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.More
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.More
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?More
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.More
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
‘ “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).More
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.More
There's also a photo gallery of Alain's climbing up at the Guardian.More
These days it's pretty obvious that Britain is not at the cutting-edge of climate change policy. We have a government which is doggedly pursuing the construction of coal-fired power stations and the expansion of airports, damning the consequences for our planet, our economy and our civilisation.More