Articles tagged: Finance

It’s still true: you can’t eat money

August 23, 2009

“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.” – Cree Saying. This quote, possibly the biggest cliché in the environmental literature, inspired Jared Diamond’s seminal work “Collapse“. But humans seem to succumb to boredom fairly quickly, so the real crisis, which is after all about something as mundane as food, has slipped off of the radar. The global meltdown of the banks, a grand Greek drama of the folly of the gods... More

Industrialising the service sector is a false economy and fatal in the public sector

June 8, 2009

Alistair Darling has demanded further £15bn efficiency savings through more IT-led front-office/back-office public-service designs. In the accompanying Treasury report, these totals are justified by ‘proxies, assumptions and estimates’, not evidence. Indeed, the evidence points firmly the other way; the further industrialisation of public services will inevitably lead to higher costs and worse services. By John Seddon. A version of this article appears in Public Finance, June 2009. The folly of industrialisation began in the private sector. Advances in telephony led companies to centralise telephone work in call centres, taking advantage... More

Update: Two Treasury Select Committee Members fiddled their expenses

May 21, 2009

This morning The Telegraph reported that Conservative MP Sir Peter Viggers would stand down at the next election, at the request of David Cameron, having claimed over £30,000 in gardening-related expenses, including £1600.00 for a floating duck house. Some wags wondered whether it fell under the MPs’ second home category. Another Tory grandee, Michael Fallon, MP, overclaimed £8300.00 in mortgage repayments. Financial News pointed out that both, as members of the Treasury Select Committee, have been fierce in their criticism of the lack of governance, excessive salaries and expenses of... More