London Global Open Table: 19th May 2010

The Global Table meets Wednesdays 12noon-2pm at the School of Economic Science, 11-13 Mandeville Place, W1U 3AJ. From Bond Street tube, turn left/west into Oxford Street, when you see GAP on the other side, cross over and go right/north along James Street – after a couple of blocks you will come to it on the left.

This Open Table monitors and encourages a wide range of activities in the realms of inclusive justice and the systemic redesign of the economic systems. The Table agreed a ten minute rule on initial contributions so that discussion of matters raised and other interests can have their share. I encourage people to report in advance the essence of any matter they wish to bring to the table. It would enhance the value of this network if regular readers of key books, journals or sites could make brief reports of any significant findings.

MATTERS IN THE AIR …. Reminding each other of opportunities before us:

12 o/c Robert Corfe to introduce his new book – seeA1-38-TFOPThe Future of Politics, and to explain its relevance in helping promote monetary reform. I attach an information sheet on the said book. 

12.30  Robert Howell from New Zealand – see Profile at foot of page

1.00 Call4Reform is a UK-wide campaign to reform the financial system. We have one request – that the power to create money is taken away from profit-making entities (the high street banks), and returned to the state. Doing so would allow us to:
– phase out the national debt, saving £100 million per day in interest costs
– reduce the tax burden by up to 30%, permanently, or increase government services with no increase in taxation
– Save 60% on the cost of public infrastructure projects (such as schools, hospitals and public transport), by removing the need to borrow this money and pay interest over 30 years
– Significantly reduce the risk of future financial crises
– Significantly improve the stability of the banking sector, protecting depositors and the taxpayer
– Create a more stable currency and consequently a more stable economy
www.call4reform.com

4. CEJ and June conference on contributions to system redesign. NEF dialogue – a report.

5. We urge you to sign the official petition to the Prime Minister to support LVT on the Number 10 Downing Street website:http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/TaxLess4more/

COMPANIONS IN THE ENDEAVOUR:

Revere Award for Economics for the 3 economists who warned the world

Results 13 May 2010 Keen, Roubini and Baker win Revere Award for Economics

• Ellen Brown: “The Growing Movement for Publicly-owned Banks” http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/the-growing-movement-for-publicly-owned-banks

• A huge resource to visit and absorb: Sabine McNeill, Organiser, Forum for Stable Currencies, advocating Economic Democracy through Freedom from National Debt Blogging on behalf of Voters and Taxpayers, and Public Debts with Vested Interest Payments – a 300-year old mechanism with seriously oppressive long term effects –Enforcement of Bank of England Act 1694 an Early Day Motion for grouping cases of oppression, to change the law – 3,100 views Petitioning HM The Queen: 
Stop the Oppression of the British people – on behalf of victims of our financial, legal and judiciary system Petitioning the Treasury Select Committee: Stop the Crash Crumble to Equalize the Credit Crunch! – 230 signatures and over 10,500 page views, and Financial Fairness for Voters and Taxpayers, please! 44 signatures and over 3,000 page views

Another ConDem attack on democracy – Ann Pettifor  Bankers in charge of the Treasury – Left Futures. http://www.leftfutures.org/2010/05/bankers-in-charge-of-the-treasury/

“The Wizard: a new kind of Oz for the age of derivatives and Goldman Sachs” (David Boyle, The Real Press, ?7.99) A century ago, Dorothy and Toto set off down the Yellow Brick Road to encounter the Wizard. Or was it the money system, as some critics claim? This Wizard is a tale for our own times of beauty, love and courage – and small dogs. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wizard-David-boyle/dp/0955226317/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272399973&sr=1-1

Profile:
Robert Howell is the CEO of the Council for Socially Responsible Investment in New Zealand, and a contract university teacher, currently teaching Sustainability to MBA students.  He is a member of the QUNO Geneva Committee, and members of various Quaker committees in AWPS and Aotearoa New Zealand.  He is one of the authors of Right Relationships Building a whole Earth Economy(produced by the Moral Economy Project of the Quaker Institute for the Future) and Strong Sustainability for New Zealand: Principles and Scenarios (produced by Sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand).

Summary

The international finance system has failed in one of its basic functions: to obtain money from investors and to  channel those safely and efficiently to organisations that provide goods and services for the benefit of society at large.      This is because for the last three to four decades the model used was the general equilibrium theory, the theory of the free market.  This failure has been at a conceptual and practical level.   While regulations and controls need to be established, these are not sufficient for safe investment.  What is needed is a financial system based on an ecological economic model.  This change is unlikely to occur in the immediate future.  Investment strategies need to take into account the turbulence that will result from a deteriorating ecology that will be unable to support human life on Earth as we know it. Three case studies are referred to, an investment fund and two banks, that have stated that sustainability is a major concern to them.  These provide some guidance to the needed policies for financial organisations.  Suggestions for a coordinated international approach for Quaker investments will be made.

Peter