Newsletter No. 23 - April
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REPORT ON THE
G20 MONETARY REFORM CAMPAIGN
EDITORIAL. This Progress
Report will be the last about the campaign to put national
and international monetary reform on the G20 agenda
for 2nd April. That short campaign has contributed
to growing awareness of the need for international
and national monetary reform.
But it also strengthens one's sense
of the urgency of convincing a wider range of non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) of that need. Even in normal times
system of financial rewards and penalties motivates
almost everyone in the world to get and spend money
destructively - socially, environmentally,
and economically. That results from creating money
as profit-making debt, together with dysfunctional
tax systems and public spending programmes.
This means that a wide range of non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) should support monetary
reform as part of wider money system reform . It
is important for social issues (poverty,
welfare, social injustice, health, human rights,
etc), environmental issues (climate
change, energy supply and use, water, food and agriculture,
etc); the problems of ‘developing’ countries;
and general economic and public policy issues (world
future prospects; local and community economic development;
ethical investing, trading and consuming; corporate
social responsibility; etc).
Most NGOs still give priority to getting
money from the existing money system for their own
projects. Natural enough but, if the existing
system remains unreformed, they will all continue
to swim against a very powerful tide.
If you find target dates useful, the
Copenhagen UN Climate Conference - http://en.cop15.dk -
will be on 7th - 18th December, 2009. We must persuade
it to recognise the key importance of having a money
system that encourages everyone to save, not destroy,
1. THE AFTERMATH OF THE G20
opinion has cautiously deemed it successful so far.
But disagreements between G20 countries have not been
More important, as the economic
situation worsens and anger grows
against the bankers and the rich. It is
likely to become more widely accepted that serious
study of the feasibility of national and international
monetary reform is needed. (For more about that,
4 of Newsletter 22).
We can encourage this by
publicising the questions in the one-page Note on "THE
ROOT OF THE PRESENT CRISIS AND ITS CURE: Who Should
Create The Money Supply? Should It Be Created As Debt
You can read it at www.jamesrobertson.com/presentcrisisroot.htm.
2. THE PROBLEM FOR PRESIDENT
OBAMA is that, like
Prime Minister Brown, he is insulated
from reality by advisers from the conventional school
of financial experts, who have never questioned if
it's right to depend on the commercial banks to create
our public money supply.
However, there are green shoots of hope in the USA,
Stephen Zarlenga and the American
Monetary Institute - www.monetary.org -
have prepared an American Monetary Act based on the
necessary reform. They have backing in Congress from
influential Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Please look
at their website if you don't already know it.
Hazel Henderson has
been a friend and colleague since the 1970s. Her "Ethical
Markets" website is strong on Reforming
Global Finance - www.ethicalmarkets.com/category/reforming-global-finance.
It's good to see, if you scroll down the page, that
she includes contributions from John Bunzl - www.simpol.org -
on "The G20 Can Change The Rules For Global Trade", and
from me on " The Root Of The Present
Crisis: Who Should Create The Money Supply? As Debt
In David Korten's (www.davidkorten.org) "Agenda
for a New Economy"(Berrett-Koehler
Publishers - 2009, pbk, 196pp), he asks whether
commercial banks are so vital for the national interest
to justify showering them with trillions of dollars to save them from the consequences of their own excess
(Answer, No), and whether there might be other more
effective and less costly ways of providing necessary
and beneficial financial services (Answer, Yes).
One of these would be to "transfer to the federal
government the responsibility for issuing money" (pp142-144).
This widely ranging,
strongly decentralising book has been rightly acclaimed. It deserves a longer review
at a later date. Its conclusion is surely correct.
The people must first show the way we insist the leaders
must follow. That will allow President Obama to join
a people's declaration of independence from Wall Street.
The same goes for citizens and our leaders in other
3. THE PROBLEM FOR PRIME MINISTER
that the past ten years have left him with a "boom
and bust" reputation - exaggerated boasting followed
by conspicuous failure. The recent short YouTube film
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9sO25aFjDs by "renegade
economist" Fred Harrison on "How Gordon Brown
Broke Britain" presses it home - a relentless
if Gordon Brown has the flexibility to flip
to the escape route in the scenario sketched in Item
4 of Newsletter 22.
I nurse the hope that Brown, or a successor Prime
Minister, will take it up when enough people have
understood the facts as explained at www.endtherecession.org and
other comparable websites.
4. THERE WAS
A VERY ENCOURAGING BLOG POST from former nef director
Ed Mayo on
19 March - http://edmayo.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/monetary-reform.
reflects his perceptive and
enthusiastic foreword that launched the publication
of "Creating New
Money" by nef nearly ten years ago
As he now says,
"We are moving into a new
financial system as well as a downturn or depression.
The radical toolkit deserves
a fair hearing.
idea that this was all the fault of Fred Goodwin
(who I understand now has two bodyguards) is
simply lazy thinking. It was not just individuals.
There was a system at work
and it is the system that we need to think anew."
5. BRYAN GOULD (www.bryangould.net), the
former Labour Shadow Cabinet member who is now back
in New Zealand, contributes the last chapter in "The
Crash - a view from the left". He says,
particular, we should re-examine
the role of the privately owned banks in the light of the current
debacle and question whether
they should ever again be allowed a virtual monopoly
of credit creation.
In view of the burden that bank failure has imposed
on the taxpayer, should the banking function not
be seen as essentially a public responsibility?".
The book is published by Soundings and
can be downloaded from www.lwbooks.co.uk/ebooks/crash.html.
Other contributors include Colin Hines, Toby
Lloyd, Richard Murphy and Ann Pettifor.
6. TWO ORGANISATIONS that
I hope will call for monetary reform next time.
(1) Global Coalition for
Responsible Credit: A call on G20 leaders
(2) Rights and Humanity: Ubuntu
Declaration for a Just and Sustainable World Economy.
7. THE NUMBER 10 PETITION to
the Prime Minister has
collected nearly 500 signatories since 2nd March - http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/
It will remain open until 30 April.
If you haven't already signed
it, please do; the
eventual number will be a useful measure of support.
If you have signed it, but have not checked that your
name is on the list, please look at it and check.
We know of a number of people who thought they had
signed, but had failed to confirm it on the automatic
reply e-mail sent to them from No 10.
8. VIDEO NEWS. Nearly
2,500 people have watched Fred Harrison's Renegade
Economist film of me explaining the need for international
and national monetary reform.
here or on the image below to watch it.
9. Thanks. Finally, thank you to
everyone who has supported this Crash Campaign. I hope
to be in touch again in early May.
PS. A Massive Fraud. I
wonder whether Geithner or Summers will show this to
President Obama - www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04032009/
profile.html. Black is clearly a respectable and
knowledgeable witness. Thanks to Steve Kurtz and David
Weston who have both just sent me this.
for Nothing" - www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/
I got news of this truly excellent article by Mark
Braund literally minutes after Newsletter 23 went out.
Please read it and add a supportive comment if you