Edward Hadas is a former economics editor at Reuters Breakingviews and also worked at the Financial Times as assistant editor of the Lex column. Before becoming a journalist, he worked for 23 years as an equity analyst in Europe and the United States. He has written a book, "Human Good, Economic Evils: A Moral Approach to the Dismal Science" (ISI Books, 2007), and is a visiting senior fellow in the School of Management and Social Sciences at St. Mary's University, London. Edward has degrees from Columbia University, Wadham College, Oxford and the State University of New York at Binghamton.
The number of worried and desperate workers seems to be increasing. Some cultural critics see a symptom of modern social decay. “Precarious Lives” looks at the numbers and finds mild damage. Its main finding: a strong welfare state is welcome, but this problem is hard to solve.
The break-up of GE and United Technologies marks the end of an era, but there will always be good reasons to bind together diverse businesses. Removing barriers brings synergies, spreads talent and saves on taxes. The trick is to avoid stultifying complexity and financial games.
Renault and then Nissan hired Carlos Ghosn to subvert conventions. But the will to transgress is hard to keep within boundaries. Companies have four defences against talented but errant bosses: bureaucracy, conscience, boards and punishments. All of them can be strengthened.