How economies spring up in extreme places from refugee camps to prisons. Ed Butler speaks to economist Richard Davies, author of a new book called Extreme Economies, who describes the economic activity in extreme places, from a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan to one of the toughest prisons in the world, in the United States. Former US prisoner Lester Young fill us in on how to trade behind bars.
(Photo: A prison in Louisiana State Penitentiary, Credit: Getty Images)
Whom should the corporation serve?
Should shareholders come first? Or should companies also serve their employees, customers, and society in general?
Ed Butler explores the growing backlash against "shareholder primacy" - the idea espoused in the 1970s by economist Milton Friedman that businesses should only care about maximising the bottom line for the benefit of their investors, and that other stakeholders' interests should not be their prerogative.
He speaks to Lenore Palladino, economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who has a list of changes she wants to see in the way that American companies are governed, plus Ken Bertsch of the Council of Institutional Investors, who says that the real problem is not the role of investors like the ones he represents, but too much focus on short-termism.
Meanwhile Chris Turner thinks he has the solution - he works for the non-profit organisation B Lab, which provides an objective assessment to hundreds of corporations of whether they are having a positive impact on society.
(Picture: An American flag is displayed on a trading screen at the New York Stock Exchange; Credit: Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images)
Africa's mobile credit revolution
Will the roll out of online lending stimulate economic boom or just a credit binge in Africa?
Ed Butler speaks to many of the businesspeople providing the continent with much needed banking services via mobile phones. They are optimistic that financial inclusion for small businesses, farmers and rural consumers could stimulate much faster economic growth. But is there a dark side to the sudden availability of east loans?
The programme includes interviews with Matthew Davie, chief strategy officer at the US micro-lending fin-tech Kiva; Omotade Odunowo, chief executive of the Nigerian digital wallet service Fets; Joshua Oigara, chief executive of Kenya's biggest commercial bank KCB; and Kevin Njiraini, regional director for southern Africa and Nigeria at the International Finance Corporation.
(Picture: Young African woman using a mobile phone; Credit: wilpunt/Getty Images)
The cost of sending money home
Why it's time to start paying attention to the global remittances industry. Ed Butler speaks to Monica, a nurse from the Philippines working in the UK - one of millions of people around the world who regularly send money back to their families abroad. Dilip Ratha from the World Bank describes the scale of the money flows, and the persistently high costs of international money transfers. Ralph Chami from the IMF highlights the challenges such big inflows of cash can have on developing countries. And Elena Novokreshchenova from the company Remitly explains how technology can help reduce costs.
(Photo: A bank teller counts bills in Manila, Philippines, Credit: Getty Images)
The cannabidiol craze
The cannabis extract CBD or cannabidiol is legal in many countries, and now it's finding its way into everything from soaps to cosmetics. But is it just a fad, and are its health claims bogus?
Manuela Saragosa asks Harry Sumnall, professor in substance use at Liverpool John Moores University, whether it is true that CBD is not a psychoactive substance - unlike the more infamous cannabis extract THC. And is it true that it can be used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's, anxiety and cancer amongst others?
Meanwhile Katie Prescott explores the booming market for CBD products. She speaks to Jim McCormick, president of cannabis brand Ignite International; Eveline van Keymeulen, head of life sciences regulations at law firm Allen & Overy; Alex Brooks of financial services firm Canaccord Genuity; and Chris Tovey of GW Pharmaceuticals.
(Picture: Cannabis leaf; Credit: digihelion/Getty Images)