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Joe Earle, Cahal Moran and Zach Ward-Perkins

Chapter 4 details the history of how the discipline of economics came to be so narrow and the more recent student led movements to reform it. It also includes a critique of the new CORE syllabus.

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Joe Earle, Cahal Moran and Zach Ward-Perkins

Chapter 5 sets out a vision of a pluralist, critical and liberal economics education. However, it also shows how higher education has been reshaped in ways which makes positive reform increasingly difficult and set out a number of practical reforms which could be implemented within the current system.

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Joe Earle, Cahal Moran and Zach Ward-Perkins

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Series:

Joe Earle, Cahal Moran and Zach Ward-Perkins

This chapter argues that we need new political and economic institutions which are participatory, inclusive and accessible and sets out some ideas about how this can be achieved. These can be the catalyst for the development of a popular democratic culture of public participation in economic discussion and decision making.

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Joe Earle, Cahal Moran and Zach Ward-Perkins

This chapter uses evidence from a curriculum review of seven universities across the UK to show how the philosophy which underpins econocracy is being passed down to the next generation of economic experts. The curriculum review analyses 174 economics modules using the course outlines and exams to illustrate that economics students are taught to memorise and regurgitate a narrow body of subject matter not think independently or critically.

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Joe Earle, Cahal Moran and Zach Ward-Perkins

This chapter sketches out the contours of econocracy, its relationship with the academic discipline of economics and how it has developed in the twentieth century. It then shows in more detail how democracy has been undermined and the idea of the citizen as an active participant in political discussion and collective decision making been lost.

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The econocracy

The perils of leaving economics to the experts

Series:

Joe Earle, Cahal Moran and Zach Ward-Perkins

One hundred years ago the idea of ‘the economy’ didn’t exist. Now, improving ‘the economy’ has come to be seen as one of the most important tasks facing modern societies. Politics and policymaking are increasingly conducted in the language of economics and economic logic increasingly frames how political problems are defined and addressed. The result is that crucial societal functions are outsourced to economic experts. The econocracy is about how this particular way of thinking about economies and economics has come to dominate many modern societies and its damaging consequences. We have put experts in charge but those experts are not fit for purpose.

A growing movement is arguing that we should redefine the relationship between society and economics. Across the world, students, the economists of the future, are rebelling against their education. From three members of this movement comes a book that tries to open up the black box of economic decision making to public scrutiny. We show how a particular form of economics has come to dominate in universities across the UK and has thus shaped our understanding of the economy. We document the weaknesses of this form of economics and how it has failed to address many important issues such as financial stability, environmental sustainability and inequality; and we set out a vision for how we can bring economic discussion and decision making back into the public sphere to ensure the societies of the future can flourish.

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Joe Earle, Cahal Moran and Zach Ward-Perkins

This chapter makes the academic, educational, practical and political case for pluralism in economics. It uses case studies of macroeconomics, the environment and inequality, to demonstrate that academic economics must open up to new ways of thinking.

Open Access (free)

Oonagh McDonald

This chapter examines the regulation of the Big Five investment banks in the context of the changes which took place in the structure of banking after the repeal of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act 1999 (GLBA). It also examines the introduction of the European Union's Consolidated Supervision Directive in 2004. The Act did not 'repeal' the Glass-Steagall Act in its entirety, but only repealed sections 20 and 32, which prohibited member banks from affiliating with organizations dealing in securities. The Federal Reserve became the 'umbrella' supervisor for any Financial Holding Company owning a bank; under its 'streamlined supervision' remit, the Federal Reserve was limited in its day-to-day authority to oversee functionally regulated non-banking subsidiaries of the holding companies. Though the Securities and Exchange Commission had adequate tools and statutory backing for taking on the consolidated supervision of the Big Five investment banks, its inability to carry out effective supervision was revealed soon.

Open Access (free)

Oonagh McDonald

This chapter considers who should have been responsible for keeping an eye on the value of assets in which Mayer Lehman Brothers chose to invest heavily, and on its risk management procedures. It considered three questions. The first is what exactly was the Lehman board expected, indeed, required to do. The second is whether Lehman's board was able to carry out its duties. The third is whether the board actually meet the corporate governance requirements. What the Examiner's analysis of corporate governance shows is that, for a company incorporated in Delaware's General Corporation Law, as well as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, it is very difficult to find colourable claims against Lehman Brothers. Lehman informed the Securities and Exchange Commission in their regular meetings that the firm-wide risk appetite limit was a real constraint of Lehman's risk-taking, although it was treated as a 'soft' target within the firm.