TCC doubles its media coverage since September

Earlier this morning I updated The Cobden Centre’s media page. Since September we have not only again doubled the volume of our coverage but its quality continues firmly on an upwards trajectory. Slowly but surely, bold Cobdenite messages are becoming part of legitimate discourse. While we still have a long way to go, the following link highlights welcome progress. Enjoy!

TCC Development

TCC media moves from second to third gear

Over recent months, TCC’s media profile has gone from strength to strength – with this list of media hits just scratching the surface.

Today, the organisation and its network of voices (board members, senior fellows and advisory board members) are increasingly to be found on the BBC or in such newspapers as the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph. As TCC’s scholarly reputation grows so does its media profile and impact.

This is why I have no doubt that our voices will soon be heard not only in more specialised and esoteric outlets but importantly in ones with much greater mass appeal. If TCC’s media strategy was a motorcar then in recent months it has transitioned from second to third gear. If things go as planned next year will see us move into fourth. In this context, I say: BBC Newsnight, Daily Mail and the Mirror – bring it on!

TCC Development

Mark Seddon join’s TCC’s Advisory Board

Mark Seddon is the former United Nations Correspondent and New York Bureau Chief for Al-Jazeera English TV. He has reported from over twenty countries, including the United States, North Korea, China, Haiti, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has interviewed, amongst others, Ban Ki-Moon, Lech Walesa, Tony Blair, Hans Blix, Michael Foot, Mia Farrow, and George Clooney.

In a journalistic career spanning over twenty years, Mark has been Editor of Tribune and an elected member of the UK Labour Party’s National Executive Committee. He has written for most British newspapers and many magazines, including the Guardian, the Independent, the Daily Mail, The Times, the Spectator, New Statesman, Private Eye, British Journalism Review and Country Life Magazine. For a number of years he was a Diarist at the London Evening Standard, and has also reported for, amongst others, the BBC and Sky TV. He lives in Buckingham, England.

He is a passionate believer in the radical English dissenting tradition, as best represented through Thomas Rainsborough, a Republican officer who served in Parliament’s army and navy; as a Leveller, he clashed with Ireton and Cromwell and died under suspicious circumstances whilst on active service.


Detlev Schlichter becomes Senior Fellow with TCC

I am pleased to announce that Detlev S. Schichter is now a Senior Fellow with The Cobden Centre.

He was born in 1964 in Bocholt, Northrhine-Westfalia, in Germany and studied economics and business administration at the University in Bochum, where he obtained a Diplom-Ökonom.

In 1990, he started his career at J.P. Morgan in Frankfurt as a derivatives trader. Four years later he moved within J.P. Morgan to the asset management division and became a manager of bond portfolios. In 1996, J.P. Morgan relocated him to London to work in their global bond team as a portfolio manager. After two years in that role he left J.P. Morgan and joined Mercury Asset Management in London, which subsequently became Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, and today is BlackRock. Here, Detlev was a director and head of the European bond team.

In 2001, he moved to Western Asset Management (Wamco), one the world’s premier bond firms, headquartered in Pasadena, California. He was head of the London-based investment team and senior portfolio manager on all global investment portfolios. When he left Western Asset Management in the summer of 2009, his team was in charge of $60 billion in client money from institutional investors around the world.

Significantly, Detlev first came across the Austrian School of Economics towards the end of his studies at university in Bochum. This encounter got him hooked and he became an ardent disciple of the Austrian School with Ludwig von Mises having the strongest intellectual influence on him.

The combination of appreciating the Austrians and experiencing financial markets each day as a practitioner (markets which became ever more unstable and ever more dependent on cheap credit) eventually led him to question the sustainability of current monetary arrangements.

Deciding to get out in 2009 and “think for himself”, he left Western Asset Management, rented a small writing office in St. John’s Wood, and began to think about the financial system in earnest. Crucially, he started to write his forthcoming book, Paper Money Collapse – The Folly of Elastic Money and the Coming Monetary Breakdown, which will be published by John Wiley & Sons in the U.S. and the UK in the Autumn of 2011.

Today, Detlev lives with his wife and three children in Hampstead, London.

TCC Development

Lord Caithness joins TCC

For many years, Lord Caithness has opposed Fractional Reserve Banking and has been an ardent supporter of market-oriented reform. Today, he has become a member of The Cobden Centre’s Advisory Board.

Educated at Marlborough College and the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, he is a former Minister of State at the Home Office, the Department of the Environment and the Foreign Office. In 1989, he was the Paymaster-General and since 1990 he has been a member of the Privy Council.

TCC Development

Detlev Schlichter joins TCC’s Advisory Board

I am delighted to announce that Detlev Schlichter is the latest person to join The Cobden Centre’s Advisory Board

Following a near two decade career in financial markets as a derivatives trader and investment manager, which saw him work for J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Western Asset Management, in 2009 he resigned his position in the City to focus on writing his major and forthcoming book: Paper Money Collapse: The Folly of Elastic Money and the Coming Monetary Breakdown (John Wiley & Sons). Detlev also runs an outstanding blog called PaperMoneyCollapse.

If you want to see this great Austrian School economist and writer in action then take a look at this.


The Cobden Centre Christmas reception

TCC has had a great year and, last Thursday, we held our first Cobden Centre Christmas reception in celebration at the National Liberal Club.

In 2010, we have raised our profile and we are now well on our way to being the scholarly, effective and powerful educational charity that our founder and Chairman Toby Baxendale always intended. Today, we are increasingly respected by scholars, students and opinion formers alike.

 Already, TCC teachings are starting to change the parameters of debate concerning money and banking.

