Category Archives: Perspectives

Finance regulation: here comes Finance Watch!

Finance has never been considered as much important as during the last years following the Lehman Brothers’ fall . The term ethical finance started to be purposed and spread. An example of ethic finance may be represented by Islamic finance, based on Sha’aria’s principles and focused on avoiding the use of capitals for mere gain, but rather for direct economic investments. In the Eurozone, many protest movements consider the financial industry as a reality that is heavily profiting of the widespread crisis. In any case, every industry requires a certain degree of regulation and here comes the role of Finance Watch.

Finance Watch is an independent and non profit organization, originated by an initial group of 22 European MEPS and their call for action. The Secretary General of the organization is Thierry Philipponnat, with a background in economy, finance and Amnesty International. The organization is based in Brussels, near to the European Parliament; the location is not casual at all, as long as like it’s underlined in the documentary The Brussels Business, Brussels is the world’ second major seat of lobbies, after Washington D.C.

The quest of the organization is summarized in its motto “make finance serve society” and consider as fundamental for its vision realization’s passages such as a banking system not based on moral hazard and the reduction of the costs of the intermediation by the financial industry.

One of the key challenges in the European future is the one of analyzing finance and its role in the future of the Eurozone. It would be important to follow the evolutions of Finance Watch’s projects and their results in the future.

If you want to have a deeper understanding of Finance Watch’s results you can have a look at the Finance Watch Annual Report 2011-2012.

#It has been an Occupy Summer…what about the Fall?

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Good evening ,ladies and gentlemen! This summer has seen a global spread of the Occupy movement or at least of experiences that shared some elements and features with Occupy. The protests in Turkey and Brazil can be considered in many ways similar to the Occupy matrix; we have already discussed about the protests in Turkey with Musa Copur and Sukran Moral. Last May, I was in Frankfurt during Blockupy 2013, the European protest aimed at criticizing  the European Central Bank  policies and more in general the economic choices promoted by the Troika. The protests were actually halted and ultimately struck down on Saturday the 31th of May by the police forces in the city. Apparently it seemed to be a signal that there was not space for a strong opposition movement to European policies. Afterwards, many protests then started to spread all over the world, inspiring also a cover of The Economist and this actually inspires a question…..given the fact that it’s been an Occupy Summer…what can we expect from the Fall?

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Occupy is a very different movement from the ones experienced in the past and actually Noam Chomsky’s history and description of the experience in the States is a fundamental reading.   In any case, one of the most surprsing elements about Occupy is that it managed to change the language and the focus of the debate, as Laurie Penny told me in Ferrara last Autumn during Internazionale a Ferrara. To be fair, in some countries, such as Italy there are no relevant experiences of the movement even if the Belpaese is among the countries  most exposed to the Eurozone crisis and has seen a certain application of Austerity/Asperity measures. There will be many new protest such as new Blockupy at the end of November, the Alter Summit in Brussels  and Agora 99 in Rome. The Turkish and Brazilian experiences need to be considered on a different level, but may also offer perspectives of evolution. It is early to say if we are going to experience an ‘Hot Fall’ under the perspective of social movements protests in the Eurozone and worldwide, but for sure we are in front of one of the most long lasting social movements seen until now. One of the secrets of its success can be found in two elements; an higher pragmatism, the idea of following different ideas of finance and banking for example and also a certain horizontal ground that does not allow particularly the rise of charismatic leaders. Again, is this mass, mostly middle class and educated grassroots movement going to influence more and more the political, economic and social debate….and maybe in the future also some agendas? We cannot know, but for sure we’ll observe its evolutions from Free Park Corner.