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Full Commentary

Catalyst: one that precipitates a process or event, especially without being involved in or changed by the consequences.”

The American Heritage Dictionary

Robert Peston put his finger on the spot in his tweets about the Government announcing a 91,000 reduction in the Civil Service. Their suggestion was that this would help tackle the cost of living crisis, but he points out that it will only do so by holding back the transmission of price inflation into wage demands.

It is understandable that considerable care is being exercised to hold back the inflation surge: if it pushes higher or longer then the Bank of England expects, it will also result in a huge rise in the cost of servicing the national debt. Meanwhile if it also pushes hard into the mortgage servicing costs, it will, as discussed in This Is Money this week, seriously deflate house prices – just as the next general election approaches. In this context cutting VAT or other untargeted emergency stimulus could exacerbate an already difficult position. 

However, it is essential that carefully targeted support is given for those most in need, and in order to break the cycle of deprivation by empowering young people from disadvantaged backgrounds – an essential part of levelling-up. The way to do this, without incurring significant levels of additional public expenditure, is by Government learning how to act as a catalyst in order to leverage the huge contribution which could be made by philanthropy through the voluntary sector.  

So — please READ ON ..  as we illustrate how this can be done.


We've published over 240 weekly commentaries covering a wide range of issues, and you can find links here to the full list over the past five years.





As the UK economy teeters on the edge of inflation and recession, The Bigger Picture looks at the Queen’s Speech and the cost of living while the Financial Outlook considers GDP dipping into negative territory in March; meanwhile This Is Money anticipates challenging times in the housing market. For those who want to learn more about the Metaverse, we have twin episodes on this topic from Motley Fool — as opposed to the Business of Film, which reviews the Multiverse of Madness amongst other new movies. Gadgets & Gizmos says farewell to the Apple iPod, and we have two Modern Mindsets for you. Finally, The Hypnotist invites listeners to re-visit childhood memories for a different perspective.


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! 


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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: Government must learn how to be a catalyst

The Bank of England expects the price inflation peak to be high, but short-lived: however if it feeds into wage inflation it could seriously undermine both national debt servicing and the property market: that's why the Government appears to be adopting a tight fiscal stance and announcing a large reduction in the civil service. Carefully targeted support with the swiftly rising cost of living is urgently needed for those most in need and, if the Government can't or won't respond, it could be enabled through the voluntary sector: with Government acting as catalyst. However this is a role to which they're not currently accustomed.

Background music: 'Everything has a Beginning' by Joel Cummins.

The Financial Outlook for Personal Investors: UK GDP, market volatility & Apple losing its crown
Victoria Scholar of Interactive Investor talks to Simon Rose about the latest UK GDP figures and the pound hitting a 2-year low. She discusses the sell-off in tech stocks around the world and the switch to value shares and those which provide decent dividend yields. She points out that Apple has lost its crown as the world's most valuable company to Saudi Aramco and takes a brief look at the plunge in crypto that debunks the idea Bitcoin might be an inflation hedge.
The Bigger Picture: The Queen's Speech, cost of living, local elections & Northern Ireland

Mike Indian looks at the Queen's Speech, with the Queen herself absent. What was in it and what wasn't? He also discusses the Government's response to the growing cost-of-living crisis before turning to the recent local election results and what they might mean for the three main political parties. Lastly, he turns to Northern Ireland, where Sinn Fein emerged as the largest party; dos their success increase the prospect of a united Ireland?

 This Is Money: Will rising rates stop the house price boom?

The pandemic house price boom caught almost everyone by surprise and has continued to run for longer than most expected, but is it now about to end. Rising interest rates and the cost of living crunch are putting a serious squeeze on how much buyers can borrow - and that means they can't keep paying ever higher prices for homes. Meanwhile, stories are emerging of banks and building societies getting cold feet on some of the offers that ambitious buyers have had accepted and the lenders are down-valuing properties. What's a down-valuation? When the bank or building society says, 'we're sorry, but that property isn't worth what you have agreed to pay'. Combine that with the best mortgage rates having more than doubled and you might finally have the recipe for the property market running out of steam. Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss whether house prices can defy gravity once more. Also — should you sign up to a savings platform to manage your cash in one place and hopefully get a boost on rates? Plus, what should investors do as a slow-motion crash hits stock markets and sends the price of many shares and popular funds and trusts sinking? And finally, fed up of being told to cancel your subscriptions to save money? We look at ways to keep your favourite shows and music, but cut back on costs.

