download director of europe's premier league leading city for social business & sustainability networking

Does your city have a collaboration network for social action and sustainability leadership. Citizen research for Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus 1 2 and other Yes We can friends suggests the German example downloadable above is leading Europe's premier league- but hey this is a collaboration game- we love to post your city's premier league listing chris

does your country have any bank designed to sustain communities and jobs? please tell us: current world bank cup - Bangladesh 2 Kenya 1 Haiti 1 Malawi 1 Rest of World 0 

are you a parent of 12-14 year old girl who would like to share readings with friends of a copy of the Nobel Judge's celebration with youth of yes we can change leaders - we'll post free first 10 parent applicants

banking & democracy: if you live in usa ask your member of congress to vote yunus congressional medla of honor- this entitles him to speak to congress- RSVP: which other countries have such a democratic process we can help celebrate ? next yunus parliament dilaogue is in Delhi December 2009

does your country have an open university providing a citizen's sustainability course connecting economics and peace? if not, we recommend peacefully tearing down the ivory towers of any university you can reach - lead case India: youth were asked by India's president to tear up any curriculum that isn't sustainable

.Bad news of globalisation system crisis is that its a double whammy of 1) media crisis where neither speech nor markets are free; 2) metrics crisis where as we saw from wall street 2008 the biggest rewards go to those who make systems least sustainable

Since 1984 we have been surveying which cities can bring what particular gifts to the wholeplanet sustainability stakes. For example in London we are half way through a 7 year plan to retrieve the BBC social business as the people's number 1 world sustainablity broadcaster in time for sustainability olympics 2012. Can you help Londoners in this regard or Londoners help your city's biggest contribution to the joy and life of all future generations?

The good news is one country -Bangladesh at its birth over a third of a century ago-  came up with the world's greatest invention : Yes WE Can communally intervene in any globalisation crisis!







.What is the invention? It's a system design methodology (propagated by Nobel Lauraete Muhammad Yunus as social business) for designing a transformation of any global system that is exponentially crashing down. It can bend the curve to be sustainable exponentially up in every community that replicates a particular social business system design's franchise.  

Social business solutions can be mapped to provide specific life critical solutions - of which ending poverty is integral to every human and communal sustainability crisis. The reason this invention seems a mystery, apart from the censorship crisis of media and the rewards crisis of measurement, is that systems maps are humanity's least commonly developed educational curricula just at a time when networks = system**n needed system mapping to be the 5th R. As Gandhi & Einstein noted continuously in their collaborative support to end the crushing English colonisation of India which my maternal grandad as head judge in Mumbai took 25 years to be converted by - to compound whole truth, system mapping is as important as any other kind of literacy. This becomes sustainability critical wherever top people make decisions which scale globally and compound exponentially over time.







.How do social action networks share the world's greatest invention? Why not debate it in collaboration forum, map it wherever a social business model intervention needs to be replicated or designed, and encourage the mother of all benchmarking movements among such leaders of transparent system governance as vice chancellors of universities, Global Brand CEOs, G8 leaders and top politicians/professionals, the world's best endowed foundations and philanthropists. Questions welcome chris.macrae - Washington DC Yes WE Can bureau 301 881 1655







 Can you help make the millennium goals the largest social action network humanity has ever united around?
Dont worry if you get confused by some of the synonyms: social action ... social networks ... internet email ... yes we can ... sustainability of communities - or any others you choose
6th 7-year plan of Bangladesh Nation - alumni of the end poverty generation - everyone's invited!
the idea to 2015 is vote on who most of the world trusts most - for example after 3 years of surveys I am happy with those who vote either for muhammad yunus or fazle abed - connect collaboration networks around these or other people you trust most using every human method aimed at understanding what you you learn at any age if you were in a school which developed your creativity in ways that these hi-trust people would love to see
in other words lets make sure that grameen university and brac university franchises open source all over the world and they include teaching colleges mapping what children of every age can be action learning
so which social networks can we put on the same map to link up these purposes and celebrate millenium goals?
microcreditsummit is already the greatest human networking event
for 09/10 dr yunus has offered to start a 5000 youth ambassador netwrork for undergraduates who think most like him (or high school who want to become such undergraduates ) - if you have a nomination of such a young person send it to me and I will pass it on to dhaka
 gf1.jpg invites your 16 listings of 16 change agents to follow
earlier at the start of 2009
Connecting Extraordinary Actions during the opening weeks of Inaugurating Yes We Can
.week 3 :

