Momentum builds for reform of money system

Ben Dyson: There is real momentum building in the movement to reform our privatised, debt-based money system

It’s been two years of hard work since we launched Positive Money, and encouragingly, we’re now seeing more and more economists recognising and talking about the ability that banks have to create money.

Even the chairman of the Financial Services Authority is at it. At this year’s annual conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, referring to money existing digitally as numbers in our bank accounts, Lord Turner stated: “Banks can create credit and private money.”

He continued: “It is the case that before the crisis we not only failed to have policies that controlled the credit boom, but that we made it worse through catastrophic policy mistakes, justified by poor economics.”

When some of the most senior economists in the country recognise that banks create money when they make loans, and that this was at the centre of the crisis, then we are getting much closer to addressing the root problem.

Earlier this year, Positive Money and the New Economics Foundation presented to members of the National Assembly for Wales, at an event that was set up by both Labour and Conservative assembly members – an encouraging sign that politicians realise that reforming money is too important to use as a political football.

Assembly members Julie Morgan and Darren Millar are now establishing an all-party group focussed on money and how alternative money systems could provide a stimulus to the local economy in Wales.

Meanwhile, around the country, 70 individuals have been training to become speakers for the Positive Money campaign and will be presenting at events nationally to help spread the word as quickly as possible. When money drives almost all activity on the planet, it’s essential that we understand it, and our newly trained speakers will help to bring that understanding to everyone who is concerned about the social and economic challenges we’re facing today.

There is increasing evidence that people are starting to ask key questions about the monetary system that underlies our society. Questions like: “Where does money come from? Who decides how it gets used? And what impact does that have on the world we live in?”

Fortunately, there is a new documentary that answers these questions. Released on 1 May 2012, 97% Owned reveals how money is at the root of our current social and economic crisis. Featuring frank interviews and commentary from economists, campaigners and former bankers, it points to simple and effective ways to change our monetary system. These changes would lead to a healthier, more stable economy with less debt, less poverty and less inequality.

97% Owned can be watched online for free at: