A while back I posted Money Books, a collection of my favourite books all about money.
Now, with the global economy struggling on all sides with economic collapse, climate change and peak oil very much beginning to kick in, I thought I share a few more good reads on the subject.
Hopefully lots and lots of people will read these books and we can finally move away from Money as Debt madness towards a saner banking system. :
“A firsthand view of local currencies that are providing alternatives to global capital.
Is conventional money simply a discourse? Is it merely a socially constructed unit of exchange? If money is not an actual thing, are people then free to make collective agreements to use other forms of currency that might work more effectively for them? Proponents of “better money” argue that they have created currencies that value people more than profitability, ensuring that human needs are met with reasonable costs and decent wages—and supporting local economies that emphasize local sustainability. How did proponents develop these new economies? Are their claims valid?
Grappling with these questions and more, Money and Liberation examines the experiences of groups who have tried to build a more equitable world by inventing new forms of money. Presenting in-depth profiles of the trading networks that have been constructed both historically and more recently, including Local Exchange Trading Schemes (England), Green Dollars (New Zealand), Talente (Hungary), and the barter system in Argentina, Peter North shows how the use of currency has been redefined as part of political action, revealing surprising political ambiguity and a nuanced understanding of the potential and limits on alternative currencies as a resistance practice.”
“Only our limited ideas about money are keeping us poor…”
Funny Money is written like a travelogue and features the new alchemists of the USA who have found new ways of conjuring money out of next to nothing. After reading this book, you will never think about money in quite the same way again.
See my draft proposal for Sustainable Enterprise Agency (.pdf) that I wrote back May 2002 after reading this book 🙂
“Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been “privatized,” or taken over by a private money cartel. Except for coins, all of our money is now created as loans advanced by private banking institutions — including the private Federal Reserve. Banks create the principal but not the interest to service their loans. To find the interest, new loans must continually be taken out, expanding the money supply, inflating prices — and robbing you of the value of your money. Web of Debt unravels the deception and presents a crystal clear picture of the financial abyss towards which we are heading. Then it explores a workable alternative, one that was tested in colonial America and is grounded in the best of American economic thought, including the writings of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. If you care about financial security, your own or the nation’s, you should read this book.”
Civil Rights lawyer Edgar Cahn came up with the idea of Time Banking whilst ill in hospital feeling useless. It occurred to him the as a legal expert he wasn’t useless but that whilst in hospital he was totally reliant on the nurse’s and doctor’s time.
He thought about it some more and realised there are probably thousands of older people who feel useless but aren’t. He convinced Elderplan (a health insurance company for old people in US) to give the idea ago and they got some of their customers to try it out.
The results were amazing. Just getting old people to earn time credits by calling each other up to check up on each other had a radically positive effect on their health – so much so that Elderplan started letting those that participated in the system part-pay the insurance premiums in time credits!
And its not just old people either. Everyone can benefit from building new trusting social relations and the sense of community belonging that time banking can induce. 🙂
Which is why now, time banking has become one of the most widespread models of community currency/ mutual credit systems in the world.
“In this book, Ann Pettifor turns her attention away from the debt crisis affecting developing countries and examines the issues of debt affecting the first world or OECD countries. She examines the history and roots of where the current international debt crisis stems from – economic liberalization – and the restructuring of the international financial architecture in the early 1970s. The book goes on to explore the implications of high international indebtedness for governments, corporations, households and individuals. An important and unique contribution is Pettifor’s discussion of the justice and morality of debt, particularly for individuals.”
“The contribution of Douglas-Orage to the incorporation of the non-market sectors of the economy – health, education, social security, the environment – is crucial. The power grab of the banking system that Douglas and his associates identified almost a century ago, have come into a lethal flowering. In the long-overdue reassessment for what passes as economic science, their ideas will require careful attention. The Hutchinson Burkitt book is mandatory for preparing ourselves for the task.”
“Dr. Jaikaran has made a compelling case that our civilization is piling up too much debt, causing debt inflation and creating dangerous monetary conditions. He also provides intriguing information about who owns the Federal Reserve (it’s not who you think), how banking really works, the history of money, where our money comes, what banking systems might offer safer alternative systems from and other important facts.”
“Here is a disquieting dispatch from someone deeply embedded in the financial world and all us amateur punters should sit up and take note. Do not say later you were not warned.” –Lord Desai, Emeritus Professor of Economics, London School of Economics
“We must rethink our centralised monetary system as part of a larger re-examination of existing political economy, according to Solomon. In questioning the passive acceptance of a federal monopoly in producing money, the author challenges prevailing notions of “progress” and “economic life”. Advancing the idea of local currencies to promote a political economy based on empowerment, self-reliance, and ecological permanence, the book discusses three viable systems, all of which are possible under federal and state laws: barter, customer discounts, and local scrip not pegged to the US dollar. The business and practical aspects of each of these systems is considered. This work should be of interest to scholars, students and policy-makers in political economy, money and banking, public finance and public policy.”