Monetary Reform

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Here's an introduction to various approaches to monetary reform

The two most discussed reforms are the introduction of demurrage (i.e. the accumulation of money should cost something so it cannot be speculatively hoarded), and the reform of seigneurage, the contemporary monopoly of private banks to issue money, so that it can be freed up for use by local communities.

See the related entries on Taxation Reform and Basic Income

There are also some groups that want to eventually replace money and barter altogether, transitioning society to a resource-based economy where wealth acknowledgment systems aren't needed; see The Venus Project, RBE Foundation and The Zeitgeist Movement for more information.

Demurrage-based currencies


There seems to be a consensus amongst monetary reformers that a key change would be the replacement of interest with the system of demurrage:

"As a matter of fact, there are money systems that encourage sharing not competition, conservation not consumption, and community, not anonymity. Pilot versions of such systems have been around for at least a hundred years now, but because they are inimical to the larger patterns of our culture, they have been marginalized or even actively suppressed. Meanwhile, many creative proposals for new modes of industry such as Paul Hawken's Ecology of Commerce, and many green design technologies, are uneconomic under the current money system[1]. The alternative money systems I describe below will naturally induce the economies described by visionaries such as Hawken, E.F. Schumacher, Herman Daly, and others. They will also reverse the progressive nationalization and globalization of every economic sector, revitalize communities, and contribute to the elimination of the "externalities" that put economic growth at odds with human happiness and planetary health. Given the determining role of interest, the first alternative currency system to consider is one that structurally eliminates it. As the history of the Catholic Church demonstrates, laws and admonitions against interest are ineffective if its structural necessity is still present in the nature of the currency. A structural solution is needed, such as the stamp-scrip system proposed by Silvio Gesell in The Natural Economic Order. Also known as demurrage, Gesell's "free-money" (as he called it) bears a form of negative interest. Every week a stamp costing a tiny fraction (say 0.1%) of the currency's denomination must be affixed to it, in effect a "user fee" or a "maintenance cost"; another way to look at it is that the currency "goes bad"--depreciates in value--as it ages. If this sounds like a radical proposal that could never happen, it may surprise you to learn that Gesell's ideas were praised by no less an authority than John Maynard Keynes himself. What's more, the system has actually been tried out and it worked!

Although demurrage was applied as long ago as Ancient Egypt in the form of a storage cost for commodity-backed currency, the best-known example of instituted in the town of Worgl, Austria, in 1932 by its beloved mayor Uttenguggenberger. To remain valid, each piece of this locally-issued currency required a monthly stamp costing 1% of its face value. Instead of generating interest and growing, accumulation of wealth became a burden--much like possessions are a burden to the nomadic hunter-gatherer. People therefore spent their income quickly, generating intense economic activity in the town. The unemployment rate plummeted even as the rest of the country slipped into a deepening depression; public works were completed, and prosperity continued until the Worgl currency was outlawed in 1933 at the behest of a threatened central bank.

Demurrage has a number of economic, social, and psychological effects that are highly relevant to our discussion. Conceptually, demurrage works by freeing material goods, which are subject to natural cyclic processes of renewal and decay, from their linkage with a money that only grows, exponentially, over time. As established in Chapter Four, this dynamic is what is driving us toward ruin in the utter exhaustion of all social, cultural, natural, and spiritual wealth. Demurrage currency merely subjects money to the same laws as natural commodities, whose continuing value requires maintenance."

2. The two main planks of currency reform, explained by Thelma Weeks:


First of all the proposals address two main problems within today's monetary system -

1. The right that Central Banks have to issue money at will, almost without restrictions and without any backing. This right, the uncovered loans and the ensuing interest will have to go.

2. The new system will no longer be built on growth. Without the burden of interest companies no longer need their customers to pay for their loan repayments (an estimated 30% on every article being bought in Europe). This will get rid of inflation and companies can concentrate on production that meets a real need.

The new financial system incorporates the numerous complementary currencies (approximately 5000 at the last count) to sustain the co-operative trade system, alongside the present currencies for competitive global trade. Complimentary currencies - currencies created and issued by co-operating people, used for exchange within a defined context and interest free - are to used wherever appropriate to stimulate local, regional and national trade. They are seen as especially useful to achieve specific aims in specific areas. A lot of these complimentary currencies already exist - e.g. air miles, bonus points barter schemes, LETS, Time Dollars and the Japanese National Health currency. It is further proposed that there is a demurrage (opposite of interest) for currency which is not in circulation('savings accounts') to encourage the use of currency as an active tool for trade and exchange. Money should have the same function in the societal body as blood has in the human body. When it gets stuck it causes problems. For that reason the demurrage has historically proved its viability. The new system will address many existing challenges in our society and have an immediate effect on poverty, starvation and inequality. Not to mention the damage to ecosystems. It will be part of the present emerging paradigm/consciousness shift from fear and insecurity to confidence and trust of a large part of humanity to implement these proposals. If everyone understands where the present system doesn't work and why and more importantly what it obstructs or undermines then we can all focus on the alternatives and the successful experiments that are already taking place and build on them.

3. An example of Demurrage: Worgl


"The greatest success stories of complimentary currencies are in picking up ravaged communities and helping to get them on their feet. A primary example that Lietaer and Kennedy cite is the Worgl, a currency created by a small Austrian town during the great depression. The town of Worgl had high unemployment and lacked the money to pay for its normal infrastructure services, so they killed two birds with one stone by printing a local currency they could pay people to do civic work with, and which could only be used in the local area. They also made the value of the currency time-decaying (or "demurring", as it's properly called) by 12% per year, which caused people to spend it rapidly--increasing the "velocity of money", which in a sense multiplies the amount of money in the community. In about one year, Worgl dropped its unemployment rate by 25% and increased public-works investment by 220%, while the rest of Austria slid further into depression. The experiment was only stopped because the Austrian government was worried that its control over the national money system would be threatened. Today in the Brazilian favela of Palmeira, a local currency called the Palma is helping to lift the residents out of poverty; it is working much more slowly than the Worgl did, but it does not circulate as much because its value does not demur over time."

Reforming the system

Abolishing seigneurage


Seigneurage is the privilege of commercial banks to create money. It is a privilege that should be abolished.

1. Herman Daly

"Daly broached an area of social wealth that is rarely explored -- the private privilege of issuing money, called seigniorage. Historically, this was the king's prerogative that was later passed to the commercial banking sector. Some 95 percent of the US's money supply exists in the form of demand deposits and loans made by banks. Under our system of fractional reserve banking, which allows banks to retain only a small fraction of money on hand as a reserve against money lent out, banks are able to reap enormous private profits through their seignorage privileges. Why not gradually raise the reserve requirement to 100 percent, asked Daly, and reap some public gain from the ability to create money? Daly conceded he might be regarded as a "monetary crank" in making this proposal, but cited some illustrious economists of the 1920s who agreed with him. (Note: James Robertson, a progressive-minded economist in Great Britain, has also proposed reforms along these same lines. See his speech, "The Alternative Mansion House Speech," by James Robertson of the New Economics Foundation, London, and his report, with Joseph Huber, "Creating New Money.")

2. Reforming the Seigneurage, James robertson


"The necessary reform is simple - but our minds should not be repelled by its simplicity! There are two sides to it.

(1) Central banks should create the amount of new non-cash money (as well as cash) they decide is needed to increase the money supply. They should credit it to their governments as public revenue. Governments should then put it into circulation as public spending. In deciding how much new money to create, central banks should operate with a high degree of independence from their governments - as the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England now does.

(2) It should be made illegal for anyone else to create new money denominated in the official currency. Commercial banks will then be excluded from money creation. They will be limited to credit-broking as other financial intermediaries are - borrowing, but no longer creating, the money they need to lend.

This reform will restore "seigniorage", in a form adapted to the conditions of the Information Age. That is to say, it will restore the prerogative of the state to issue money, and to capture as public revenue the income that arises from issuing it, in an age when most money has become information. Originally, seigniorage was the revenue enjoyed by monarchs and local rulers from minting coins. It reflected the fact that the coins were worth more than the costs of producing them. As, over several centuries, the physical characteristics of money have changed from metal to paper to electronic bits and bytes, and as banking practices have developed, the relative importance of that original source of seigniorage has gradually dwindled. Now that almost all money takes the form of electronic entries in computerised bank accounts, extending the traditional principle of seigniorage to non-cash money will correct the anomaly that has grown up over the years.

