Across the world, dreadlocked, falafel-fuelled protesters are gathering in their dozens to camp out outside stock exchanges and areas of commerce to decry the greed that exists in our Corporate world. It is an injustice that cannot be denied. People lining their pockets with millions while so many struggle to just get by from one day to the next is far from an ideal model of how to run a fair and just society.

That said, it’s not clear what the end game is, not at all clear what success looks like from these makeshift campsites and Dylan songs wafting in the evening air. I popped my head by the Occupy London site at St Paul’s just a moment ago and there is little space for the extra protesters that would be required to turn the efforts into a movement that might actually get somewhere. I’m not being cynical but realistic. These particular efforts look set to come to nothing.

Hopefully a partial solution to the huge profits, salaries and bonuses that do exist out there will come through the Parliament, and particularly through pressure from Labour, the Greens and indirectly from the SNP (or directly through independence, but that’s not what this post is about). One of the big problems with the UK right now is that wealth is concentrated in London and the South East of England. Pulling and spreading that wealth out to other parts of the UK is difficult when the majority of profits come from market sectors that would not leave London for love nor money.

My hope is to see policies such as the following come into being:

(1) No one salary in any organisation being more than 10x to 20x the salary of the lowest paid person
(2) All pensions being of equal size irrespective of the role taken within the organisation.

But, perhaps there is something a bit more radical and a bit more distinctly Scottish that can be done to ensure a bit of financial fairness across the UK, and to give Scotland a jumpstart to its economy: – create a Scottish Stock Exchange.

Edinburgh is reported to be the second largest financial centre in the United Kingdom after the City of London and, this may surprise some people, the fourth in Europe by equity assets. On top of this, it is one of the fastest growing city regions in Europe,[2] with strong rates of growth in banking and financial services at the forefront of this success. It can’t build a tram, sure, but it has a very strong European and even global reputation behind it that deserves to be built upon.

Yes, despite not having a stock exchange to revolve Scottish trade and dealing around, we are beating major cities that do – Stockholm, Vienna, Prague, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Dublin and Oslo to name a few. Even cities like Ljubljana, Bratislava, Belgrade, Podgorica (Montenegro), Skopje and Valletta have stock exchanges while Scotland does not.

We wouldn’t want to occupy an Edinburgh Stock Exchange, but we could own and mould it in the Scottish traditions of equality and fairness that would perhaps please even the most leftist of potential protesters north of the border. The opportunity to create increased activity around start-ups, business angels, joint ventures and mergers & acquisitions with such a centre in Scotland’s capital would be a golden one that could usher in a new great age for Scottish fortunes. It would also help Scotland build a can-do mentality by having one thing that we currently leave to other nations out there.

Can one agree with the #Occupy protests while still argue in favour of a new stock exchange for Scotland? I certainly hope so.