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Business

In the Balance

Updated 4 days ago

Business
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The biggest financial stories and why they matter to us all.

Read more

The biggest financial stories and why they matter to us all.

iTunes Ratings

4 Ratings
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iTunes Ratings

4 Ratings
Average Ratings
3
1
0
0
0
Cover image of In the Balance

In the Balance

Updated 4 days ago

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The biggest financial stories and why they matter to us all.

Rank #1: Does Economics Still Work?

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Have economists become the latest casualties of the so-called "populist wave"?
Some of them got their forecasts badly wrong over Brexit, and widespread fears over a US economy under President Donald Trump have given way to record highs in financial markets. Plus, of course, most economists completely failed to foresee the global financial crisis.
It's led some to suggest that economics has become too detached from reality, that its experts have become too politicised and that the profession has lost much of its credibility. After all, Brexit and Trump voters ignored economists' dire warnings in their tens of millions.
And, at a time of such huge political and technological change, is economics still a useful way to make sense of and predict events?
Ed Butler is joined by three guests with their own visions for how economics should change: Wendy Carlin, professor of economics at University College London and leader of the CORE project to reform the undergraduate economics curriculum; Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at recruitment website Glassdoor, in San Francisco; and Paola Subacchi, director of international economics research at the UK think-tank Chatham House.
(Picture: A man on a dollar boat in bad weather. Credit: Thinkstock)

Feb 18 2017

26mins

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Rank #2: The End of Ownership?

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Is personal ownership on its way out? Today we own more stuff than ever before, but will the future be one where we hire everything we need?
Our goods could be supplied to us by big companies as a service - and taken away again or replaced almost before we know they need to be fixed.
That's just one part of the idea of the circular economy - a new way for businesses to think about how they make use of the world's finite resources.
To discuss the concept, presenter Manuela Saragosa is joined by Dame Ellen MacArthur, a former round-the-world sailor who now heads her own foundation promoting the circular economy. Manuela also hears from a leading Indian environmentalist, Dr Ashok Khosla, and from Kirstie McIntyre, who is the director of global sustainability operations at the technology giant HP. Plus, regular contributor and comedian Colm O' Regan celebrates The Fixers - those who mend products rather than throw them away.
(Picture: Dame Ellen MacArthur. Credit: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation)

Mar 04 2017

26mins

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Rank #3: China's Debt Mountain

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China's economy is still growing at a respectable rate - but how long can that last? Ed Butler reports from China on the problems caused by increasing amounts of debt. Ed hears from students taking on debt they don't understand and finds out about the extent of Shanghai's property bubble. He is joined back in the studio by a panel of experts on China to ask whether high levels of debt could sink the country's booming economy.
Contributors: Linda Yueh, Adjunct Professor of Economics at London Business School and Fellow in Economics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University;

Steve Tsang, Director of SOAS China Institute;

Geoffrey Yu, Head of UK Investment Office at UBS Wealth Management.
(Picture: People visit a shopping mall complex in Shenyang, Liaoning province, as the authorities seek to revive the recession-hit industrial region. Credit: AFP/Getty images)

Oct 07 2017

26mins

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Rank #4: IMF: Fit for the Future?

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Set up in the 1940s to ensure the world never again faced catastrophic economic recession, the International Monetary Fund has become a controversial presence in the management of the global economy. It is powerful, it is bossy and it is largely controlled by the USA and Europe. One of the IMF's top officials David Lipton, comes on to the show to answer the critics and to outline his vision for the IMF's future. He is joined by former IMF economist Professor Kenneth Rogoff and others who argue it's time for the IMF to reform to meet the needs of the 21st Century. PHOTO: A participant of the left-wing activists and members of the Greek community of Hungary holds a slogan to protest against the political and financial situation of Greece (CREDIT: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images)

Feb 08 2016

26mins

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Rank #5: Skills for the Future

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Fatalists might argue work has no future, that soon pretty much everything will be automated and that the robots will take over. Others say the rise of artificial intelligence and robotics just means the kinds of jobs we'll all be doing is changing. So what sorts of skills will prepare us - and our children - for the future of work, and for jobs which we might not even have dreamt of yet? Join Manuela Saragosa and guests to discuss what we should be studying now.
Contributors: Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, co-founder of Stemettes

