Capitalism: Success, Crisis and Reform - Audio
by Douglas W. Rae
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In this course, we will seek to interpret capitalism using ideas from biological evolution: Firms pursuing varied strategies and facing extinction when those strategies fail are analogous to organisms struggling for survival in nature. For this reason, it is less concerned with ultimate judgment of capitalism than with the ways it can be shaped to fit our more specific objectives – for the natural environment, public health, alleviation of poverty, and development of human potential in every child. Each book we read will be explicitly or implicitly an argument about good and bad consequences of capitalism.
||01 - Exploding Worlds and Course Introduction||Professor Rae introduces the concept of capital as accumulated wealth used to produce more wealth.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||02 - Thomas Malthus and Inevitable Poverty||Professor Rae shows how countries over the last two centuries have experienced improved life expectancies and increased incomes per capita.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||03 - Counting the Fingers of Adam Smith's Invisible Hand||Professor Rae introduces Adam Smith's notion of the "invisible hand" of the market.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||04 - Karl Marx, Joseph Schumpeter, and an Economic System Incapable of Coming to Rest||Professor Rae relates Marxist theories of monopoly capitalism to Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||05 - Property, Freedom, and the Essential Job of Government||A practical theory of freedom is discussed, based on Hayek's Constitution of Liberty.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||06 - Rise of the Joint Stock Corporation||Professor Rae explains how the growing scale and complexity of railroads in the US were foundational to the development of modern capitalism.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||07 - Can You Sell a Scheme for Operating on Beating Hearts and Make a Business of It?||Dean of the Yale School of Management, Sharon Oster, explains the CardioThoracic business case.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||08 - Mortal Life Cycle of a Great Technology||Professor Rae uses the case of Polaroid cameras to highlight key features of the capitalist system.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||09 - Guest Lecture by Jim Alexander: Managing the Crooked E||Jim Alexander, former CFO of the Enron subsidiary Enron Global Power and Pipeline, offers an insider's account of Enron's corporate culture and operations before the company's spectacular fall.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||11 - Guest Lecture by Will Goetzmann: Institutions and Incentives in Mortgages and Mortgage-Backed Securities||Guest speaker Will Goetzmann, Director of the Yale International Center for Finance and professor at the Yale School of Management, provides a brief history of debt and financial crises.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||12 - Accountability and Greed in Investment Banking||Professor Rae explores the creation of incentives and disincentives for individual action.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||13 - The Mortgage Meltdown in Cleveland||Professor Rae discusses the subprime mortgage crisis.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||14 - The Political and Judicial Elements of American Capitalism||Professor Rae uses the Merck-Vioxx business case to highlight political elements of U.S. capitalism, including government regulatory agencies, federalism, lobbying, regulatory capture, tort law and liability, and patent law.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||15 - Mass Affluence Comes to the Western World||Professor Rae discusses the rise of mass affluence, the joint stock corporation, and advertising/consumer culture in America.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||16 - Braudel's Bell Jar||Professor Rae explores Hernando de Soto's theories of dead and live capital and the power of property rights.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||17 - The Case of Mister Balram Halwai||Professor Rae discusses Aravind Adiga's novel The White Tiger.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||18 - Microfinance in South India||Professor Rae teaches the SELCO business case, about a distributed electric power generation scheme targeting rural Indians.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||19 - Plight of the Bottom Billion||In a videotaped lecture, Professor Rae discusses problems with using gross domestic product (GDP) as a measure for societal wellbeing.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||20 - Policy Targets for Capitalist Development||Professor Rae begins by briefly discussing his recent trip to Washington, where he became more closely acquainted with the health care reform bill.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||21 - Guest Lecture by Paolo Zanonni, Part I||Guest speaker Paolo Zanonni, partner at Goldman Sachs, discusses the firm's transition from a straight partnership to a hybrid partnership / joint stock corporation.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||22 - Guest Lecture by Paolo Zanonni, Part II||Guest speaker Paolo Zanonni, partner at Goldman Sachs, explains a major deal in the European utilities market.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||23 - Marrying the Devil in Texas||Professor Rae discusses the case TXU v. EDF, about an electric company private equity deal that involves environmental interest groups.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||24 - Capitalist Enterprise and Clean Water for a Bolivian City||In this final lecture of the semester, Professor Rae gives a summary of major themes, thinkers, and cases covered in the course.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
This is a strong course with thoughtful content, a variety of excellent guest speakers, and no shortage of the professor's POV. You feel part of a genuine conversation.
Why then three stars? There are a few technical issues:
1. There is no class 10 and no explanation why it isn't included
2. It is very difficult to hear what class participants have to say and the main speaker doesn't consistently summarize content. Also, there is dead time as the microphone is passed around.
3. I couldn't find a book list or other materials. Such would have been useful.