Gadgets & Gizmos: RIP iPod, first UK satellite, smart screws & cracklier chocolate

Steve Caplin talks to Simon Rose about the latest tech news. After 21 years, Apple are discontinuing the iPod, the UK is to launch a satellite from Newquay, Mercedes' new electric car will go 1,000km on one charge, the Italians are producing a hydrofoil which will dive down 50 metres, smart screws will detect if they're coming loose in bridges, wind turbines and the like, the Dutch are making cracklier chocolate, there's a crowdfunded inflatable tent and solar table and a prototype app could detect the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease.

Business of Film: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness & top 20 inflation-adjusted films

James Cameron-Wilson explains that all existing films saw a box office collapse in the warm weather while new #1 ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ steamrollered all before it with a £19.8m opening. The new Downton film saw a 50% collapse in box office and all other films suffered a worse fate. With only one new film, James quizzed Simon on his knowledge of the film actresses in the top 20 inflation-adjusted winners at the UK box office. How would you fare in answering these?

Motley Fool Money: Metaverse, Streaming Ads, and The Biz of Freelancing (11/5)

Is Wall Street starting to take a breath before reacting to earnings reports? Tim Beyers discusses Roblox shares rising despite (on the surface) a disappointing Q1 report, developer exchange fees, and why The Trade Desk is a company in transition. Also, Asit Sharma and Bill Mann take a closer look at Fiverr International, an online marketplace for freelance services.


Motley Fool Money: Metaverse - Unlimited Potential, Very Real Constraints (8/5)

The future of the metaverse is murky, even if its present technical challenges are clear. But there may be a few trillion reasons why investors should keep their eyes on this new frontier. Venture capitalist Matthew Ball is author of the upcoming book, “The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything.” Asit Sharma talks with him about the technical challenges in bringing the metaverse to life, a murky future for all involved, and why Nike may have meaningful exposure to the metaverse To learn more, click here - https://www.fool.com/investing/stock-market/market-sectors/information-technology/metaverse-stocks/what-is-the-metaverse/

The Hypnotist: Regression Bee
Childhood memories are crafted in our experience at the time they are created, but what if we could re-visit them in the light of all we have learnt and experienced in the years in between? Adam Cox uses a technique called regression in this episode which allows us to re-live a moment in the past from a different perspective, bringing new meaning and perhaps emotion, and potentially making a positive change for both the present and the future.
Modern Mindset: Chris Price on the Avast Digital Citizenship Report

Adam Cox is joined by freelance technology and travel journalist, Chris Price, to discuss the new Avast Digital Citizenship Report and what it reveals about digital literacy across different age groups. He explains why digital literacy is so important for people's lives, and how Brit's can improve their understanding of what is real and what isn't online. www.avast.com

Modern Mindset: Dr Bolu Eso on Brit's Pooch Parenting Styles

Adam Cox is joined by TV vet, Dr Bolu Eso, to discuss new research from Butternut Box which reveals the 5 types of dog owners. He explains how important it is for owners to understand their dog's health, and he gives advice to listeners on how best to care for their pet. www.butternutbox.com

Modern Mindset:  Kathryn Slatter on Support for Sexual Abuse Victims

Adam Cox is joined by Kathryn Slatter, CEO of Lifecentre, to discuss new research which underlines the widespread issue of long-term health effects for sexual abuse victims in the UK last year. Kathryn talks through why it may be difficult to reach out for help for those who have experienced sexual abuse and what the services are that Lifecentre offers. www.lifecentre.uk.com

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).

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.

   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.
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.

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'.


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?
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).

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

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.

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

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.

 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?
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.


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.

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.


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