The arguments for this monetary reform are not limited to the contribution it will make to public revenue, considerable though that will be. As the report explains, it will have beneficial social and environmental effects. It will be very beneficial for the economy as a whole. For example, it will tend to bring about lower interest rates and lower inflation; and it will tend to create greater economic stability, by enabling the central bank to smooth out the peaks and troughs of business cycles more effectively than it can do today. It will also help to clarify monetary statistics, monetary definitions and monetary terminology. This is a crucial point. The distinction between means-of-payment money and store-of-value money - between the functions of sight deposits and savings deposits - has become blurred in recent decades. The result is that the concepts and definitions on which monetary understanding and policy-making are based are now even more obscure than they were before. It is not at all clear what is now included in the "money supply". The different definitions of money - M0, M1, etc, up to M4 - are abracadabra to most people. One might imagine that a monetary priesthood had deliberately set out to conceal from citizens and politicians of democratic countries how the money system works, and how it could be made to work better for the common good. The proposed reform will mean that the whole stock of national currency circulating in the economy will have been issued by the central bank. It will include all the non-cash money in everyone's current accounts, together with the cash which everyone holds. It will be easy to calculate how much of it there is. It will no longer be necessary to juggle with M0, M1, M2, M3, M3 extended, M4, and so on. There will simply be the one amount of plain money M. Everyone - and that includes politicians, officials, bankers and monetary experts, as well as a growing number of citizens, bank customers and taxpayers - will be able to understand better than today how the system works. As befits the citizens of a democracy, we will be better able to evaluate and discuss the monetary and financial policies and policy options which are presented to us. This reform will mark an essential further step towards what, at the Mansion House last year, Chancellor Gordon Brown called "transparency in policy-making, involving an open system of decision-making in both monetary and fiscal policy".

Using a systems approach


Book: Gaian Democracies: Redefining Globalisation & People-Power by Roy Madron and John Jopling

This book uses systems theory to analyse the current monetary system and suggest radical changes in its `protocol'. From a book review at the Prospertity site.

Gaia is the name of the Greek goddess of Earth. On the 10th June a new book, Gaian Democracies: Redefining Globalisation & People-Power by Roy Madron and John Jopling was launched at the London School of Economics.

"To illustrate the power of thinking in systems terms, John then took seven propositions about systems and used them to look at two different systems: the Global Monetocracy, today's highly dysfunctional system; and Gaian Democracy, a system designed with justice and sustainability in mind. The propositions were: thinking in systems terms means seeing whole systems; all human systems have a purpose; systems are self organising and self generating; all systems are always changing; systems go through various stages; systems sometimes get into a vicious spiral; and, while the imperative for change may come from outside the system, change takes place within it. John argued that the Global Monetocracy is a single system with money growth as its purpose; that it is self-organising, always changing and moving through different stages; and that it is currently in a vicious spiral. This, he said, is the system in which we are living today. By viewing the system in this way we are able to make sense of things that would otherwise be baffling, for example: why things are getting worse on so many fronts; why the authorities are failing to do anything about it; and why currently fashionable ways of attempting to influence politicians and their corporate partners are so unsuccessful. He emphasised that neither individuals nor any particular group within society are to blame. Rather the system as a whole is at fault.

So something new is required -- a strategy for reconfiguring the system as a whole -- and this is where Gaian Democracy comes in. This draws on the latest developments in understanding how systems change, and makes use of well-tested processes for bringing about change. In this way, human societies at all levels, from local to global, can learn to cope with the highly complex and difficult situations they face."

Lietaer's green convertible currency

Bernard Lietaer: "Many countries of the world face a fourfold dilemma. They are experiencing unemployment, inflation, and ecological degradation, and they lack a convertible currency. They produce some raw materials for which an international market exists, but because of the burden of debt servicing and a soft currency, their dilemma yearly becomes more acute. This article proposes a solution in the form of a new convertible currency, that I call New Currency. This comprises a combination of two familiar concepts: stamp scrip and currency backed by a basket of commodities."

1. Stamp scrip's and `basket of commodities' explained

"Stamp scrip is a medium of exchange characterized by a small monthly "user fee" or "negative interest" charge. This fee was typically levied by requiring a small stamp to be affixed to the back of the bill each month to revalidate it. The user fee gives an incentive to the bearer not to hoard this currency. Its practical and demonstrated economic effects include strong, positive impacts on employment creation and on inflation control. It also provides structural support for ecologically sound economic growth. It has been tested and used with remarkable success in a variety of cultures and historical settings, including Western Europe as recently as the 1930s. The second concept--a currency backed by a predetermined basket of commodities--is more familiar. An original aspect of my proposed plan is that a country's central bank would guarantee delivery of the value of the basket but would remain free to deliver it in the form of any mix of the commodities included in it. This approach provides unusual stability for the international value of the currency, while guaranteeing substantial flexibility in the way the country fulfills its commitments. The stamp scrip concept actively promotes internal economic stability and employment growth, while the basket of commodities concept ensures immediate convertibility of the national currency and the international stability of its purchasing value. These two concepts fit together by equating the negative interest rate of the stamp scrip with the approximate costs of storing, insuring, and delivering to their respective international markets the commodities in the basket."

2. The Terra Currency Proposal


"One proposal is the Terra (Latin for Earth), a supra-national currency whose unique characteristics would make long-term financial thinking automatically rewarding, while assisting in stabilizing the world economy.

Characteristics include:

1. The Terra is defined as a standard basket of the most important commodities and services in the global market for which futures markets can be established (e.g. oil, wheat, copper, etc., and some standardizable services, or for example Carbon Emission rights). Because it is fully backed by a physical inventory of commodities, the Terra would be a very robust international standard of value.

2. The Terra is designed as an inflation-proof currency. Inflation is always defined as the changes in value of a basket of goods and services. Therefore, by selecting the appropriate ingredients in the basket, the Terra can be made inflation-proof.

3. The Terra currency is complementary to conventional national currencies, operating in parallel to, and without replacing them. It basically would amount to introducing some standardization to the international countertrade activities which grow by 15% per year, three times faster than conventional currency denominated trade.

4. The cost of storage of the physical commodities would be applied to the bearer of the Terra at an estimated 3.5-4% per annum). This makes the Terra a 'demurrage' charged currency (the opposite of a positive interest rate currency), and insures its use mainly as a trading device, as it costs the bearer to store or hold onto it. Therefore, it is beneficial to keep the Terra in circulation, which in turn benefits all.

5. The Terra is a public service project, with profits earned used to fund other projects for economic development globally."

3. See our entry on the EBCU, the environmentally-backed currency unit.

For more views on the interrelationship of ecology and money, see

Social Money and the Distributive Economy

Thinking about monetary reform is not new. Already in the 1930's, spurred by the Great Depression and the social crisis of the time, many people were looking to monetary reform, a tradition which got `lost' in the successful golden era of Keynesianism. A few months ago I mentioned the proposals of Gesell. Another thinker of the same period was Jacques Duboin, who wrote Rareté et abundance in 1945. This idea fit in very well in the themes of our issues 97 and 98, dedicated to thinking about scarcity (of nature AND of purchasing power in much of the South) and abundance (of productive capacity). Jacques Duboin came up with a set of proposals for a `distributive economy' and his work is continued by the journal La Grande Releve. Thesecond item is a recent investigation by the journal of how the ideas of the distributive economy are related to complentary currencies.

1. The distributive economy and the basic income

"The task is thus to abolish this pattern of accumulation, inherent in the conception of capitalist money. If man can do nothing to change the laws of nature, he must, on the contrary, be able to change the rules of his own game.This is the aim of our proposition of a distributive economy, or economy of the needs, in which money cannot accumulate. Distributive money is strictly consumerist in nature : it is only a purchasing power, it is used just once to hand out goods and services from the producers to the consumers, it does not circulate, it cannot be invested to bear interest and is no longer anonymous.

This is the only way in which any investment can be decided taking into account other requirements than financial return on capital. The management of goods and services will be established for the benefit of the whole community, while having regard to ecological imperatives, only if instead of being submitted only to the blind forces of the market, it is established at the end of debates, in which all human, social, ecological, moral, ethical aspects, can be taken into consideration.Actually, the aim of our propositions is to invent democracy in economy. We have been thinking a lot over this problem, particularly because it opens prospects that are bright. We think that any person, who is born in today's world, is entitled to the right of living in the best way that is possible, with the only limit that it does not prevent the other people and their descendants from having the same rights. It's why in distributive economy, every one, from his birth to his death, is attributed an income.

