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Lyndon Drake: Virtues of Growth and Restraint

In this final article, I will draw from two stories in the Bible that will be well-known to many readers, to give an example of how those who read the Bible as scripture can draw from those stories in developing modern economic ethics. The first story is of the Garden of Eden, and of the […]

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Lyndon Drake: The Task of Modern Economic Ethics

As I suggested in my previous article, my preferred way to read the biblical texts is to identify in them a particular kind of method, rather than precise prescriptions. In this article, I will suggest some specific aspects of method in modern, theologically-informed economic ethics. Above all, I suggest that we give attention to human […]

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Lyndon Drake: Types of Creativity in Biblical Texts

One way to approach biblical texts is to read them as if they prescribe economic medicine for modern social maladies. For example, Paul Mills argues that an appropriate and devout appreciation of the Jubilee of Leviticus 25 will result in the construction of an economic system where no interest is charged on debts. This has […]

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CEME Video Podcast: Interview with Andrew Lilico

Join us for this episode of the CEME video podcast where our host Graeme Leach interviews Dr Andrew Lilico. Dr Andrew Lilico is Executive Director and Principal of Europe Economics. He has over 15 years’ experience of providing expert economic advice to clients around the world. Andrew has previously been the Chief Economist of Policy […]

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John Kroencke: Supply-Side Progressivism on the Main Stage

Promising to loosen the constraints of the planning system on developers and reignite economic growth, Labour leader Keir Starmer sounded in parts of his speech to his party conference like he was the leader of the other party. While much of Europe is shifting to the right, the conservative party is trailing in polls by […]

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CEME Video Podcast: Interview with Prof. Philip Booth

Join us for this episode of the CEME video podcast where our host Graeme Leach interviews Prof. Philip Booth. Philip Booth is Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics at St Mary’s University, Twickenham where he also serves as the Director of Catholic Mission. He teaches and researches in fields related to economics, political economy, […]

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Andrei Rogobete: Generative AI is Transforming Business – What are the Moral Implications?

A recent report by McKinsey & Co. addresses the impact of generative AI on the future of business. It makes several startling predictions:   – Generative AI’s impact on productivity could add trillions of dollars in value to the global economy. Generative AI could add the equivalent of $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion annually across […]

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John Kroencke: Proposed Cambridge Extension is Well Targeted

Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, gave a speech on 24 July where he outlined a variety of policies that the government is pursuing to address the fact that too few homes are being built in the places that most need them. This problem impacts housing costs most directly, of […]

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CEME Video Podcast: God & Economics

In this latest episode of the CEME Podcast, Revd. Dr. Richard Turnbull (Director, CEME) interviews Dr Graeme Leach on the topic of God and Economics. Graeme Leach is a professor of economic policy and a member of the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) of high profile UK macroeconomists. He has written numerous articles for The […]

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Andrei Rogobete: ISAs Need to be Protected and Expanded, Not Capped

A recent report by the Resolution Foundation entitled “ISA ISA Baby” proposes that the UK’s low levels of household savings be remedied by revising and expanding the Help to Save government scheme.  The authors argue that this could be funded by capping ISAs at £100k which, in their eyes, “largely benefit the already wealthy”. While […]

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CEME Video Podcast: Biblical Economics – Freedom & Fruitfulness

Join us in our latest video podcast where Graeme Leach, CEO & Chief Economist of Macronomics Consulting interviews Dr Peter Warburton on the topic of Biblical Economics: Freedom & Fruitfulness. Dr Warburton has worked as an applied economist in London since 1975, graduating from Warwick University with a Masters degree and gaining a doctorate from City […]

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John Kroencke: Economic growth and fiscal prudence demand more than tax cuts

In my last blog post from the early days of the leadership contest I stressed the need for the next prime minster to care about economic growth. We now do, but will this be sufficient?   The Importance of Growth The growth rate of the UK after the financial crisis has hurt families and the […]

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CEME Video Podcast: What does the Bible say about Economics?

  Graeme Leach, CEO & Chief Economist of Macronomics Consulting interviews Paul Williams, Professor of Marketplace Theology and Leadership at Regent College in Vancouver on the relationship between scripture and Economics. Full video available below.        

