Before industrialisation, economy mainly referred to local economy and household economy, based on cooperative and competitive processes. How can we shift from today’s centralised and global economy to a resilient local economy? Bryan Innes provides some suggestions in the New Zealand edition of Fleeing Vesuvius.
For Adam Smith, “Goods can serve many other purposes besides purchasing money, but money can serve no other purpose besides purchasing goods.” Banks and financial traders have other ideas. They are now running a parallel economy in which money makes money out of money. The volume of this trade is ten times the volume of trade in goods and services, and traders extract money that other mortals can’t possibly aspire to. No wonder it causes havoc.
Feasta member Brian Davey has produced several posters for use at Occupy camps which can be downloaded for free here. They make use of creative graphics in order to explore the nature of the current financial crisis, the energy and banking crises, financial predation, and the connection between the Occupy movements and climate change.
The Occupy movement needs some clear, simple ideas to champion. Debt cancellation is a clear, simple idea - but how can it be done in a way that is not chaotic and is fair to all, eg to the people who were never in debt anyway? And can it help us to start to work on our "ecological debts" too?
Feasta has been exploring the potential for parallel currencies for some time, largely through the Liquidity Network project which is aimed at boosting local economies at a time when euros are scarce. Now a related idea is gaining traction at a national level in the form of a Parallel Punt. This surprisingly conservative option was discussed at Feasta's Autumn Conference held in Dublin on 22nd/ 23rd September. In this preview Graham Barnes set the scene for what could be a gamechanging development.
This week we are featuring two articles from Fleeing Vesuvius which explore ethical, equitable approaches to finance. Tim Helweg-Larsen describes his recent attempt to establish an equity partnership in North Wales and Oscar Kjellberg draws on the example of Mondragon in order to examine the role which community bankers could perform as intermediaries between local stakeholders in the future.