Positive Money Meeting – UK (Manchester)
Hello to the UK PP'ers. I recently received an email from Positive Money regarding an upcoming event and was wondering if any of you will be in attendance. I'll be going along.
Details are here
Date: Wednesday 21st October. Time 19:00 – 21:00. Location: Friend's Meeting House, Manchester, M2 5NS
I couldn't find an agenda but from the information in the link the subject matter relates to the creation of money (read 'electronic debt tokens') and QE for the people. I'm interested in learning what others mean by the term 'QE for the people' and whether they think it'll solve problems such as personal debt and the cost of housing.
Hope to see you there,
Positive Money Write-Up
Manchester Discussion Group 21-10-15
This was a meeting of about 20 people invited to a discussion about Positive Money. Positive Money aims to reform the Bank Charter of 1844 (United Kingdom) by removing money creation from the private sector and allowing government the sole right to create money to invest in productive assets. Most of the group are well informed about fiat currency and how 97% of the UK’s monetary supply is digital.
Section 11 of the 1844 Bank Charter states;
“11 Restriction against issue of bank notes.
It shall not be lawful for any banker to draw, accept, make, or issue, in England or Wales, any bill of exchange or promissory note or engagement for the payment of money payable to bearer on demand, or to borrow, owe, or take up, in England or Wales, any sums or sum of money on the bills or notes of such banker payable to bearer on demand.”
However, it did not prevent banks from creating bank deposits from loans (I suspect that this was an oversight but I could be wrong).
The event was hosted by Adrian and Marie from the Positive Money Group. This was the first discussion group in Manchester but there are others in Newcastle, Sheffield and Bradford. A Northern Conference is provisionally booked for 16th April 2016 which I suspect will be a more formal event with presentations.
The first part of the event was a round the group introduction aimed at establishing a point of reference and what you hoped to get out of the meeting.
Topics on people’s lips were;
- · Local Banks as opposed to National Banks. (So institutions like Credit Unions or other small practices currently without a banking licence).
- · Transition Towns
- · Post Crash Economic Society
- · Canada’s credit creation (think tank suing Canadian Finance Minister, Bank of Canada and Queen of England for undermining Canada’s financial sovereignty)
- · Steve Keen – debt jubilee
- · Devolution (Manchester using devolutionary powers as promised by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, to set up a localised banking sector)
- · Cooperative Loyalty Points – Money earned into existence through deeds and then spent in the local economy (my personal favourite)
- · People fed up with corporations ruling the roost
- · Current economic model brings environmental damage and social injustice
- · Mention of the Ben Dyson monetary video – aided to simplify economics
- · QE for the People – helicopter drop
So what is Positive Money? Positive Money aims to reform the Banking Act of 1844 by reaching out to politicians and making them aware of money creation so that they can pass legislation to prevent private banks from creating credit. The Bank of England would create money to fund productive assets (not speculation) with oversight from government.
The focus was very much an awareness campaign – get the public and politicians on board to implement change. This resulted in a need to simplify the message (not only a political issue but also an educational one) – by following 3 tenets; digestible, understandable, memorable. It must be something people can engage with directly.
Other than a mention about environmental impacts at the start of the meeting the group did not link the economy to energy. I’m hoping as we go on these details will get teased out.
During the discussion another idea came out that was not linked to the focus of Positive Money. It was a step in the other direction (away from centralisation) in the form of Cooperative Loyalty Points. These points would operate like supermarket loyalty points and would be time stamped to avoid hoarding. They would be earned into existence though deeds (such as repairing a neighbour’s roof) and then redeemed as a discount on goods and services (mostly underutilised services such as off-peak transport).
Expanding on the Cooperative Loyalty Point system would include agriculture – small scale gardens and allotments exchanging excess produce for tools or compost. Effectively, people without access to credit could gain access to CLPs by utilising their idle labour.
Overall, we covered a lot of ground in the two hours and it seemed to me that there were two distinct themes;
1) A centralised solution to reform the Bank Charter of 1844 as proposed by Positive Money
2) A local solution to earn time-stamped, electronic points into existence which are then spent locally on underused assets
As an aside, it was nice to sit with a group of people who don’t stare back blankly when the term ‘money creation’ is mentioned. The fact that others ‘get it’ is really quite comforting and the fact that alternatives were actually being discussed was a much needed boost to morale.
Hi Luke interesting post, I'll take a look at there site.
I'm in Sheffield so will see if there is a meet here.