Susan Lund, partner with the McKinsey Global Institute

Scott Hartley, venture capitalist, author of The Fuzzy and The Techie

Lord Karan Bilimoria Chairman and Founder of Cobra Beer and Independent Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords
Picture: iPal robots sing for attendees at the AvatarMind booth during CES 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 10, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Credit: Getty Images)

Feb 03 2018

26mins

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Rank #6: Taking the Temperature

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Nancy Kacungira presents a special programme on climate change, profiling the people whose trailblazing ideas and innovations are hoping to mitigate against global warming.
Deep in the Ecuadorian jungle, one isolated community of Achuar have come up with an ingenious solution to protect their territory from the ever encroaching threat of deforestation. From BBC Mundo, Laura Plitt takes to the waterways aboard the Amazon jungle's first solar powered canoe.
The loss of the Aral Sea in Central Asia is an ecological disaster. Toxic chemicals in the exposed sea bed have caused widespread health problems. From BBC Uzbek, Rustam Qobilov investigates whether an ambitious project to plant millions of trees can save the Karakalpak people of Uzbekistan.
With the fastest growing population on the planet, India’s energy needs are staggering. From Delhi, women's affairs correspondent Divya Arya travels to the sunny state of Rajasthan to meet one social entrepreneur who’s attempting to provide solar technology to those living without power.
And finally in the Red River Delta region of Vietnam, Ly Truong meets the scientist hoping to feed the world in a more sustainable way.
This BBC Production was supported by funding from the Skoll Foundation.
(Picture: Dr. Pham Thi Thu Huong, from the Field Crops Research Institute in Vietnam. Credit: BBC)
Presented by Nancy Kacungira

Produced by Claire Press

Jun 02 2018

26mins

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Rank #7: Davos: Spreading the Wealth?

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The world's top business people, politicians and economists have been meeting in the Swiss resort of Davos. In the Balance asks: Can capitalism deliver prosperity for all of us?
The International Monetary Fund confirmed a strong picture for global growth this year - but is it the right kind of growth? The IMF report reveals that one fifth of emerging market economies saw per capita incomes fall last year. So, with global growth rising, why isn't everyone getting richer? Join Manuela Saragosa and her guests in Davos, Washington and London, to discuss whether global growth can reach even the world's poorest.
Contributors:

Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics

Kishore Mahbubani, Senior Advisor and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore

Eve Poole, author of Capitalism's Toxic Assumptions, Associate at Ashridge Business School

Desmond Lachman, Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
Picture: US President Donald Trump looks on as the Landwehr Fribourg band leaves the stage during the World Economic Forum meeting on January 26, 2018 in Davos (Credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Jan 27 2018

26mins

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Rank #8: Hong Kong: In China's Shadow?

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Can Hong Kong still call itself the gateway to China, or is it in danger of being dwarfed economically by its mainland neighbour?
On the twentieth anniversary of the British handover of power to Beijing, we hear about the mainland Chinese money buying up Hong Kong businesses, properties and land, and discuss the impact it's having on the territory’s economy and society.
As property prices rocket and people are left struggling to afford smaller and smaller flats, what future is there for Hong Kong’s young people?
Have decades of financial might made Hong Kong complacent, and where will future economic growth come from?
Contributors
Allan Zeman, chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group

Elaine Tsung, co-founder of The Garage Society and Eaton House

Andrew Shuen, from The Lion Rock Institute

John Greenwood, chief economist at Invesco
(Picture: A traditional junk boat sailing across Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong. Credit: Getty Images)

Jul 01 2017

26mins

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Rank #9: Money on Mars

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Why are governments and, increasingly, private companies spending billions of dollars on missions to Mars? Is there any money to be made from the red planet, and do these missions benefit anyone back on Earth?
We explore the return on investment for taxpayer dollars spent on NASA or European Space Agency missions, and ask if Elon Musk is aiming to colonise the red planet for the good of humankind, or to boost profits for his firm SpaceX. Plus, can a separate plan to turn a Mars mission into reality TV ever get off the ground, and should we ethically even be considering sending people to Mars?
Contributors: Dr David Parker, Director of Human and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency; Bas Lansdorp, founder and CEO of Mars One; and Dr Ian Stoner, from the department of philosophy at St Paul College, Minnesota.
(Picture: ExoMars lifts off on a Proton-M rocket at Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, in March 2016. Credit: Stephane Corvaja, European Space Agency, via Getty Images)

Aug 25 2018

26mins

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Rank #10: India's Cash Gamble: Has it Paid Off?

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Has the shock decision to scrap almost all of India's cash been a success or a failure? Last November's withdrawal of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes caused chaos for millions of people and businesses, but now the dust has settled, is there any evidence it was effective in tackling corruption and curbing the black economy?
Have those hardest hit by the demonetisation now managed to recover? What impact, if any, has the move had on India's economy? And in a society where cash is king, are there any signs people have been pushed towards using bank cards or mobile payments?
Contributors
Jayati Ghosh, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, in New Delhi

Economist Lord Meghnad Desai

Gaurav Daga, owner of Oswal Cable Products in New Delhi

Piritta Sorsa, head of economics research on India at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
(Picture: A man holds old Indian notes at a protest against demonetisation in Bangalore. Credit: Kiran Manjunath, Getty Images)

Jun 24 2017

26mins

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Rank #11: 2018: Top Risks

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What are the biggest risks to the global economy in 2018? Ed Butler is joined by some of the world's leading economists and political scientists to ask the key questions that will affect us all in the year ahead. Ed hears from Ian Bremmer, American political scientist and the President and founder of Eurasia Group, a political risk research firm; Megan Greene, Chief Economist at Manulife and John Hancock Asset Management in the USA and Guntram Wolf, Director of Bruegel, a leading European think tank, focussing on economics and politics. Comedian Colm O'Regan chips in from Dublin with his take on how the world is changing as 2018 gets underway.
(Picture: US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping attend a business leaders event inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Jan 06 2018

26mins

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Rank #12: Markets Feel the Fear

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In the Balance examines the recent sharp falls in the global markets. Ed Butler asks why volatility is back in the financial markets - after years of relative calm. Ed is joined by one of the world's leading experts in algorithmic computerised trading as well as a fund manager with more than 30 years experience of watching the market highs and lows. But is this time different - is computer driven trading at least partly to blame for an increase in volatility? Should we be in fear of the machines?
Contributors: Gervais Williams, from Miton Group, who has worked in finance in the City of London for more than 30 years

Economics Professor Jeffrey Frankel from Harvard University

Andrei Kirilenko, the Director of the Centre for Global Finance and Technology at London's Imperial College Business School
(Picture: Traders React to market volatility on floor of the Cboe Global Markets exchange on February 6, 2018 in Chicago. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Feb 17 2018

26mins

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Rank #13: Is Italy Failing its Youth?

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Italy's upcoming general election is being seen as the latest test of a populist upsurge in Europe. Manuela Saragosa is in Rome to hear what young people want from the election and the economy. Italy has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Europe and many young people leave the country to find work. So do politicians have any answers for young people searching for their first jobs? Manuela hears from students, an employer, and a grass-roots politician about what's at stake for the economy.
Contributors: Andrea Prencipe, Deputy Rector of LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome

Stefano Callegari, CEO at Trapizzino

Maurizio Coppola, Power to the People

Students at Sapienza University, Rome
(Picture: A man walks past a board bearing the parties' logos registered at the Italian Interior Ministry on January 20, 2018 for the general elections to be held on March 4, 2018. (Credit:FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Feb 10 2018

26mins

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Rank #14: Africa: The Commodity Curse Returns

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Sharp falls in commodity prices have dealt serious blows to the prospects of workers, communities, and businesses in large parts of Africa over the last few years.
The World Bank said economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa slumped to its lowest level for more than two decades last year and earlier this month South Africa, the continent’s third largest economy, re-entered recession.
The picture is not uniformly bleak – the outlook is much more positive in East Africa – but the continent’s largest economies are suffering. Can they turn things around and end their reliance on oil and mining? What hope is there for those seeking relief from poverty, and what jobs might they do in the future?
Ed Butler is joined by a panel of guests: Kola Karim, CEO of Shoreline Group, a Nigerian energy and infrastructure company; professor Mthuli Ncube, head of Quantum Global Research Lab and former chief economist of the African Development Bank; and Lorenzo Fioramonti, professor of political economy at the University of Pretoria, in South Africa.
(Picture: Women fill wheelbarrows with coal in South Africa. Credit: Marco Longari, Getty Images)

Jun 17 2017

26mins

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Rank #15: Millennium Development Goals: Judgement Day

