Money, Austerity and the Financial Crisis
Date(s) - 17/03/2013
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Ken MacIntyre, an independent researcher, will talk about one of the most brilliant and least understood social inventions: money.
The cause of the global financial crisis that begun in 2007 has been correctly identified by Adair Turner of the FSA, as lying with the unrestrained credit creation by banks. Virtually all our money supply originates as debt in the form of interest bearing loans created out of nothing, that is, without any supporting collateral such as savings or government bonds. In the absence of controls, debt expands exponentially to the point where it exceeds capacity to pay, the production of goods and services.
It is excess private debt which has simultaneously made banks insolvent and created public deficits. However, conventional economics lacks any insight into the relationship between money, interest and debt. Austerity programmes are ideological rather than being based on any economic logic and will not address either deficits which are a fact of basic macroeconomic accounting or public debt which is unnecessary.
What is the ethical basis for charging interest on a debt which costs nothing to produce, giving a private cartel sole control over a public good?
What would happen if all debts were to be repaid tomorrow? Are there, other than debt, alternative sources of money?
How would government-issued money work? Would it encourage reckless spending or inflation?