Across the Atlantic: on the IPO-VID podcast

Sometimes great things turn up unexpectedly. And so an invitation from the cheerful and startlingly well informed Patrick L Young, ‘former stock exchange CEO, long time derivatives trader, serial entrepreneur and fintech pioneer’ and general man about town. Patrick and I chatted for an hour and had a fun time. It was good to chat to an audience of professionals as well, although I don’t think they expected some of my answers to go the direction they did!

I’m pleased to say that when it comes to the nitty-gritty of setting up an exchange – although I spend the whole book avoiding that topic – Patrick and I had a great deal to agree on.

Patrick’s team also featured How to Build a Stock Exchange in the EI Weekend newsletter available on Medium and Substack. Well worth a look for those interested in actually setting up a financial institution.

Thank you again to Patrick and all his team.

Podcast: Dismantling the construct of finance

Happy Easter everyone! Here’s a little easy listening if you’re relaxing in the sunshine. I’m delighted to be able to share this podcast, put together by Jess Miles and Bristol University Press. Jess and I chatted about the darkly comic world of finance, why it matters to us as citizens, and why we need to understand how it works. I think Jess, as a finance-studies newbie, was convinced. Thanks Jess and BUP for inviting me onto the podcast. I hope you enjoy listening.

BBC Radio 3 Freethinking on Debt

Twas the night before Budget day and all through the house, nothing was stirring but BBC Radio 3 Freethinking and a very excellent discussion on ‘Debt, from the South Sea Bubble to Sunak’. As the nation waited for Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s next moves on the UK’s crisis ravaged economy, Anne McElvoy hosted a high powered panel: Professor Kenneth Rogoff, Maurits C. Boas Chair of International Economics at Harvard University; Vicky Pryce, former Joint Head of the United Kingdom’s Government Economic Service, Dr Dafydd Mills Daniel, lecturer in Divinity from the University of St Andrews, and of course, your humble correspondent. It was a fun discussion – I hope you enjoy listening!

New Books in Critical Theory: podcast

Some weeks ago my friend and colleague Dr Dave O’Brien interviewed me for a podcast on his New Books in Critical Theory series. I’m delighted to be in such eminent company (not to mention being called a critical theorist) – recent podcasts from William Davies on the happiness industry and Liz McFall on the insurance and credit markets, not to mention the splendid Swedes Isabelle, C-F, and Francis, talking about their recent edited volume on value practices in life sciences (which I’m in!). Listen to them all. So without further ado, here’s the link to the podcast. Thanks Dave!

Does economics leave room for love?

Back in August I recorded an interview for Talking Books on newstalkfm. Susan Cahill, whose show it is, had really got her teeth into my book and asked me all sorts of difficult questions. Why had I used Borges’s fable as a metaphor for economics – no one has ever asked me that before, although fortunately I did have good reasons! So I had to think on my feet a few times, but I think it’s a great interview, all the better for hearing an author really challenged once or twice. And from my point of view, there’s nothing more flattering than having someone take real interest in what you’ve written; that’s true any time, but even better when others can listen to it on the radio. Thanks Susan! The interview was broadcast on 4 October 2015 and you can listen to it here.

Educating economists on BBC Radio 3

How should we teach economics? That’s the question raised by economics students all over the world, who have signed up to a petition for pluralist economics, an economics  in touch with history, philosophy, and (God forbid) the rest of the social sciences. It seems pretty reasonable to me, although students would have to wake up to some tricky problems about the nature of economics science if they got what they wanted. On the other hand, you might say that scientists don’t need to know philosophy of science to be, say, biologists, and that’s true too. Perhaps if you want to study society, you should study sociology, and that’s more or less what Manchester University’s economics faculty said to its students. To me it seems that problem is just as much our expectations of economics, and the place in society that economics expects. Anyway, that’s enough for now; if you want to hear me and Professor Geoffrey Wood arguing the case on BBC Radio 3’s Freethinking, you can do so here.

Back on Radio 3!

On Thursday evening I caught up with my old friends at BBC Radio Three with an interview on Free Thinking: how Channel Four’s (atrocious) Benefits Street has become the centrepiece for a battle over welfare payments and the (un)deserving poor. I followed a column by another former New Generation Thinker, the Oxford historian Jonathan Healey, who told us how these voyeuristic rogues galleries of the ‘idle poor’ go right back to the 16th century. You can listen to the show here: Jonathan and I get the last 15 minutes or so.

New Generation Thinking 2011 to 2012

Going back a bit in time, but for the archive, here are some links to the AHRC BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers contest and the broadcasts that resulted.

In January 2012 I broadcast a column for Radio 3’s The Essay. On the subject of The Entrepreneur, you can find it on iplayer here.

The media were quick to get hold of the contest in 2011: the Guardian had some pleasant things to say – I especially like ‘young’ – while in the Telegraph Rowan Pelling begged to be spared from a ‘buzzy new breed‘ of academics. Young doesn’t seem so flattering in Pelling’s article. you have to take the rough with the smooth, I think, but I would point out that ‘relevance’ is exactly the kind of ‘virtue’ that you are going to get if you insist on assessing education with market metrics like ‘impact’, a strategy of which the Telegraph would generally, one assumes, approve. I’ve had some thoughts about this kind of logic, and if you want to know more, you should read my book!