Boston Feb 3 : wonderful to see 100+ students and others at sloan MIT tuesday evening celebrating  Malawi's leading microcredit founded by Peter Ryan, its outreach to schools which Lauren's energetic work has connected, and community-up microcredit everywhere we can connect.Notes; boston college event today feb 4 and upcoming peter ryan event at london school of economics


DC Feb 4:  Alex  who started the schools microcredit network and is now in year 1 at GWU has linked together nearly 50 DC undergraduates for tonight's yunus talk at GWU. Note alex is attending clinton uni meeting in austin in 10 days - please connect in any way!


In Boston we also heard from Marriah Star who's rolling meeting of 10000 youth and others starting with its first wave at the end of march aimed to bridge micro and yes we can and other time critical movements that can make 2009 the year USA changes back to be for the people


Mostofa in London has been working for 2.5 years on Dr Yunus dream to unite 18-25s and register a club of 5000 people who want to transefer bangladesh microentrepreneur collabrations around the world - new booklet "Innovating Collaboration"  coming out soon for first circulation to 18-25s on what bangladesh has learnt about collaboration networking over a third of a century.


MICRO SQUARED - COMMUNITY-Up*Collaboration Mobile

The first time I met Dr Yunus 15 months ago he asked why cant the model microcreditsummit uses -humanity's most actionable networking ever sustained round an audacious goal - now connect 7 microsummits on energy, learning, health, media, the opposite to macro-professions  aiding wall street, the opposite gov to superpowering over people, as well as community up banking. Dr Yunus invites news of of any projects being designed by 18-25s  by end of June so he and Bangladesh can help endorse them -  where we hope to spend a day with him working through how all social action and social business ideas connect up humanity and sustainability.

Week 2 : over 200 people from JP Morgan get their first training in Manhattan on how Kenya's Slum bank Jamii Bora 1 2 networks one of the safest and exponentially growing banking systems the world has ever seen


New York's under 25 meet Muhammad Yunus and challenge other youth cities to join in compiling a web catalogue of over 1000 social businesses in time for Muhammad Yunus and other originators over the first third of century of social business modelling to sign off their certifications in June. ref to why the most purposeful organisations ever designed are governed by social business (collunity transparent) auditing.

Social Interaction Practical Example:  on Energy & Green Jobs - lets list different communities pledges for carbon zero energy and then use the net to connect them

Bangladesh Grameen pledge 100000 green jobs by 2012

Microenergycredits - 250 million clean energy households 

Green Energy “Can Supply Over Half of Scotland’s Electricity by 2020

40% GHG Reduction by 2020? ECO Says: Yes You Can!

What Else is Social Action About? Please help us edit this 

creating space for community building including cross-cultural celebration, trust and inclusivity not polarisation by politics or by demographics, youth and learning by doing, teamworking and collaboratively turning optimistic future wishes into step by step realties,  volunteering and peer to peer mentoring, job creation by individuals as entrepreneurs serving their community with income generating activities, open source replication of ideas that resolve vital needs, sustainability, hi-trust networking, ending poverty and other system failures caused by cyclically taking money out of communities instead of investing locally, transparency and conflict resolution, creating good news and demanding that mass media give this sufficient share of voice, understanding how healthy society compounds strong economies not vice versa ...

There are various overlapping but differently contextualised Social Action networks that we admire around the world and others we would love to hear of

Yunus Social Action
Dr Yunus defines social action as a goal that a small team commits to for at least a year. He encourages diaries of such social actions to be kept and shared. Collaboration is the primary new human possibility of a networking age where peer to peer community building can help us all appreciate the trials of learning by doing - as well as seeing who’s trying what and who’s succeeding where.

Dr Yunus invites social action Forums to be started up connecting youth and citizens concerned to develop replicable solutions to ending poverty. Through networking media, best practices can be open sourced and replicated worldwide, from one community in vital need to another. Grameen Solutions is a mobile testimony to that and California has celebrated Dr Y as one of the people who done the most to encourage ending of digital divides. Green energy teamwork started in 1996 has scaled up that Grameen now installs more solar units than the whole of the USA.

