trading floor

The Uneconomics debate ran for nine months during 2012, and featured nineteen articles and interviews. Part of its purpose was to usher in a greater diversity of critical and analytical perspectives on economic matters, from academic disciplines that don't typically get a public hearing. It sought to broaden public debate regarding economic institutions and policies, and challenge elite views of the financial crisis. Highlights of the debate were two interviews, one with Andy Haldane, Executive Director for Financial Stability at the Bank of England, and another with David Potter, founder of Psion, both of which provided fascinating and critical perspectives on financial governance, from those 'inside' the establishment. 

The articles below appear in reverse chronological order, with Will Davies' concluding overview at the top.

Getting economists to wake up to reality

The Uneconomics series challenged the power of economists, inviting diverse perspectives from disciplines whose work on the economy has been increasingly recognised post-crash. This reflection by the editor ends the nine month series.

The rise of the sharing economy

The networked world allows an unprecedented degree of collaboration within communities. This could enable a new kind of economy - in Britain and elsewhere.

Let's welcome the enmity of bankers

What caused Britain's and the USA's financial crash? What is its legacy? How to deal with the consequences? David Potter, who built the global, hi-tech company Psion, and then served on the Bank of England when the crash began, addresses these questions with the exceptional authority of a businessman amongst economists. 

'Central banks should admit their mistakes': an interview with the Bank of England's Andy Haldane

Andy Haldane, Executive Director of Financial Stability at the Bank of England, has been hailed as a new type of policy expert and intellectual. In this interview, for our Uneconomics series, he sets out his vision for the future of economics and economic policy-making. It is a future where central banks are humble, "listen as often as they speak", and own up to their mistakes.

Building a civil economy

Game theory or gift society? The narcissistic vision of the homo oeconomicus has failed to acknowledge long-documented evidence of the primacy of cooperation. In this Friday essay, Adrian Pabst explores the liberating potential of an anthropologically informed economics for the age of austerity. 

The power of ignorance and the problem of abundance

Warning! This article will make you smarter. You're best to guard your ignorance as a powerful political and economic tool, particularly during these current times of financial crisis. 

An intelligent industrial policy: and pigs might fly?

The call for a return to an ‘active industrial policy’ has failed to present a modern challenge to finance capitalism. For this argument to ring true in the 21st century, it must first consider with what type of knowledge it is now engaged. How can policy itself escape the pitfalls of nostalgia, lobbying and the bailout mentality? 

Valuing Nature: Democracy or economics?

Policies which treat nature like a private, consumable good may actually exacerbate problems of environmental degradation. We urgently need a more sophisticated understanding of the problem at hand.

Putting the financial genie back in the bottle: the Euro crisis demands bold Keynesian solutions

The ascendancy of the financial markets which developed in the 1980s must be put into reverse.  The genie must be put back in the bottle. A Keynesian ‘euthanasia of the rentier’ is now essential for both growth and democracy.

Taking risks with the economy? It's time to throw caution to the wind

What do British banks and prisons have in common? They are both part of systems designed to manage risks and that are now part of the problem. We need to break the cycle by opening up policy-making to more experimental, less familiar forms of intervention and regulation. What is there to lose, that the financial status quo isn't already losing? There may be a lesson here for the rest of the West as well.

The (mis)rule of the econocrats: how to re-politicise economics

The financial crisis demonstrated extraordinary failures on the part of policy elites and economic experts. And yet we remain governed by technocrats. We need to re-politicise economic policy-making, or else repeat the mistakes of the past.

Commodification: the essence of our time

Under advanced capitalism, commodification expands into all corners of social and political life, with devastating consequences. Finding a limit to this process is more urgent than ever.

Alternative finance radicals: Infusing rebellion with entrepreneurial creativity

A prevalent characteristic of financial discourse in the UK and beyond is the polarisation of a creative entrepreneurial culture with a rebellious left-wing.  Brett Scott deconstructs this opposition, finding in the emergent space a hybrid radical – well versed in the pragmatics of microeconomics while embracing the deviant spirit of ‘critical theory’. 

A Crisis of Money: the demise of national capitalism

The present economic crisis stems from the gradual disintegration of 'national capitalism', embodied in national currency, from the early 1970s onwards. It needs to be properly understood as a moment in the history and anthropology of money.

Economics and the cultural sector: can they achieve a more diplomatic relationship?

Instead of only asking what economics can tell us about the value of cultural activities, maybe we should also ask what cultural activities can tell us about how to improve economics.

Mumbo Jumble: The underwhelming response of the American economics profession to the crisis

In this extract from his forthcoming book, Never Let a Dire Crisis Go to Waste (Verso), the philosopher and historian of economics Philip Mirowski seeks to explain how the American economics profession has successfully avoided culpability for the economic crisis.

Out of Time: bringing history to bear on economics and policy

If politicians learned from history, they could avoid repeating its policy mistakes.

The Uneconomics guide to money creation

In it's latest book, "Where does money come from?", the New Economics Foundation provides one of the sharpest accounts of money creation in recent times. Can your high street bank really create money?

Economics as a public art

Time to move beyond neoliberalism and its convenient amnesia. Economic policy should be practiced as a public art, not an elite science.

Uneconomics: a challenge to the power of the economics profession

The fall-out from the financial crash is continuing to destroy lives around the globe, yet the power of economists is being entrenched, rather than questioned. In this debate, we bring together anthropologists, sociologists, historians and heterodox economists to ask and answer the big questions.
Syndicate content