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I don't think that's right. If you want to make sensible policy you have to understand your policy tools. Money and accounting are powerful policy tools, so you need to understand how the institutions in your economy react to them.

No. If you want to make sensible policy, you have to decide what sensible policy looks like, and make your policy aims clear, objective, and explicit.

You can't allow your tools to define that for you - which is what money and accounting do.

Economics is a political tradition. It's not a fact of nature. It's one particular proposed solution to one set of problems.

That it is illegal, in violation of good business practise or not remunerative.

That's a circular definition - apart from the "illegal" part. (And we know from Goldman etc that even that's up for debate.)

It doesn't examine what "not remunerative" means socially.

E.g. if a business is "remunerative" because it destroys other businesses and social networks, is that really a valid criterion for its continued existence?

But I've yet to see any evidence that properly run and supervised banks are sufficiently more corrupt, wasteful an incompetent than properly run and supervised politicians elsewhere in society.

If you accept that banking is essentially strategic planning - which I agree with, up to a point - it becomes inevitable that banks cannot remain supervised and accountable, because they're already at the top of the political food chain and are able to wrap it around themselves.

If banks and businesses are implicitly political, they should be explicitly democratically accountable.

If they're not democratically accountable, they have no business making policy.

Otherwise this:

Honesty and competence in your politicians: Accept no substitute.

is an impossibility.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 13th, 2011 at 05:38:58 AM EST
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