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Date: 2024-05-18 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00023076

University of Hertfordshire ... Presentation by Thomas Greco

Original article:
Peter Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess

??? Centre for Future Societies Research, University of Herfordshire

Thomas H. Greco, Centre for Future Societies Research, University of Herfordshire


Thank you for reaching out and sending me the links to your recent presentation about Money Interest and Debt and the pathway toward a better world and a path towards economic equity, social justice, freedom and peace, 

I have been thinking about these issues myself for a very long time as well ... and there is very little in your presentation with which I disagree ... except perhaps your optimism that a system along the lines you propose can gain the necessary buy in at the necessary scale. 

My approach is somewhat different, but has been built on similar foundational ideas as you have described.  I think I am still in a greater state of deep confusion about how the world works and its inherent dysfunction than you are ... but I am somewhat optimistic that my approach can be embraced by a more mainstream community of business practitioners.

Back in the late 1950s I studied engineering at Cambridge and engineering and technology still remain something of a passion. Productivity is enabled by engineering, and modern productivity is incredibly high. Unfortunately it has been 'gamed' by people at the top of business, banking and politics to maximize profits while ignoring the impacts on society and the environment. Elkington, back in the 1990s talked about the Triple Bottom Line ... People, Planet, Profit ... but essentially nothing happened!

While I was at Cambridge I also took the Economics Tripos exams and have some understanding of this 'dismal science' . Fortunately, at that time Cambridge Economics was very much in a Keynesian mode which I still embrace. Not much talked about ... but Keynes was very pragmatic and the economic policy solutions he wanted at the end of WWI was different from what he wanted in the depression of the 1930s and again what he wanted at Bretton Woods in 1944 as the world started getting ready for a Post-WWII economic environment.

After a short spell working in heavy engineering (steel mill equipment and the like) I went back to the beginning and signed up for 'Articles' with the London Chartered Accounting firm of Cooper Brothers & Co ... which has morphed over the years into the international firm of PwC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers). My Aha moment was when I realized that much of the analytical work I had been doing as an engineer especially in thermodynamics was logically equivalent to what accountants do when they are using ubiquitous double entry accounting ... the foundational idea of Balance Sheet at the beginning of the period (BOP) and how the activities recording in the Profit and Loss Account result in a new Balance Sheet at the end of the period (EOP)

A critical idea in the economics I learned was the difference between 'cost-push' inflation and 'demand-pull' inflation. They are very different animals. In the 1970s, the US was subjected to massive cost push inflation because the OPEC cartel got control of the crude oil supply situation and forced massive price increases onto energy traders. Everything using energy in the US was forced into a cost crisis and profits disappeared for about a decade.(Nixon, Ford and Carter all had to face this situation).as well as the Federal Reserve. By 1980 Paul Volcker was presiding over 20%+ interest  rates!!!!!!!!!!!

For the last 40 years there have been impressive increases in productivity which has translated into lower business costs both from technology and from the US business choice to outsource production to low wage (high pollution as well) countries ... mainly Asia, first Japan, and then Korea, Vietnam. China, Thailand, etc etc. For the last 40 years the biggest cost for products sold to the end-consumer  have been the embedded profits all the way along the supply chain. For some reason, investors seem to think they deserve a higher and higher return on investment year over year over years which, of course, is the only way that a stock market will increase its stock valuations year over year over year. 

Another part of my thinking relates to taxation. Government ... and perhaps more than any other Government ... the US Government is not very efficient and cost effective AND there is a mindset that less Government tax is good for economic performance. Current taxes should be high enough to pay for the current operating costs of the Nation ... to balance the recurrent budget. Investment ... improvement to infrastructure, for example ... can be funded by debt, but these bits of debt should be retired over the lifetime of the assets. The mix-up that goes on in Government accounting is a nonsense ... but probably not an accident. With good accounting corruption and other misfeasance is a whole lot more difficult. For several years around 1990 I was active with a group called the International Consortium on Government Financial Management  (ICGFM) that was addressing these issues ... and around that time I did some work in the former Soviet Union around these matters as well as in several other countries. Value for money is expected from lowly paid employees ... but powerful people work to a different set of rules, and there is little or no accountability. The system is not set up for top level accountability.

SO ............

I have concluded that my first step in the journey towards a world that works much better is to address the problem of management metrics.  I am starting with the existing system of conventional financial accounting and reporting. This exists and is coherent and widely used in business world-wide. Its weakness is that it is only used in connection with money transactions and in order to report profit performance and balance sheet information to stockholders (owners) of the company. Conventional financial reporting only addresses transactions that are within a quite limited 'reporting envelope' with all other transactions and impacts ignored (unless they are going to impact something or anything within the basic reporting envelope).

Instead of thinking only in terms of money and the economy, a rather similar set of numbers is needed for everything related to people and society.

In addition, another similar set of numbers is needed for everything related to the environment and nature.

The concept here is that EVERYTHING should be in play, with appropriate numbering for everything. From a management perspective, it seems that ALL of CAPITAL should be segmented into several areas which are somewhat similar ... so (1) Social Capital; (2) Natural Capital and (3) Economic Capital.  Trying to use just the Financial or Economic Capital as the sole capital ... which is what we have been doing for more than a century (maybe several centuries) is no longer fit-for-purpose.

In conventional financial accounting there is a profit and loss account. There are costs and there are revenues. When revenues exceed costs there is a profit. In conventional financial accounting, the profit or loss may also be computed by comparing the balance sheet at the end of the period (EOP) with the balance sheet at the beginning of the period (BOP). The difference is a profit or loss.

I want to see the balance sheet expanded so that there is an Economic (financial) section, a Social section and an Environmental section. Different units of measure would be used for each section. I do not want to attempt to create some form of monetization at this stage. This should come much later.

The profit and loss account of conventional financial accounting also should be expanded so that ALL ACTIVITIES are accounted for and reported coherently and comprehensively.. Conventional financial accounting has the logical framework to consolidate the accounts of multiple business enterprises into single coherent whole, and a similar approach enables social, environmental and economic activities to be aggregated in a meaningful manner.

A conventional profit and loss account has credits and debits reflecting revenues and expenses. The sum of revenues less the sum of expenses is the profit.
> _____________________________ Peter Burgess ... Founder and CEO 
> TrueValueMetrics ... Meaningful Metrics for a Smart SocietyTrue Value Impact Accounting ... Multi Dimension for ALL the Capitals
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On Sun, Nov 28, 2021 at 4:55 PM Thomas Greco wrote:

Recording of the presentation In this issue:In case you missed it: Transcending the present political money system--the urgent need and the way to do it

In case you missed my webinar on November 24 and would like to see the presentation, here is the recording that was made. The first part is a specially prepared slide show presentation titled, A World Without Money, Interest, and Debt: A Pathway Toward Economic Equity, Social Justice, Freedom, and Peace. The webinar concludes with a short video titled, VITA: A worldwide web of exchange, Locally controlled but globally useful, in which I describe my vision of a new decentralized, peer-to-peer, system of exchange.

The question and answer portion is not include.

This presentation describes the fundamental role of the global system of money, banking and finance in generating social injustice, economic inequity, environmental despoliation and violent conflict.  It outlines the collusive arrangement that exists between finance and politics that has created the global central banking regime to centralize power and concentrate wealth in ever fewer hands and explains how the creation of money by banks as interest-bearing debt causes a growth imperative that is destructive to the environment, democratic government, and the social fabric. But more importantly, it describes the positive developments that are emerging to create a new “butterfly economy” and a civilization in which everyone can live a dignified life.

Find this and other presentations in the sidebar at

Best wishes,


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