“Who Owns A Company?”

The Political Quarterly Annual Lecture given by Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England will be held Monday 5 December, 6.00 - 8.00 pm at the Institute for Government, 2 Carlton Gardens,London, SW1Y 5AA. This will be followed by a drinks reception. You can sign up here.

Who owns a company? This might seem like a simple question with a simple answer. At least for publicly listed companies, its owners are its shareholders. It is they who claim the profits of the company, who exercise control rights over the management of the company and they whose objectives have primacy in the running of the company. Yet despite its durability and success, this corporate model has not gone unquestioned.

In recent years there has been a rising tide of criticism of companies’ behaviour, from excessive executive remuneration, to unethical practices, to monopoly or oligopoly powers, to short-termism. This lecture will explore different governance and incentive structures and discuss the various micro-economic frictions and their macro-economic impact.

Andrew G Haldane is the Chief Economist at the Bank of England. He is also Executive Director, Monetary Analysis, Research and Statistics. He is a member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee. He also has responsibility for research and statistics across the Bank. Andrew has an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University, is Honorary Professor at University of Nottingham, a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, a member of Economic Council of Royal Economic Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and Member of Research and Policy Committee at the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA). He is Chairman and co-founder of ‘Pro Bono Economics’, a charity which brokers economists into charitable projects. Andrew has written extensively on domestic and international monetary and financial policy issues and has published over 150 articles and four books. In 2014, TIME magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

EVENT 22 September 2016, The Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD. Book your free place here.

RETHINKING CAPITALISM: Mariana Mazzucato and Michael Jacobs 
in conversation with 
Will Hutton 

The Political Quarterly is pleased to announce the launch of the new PQ book Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, edited by Michael Jacobs and Mariana Mazzucato. The book brings together leading economists to challenge orthodox ideas about economic theory and policy, and to propose new approaches to achieving a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Read more...

Subscribers to the Political Quarterly will receive a copy as part of their subscription. For others the book is available at a 20% discount from the publishers Wiley Blackwell.

Citizens, customers, politicians, professionals and money men

The Political Quarterly Annual Lecture given by Colin Crouch on 19 January 2016 at the Institute for Government.

Two disturbing stories in late 2015 - the Volkswagen emissions testing scandal and the news that some NHS trusts had been giving general practitioners financial incentives not to send patients to hospitals for tests - seemed to come from quite different parts of the human capacity for wickedness. But both are products of the same neoliberal insistence that financial knowledge should trump all other kinds.

When there is a conflict between the dictates of financial data and those produced by their substantive professional responsibilities, what should the technician who works for a profit-maximizing firm, or for a public service organization required to meet targets that are their analogue of profit, do? And how should we the public deal with the flood of data produced in such a context? We usually do not understand the science that lies behind these numbers, but that is not a problem if we can trust the experts who produce the data. But can we, when strong incentives displace their professional judgement?

You can reserve your free place here