March 17, 2009

Simpol visionaries

A proposal was submitted for inclusion in the Simultaneous Policy in 2007 for 'Regulation of the Sale of Debt'.

Proposer David Smith, wrote: "The level of defaults on 'sub prime' mortgages in the US affects world markets and possibly the real economies, because these debts are sold on without being understood by the purchaser. The panic has affected credit and interest rates everywhere. In an interdependent world this probably has more effect on third world economies than on us. Surely there could be some kind of regulation which would force banks to evaluate such transactions properly beforehand. Why hasnt the international financial community already set its house in order? I dont know but partly because it is not very farsighted, but also there is a lack of will."


A year later, the international banking system collapsed and the world financial system would have ceased to operate had governments not stepped in.

Good to see a Simultaneous Policy Adopter was way ahead in warning of this. Unfortunately the proposal gained insufficient support in voting in 2007 and dropped out of the process. David's proposal for the 'regulation of derivative markets' also failed to gain support:

Which goes to show that the democratic space promoted by Simpol is a great place to look for visionary ideas, but also that people who see the point of ideas need to help in explaining them and encouraging other Adopters to support them. As David said on his proposal for regulating the sale of debt: "This suggestion needs input from someone who undertsands financial markets better than I do."

Following the credit crunch, many journalists and others have investigated these issues and tried to explain them. If the proposal was resubmitted (perhaps in revised form) it would probably do much better in voting. There is now a requirement to have 9 seconders for proposals, which helps to beef up proposals and put together a team to promote them.

Some proposals do perhaps deserve to drop out. Certainly there was little support for Esperanto being made the world language. But it is also worth revisiting some of those that did not catch the imagination of Adopters in past voting. The policy development process is one of reformulation and refinement. See all policies on the discussion board at:

You can post your own 'work in progress' to gain help in developing it and to find seconders at: at:

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