The Great Transition
Follow
Find tag "financial"
22.0K views | +19 today
The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Energy and the Financial System: What Everyone Needs to Know… and Work Darn Hard to Avoid

Energy and the Financial System: What Everyone Needs to Know… and Work Darn Hard to Avoid | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Our economic and financial system is based on assumptions of continued growth. Currently growth is highly dependent on energy and a surplus thereof as provided by high EROI energy sources. Our available energy sources, however, are providing less and less energy returns on the amount of energy we put into them. Therefore the amount of surplus energy available is declining. Thus, given the dependence of growth on energy, growth will decline too. The little remaining health of our financial systems, however, relies heavily on assumptions of continued growth and rather high ones at that, but those assumptions will increasingly turn out to be false if Boyd’s prediction of declining EROI is true".

Willy De Backer's insight:

Great article on the link between society's diminishing energy return on energy investment and the current economic and financial crisis. A must-read for all austerians and post-Keynesians. This time it IS really different.

more...
Eli Levine's curator insight, April 13, 6:35 PM

Indeed, our ability to "grow" economically and socially is bound by the environment, our population size, cosmological conditions, food production and our state of technology.  Should we honestly "grow" for the sake of "growing", if it comes at long term as well as short term harm?

 

Things that Capitalism under its current logic, does not answer and does not wish to answer.

 

Think about it.

Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

On the link between resource scarcity, financial fraud and the failure of austerity policies

Willy De Backer's insight:

This is an absolute must-read commentary written by Jin Chen and James Galbraith explaining how rising energy and resource constraints have led to the extreme fraudulous financialisation of global economy and why austerity policies but also a return to Keynesianism will not work.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Corporate sustainability: Unilever CEO Polman on ending the “three month rat-race”

Corporate sustainability: Unilever CEO Polman on ending the “three month rat-race” | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Unilever's CEO talks to Reuters about moving away from a focus on short-term corporate results.

 

Unilever is one of the few multinationals seriously committed to the transition towards a sustainable one-planet economy.

more...
Eli Levine's curator insight, March 11, 2:36 PM

It's funny how by focusing on what you should be focusing on, that you tend to be able to succeed. 

 

We still need to focus on reducing the attention towards profits and financial gain and shifting it to well being, health, survival and well being (at least, from a governing perspective).  However, this is a positive development in the business community and it should be fostered by investors and financiers.

 

The human world is going to have to take a much more mature and holistic view of itself, if it is going to be able to survive, let alone, be able to truly thrive.  That's just the way it's going to be.  And, I can't believe that there are so many conservatives and ideologues out there who will kill themselves off for the sake of not changing or the sake of their unworkable ideas and principles.

 

Think about it.

Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

In a Natural Gas Glut, Big Winners and Losers

In a Natural Gas Glut, Big Winners and Losers | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Low prices for consumers. Big profits for bankers. But the gas glut in the United States has meant much pain for gas exploration companies and their investors.

 

Brilliant article on America's natural gas glut and the influence of financial capitalism on its boom and future bust. Must-read article for European policy-makers who dream of a Golden Age of Gas for Europe.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Future money - James Robertson

Future money - James Robertson | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"... we have to make the money system work in ways that will motivate everyone to "enable and conserve", so that we and other living species survive. Understanding the need to design our money system to achieve that purpose amounts to a "Copernican revolution"

 

Good interview in Eurozine with one of the grandfather's of alternative economics, James Robertson, on the need for radical currency reform. His book "Future Money" should be mandatory bed-time reading for Mr Draghi.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Michael Hudson's new must-read book: The Bubble and Beyond

Michael Hudson's new must-read book: The Bubble and Beyond | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector has emerged to create “balance sheet wealth” not by new tangible investment and employment, but financially in the form of debt leveraging and rent-extraction. This rentier overhead is overpowering the economy’s ability to produce a large enough surplus to carry its debts. As in a radioactive decay process, we are passing through a short-lived and unstable phase of “casino capitalism,” which now threatens to settle into leaden austerity and debt deflation."

 

The new book by economist Michael Hudson should be mandatory reading for anyone seriously dealing with the global and European crisis.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

The Upside of Default

"... in any given year, maybe one per cent of the financial economy has anything to do with the production of real, nonfinancial goods and services.

