Revolt of Economics students

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See Teaching Economics after the Crisis.  J-C Trichet: ECB President “As a policy-maker, I felt abandoned by conventional tools.” (2010).

This may be mostly about macro-economics, but reflects fundamental inadequacies in the underlying science that afflict micro-economics and have poisoned fundamental ideas in strategy. Even the most basic tools, such as the PQ demand-curve, are hopelessly unrealistic depictions of real-world mechanisms, and attempts to adapt them end up like trying to squeeze Cinderella’s ugly sisters’ foot into a dainty shoe. Standard economic models do not deal ...

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FT calls for more Fred Goodwins!

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So the FT reckons companies just need CEOs with “experience”, not strategic competence. Business leaders, politicians, strategy consultants and business schools have been wringing their hands since the 2008 crash (which was not just about banks), asking how on earth we got into such a mess. The article says no-one saw the recession coming, but fails to note that the corporate sector itself actually created the problem – as it has most other recessions.

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Strategy and the economy

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With worries about world economies falling back again, we could reflect on how we got in this mess, and some questions for Strategy.

Recessions usually start, I hear, in the corporate sector – falls in consumer or public spending then follow those business reversals, rather than the opposite. It can also be shown that an industry can fall into big cycles with no variability at all in underlying demand growth. If this happens in one sector, then both the boom and ...

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More on growth vs. ROIC

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One challenge I got from the academics on the issue of strategy tools’ usefulness was whether growth is still a relevant question in these recessionary times.

Perhaps my original post to them was not clear enough.  I meant to say that, as I understand it, investors are interested in the present value of future cash-flows – not growth per se. There is no point in simply growing market share or revenues if it does not ultimately improve future cash flows ...

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Decline and recovery by sector

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Experienced execs may have a good feel for how their particular industry may evolve during the downturn and recovery – e.g. consumer sectors tend to fall first, but recover earlier also. McKinsey have mapped the decline and recovery of different sectors in previous recessions, which might give useful pointers for what to look out for in your industry so your strategy can respond at the right time.

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