The worldwide end-poverty revolution of microcredit was started by Yunus in 1976 as a social action –if there’s a more important shared diary lesson than that in the world of community building please tell us
Search through the history of inventions that made the most progress for humanity.  You will find dedication -passionately focused action learning - over many years by small teams of people to be how most started up.

And finally: Yunus hi-trust economics can be understood by a 9 year old as this conversation with 1000 New Yorkers in January shows

Obama Yes We Can
Having spread the most vicious financial virus around the planet, America 2009 has more to prove to the world and itself than any time in living memory. Lost community is a vicious common denominator of every problem of lost sustainability let alone the needless compound risks that Wall Street crashed randomly onto communities around the planet.

Youth Yes We Can movements are the counter flow to superpower's waste. If American Youth can celebrate social action network heroines with a tenth of the energy that sportsmen and beauty stars are given then perhaps our 21st century may yet map out as sustaining the best of times all over the planet. Ending poverty and renewing millennium goals are the gravities that Yes We Can youth need to attract all americans to and help link citizens everywhere. Back in 1984 this was a simple truth for common sense economics to promote; will it be so simple to action in 2009?

The Green Children are:

  • both a pop group inspired by the work of Muhammad Yunus and true microcredit who fund social business
  • and a friendship network of networks that organises social action clubs. We will be featuring some of these starting with where Microfinance Forums are opened up at Universities to discuss the difference between true microcredit which is communally owned and reaches out to the poorest and loans to the poor where profits are extracted to big city banks and their shareholders. 

GreenChildren friends association of MicroFinance Clubs:

Claremont McKenna Microfinance Club

Loma of Nazarene Microfinance Club.

UPenn Microfinance Club.

Gordon Brown chain-reaction, people power & The Council on Social Action brings together innovators from every sector to generate ideas and initiatives through which Government and other key stakeholders can catalyse, celebrate and develop social action.

We consider ‘social action’ to include the wide range of ways in which individuals, communities, organisations and businesses can seek through their choices, actions and commitments to address the social issues they care about.
The Council on Social Action makes recommendations to government and to others in its capacity as an advisory body, independent of government.

Council on Social Action members

David Robinson, Community Links
Kay Allen, Royal Mail
Oli Barrett, Connected Capital
Shankari Chandran, Allen & Overy
Olga Heaven, Hibiscus
Geoff Mulgan, Young Foundation
Julia Ogilvy, Project Scotland
Rob Owen, St. Giles Trust
Tim Smit, Eden Project
Kevin Steele, Inspired Campaigns
David Thomlinson, Accenture
Sophi Tranchell, Divine Chocolate Ltd.
Paul Twivy, Communications Consultant
Julia Unwin, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Peter Wheeler, Investment and Philanthropy Specialist


.Melanie St James went to the first World Social Forum in Africa, returned to Los Angeles has got several hundred people collaborating actions around an annual countdown summit to 2015 millennium goals - she calls it ; 08's rehearsal was held in the Presidio San Francisco; global summit goes live 2009 visiting every continent and building online portals , pop star shows and green expos in its wave. This is likely to evolve as Collaboration California's main playground- does your city or state have a parallel collaboration social action playground we can list below - chris



