Sodium Haze: The Finance Lab

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Finance Lab

Here is a question that a few of us have been asking!

"What does a financial system that serves people and planet look like?"

And so have the good people at The Finance Lab.

"The Finance Innovation Lab is an open environment in which people can come together to explore, innovate and evolve the financial system, so that it sustains people and planet."

Sounds terrific.

I'll let them introduce themselves.

It strikes The Haze that the problems and venal inequities of our system of money supply are well known to those who have spent even a small amount of time thinking about it.

It also seems that with initiatives like Positive Money and The Finance Lab a great deal of thought is (rightly) going into possible solutions.

I see a number of problems ahead though:

(a) The vast majority of people in the world know nothing of monetary reform or even the nature of who supplies their money and how. 

(b) People with a huge vested interest in the status quo have all the resources , media companies, lobbyists, economists and the vast majority of politicians in their pocket. The banking cartels have every reason to hide the truth and to deceive the public. 

(c) the Monetary reform movement is trying to win an argument based on sound logic and fairness - this is hard because it demands a higher quality of debate than the banks need. They can simply hide information, obscure the truth, spread simplistic nonsense and feed people's fears - that is so much easier.

(d) At present the Monetary reform movement is a niche viewpoint - if I stopped one hundred people on the street and asked them about Fractional Reserve Banking,  I doubt if five would have any idea of what i was talking about. This battle is not really joined yet - when it is - expect things to get dirty!

(e) At the moment, the banks have never had it so good - even the Financial crash of 2008 hasn't emboldened politicians to stand up to them - why? - because there is a revolving door between Westminster and The City of London - talk to a politician today and there is a good chance they came from a bank or are on the way to one. The financial services industry has captured UK & US politics certainly.

The obstacles to Monetary Reform are formidable precisely because it is so important and will represent a huge transfer of power - away from the private profits of bankers and to the overall public interest.

I hope that the strategy of 'how the hell we get this battle with big finance properly joined' is looked at alongside the systems - otherwise this is just an interesting hobby. 

Monetary Reform needs to be so much more than a niche preoccupation of clever chaps if we are to have any chance of addressing things like Peak Oil & Climate Change.
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