NSFM Supporter Michael Mainelli's New Book - 'The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions'

The world is faced with a series of vicious and apparently insurmountable difficulties, chief among them unstable financial markets, rapidly diminishing resources and an eco-system that is becoming dangerously volatile.

While we like to think that economies, commercial organizations, agricultural and financial systems are “built to last”, creating stable, enduring value remains elusive. In The Price of Fishwe seek to examine, in a unique way, the world’s most abiding and wicked problems – sustainability, global warming, overfishing, overpopulation, the pensions crisis and excessive pay; all of which are characterized by a set of messy, circular, aggressive and peculiarly long-term problems.  We suggest that it is not the circumstances of wicked problems that are too complex, but our way of reading them that is too simple. Too simple and often wrong.

A good example of a wicked problem is diminishing fish stocks; the price of fish cannot be right when there is over-fishing, hunger and ruined seas. Getting to the right price will require a blend of different answers, such as tradable quotas and certification standards for sustainability.

Looking to the models developed by quantum physicists like David Deutsch, author of The Fabric of Reality, we look to blend the four streams of any scenario –choice, economics, systems and evolution – a combination we believe is the key to finding new insights, making better decisions and, in turn, finding answers to the world’s most pernicious and long-term problems.

The Price of Fish: A New Approach To Wicked Economics and Better Decisions,Michael Mainelli and Ian Harris, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2011.