ECC2013/Money Stream/Documentation

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Introductory Material

Key Readings

Additional Readings

  1. The Co-Belongingness of Money and Community
  2. The Design of Money is not Neutral. By Bernard Lietaer, Gwendolyn Hallsmith.
  3. Read this excellent introduction to the negative role of interest-based money by Charles Eisenstein
  4. Best current report on the topic: Creating New Money: A monetary reform for the information age. By Joseph Huber & James Robertson. New Economics Foundation
  5. Arthur Brock: Differences between Open Source and Open Currencies
  6. Kevin Carson introduces the Peer Money debates
  7. Michel Bauwens on the Importance of Peer Money
  8. Alan Rosenblith: We need P2P Architectures for Money!!
  9. Jean-Francois Noubel: Economics of Flow vs Economics of Accumulation
  10. Ellen Brown on the Case for a Public Credit System: Money today is simply credit. When the credit is advanced by a bank, when the bank is owned by the community, and when the profits return to the community, the result can be a functional, efficient, and sustainable system of finance. See also: Money is Not a Thing, but a Relation
  11. Eric Blair: The Greenback vs Goldbug Debate
  12. Charles Eistenstein: Money, the Self, and Negative Interest Money. From Sacred Economics, Chapter 12.
  13. What Should Peer-to-Peer Money Be? By Eli Gothill.
  1. Money is not the Only Value Measurement System . By Geoff Chesshire .
  2. Why Peer to Peer Currencies will Grow
  3. Bernard Lietaer: The Four-tiered Monetary System of the Future
  4. In his landmark essay, Valuing the Ethical Economy, Adam Arvidsson explains why we need Wealth Acknowledgment Systems for the Ethical Circuit of Value
  5. Must reading: Charles Eisenstein on Why Demurrage needs to replace interest (see the entry on Demurrage). Also: Money and the Crisis of Civilization on why the current crisis is also an endgame.
  6. The case for open money. See also: Open Money Manifesto]
  7. Ran Prieur: Fire vs. Water Economies, and the role of Demurrage in this tradition.
  8. Essential theoretical and historical introduction to the long term history of money and debt, as rooted in social violence, by David Graeber at http://www.metamute.org/en/content/debt_the_first_five_thousand_years
  9. Eric Harris-Braun on the necessary Difference between Multi-currency Platforms and Market Making Platforms
  10. Thomas Greco: Why Exchange Alternatives Fail to Thrive
  11. Robin Wood: Shifts in Value Exchange and Human Development: applying the spiral dynamics model to value exchange
  12. The three modalities of Production Sharing, i.e. working together for a common pool, without individual exchange or barter: 1) Labor Quota System‎; 2) Fair-Share Labor System‎; 3) Anti-Quota Labor System‎
  13. Why Matrifocal Societies Use Dual Currencies. Bernard Lietaer. [6]
  14. Steve Keen on Why We Need to Tackle Debt Pushing, not Money Creation
  15. Introduction to the Eight Forms of Capital‎

Projects

  1. Banco Palmas, in Brazil, emits a local currency and supports the local economy. Video: The Story of Banco Palmas in Brazil
  2. The Common Good Bank initiative [7]
  3. The Metacurrency Project: the tci/ip platform for diverse currency creation: see the Flowspace project as first attempt to establish sucn an infrastructure for Free Currencies
  4. Open Coin: an actual published open specification for creating distributed digital currency
  5. The creation of the Open Source Hardware Reserve Bank. Details here
  6. Multiswap.net: A free platform for circular barter exchange


  • Longstanding historical experiments:
  1. WIR Economic Circle Cooperative: this 70-old Swiss mutual credit clearing system is getting traction as a model for the rest of Europe
  2. The historical experience of the Worgl Shillings
  3. The Swedish interest-free JAK Bank [8] [9]



Citations

= free currencies embody this fundamental and universal claim that any citizen, any community, any organization has the right to create tools for wealth to flow. No individuals, no community should be dependent on monopolistic and private currencies, unless they have decided so. [10]


To survive and thrive, human systems *need* a not just a network view, but a multi-dimensional, multi-scaled view and definition of systems. this will help us see how many, many people can operate and multiply many forms of wealth within systems that previously seemed easily depletable. Peer networks are vital to creating the multi-dimensional maps and models and views that will allow all of us to see the cornucopia of options that now exist, provided we can shift out focus from exploitation and control, to existential symbiosis with everything that is around us, on as many scales as possible.

