Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Energy ... profit metrics but nothing about value!

Dear Colleagues

A friend, Bill Sharon, has posted an interesting essay about the modern energy dilemma ... it can be found at http://sorms.blogspot.com/2010/05/problem-with-green.html

The points Bill makes are quite reasonable ... and one has to wonder why these matters have not been addressed. I commented on the essay as follows:
This post summarizes the energy dilemma quite well. I would argue that if there were better metrics about economic activity ... something better than money profit accounting ... then there would have been way better allocation of capital and way less reliance on inefficient use of fossil fuels. Money profit accounting ignores the huge "cost" or value destruction associated with depleting resources, and the risk associated with technological malfunction like the BP disaster that wrecks the local ecology and the livelihood of local people. Nobody has wanted to have better metrics that would force reporting lower profits or would force higher ... and more realistic prices ... on consumers. The prevailing metrics are a disgrace ... and how business school academics can live with this ... let alone the leadership of the accountancy professional ... I do not know!
What is apparent from a continuing critical look at almost every aspect of economic activity that the capital markets are allocating resources very well based on "profit" and are failing abysmally where the metric is value. This is bizarre ... but it is also reality ... and there is a very tangible cause of this. If what is measured is wrong ... then everything else is going to be wrong.

Help! More than anything else ... society needs something like Community Analytics (CA)

Peter Burgess

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