One thing that has characterised my work since campaigning became my main activity has been a willingness to be opportunistic. I never believe in letting an opportunity to change things pass. I have a horrible feeling that 2022 will provide plenty of crises requiring a response. In that case it might be considered reckless to set out a work agenda for the year, but I am going to, nonetheless.
I suspect three themes to dominate my work this year.
The first of these is accounting for environmental change. I actually spent the Christmas period finishing work on a draft Financial Reporting Standard on this subject which takes the argument for sustainable cost accounting a lot further forward. At some 16,500 words it's not a lightweight read. I have been working on this for a while but having to present this to an academic conference this coming Friday really pushed the work forward. I have no doubt that this work needs a fair amount of polishing as yet, and the likely input of co-authors, but I am now confident that this will see the light of day soon (by early February at the latest, I hope) and will then be a major theme for work this year. It builds, in part, on existing work on audit reform, which is ongoing and will require continuing engagement, especially on the issue of hollowed-out firms, where Adam Leaver and I are working hard on reform agendas.
A second theme will be tax transparency. The course of this work is a little unpredictable at present, but builds on work with the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency begun last year. They have big plans for this programme. I hope to be working to support that agenda. I think it incredibly important for the next wave of tax justice which is otherwise largely stalled in a corporate tax haven cul-de-sac.
The third theme is that being managed through Finance for the Future and is on how we pay for the transition to a sustainable economy. This is being funded by the Polden Peckham Charitable Trust. The work is scheduled to last for three years and is intended to answer the question ‘how will you pay for it?’ always asked of politicians whenever they propose essential programmes of reform.
Initially work will try to build understanding of how government funding actually works. The idea for a book that I mentioned recently is a part of that. Thereafter the discussion will be on how we can use the world's financial capital to achieve the goal of building sustainable capital. That is not happening as yet. It clearly must. It's that or we have no hope. This is why I think the agenda that Colin Hines and I have been working on for some time, not just on QE but also savings, tax and pension reform, is so important.
There are also one or two other projects - one requiring attention very soon - in the pipeline. These will be announced if they develop.
There is a great deal to do. Despite that the blog will continue to roll. But if you wonder what the 'day job' is, the above provides some indication at present.