- Sam Rose


I think its important to distinguish "currency" from a reputation measurement. Implicit in the term currency is the idea that it can be exchanged for something.A system for "recognition" is only a currency if that recognition is exchangable for something.

- Tom Salfied


“According to Margrit Kennedy, a German researcher who has studied this issue extensively, interest now composes 40% of the cost of everything we buy. We don’t see it on the sales slips, but interest is exacted at every stage of production.”

- Ellen Brown [11]


On Open Money

You treasure what you measure, and you measure what you treasure. Open money provides the tools to implement this maxim. What should we be treasuring in our culture and on our planet that we so far have no way to measure?

- Open Money [12]


Money is making a fundamental evolutionary step into community currencies. Conventional money as we know it has a built in architecture that leads to scarcity, centralization, concentration, secrecy, proprietarization. This conventional monetary system is not appropriate to dealing with today's global systemic challenges (harmonizing local and global needs, creating ecological sustainability, enabling the information economy, leveraging the open source paradigm, etc). Just as there are now millions of media outlets today, currencies will follow this same evolution by shifting from centralized authoritative models to distributed ones that allow better sustainability, distribution, transparency, and regulation mechanisms.

- Open Money [13]


How to best transcend the current economic mess? Put Jeff Bezos, Pierre Omidyar, Elon Musk, Tim O’Reilly, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Nathan Myhrvold, and Danny Hillis in a room somewhere and don’t let them out until they have framed a new, massively-distributed financial system, founded on sound, open, peer-to-peer principles, from the start. And don’t call it a bank. Launch a new financial medium that is as open, scale-free, universally accessible, self-improving, and non-proprietary as the Internet, and leave the 13th century behind.”

- George Dyson [14]

Depression Economics

"During periods of so-called economic depression, societies suffer for want of all manner of essential goods, yet investigation almost invariably discloses that there are plenty of goods available. Plenty of coal in the ground, corn in the fields, wool on the sheep. What is missing is not materials but an abstract unit of measurement called ‘money.’

- Tom Robbins [15]


Leakages from the local economy

"Poor liquidity and leakage (money flowing from the local economy) are key causes for floundering and/or disappearing regional economies. To overcome these shortfalls local communities should be increasing local liquidity and plugging the leakage through the introduction of complementary community currencies thereby re-building their respective local communities in the coal mining area of Wales. When local residents within their respective communities changed the agreements they had about conventional money, by creating and spending complementary community currencies locally instead of spending only diminishing amounts of federal currency with giant corporations, it commenced re-birth in the local communities. Molly used the term local multiplier when she discussed how local liquidity increased proportionately to the amount of complementary community currency being circulated by those who were choosing to participate."

- (from a summary of) Molly Scott reporting on complementary currencies in Wales [16]


Aristotle on unnatural wealth

"There are two sorts of wealth-getting, as I have said; one is a part of household management, the other is retail trade: the former necessary and honorable, while that which consists in exchange is justly censured; for it is unnatural, and a mode by which men gain from one another. The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural."

- Aristotle [17]


The Disintermediation of the Banks

"First, the distribution monopoly of the Postal Services was hit hard by the Net as people discovered they didn’t need to buy stamps. Then, the copyright industry’s distribution monopoly was flatly and unceremoniously run over. As a third and fairly recent victim, we find the old centralized journalism with its tightly controlled news distribution. As fourth and coming victim, there’s an information distribution few people have thought of in terms of information: the money in our society."

- Rick Falkvinge [18]


On the End of Banking

“There is no reason products and services could not be swapped directly by consumers and producers through a system of direct exchange – essentially a massive barter economy. All it requires is some commonly used unit of account and adequate computing power to make sure all transactions could be settled immediately. People would pay each other electronically, without the payment being routed through anything that we would currently recognize as a bank. Central banks in their present form would no longer exist – nor would money.”

– Mervyn King – Governor of the Bank of England [19]

Recommended Reading for the Money stream

Source: The Wealth of the Commons. A world beyond market and state. Ed. by David Bollier and Silke Helfrich. Commons Strategies Group. Levellers Press, 2012 [20]

  • Reclaiming the Credit Commons: Towards a Butterfly Society, by Thomas H. Greco, Jr. [21]