Updated: Sep 16, 2020
There is not a single day where we don’t use national (e.g. GDP and the many related metrics) or private accounting (e.g. revenues, earnings etc).
Our daily use of these metrics have become a second nature. They say a lot about the way we see the world. Tell me what you measure and how you do it and I will tell you where you come from! None of these systems is neutral. They all speak loud about who as a people we are.
The good news is that these standards are living ones and like us evolve over time and adjust to changing circumstances. The bad news is most of us don’t pay much attention.
Interestingly, the Great Depression and the following years were a moment when it changed fast. Very fast.
The 1930’s saw the birth of national or social accounting. Kuznets and Keynes played an important role to see how to measure aggregate activity.
Precisely at the same time In France like in the US private accounting principles also started their long journey towards national and global standards.
Today, after the global financial crisis and the Covid, could we imagine a similar adjustment on both fronts, this time to measure our progress towards a sustainable and fair economy? Thermometers matter.