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Richard Turnbull: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926–2022)

The longest reign of any British monarch came to an end on the afternoon of Thursday, September 8, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at Balmoral Castle, her favorite residence, in the northeast of Scotland. She occupied a unique place in the hearts of the British people and countless millions beyond the shores of the […]

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Brian Griffiths: Why Cutting Inflation Tax is the No. 1 Priority

Who can you trust to manage the public finances and cure inflation? This is the key issue in this election campaign. Liz Truss wants to cut taxes, borrow more and start paying back after the next general election.  Rishi Sunak wants to get inflation under control first as a foundation for enterprise and growth. Sound […]

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John Kroencke: The Next Prime Minister Needs to Care About Growth

The confluence of events in the last few years have done no wonders for the economic performance of any country, but the longer-term performance of the British economy in the wake of the financial crisis is even more worrying. With the prospect of a sustained fall in real disposable income due to general inflation and, […]

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Andrei Rogobete: The Cost of Living Crisis Will Hit Savings Hard

  The economic headwinds facing Britain seem to be evermore penetrating – recently we have seen: Inflation hit a 40-year high of 9% Largely driven by the increase in utility prices and the higher energy price cap that came into effect (see chart below). ONS chief economist, Grant Fitzner said that, “Around three quarters of […]

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Brian Griffiths: Inflation, the Bank of England and the Blame Game

UK inflation is at a 40-year high and rising. The consumer price index has hit 9%, the retail price index 11.1%. As the Government’s official target is 2%, the blame game is in full swing, with the main target being Bank of England and its Governor, Andrew Bailey.   The Government’s priorities, outlined in the recent […]

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Richard Turnbull: The Ethics of P&O

The P&O debacle has become a touchstone for business ethics. Few would like to be in the shoes of Peter Hebblethwaite, the Chief Executive, who admitted in oral evidence to a joint sessions of the Transport and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committees, that he had broken the law on consultation with trade unions. […]

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John Kroencke: Competing Institutional Solutions to Housing Supply Restrictions

In the last few years, increasing numbers of people across the political spectrum and across the developed world have begun to recognize the effects of restrictive housing rules on high housing prices in many global cities. In these cities, the physical cost of producing an additional unit of housing is lower than the value at […]

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Richard Turnbull: The Public want Goods, not Politics

Terry Smith, chief executive of investment management company, Fundsmith, began his January 2022 letter to investors, ‘This is the twelfth annual letter to owners of the Fundsmith Equity Fund.’ Pretty routine stuff one might think. Except. Unilever was the second worse performing stock in the Fund. Smith did not hold back: “Unilever seems to be […]

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Richard Turnbull: The ‘elites’ have lost confidence in the market

60 per cent of business leaders and, indeed, 75 per cent of leaders in larger businesses, think profit is incompatible with a society in which people are happy. Incompatible. The figure for the general public is just 37 per cent. Similar percentages of business leaders think business should be taxed more and executives are paid […]

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Andrei Rogobete: The People Believe in Business

It’s all too easy for politicians and commentators to take a pop at businesses, casting them in the role of greedy capitalists bent on exploiting their workers to make a quick buck. Fortunately, the British public don’t seem to share that rather dismal view of the private sector. Indeed, new polling commissioned by the Centre […]

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Brian Griffiths: A Celebration of Advent

The meaning of Advent I must first make a confession. I love carol services. I love singing carols. I love the Christmas tree. I love Christmas decorations. I love the festivities of Christmas. They remind me of when I was very young singing carols from house to house in Fforestfach which was then a village. […]

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John Kroencke: Long a political target, big business polls better than you might think

Despite criticising the actions of big business being a favourite pastime of many a business minister, John Kroencke writes that wider opinion of big business is actually more favourable than we might expect.  Like many I rely on Amazon. In fact, there is rarely a week where a package doesn’t arrive on my doorstep. While […]

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Richard Turnbull: When it comes to business, the clergy and the flock see things very differently

Committed churchgoers – defined as those who attend weekly – have a considerably more positive view of business and the market economy than those who lead them and teach them. This is the result of polling conducted for the Centre for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics. Savanta ComRes polled six audiences between 10th May 2021 and […]

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Lord Griffiths: Can the Bank of England Stop the Drift of Inflation into Stagflation?

UK inflation is suddenly back with a vengeance. In an interview with the Financial Times, Huw Pill, the chief economist at the Bank of England (and my former colleague at Goldman Sachs) warns that the official rate of inflation may rise above five per cent early next year. This means that the retail price index could rise […]

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John Kroencke: Environmentalism, Degrowth, and the Moral Case for Economic Growth

Those following the news in the U.S. and U.K. have strained to find much of intellectual interest in contemporary policy debates. Sure, there are ever-widening cultural battles and an array of topics on which one can admire the slogan-jousting of a few hired hands, but there is a seemingly small market for reasoned discussion about […]

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Andrei Rogobete: What Makes Society Ethical?

Some would say that with the National Insurance hike of 1.25%, Boris Johnson seems to have all but erased the (already thin-wearing) conservative ideology found within the Conservative party. However, there are some broader debates we should be having that do not cross party lines. Let’s give Boris the benefit of doubt and assume that […]

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John Kroencke: Mutually Beneficial Solutions to the Housing Crisis

Housing reform efforts in both Britain and the United States have tended to get caught in the quagmire of fractious politics. For years, figures on the left have called for below market rate or social housing. Those in the free-market camp have called for easier private market development rights. Renters have emphasized the outsized returns […]

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Lord Griffiths: A New Age of Inflation?

