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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...