.Clinton University

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Peter and micro-age friends
It is not every nation who has a president who is son of microcredit. As you know I am trying to help prep to deadlinne june 23's meetings of young future capitalism networkers and micro-up practice founders  both:
*1*some projects that get near to completion - eg a web with links to 1000 social busnesses
*2*and some illustrations of concepts that become progressive yes we can contexts for intercity social action/business networks
I am interested to know whether your series of cafes will produce an output which might be called something like 20 interesting community projects actively worth visiting when in new york city
It seems to me that your discussions are almost heading that way naturally; and such an example could become a benchmark for other cities; this also connects with some other things that you appaear to be in the middle of testing/connecting
the various community services tools that obama is asking yes we can networkers to try out
some kind of maturity profile or community analytics tool that you are devloping
the connections of ideas across cities; so eg when we see something that's an interesting community buoding format in boston it becomes natural to ask is there an new york equivalent- on monday we expect to be debriefed ot the concerte example of microloans interfaced with doing up property for poor residents as well as get a clearer idea of what some of the focal point of marraih's 1000 person yes we can social action meetings will be 
Is the specification of concept that I am trying to describe clear enough? If so do you feel it will be an output of what you are hosting or co-hosting. here are several reason s why community-oriented journalism and publishing houses out of new york seem to be coming together. Hence my interest in clarifying this or similar concepts that can emerge given that New York is a city with I estimate between 60-90 people who have already experiencd at least one collaboration or community cafe- and whether potentailly a lot of people who need to change their careers from serving top-down banking to banks that actually sustan communities and job development
I guess we can discuss this on our day trip to boston on monday though if colaboratively possible I also wish within next 4 weeks in new york to have one half day festival of 5 one hour collaboration cafes (each with specific action agendas which many people come to just one of though they are welcome to stay as long as they keep n each hours social network's agenda) in a row which is both what we first did in new york and how
I personally think that social networking tools are currently designed as a complete con trick because they do not grounded in the "action learning" content connections that I have found useful to understand who'll activate what in 30 years of social research at both individual and community need. City Sustainability Project Guides are a small step back to getting grounded in what compatible tight teams can advance within a loose overall identity of yes we can -assuming flow research is correct which nobody actually disputed in the several thousand world citizen guides we published on it.
chris macrae
New York egs
1 Green Bronx Majora Carter's team ncudes at least 15 identified youth practitioners in greening
2 Grameen America bank in Jackson Heights Queens
3 Solar One - Green Energy Arts & Education Center - personal invitation to tour from Pauline Augustine
4 Buckminster Fuller - while I find this a space that has come far to dreamy compared with what Bucky used to practice yes we could find a way to sift through what its 150+ competition entroes etc know or want to be facilaited into actioning 
5 which the superb lehka is giving us a virtual tour of the boston sister of on monday as well as mapping what she sees as relevant as branch youth coordinator of clinton university- in fact while I was still ersident in london there was an open sdpace network sponsored by one of the big bank that was suposedly briefing the relevant ministry on how bottomup renewal projects need different empowernment from local government down. I know soem of the folk at teh centre of that but would rather have something worked up a bit with a lead coordinator other than me if this is goping to go somewhere out of new york as a leading city capable of community analysis 
just a random memory dump - pretty sure that a survey of relevant people in te cafe group could make the lsit quite vibrant- and of cousre one of the purspoes of such a survey is even if we dont have best examples it gived us a more granular feel of what needs to connect for community to renew in cities; you would think that ne day soon smart local banks would want such info
4:56 pm est 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dear Laura, Mostofa and Peter, micro social action networking co-producers

I had a great 20 minutes chat with Laura Today. As you may know: was the largest "out of London" Social Action Congress in 2008 with 1000 people and a large youth constituency encouraged to bring and share their social action projects. Chain-Reaction had the endorsement of the Prime Minister's committee for social action. Laura also kindly permitted the yunus 10000 dvd to be distributed to several hundred networkers

On one of the occasions that Mostofa and I met Muhammad Yunus in London in Spring 2008, he asked us for deep background storytelling advice on what to say at his next meeting which was at number 10. He was most interested to hear how many Scots social action network (since most of us had already left our national land by 1850 after scotland's bankruptcy and hostle takeover of 1700). Unless you want bagpipes waking you up every morning, please don't quote adam smith and french entrepreneur alumni frameworks without knowing that founding context out of which he mapped free markets (maling the micro assumption 100% community-transparency of info channels not 0%). 

From DowningSt

In talking to Laura I understand her organisation's role is not to specifically back/fund/assist any particular project of the several hundred submitted through chain-reaction but to try and pass them on to the most relevant in-network group of networks that are known to chain-reaction which include many in regional government as well as entrepreneurial youth clubs and hubs etc.

I mentioned that in many way's Mostofa's role mirrors that on behalf of the 5000 bangladesh-worldwide youth social action network he has been briefed on for 2.5 years elapsed time to start interconnecting with the Nobel Peace-MicroEconomist network generation belief -impossible becomes possible when right action time place people  and the new genre on innovating collaboration which Muhammad Yunus is chair-person editing, and that given I am only in London very occasiionally (and my last 2 visits havent fitted chain-reaction's diary) the ideal collaboration forward could be for mostofa, peter ryan and laura to meet.  I suggested to laura this could hapen as soon as possible.

