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The Pamphleteers

“The Pamphleteers” blog features considered thoughts – somewhere between a knee-jerk editorial and a full-blown piece of research. The title is based on a quote by John Maynard Keynes: “Economists must leave to Adam Smith alone the glory of the Quarto, must pluck the day, fling pamphlets into the wind, write always sub specie temporis, and achieve immortality by accident, if at all.” Write for today and not for tomorrow.

Harold A Innis, who has inspired Long Finance thinking on whether money was time-binding, space-binding or both, wrote a 1951 review “Sub Specie Temporis” of R F Harrod’s biography of Keynes, picking out that quote as a summary of Keynes’ attitudes. Keynes was possibly referring to James Joyce’s declared intention to write Ulysses “sub specie temporis nostri” – “in the mode of our time”. William J Barber believes that Keynes was frustrated by his mentor, Alfred Marshall, who published slowly and carefully. In Keynes’ view Marshall’s caution and thoroughness denied the world the benefit of his thought.

Baroness Susan Greenfield laments contemporary “wow, yuck” culture. Wow, just saw something cool. Yuck, just saw something gross. Must tell everyone. These quick reactions substitute for considered thinking. Would Keynes relish today’s world of twitter and postings? Keynes published prolifically, clearly living by this quote, though with the odd digression also producing such tomes as the The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. He admired, as do we, the pamphlets of Ricardo, Malthus, Jevons, Bagehot, Madison, Hamilton and Jay. As ever in life, it’s a question of balance.

Long Finance addresses the question “when would we know our financial system is working?” Our timeframe for consideration is at least the lifetime-and-a-bit of today’s humans, call it a century or so. Our timeframe for change is whatever it takes. We are about evolution not revolution ("stirred not shaken" as Professor Mainelli says).  Though we respect those who flank us for more rapid reform, those who feel that any change would help, any change at all, we try to proceed with extreme caution in trying to improve such an important, inter-connected, and complex system. We push for positive change, based on inspiration, connections, research and discussions, not pure activism.

Long Finance places considerable energy into considered long-term research, but encourages discussion groups, panels and events for short-term reactions too. We hope that The Pamphleteers is somewhere in the middle. Perhaps some of our contributors will achieve immortality, but the most important thing is to drive a wedge of ideas between complacency and frustration, ideas that may form the basis for Quartos of glory in future. Carpe diem!

List of articles in category The Pamphleteers
Title Published Date Author Hits
If You Have Identified A Genuine Issue Of Banks Getting A Certain Windfall Out Of The Monetary System Every Year, Please Don't Allude To It As Being 'A Money Tree'. Jul 2018 Written by Rob Julian Hits: 719
Bullshit Jobs & The Eternal Coin: A Long Finance Pamphleteers Look At The Future Of Work May 2018 Written by Ian Harris Hits: 2621
Why No International Standard Unit For Value? Mar 2018 Written by Dr Shann Turnbull Hits: 1491
The Power of Perception Mar 2018 Written by Greg Ford Hits: 1208
Ethics In Business: Balancing Guardianship And Commerce Feb 2018 Written by Ian Angell Hits: 1371
Be Careful What You Wish For! Jan 2018 Written by Chris Yapp Hits: 1092
Trust and Markets – The SubPrime WhoDunnit Solved? Jan 2018 Written by Con Keating and Barry Marshall Hits: 1026
The Design And Operation Of Collective Defined Contribution Pensions Jan 2018 Written by Con Keating Hits: 1026
Brexit at Tiffany's Jan 2018 Written by Chris Yapp Hits: 948
In Praise of Higher Taxes? Dec 2017 Written by Chris Yapp Hits: 1103
There’s One Born Every Minute - Black Sky Thinking About Crypto-currencies Dec 2017 Written by Ian Angell Hits: 3077
A Vision of Collective Defined Benefit (CDB) – Defined Ambition By Another Name Dec 2017 Written by Con Keating Hits: 1013
The History & Current State Of Financial Regulation Of Cryptocurrencies Globally Dec 2017 Written by Bob McDowall Hits: 1860
A Vision Of Collective Defined Contribution Pensions Nov 2017 Written by Con Keating Hits: 1113
Eurocrat Pensions Nov 2017 Written by Con Keating Hits: 899
The Folklore Of Cryptocurrencies - Alchemy Revisited? Nov 2017 Written by Bob McDowall Hits: 2028
Defined Benefit & Collective Defined Contribution Oct 2017 Written by Con Keating Hits: 998
The London Token Fundraising Manifesto Oct 2017 Written by Michael Mainelli Hits: 13498
Responsibility Without Power? The Governance Of Mutual Distributed Ledgers (aka Blockchains) Sep 2017 Written by Simon Mills Hits: 1201
Should Money Have A Stable Predicable Value? Aug 2017 Written by Dr Shann Turnbull Hits: 3793