James Robertson (founder of The Other Economic Summit (TOES) and the New Economics Foundation (NEF)) has published a pressure campaign to get monetary reform on the agenda of the next G20 meeting on April 2nd (which is meant to be focusing on how to tackle the current financial/economic crisis. How you can begin to approach this subject without considering monetary reform is beyond me…)
The link is: http://www.jamesrobertson.com/g20monetaryreform.htm
And the document is here: http://www.jamesrobertson.com/g20monetaryreform.pdf
There are also lots of other interesting articles on his website as well.
A great deal is wrong and unjust with the monetary systems currently in place that go back generation after generation, globally effecting a great deal of the third world to promote and maintain the lifestyles in the first world. Examples of the IMF and World Bank supporting interest bearing projects to South American countries, with instabilities built into those financial structures as a creator of more long-term and broader problems, are but one facet among many.
The subjects flowing in and out of this forum in many respects are helping awareness but not neccessarily creating solutions.
I've been promoting an author on several threads now that has inteligent ideas and support already in place that I feel will be of great help to you. John Perkins has written two books that I read with both shock and awe called, 'Confessions Of An Economic Hitman' and, ' The Secret History Of The American Empire'. His influence on nations in his past have been catostrophic but, his guilt and personal experiences have helped to adopt many organisations under an umbrella of support.
An interview with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now will hopefully be of great interest to you :-
It is very worthwhile opening "More Info" on the sidebar.
...Wikipedia have this to say of him :-
My main emphasis to this is correcting a wrong...
Hope This Is Helpful,
just as a foot-note, I've just put up the film 'The Corporation' on its own thread. I feel both this film and John Perkins are in perfect symmetry. I'm hoping that if there is enough interest, I'll be adding the information I've given you above to that thread. Here's a link :-
I'd really appreciate your thoughts...
I understand the position of fiat currency leading to disaster. However, in researching the subject, I discovered that Canada (and Britian) has been using this system since the 1930's without any catastrophic consequences thus far. In fact, Canada is seen as one of most economically stable of the G7 countries right now (Although we are in recession as well). If someone in the know can explain this is to me, it would be much appreciated. Is it possible that my belief in the evils of fiat currency are unfounded?
I’m already familiar with your links but thanks anyway – they’re all good sources of information!
I particularly enjoyed the corporation, however having recently spent more time considering monetary theory, I now believe that corporations are (almost) as much a victim of the monetary system as the public. They have ever increasing debts to repay that encourages them to increase their margins by relaying some of their costs to the social and environment sectors (increasing their externalities in economic parlance). (“The Grip of Death” by Michael Rowbotham details this well). That’s not to completely exonerate them for their actions, but the system in which they function is clearly not conducive to reducing their social and environmental impact
For this reason, I believe the first step is monetary reform...
I don’t think fiat currency has to lead to financial disaster. Monetary disasters are caused by either too much or too little “money”, where “money” refers to all fiat physical notes and coins as well as the (the much larger) credit/debt money (numbers in bank accounts). The difficulty is finding a way to match the amount of total money the economy needs to function smoothly. Too little and there’s not enough for transactions and the economy shrinks. Too much “money” and prices escalate (it’s more complicated, but that’s the basic idea).
The part of the money supply that is difficult to control is not the fiat currency, but the credit money because it’s in the hands of private corporations – banks. Govt try to control it via interest rates and reserve ratios but to little affect. Various proposed solutions included removing the central bank that bails out banks that lend “too much” (Austrian approach); increasing reserve ratios to 100% (so banks cant create money); prohibit banks from making money and letting govt have the right of seinorage; using complementary currencies so that if one currency collapses, there is another available to use; backing all money with gold (or other commodity).
The problem with using commodity backed money (i.e. a non fiat currency) is that the money supply is quite inflexible and cannot increase or decrease depending on the changes within the economy. Possibly in developed countries there is a case that the economy (GDP at least) shouldn’t be increasing as we are approaching the limits to growth as marginal costs are greater than marginal benefits (on a macroeconomic scale). However, in developing countries their economies should be allowed to increase, and an inflexible money supply will inhibit this.
Thank you for your answer, but you will have to excuse my ignorance on the issues. If you increase the reserve ratio to 100% will that not leave almost no room for defaults? Is it possible that fiat currency is too flexible and that hyper-inflation due to mismanagement is inevitable? It seems to me that we walk a fine line as we approach maximum growth, but I could be wrong, so convince me otherwise.
Reform starts at home - the first reform I would suggest is that the federal reserve be abolished in the US. Then, after we shed the shackles of the parasitic central bank system we may serve as an example for other nations to follow.
If you increase the reserve ratio to 100% will that not leave almost no room for defaults?
Isn’t that a good thing? Banks should only be lending to those that have a greater than realistic chance of paying it back. But you’re right in that it does instil inflexibility into the money supply.
Is it possible that fiat
currency is too flexible and that hyper-inflation due to mismanagement
Fiat currency (M0) is actually pretty inflexible. It has remained pretty much static over the last 100 years (relative to the total money supply that is). It is credit money that fluctuates a lot. I’d agree that the current system, with the majority of money created as debt (97%) does inevitably lead to mismanagement, but that isn’t the fault of fiat currency, it is caused by allowing private banks to create money as debt.
Hyper-inflation is caused when debts become so high that the government has to inflate its way out of debt by turning on the printing press. The US and UK are all considering this at the moment through “quantitative easing”. At the moment they are just borrowing more money to get the economy going again. That’s not to say that quantitative easing will inevitably lead to hyper-inflation, but once the printing press is on and getting the economy out of trouble, it is tempting for them to leave it on too long and things can then get out of control, especially when the private banks then return to lending and further money creation. The govt-created money then has to be de-liquidated at that point.
So in summary, IMO it is not fiat currency that is the cause of monetary collapses, it is the fact that money is created as debt, and these debts inevitably become too large to handle. The question is: who should control the credit-money creation process so that these collapses don’t occur? Private banks have shown themselves to be inept at this, time and time again. I’d give the right to the government to create money (not as debt) and distribute it in the economy as the people feel right. There are obvious concerns that they’d create too much money so there has to be a mechanism to control this.
Simultaneously, I’d encourage the creation of complementary currencies to run parallel with existing currencies so that in the event of one currency failure the people would be able to use another one in its place. This almost always occurs in places that suffer from financial collapses where local scrips are invented.
See this post on more info:
Either way, there are plenty of other good ideas related to monetary reform but mainstream economic/political thought is (deliberately?) oblivious to them. The first step is to open the debate!
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