2013/03/18 Minutes Economics Working Group
1. Minutes of 11th and 15th March 2013 – minutes don’t lead to any conclusion and fail to capture the full flavour of discussion. Desirable to reach a conclusion and action. People need to step up to make their ideas work rather than making demands or criticising what’s done. Minutes – approved
2. Secret City – screening in Lancaster. Awaiting feedback from John on another London screening
3. EWG Workshop at Friern Barnet postponed until after Easter
4. Debt Assembly report – Jubilee Debt (Nick), Spanish Rep, Czech, Dave (EWG) spoke. Julie and Fanny facilitated. Breakouts – resisting PPP/PFI – livestream available. Follow up under way. There was consensus to call for a debt audit. Rationale for the Audit of UK debt compared to Europe? PPP and Student Debt. Spanish break down tasks into manageable bites.
Need to understand the cause of debt is inequality. Need to get back to the issues which energised occupy at the outset.
Saturday event City of London – demo report: London Tax Haven of the World postcards; Pete the Temp, Alnoor from OWS. Organised by The Rules, UK Uncut, (TJN not evident). Posters and the elections; short film about the City of London. Livestreamed. High impact but short
5. Discussion theme for Friday? Budget – Clive, Tom and any others prepare a piece on Wednesday? Discussion continuation of last Friday: what is EWG for and how should it work? Plus the budget. Why discuss the budget? Different people with different levels of understanding – need to understand the ramifications of the budget. Sophisticated economists don’t understand what’s going on and a basic analysis of the budget is essential. Agreed to continue the EWG discussion from last Friday and talk about the budget.
6. No meeting on Good Friday or Easter Monday. 25th March LSE with Mervyn King, Larry Summers, Ben Bernanke – people trying to get tickets – when is known how many are going will advise in respect of EWG meeting which clashes. Next meeting thereafter Friday 5th April. Nelio will give a paper on “Labour’s Declining Share of Income and Rising Inequality”. United front between reformist and radicalist movements is necessary. Martin McQuillam Debt paper to be circulated.
7. Bank Reform – prompted by OWS suggestion for coordinated action – need to be visible – Opportunity and Responsibility. Commission on banking standards running from last October to May13. Divisions within the banking/political establishment. Osborne’s expecting a mere code of conduct from the Committee who are far more ambitious. Desire to break up the banks and beyond? Ammunition – shortcomings and failures of banks. Tax avoidance undermine other countries tax base. Logic for radical reform. Banks impossible to manage – Justin Welby. Glass-Steagal postulated by Lawson. Commission reports in May. Responsibility to Act. Demand – break up the mega-banks, end the reign of the bank shareholders. Banks are different form other PLCs – mixed ownership models for the banking sector. IMF paper – Full Reserve Banking – Chicago Business Plan Revisited. Investors Chronicle backed capping bankers bonuses. Tap Rowntree for money to fund flyers and placards. Christians and workers. Quotes for placards. Venue – Canary Wharf? Evening event with speaker? – Archbishop of Canterbury, Giles Fraser. Agreed to proceed.
8. The meeting agreed that Rich should analyse the City of London electoral role and publish his findings under the auspices of the EWG. Reviewed by Martin Wolf in the FT today, The Bankers’ New Clothes by Anat Admati and Martin Heilwig – recommended