Blog

Lord Griffiths: Restoring Trust in the Banking System

This is an excerpt from the The Mais Lecture: Restoring Trust in the Banking System at Cass Business School, May 24th 2017. For the full text, please click here.   It is a great honour to be invited to deliver the Mais Lecture this year, the 38th occasion on which it has been given.  It […]

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Richard Godden: “Wealth, Poverty and Politics” by Thomas Sowell

  How much of modern Western social and economic policy is based on properly interpreted factual evidence and how much on unexamined assumptions and ideology? In Wealth, Poverty and Politics, Thomas Sowell, the venerable Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, sets out to demonstrate that rather more than is healthy is based […]

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Richard Turnbull: What is the purpose of a company?

  In 1987 ICI, one of the leading chemical conglomerates at the time, described its purpose as follows: ICI aims to be the world’s leading chemical company serving customers internationally through the innovative and responsible application of chemistry and related science. Through the achievement of our aim we will enhance the wealth and well-being of […]

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Lord Griffiths: The public expect business to be ethical

This is a talk given by Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach at an event organised jointly by the Centre for Character and Values at the Legatum Institute and Clifford Chance LLP. and Chaired by Christina Odone, Chair of the Centre. (May 9th 2016).   I am a great admirer of Alasdair MacIntyre. He is one of […]

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Richard Turnbull: The Moral Case for Asset Management

This was a speech given at a reception for the New City Initiative hosted by the Lord Mayor of London, the Rt Honourable Lord Mountevans – July 7th 2016, Mansion House. To request a full copy of the Report please contact office@theceme.org May I, first of all, add my own thanks to the Lord Mayor, to […]

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Philip Booth: Morality, taxation and coercion

It is often argued that taxation to promote the position of the poor is somehow a moral act on behalf of those that are better off and paying taxes to finance the transfers to those who are worse off. It is not. It is not an intrinsically moral act for the same reason that, if […]

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Andrei Rogobete: Sports Direct gives business a bad name

  Sports Direct’s founder and Chief Executive, Mike Ashley has admitted to paying staff below the minimum wage. The consultancy firm Mckinsey & Co. has been found to have a ‘secretive’ £5bn proprietary investment fund for its partners and BHS, the high street retailer has filed for bankruptcy in a downward spiral of events that […]

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Andrei Rogobete: Business Values must be practiced, not preached

This is an excerpt of a speech given at the GSM Annual Conference on the 12th May 2016.   I would like begin by saying it is an absolute pleasure to be with you today. I was originally born in Timisoara but I have lived for most of my life in the UK – so it’s […]

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Richard Turnbull: Moral and economic issues in the EU Referendum

This is a transcript of a speech given as part of a debate on the EU Referendum. The event was organised by James Cowper Kreston and held at the Oxford Union.   The EU Referendum – some moral and economic perspectives Thank you for the invitation to speak this evening, and thank you also for putting on this […]

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Lord Griffiths: Wisdom is something practical, it is a manual for living

  This is a transcript from a speech given at Clare College, Cambridge on Friday 11th of March, 2016. It is a great pleasure and honour to be invited to address you today at this service to commemorate the benefactors of the College, and in particular its founder, Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare. When the […]

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Google should not be demonised

Poor old Google. Well, not so poor actually. According to their SEC 10-K filing group profits amounted, in 2014, to $17.26bn. Google’s UK sales (mainly internet advertising), based upon the billing address of customers, were around $6.5bn in 2014. Lots of sales, but, apparently no profits. Google themselves told the Public Accounts Committee in 2012 […]

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We must be stewards of the environment

(This is an adaptation of a speech given at the Institute of Economic Affairs – For more information about the event please click here) Christianity, politics the poor and the planet – what should the Christian attitude and response to these issues be?  I want to reflect on two things; the Christian responsibility for the environment […]

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Stakeholder relationships matter

First coined in 1984 by R. Edward Freeman in his book, Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, Stakeholder Theory brought a new and somewhat radical approach to the study of organizational management and business ethics. Radical in the sense that it became the first theoretical framework to secure a prominent position for the interplay of values, […]

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We need to talk about work

CEME will be publishing a ‘theology of work’ in late 2015 so it was particularly helpful to listen to Yves de Talhouet, senior Vice-President of Hewlett-Packard on the subject. Work is essential to human flourishing. All sorts of implications flow from that including for government welfare policies. However, work is not necessarily in the state […]

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Profit and sustainability are compatible

The inspiring session of the day came from Daniel Servitje, Chairman and CEO of the Bimbo Group, Mexico. Bimbo is one of the world’s largest baking goods industry firms with a capitalisation of US$12bn and around 129,000 employees. The company was described as ‘rooted in long-standing values,’ shaped by strong corporate governance and a determination […]

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Capitalism must take poverty seriously

I am passing through Rio de Janeiro en route to Belo Horizonte to attend the XXV World Congress of UNIAPAC (The International Christian Union of Business Executives) on the theme of “Business, Government and civil society working together for the common good.” This is my first visit to South America and Rio has presented me […]

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VW makes the case for a moral capitalism

What a mess. Many of you won’t like my title – surely the catastrophic failures and deceits at VW make the case against rather than for capitalism? Not so and here is why. At the root of the problem with VW is dishonesty. Now, of course, that dishonesty might have been driven by sales targets, […]

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Ethical business is good for society and for profit

Are values and profitability incompatible?   Values have taken a central role in the debate about how private companies ought to conduct business in the post-recession era. The idea that businesses should go beyond the narrow measures of shareholder value maximization and embrace a wider role of a ‘responsible citizen’ that cares about the society […]

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Tax and morality

Is the purpose of taxation payment for common services (defence, health, welfare) or a tool for the redistribution of wealth? That decision, and the balance between them, is a political one. However, there is nothing intrinsically moral about either high or progressive taxation. First, higher rates of taxation may not raise more revenue (the argument would be about the precise positioning […]

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The market and morality

The market economy is not perfect. However, we do sometimes forget that it is the market that has delivered significant prosperity to the world and lifted millions of people out of poverty. Improvements in literacy and sanitation have contributed to a significant reduction in the number of people existing on the benchmark measurement of $1 […]

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Quaker Capitalism and virtuous companies

I am fascinated that in the early years of the industrial revolution some of the great businesses were established by Quakers – not least the first iron foundry established by Abraham Darby. There were many others, Cadbury, Rowntree, Clarks’ Shoes, Barclays and Lloyds. Why was this so? The answer lies in some combination of moral integrity, culture, networks […]

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