Hangzhou and Disruptive Technology

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Economics, History, Technology, Travel

Hangzhou is regarded by many Chinese people as the country’s most beautiful city. Its Xili (West Lake) is garlanded by stunning villas that have inspired artists and poets for centuries. Its delicate pagodas are filled with newlywed couples spooning over the water. The lake’s sub-divided waters are criss-crossed by delicate stone and wooden bridges and garrotted by a 3km grassy causeway. Around it but within the city’s boundaries are lovely restaurants, mountains, many excellent museums, rice fields and tea plantations all easily accessed by bus or bike. It’s always been famous within China and was even briefly capital during the […]

Buddhist economics

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Economics, Politics

Nice blog by a staffer at Bank of England on ‘Mindfulness economics‘. Small is Beautiful had a disappointing chapter on Buddhist Economics;  Dan Nixon has done a better job than Ernst Schumacher! Also some useful links to Mark Carney’s Tragedy of the Horizon speech and about the how climate catastrophe is viewed by myopic markets the debates on secular stagflation about how to retain the world’s economic mojo when growth rates and interest remain persistently low.

Review of “Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future” – Paul Mason

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Economics, Review

Mason is best known to Brits as a broadcast journalist on BBC and Channel 4, and as a professional northerner-Trotskyist purveyor of political balance on the interview couch. He has drawn on an eclectic mix of economists, psychologists and futurologists to substantiate his obituary of neo-liberalism. The book’s key argument is that several megatrends make it likely and desirable for traditional capitalism to collapse. Markets are becoming increasingly irrelevant in many of their key functions like the allocation of capital, price discovery and matching supply and demand. In a world of quantitative easing and dematerialisation of production there is excess […]

Sustainable consumption

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Economics, Environment

The Hong Kong Consumer Council published its first report on sustainable consumption a couple of weeks ago. The highlight are results from the first survey of Hong Kong consumers knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to sustainability. Also a chapter on firm’s listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange pitiful corporate social responsibility reports. The stock exchange is toughening up the rules so should see an improvement. The metabolic rate of policy making in Hong Kong is much slower than in the UK and we managed to get the two members of the cabinet to speak at the report’s launch. Organising an […]

Manufacturing scarcity

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Economics, Travel

Until I came to Hong Kong I thought debenture was a fancy word for pretty-young-things’ first grown-up party. It is only when I arrived here that I found out otherwise. Elite schools use debentures to borrow for free from wannabe students’ parents, and exclude the hoi-polloi. Try googling debenture and you’ll get sent straight to www.topschools.hk. There’s a thriving secondary market in debentures – prices vary from $25,000 for the not so grand schools to $10million for the most sought after. This is on top of the annual fees of around £15k. As the photo to the left shows education […]