Knowledge for better food systems

Book: Finance, society and sustainability: How to make the financial system work for the economy, people and planet

This book by Nick Silver provides an in-depth critique of the current financial system.

Publisher’s information:

This book is a critical analysis of the impact of the financial system on the economy, society and the natural environment. It cuts through the noise to looks at its purpose, its activities, and what it does in practice.

Unlike other books that cover the last financial crisis and the risk of another one; this book is about the consequence of the financial system continuing in its current form. It argues that the financial system is a construct of flawed economic theories, designed in the hope that the market will efficiently allocate society’s capital. Instead, the finance sector allocates savings and investment to maximize its own revenues, with resulting collateral damage to the economy, society and the environment.

Although governments try to preserve and regulate the existing system, it is being replaced by a new system driven by technological innovation. The book describes the opportunities this presents for a renaissance of the financial system to actually meet the needs of society, and to re-engineer our economy to avoid environmental crisis.

The book is for anyone who would like to understand the finance system’s purpose, what it does in practice and its impact on the real world. For those working in the industry it provides an overview of the system, their place within it, and how to bring about change. For students and academics it provides a valuable critique of the financial system, and the theories on which it is based. For financial policymakers and regulators it identifies key challenges in their activities.

For more information, see here.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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