Greece should shake off the euro straitjacket

Never mind coals to Newcastle. Greece is importing olive oil from Germany. And it’s a result of the eurozone crisis.

Recession in Greece, prodded along by the EU/ECB/IMF troika, has led to a slump in the domestic price. Growers have cut back on their production as a result. At the same time, the euro fixes relative exchange rates. For over a decade, German imports have been comparatively cheap for Greece.


Splitting banks: times wingèd chariots draw near

There is an argument, currently trotted out by the big banks that, putting the Vickers Commission recommendations into practice would damage the recovery.

It is certainly true that the large increase in their safety cushion does risk draining lending money from the system at a crucial time.  On the other hand, taking no action at all – as the banking lobby would like – would damage the recovery in three other important ways.


Whose Reality Counts? Co-researching the government cuts and the Big Society

There are many ways to think about society, and the people in it, when considering policy. Traditionally, a lot of social research, undertaken by objective experts, has taken people as subjects, examining their lives through statistics about income, housing, health, education and the like, or from the critical distance of the outside interviewer. More

Osborne should drive a hard bargain for British banks’ £46bn subsidy

Originally posted at Huffington Post UK


Introducing the Global Transition 2012 Initiative

The UN DPI conference, chaired by Stakeholder Forum's Executive Director - Felix Dodds - adopted the civil society Declaration that will be formally submitted to the Rio Earth Summit 2012 'zero-draft' text.  Participating non-governmental and civil society organisations from across the Globe gathered in Bonn to prepare the Declaration and after a series of workshops, open seminars and meetings the conference produced and agreed to the 'Sustainable Societies: Responsive Citizens' document.


Ken Clarke’s return…

For those of us wondering where on earth the skipper has been over the past month it looks like the Minister for Justice has returned to make a grab for the tiller of the Coalition’s policy response to the riots. 


Why we urgently need more currencies

One of the most creative of the new economics pioneers is the Australian maverick Shann Turnbull.   It was Shann, a former corporate raider and holder of the round Australia flying record, who developed the ideas of Bob Swann about kilowatt hour currencies and community land trusts in the 1980s.  It was Shann who developed the idea of corporate investments that expire.


Survival of the financially fittest? Where the London Plan is leading us

Not too long ago London Mayor Boris Johnson warned that the government’s new cuts to Housing Benefits will lead to Balkan style social cleansing. You could therefore be forgiven for thinking that he is, like many Londoners, a fan of the residential diversity that makes this city great – unlike Paris, for example. But if the London Plan is anything to go by, you would be wrong.


The next banking scandal

It’s a frustrating business, the banking debate.  The political establishment understands that we don’t want another banking collapse, though we are accelerating towards precisely that.

Push them a little further and they understand there are issues about whether the UK banks are fit for purpose when it comes to small business lending – though they so far lack much in the way of policy for doing something about it (Project Merlin certainly is not that).


Small businesses are shunning the big banks

The launch of the nef/Compass Good Banking campaign last week indicates the direction we are now travelling – bringing pressure to bear on the government to implement any Vickers Commission proposals to split up the banks, but urging them to go much further as well.


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