So were the riots caused by consumerism? And what can be done about it?

23rd August 2011

A report by the global head of research at Tullett Prebon, Tim Morgan, urged a resolution to political and economic malaise which has discouraged saving and created a have-it-all and have-it-now culture.

The Guardian covered the report which urges the creation of new role models as well as policies "to encourage savings, the channelling of private investment into creating rather than inflating assets, and greater public investment would help solve a "deeply flawed economic and social ethos".

A typical internet user sees a hundred adverts an hour, the report says, and the underlying message many receive is: "Here's the ideal. You can't have it."

"The economy has been subjected to repeated 'boom and bust' cycles, above all in property. The overall pattern has been that an over-consuming west has borrowed and spent the surpluses of the increasingly productive and under-consuming East.

"The dominant ethos of 'I buy, therefore I am' needs to be challenged by a shift of emphasis from material to non-material values. 

"The government, too, needs to consume less, and invest more. Government spending has increased by more than 50% in real terms over the last decade, but public investment has languished. Saving needs to be encouraged, and private investment needs to be channelled into asset creation, not asset inflation."

More:

An article posted on the international online version of the German newspaper De Speigel argues the financial industry has beomce a threat to the global economy again and that governments have missed the chance to regulate the industry, and another crash is just a matter of time. 

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