However, we think also that any right must go together with a duty, here,the economic duty to keep things working.Thus, a Social Income is associated with a Social Service to share the goods, as well as the tasks, between all.This implies the creation, at various levels (local, regional, national, european, etc.), of say, Social and Economical Councils (SEC), democratically constituted and acting according to the principle of subsidiarity. Economic democracy is at last attained by granting to these Councils the power of creating money. This power is taken away from the credit banks that now use it in an arbitrary way. The money created, in the modern computerised fashion, is also used to finance the needed investments for organisations and companies, who are of course accountable for them. In a word, in the distributive economy, all that is humanly and physically possible will be made financially possible. Thus, the SECs will have charge of the management of both aspects of the distributive economy. To manage the social income, they have to estimate the amounts of purchasing power to be distributed periodically (each month, for example). In a broad sense, this problem consists in evaluating the production of output in a given time. The factors to take into account are consumer demand, limiting conditions, public service requirements and planned investments. The sum total of all social income, for a given period of time, is the difference between the value of estimated production output and that of the approved investments. The second charge of the SEC is evidently linked to this. Sharing the tasks involves that the social service is effected by each and everyone throughout his active life, taking into account his aptitudes, and subject to community needs."

Special Issue of La Grande Releve, the journal of the movement, dedicated to the life and ideas of the founder. See at

2. The Distributive Economy and Complementary Currencies


"It's time to realize that mankind is now in possession of the mastery of production of goods and services. If the big problems of the past were those of production to avoid scarcity, they are now those of distribution of a potentially abundant production. The revolutionary transformation of our means of production have to be used to change our economic and social relations. Profit can no longer be the nerve of economy ! This implies that the capitalistic money (created by banks in relation to anticipated profits) has to be replaced by a new kind of money, the role of which will be simply to adjust the total income of consumers to the amount of goods and services that have been ecologically produced for them. It is a consumption money, canceled when it has been used by a consumer. It cannot be hoarded or lent at interest. It is from local experiments, under democratic control, that this kind of money, let us call it «  social money », has to prove oneself and then be extended on larger areas. In this paper some attempts of implementation of social money in various places of Europe and Latin America are analyzed.

Since Michael Linton initiated in British Columbia the concept of "complementary community currencies" in 1984, thousands of such currencies have been implemented around the world and are the subject of a number of theoretical works or experiments. Japan seems to become a world leader in promoting complementary community currencies to solve the socioeconomic problems it faces since the early 1990's (such as aging, unemployment and economic slump) based on an unsustainable system. In a series of projects, called Eco Money Projects, more than 40 different types of complementary currencies are currently experimented in Japan in order to determine :

- which is the best technologie (from high-tech smart cards to low-tech paper notes) ;

- which is the right scale (from mountain villages of 800 people to area of 10 million people) ;

- how many functions can be compatible on a single smart card (1 to 27, from elderly and/or child care, local unemployment, small business loyalty schemes, ...)

According to the results, a very large scale project could be initiated.It is beyond to the scope of this paper to review all the experiments involving complementary or social currencies in progress in the world. A comprehensive review can be found on the web. In the galaxy of complementary currencies one must discriminate between on the one hand, "moneys with social aim" the goal of which is to solve a series of social problems and, more generally, to give a good living standard to people, and on the other hand, "complementary currencies" aimed at keeping running local economy. Complementary currencies have not for aim to replace but only to complement the legal national currency.

In the following we will give some examples of these two kinds of currencies. The only role of the new currency is to allow the transfer of the production to the consumers. This so-called "distributive money" is strictly consumerist in nature : it is only used for payment, it does not circulate since it is cancelled as soon as it has been used by the consumer, it cannot be invested to bear interest and is no longer anonymous. However, term payments are still possible.The amounts to be distributed periodically (each month, for example) are figured in the same computerised fashion as the transactions now made routinely by stock exchange and financial markets. In a broad sense, the problem consists in evaluating the production to output in a given time. The factors to take into account are consumer demand, ecological and environmental protection, public service requirements and planned investments. The sum total of all "social income" distributed is the difference between the value of estimated production output and that of the approved investments, for a given period of time. Considering that all citizens of a region are equal heirs to the fruits of labour and research having led to our present means of production, Jacques Duboin proposed the same social income for all, in other words economic equality. But feedback from a majority of people shows that they are not prepared for such a radical move. The goal of economic equality must then be envisioned only in the long term.

A transition is thus necessary: To accelerate the advance toward distributive economics, we propose to share the buying power in the form of a citizenship income, calculated on the basis of what we call a "civic contract".They are aimed at stimulating individual initiative, innovation and creativity while taking into account the increasing complexity of the economic structure Their objective is to develop autonomy and responsibility in the citizen, to give him the opportunity of directing his own life, to let him make a choice of his activities while reckoning their value even if not measurable in traditional economic fashion."

More Information

Transforming Money, introduction and overview from Susmita Barua, at

The Creating new Money report is at

A shorter review, at

A summary here, at

FAQ ON DEBT FFEE money, at

And check these many interesting monetary reform links, at

See also this text on Lets and monetary reform, at

Key Books to Read

Presentation of Bernard Lietaer's book, "The Future of Money", at Interview of Bernard Lietaer, at

Recommended by James Robertson

Monetary Reform - Making it Happen, 2004 (with John Bunzl). International Simultaneous Policy Organisation, paperback, 80 pp. ISPO "Making it Happen" Briefing Series No 1. Available online at

Creating New Money: A Monetary Reform for the Information Age, 2000 (with Joseph Huber). New Economics Foundation, paperback, 97 pages, £7.95. Available online at

The Monetary Reform Reading List

Compiled by Thelma Weeks

For further reference I would recommend the following books by authors who were present or prepresented at the workshop:

1.' Interest and Inflation and Free Money', Margrit Kennedy, the second edition ISBN 0-9643025-0-0 (1995) available from Seva International, Okemos, Michigan: It sets out the problem as it was first conceived by her. ( Silvio Gesell published his major work in German in 1918 called ("Natural Economic Order")

2.'The Little Earth Book' - James Burger ISBN 1-901970-23-X, available from Alastair Sawday Publishing UK. Tel: +44 (0)1275 464891 Fax: +44 (0)1275 464887 Email: [email protected] This skilfully illustrates the link between the destruction of our planet (environment and resources)and the link to the monetary system. You will find the ideas/theories of many of the participants to the conference briefly explained in this delightful little book with references to the complete texts.

3.'The Ecology of Money', Richard Douthwaite, (Schumacher briefings 4 ISBN1 870098 81 1).

4.'Transforming Economic Life', James Robertson, (Schumacher briefings 1 ISBN 870098 72 2)

5.'New Money for Healthy Communities', Thomas Greco

6.'The Future of Money', Bernard Lietaer, available through This recently published book is not represented in the Little Earth Book and presents a clear, intelligent and easily understandable overview of the present system and its challenges. It introduces the concept of a global currency, the Terra, for co-operative exchange. The book was launched in the House of Commons; see Positive News Spring 2001.

7.'Beyond Globalization', Hazel Henderson (1999) ISBN 1-56549-107-6, Kumarian Press - for the New Economics Foundation.

8.'Recreating Money', Joseph Huber and James Robertson, London 2001

These books offer encouraging reading - even though awareness is created about all the issues that should concern every human being. For the first time I feel that there is a solution in sight and that there are ways in which we can contribute to the outcome - in time or after the event of a collapse. If nothing else we can all help to create awareness of the existing issues and the solutions for when the world needs them and before anything else we can deal with our own emotional blocks around money and abundance consciousness!!!!!!

Books recommended by the Prosperity website

PROSPERITY: Freedom from Debt Slaveryis a 4-page monthly journal which campaigns for publicly-created debt-free money. PROSPERITY is edited and published by Alistair McConnachie and a 12-issue subscription is available for £15 payable to PROSPERITY at 268 Bath Street, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, G2 4JR. Tel: 0141 332 2214; Fax: 0141 353 6900, [email protected]

Creating New Money is available for £7.95 from The New Economics Foundation, 3 Jonathan Street, London, SE11 5NH. Tel: 0207 820 6300.

The Grip of Death: A study of modern money, debt slavery and destructive economics by Michael Rowbotham, [Jon Carpenter Publishing, 1998]

Goodbye America! Globalisation, debt and the dollar empire by Michael Rowbotham, [Jon Carpenter Publishing, 2000]

Recommended by Molly Scott Cato

Context: green or 'gaian economics', see

"There is a whole community of monetary reformers who have tackled the problem and provided useful guides. My own favourite is The Ecology of Money by Richard Douthwaite (Green Books, £5). It has the unquestionable bonus of being short and, in common with Richard's other works, offering plenty of real situations to make the ideas accessible. Brian Leslie has produced a useful booklet: Where's the Money to Come From? If you have more stamina you might try the cheerfully titled Grip of Death by Michael Rowbotham (Jon Carpenter, £15), The Politics of Money by Frances Hutchinson, Mary Mellor and Wendy Olsen, or J. K. Galbraith's Money: Whence it Came, Where it Went (Penguin)."