Adam Lent (chief econ guy at the TUC and a buddy of Our Ritchie) has a report out.
And it\’s very weird indeed.
Looking at economic history, there\’s a pattern. When the huge world economy changing events come along (canals, trains and steam power, electricity, the internet and digital technology, roughly five of them since 1750) then finance capital goes into a frenzy chasing the potential profits. Then there\’s a crash in finance capital and it all moves over to production capital being where the action is.
One way of describing this would be first round chasing the returns from owning the new technology, the second after the crash from employing the new technology to do things.
Now so far, I\’m just fine with this (yes, like every model it\’s a model, it doesn\’t explain all of the world, just sheds light on a part of it).
Finance capital has in fact done its job, pouring money into the development of these new technologies (and it\’s noticeable how important VC money has been in the digital economy). And now, quite naturally, after the crash we\’ll move into a period when we\’re employing capital to exploit the uses of these technologies rather than the creation and ownership of them.
Hey, great! Markets work, things get ever better and it all happens quite naturally.
So Adam Lent\’s proposal is that we must intervene in this process and manage it.