The old paraffin oil lamp at the day job office is a reminder of the last
time the UK was buffeted by v. profound economic woes. We were permitted
to use electricity at work only on three days a week. The cause was really
a left versus right political spat and the difficulties of adjusting
to the changes in the industrial landscapes which came into
being in the early C20. This was a mainly local UK problem with
resolution effectively coming locally via Mrs Thatcher.
The problem today is global and far more profound. Quite why
so many previously highly regarded banks and financial institutions
have allowed themselves to invest £billions in 'toxic debt' is
beyond my ken. Individuals in the UK have always been
required to prove that the house being mortgaged is properly valued
yet the banks seem to have been
far less prudent on the grand scale eg when investing with international institutions than with
investing in local individuals' homes and businesses.
Thus when investing £billions internationally no such
proper valuations seem to have been insisted upon. The fact that the
banks' problems are worldwide also makes a local Mrs Thatcher-like
solution - which was painful enough anyway - well nigh impossible.
The current ideas of govts. involving takeovers of banks coupled with
exhorting people to spend rather than save, may be appproved of
by John Maynard Keynes aficionados but they are also economic theories
from C20 whereas what is really needed is a solution for C21 -
a new Emmaus direction perhaps.
The banks' pre C21 business models are bust and new ways of financing
need inventing. Put Christian derived (Emmaus concept is New Testament)
thinking; the best of the Islamic ideas (outlawing interest for example)
and succesful Jewish-type business successes, into a new C21
cassoulet, mix in the best international economists, philosphers,
business men and women and academics and who knows
a rich vein of improving commerce might emerge, not to mention
greater understanding and tolerance between particpants and their nations.