Categories
commentary

The Unbearable Lightness of Thought

Apparently it is a good idea to have a recession if that means you can focus on making money at the expense of everything else. Stefan Stern thinks that “now the recession’s here we can forget all that nonsense about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and get back to trying to make some money”. This seems to me precisely the attitude of the bankers that got us into this mess in the first place.

He may be right to point out that doing good doesn’t necessarily have to be good for business, at least in the short run. Yet isn’t it such short run thinking that is responsible for the long term problems we now face?

And he may be right that much CSR is ‘babies, dolphins and forests’. A lot of CSR reporting does indeed suffer from smiling baby syndrome. But then, that is just poor CSR.

So if the consequences of corporate activity really don’t matter beyond making money, perhaps he should explain whether he thinks it necessary to have a planet around to make money on.

Categories
commentary

It's just not worth it!

The Conservatives appear to think that the Labour party is spending far too much money on re-booting the economy.

Their argument is that stimulating the economy, along the lines of Keynesian policy, will increase government debt and will only have to be paid for by all of us through taxes later on.  They are probably right about that.

But to say that it should therefore not be done implies that the economy is just not worth it.  Not much of a vote of confidence in the future there…

Categories
commentary

How to Miss an Opportunity

Recession is upon us and interest rates are high.  The governments and central banks of the world want to lower interest rates to boost borrowing and the economy.

But when a heroin addict finds the price of their drug has increased, the real problem is the addiction, not the price.

Our economies are addicted to growth and consumption.  The real solution would be to find a way to structure the economy so that stability did not depend on growth and rising consumption.