Battle for the Soul of Bitcoin

November 15th, 2017 by Kara in Case Studies, Essays

  By Adam Bhala Lough   Adam Bhala Lough is the award winning American director and screenwriter of the soon to be released documentary on cryptocurrencies and crypto- anarchists, “The New Radical” (watch excerpt). He writes* here on Bitcoin and the three-way struggle for its soul.   There is a war being waged for the soul of Bitcoin. On the one hand you have those who want to stay true to the roots of Bitcoin. The original programmers who were inspired by the Open Source movement and the Cypherpunk movement. They created Bitcoin with these tenets ...

New Issue of Moral Cents (Summer/Fall 2017)

November 1st, 2017 by Kara in Journal

This issue of Moral Cents explores Italian banking. The articles provide penetrating observations and critiques about the structure of the banking system,regulations and regulatory bodies, questionable practices like the revolving door, and governance failures at specific institutions. I believe the reader should gain increased insight into an industry that has a considerable influence on the EU’s fifth largest economy. The first article “The Italian Banking System” by Nicola Bilotta, illustrates clearly the structure of the banking system in Italy. There are three characteristics driving the evolution of the industry, one of which ...

Update: Part 4 of Trump Financial Ethics Watch Series

October 17th, 2017 by Kara in Case Studies

By: Ryan Sim President Trump is apparently not taking steps to rid the worrisome conflicts of interest associated with his administration. The problems will not go away unless there are concerted bipartisan calls for reform. Regardless of political leanings, a transparent, accountable government is essential for societal welfare. Ethics is an Indispensable Policy Gauge Ethical standards are a universal language to voice our otherwise ineffable outrage towards corruption. Champions of moral relativism will argue ethical standards are arbitrary as an evaluative tool for public policy. However, value judgments are embedded in every legislative ...

Richard Thaler wins Nobel for Economics

October 9th, 2017 by Kara in News

Seven Pillars Institute congratulates Professor Richard Thaler on winning the 2017 Nobel Prize for Economics. Professor Thaler had kindly agreed to an interview with SPI and we republish the interview. He gave insightful observations about ethics in finance and how vitally important it is. No doubt if finance departments of business schools offer a financial ethics course (a rarity at the moment), their students would be better off as future investors and financiers.   SPI: Your book, Misbehaving:The Making of Behavioral Economics is among Inc.com’s 10 best business books for 2015. Can ...

Philosophical Foundations of Impact Investing

September 30th, 2017 by Kara in Case Studies

By: Georgette Fernandez Laris As pointed in our earlier piece, impact investing is about good profits: making money while doing good. Impact investing reminds us sound monetary returns and positive socio-environmental impact returns are not mutually exclusive, but can be complementary and even mutually enhancing. Here are the philosophical reasons why. 1. Context: where the impact investment market stands While financial initiatives in favour of investments for social good emerged in the 1980’s, the impact investing label gathered momentum in the early 2000’s, especially from the onset of the 2008 global financial crisis. ...

Mylan’s EpiPen Pricing Scandal

September 14th, 2017 by Kara in Case Studies

  By: Andreas Kanaris Miyashiro Each year about 3.6 million Americans are prescribed EpiPen, the epinephrine auto-injector. The EpiPen is a life-saving treatment for anaphylactic reactions, which are caused by allergens such as nuts, seafood, and insect bites. A sharp increase in EpiPen’s price between 2009 and 2016 caused outrage, and prompted debate over whether Mylan N.V, the owner of EpiPen, acted unethically. Beyond the behaviour of Mylan, EpiPen’s price increases raise questions about the conditions of the US pharmaceutical market, and whether existing regulations and laws are sufficient to protect consumers. Epipen ...

Boston Transparency Symposium

September 1st, 2017 by Kara in Events, News

Mercer will host a Transparency Task Force (TTF) symposium entitled “Time for Transparency.” The Symposium will be held on: Thursday 28th September 2017. The venue will be: Mercer Boston, 99 High Street, Financial District Boston, Massachusetts, USA.  Dr. Kara Tan Bhala, President of Seven Pillars Institute, is a member of TTF and is pleased to be involved in the work of the task force. About the Transparency Task Force The organization is the collaborative, campaigning community, dedicated to driving up the levels of transparency in financial services, right around the world. Members of the Transparency Task ...

Bitcoin: To Regulate or not to Regulate?

August 18th, 2017 by Kara in Case Studies

By: Georgette Fernandez Laris Einstein said technology has a tendency to exceed our humanity. In the midst of the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology revolution, regulation becomes increasingly important. Effective ethical regulatory frameworks help us recognize our moral blind-spots as we confront cryptocurrencies and their underlying technological protocols. Introduction & contextualization: what is Bitcoin? The not so distant 2008 global financial crisis (GFC) rekindled questions about the nature of money. Crises provide threshold moments when we doubt institutions we have long taken for granted and trusted. The GFC spurred public interest in money: what ...

Argentina vs. the Hedge Funds: The 2014 Argentinian Bond Default

August 2nd, 2017 by Kara in Case Studies

Paul Singer and President Kirshner By Andreas Kanaris Miyashiro On July 31st 2014, Argentina automatically defaulted on $29 billion of debt following a lengthy court case in which hedge fund bondholders sued the Argentinian government. The President of Argentina at the time, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, argued bondholders involved in the lawsuit were predatory and exploitative. The plaintiff hedge funds argued they only aimed to uphold the ‘rule of law’. Which party was to blame for the Argentinian bond default? Causes of the 2014 Argentinian Bond Default  Argentinian Economic Policy in the 1990s The root ...

Crash Interventions: Shanghai Stock Market Case

July 18th, 2017 by Kara in Case Studies

By Harley Comrie On the 2nd of July 2015 in the middle of a crowded Shanghai shopping mall a woman jumped to her death. Her public suicide was reported by bloggers as a human consequence of the Shanghai stock market crash three weeks earlier. Photos of her fate were circulated through WeChat, a popular Chinese social media app. Days earlier in Shenyang another suicide had occurred under similar circumstances. Foreign media reported it too was motivated by the stock market crash. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) response to the Shanghai stock market ...