The Academic’s Viewpoint

Money, greed and children

Bankers have trillions of dollars worth of investment waiting in the sidelines while the youth languish

I did not get it quite right. I thought the near to liquid capital in both the City and Wall Street stood at around £450 billion and $2.7 trillion respectively. The latest conversations I’ve had with bankers and fund managers put these estimates at £500 billion for the City and $3.7 trillion for Wall Street.  

What are these sums? Well, basically, cash waiting for investment, or as I have been told, waiting for market confidence to return. When it does I’m assured that the money will once again circulate freely.

But what is happening in the meantime? Bank of England governor Mervyn King allows the printing (‘quantitative easing’) of a further £25 billion into the economy. But why? As many commentators have pointed out the last round of QE led to the banks hoarding it all.

Why indeed? Why are we so hell bent on making the rich richer?  And at the same time the poor very much poorer! This week’s revelation of the appalling treatment of the elderly in Britain’s hospitals is just one the symptoms of the lack of political will to reposition capital to address the evident infrastructure concerns of this country.

The elderly are not going to be the only casualty. Aside from increasing unemployment - particularly among the young and the likely social unrest this will generate - the other deep concern is that of children. Some funding has been pumped into leadership training for the managers of children’s services departments. Despite the high quality of training, participants’ scepticism over whether any good will come of their development pervades the classroom.

It seems as if Mervyn King is accurate in his statement that this is one of the worst crises to hit the UK. The deep pain of this crisis has, as yet, with the ever increasing numbers of vulnerable people, to hit us where it hurts. It is clear that exploitation and deprivation has no respect for age.  

Yet, perhaps, what is most scandalous of all is the lack of leadership to see us through this crisis. There seems to be no way to reverse the three principles driving life today:
gain is privatised; debt is socialised and vulnerability is privatised.

Worse still, it’s expected that there is another six years of this!

Tags: city, leadership investment in waiting, liquid markets, management, quantitative easing, wall street

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About Author

Andrew Kakabadse is professor of international management development at Cranfield School of Management and vice chair, supervisory board of The Academy of Business in Society. His research covers boards, top teams and the governance of governments. He has published 36 books, over 210 articles and 18 monographs.

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