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The NHS is the closest thing the English people have to a religion.’

Nigel Lawson

Following Sunak’s crass misjudgement in returning early from the D-Day 80th anniversary in Normandy, it's now inconceivable that his prediction of a hung parliament will result from the UK General Election on 4th July; that is, unless he voluntarily steps down from his role as Conservative party leader, as suggested by Matthew Parris in The Times last Saturday. So, looking at the likelihood of at least five years of Labour Government, we need to look closely at Sir Keir Starmer's proposals (so far as possible, as there's not much to see just yet).

One thing he has been specific about is his total addiction to the National Health Service, even to the extent of refusing to consider allowing his close relatives to receive private medical care in the event of an emergency. Asked whether he was a socialist he responded ‘yes’, and he is clearly content to give that a higher priority than the potential imminent death of one of his family.

When the welfare state was first established by the Attlee Government, the Church had been providing the only access to healthcare for the poor; and its capacity to help was severely impacted by WW2. There's a detailed account of how this part of its pre-war mission was delivered, in Kathleen Heasman’s book ‘Christians and Social Work’.

As a result, there was understandably a sigh of relief when the National Health Service was first established after the war ended, and Archbishop Temple even went so far as to describe the State as doing God's work. Unfortunately, however, its funding was not targeted according to ability to pay: it was based on the socialist creed of universality introduced by communism. Fast forward seventy-five years and we can now see how it's actually denying those most in need from receiving a good service, by holding on to that mantra of universality, ‘free at the point of use’.  

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We've published over 350 of these weekly commentaries covering a wide range of issues, and you can find links here to the full list over the past seven years.

 

 

 

 

The forthcoming General Election looms large over The Bigger Picture and The Financial Outlook, while This Is Money takes a diversion to look at Premium Bonds. Motley Fool Money episodes focus on giant tech and Warren Buffett, and there’s a new Modern Mindset on renewable energy and an episode of The Hypnotist helping to move away from trauma in the past. Plus there are, of course, our regular reviews of the latest gadgets and movies — and please note that for quick links to Gadgets & Gizmos podcasts via Spotify, Apple, Amazon and Stitcher, just click here:

 

 

 

 

Please scroll down this home page for links to these programmes. Also, for those who prefer listening on Apple, Spotify or Amazon, try searching for our podcasts under ‘Hrkn’ — a quick way to find us! 

It's great to see Simon Rose, presenter of The Bigger Picture, The Financial Outlook, Gadgets & Gizmos and The Business of Film recognised in the Radio Times this week!

Also — please consider joining the Classic Movie Club where James Cameron-Wilson, Simon's sparring partner in The Business of Film, is executive editor.

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If we are to establish a more equitable society — supporting the individual human achievement so vital for democratic capitalism, but at the same time based on egalitarian principles — it is also vital to provide the necessary academic rigour to support its propositions.

King’s College, Cambridge, in partnership with the University's Faculty of Economics, has established the SHARE research project (Supporting Human Achievement through Research based on Egalitarian Principles) with a four-year post-doctoral research fellowship. Areas of research include inter-generational wealth transfer; human capital (improving inequality and productivity through education and training); disintermediation; and mass ownership.

Share Alliance is being established as a registered charity to support and provide oversight for the research project.

On Friday 14th April '23 its first half-day conference took place, concentrating on two leading propositions: inter-generational rebalancing and 'Stock for Data'. It was also an opportunity to hear about underlying principles and its planning for the future, and there was a panel session for general discussion.

Video recordings of all five sessions are available via the Share Alliance website. Presentation slides are also available here

 

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In partnership with publishers Harriman House, Share Radio has produced the audiobook 'Superinvestors', written by Matthew Partridge and read by some of Share Radio's best known presenters: Simon Rose, Fenella Fudge, Glen Thompsett, Ed Bowsher and accomplished actor David Ricardo Pearce, whose ancestor is featured in the book.

Order your audiobook download of Superinvestors 

Welcome to Gavin Oldham's full presentation describing his vision for egalitarian capitalism.

The main set of proposals are as follows:

Egalitarian Capitalism is an alternative to socialism which, while fostering and encouraging enterprise for all, acts to involve and empower people right across society and especially the young. 