My understanding is that chain-reaction networks are not that centrally connected around microcredit type community project actions and that therefore there may be a good snap between all three of your collaboration connections -Peter is probably the only Londoner who runs a leading national microcredit bank for an african country (malawi) and his case has been adopted as the number 1 practice area of about 200 students at MIT/Harvard/Boston College. This also interconnects with Boston staging quarterly chain-reaction (yes we can) meetings starting in march through professor marriah star leading up to a 10000 celebration in 2010

Dr Yunus has also fed back that Gordon Brown is interested in connections between microcredit and social actions, and as some may know obama and yunus share similar experiences on how to bank for communities- which is probably a reason why Bernanke already meets Dr Yunus to understand the community sustainable models of banking which the world now needs to social interaction as fast as the www can warp

George Washington Uni 4 Feb09 -Dr Yunus signs Yes Youth Can Declaration of Interdependence with the 5 Collaborative Innovations of Bangladesh's First Third Century of MicroEntrepreneurship. Transcript of the day Dr Yunus came to DC. 
Typical Student Initiatives to collaboratively compete to complete by June 09

  • web of 1000 social business links
  • Model for Uni Yes We Can Microbanking start ups in any university city that can raise $50000 loans by

  • I am sure there are other brilloaint connections with humanity I have missed out. My father has been critiicising me for not phoming up some of his proteges Mark Malloch-Brown and Matt Ridley  to see if they are epicentral to any of these collaborations.

    I imagine that a debrief on how the LSE and the aga khan university have taken to Peter's maps of how social action networking around Boston is multiplying may also be of interest to laura and her collaboration networks.

    It is the recommendation of every youth microcredit networker that my economics editors and I trust most across transatlantic cities that it is  "yes we can" time to start launching youthmicrocreditsummit ,

    We hope to get Muhammad Yunus' appraisal of this demand within a week or so. Youthmicrocreditsummit would mercilessly borrow from every action learning that microcreditsummit has pioneered since 1997 as the most productive  and collaborative worldwide networking event for ending poverty and safe banking ever developed.

    questions? corrections??

    many thanks, chris macrae washington dc region 301 881 1655  

    2:10 pm est 

    Wednesday, December 24, 2008

    In association with mapmakers at and  FutureCapitalism Ning (join us...)  (Washington DC bureau 301 881 1655) asks for your nominations of journalists who do most to unite nobel prizes of economics and peace -100 = best -some examples from early searches of 008

    100 Alan Webber
    99 Jane Wales
    98 Kuttner
    91 Team Huffington
    90 Ms Magnusson
    80 Rick Wartzman
    30 Wall Street Journal
    0 Financial Times & The Economist and BBC

    Community Crises of Banking*Solar Energy*Media Truth

    There are some variations on your theme jerry but yes unless a nobel prize is awarded to those who practice the social business economics of 10 times lower cost branding and marketing channels we will never get there

    ... systemicly we, the networking generation,  will never see maps of how a humanly sustainable globalisation is possible that much was made clear by my father's work at The Economist and written up in 1984   ; we will consign my 11 year old daughter's generation to the Big Brothered hell of seeing the planet fall apart naturally, economically and socially- something up with which I will not put


    (in this sense

    macro systemisation = wall street economics sponsored by the biggest and most short-run and what my father's 1984 published works called disgraceful political chicanery accidentally created by tv mass media (non-free market) age;  in every way the oposite of hi-trust service economics

    micro = economics sponsored by those who believe in microentrepreneuship and transparency's mediation of exponential sustainability around context/community purposeful compound investment)

    YES WE CAN use millennium goal mediated www to map free market of ending poverty

     OK , so the 2 economics -competition between micro (goodwill transparency networks) and Macro blindwill (see year 2000 book Unseen wealth Brookings/georgetown Law school)  -  can exist side by side with people in rich cities continuing to make choices: do we want to buy images that cost 10 times more than the basic product if they wish;

     yunus future capitalism, mackey conscious capitalism, kuttner's 2007 book debating capitalism - see & help co-create events at (sadly I cannot see how gates creative capitalism genre connects with yunus. mackey, kuttner, obamanomics but I am delighted if a transparent debate of this proves me to have missing info)

    NB Whole Truth of Economics assumptions

    but we certainly dont have 'free marketing principles' existing until there is space for every youth to know that if they want to explore how to compound 10 times less cost or less risk marketing in each specific global market sector there is a way in to connecting to practitioners of this

