Co-operative Financial Services send out a message


The Co-operative Bank doubled the number of current account customers switching to the bank following the launch of its current account incentive, which offers complimentary access to its Privilege and Privilege Premier Packaged Current Accounts for a 12-month period (sadly,  I understand that this offer has expired).

According to John Hughes, Business Leader, Retail Products “At The Co-operative Bank we’ve taken a real interest in our own current account switchers over the course of the year and recognise that switching current accounts can be a time consuming process.

More power to Co-operative Financial Services for showing their competitors THE way forward…for all of us, individually and collectively!

This piece is especially for those who believe that sustainability looks good in a mission statement but not on a balance sheet. CFS, U.K., which claims to be the world’s most sustainable bank, turned out stellar results in the first half of 2010, when others were still overcoming the crisis blues.

Is sustainability sustainable? Let me answer that by saying that our current unsustainable behaviour certainly isn’t. Going green is no longer optional for banks, nor a CSR footnote. More like a burning necessity.

via Green, the Colour of Future Banking.

Is the "fire" taking hold in the Arab world? Tunisian “burning man revolution” a lesson in Complexity Theory


For obvious reasons this and other blogs that talk about the threat of contagion and systemic risk have focussed, almost exclusively, upon financial and ecological inter-connectedness.

HOWEVER, once again we see a “pattern from nature” in these Geo-Political events. The institutional model is and will continue to be under extreme pressure to change as it is the vehicle of the “elites” and in uncertain or turbulent economic times scrutiny and criticism will only increase. Only those that are “structurally resilient” can withstand the heat of a fire that started in Tunisia with a spark and is gathering in intensity as it spreads through peoples inter-connected on numerous levels. People unified by a common purpose…to bring about a cultural paradigm shift.

I would urge you to read: “Disaster myopia”: Failing to learn the lessons of increased uncertainty

A Fruit seller, whose cart was impounded, and complaints ignored, by authorities, set himself on fire in a desperate act of protest. His actions have since been mirrored across the Arab World. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iran. This is a measure of how disenfranchised the citizens of these countries feel. Whether fuelled by Political or Religious oppression, an increasing gulf between the “have’s” and the “have not’s”, corruption, crumbling infrastructure, a lack of jobs or food the message is the same. The “elites” who preside over institutions that have given them power Read more of this post

Standard & Poor’s update rating for Ireland


Following  agreement to the 85 billions Euro bailout, Ireland is still “A” rated. I sincerely hope that the Eurozone crisis has been permanently averted and have no wish to see their cost of borrowing increase BUT surely “C” is a more credible rating!?

Lehman Bros was “AAA” rated just before their collapse.

Still, at least S&P are working to improve things stay relevant.

S&P Rating strata: Read more of this post

Britain at the crossroads: 50 years of Austerity or a platform for dynamic change


Let’s face it we’re broke…and I don’t just mean financially. We don’t actually make much any more and, even if we did, the smart Entrepreneurs wouldn’t still be here to fund a Public Sector paralysed by its own complexity. A “dumbed down” nation that has grown useless, fat and lazy in the image of the Welfare State that sustains it.

“Clinically obese” was how one expert described the UK Public Sector. We are told that the choices were Quantitative Easing or Austerity. We weren’t really given a choice. It was made for us by a Coalition Government whose preference is to “play Politics” because: they are just happy to have power; are intent upon denying the scale, nature and sources of the problem; lack a vision for our future…or just dosn’t have the balls to do anything except keep on making the people who are softest targets pay!

Why else would a Government choose to appease “the markets” and rating agencies whose roles in the crisis STILL are unpunished – what happened to Corporate Governance, fiduciary responsibility, compliance, etc? – whilst the opinions of ordinary citizens – VOTERS – are disregarded!? There are people of every generation whose lack of informed opinion or inertia allowed successive Governments to spin their way through years of mismanagement and excess. Watch out!  These people have found their voices and now have a common cause.

Read more of this post

A Complexity Manifesto, Capitalists Continue to Increase Complexity Within Their Spheres of Production


“Every limit appears as a barrier to be overcome” – Karl Marx (describing the world through a capitalist’s eyes)
There has been much debate since the global financial crisis of 2008 about what exactly happened and why. Some analysts believe that a period of deregulation in the financial sector, including the infamous repeal of Glass-Steagall (separating commercial and investment banking activities) [1], combined with reckless managerial decisions was the primary driver of a housing bubble, which led to a credit crunch and economic recession. Conservatives and libertarians tend to place the blame on government intervention in the housing and financial markets through Congressional legislation, such as the Community Reinvestment Act (putting pressure on banks to issue credit in low-income neighborhoods) [2], and the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy (targeting low interest rates during the tech and housing bubbles) [3].

More creative analysts trace the problem back at least several decades to a global credit bubble which has continuously been supported by both private economic actors and public policies [4]. Despite the significant differences in the views of these factions, there is an undeniable trend towards questioning economic dogmas previously thought to be fundamental and sound. Complexity theory provides a useful framework to analyze the inherent limits of our current economic system, which is now in the process of gradually breaking apart. It is especially insightful when applied to the dynamics of a global economy marked by capitalist relations of production.

 

via A Complexity Manifesto, Capitalists Continue to Increase Complexity Within Their Spheres of Production :: The Market Oracle :: Financial Markets Analysis.