Posts by Adam Leaver

Adam Leaver, Professor in Accounting and Society, Sheffield University Management School

Intangible concerns: Goodwill and the risk of pro-cyclicality in corporate America

Much has been written about the growth of debt since the Great Financial Crisis. But whilst leverage is a worry, much less has been written about the problem of asset quality As someone writing about derivatives as the last crisis hit in 2007 (or 2008 depending on your markers), I always try to keep track of those markets which have … Continue reading

20 June 2018 by Adam Leaver
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , ,

Outsourcing firms and the paradox of time travel

Analysis of Carillion’s accounts reveals the complex interplay between the firm’s present and future, and sheds new light on which other large outsourcing firms are ‘levered on the future’ In the 1985 film ‘Back To The Future’, the hero Marty McFly travels back in time, accidentally becomes embroiled in his parents’ lives and almost causes them to split, threatening the … Continue reading

12 February 2018 by Adam Leaver
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , ,

Out of time: The fragile temporality of Carillion’s accumulation model

Carillion is the epitome of the modern financialized firm and its liquidation tells us much about risk in this phase of financialization Look anywhere on Carillion’s website and we see metaphors for its supposed tangibility and strength, from the way it advertises its Tarmac Group heritage to its list of construction achievements which in fact precede its inception. The website … Continue reading

17 January 2018 by Adam Leaver
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , ,

Disgorging the social settlement: What the Paradise Papers tell us about firms

The Paradise Papers reveal how debt and other financial mechanisms are used to move funds offshore and avoid tax. New constraints on firms and managers are needed Back in the 1980s, concern about lagging competitiveness in publicly listed firms led to the popularity of agency theory explanations for underperformance. Authors like Michael Jensen told a very simple, yet seductive story … Continue reading

10 November 2017 by Adam Leaver
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , ,

Tactics without strategy: Brexit and the politics of conceit

The political and economic forces unleashed by the referendum result now pose profound challenges for Leave politicians and the Labour Party With two million Conservative voters seemingly ‘undecided’ last week and Labour voters preponderantly pro-Remain but susceptible to no-shows at the ballot booth, it was tempting to presume before the vote that an event of this magnitude might be decided … Continue reading

27 June 2016 by Adam Leaver
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: ,

Organising metaphors and austerity: what the left can learn

Progressives need to think differently about political narrative to shape the political agenda to their advantage Arguably one of the most memorable moments of last year in the UK featured a tearful, Conservative-voting mother on BBC1’s weekly debating programme Question Time explaining how cuts in tax credits would affect her ability to provide the basic requirements of food and shelter … Continue reading

9 February 2016 by Adam Leaver
Categories: Politics and policy, SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , , , ,