Birmingham’s story of the new austerity begins

I recently wrote a blog about an exciting new project we’re working on at nef: the Big Society and the New Austerity. More

Jobs without growth

Last week President Obama announced a new policy agenda to combat America’s stubbornly high unemployment rate. While most of the proposed measures in the American Jobs Act represent a conventional Keynesian response to faltering demand (such as increased spending on infrastructure) and many may not be enacted, one of his proposals stands out for its radical potential. More

A Post Bank would answer much of our banking woe

This week, the Independent Commission on Banking spoke. It was much less of the squeak than was predicted by some when the heavy artillery of Big Banking wheeled round and fired its finest lobbying at the quivering commissioners. We need to ring fence. Banks must hold 17-20 percent in capital. It should be easier to switch current acocunts.


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.


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