Blaming the bankers? Understanding mass perceptions and mass emotions

This article is not primarily about economics. It is meant to be more philosophical, but philosophical in a sense that has political and economic implications for action. As the markets plunge and economic turmoil engulfs the global economy I've noticed that amid the many interpretations, there are quite different attitudes to what is going on in regard to the propensity to explain or to blame. I have described these two attitudes perhaps in an exaggerated form to bring out their differences.

Transition thinking – The Good Life 2.0

In this week's article from Fleeing Vesuvius, Davie Philip argues that we need to make an evolutionary leap in the way we do things if we are to make a controlled, planned transition to a post-industrial, low-carbon society. The initiatives developed by the nascent Transition Towns movement suggest that we are up to the challenge, and provide a model for how the more resilient communities needed for the future might be built.

The ECB must rise above itself to rescue the eurozone

Great post by Bill Black on how the ECB must break and remake it's own rules. In addition to fighting severe inflation, the ECB must (1) minimize unemployment, (2) serve as a lender of last resort to member nations and banks, and (3) serve as a “regulatory cop on the beat” to prevent the epidemics of accounting control fraud in EU banks that hyper-inflated financial bubbles

Fish consumption increases

One of the key messages from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight TV series was that people can eat fish sustainably, they should just shift  to under-used species. Unfortunately, while there has been an increase in consumption of species like mackerel and pouting, the consumption of threatened species like cod remains steady. [...]

Let’s think about Adam Smith

In a second excerpt from his book The Commons Of Soil, Patrick Noble discusses the relationship between soil, the commons and social systems. He describes how Adam Smith's theory of comparative advantage has become distorted in our present-day casino economy and he argues that "fluctuations in the health of the soil which grows the city become measures of chosen paths to and from civic virtue and so civilization."