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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Gandhi's Philosophy of Nonviolent Defiance: A Way to Freedom

Film is indeed an art form, but the medium can also function as a teacher in how it conveys values and wisdom. Both of these features of film are salient in Gandhi (1982), whose director, Richard Attenborough, says in his audio commentary that the film has done much keep Gandhi’s philosophy alive in the world. In using the film’s star protagonist to explain what is behind his approach, viewers become, in effect, students. The strength of film here lies in its use of both audio and visual means to engrave the lessons in memories. In Gandhi, the main concept to be explained and illustrated is nonviolent active non-cooperation or defiance of unjust laws or regimes.


The full essay is at “Gandhi

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Political Protests in Hong Kong: The Market Overreacts

Geopolitical risk is essentially uncertainty to the market. Given the nature of human fear, the psyche can add a “multiplier effect” to an objective calculation of uncertainty. Just as we are naturally so close to human nature that its most ubiquitous tendencies eclipse our notice, so too do we tend to assume that the market’s assessment of a political risk is accurate, given the efficiency and effectiveness of the stock market. The market’s initial reaction to the political protests in Hong Kong in September 2014 may demonstrate that the market’s participants even routinely overstate both the probability and severity of the downside of a mass political event.

The full essay is at “Political Protests in Hong Kong

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The New York Fed: A Case of Regulatory Capture

According to The Wall Street Journal, a study sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 2009 uncovered “a culture of suppression that discouraged regulatory staffers from voicing worries about the banks they supervised.”[1] Whereas the report points to excessive risk aversion and group-think as the underlying problems, a fuller explanation is possible—one with clear implications for public policy.

The full essay is at The New York Fed.




1. Pedro N. Da Costa, “N.Y. Fed Staff Afraid to Speak Up, Secret Review Found,” The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2014.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Steward Leadership: Duty-Based Fidelity

In the ancient Middle East, “steward” (oikonomos) most often applied to the position of household manager.[1] Economics in the ancient context, such as is described in Aristotle’s Oeconomica, concerned the household, which extended beyond familial relations, as the unit of production and managed by the head of household. According to Higginson, Jesus had this role in mind.[2] “Steward” may thus apply in a Christian sense more appropriately to managers than leaders, and more particularly to ethical leaders.

The full essay is at “Christianized Ethical Leadership

[1] Richard Higginson, Transforming Leadership: A Christian Approach to Management (SPEK: London, 1996), p. 50.
[2] Ibid.

Proof

If you are not careful, you could come away from the film, Proof (2005) as a scientist, for the scientific method enjoys a starring role, albeit mostly in subtle undertones rather than in stark instructional flourishes in Technicolor. Essentially, the message is that confirming proof eludes the human mind and its scientific method. Yet interestingly, the film also captures genius, even if its source cannot be proven.


The full essay is at “Proof