Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'd like to second this request for a synoptic overview of Chris Cook's ideas.
Sometimes there is a great advantage in having an idea expressed by a third party.
I also find my understanding is ephemeral- more so as I grow older.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon May 9th, 2011 at 08:33:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't write a definitive synopsis of Chris' work.  I don't understand it well enough.

My understanding - subject to correction - is:

He proposes investment would be returned by the goods/services the productive unit outputs.  This would be in two ways:

1.  Direct use of the output

Example: investers in a windmill power plant would receive (time limited?) compensation in the form of electricity which they would use to power their own productive unit to manufacture goods/services.  

2. Indirect use of the output

The investor would sell the electricity to a third party, in some manner or form, in order to reap the benefit(s) of their investment.

One result of this system would be to limit the Return on Investment (ROI.)  Investment funds "tied-up" in an electric power plant can only receive an ROI limited to the actual Real Economy value of the electricity.  Thus disabling the ability of certain classes of investors (read: rentiers, for one) to churn their investment at a higher rate than the wealth (in my example electricity) produced by the Real Economy.

In concrete terms, an investor receiving 100 megawatts of electricity for their investment can only get an ROI of what 100 megawatts of electricity is worth.  Unlike our current predatory financial capitalist  system, the investor cannot reap the benefits of selling 500 megawatts; if an investor tries they run smack into what is commonly called "Fraud."  

One rather nice 'externality' of Chris' proposal is: it ties the health of the FIRE sectors to the health of the Real Economy.  IF an investor gets an ROI based on the ability of their investments to produce goods/services THEN they have a vital interest in the continuing ability of their firms, say, to continue to produce over the long term.  This is complete contradiction to our current system in which the Financial Interests - particularly the (so-called) "Investment Banks" - to deploy their capital (equity and debt) as quickly as possible and as many times as possible to maximize short-term gain.  Effectively Chris' proposed system reduces the baneful effects of Compound Interest run amok.

And I'm going to stop here so Chris and weigh in and tell me where I got it wrong.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon May 9th, 2011 at 01:50:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series