I identify two very different types of debt:
- towards human creditors, or
- towards natural or social phenomena.
Debt towards human creditors is the most visible form of debt. It is recorded in public or private accounts, and is the purpose of active monitoring, in order to ensure that the debtor keeps a sustainable capacity to pay the creditor back. The rights of creditors are defended by national and international law.
However, debt towards humans is not as hard as what could appear prima facie.
Continue reading “Debt towards humans, or towards natural / social phenomena? Classical accounting gives the wrong answer”
Source of data in the image: World Bank, stocks traded, turnover ratio of traded shares.
When asked about who should govern companies, the most obvious answer seems to be: the shareholders. And the reason: because they are the owners. Period. Debate closed. Recent discussions about the increased role of other stakeholders, be they the workers, representatives of external interests such as those of the environment or of suppliers, are seen like nice add-ons, little more than an inflexion to a generally valid rule.
I disagree, and believe that the role of the shareholders in the governance of companies should be radically reconsidered.
Continue reading “The shareholders aren’t any more the most legitimate to govern companies”
In his “State of the Union” speech of 13 September 2017, President of the Commission Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his “sympathy” for the idea of trans-national lists in the elections to the European Parliament. This is a courageous move, knowing the reluctance – to say the least – of many nationally-elected politicians towards a proposal that would make them obsolete overnight.
I consider Jean-Claude Juncker to be fundamentally right. The only alternative to populism is trans-national democracy, not the global ploutocracy that we currently are heading towards.
Continue reading “State of Union speech: time for trans-national democracy, at last?”
Everybody complains about regulation. Regulation is criticised as a restriction of one’s freedom, of one’s capacity to innovate and exploit new opportunities. This discourse is frequent among ordinary citizens. It is a leitmotiv of businesses of all sizes. The last avatar of this regulation-bashing trend is the REFIT programme of the European Union, based on the work of the “High Level Group on Administrative Burdens” chaired by former conservative (CSU) Bavarian Minister-President Edmund Stoiber (final report “Cutting red tape in Europe”, July 2014, available here).
Continue reading “Why we need more regulation, not less”