current affairs economics

From the ashes of the crash

Publication coverI read a really good report tonight on the train home, ‘From the ashes of the crash – 20 first steps from new economics to rebuild a better economy.’ It’s from the New Economics Foundation (nef), and you can download it here.

The report, which you can read in under an hour, lists 20 ideas for building a more stable, more local, and more fair economy. “Governments need to act,” says Executive Director of nef, Steward Wallis, “not to shore up and rebuild the old financial system but to help build a new system that serves society instead of acting as its master.”

Ideas include a maximum wage, demerging the large banks, and a windfall tax to tackle fuel poverty. Pleasingly, it also suggests more investment in alternative currencies and time banks, a People’s Pension fund, and using the Post Office as the base for a new national bank – all things I’ve written about in the last couple of months in response to the crisis. Perhaps I’ve found a name for what it is I’ve been exploring for the last 18 months – ‘new economics’.

Anyway, there are a number of points in the essay that are worth a post in themselves, (including a tax on currency speculation, which I actually started researching this morning) so I’ll be coming back to it. If you need some fresh thinking on the financial downturn and some more equitable ways forward, have a read.

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