 

The rest? It consists of ways to make money from money. That seems innocuous enough, until you remember what money actually is. Money is not wealth; it’s a system of abstract, culturally contrived tokens that we use to manage the distribution of real goods and services. A money system can simplify the process of putting energy, raw materials, labor, and other goods and services to work in productive ways; that’s the reason we have money, or rather the reason most of us are prepared to discuss in public. That’s not what the other 99% of the world’s financial assets are doing, though. They are there to ensure that the people who own them have disproportionate, unearned access to real, nonfinancial goods and services."

 

John Michael Greer's brilliant analysis of the current financial crisis with some very valid lessons and predictions for the Eurozone. Must-read.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

The power of ignorance and the problem of abundance

"Since the financial crisis of the late 2000s, most analyses have placed the failure of markets on a lack of information: traders lacked the skills to interpret complex algorithms; regulators lacked awareness of the risks banks were taking with capital reserves. Few analyses have explored the usefulness of those limits to stakeholders who had something to gain from purporting the crisis was unperceivable or understandable until it happened – or even after it happened."

 

Very interesting analysis of the financial crisis from a different perspective based on the work of great French writer George Bataille. Worth a read.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Save the Euro - who for?

"Our present crisis is one of democracy even more than it is of finance. It is about a lack of honesty as much as it is a lack of growth. Debt and dishonesty are together strangling European democracy.

We should rid ourselves of both."

 

This article in Open Democracy is like a drop of wisdom in the oceans of economic idiocy.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Realizing Private Capital’s Public Benefits

Realizing Private Capital’s Public Benefits | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Financial-market reform has fallen far short of securing the sector’s resilience, let alone driving investment in the technology, energy systems, infrastructure, and business models needed to develop a sustainable world economy."

 

Good article in Project Syndicate by sustainability expert Simon Zadek on the need to tackle the financial sector.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform

How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
It's bad enough that the banks strangled the Dodd-Frank law. Even worse is the way they did it - with a big assist from Congress and the White House.

 

Brilliant article in Rolling Stone on the financial terrorism of Big Business. Compared to these fundamentalists, Bin Laden was peanuts.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Psychopaths on Wall Street

Psychopaths on Wall Street | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Are ten percent of the people in the financial services industry psychopaths? 

 

Interesting article by a psychiatry professor in the Harvard Business Review blog.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Carbon bubble: Bank of England's opportunity to tackle market failure

Carbon bubble: Bank of England's opportunity to tackle market failure | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Ben Caldecott and James Leaton: Bank's willingness to consider fossil fuel exposure as a risk to financial stability will serve as an important test of whether anything has been learned from the sub-prime crisis...

 

Interesting development in the financial sector in the UK.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

The Lessons Of The North Atlantic Crisis For Economic Theory And Policy

The Lessons Of The North Atlantic Crisis For Economic Theory And Policy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The world has seen a hundred financial crises in the past three decades. In this column, Nobelist Joe Stiglitz argues that we could have done much more to prevent this crisis and to mitigate its effects. Looking ahead, we can do much more to prevent the next one. This is a chance to revolutionise flawed economic models, and perhaps exit from an interminable cycle of crises."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent analysis by Joe Stiglitz of some of the lessons of the crisis but his own analytical model is still flawed, leaving out the biophysical realities (limits to growth, resource scarcity) which underpin our global economy. Only be recognising this new reality will it be possible to move to the radical transformation of economic models for the post-growth society.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Don’t Sell Economic Stability to Buy Economic Growth

Don’t Sell Economic Stability to Buy Economic Growth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

“Our problem is not lack of growth but too much of it,” Sedláček said. An economy that uses debt to grow must continue to do so by taking on more and more debt or, alternatively, face a slowdown that will lead to bankruptcy. It is like owning a car that explodes when it stops, argued Sedláček."

 

Brilliant presentation at the Fifth Annual European Investment Conference in Prague by Czech economist Tomáš Sedláček, who was an advisor to Vaclav Havel in the past.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

What is the Chicago Plan and can it save the global economy?

What is the Chicago Plan and can it save the global economy? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
An IMF study has proposed a 1930s plan that would magic away government debt and end 'boom and bust' for good...

 

Why does this IMF paper not get more media attention? Because it would increase the power of government and tame the banks?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Difficult Labour: the birth of the financial transaction tax

"Video "Difficult Labour" for the financial transaction tax of Oxfam Germany with Heike Makatsch, Mark Waschke, Stephan Grossman & Rike Eckermann."

