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Play now 18 mins

Economics and Morality

Duration:
18 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 05 May 2011

Michael Blastland reports from Athens in the first of a special series of programmes looking at the essence of business itself.

The study of economics has been the building block of all trades since the first caveman began bartering skins thousands of years ago, but how did this study all begin and how did it ultimately lead us to the calamities of the global financial crisis?

Michael speaks to Professor Nikos Theocarakis who says the first economic thinkers in ancient Greece were actually moral philosophers like Aristotle, who was suspicious about the notion of trading goods for profit.

Charles Wheelan, author of Naked Economics, tells a story of perplexing modern economic morality.

Plus the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, gives his view on economics and morality.

And economist John Kay tells us what he thinks of bankers' pay and bonuses.

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