Bad events in organisations are generally the product of bad systems rather than bad people. So, while it is right to place responsibility for the VW scandal with the chief executive rather than the individuals who falsified emissions tests, we need to go on and ask what it is about modern corporate life that has made such misbehaviour not only possible but appear increasingly common.
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21 October 2015, Financial Times
17 October 2015, Prospect
If the capital costs of Heathrow expansion could be substantially reduced and its actual financing costs were also trimmed, that project would merit further consideration. Otherwise, a second runway at Gatwick appears simpler, cheaper, less risky and less politically unpalatable.
09 September 2015, Financial Times
The financial sector in the 1980s and 1990s was characterised by a rush to incorporation. The mantra of “shareholder value” restored the nexus between finance and business that Smith had feared and Brandeis denounced. And the stage was set for negligence and profusion to prevail once again.
19 August 2015, Financial Times
Both the leading candidates for the leadership of Britain’s opposition Labour party have now committed themselves to renationalising the country’s railways. But the state-owned British Rail was one if the most reviled institutions in the UK, and privatisation has delivered many relative benefits.
17 June 2015, Financial Times
Do the almost simultaneous announcements this month of a new regime at Deutsche Bank, and an extensive restructuring at HSBC, symbolise a fundamental change in the structure of financial companies?
01 April 2015, Financial Times
One reason modern air travel is reassuringly safe is that investigation into accidents is honest and thorough. The contrast with finance could hardly be greater.
18 March 2015, Financial Times
Senior jobs in private-sector finance are taken almost exclusively by men. Since there is a link between testosterone and risk taking perhaps now’s the time to redress the balance.
17 December 2014, Financial Times
The belief that an aggregate of casual opinions provides a better process of value discovery than a flow of informed judgment through close engagement by investors, is an article of faith rather than a matter of empirical evidence.
22 October 2014, Financial Times
There are good reasons for state action in areas of business misconduct. But announcing ad hoc measures against companies in the news is the wrong way.
27 August 2014, Financial Times
Much of the complexity of modern finance is the result of regulatory arbitrage – avoiding or minimising restrictions by engaging in a transaction with more or less identical effect but more favourable regulatory treatment. Many regulators still cling to the hope that it could be eliminated if only rules were sufficiently extensive and sufficiently carefully prescribed. But this is an illusion.
28 May 2008, Financial Times
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