A Chartered Economist?

13 December 2011

Housing Start

An economic “green shoot” has appeared, right in my own neighborhood, a genuine “housing start”. Though the temperature has already sunk below freezing, the crew shows up dutifully every morning at 7:30, lays out its equipment and begins hammering at 8 on the dot. Take heart, O! The stimulus is kicking in at last, and not a day too early!

This week will be a three ring circus at FINCA, as we have an all day audit committee meeting tomorrow and board meetings for the foundation and FINCA Microfinance Holdings on Thursday and Friday. On the other side glimmers the promise of a wonderful Holiday Season, if I can manage to drag my burnt out husk that far.

Today I will be occupied with some last minute budget adjustments. Unlike the U.S. government’s, FINCA’s budget must be real, with actual income and expenses, not with wildly optimistic tax receipts balanced by risibly low cost projections.

It’s amazing that after all this time, we still let the U.S. government and our politicians get away with these games. I have the solution: Chartered Economists.

One reason I left the economist profession (?) is that, unlike lawyers and accountants, economist were never wise enough to license themselves in such a way that no pieces of paper key to the running of a business could move without their signature upon it. This meant, obviously, that we could not hold businessmen for ransom as lawyers and accountants can.

We could change this if we required budgets to be certified as authentic — with real income and real expenses — by a Chartered Economist who can be imprisoned if he or she fudges the numbers — even at the request of the Commander-in-Chief. This would end the time honored ritual of presenting us with fantasy budgets every year here in Washington.

And, of course, generate a handsome fee for we “chartered economists”.

Rupert Scofield


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