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To what extent have the Millennium Development Goals helped to eradicate global poverty and improved things for the world's poorest? As the MDGs come to the end of their life, the author of the Millennium Development Goals defends his ambition and the strategies employed to meet the goals; with Mark (Lord) Malloch-Brown, Mark Suzman of the Gates Foundation, and Yasmini Aiya of the Centre for Policy Studies in Delhi Photo: Children collect pieces of coal along the roadside in Bujumbura, Burundi (Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Feb 10 2016

26mins

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Rank #16: Prenups

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Would you sign a divorce contract before you got married? Should you? They’re often seen as unnecessary, unromantic, and irreligious, but we hear how prenuptial agreements are on the rise, and not just among the super-rich.
We speak to a newly-wed who signed a prenup with her now husband to protect her business interests. One of the UK’s top divorce lawyers tells us they are often better than the default divorce provisions laid out by governments. And a lawyer in Nigeria explains how she’s trying to use them to protect women’s rights.
But prenups are not without pitfalls – we also hear how they can be coercive, unfair, and even destroy a marriage before it’s begun.
Contributors: Ayesha Vardag, founder and president of London law firm Vardags; Erin Lowry, author of Broke Millennial, a book and website about personal finance; Laurie Israel from Israel, Van Kooy & Days law in Brookline, Massachusetts, and author of The Generous Prenup; Lesley Agams, founder and partner at Demeters Solicitors & Advocates in Abuja, Nigeria, and blogger on women's issues.
(Picture: Models of a bride and groom on a wedding cake. Credit: Getty Images)

Sep 01 2018

26mins

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Rank #17: The Lehman Legacy

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In this special edition we hear personal stories from the Great Recession and ask who has paid the highest price.
From mortgage defaults and job losses to stagnant wages, we find out how hard the last 10 years have been for many individuals and families, and ask what legacy the financial crisis has left.
Plus, where might the next crash come from, and are we any better prepared to withstand it?
Manuela Saragosa leads the discussion with a panel of experts: Adam Tooze, professor of history at Columbia University and author of Crashed: How a Decade of Global Financial crises Changed the World; Pablo Bustinduy, a member of parliament in the Spanish anti-austerity political party Podemos; and Scott Winship, a poverty and inequality researcher, formerly of the Brookings Institution and now directing the Social Capital Project within the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress.
Image: Boarded-up windows on a foreclosed home (Credit: Getty Images)

Sep 15 2018

48mins

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Rank #18: Planning to Fail

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Why are most of us so bad at planning for the future? Whether saving for our retirement, managing workloads and deadlines, or budgeting for a major infrastructure project, we humans often fail miserably.
Is it because we're incompetent, even irresponsible? Or is there something psychological getting in the way?
We explore some of the most common planning pitfalls, from Olympic Games that go way over budget to short-term corporate incentives, and ask how individuals and businesses can avoid them.
Contributors: Peter Ayton, professor of psychology at City, University of London; Bent Flyvbjerg, Chair of Major Programme Management at the University of Oxford; and Sarah Williamson, CEO of FCLT Global.
(Picture: A woman looking out over the Grand Canyon. Credit: Getty Images)

Sep 08 2018

26mins

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Rank #19: Innovators - Female Entrepreneurs

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Could starting up a business be the best way into work for more women across South Asia? Shivaani Kohok asks why only one in four women in India have paid jobs and what's holding them back from entering the workplace. She's joined by three women working with entrepreneurs across South Asia.
(Picture: A mother and baby treated by the Sehat Kahani healthtech business)

Oct 28 2017

26mins

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Rank #20: The Commonwealth: a New Trade Vision

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In the Balance asks whether the 53 countries of the Commonwealth could become a new force in global trade. With rising trade protectionism around the world, and the UK splitting off from the European Union, how important could this grouping of diverse nations be to the future of international trade? Ed Butler talks to business leaders and politicians at the Commonwealth Business forum, organised by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council. The programme comes from the historic royal palace of Marlborough House in London, headquarters of the Commonwealth movement.
Contributors:

Amy Jadesimi, CEO of LADOL, Nigeria

Christian Cardona, Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, Malta

Rahul Mirchandani, founder of the Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs

Sir Kenneth Olisa, OBE, Founder and Chairman of Restoration Partners
Producer: Audrey Tinline
(Picture: Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Patricia Scotland and Theresa May at Buckingham Palace in London during The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), April 19, 2018. Credit: VICTORIA JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

Apr 21 2018

26mins

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