Six key steps of egalitarian capitalism

  1. A proper programme of financial education to help people from all walks of life to build a personal store of freely disposable assets.
  2. Setting the conditions for disinter-mediation, in particular reducing the extent of parasitic inter-mediation which separates people from a sense of ownership and control.
  3. Direct share ownership: drawing together employee, consumer and share-owner, providing much improved corporate governance so that individual share-owners can participate fully in the companies in which they have chosen to invest.
  4. Calls for risk to be properly recognised when setting taxation on reward. This means encouraging innovation and continuing to recognise the risks taken by self-employed people.
  5. Addresses inter-generational equity, introducing a programme of incentivised financial learning for the disadvantaged young, fuelled from inheritance tax receipts, to enable them to achieve their full potential in adult life.
  6. Tackles one of the most difficult issues for democratic capitalism: universal benefits. It proposes a new voluntary approach for higher taxpayers to make discretionary payments for using universal, state-run services.
Thought for the Week: Say Farewell to Socialism, Sir Keir

Spot the difference (if you can) between the communist and socialist perspectives on welfare, as defined by byjus.com. After seventy-five years it's crippled the public sector with its huge demand for cash, and provides a dysfunctional service due to monopoly strangleholds. It's time for Sir Keir Starmer to move from socialism to egalitarian capitalism: You won't find it in Party manifestos, but you will find it at Share Alliance. Background music: 'People Watching' by Sir Cubworth

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Thought for the Week: Moral Compass Missing

Nothing seems to shake the populist following of Mr. Trump, which includes a substantial proportion of the evangelical Christian community. Is their moral compass somewhat unbalanced — are they omitting to focus on the second great commandment, to love our neighbours (those least likely to be our 'neighbours') as ourselves? Here in the UK, populism is more associated with the Reform Party, which is attracting 15% of voters compared to the Conservatives 21%. They share Trump's appeal for self-interest and antipathy towards migration: meanwhile the need for a real focus on helping the poor continues. Where's the moral compass? Background music: 'Charisma' by The Brothers Records

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Thought for the Week: Assess the Individual, not just their Party

Not my platitudes — but we do indeed need bold reforms, vision, groundbreaking solutions and to lead the edge of change. Our key concerns and calls for action are in this commentary, but they're not in the party manifestos: for example, the call to break the cycle of deprivation first made 50 years ago — we're still waiting. Euphemisms abound as the parties converge towards the central ground in the quest for your votes, but they draw together many different perspectives. Test them on issues such as a more egalitarian form of capitalism, smaller government, inter-generational rebalancing and a longer-term perspective — see where they stand as individuals. Background music: 'Hidden Agenda' by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1200102

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This Is Money:  What does it take to win the Premium Bonds - and is it worth you trying?

How much do you need in Premium Bonds to win the jackpot? And if you haven’t maxed them out to the full £50,000, is it even worth bothering? This is Money has run some in-depth analysis on all the £1 million prizes over the past four years and this week revealed how much those lucky people held. Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at what it takes to win the Premium Bonds. Simon gives us his tax manifesto to get us out of the mess Britain’s tax system is in. Plus, one of our readers is in their mid-40s, would like to semi-retire to work on their own terms, travel and enjoy life in a decade, and wants to know if their £180,000 investments can grow enough to achieve that. What does someone with those ambitions need to consider? The team take a look. Should you consider buying a cheap electric car? Prospective buyers are worried about batteries but get over that and Simon says it could prove even cheaper to run than you think. And finally, the new King Charles notes are out but what are the serial numbers to check your wallet for which could make them worth big money?

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The Bigger Picture: Professor Tim Evans's General Election Special

Professor Tim Evans of Middlesex University explains that the Conservative Party is no longer trusted, that it is out of touch with its base and so is relying on negative campaigning. Without a positive visiion, they stand no chance of stopping a landslide. While Labour is more moderate and united, it may come under pressure once it is in power. Can it rise to the many domestic and global challenges it will face, particularly with such an appalling handover? if so, it might become the natural party of government. It will be fascinating to see if Reform overtake the Tories in the polls, in which case the Conservative argument against voting for Reform vanishes.

