The aim of this blog is to generate interest and discussion with the labour movement about capital markets and other elements of the financial system. For too long most of the Left has taken a very simplistic and negative view of how the system works and few have tried to develop either theoretical understanding or practical proposals for reform.
In the UK and some other countries we have well-developed funded pension systems which mean that millions of working people are directly plugged into the capital markets. Already their retirement savings are typically invested in equities (company shares) and bonds, and increasingly a part wil also be invested in some of the more controversial asset classes such as hedge funds and private equity.
I believe we have a duty to foster a greater understanding of financial markets within the labour movement. If we can teach ourselves to understand how the system operates which can identify both areas that require reform, and opportunities for influence. If we simply criticise in general terms from the outside we effectively cede control of billions of pounds of capital to others who may use it in a way that hurts working people around the globe.
Already there is a significant amount of activity around this agenda in North America. The workers' capital (or capital stewardship) movement in the US and Canadian trade unions is increasingly sophisticated. In the UK such ideas and activity have yet to really take hold. Therefore a primary objective of this blog is to contribute to the discussion and implementation of these ideas with the Labour Party and Uk trade unions.