Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Tranforming Finance -3 Prof Tim Jackson

Prof Tim Jackson of the University of Surrey (Chair, Sustainable Development) outlined our current economic modus operandi, which promotes consumerist activity for: 'more and faster' ,  'credit supplied allowing us to buy the things we don't need, to impress the people we don't really like much, with money we don't have',  'not very green',  'with a lot of speculation'. It is short term, motivated by rent seeking and promotes bubbles. It sucks out value and resources, at a cost to ordinary people and the planet with everything sacrificed to the god of liquidity supposing that liquidity will deliver to us everything we want. It did apparently for a while but also brought us the financial crisis. 

He is not espousing a radically different model but wants it directed differently to be sustainable with green quantitative easing / green money supply which will bring targeted credit allocation focussing on protecting assets needed for future prosperity, promoting employment and enterprise.  With resource productivity taking over from labour productivity, which eliminates jobs. Slow patient capital investment is needed in assets that bring genuine prosperity. Speculative activity should become marginal.

The change will be more than just about 'green technology', but about improving public infrastructure, community spaces, ecological assets, services, education, health, social care, refurbishment, the nurturing of the time and skills of people delivering care, craft and culture.  But these will not flourish in an economy dominated by fast ruthless capital so funds are needed for a good and a green economy and intervention is needed at a macroeconomic level. 

QE needs targeting with credit allocation into green sustainable investment. This would be the complete opposite of the current austerity policy, but it has an 80 year history and he welcomed the IMF publication recently of The Chicago Plan Revisited in support of it. 

Link: video of Prof Jackson's talk at the 10th May 2013 conference in London. 
posted by Charles Bazlinton, author The Free Lunch - Fairness with Freedom now at £8 

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