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The Hypnotist: Hypnosis to Release Trauma from the Past

This episode helps tackle trauma suffered in the past, perhaps in childhood or teenage years, which can hold people back in the present. Adam Cox uses the technique of disassociation to break the link, thereby helping to build a sense of security and provide confidence in the present.

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Business of Film: Sting, Atlas & Bonus Track

James Cameron-Wilson reports that the charming ‘IF’ has regained the #1 spot at the UK box office. He was less than impressed by #8 ‘Sting’, a horror film about a spider which is a dumb and ridiculous sub-Alien rip-off. Although it is familiar and feels like a video game jammed on fast forward, he found the Jennifer Lopez sci-fi romp ‘Atlas’ on Netflix to be reasonable popcorn entertainment. He was even more impressed by Sky's ‘Bonus Track’ about a teenager loner at school who suddenly finds direction in his life. It is funny, moving and sweet and feels as if the teens are real people.

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Gadgets and Gizmos: Tattooing avocados, growing your own teeth and having a third thumb

Steve Caplin explains why Tesco is tattooing avocados. Japanese scientists believe people will soon be able to grow new teeth. There's a robot seed-planter taking its inspiration from wild oats. A 9-seater electric plane can take off and land on a football pitch. A new Chinese hybrid car has a massive range and a minimal price, in China at least. Cambridge scientists have been studying how people make use of a third thumb. There's a crowd-funded pet monitoring camera which can tell if the animal is poorly. Bringing the internet to a remote Amazon tribe has caused problems. And in Dubai, there's a proposal to build skyscrapers 1 km high.

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The Financial Outlook for Personal Investors: How might a new government affect the market?

Russ Mould of A J Bell says that markets have traditionally done better under the Conservatives, though they have had longer in power than Labour. While the size of majorities makes no discernible difference, what is important is the macro side and particularly inflation. Since 2019 the CPI is up 22% and the RPI 33%, with wages up by a quarter. He looks at how different sectors might be affected such as housebuilding, energy, rail, utilities, defence and retail.

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Motley Fool Money: The Big Three Drive All-Time Highs (6/6)

If you own an S&P 500 index fund then about 20% of your money is in Microsoft, Nvidia, and Apple. Asit Sharma and Ricky Mulvey discuss why big tech is driving the market, earnings from Lululemon, and mindset advice for new investors. Plus, 17 minutes in, Mary Long interviews Tom Steyer, author of “Cheaper, Faster, Better: How We’ll Win the Climate War” about advancements in green tech. Companies discussed: AAPL, NVDA, MSFT, LULU, CAVA, CRM. Host: Ricky Mulvey; Guests - Asit Sharma, Mary Long, Tom Steyer

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Motley Fool Money: What a CEO Learned from Warren Buffett .. (1/6)

.. and other legendary leaders. David Novak is the former CEO of Yum! Brands. He’s also the author of the new book, “How Leaders Learn: Master the Habits of the World’s Most Successful People.” Ricky Mulvey caught up with Novak to discuss using power to empower others, lessons from market-beating executives, and why prioritizing people over results is a winning strategy. Host - Ricky Mulvey; Guest - David Novak

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Modern Mindset: Adam Cox is joined by Haitem Bulgasim of Nationwide Renewables

Haitem tells Adam all about new research he's conducted regarding renewable energy, as well as what the government needs to do regarding renewables during election season.
https://nationwide-renewables.co.uk/

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Thought for the Week: Action required for Default CTF Pay-out

The core of the problem with unclaimed, adult-owned Child Trust Funds (of which there are over £2 billion waiting to be claimed) is with accounts opened by HMRC. That's why The Share Foundation has proposed a 'default withdrawal at 21' process, based on the young person's National Insurance number. Danny Kruger MP took part in the CTF conference in Westminster on Tuesday 5th March, and two weeks later in a Westminster Hall CTF debate, and supported this initiative which could release £1/4 billion each year to help these young and predominantly low-income young adults. Background music: 'Waiting' by Andrew Langdon

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The Financial Outlook: Westminster Hall debate on family access for CTFs of disabled

The debate on 19th March 2024 was hosted by Sir Jeremy Quin MP to call for the need to simplify family access to Child Trust Funds for disabled young people, and a number of MPs contributed to the debate, including Danny Kruger and Ed Davy. The audio record is provided by Parliament Live, and is an unabridged recording of proceedings, without additional comment. Listeners may notice an adjournment for voting in the House of Commons.

