RSA Podcasts on Debt and Sustainability

The Economics of Good and EvilTomáš Sedláčekvideo | audio

This is a great presentation explaining Keynesian economic theory and the practical use of it with regard to the use of debt. Basically it is 50%, “America you’re doing it wrong” and another 50%, “you to Europe”. He makes some particularly astute points about the role of economists in reducing the variation of economic cycles versus increasing GDP growth. Through a Lord of the Rings metaphor, he argues strongly that politicians should have less control over debt because they so often waste it on small amounts of growth.

In light of Congress’ recent stance that the Federal Reserve should have more legislative oversight I’m left questioning whether they should have even less fiscal authority. Maybe the Treasury should just tell Congress how much money it has to spend, setting surpluses and deficits, leaving Congress and the President to budget within their means or increase revenues.

Enlightened EnterpriseMatthew Taylorvideo | audio

This is a really interesting lecture and discussion about corporate social responsibility and the value of customer relationships. It challenges the notion that “The role of a business begins and ends with maximizing shareholder value.” I particularly liked the angle of how businesses need to lead customers along sustainable paths. An information imbalance and a business’ greater capability to take action create a responsibility to educate their consumers about the impact of their incentives and choices. But the speaker also addresses how these actions are far from altruistic, they are prudent. Businesses should foresee that customer access to information will eventually shed light on their sustainability failings and capitalize on the ability of a sustainable brand to strengthen their customer relationship.

The speech also touches on: the free market vs. influence & marketing, choice architecture, public involvement, the risk of un-sustainability, and shareholder accountability.

We First CapitalismSimon Mainwaring audio

More podcasts and videos from the RSA

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