The success of major advanced countries in dealing with Covid over the last twelve months has been remarkable. Scientists first discovered the vaccines. Then business accelerated their manufacture on an enormous scale. And as the vaccinations have been rolled out, the economic recovery has been dramatic.  As new variants appear we are still not out of […]

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Steve Morris: Lost gurus of the 80s – Jan Carlzon (Part 1: Moments of Truth)

  Jan Carlzon’s book Moments of Truth comes from the depths of the 1980s. It is both prophetic and deeply inspiring and as fresh and relevant now as it was when he wrote it. Carlzon was the young and dynamic president and CEO of Scandinavian Airline Services (SAS). He faced an unenviable challenge with this […]

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Philip Booth: Subsidiarity Post-Covid

  “[i]t is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do.” (Quadragesimo anno, 79).   In the current crisis, there is much talk of “policy reset”. Some of that talk seems strange. We […]

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Steve Morris: The Homespun Wisdom of Robert K Greenleaf

Steve Morris continues his series on lost management gurus It is 1969 and campuses in the US are alive with revolt and turmoil. The anti-Vietnam protests are getting serious and America looks like it might fracture. It was time for a little-known educator, born in 1904 in Terre Haute, Indiana, to propose a way of […]

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Andrei Rogobete: A High Savings Ratio is Nothing to Cheer About

On the surface, one of the few bright spots of the second quarter of this year was a sharp rise in the UK’s savings ratio. But though an increase of 29% sounds like good news, in reality it’s quite the opposite. More than anything, the surge in saving signals an economy in deadlock.  Rather than […]

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Steve Morris: The lost wisdom of John Harvey-Jones

Steve Morris continues his series on lost management gurus There is something infinitely sad that the great classic books of the late John Harvey-Jones are now available for one penny on Amazon. Indeed, every book Harvey-Jones ever wrote is out of print. Harvey Jones has been written out of history and a voice that was […]

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Lord Griffiths: Will Covid-19 kickstart inflation?

Last August, in The Spectre of Inflation, I argued that the remarkable stability of prices in the past 25 years was due to central banks having operational independence and conducting monetary policy with a fixed inflation target of two per cent. While respondents and others put forward a variety of views, all recognised that a surprise […]

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Steve Morris: Lost prophets of the 80s – Charles Handy and The Age of Unreason

  Steve Morris recalls interviewing Charles Handy and reflects on one of his books I once spent a very pleasant day with Charles Handy at his home in Wimbledon, London. In fact, the day just flew past as we talked about organizations and life and goodness knows what else. I was interviewing him for one […]

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Philip Booth: Taking and Returning Liberties

JP Taylor wrote in his Oxford History of England: “Until August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state beyond the post office and the policeman…He could travel abroad or leave his country forever without a passport or any sort of official permission. He could exchange […]

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Richard Turnbull: The Ethics of Working from Home

One of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic is a shift in attitudes and practices of remote working at least some of which are likely to be permanent. A survey undertaken by the Institute of Directors of around 1,000 firms found that 74% plan on maintaining or increasing the amount of home working and more […]

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Andrei Rogobete: Britain faces a savings crisis — what can be done?

This was first published in The Article. Brian Griffiths’s recent article The Spectre of Inflation examined the nation’s record on controlling inflation, and also the dangers of returning inflation. This is, at least in part, driven by the staggering increase in public spending as well as the UK’s money supply growth since lockdown. While most analysts do […]

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Richard Turnbull: Is the concept of Employment an anathema in the new, plural working environment?

This was first published for Tectona on August 27, 2020. For decades UK governments have sought to impose a fixed employment status on as many in the workforce as possible. If Rishi Sunak (UK Chancellor of the Exchequer) wants to be remembered as a great, reforming Chancellor he should abolish the concept of employment and […]

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Brian Griffiths: The Spectre of Inflation

The Great Moderation For the past 27 years UK governments of all political persuasions have targeted a rate of inflation of 2 per cent as the principal objective of monetary policy. The Bank of England is charged with the implementation of policy and to ensure its freedom to take tough decisions it was granted operational […]

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Richard Turnbull: Is There A Divinely Ordained Economic System?