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Modern Mindset: Gemma Bourne on Ending Homelessness

Adam Cox is joined by Gemma Bourne from Big Society Capital to discuss why the government should reallocate a larger proportion of its existing spend to further scale initiatives that tackle the UK's homelessness and temporary accommodation crisis. With new research showing that these house funds are already having a major impact, it could help us combat homelessness. https://bigsocietycapital.com/

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The Financial Outlook: UK Budget as delivered on 6 March 2024

The full unabridged UK Budget speech as delivered by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in the House of Commons on Wednesday 6th March 2024, without additional comment.

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The Bigger Picture: Milei lecturing the WEF, plummeting EV car sales & the truth about Gen Z

Professor Tim Evans of Middlesex University explains why he so enjoyed new Argentine President Javier Milei lecturing the great and good of the World Economic Forum about libertarian and Austrian economics, attacking corporatism and socialism. He feels Milei could be the most consequential politician economically-speaking for many years. He also looks at falling EV car sales, lamenting the way in which politicians set goals for achieving their hobbyhorses irrespective of scientific progress and consumer demand. And he is fascinated by a meeting between journalist John Humphreys and members of Gen Z, which showed them to be different to the popular perception.

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The Bigger Picture: The King's Speech for Christmas Day

Unabridged and without comment from Share Radio, here's the King's Christmas message as broadcast on 25th December '23.

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The Financial Outlook: The outlook for 2024 and Gregg's

Neil Shah of Edison Group feels that the bond market has now normalised whch could help the equity market, where many companies have stabilised after a tough year, although he points out that the US market looks peaky. He admires the outstanding quarter year results from Gregg's. The business appears to be in the sweet spot where value is important to customers with a healthy balance sheet and a great management team. It pays a yield but there is still plenty of growth left, although the rating clearly anticipates this.

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Gadgets & Gizmos: Christmas gift guide 2023

Steve Caplin takes Simon Rose through a cornucopia of techie Christmas gift ideas. Among his favourites are the crowdfunded Linka Lasso bike lock and the Hover X1 self-flying camera. There's an app to help with the office Secret Santa and a distillery to brew your own booze. You can get a magnetic wrapping tripod, a great phone case with a built-in stand, teflon mats for flaky BBQ food, an underseat suitcase for flights, magnetic bookmarks, a folding charger plug and even an electrified Land Rover Defender to use as a shore tender with your superyacht.

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The Financial Outlook: The Autumn Statement 2023, unabridged

On Wednesday 22nd November '23 Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt delivered his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons, focused on restoring UK economic growth. This is his full, unabridged speech as delivered, without commentary.

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The Financial Outlook for Personal Investors: How to set about Investing

Welcome to a special episode of The Financial Outlook: the investment section of the Managing My Money course. What's the difference between saving and investment? It's all in the risk. We talk about shares, bonds and funds, and which perform best over the long term. The Managing My Money course has 16 sections in total, and is presented by Glen Goodman and Annie Weston. You can enjoy the whole course, produced in association with the Open University via Share Radio's home page. Here's the link to the slides for this episode: https://www.shareradio.co.uk/help-guides/managing-my-money/supporting-slides/mmm-week-5-episode-10-supporting-slides/

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Thought for the Week: Don't waste the Child Trust Fund harvest!

“The [Child Trust Fund] scheme has been closed to new entrants for over 12 years. In this time HMRC has been focusing resources on evaluating and improving existing schemes. We will continue to keep the need to evaluate old schemes under review.” So said Andrew Griffith MP, Economic Secretary to HM Treasury in reply to a parliamentary question from John Ashworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. But this is not an 'old scheme' — there is currently over £1.7 billion sitting in mature accounts belonging to over 900,000 mainly low-income young adults throughout the UK who don't know anything about their good fortune! Their Child Trust Fund harvest is seeing too little action at present: but it's not too late to get it sorted, and the current focus from the National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee will certainly help.
Background music: 'Hopeful Freedom' by Asher Fulero

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The Bigger Picture: The Budget March 2023

UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt sets out his Budget for growth. This is the unabridged recording, direct from the House of Commons on 15th March 2023.

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Thought for the Week: Solving the AI Challenge to Wealth, Control and Intelligence

The huge take-up of ChatGPT over recent weeks has brought the challenge of Artificial Intelligence into sharp relief. As the Chief Executive of its creator, OpenAI, said in one of his blogs, 'Artificial Intelligence will bring unimaginable wealth but, unless something changes, most of us will get none of it. We need a radical solution'. Conventional wisdom sees Universal Basic Income as the way through this dilemma, but this will only bring us more state intermediation and human subservience. We can put forward a better solution, by enabling all to share in the wealth that technology brings and to play their part in its future governance.
Background music: 'Digital Solitude' by Silent Partner

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The Financial Outlook for Personal Investors: The case for investment trusts

Jonathan Davis, editor of the Investment Trusts Handbook, tells Simon Rose what makes investment trusts special and why investors should consider their merits. He explains the differences to other types of funds, including the premium and discount. He discusses the yields on alternative assets (including renewable energy and even music royalties) and how trusts can continue paying dividends even in bad years. The handbook, from Harriman House, is available in hardbook or free as an ebook (https://tinyurl.com/mt69fc24).

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Motley Fool Answers: So Long, and Thanks for All the STOCKS!

It’s the last episode of Answers (but don’t worry, we’re just moving to Motley Fool Money every Tuesday). We’ll reminisce on our biggest lessons learned over the last seven years and answer your questions, some financial, some festive.

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   The Financial Outlook for Personal Investors: Why investing in shares needs a much higher profile on TV and Radio
Lord John Lee has become a champion for people investing in the stock market over recent years: he's written three books on investing, he's a patron of ShareSoc, the society for individual shareholders in the United Kingdom, and he's now challenging Government, broadcasters and regulators to encourage a much higher profile for investing in shares on TV and radio. Gavin Oldham meets with John to discuss the background to his initiative and his proposals for change; and they go on to consider how customer share ownership can be expanded, how to encourage more active participation in shareholder voting, and how to improve financial education.
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The Talk by The WealthiHer Network: Female high-powered businesses

The Talk by the WealthiHer Network, every month on Share Radio: this month we are here to talk about the secrets of some of UK leading female businesses leaders and their journeys within launching their businesses. Tamara Gillan is joined by Charlotte Bobroff, the executive director at J.P. Morgan who has been incremental with working with female founders from female high-powered businesses. She recently curated an event surrounding female high-powered businesses and she will be discussing her findings. Also, we have the pleasure of Daina Speddings, who is an investor at BGF and will share her perspective on the investment journey.

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Share Drama: A Christmas Carol - the beloved classic, retold!

Scrooge has made the deal of his life with Chinese investors and must now quickly return to London on Christmas Eve to close the deal. On the flight back, during a fitful sleep, Scrooge confronts his past and present and learns the future consequences of his miserly life to find the true meaning of Christmas. Proscenium Online Theatre is super excited to be bringing you a whole new season of audio dramas in 2022. Starting off with 'The Girl in the Yellow Dress', a dark romance by South African playwright Craig Higginson, and 'Plunder', an original Hong Kong based thriller by American playwright Alan Olejniczak. In the meantime - sit back, close your eyes and enjoy the Proscenium Online Theatre’s production of 'A Christmas Carol'.

https://www.prosceniumonlinetheatre.com

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Gavin Oldham Capital Economics UK economy Brexit
Professor Tim Evans of Middlesex University discusses with Simon Rose the ideas behind Egalitarian Capitalism as espoused by Gavin Oldham OBE, amongst other things the founder of Share Radio. He's keen to see a world with inter-generational rebalancing, where everyone has a disintermediated stake in capitalism (for more, see tinyurl.com/mrhzcb27). Tim also asks if Boris Johnson is still a lucky general or are his days numbered?
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Investor Conferences: Panel Sesson - Sustainable & Social Investing in a Post-Covid World

Join the Sustain:Social panel session on December '21, considering the outlook for investors in the wake of the COP26 in Glasgow. The panel comprises of - Chair: Rodney Hobson Panel: Gervais Williams (Premier Miton Group); Jamie Broderick (Impact Investing Institute); Mohan Gundu (Sustainable Funds Group); Mike Appleby (Liontrust Sustainable Investment team); Gavin Oldham (The Share Foundation / Share Radio).

