Of Banks, Balloons and an Ecology of Finance

 'Decisive action', we are told, is being taken to deal with the banks. The latest £50 billion guarantee package comes hard on the heels of the untold billions to 'recapitalize', or to provide 'liquidity', or just to keep the lights on a little longer in the hope that something turns up.

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How to save public services

In a recession the temptation to cut back is strong. We have already had some worrying signals from Treasury - the hole in the government's budget is to be clawed back in part through another £5bn in 'efficiency savings'. So far these have amounted to stealthy cuts in frontline services under the guise of a leaner state. There is no reason to believe future rounds will be any different.

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The mission creep of GDP

Sir,

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A view from the summit

It turns out that the Forum's location is well-suited to the kinds of discussions that go on here. Few people seem to comprehend the big picture, to see beyond what is near and familiar. Fewer still understand the changes that are now needed.

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Green New Deal Round-Up

Smith says:

Why on earth don't we take a leaf out of Barack Obama's book and put green technology right at the heart of the economic stimulus package that we believe the government is wanting to put together for the budget?

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Uneasy about easing

This time, governments have so subsumed their agendas to those of the most powerful businesses that they will no longer allow them to fail. No matter what happens, the wealthy will not be hung out to dry - even if it means printing money.

That is hopeful in one sense at least. We will not, as we were in the 1930s, find ourselves sacrificed to a desperate inactivity in search of economic orthodoxy.

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Likewise, I say unto you…

Let's today step out of the normal boundaries of analysis of our economic crisis and ask a radical question: What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? More

Clever thinking about how we think

‘ “Want to grab some lunch?” ask a couple of colleagues as they walk past your desk’. This is the unconventional opening of the excellent MINDSPACE report on influencing behaviour through public policy, here taking its own advice in making information seem relevant to the people at whom it is aimed (in this case, civil servants designing policy).

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Banks: We need to break up to build up

There was much to discuss in yesterday’s Mansion House speech, but I would like to focus on one disappointment and one pleasant surprise.

First the disappointment; the five members of the new Independent Commission on Banking are all economists and bankers of the highest calibre and integrity. Some are on record with quite strident views about the ills of our banking system and quite radical prescriptions for their cure.

But they are all, well…, bankers and economists.

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French Spiderman scales tower for One Hundred Months campaign

There's also a photo gallery of Alain's climbing up at the Guardian.

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