Links. The Institutions edition or: ‘It’s all about resilience’
The Levy Institute. Back in 2008 the Fed did not have a clue about shadow banking (though shadow banks are called ‘banks’ for a reason…), according to Matthew Berg who scrutinized the 2008 minutes of the meetings of the Fed. Aside – in Europe, at least part of securitized mortgages (which were shifted from the balance sheets of the official ‘MFI’ banks to the balance sheets of shadow banks) were even removed from the estimates of money and credit, as they were not visible on the balance sheets of the official banks anymore, which means that monetary statistics underestimated the growth of money and credit in those days. Clueless in Frankfurt.
The Worldwatch institute. About a two months ago it published its ‘flagship’ The state of the world in 2015 report about the interplay between economic and environmental issues. An excerpt:
“The very pillars of contemporary success—among them, high degrees of specialization, complexity, and manifold interconnections—could very well turn out to be humanity’s Achilles heel. Specialization works well only within certain tightly controlled parameters, but it could be useless under changed circumstances. Complexity and interconnections multiply the strengths and advantages of a viable system, but they also make it susceptible to a rapid cascade of destabilizing impacts. Such a highly productive system is actually low on resilience because it focuses on constantly reducing any slack or redundancy—the exact features that allow for resilience to materialize. Author Thomas Homer-Dixon quotes Buzz Holling, a leading Canadian ecologist, who has warned that the longer a system is locked onto a trajectory of unsustainable growth, “the greater its vulnerability and the bigger and more dramatic its collapse will be.” Seen through this broader lens, it is clear that the challenge for humanity today is no longer anything like what it faced in the 1960s and 1970s, when developing pollution abatement technologies and lessening the degree to which resources were wasted provided a more-or-less adequate answer to the most pressing problems of the day. The world now needs to adopt solutions that change the entire system of production and consumption in a fundamental manner, that move societies from conditions of energy and materials surplus to scarcity, and that develop the foresight needed to recognize still-hidden threats to sustainability. This goes far beyond the realm of technical adaptations, and instead requires large-scale social, economic, and political engineering—in an effort to create the foundations for a more sustainable human civilization.”
GENEVA (ILO News) – The informal economy is huge: it absorbs more than half of the global workforce and includes more than 90 per cent of small and medium sized enterprises – a number that does not take into account a myriad of micro-enterprises in developing countries.
As a result, millions of workers and economic units around the world suffer from poor working conditions and a lack of rights at work. Low quality employment, inadequate social protection, poor governance and low productivity are some of the obstacles that workers and enterprises face when caught in the informality trap.
That’s why the new international labour standard that was adopted by the 104th International Labour Conference was labelled as historic. Because it offers for the first time guidance to member States on how to facilitate transition from informality to the formal economy.
The aim of the new labour standard is three-fold: to facilitate the transition of workers and economic units from the informal to the formal economy, to promote the creation of enterprises and decent jobs in the formal economy, and to prevent the informalization of formal jobs.
“When we consider how long people have been run out of their homes due to extreme weather brought about by climate change, it really took too long for the term “climate refugee” to become part of the popular vernacular.
The Pope’s encyclical came close on Thursday as he spoke about the “tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation.”
But it was US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who may have given the term some gravitas when he said last month to US ambassadors, “there’ll be climate refugees that all of you will be coping with at some point. If not now, in the not-too-distant future.”
However, he too missed the mark: “not-too-distant future” implies that this is something new. In fact, people fleeing the wreckage brought about by man-made climate change has already been penned into our collective history.
A Kirabati man, Ioane Teitiota, reflecting the plight of millions of small island inhabitants, is set to make an appeal for climate change refugee status at the New Zealand Supreme Court. His story is a familiar one for those tracking the tightening link between extreme weather events and distorted climate patterns.
Earlier this month, people from climate-affected communities in Tuvalu, Kiribati, Fiji, the Solomon Islands and the Philippines vowed to seek ‘Climate Justice’ and hold big polluters to account for fuelling climate change