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Finance at the Threshold Rethinking the Real and Financial Economies
by Dr Christopher Houghton Budd, Centre for Associative Economics, Canterbury, UK
Farnham, England : Gower Pub., 2011.
Every banking crisis, whatever its particular circumstances, has two features in common with every previous one. Each has been preceded by a period of excessive monetary ease, and by ill thought out regulatory changes. For many the recent hiatus in inter-bank lending has been seen as a blip - enormous in size and global in scope, but, nonetheless, a blip. Finance at the Threshold offers a unique perspective from an English economic and monetary historian. In it the author asks: Why did the banks stop lending to one another, and why now? Was it merely a matter of over-loose credit due to the relaxation of traditional prudence, or did global finance find itself at its limits? Have government bail-outs saved the day or merely postponed the problem?
Christopher Houghton Budd offers a radical view of the global financial crisis, spanning a wide gamut of current thinking. He argues that we need, above all, to overcome the left-right divide so much taken for granted today, and promote financial literacy to young people.
His contribution to the Transformation and Innovation Series claims that global finance has brought us to the limits of what mechanistic economic explanations can capture. New ideas and above all new instruments are needed so that innovation can shift from its dexterous exploitation of inefficiencies and turn its attention instead to fresh initiative.
Finance at the Threshold is essential reading for academics and practitioners concerned with financial and economic policy and needing to develop a sense of the history thus understanding the forward prospects for global finance.
Contents: Foreword; Prologue; Part I: Why nobody saw it coming; When the banks stopped lending to one another; 2007 ¨C a threshold in financial evolution; It's the epistemology, stupid. Part II: Rudolf Steiner's conception of society; Rudolf Steiner's monetary analysis. Part III: The 20th century; Keynes vs. Friedman ¨C a false debate; The flattened economy. Part IV: Beyond banking; Deep accounting; Banking on youth and trade; From threshold to bridge; Bibliography; Index.
About the Author: Based in Canterbury, England, Dr Christopher Houghton Budd is an economic and monetary historian with a doctorate in banking and finance from Cass (formerly City) Business School in London. He works freelance in various parts of the world as a lecturer and consultant. For over 30 years he has made a special study of Rudolf Steiner's contribution to economics. Under the auspices of the Centre for Associative Economics, of which he is a director, he has published many papers and several books, including The Metamorphosis of Capitalism, Rare Albion - A Monetary Allegory, and Auditorial Central Banking.
Reviews: 'Christopher Houghton Budd's approach is unconventional and always interesting. He tackles big and difficult questions in a challenging way which should not be dismissed lightly. It is all clearly written and lucidly explained and students of economics will not see much like this and will benefit from the challenge.' ¨C Forrest Capie, Professor Emeritus, CASS Business School, City University, London
'This well written and thought-provoking book will prompt its readers to reconsider their ideas on money, on credit, on banking, and on the role of government¡.¡¯ From the foreword by Geoffrey Wood, Professor of Economics, Cass Business School, London
'...a book that is intended to challenge our thinking about economics, by deepening our understanding of the role of finance and banking in a functional global economy...it is a publication that will infuriate some economists, accountants and bankers because it will scratch an itch they have about the value of what they do - which they dare not acknowledge. The same discomfort will apply to academics, especially in Finance Departments and Business Schools that have not challenged their leading assumptions for decades...Finally, politicians...Chapters 7 to 12 should provide a fresh perspective for examining the symptoms in order to treat the malaise. Open-minded think tanks, in particular, will be grateful for new models to test against the evidence of the failure of banking.' ¨C John Carlisle, Visiting Professor, Sheffield Business School. Chairman, Alliance of Deming Consultants and Cooperation Works Ltd, Sheffield