Bellerbys Economics - Mr Stephenson

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Economics Graduates

Economics has a poor reputation - 'the dismal science' it is sometimes called - and that makes those of us who practise it, dismal scientists - probably in both senses of the phrase.

But is that really true? Let's just look at some of the exciting people who have qualified with an Economics degree:

Firstly, there's Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, who grabbed his degree from the LSE. Then there's (gulp) Arnold Schwarzeneggar, action movie hero who went on to become Governor of California - the Governator.

Then there's BBC presenter and everyone's Blue Peter favourite Konnie Huq, who's a Cambridge graduate like our very own chief-exec, James Pitman.

Then there's Tiger Woods, possibly the world's greatest ever golfer, who graduated from Stanford. Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert - the cartoon series is an economics graduate. Australian actress Cate Blanchett graduated from Melbourne University - and also actors Gene Kelly, Paul Newman and George Wendt ('Norm' in 'Cheers').

That's not a bad crew to be a member of!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cleaner Profits from Cleantech

Cleantech is a word you will start to hear more and more about. Although there may be some disagreements as to the causes, most people now accept that global warming is real and is going to get worse over the next ten years.

So what should you be investing in if you want to profit from this? Cleantech companies will provide the answer. There are four different categories emerging:

The first area is low-grid technology - the technology that helps households and businesses to reduce their energy usage. Every business in the country is now scrambling to appoint Carbon Reduction Officers or some such - and so contracts can be easily gained for things like environment-control systems software; demand-management lighting and so on. This may be considered the microeconomics of greenhouse gas reduction

The second area is in the macroeconomic sphere with governments arbitrarily plucking figures from the air and setting targets like a 25% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020 (USA). This has led to a boom in big technologies like carbon sequestration (collecting CO2 emissions from factory chimneys and feeding them underground) and clean-coal technologies (the Chinese are big in this area.)

The third area is alternative energy sources - solar of course, fuel cells and perhaps biofuels (although that brings its own problems). Geo-thermal technologies are another and with EarthEnergy investing heavily in this in Cornwall, it could lead to a revival of that country's fortunes.

Finally, the fourth area is CO2 conversion therapies - filtering CO2 from the air and converting it into chemicals such as methanol that can be stored more easily and may have alternative uses, including fuel cells.

We used to say 'Where there's dirt there's money' in this country - but perhaps now we should change it to 'Clean technology provides clean money."

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Children's Economics University

The Warsaw School of Economics, much more progressive than the LSE in the UK and rapidly developing a world-class reputation, has recently launched a Children's Economics University. It is aimed at gifted children in the 11-13 age range. They attend six lectures a term on a Saturday morning each term. The lectures are fun-filled with role-playing, economics games, quizzes and so on. The best student at the end of the course wins a laptop.

What a great idea for the United Nations group at Bellerbys to adopt. With so many gifted economists in the group, the students could run the lectures themselves and the 'Bellerbys School of Economics' could be open to local state school children who show potential in this area.

Let me know what you think!