    1 one way to make it clear of what is involved is to award the nobel economics prize jointly to yunus and any national leader who does the following

    ok banks we have bailed you out - part of the deal is we want one nationwide mutual chain of microcredit banks; this will be run by and for the taxpayer but by the smartest microcredit people not politicians and mr banks we expect in 10% of your outlets you to put a desk where poor people who want to get loans to invest in their producivity can get in touch with this nationwide mutual bank- the same desk can have local contact points of how to practice mutual solar energy; how a community can insure its own health service -other innovations that community-up banking is now proving how to sustainably invest in

    In each country you have to ask yourself why would this be politically, culturally or socially incorrect. I cannot think of a single reason why it would be politically incorrect for obama to annonce this on day 1 of hius inauguration - isnt its simply economics true to the yes we can party

    way 2 at we log up journalists and other people who host public media who get this; the list is already far longer than I know and so please email me in whenever you see someone. just as examples:

    2.1 alan webber specifically proposed the double nobel prize in usa today -previously alan had been a co-creator of fast company the magazine that started up as an alternative to the harvard businass review; at its height held 100 person monthly social capital meetings in over 200 cities across the world but got caught up as being seen as a dotcom thing whereas it needed the depth of real microcredit

    2.2 there are many amazing california hosts who have Q&A's yunus in public- the 2 I remember most are :

    rick wartzman, a journalist who is now head of the Drucker Institutes (a space where we transcibe yunus public debates and will add in videos from - work in progress)

    jane wales whose interview last month of yunus as the number 1 problem solver she ever met has extraordinary advice on choices facing obama that any economist should have to debate

    when dr yunus was in glasgow last month, the daughter of the BBC's famous quizmaster magnus magnussoon very postivively interviewed dr yunus on bbc radio; magnusson came from iceland in 2008 the first nation whose people were bankrupted by international financial corruption since the same happened to scotland in 1700 - it was because of the hostile takeover by england of scotland that adam smith developed both his frameworks of free markets and relative advantages of nations but most of what he framed is now quoted 180- degrees against the logics he was actually proposing; we face the same danger todays with MFIs being designed around opposite system of microcredit which is another erasone why yes we can economics needs the nobel prize in 2009

    Inger how can we help you organsise colaboration cafes in norway around the topic of merging nobel economics and peace celebrations?

    chris macrae washington dc 301 881 1655


    Kuttner The Post, Post Partisan President

    Barack Obama has made it very clear that he intends to govern as a bridge-builder. Ideology is a bad word in Obamaland. He will lead as a pragmatist, and also reach across the aisle to Republicans.

    This stance has stimulated a passionate debate among progressives, on HuffingtonPost and elsewhere. For some, this is just the latest disappointing case of a candidate arousing the hopes of the center-left but governing from the center-right (viz. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Gerhardt Schroeder). Hey, it's capitalism, what did you expect?

    For others, this is neither politics as usual nor capitalism as usual, Nor is Obama the president as usual. And so it will not be opportunistic pragmatism as usual.

    In the new normal, what is pragmatic is actually fairly left wing. If massive public spending, and re-regulation of Wall Street, and green energy, and universal health coverage can be characterized as mere pragmatism, bring it on. We can acknowledge later that we have moved the center to the left and shifted the prevailing ideology. Clever guy, this Obama.

    But what about the post-partisan part? Here again, it may just be shrewd positioning. But if President-elect Obama actually believes that this is a bipartisan moment, he is in for a rude awakening.

    The lame-duck Senate Republicans have just blocked the bill to provide temporary financing for the auto industry needed to give the new administration and Congress time to work with the automakers on a restructuring plan. Not much bipartisanship there. Indeed, it was George W. Bush, the least bipartisan president in decades, who came to the rescue of the industry and the Democrats by relying on emergency use of the bank bailout funds. Just imagine what Republicans will do in the next Congress.

    If you have been watching or reading Republican pronouncements lately, just about nothing in the Obama program is likely to get the support of the Republican leadership. Bank re-regulation? The Employee Free Choice Act? Hundreds of billions for green energy? Universal health insurance? A trillion dollars of stimulus as the downpayment on a permanent increase in public investment?

    The Republican story is that the best stimulus is more tax cuts, and that the money should be found by reducing the deficit. That leaves no room for more public spending, only for more spending-cuts. And despite the fact that deregulation caused the financial collapse, Republicans still insist that regulation did it--the evil Community Reinvestment Act (which in fact explicitly required that sound lending standards were not to be waived. Most subprime lenders were not even covered by CRA.)

