In a recent blog I discussed the views of the Russia-based
New Zealand financier Stephen Jennings on MMP. I’ve
now had the chance to read the full text of Jennings’s ‘Sir
Ronald Trotter Lecture’ earlier this month: it reveals a
man well read in economic history and theory but with a
tragically limited view of the planet that provides him with
the air he breathes and the means by which he makes his
millions. In the course of a long speech chiefly devoted to
the glories of economic growth, or viral growth as he likes
to call it, Jennings makes not a single reference to the
ecology of Earth; growth, to him, is something that can go
on happening indefinitely for those seeking to profit by it.
There is not a flicker of recognition that the way in which
‘economic growth’ is measured is corrupt and false; an
idol that the world worships, it has about as much meaning
as a golden calf or a weeping statute of the Madonna.
Magnates and millionaires such as Jennings are like
infants with counting frames who think their playpen is the
whole world. Well, they have every right to be what they
want to be and to see the world the way they want to see it;
but let none of the rest us be deluded by their fame,
crunched by their numbers or misled by their myopia. If
Jennings must grow, then let him grow up.