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The Bigger Picture: Trussell Trust, helping UK food banks rise to the challenge

Food banks are providing a vital role to help people this winter, and the Trussell Trust supports more than 1,200 throughout the United Kingdom. In this special episode of The Bigger Picture, their Chief Executive Emma Revie briefs supporters about their progress, and their plans for the future. If you would like to support the extraordinary work undertaken by this charity, please visit https://trusselltrust.org

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The Financial Outlook for Personal Investors: the unabridged Budget speech

If you missed Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivering his speech on 27 October, here's your chance to hear it. Plus, read our commentary on Monday 1 November for Share Radio's perspective, including our assessment of the contrast with the mid-70s, when public borrowing last hit stratospheric levels.

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The Bigger Picture: A World of Individual Opportunity - the Vision of Egalitarian Capitalism

Imagine a world in which everyone has a stake in the great tech firms that serve them each day, and where dividends are gradually replacing wages to provide regular income for everyone, as work becomes scarcer as a result of automation? Imagine a world where every young person not only has a small inheritance with which to start their adult life, but also the opportunity to build its value by learning life skills? Simon Rose is taking a well-earned break this week, so we’re taking the opportunity to bring you a talk given Gavin Oldham in August to the leading City of London think-tank Z/Yen.

Click link for slides for presentation

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Sharefound: Good News for 16-18 year-olds in Wales!

On 31 August '21 The Share Foundation hosted a virtual event for young people in Wales, to help them find money that the government put away in a Child Trust Fund for when they reached 18. All young people born in the UK from 1st September 2002 should have one of these accounts, but huge numbers don't know anything about them! With Welsh-speaking help from Jac, this audio podcast of the virtual event tells you all about your good fortune, and invites you to register at https://findCTF.sharefound.org so that Sharefound can help link you with your money. Please share! And if you want to join a virtual event yourself, please visit https://www.sharefound.org/ctf-virtual-events and register for your choice of date: they're taking place each fortnight.

LISTEN HERE
 Economist Questions: A ‘Good’ and ‘Efficient’ Workplace: Tricky Balancing Act?
Research into workplace productivity and management practice is often focused on the links between ‘Good’ and ‘Efficient’ practices. ‘Good’ covers employee-friendly policies; for instance, those providing opportunities for better Work Life Balance. In contrast, ‘Efficient’ practice includes the use of KPIs, setting clear performance expectations and tackling underperformance where it is identified. In this episode Peter Urwin and Professor Richard Saundry discuss this, drawing on their own understanding as researchers and experiences as line managers. The operational reality is that managers hold a position between the interests of their organisation and those who work for them – how do they balance the (often competing) need to create both efficient and good workplaces?
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VIDEO: Tracking down £1bn of missing Child Trust Fund cash

Every child in the UK born between 1 Sept 2002 and 2 Jan 2011 has a Child Trust Fund (CTF). But one child in six has lost contact with the money. Gavin Oldham, Chairman of The Share Foundation – which runs the Junior ISA & Child Trust Fund schemes for children in care for the Department for Education - is trying to re-connect them. He talks through the CTF, how to track an account down, and what a child can and can’t do with the money.

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Superinvestors

In a new partnership with publishers Harriman House, Share Radio has produced its first audiobook 'Superinvestors', written by Matthew Partridge and read by some of Share Radio's best known presenters. 'Superinvestors' lays bare the investing secrets of legendary investors - from early 20th-century figures such as Benjamin Graham and John Maynard Keynes, through to more modern names such as Anthony Bolton and Warren Buffett.

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The Share Foundation

How you can help young people in care prepare for adult life by supporting The Share Foundation’s ‘Stepladder of Achievement’ programme.

LISTEN HERE

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Share Radio has put together a list of our ‘Top 5 Money Saving Apps’ to help our listeners make the most of their money.  All the apps featured here are free to download on either Apple or Android devices. Read more...

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