I'm too exhausted to post anything sensible tonight. Last night I went to a fascinating event organised by the UK resource centre for women in science, technology and engineering, on the recession. "The recession is having a major impact on science, engineering, technology and the built environment (SET) in the UK. Applications to study SET subjects are rising, while employment opportunities have diminished. Some sectors are harder-hit than others. Women in SET, alongside men, are facing reductions in working time, redundancy and unemployment."
There were several excellent speakers at the event, which was at the Institute of Physics, but I would like to highlight a speaker who is particularly inspiring: Ann Pettifor. From her Wikipedia entry: "In 2003 she correctly predicted the bursting of the credit bubble ("The Credit Crunch") in a book she edited for the new economics foundation The Real World Economic Outlook (Palgrave, 2003). You can find her blog about the crisis at Debtonation.org. In 2006 Palgrave Macmillan published her book The Coming First World Debt Crisis (Palgrave, 2006). She is a co-author of the Green New Deal, published by the new economics foundation in July 2008 – a set of policies to deal with threats posed by the Credit Crunch, Peak Oil and Climate Change."
Ann is an excellent speaker and inspiring (as well as friendly) person. She explained the economic crisis in terms that I (and the rest of the audience) could understand, suggested practical solutions, and explained how all the economists (each with two PhDs from Harvard) had not only not seen the crisis coming, but who have failed to realise the paradigm shift that has occurred and therefore have no idea what to do now. Whereas she says: "The best way out of the economic crisis is to cut interest rates, create jobs and raise incomes." After hearing Ann speak, I actually felt quite cheerful on the subject of the global economy for the first time in ages.