Today we're joined by one of the world's most decorated economists, Professor Vernon Smith - Nobel Prize winner in economics, and a long-time friend of the Institute of Economic Affairs.
Professor Smith gives his analysis of current economic trends in the US and throughout Europe, including his take on Donald Trump's tariffs and obstacles to free trade. If you like what you hear, be sure to watch Professor Smith's lecture at this year's THINK conference.
In between the resignations and the reshuffles, what have we learned about where Brexit will go next? Much of the focus has been on the response to the deal the prime minister reached with her cabinet at Chequers, but what was in the deal itself? How practical is the government’s position on Brexit? And what are the alternatives? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Marley Morris, senior research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and Andrew Pendleton, NEF’s director of policy and advocacy.
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith, Marley Morris, Andrew Pendleton
In this episode of Policy Matters, host Matt Dickson talks to Laura van der Erve from the Institute for Fiscal Studies about the merits of doing a university degree, and what recent evidence suggests are the relative labour market returns to degrees in different subjects at different institutions. With almost 50% of young people in England going on to Higher Education, and with tuition fees of £9,250 for most courses, it has never been more important to understand the impact on earnings of studying different subjects and at different HE institutions. Laura describes recent research from the IFS looking at graduate outcomes and explains some of the difficulties in pinning down the impact of a particular course on later earnings and employment. They then discuss social gradients in attending university and the extent to which inequalities have been impacted by changes in tuition fees. Finally, talk turns to thinking about the sorts of things students need to know in advance in order to make an informed decision about where to apply and what to study, how the government can help with this, and the limits of information provision as a policy.
Adam Cox is joined by Calum Brannan, tech start-up entrepreneur and CEO of “No Agent”: a new app designed specifically for landlords. They discuss frustrations that Buy-to-Let landlords have with working with letting agents, and how “No Agent” can make a difference. Calum explains his experience of letting agents as inefficient and overpriced, and how he intends to disrupt the old-fashioned market in the same way that Uber transformed the taxi industry.
Adam Cox talks to Michael Shapiro, Head of Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution at GSC Solicitors LLP, about one of the most visible parts of the legal process: litigation. Michael explains that a lot of litigation comes about as a result of poor planning at the start of a business relationship, and that prevention is much better and cheaper than the cure. He talks about why factors such as ego, stubbornness and revenge can drive a case to court – and why there are much better, and far less risky, ways to seek resolution. Would you take your business to court to prove a point?
In the last of her four discussions with writer and consultant on responsible business Tom Levitt, Linda Lewis probes further into what it means to be a responsible and sustainable business in the 21st century. The two discuss what it is that engages employees within a business setting, the growing phenomenon of “social enterprise”, and how such businesses differ from the mainstream. The role of “purpose” in business is explored; as is the changing nature of investment, which is increasingly being used to support businesses in creating positive social and environmental outcomes. The discussion is further explored from a historical perspective – what can we learn from hindsight that could improve business today?
Helen Brand is Chief Executive of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the global body for professional accountants – yet admits to not having trained in accountancy! She maintains that a career choice in the industry is a terrific grounding for any business. Her personal interests lie in politics and international relations. She enjoys travel, and is a supporter of gender diversity in business. Having spent time working in the children’s shoe department of a store, she says we shouldn’t shy away from jobs which might not necessarily boost a CV – because they can be career- and knowledge-enhancing all the same! Helen was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2011.
Professor Tim Evans of Middlesex University looks at the way in which President Trump and Theresa May are singing from different economic hymn sheets, at some of the museums around Britain at which you can explore the country's economic and political history this summer and at the move in Cuba to embrace property rights.
James Cameron-Wilson looks at the extraordinary success of Incredibles 2, the new No. 1 at the UK box office. It knocks Dwayne Johnson's new film, Skyscraper, into a cocked hat. James also reviews The Secret of Marrowbone and First Reformed, from Paul Schrader. Lastly, he reviews the DVD release of the 1966 cult film King of Hearts with Alan Bates, a satire on the madness of the First World War.