    Here is an easy prediction: When President Obama reaches that hand of bipartisanship across the aisle, he will find that the Republicans bite it.

    Of course, it is smart politics to pick off Republicans for a progressive agenda wherever possible. Splitting the Republicans is much better than splitting the difference. By January, when Congress takes up the emergency stimulus bill, unemployment will be heading toward double digits, and state and local governments will be slashing public services. In that emergency climate, Obama may well get some Republicans to cross over and vote for a Democratic plan.

    But that strategy is not being bipartisan. It is being an astute partisan. And there will be many other times when Obama will need to rally all of his Democrats to enact progressive legislation over the strenuous objection of most Republicans. This economic emergency and its political opportunity is no time to compromise for the sake of hollow unity. If Obama can win over a few Republicans for a progressive program, great. If he put can Republicans in the position of haplessly opposing popular and urgently needed legislation, so much the better.

    By the end of his first year, either Obama will have put the economy on the path to recovery based on a progressive program that represents a radical ideological shift; if he achieves that, he will have done it with precious little Republican support. Alternatively, much of his program will have been blocked by Republican filibusters enabled by a few conservative Democratic allies.

    Let's hope it's the former. And let's hope he has the audacity to call progressivism by its name. Either way, one thing Obama will not be is post-partisan.

    Robert Kuttner's best selling book is "Obama's Challenge: America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency."

    10:51 am est 

    Thursday, December 11, 2008

    Communities can never again afford to be hoodwinked by global economists

    Martin Wolff writes
    “Such a severe depression and banking crisis could not have been achieved by normal civil servants and politicians, it required economists’ involvement.”

    This, in short, is a time for humility. Why did we mostly get “it” so sensationally wrong? How did something that looks increasingly like the precursor of a slump creep up on almost all of us this year? It is a pretty good question. It is a pretty embarrassing one, too. 

    I do think we need to ask ourselves whether we could have done a better job of understanding the processes at work.

    The difficulty was that we all tend to look at just one bit of the clichéd elephant in the room. Monetary economists looked at monetary policy. Financial economists looked at risk management. International macroeconomists looked at global imbalances. Central bankers focused on inflation. Regulators looked at Basel capital ratios and even then only inside the banking system. Politicians enjoyed the good times and did not ask too many questions. And what of commentators? Well, they tended to indulge in the fantasy that the above knew what they were talking about. I am embarrassed to admit this.

    I am not seeking to deny that a few people saw important pieces of the emerging puzzle and some saw more than a few pieces. In my gallery of heroes are Avinash Persaud, who told us early and often that the risk-management models on which regulators foolishly relied were absurd individually and lethal collectively, a point also made by John Eatwell; Kenneth Rogoff, who warned of the US external deficit; Wynne Godley, who warned no less powerfully of the domestic financial imbalances associated with those external imbalances; Charles Dumas and Brian Reading of Lombard Street Research, who warned of the global imbalances; Roger Bootle of Capital Economics, who pointed out the fantasy of believing that we could become rich by selling second-hand houses to one another at ever more exorbitant prices; Raghuram Rajan of Chicago Business School, who identified the frailty of the new financial capitalism; Bernard Connolly of AIG, who warned of the ongoing “Ponzi game” and George Magnus of UBS, who foretold the consequent “Minsky moment”; Stephen King of HSBC, who argued that US growth was built on sand; Andrew Smithers of Smithers and Co and Martin Weale of the National Institute, who told us that UK fiscal policy was far too loose; Bill White of the Bank for International Settlements who insisted again and again that monetary policy should not ignore asset prices and associated credit explosions; and Nouriel Roubini, of course, who was Dr Doom before almost anybody else.

    The list is not exhaustive and I apologise to all those offended by my omissions. But I would insist that one of the big lessons of this experience is that economics is too compartmentalised and so, too, are official institutions. To get a full sense of the risks being run, we needed to combine the worst scenarios of each sets of experts. Only then would we have had some sense of how the global imbalances, inflation targeting, the impact of China, asset price bubbles, financial innovation, deregulation and risk management systems might interact.

    3:46 pm est 

    2009.03.01 | 2009.02.01 | 2008.12.01

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