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A Short History of the Stockmarket

The stock exchange (aka stockmarket) is “A physical and electronic market in which government bonds and the securities of companies are traded regularly [1]”

In a simplified form, the stock exchange is a type of market place where entrepreneurs meet with investors to try and get finance to start their business.  The entrepreneur gives some of the equity (shares) in the company to the investor who takes on the risk.  The investor is paid dividends for taking on the risk inherent in attempting this business venture. Read more

Food Speculation: The Ordinary Business Of Life

Before I begin, I should warn you that this talk and paper is a crystallisation of the learning which I am doing in the area of economics. I have taken a liberty in addressing such a number of large topics in a single theme, and hope that it tantalises people to go and form their own investigations on the subject.

This is really, just a glimpse into big questions which touch all of our lives rather than a proposed solution. My hope is that on this journey, I can identify some key concepts and thinkers who help us approach the problems we collectively face, and celebrate the understandings which we do have in a most un-dismal of subjects – economics.

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Independent Business: An Interview With Ali Gower Owner Of The Chocolate Tree

This is an interview with Ali Gower exploring various aspects of The Chocolate Tree as a sustainable, ethical business in the 21st century:

The two owners, Alastair Gower & Friederike Matthis, met whilst performing as “red men” in the Beltane festival of Edinburgh. The positive reactions we received at the festivals highly motivated us, and we progressed The Chocolate Tree to become our full time passion and business. Read more

Living Well: Practical Solidarity and Steady State

This Economics Report is shared by Judith Emanuel from Steady State Manchester and was written in November 2012.  In June 2012 members of what became Steady State Manchester were involved in discussions with Manchester City Council about the idea of a Steady State Economy.

While these discussions were open and amicable, we decided that more work was needed to articulate the arguments for Steady State in ways that were appropriate and practical for Manchester. We also wanted to broaden the discussion to include other stake-holders from business (both private and co-operatively run), civil society and academia. Read more

Economics: Special Exam

In an attempt to make a holistic project model, I have been talking with as many economic minds as possible – alongside educationalists, sociologists and artists; as well as people from different communities.  The plan is to try and underpin local economic regeneration so that there are tangible benefits which come of the activities.  Hence starting the odyssey of learning economics so this is approached in a level headed and pragmatic way.  There is too much speculation in this area, so surprise surprise, I turn to the answer found through education…

To start the ball rolling, a local teacher of economics, Donald Rutherford, has set me a special exam.  These are complex matters which would not do well to have clumsy projections made on them.  In the spirit of valuing knowledge he has said that he would write me a letter saying that I had managed to rise to the challenge should I provide sufficient answers. Read more

Understanding How to Support a Local Economy

These notes are summarised from the Key Findings of the Economic Scrutiny Committee Short Scrutiny Study – Economic Regeneration; Welsh Case Study: 1994 – 2003

Neighbourhood decline refers to the process by which areas become disadvantaged and includes environmental, social and economic factors. Neighbourhood renewal aims to reverse this process, improve the quality of life and attract people back into declining areas.

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Local Economies and Neighbourhood Renewal

The Ragged project is a developing a holistic social model that aims to help underpin local economies and foster economic regeneration in its activities. Economics is a fundamental part of everyone’s life, and is therefore an important consideration when developing such community enterprises.

To help inform the discussion the Ecoregen document produced by The Audit Commission was consulted. A series of indicators for economic regeneration of an area were laid out by the Audit Commission to facilitate the efficient and effective spending of public money.  Kevin Ambrose was the key author of the Ecoregen document which was published in November 2005 from which this digest has been extrapolated to highlight elements.

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Is Economics a Dismal Science?

A famous quote is that of Thomas Carlyle stating economics as the dismal science. Thomas Carlyle complained that society had become mechanical and lost much of its humanity because of the abstraction of ‘real things’ into monetary terms.

In fact, there appears much gloom around the fabled world of money and exchange, and as someone who is outside of this field of study I wrestle with just what it all means and what is the practical nature of economics (also known as political economy).

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Business and Community

We live in interesting times. When attending a conference on how businesses can become involved in their communities, I was impressed at the interest that the business community has in ‘putting something back in’.

So many questions are being asked as the economy goes through all of it’s changes and adjustments. For many it is a time when belts are tightened and prospects seem uncertain. We are being asked these questions by our circumstances and being pressed to come up with solutions. Read more