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Newsletter No. 19 - February 2009

Links to other Newsletters can be found here.


1. Update. It's been all go since my last communication on 4 February. This message is an update.

There is a request to Prime Minister Gordon Brown to be supported, please (Item 2). An Emergency Congress is taking place today and tomorrow. Please send it a message asking it to bring to his attention the need for monetary reform to be on the G20's April agenda (Item 3).

There are several active new links on monetary reform now on my website's Links page (Item 4). Supportive messages from Mexico, the US, Australia, and Ireland and other parts of Europe have come in, and many new individual supporters have been in touch (Items 5 to 9). Finally, two important background documents (Items 10 and 11).

Understanding is spreading fast that the dodgy foundations of the world's present "financial architecture" - how the supply of money is created nationally and internationally, and what is taxed and what is not taxed - are the prime (not sub-prime!) causes of the world's present financial disaster. The "elephant in the room" is too big and too obvious and too simple to be noticed by professional expert financial "architects".

A historic drama could be building up, in which we all have bit parts. As it becomes clearer and clearer that virtually all our leading politicians and financiers and economic pundits have lost the plot - that virtually none of the little emperors has any clothes - how will the drama unfold?

That will be up to us.

2. Please vote for the request to Gordon Brown made by "summit" at "Will you place on the G20 agenda the proposals by James Robertson ( for monetary reform ... ". Thanks to Martin Hyams ( for this.

3. Please e-mail an urgent personal message in favour of including monetary reform on the G20 April agenda to Rights And Humanity's Emergency Congress On Global Economic Reform. The Congress is on NOW and Tomorrow.

Their email address is

The message might be on the following lines:

"I hope that the Congress will recommend that the G20 April agenda should include national and international monetary reform. I believe you have had proposals on that from people like Hazel Henderson (USA) and James Robertson (UK).

Money is surely the foundation of all "financial architecture". Who creates it, and whether as profit-making debt or free to its users, crucially affects whether a financial system can work reliably and fairly for all concerned".

The Emergency Congress is being held in South Africa House in London from 23rd to 25th February, in co-operation with the South African Human Rights Commission and Tomorrow's Company, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu as patron.

It aims to turn the current financial crisis into an opportunity to build a more just and sustainable world, based on a new economic paradigm which delivers social justice and environmental protection as well as financial/economic objectives.

Its recommendations will go to Gordon Brown for the G20 April meeting, and also to the Commission of Experts of the President of the UN General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System.

Our G20 Monetary Reform Campaign Document has been submitted to the Rights and Humanity Congress, as has Hazel Henderson's powerful new paper containing "More Advice For Summiteers On Reforming The Global Casino".

For more on Rights and Humanity see

4. New Links on My Website - please see these excellent new links listed under "Monetary Reform".

End the Recession - proposes just that.

Simon Dixon - future prospects for monetary reform and banking & finance.

For the Common Good – includes a good 2009 pamphlet on Monetary Reform.

The Money Reform Party - just that, very clear.

Scottish Monetary Reform - recovering money from the private banking system and returning it to constitutional & democratic accountability.

Ecova Project -  a new green alternative.

5. Encouragement from Mexico - Ecosol and World Social Forum discussions in Mexico at the beginning of this month included nationalising the issue of new money and had their sights on the G20 April meeting in London. For correspondence on 13-15 February click here.

6. FEASTA (Foundation for the Economics for Sustainability) - this Irish NGO is outward looking and breaking new ground, as always.

Click here for its 2009 project on radical monetary reform, and click here for its new Smart Taxes Network.

7. Danger of financial disaster predicted in 1999 - click here for a September 1999 New York Times article predicting that the government-subsidized corporation Fannie Mae "may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's". That's just what has now happened in a very big way.

Thanks to Charles Mollison, Chairman of the Foundation for National Renewal in Australia for this reference. As he says, "The disaster has been at least nine years in the making. One would have thought more than enough time to realise it was not a good idea".

8. A new Coalition for Economic Justice of twelve member organisations advocating Land Value Taxation has recently come together in the UK. Click here for details.

As the Coalition says in its important 13 February letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer,

"Every economic crisis in living memory has been preceded by an unsustainable and speculative rise in property values, commercial/industrial as well as residential. The link between property values and bank and building society lending is strong and causal. Excessive lending fuels property prices." The tax shift and monetary reform will combine to end booms and busts.

Also see

9. Support from Richard Murphy - the impact of Richard Murphy's sustained work against tax havens with John Christensen and other colleagues in the Tax Justice Network is growing rapidly as the global financial crisis worsens.

So it's good to see him emphasise the need to get behind a simple, united campaign for monetary reform in a recent blog post.

"Monetary reform and the G20

Monetary reform is one of the most sensitive of issues, as I know from blogging about it. It seems to bring out the very worst in those who believe it desirable but do not agree how to do it.

I do believe reform is desirable.

I have for a long time been a fan of James Robertson’s position on this issue, so I welcome this paper he has written explaining the importance of this issue for the forthcoming G20 meeting.

I have little doubt that it will not get on the agenda, but that’s because as yet we’re not willing to address the really big issues. We need to, soon."

10. Richard C Cook - his long article Credit as a Public Utility: the Key to Monetary Reform (over 9000 words) gives fascinating American background to the need for monetary reform. As a taster, I have extracted the first and last few paragraphs of its final section on Analysis and Conclusions. Click here to read them.

11.Bernard Lietaer - the Crisis2008 section on his website includes an authoritative 30-page White Paper on All the Options for Managing a Systemic Bank Crisis.

Its primary focus is on alternative currencies. But, in his Section IV(d) on Nationalizing the Money Creation Process, he gives a fair summary of the proposal to treat the public money supply as a source of public revenue, not private profit, but expresses some objections

These can be questioned. But I'm sure that, unlike some well-meaning but naive currency decentralisers, he doesn't think monetary reform would make matters worse than continuing to allow the big banking corporations to create 95% of the public money supply as profit-making debt.

Personally, I have always supported a much wider development of decentralised currencies, along with a more decentralised economy generally. But I see it as complementary to mainstream reform, and largely dependent on mainstream reform having happened.


Six weeks to go until the G20 meeting - say, four weeks to get the agenda changed. Well worth trying!

James Robertson

24th February, 2009