 

Brilliant and funny video on the Tobin Tax

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Creating 'Shared Value': Delivering On Social Values

Creating 'Shared Value': Delivering On Social Values | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Business leaders, said Porter, should focus on creating win-win outcomes that strengthen society as well as satisfy the profit motive. They can do so by reaching out to serve broader constituencies and by being attentive to long-term social impact."

 

The World Bank blog tackles Michael Porter's "Shared Value" concept but avoids the tough question: what if "shared value" approaches bite into corporate profits? If interests of shareholders clash with interests of society, which side wins in a world rules by the financial markets?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Suddenly, quantitative easing for the people seems possible

Suddenly, quantitative easing for the people seems possible | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
As some of the world’s top central bankers start to admit that standard quantitative easing is failing to generate growth, previously taboo ideas can be mentioned, including QE for the People, discussed here last week.

 

Interesting and provocative ideas from financial economist Anatole Kaletsky (author of "Capitalism 4.0"). Give the new money created by central banks to the people instead of the banksters.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Should Banks be Ethical, Sustainable and Boring?

Should Banks be Ethical, Sustainable and Boring? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Ensuring that banks are boring may prove to be a key element of a new business model for the banking sector, enabling the sector to re-establish its ethical framework and focus financing on sustainability.

 

Good article on the future of banking and the financial sector in Forbes. Title is misleading in my view: what is boring about working for real value and the real economy?

more...
lelapin's comment, July 22, 2012 5:04 AM
Having boring associated with ethical and sustainable in same sentence creates, in my humble opinion, a link that I find not very sound, unless you'd find unethical and unsustainable exciting.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Not waiving but drowning

"Although the Barclays scandal has pushed the Eurozone crisis off the front pages this morning, the two are intimately related. As the previous post on this blog indicated, the sovereign debt crises have also arisen as a result of banks bidding up the rates of interest paid by nations on the money they borrow from those banks, increasing bank profits while bankrupting countries and destroying their societies. As in their mainpulation of the LIBOR rate they have controlled what is supposed to be a free market to benefit their narrow interests, and the whole economy and wider society have suffered as a result."

 

Good commentary on the UK's Barclays scandal. How many more of these scandals do we need before governments understand what really needs to be done?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

The Twilight of Investment

"It’s one of the mordant ironies of contemporary history that Europe fought two of the world’s most savage wars in the firt half of the twentieth century to deny Germany a European empire, then spent the second half of the same century allowing Germany to attain peacefully nearly every one of its war aims short of overseas colonies and a victory parade down the Champs Élysées."

 

Brilliant analysis by John Michael Greer of Europe's debt crisis and the global context of failing economic growth. Must-read.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Paul Krugman’s Economic Blinders | Michael Hudson

Paul Krugman’s Economic Blinders | Michael Hudson | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Mr. Krugman’s failure to see today’s economic problem as one of debt deflation reflects his failure (suffered by most economists, to be sure) to recognize the need for debt writedowns, for restructuring the banking and financial system, and for shifting taxes off labor back onto property, economic rent and asset-price (“capital”) gains. The effect of his narrow set of recommendations is to defend the status quo – and for my money, despite his reputation as a liberal, that makes Mr. Krugman a conservative. I see little in his logic that would oppose Rubinomics, which has remained the Democratic Party’s program under the Obama administration."

 

This interesting review by US economist Michael Hudson of Pauk Krugman's latest book "End this depression now" should be mandatory reading for all Krugman's neo-Keynesian followers in Europe.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Nassim Taleb: How to prevent other financial crises?

This article argues that the crisis of 2007–2008 happened because of an explosive combination of agency problems, moral hazard, and “scientism”—the illusion that ostensibly scientific techniques would manage risks and predict rare events in spite of the stark empirical and theoretical realities that  suggested otherwise. The authors analyze the varied behaviors, ideas and effects that in combination created a financial meltdown, and discuss the players responsible for the consequences. In formulating a set of expectations for future financial management, they suggest that financial agents need more “skin in the game” to prevent irresponsible risk-taking from continuing.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

James Rickards: Paper, Gold or Chaos?

James Rickards: Paper, Gold or Chaos? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
History is replete with the carcasses of failed currencies destroyed through misguided intentional debasement by governments looking for an easy escape from piling up too much debt.

 

Listen to this Chris Martenson blog podcast interview with James Rickards on how some governments (including the US) have started to get out of the debt crisis by cheapening their currencies. End result: currency collapse.

more...
No comment yet.