5 Dec 2010

Urgent need to reform money

Mary Mellor's talk "From Financial Crisis to Public Resource" on Thursday 2nd December at the Subscription Rooms was fascinating and disturbing. Mary Mellor, a Professor at Northumbria University and author of 'The Future of Money', took us through the history of money and showed how the the state is central to the stability of the money system, while the chaotic privately-owned banks reap the benefits without shouldering the risks.

Photos: from the evening - the complete slides from Mary's talk will be available soon

Some 60 people braved the cold to come to the talk - if you missed it I would strongly urge reading Mary's article in Red Pepper earlier this year:

As Mary says if the people have to prop up the system when it fails, why should they not also have control over the supply of money in the first place?

I had a useful DVD 'Money as debt' which was a really good explanation for beginners - see more about that here. I think it is still available as a Youtube here.

It is simply unfair that a system so unstable as that of fractional reserve banking should be guaranteed by the public - the losses are socialised while the profits are privatised. Even Mervyn King has now called for an end to fractional banking - see reports on the excellent website Positive Money: www.positivemoney.org.uk/

I think one of the most shocking aspects is how the banks basically doubled the money supply between 2003 and 2009 - 30% of this was loans to the financial sector - basically creating money out of thin air for themselves - the whole system seems so corrupt and so in need of urgent reform if we are to avoid deeper crisis and evermore taken from the public. Mary is not hopeful about any reforms but talks about a radical rethink that could could release billions ££ for use by the public.
The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Kenneth Galbraith

Stroud Pound this Christmas?

One small small part of the answer is the Stroud Pound. Do join up. Stroud Pound are wanting to encourage folk to aim to buy all Christmas presents with Stroud Pounds this year. Likely outlets include Silverthorn in Nelson Street, which has candles and incense, the Stroud Valleys Project Shop, with its wide selection of recycled and ethical products, including goodies from the Green Shop, and of course Kane's Records and the Stroud Bookshop. Tony's Butchers will have his usual selection of special meats and we have a range of drinks producers include Field Bar Wines, Five Valleys Cordials, and Day's Cottage juices, ciders and perrys.

Here is Molly Scott Cato, who chaired the evening, speaking: "People frequently say to us that they have no need of Stroud Pounds because they already use local shops. But this is missing the point of the local currency in two ways. First, if you spend Stroud Pounds that not only means that your spending is local, but it also puts a pressure into the system for that same money to be spent again - maybe many times - before it is switched back for sterling, which can be spent in chainstores as well. Secondly, when you spend Stroud Pounds 3% of the value goes to the local charity you chose when you joined up. So we are encouraging businesses to support local good causes through this 3%, which they pay when they eventually swap the money back."

Have a look on the list at www.stroudpound.org.uk. Happy Christmas Shopping!

More interesting links:

Molly's excellent blog at:

Wanted: millionaires for social cohesion:

'Enough is enough' is the single most complete collection of policy initiatives, tools, and reforms for an economy that makes enough its goal instead of more. See it at:

'The End of Growth' is a new book out that looks at why growth is ending and peak oil - See a good summary at:

Another cuts site:

Argentinian response to economic crisis (OU film):

Transition Network and Government
Some interesting videos:

10,000 solar panels in Birmingham - see Guardian (although note there are some difficulties still to overcome):

And finally for a closing smile.... or .......

No comments: