It hasn’t been a great year, either for Social Policy Bonds or for policies that are subordinated to outcomes.
Nobody has issued Social Policy Bonds, as far as I am aware, during 2005, nor has there been much professional interest. I have been updating the text of my book Injecting incentives into the achievement of social goals: Social Policy Bonds, to reflect my view that the private sector is more likely to issue Social Policy Bonds than government agencies. I expect to have the text completed during the first quarter of 2006. I haven’t begun looking for a publisher yet. Anybody who has purchased any of my books can email me for an electronic version of the new book, free of charge, at any time. There has been no media coverage of Social Policy Bonds apart from a couple of articles in New Zealand newspapers, in which I offered Climate Stability Bonds as an improvement over the wildly expensive, moribund, Kyoto process.
As regards policy: there has been some delinking of subsidy from production levels in EU agriculture, but absurd tariffs and other import barriers remain as a serious impediment to would-be food exporting developing countries and a continuing threat to the global trading system. Other perverse subsidies, including those to oil extraction and consumption, continue.
Despite this lack of progress, I continue to work on refining and publicising the Social Policy Bond principle. Any suggestions as to how to advance it would be most welcome. I wish all my readers a happy, healthy 2006.