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 ...

Case Study: Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena

June 29th, 2017 by Kara in Case Studies

  By: Nicola Bilotta Between the beautiful hills of Tuscany stands Siena. Siena is a magical medieval city, which attracts tourists for its history and its monuments. But Siena hides many secrets. The destiny of the city has always been bound to Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) which is currently facing a significant crisis and is close to bankruptcy. The future of MPS is unclear, and plans for private recapitalization have failed. In December 2016, the Italian government approved a public fund of 20 billion euros to infuse capital inside ...

Case Study: Iceland’s Banking Crisis

June 13th, 2017 by Kara in Case Studies

By: Anh Nguyen Introduction Iceland’s financial collapse in 2008 was the biggest any country had ever suffered relative to its size. At the time of the crisis, total assets of its three largest banks were 10 times the nation’s GDP and 20 times the state budget (“How did Iceland clean up its banks?”). The underlying causes of the downfall lie in reckless behaviors, lack of transparency and greed. However, unlike the US, by February 2016, Iceland had sentenced 29 bankers to prison for their role in the crash. The Players Glitnir Bank The third largest ...

Impact Investments: Good Profits?

May 26th, 2017 by Kara in Case Studies

By: Genevieve Crawford Investors with high ethical standards can be constrained by the corporation’s duty to maximize shareholder profit. Pure nonprofits may disappoint with their low returns. A new way of doing good and making money is called impact investing. Impact investments provides funding opportunities for both social and financial returns. The main advantage of impact investments is its ability to capitalize on governments’ and charities’ lack of monetary resources. As a financial method, it has tremendous potential to solve pressing world issues. Impact investing is already delivering positive outcomes in sustainable development ...

When Businessmen Rule the State

May 11th, 2017 by Kara in Case Studies, Essays

  By: Kara Tan Bhala Striking parallels between two billionaire businessmen heads of state, now exiled Thaksin Shinawatra and Donald Trump. Part 3 of SPI’s Trump Financial Ethics Watch Series “If you monitor what Donald Trump is saying, he’s bluffing, the man. That’s really the culture of a businessman.” While there is “some similarity” between Thaksin Shinawatra, Financial Times Thaksin Shinawatra: Billionaire Businessman Turned Politician Thaksin Shinawatra was elected as prime minister of Thailand in 2001. He was a businessman billionaire who made his vast fortune in telecoms. Espousing populist views, he cynically seized political advantage ...

Case Study: Deutsche Bank Money Laundering Scheme

April 27th, 2017 by Kara in Case Studies

By: Michelle Chan The Deutsche Bank Money Laundering Scandal After Russia’s incursion into Crimea, sanctions by the European Union and the U.S. against Russia forced President Putin to declare “offshorization” illegal in an attempt to keep Russian businesses at home and prevent the declining exchange rate of the ruble from damaging the Russian economy. As a result, Russian billionaires resorted to a more discreet way of funneling money offshore via mirror trading whereby a relatively small amount is traded in each transaction. Thus, creating the Deutsche Bank money laundering scandal. This ...