Agenda – Latest Articles

Beyond the Bottom Line

What society expects from business is evolving rapidly. Beyond providing returns to shareholders, businesses play a critical systemic role in the development of society and guardianship of the global environment. For many, this is unchartered territory. Success will come only if we continue to discuss and debate some of the most pressing questions, such as what is the purpose of business? Do investors hold the key to a sustainable future? And what does it mean to have purpose that goes beyond the boardroom?

Are you ready to think Beyond the Bottom Line?

What is the purpose of business?

What is the purpose of business?

Why are so many firms insisting on telling us what their ‘purpose’ is? David Jevons, Oxera Partner, has been looking at the role of business in today’s society and discusses the purpose of a corporate purpose. Since the 1970s, introductory economics and finance classes have taught that the purpose of a firm is to maximise shareholder wealth; yet today, some of the most successful and high-profile firms are keen to communicate a different purpose.

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State aid spotlight on tax: the General Court’s judgments on Fiat and Starbucks

In 2015, the European Commission ordered Starbucks and Fiat to each pay €20m–€30m in the Netherlands and Luxembourg, respectively, as their tax arrangements were found to constitute illegal state aid. On 24 September 2019, the General Court upheld the Commission’s Fiat decision, but annulled the Starbucks decision. What were the key economic issues in these cases, and what are the implications of the judgments?

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Agenda – Latest Articles

Women in Economics

‘There was a time when women in the economy, women in employment, women in finance were not seen as macro-critical. That’s no longer the case.’

Those are the words of Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director, ahead of International Women’s Day. It’s true, as Lagarde observes, that the landscape is changing. But is gender balance happening quickly enough?

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