My Name is Bond, Youth Bond!

I am a memorial to all who died young,
Who gave their lives, who lost them.

To all who have no work, no hope, no future,
I exist to make amends, to right the wrongs,
To give now what then was rent away.

To make that the coming day
Ensures for all the generations hence
What, denied, their forebears never knew
– a life lived full, initiatives unfolded. 

But this above all else I pledge:
That those initiatives be fully funded.

Poem by Christopher Houghton Budd.
Photo by Marc Desaules is of the Raoul Hunter statue, Quebec City, Canada.

The Inception of Youth Bonds

The idea of youth bonds arose in 2011 and 2012. Firstly, as a proposal to Buenos Aires Legislature, then as an idea for the government of Flanders in link with its World War 1 commemorative events. In this case, commemorating the lost generation of that war.

In its 2011 publication, The Great War Centenary in Flanders, the Government of Flanders looks to a world in which there is “no more war, in a sustainable manner”, in which “tolerance and international understanding” prevail, and which shows that it “drew lessons for the future.” It goes on to say that, “what is needed is an integrated historical account that re-examines WW1 ... using a holistic approach” that entails commemorating the tragic events of 100 years ago by creating a heritage that spans from special, fixed landscapes, through moveable events, to “intangible cultural heritage.

Called Regeneris Youth Bonds in that project, the idea was to extend the intangible end of this spectrum by way of a financial ‘event’, the creation of youth bonds, designed to engender a positive contribution to society on the part of today’s youth that has the potential to forgive and make good the ruination back then of whole swathes, if not an entire generation, of young men. The project is addressed to anyone ‘out there’ who has the will and means to give it life. A fuller description of the idea is found in this lecture given in Brussels, 18 June 2012: From World War to World Crisis: Reflections on today's financial turmoil.

How Youth Bo
nds Work

Youth bonds are an idea awaiting their moment; seeds pending rain then sunshine. They work in the following way:

Bond Issuer / Bond Holders
A bond issuer (government, municipality, private person) issues bonds to bond holders at a price and on terms to be determined by the market. Payment of interest is guranateed by the Disaffected Youth Budget (see below).

Young Entrepreneur
The money so borrowed is then on-lent to young people to finance their projects, provided these projects are managed in the context of a financial plan, showing their profitability expectations and pay-back possibilities. From these in turn derive the term of the bond and the amount payable as interest – that is, out of the facts of the real economy, not out of the wishes of the financial economy.

The young entrepreneurs are required to take courses in financial literacy so that they know how to keep accounts, control their balance sheet and maintain positive cash flow. In positive cash flow lies financial and therefore ethical sovereignty – one’s freedom to take initiative. Financial planning is their collateral; no collateral is taken in the form of real or other security.

Disaffected Youth Budget
This budget is needed to meet the costs of young people who cannot find their way in life. However, rather than use it to cover rehabilitational or even custodial expenses and the like, it is held in reserve to pay the interest on bonds in the event the initiatives of young people are unable to. The idea is to use this budget as a buffer, enabling time for young people to find their feet then follow wherever they might lead. For this will always have a positive economic consequence, whereas funding disaffection seldom does.

First Movers
Any new idea needs first movers. The question is, where, how, when and who will they be. Hopefully, it will not be long before the world knows the answer to this question.

Download for more details. Comments welcome via the contact page, please.

See example here: Folkestone Youth Fund