Professor Jem Bendell

notes from a strategist and educator on social and organisational change

Learning About the Monetary Crisis

Posted by jembendell on November 2, 2011

Ive been delighted in the interest generated by my TEDx talk on money in September. In addition to general enthusiasm, some friends and others have asked me about monetary systems, or challenged me on my depiction of them. These conversations have not got onto what to do about flawed monetary systems, as they are stuck in simple misunderstandings about the history of money, the current nature of money, and its implications for our economy, society and environment. As I mentioned in my talk, we have so many unfounded assumptions about money. Im amazed at how many high flyers in various walks of life confidently make outlandish statements about the history, nature or effect of monetary systems. We need a better understanding of these issues to then have an informed debate about solutions, and to know where to put our efforts. Ill write more about those solutions and how to get involved in a future post, but for now, here are some resources to wise up on money.

Books on the problem of debt-money:
The End of Money and the Future of Civilisation, by Thomas Greco Jr
The Future of Money, by Bernard Lietaer
The Ecology of Money, by Richard Douthwaite
The Lost Science of Money, by Stephen Zarlenga

Videos on the problem of debt-money:
Money as Debt
Money as Debt II
Money as Debt III, available from http://www.moneyasdebt.net/
Money Masters
Also see The Money Fix, Lets Make Money, and 97% owned, which can be ordered online after searching.

Interviews with an academic explaining monetary systems:
Professor Richard Werner

For proposals, training, action and analysis of action, focused on complementary currencies (rather than other solutions to the debt-money problem) see:

Value for People
International Journal of Community and Complementary Currency Research
Community Currency Magazine
Community Forge
And there’s a list of more blogs on complementary currencies.

For information and campaigns on monetary reform:
Positive Money campaign in the UK
American Monetary Institute in the USA

A multi-stakeholder dialogue on the future of finance, that includes sub-groups working on this issue is the Finance Innovation Lab

A couple of entrepreneurs looking at business opportunities from these issues include:
http://www.chrismartenson.com
http://www.simondixon.org

(For transparency: I co-developed the concept for The Finance Lab when at WWF-UK in 06/07 and am an advisor to Community Forge since 2010).

Once you read into some of this you might start wondering if its all to big to tackle… but it isnt, there are many things we, and importantly, our organisations, our employers, our local governments, can do right now. More on that in future blogs.

My ted talk is online.

Feel free to add more links to relevant resources.

11 Responses to “Learning About the Monetary Crisis”

  1. matslats said

    Very postive and powerful direction you are taking. Great resource roundup!

  2. Jem said

    Here is another book roundup. http://emergentbydesign.com/2011/08/10/13-books-on-the-future-of-money-new-economy/

  3. RE; TRANSFINANCIAL ECONOMICS………

    I think my project would be of great interest.

    http://www.p2pfoundation.net/Transfinancial_Economic

  4. I enjoyed your TED talk. Could you please provide additional information about the organization in India that was working on alternative currency software?

    Also, “Scared Economics” by Charles Eisenstein, “The End of Economics : An Islamic Critique of Economics” by Umar Vadillo and “Dissolving Dollars” by Alex Marchand are all worth mentioning.

  5. Jem said

    thx. http://www.communityforge.net

  6. Jem said

    and after reading a variety of books on the topic, my favourite for background is The Money Changers by David Boyle. http://www.david-boyle.co.uk/books/moneychangers.html

  7. Jem said

    also, ive just discovered the 2010 book called “Earth Capitalism” with a foreword by Bill Gates, has a chapter on complementary currencies.
    http://books.google.ch/books?id=KQivVHd39hQC&dq

  8. People might also want to check out our book “People Money- the Promise of Regional Currencies”, which contains profiles of 16 leading local currency systems from around the world, the direct voices of the ‘doers’ on the front line of innovation:
    http://www.triarchypress.com/pages/Regional-Currencies-People-Money.htm

  9. RachelAB said

    I’ve found the Planet Money podcast (produced by National Public Radio in the US) also helpful, especially the episodes that they co-produced with “This American Life.” They dug into the monetary crisis pretty much when the recent one became obvious to most folks in 2009.

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