The liberal blues ... Mike Guillaume signs for Searching Finance

Written by Ashwin Rattan Wednesday, 30 May 2012 16:19
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Searching Finance is delighted to announce that we are shortly (late summer/early September) to be publishing Mike Guillaume's The Seven Deadly Sins of Capitalism: Reinventing Economics, Society and Welfare. 

Mike discusses the project

Sometimes it looks wonderful -look at entrepreneurship, innovation, new drugs, sometimes it is really awful –consider unemployment, poverty, environmental damage. That is capitalism. For all its deficiencies, very serious flaws and sins, market capitalism still probably represents economically “the worst system devised by wit of man, except for all the others,” to paraphrase what Winston Churchill said about political democracy. 


In spite of its title, the purpose of this short essay is not about religion – and certainly not about creating a new one!


Using a religious reference as a book title does not mean that the author regards himself as a kind of devotee and evangelist (old-fashioned or newborn) pleading, on economics and in general, for some forms of heavenly or cardinal virtues. Yet these, or at least some, may admittedly come in handy in times of economic, financial, social or moral distress. For those who are not aware, have forgotten, and for the many more who live with other beliefs, in Christianity “the seven deadly sins” refer to objectionable and mortal vices.  “I could’ve had religion”, as the Irish blues rocker Rory Gallagher sang. “But...”.


As far as I am concerned and as the following pages will show, I have never considered capitalism as a religion and behaved like one of its apostles. However, a loss of faith in the system might have been at work to come up with the criticisms developed in this book.


Call it liberal blues or a blues for capitalism?


As old bluesmen sometimes put it, “I’m no sinner, but I ain’t no saint.” I was baptized a Catholic (a useful reminder here: it is the Catholic Church that splits sins between the DEADLY and other VENIAL sins) then have turned into a “post-Christian agnostic” (or is it atheist, I am not sure), or, more simply put, a freethinker, with some Protestant leanings and some interest in Buddhism. A number of years spent consulting in Asian countries (mainly Buddhist and Muslim) were a culture shock. I discovered another way of thinking more focused on the long term, and a great emphasis placed by families on education, two issues increasingly neglected in western societies (especially but not only in America).


Some more about Mike ...


Mike Guillaume is the co-founder and manager of, an American-headquartered, London-based company that specializes in listed company reports’ assessment and benchmarking.


Mike has a wide knowledge of corporate and financial reporting and has been the editor of the “Annual Report on Annual Reports” since 1996 (go to Prior to that, his track record includes extensive entrepreneurial and international management consulting experience. He worked first as an organizational consultant for a U.S. firm. Then he created and managed the Enterprise Group; first focused on business planning for startups and local enterprises; then on strategies for international SMEs, global firms and public institutions.


He has consulted extensively across a wide range of industries in Europe, North and South America, and Southeast Asia, with a strong grasp of the financial and energy sectors, amongst others. Parallel to his career path in markets, he did stints in the public sector (as part-time economy minister cabinet advisor), public-private partnerships (as program manager and consultant), and academia (as visiting professor in international strategy). That blend has given him a good vantage point for watching economies and economics.


Mike has a degree in political science and international economics, and a background in financial management and analysis. He has authored many articles and contributed to various publications, reports and seminars. Born in Charleroi (Wallonia, Belgium), Mike has lived, worked and consulted in twenty-five countries on four continents. He now splits his work and life between London (“a city founded by the Romans and I’m not tired of it”), a former Roman village, and “other less Roman-influenced places.” 

Last modified on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 16:38
Ashwin Rattan

Ashwin Rattan

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