How Bankers Can Save the World (8 mins)

Purpose

What is the purpose of our life? We don’t often think of that question, especially when at work. Many of us will say that it is to be happy and healthy. Others may say to have a fun time. For me, it would have to be leaving the world in a better place than when I entered it. This would be at every level from family to work to community to the world. Another related question, then, is what is the biggest problem in the world? Some may say climate change, others income inequality, yet others war and terrorism. For me though, when I think about this I think is the lack trust that pervades our culture. Continue reading “How Bankers Can Save the World (8 mins)”

An Imagined Conversation Between China’s Xi and Trump

China’s President Xi Jinping gave a striking defence of globalisation at Davos in January. This stands in contrast to US President Donald Trump’s attack on globalisation. I thought I’d splice President Xi’s Davos speech with Donald Trump’s key quotes on the topic to produce a remarkable conversation between the two men: Continue reading “An Imagined Conversation Between China’s Xi and Trump”

How To Stop Being Rich and Happy

Derek Sivers

I recently came across a chap called Derek Sivers. He started a multi-million dollar business (CDBaby) and then gave it away. Now he writes, programmes and is a student of life. He’s massive reader, lives a simple life and regularly imparts his words of wisdom on his blog. He also makes lists of “do’s and don’ts”. I loved this one on how to be stop being rich. From Sivers: Continue reading “How To Stop Being Rich and Happy”

What the Chinese Thought Of the British Empire In the 18th Century (2 mins)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The British Empire, one of the largest in history, went through several phases. One critical phase was the American War Of Independence when the colonists in the North America broke away from the Empire in 1783. While it did stop British expansion in the west, it resulted in them focusing on the East.  Eventually it lead to the British Raj in India and the next phase of the British Empire.

It also saw them have more contact with the Chinese. At the time, the British were allowed to trade in the Canton port (later Hong Long), but they weren’t allowed a presence in mainland China.  What many history books fail to mention is that though the British (along with possibly the French) were the largest European powers, they weren’t the largest in the world. Continue reading “What the Chinese Thought Of the British Empire In the 18th Century (2 mins)”

Understanding the New World Of Politics (8 mins)

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I gave the speech below at a central bank conference on 24th November in Asia.

De-globalisation is not the dominant theme

De-globalisation is the word of the year thanks to the victories of the Brexit vote camp and Donald Trump. It is a convenient catch-all term, but I think it can obscure more than it reveals. For example, it does capture the campaign messages of many elections in the West, yet it fails to capture the mood in Asia. Countries like China, India and Japan are still eager to participate in free trade agreements, but have still experienced a shift away from its earlier political order. I think rather than de-globalisation, the more appropriate narrative is re-establishing trust in government. This provides a better way of preparing for investing in 2017 and beyond. Let me explain. Continue reading “Understanding the New World Of Politics (8 mins)”

It’s Not the First Brexit, Just Ask Henry VIII

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One of the challenges of understanding the consequences of Brexit is the apparent lack of precedent for such an event. But this pre-supposes that only the recent past is relevant. If instead we use the full sweep of history, then we can find the obvious precedent of the English Reformation that started in 1534. King Henry VIII passed the Acts of Supremacy making him “supreme head in earth of the Church of England” and repealing any “usage, custom, foreign laws, foreign authority”. The foreign authority, of course, was the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. At the time, Continue reading “It’s Not the First Brexit, Just Ask Henry VIII”

My Reading List For Success At Work (Part 2)

money-pile

Last week I provided my reading list for developing the right character for work that I give to new members of my team. This week, I’ll give my reading list for the knowledge base they need to have in the financial industry. Some of the books are easy to read cover to cover whichever industry you are in, others are worth dipping into and out of, while some are very technical. If I’ve missed any good books let me know: Continue reading “My Reading List For Success At Work (Part 2)”

5 Areas Japan Leads the World (2 mins)

 

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In economic circles (and even outside), many look down on Japan, whether it is because of the “lost decade” after the 1980s bubble burst, an ageing population or its apparent lack of appetite for radical change. But such superficial ideas mask much that is impressive about Japan. Here’s five lesser known areas where Japan leads the world: Continue reading “5 Areas Japan Leads the World (2 mins)”

Which Is the Cheapest Country To Buy An I-Phone?

iphone_6s_size_and_hand

I travel a lot and so often compare prices of the same items to see which country is the cheapest. This is especially the case with expensive small devices like I-Phones, but I’m never quite sure whether I have got the best deal.

So I’ve trawled through Apple websites by country to find the cost of buying a standard issue I-Phone 6s. Continue reading “Which Is the Cheapest Country To Buy An I-Phone?”

Why Is Extremism On the Rise?

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I recently came across an excellent paper called “Going to Extremes: Politics after Financial Crisis, 1870-2014” by Funke, Schularick and Trebesch (2015). It conducts one of the first ever studies of how politics changes after financial crises in 20 advanced economies going back over one hundred years. It seems very apt given the changes we are seeing around the world. The study has four main conclusions: Continue reading “Why Is Extremism On the Rise?”