Organisationally, it is a slick, professional and cutting edge organisation.

At the beginning of the year, the Chief Executive, Dr. Tim Evans, started to pull together a unique Network of Voices (Senior Fellows), a high quality Academic Advisory Council, and a small number of core staff.

With a web site initially developed by yours truly and, more recently, by Mark Goodhand, the organisation’s web content and visitor numbers have grown spectacularly over the course of the year, as you can see below :

In the Spring, the organisation held a colloquium, its first annual lecture and it launched its Education Network – the latter being made possible with the appointment of its Executive Director of the Education Network, Sam Bowman.

In the summer, the Chief Executive, Dr Tim Evans, launched TCC’s bi-monthly speaker dinners.

With my election to Parliament, the autumn saw the launch of an All Party Parliamentary Group on Economics, Money and Banking, not to mention a Private Members Bill concerned with bank reform, championed by my friend Douglas Carswell MP.

Throughout 2010, TCC Directors, Fellows and Supporters have spoken at many scholarly and educational meetings including Warwick University, Cambridge University, Oxford University, London University, a Conservative Party Conference Fringe Meeting and countless others.

Today, the organisation has a database with many, many hundreds of people on it.

It uses Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to multiply its impact.

And through use of videos and the recent launch of Cobden Centre Radio – ably overseen by Andy Duncan and Brian Micklethwait – the TCC is also becoming a past master at on-line outreach and communications.

Finally, in recent times all of this has started to bear fruit in terms of the organisation’s broader media successes.

Having been recently promoted in newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph, the Wall Street Journal and across a host of blogs and other web sites, we end this year not only established with a good reputation and visibility, but with a firm foundation upon which to prioritise a step change in our fundraising during 2011.

The Cobden Centre is now an active presence in the world of ideas and practical action and we look forward to the years ahead.

Merry Christmas!


Some site statistics

October 2010 was our best-ever month, with over 24,000 hits.

Our top five downloads are:

Visitors came from most of the world but the top five countries were UK, USA, Canada, Spain and Germany. Courtesy of Google Analytics for the year to date, our visitor locations:

Via Google AnalyticsAll in all, quite satisfactory.

TCC Development

View from the bridge

Following the creation of The Cobden Centre by its Chairman, Toby Baxendale, today the organisation is starting to come to the end of its first business plan period and is turn its attention to 2011.

Today, we have successfully brought together an outstanding team including many fabulous writers and thinkers. We have a great web site and blog with lots of regular high quality content and many other features. We have an outstanding events programme.  We have friends across the political spectrum – including growing numbers of supporters in Parliament and elsewhere in Europe and still further afield. Crucially, we are also attracting ever more media attention.

However, this is only the beginning of what is destined to be a long yet exciting journey. Make no mistake, as a dynamic and scholarly organisation in the educative business of expanding the way people think about economics, banking and money – not to mention trade, peace and other key areas – TCC is now well placed to grow and prosper over the years ahead.

It is in this context that next month, in mid-November to be precise, I will be leading the crucial task of building on these early successes with an ongoing and sustained fundraising programme. Having clearly demonstrated just what the organisation can achieve in a relatively short period of time, it is now vital that we build for the long term and in doing so we not only develop a strong membership base, but a diverse network of donors.

In mid-November our online membership page will go live. If however in the meantime you are interested in preemptively making a donation then please email me at If you want to be one of the first people to show your financial support for what we are doing then I look forward to hearing from you.

TCC Development

TCC Welcomes Sam Bowman as its Education Network Executive Director

I am delighted to welcome Sam Bowman as TCC’s newly appointed Education Network Executive Director. A first class graduate in History and Economics from University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland, Sam is currently doing an MA at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies. A former national vice-chair of the Young Progressive Democrats in Ireland, in 2009, he won a full scholarship to the Mises University Economics Conference at Auburn, Alabama, in the US. Winner in 2009 of the John B. O’Brien Annual Prize in History at UCC, in 2010, he won the title of ‘Outstanding Delegate’ in the London International Model United Nations.

Currently, as well as being a part-time intern student with the Adam Smith Institute Sam is putting the finishing touches to TCC’s bi-weekly Austrian reading group seminars. Here, his purpose is to create a small group of roughly ten to twelve undergraduate and postgraduate humanities students and give them a strong grounding in the Austrian school of economics. On this, Sam comments: “This will encourage participants to do Austrian-related work in their fields and form a cadre of intelligent Austrians who will work to promote Austrian thought in British academia. To this end, group’s members will ideally be interested in pursuing academic careers in the humanities and social sciences.”

Following an agreement with the General Director of the Institute of Economics Affairs, Mark Littlewood, the group will meet and be hosted at the IEA’s offices in Westminster. To be initially advertised to students through the University of London’s email service, personal connections and friendly blogs, Sam also expects to involve students from the Universities of Birmingham, East Anglia and alumni of the Mises University.

Concerning the vision of the venture he says: “My ultimate aim is for the group to read Murray Rothbard’s Man, Economy and State. This will give members of the group the firm foundations in Austrian economic thought, which will have practical benefits for students attending the group and can be applied in their academic work. It will also provide a foundation for further study and discussion of the Austrian school. This reading group will offer students the chance to develop their knowledge of Austrian economics and at the same time produce a group of dedicated, enthusiastic proponents of liberty who can spread their ideas. If the first year proves successful, it can be recreated in other British cities and universities under the auspices of The Cobden Centre, and help to create a new generation of Austrian scholars in British academia”.

So, if you want to take part in this venture why not contact Sam directly? You can email him here.