Derivatives: Weapons of mass destruction

For Adam Smith, “Goods can serve many other purposes besides purchasing money, but money can serve no other purpose besides purchasing goods.” Banks and financial traders have other ideas. They are now running a parallel economy in which money makes money out of money. The volume of this trade is ten times the volume of trade in goods and services, and traders extract money that other mortals can’t possibly aspire to. No wonder it causes havoc.

Yanis Responds to Mosler Pilkington Exit Plan

In summary, this plan may end up being the only way out of a vessel heading for the rocks. We must keep it in mind given that our European leaders’ bloodymindedness has put, and keeps, a whole Continent on the rock-bound path. But it is not time yet to adopt it. For it will come at an incredible human cost; a cost that can still be averted (assuming that I am right in saying that the point of no return has not been reached – yet). We still have a chance to storm the bridge and change course. Failing that, a plan like that by Mosler and Pilkington may be the equivalent of our lifeboats. We should, however, always keep in mind that our lifeboats will be launched in icy seas and, while stranded on them, many will perish.

New Zealand edition of Fleeing Vesuvius is going online

This week we're beginning to upload excerpts from the 100-page appendix to Fleeing Vesuvius which was published in New Zealand over the summer. It should be of interest to anyone who is preparing for the transition to a post-fossil-fuel economy. In his preface, Jonathan Boston of the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington provides an overview of the many environmental challenges we face and suggests that the book, which he considers to be "unusual, critically important and refreshingly provocative", will provide useful tools to help us meet them.