Graeme Leach, formerly the chief economist at the Institute of Directors, has done us a great service with his expositions on ‘Thoughts on a biblical economic worldview or Godonomics.’ Graeme is clear. The free market economy is ordained by God for our economic prosperity. This is a point of view of some importance and which […]

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Richard Turnbull: Moral Questions for the Government

  I want to think about the future. As we emerge from this Covid-19 crisis we will not be short of pundits advising us of the absolute necessity of things that are on their agenda but don’t really have anything to do with our economic, moral or other response to the pandemic. The sound of […]

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Andrei Rogobete: Difficult Times Ahead for the Airline Industry

It is bound to raise eyebrows from analysts and investors when a long-term value investor like Warren Buffet unloads Berkshire Hathaway’s entire stake in the five largest US airlines (Delta, Southwest, United, and American Airlines). It signals an all but total loss of confidence in the airline industry. Airbus chief executive, Guillaume Faury, said that […]

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Richard Turnbull: The Morality of the Trade-offs between Health and Economics

For the more libertarian among us, not least economic libertarians, the lifting of the lockdown cannot come quickly enough. Others are either fearful of the consequences of moving too rapidly or perhaps enjoying the restrictions rather too much. Yet again there are those fearful of the economic consequences of the state’s intervention and others suggesting […]

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Andrei Rogobete: COVID19 is a Greater Threat for Developing Countries

  The World Bank issued a warning recently claiming that the impact of COVID19 will have a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable in lower-income countries throughout South America and the Caribbean. Martín Rama, World Bank Chief Economist for the Latin America said that, “Governments across Latin America and the Caribbean face the enormous challenge […]

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Richard Turnbull: The Moral Case for Tesco’s Dividend

  Lord Adonis has called for the chief executive of Tesco to resign. He argues that Tesco is using £585m of state aid in business rates relief to pay its shareholders a dividend of £635m. This is exactly the sort of false linkage that damages the case for ethical business. There is an absolute moral […]

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Andrei Rogobete: ‘Pandenomics’ – How COVID19 is Changing Business & Society

  There are beacons of light in this otherwise barren landscape that the West is going through. Yet they’re coming from places you might have not initially expected. Business has mobilised on an unprecedented scale to alleviate the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis – and it has done so voluntarily. It’s worth pointing out a […]

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Steve Morris: Learning from Family Enterprise

Steve Morris FRSA grew up in a family business. He argues that the model could provide some answers as we look at the future of capitalism. The experience of growing up in a family business shaped my life, although I didn’t realise it at the time. I learned so much about values from my parents; […]

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Richard Turnbull: Good Business in Time of Crisis

  What constitutes a good business and what is the purpose of business are longer-term questions of interest that generate a great deal of debate and observation and upon which CEME will be publishing a fuller reflection later in the year. The COVID-19 crisis has brought to the fore multiple examples of business acting responsibly […]

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Steve Morris: Can you be a Christian and be competitive?

This article was first published by Christian Today on 18 September 2019. It is a good question and thankfully it is one that Edward Carter has been wrestling with. I’m just back from a talk he gave to launch his book God and Competition and I’m buzzing with ideas and questions. For me in particular it is […]

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Richard Turnbull: Vibrant Capital

A great title from Grant Thornton. Several hundred people came together to celebrate the vibrancy of London and its economy and to look to the future. The CEO of Grant Thornton, Sacha Romanovitch, introduced the occasion reminding us of the central place the London occupies in the world economy, yet also the challenge of achieving […]

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Andrei Rogobete: Reflections on the Facebook Inquiry

  By most accounts the biggest business story of the week was Facebook’s Senate Enquiry on the issue of privacy and internal practices.  I will keep things brief, but I do believe that there are some highlights and concluding thoughts that can be made from the ten-hour, two-day affair. For the most part, it was […]

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Richard Turnbull: Taxing for the BBC

  I write in defence of Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenue! Intellectually I believe in tax incentives, a low tax economy, flexibility and so on. These, however, are matters of debate and policy upon which individuals may legitimately differ. Once a policy is set it is surely both reasonable and moral that the law is […]

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Andrei Rogobete: Farewell, Toys R Us

  It looks like this winter has not only brought us some harsh weather, but also a harsh reality check for the consumer industry. On Wednesday 28th February 2018 ‘Toys R Us’ UK collapsed into insolvency, leaving over 100-based UK stores facing foreclosure and over 3,000 staff with a big question mark over their employment. […]

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Richard Turnbull: Financial education is essential to a moral economy

  Case Study 1 A friend of mine recently asked me about a possible investment in a bond returning 9%. He wanted to know if it was too good to be true. Almost certainly. I asked what other alternative rates he had researched – by and large these seemed to be between 0.75% and 1.25% […]

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Richard Turnbull: Carillion was built on sand

  First, welcome to the new weekly blog of the Centre for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics. We have published occasional blog posts in the past but from February 2018 we intend to publish a weekly blog, although exact timings may vary: – Reflecting on any relevant news stories – Establishing a series of posts on […]

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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 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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Richard Turnbull: 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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