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Our Agenda

A conscious acknowledgement of our common purpose as fulfilment without harm so we may organise ourselves, our justice systems, our economies, our organisations, and our societies to enable our pursuit of it. The organising principle of fulfilment without harm must override the pursuit of money and/or power. Specifically: (more...)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Finance

Sustainable, equitable productivity is through realising our potential and contributing without harm in free and fair markets, not through gambling and speculating for financial gain.

Money is as abundant as productivity, but non-productive financial speculation de-links money growth from productivity growth resulting in inflation of money without inflation of productivity. This discrepancy leads inevitably to market corrections and economic recessions that damage those trying to make an honest contribution, entirely innocent of speculation. These ‘corrections’ are a factor of the market systems we now have, but they are not an inevitable factor of the market system we could have.

The way current markets are designed permits and encourages non-productive financial speculation. National and international markets which centralise the trading of a single non-perishable resource to a single central market and allow the resource to be bought without taking hold of it distort the real price of the resource (the price set by the cost of production, supply and consumer/user demand). These markets allow financial corporations and individual speculators, that do not use the resource for consumption or production, to purchase a large portion of supply and withhold it from users that rely on the resource for consumption and production. The purchase of a great portion of supply makes the financial speculator a virtual monopoly that can name the price those that need to use the resource must pay, there being no alternative market.

It is not necessary that the financial speculator be a single corporation or individual (although a single speculator has greater sole control) – numerous uncoordinated speculators also reduce the supply to users needing it for consumption and production, so raising the price beyond what would be mediated by production, supply and consumer demand alone.

The price of a resource in this market will keep rising for as long as increasing amounts of speculative finance purchase it, not to use, but to hold and on sell.

Any market centralised on a national or international level, confined to a single non-perishable resource, and allowing purchase without possession, permits and facilitates financial speculation that raises the price of resources beyond their full cost of production, regardless of whether producer supply is enough to meet user demand (as user access to supply is restricted by speculators pulling it from the market).

If resource producers were to increase supply so financial speculators could not purchase enough to restrict it to less than needed by users, the price would eventually collapse massively as speculators released their holdings back onto market. The situation would now be producer supply massively greater than needed by users (due to prior speculative removal of supply from the market) supplemented by the flood of withheld supplies released back onto market by speculators fleeing the market.

Such speculator-friendly markets should be eliminated or, the traders that buy, not to use, but to on sell, should be banned from these markets. Imagine a physical market of growers and sellers in which one person came along and bought all the produce, then proceeded to sell that produce at whatever price he demanded. There would be outrage, but in one form or another this is what happens on international markets.

To ban speculative trading:

In resource markets (gold, crude oil, rice, milk powder, cocoa, coffee, and so on), disallow financial derivatives that enable a right-to-use, without taking possession of, a resource.

In share markets, disallow trading in shares. Make shares only purchasable from the organisation. Shares cannot be traded, only transferred back to the organisation at cost. The only revenue from shares is from dividends and there is no speculative trading in them.

In property markets, allow only ownership with occupancy.

In currency markets (foreign exchange markets), monitor and slow the market, restrict to sale for use, not for trading.

Revert all funds of non-productive financial speculation into production and consumption by sharing excess income and wealth to all via a base income that enables universal opportunity to contribute.

Investment and production is determined by us individually and through participative, democratic organisations of people partnering to achieve particular purposes that accord with the common purpose of fulfilment for all.

Anyone can produce (it is not state controlled) but half our earnings are shared in a shared base income.

Our motivation is not in profiting and finance, but in making our particular, self-directed, contributions and the fulfilment this realises.

[Excerpt from The Common Purpose Manifesto]

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