complex'.
19/09/14 - This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate by Naomi Klein Klein wants this book to be read by people who don't read climate-change books – it addresses a potential catastrophe yet is calm and welcoming. Capital, Klein argues, has been separating humans from the world around them since the discovery of steam. But it is what she calls "our great collective misfortune" that just as leaders started waking up to the emissions problem in the early 1990s, they were also establishing the World Trade Organisation, and with it, a "new era" of hyperactive deregulation, tax-cutting and privatisation of public space.
08/07/14 - Venturefest - Oxfordshire's low carbon economy is worth £1.15bn a year in sales, more than 7% of the County's Gross Value Added (GVA), and employs almost 9,000 people in over 500 businesses. The University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute (ECI) has led a project to investigate the economic case for low carbon investment in Oxfordshire, in partnership with Low Carbon Oxford. Over the next 15 years, an additional 10,000 jobs could be created through a focus on low carbon innovation (such as energy, alternative fuel vehicle technology and the built environment) as well as through initiatives to decarbonise our infrastructure and energy. Venturefest presentation.
09/06/14 - A new report demonstrating that investment in the environment offers excellent value for money has been published by Natural England. Microeconomic Evidence for the Benefits of Investment in the Environment, assesses the evidence across a wide range of themes, including economic growth, health, social cohesion and resilience to climate change.
29/04/14 - VIDEO: SPERI Annual Lecture by George Monbiot “The Pricing of Everything” (1hr 18mins) The disastrous move towards monetising nature in order to save it.
Dan Ariely: What makes us feel good about our work? What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn't just money. But it's not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work. It's become increasingly obvious that the dismal science of economics is not as fi- the disastrous move towards monetising nature in order to save itrmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed.
01/06/13 - RADIO: BBC World Service Business Matters - Living on a prayer in the Eurozone (55 mins) Unemployment in the Eurozone has reached new records, with young people being the worst affected. In countries such as Greece and Spain, youth unemployment now exceeds 50%. We hear from graduates in Italy about the problems they face in finding a job. At 14 mins, we examine the psychological effects of being out of work. At 7 mins, we report from a Mumbai car factory suffering both from power cuts and a decrease in the demand for cars.
28/02/13 - RADIO: Today - Cancel the Apocalypse(7 mins) A new book, Cancel The Apocalypse, explains that have all got too tied into a senseless and relentless pursuit of economic growth and actually would be happier if we chose to work a shorter working week and made other major changes to the way we run our economy. Andrew Simms, fellow of the New Economics Foundation and author of the book, and Frances Cairncross, rector of Exeter College, Oxford, discuss whether we should work fewer hours in the week.
18/02/13 - RADIO: Analysis - Making the Best of a Bad Job (30 mins) David Goodhart considers whether the declining status of basic jobs can be halted and even reversed. Successive governments have prioritised widening access to higher education to try to drive social mobility, without giving much thought to the impact this has on the expectations of young people who, for whatever reason, are not going to take that path. But even in a knowledge-based economy, the most basic jobs survive. Offices still need to be cleaned, supermarket shelves stacked, and care home residents looked after. The best employers know how to design these jobs to make them more satisfying. Are politicians finally waking up to the problem?
31/08/12 - Inside Track: Issue 31 Autumn 2012 Transforming capitalism The theme of this new look Inside Track is the growing concern about our economic model and how it values high returns in the short term over a more sustainable, long term view. Trust that private entities can be a vehicle for public good is also at an all time low. The social and environmental challenges we face need collaborative and creative solutions.
10/06/12 - RADIO: Analysis - Steve Keen: Why Economics Is Bunk(30 mins) Newsnight Economics Editor Paul Mason interviews the controversial economist Steve Keen before an audience at the London School of Economics. Keen was one of a small number of economists who predicted there would be a major financial crisis before the 2008 crash. He argues that if we keep the "parasitic banking sector" alive the economy dies, and says that conventional economics provides an unwitting cover for "the greatest ponzi schemes in history".
09/06/12 - AUDIO: Steve Keen: Why 2012 is Shaping Up to be a Particularly Ugly Year(50 mins) Transcript and podcast of Chris Martenson interviewing Steve Keen.