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This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Transforming finance can help to tackle the biggest problems of society

The current financial system is part of the problem, not part of the solution. So what’s to be done?

Does money grow on trees?

The debate about the banks' power to create money is becoming much more mainstream. After the recent event, Does Money Grow on Trees?, parliament is scheduled to debate the issue for the first time in 170 years.

‘Divest!’: a minute to hold banks to account on fossil fuels

If banks won't pull investment from fossil fuels, perhaps it's time to try another route.

"It's going to blow up one day"

Marc Bauder's Master of the Universe runs like a sociological narrative of high finance as experienced by one man, former investment banker Rainer Voss. Film review.

Why we can’t leave the power to create money in the hands of banks or regulators

We cannot rely on failed regulators to prevent banks from abusing the power to create money, as Ann Pettifor suggests.

Just Money, introduction

In this exclusive extract from Just Money: How Society Can Break the Despotic Power of Finance Ann Pettifor describes how orthodox economics and finance have promoted a profoundly inadequate account of money. Change is necessary and possible. But it will come only through a revolution in the general public’s understanding.

The IMF – our sleeping beauty?

Finance has cast a spell on the framework for international economic co-operation established after the Second World War. The 2007-8 crisis and its aftermath highlight the need to rouse the IMF and the World Bank from their slumbers.

Reuniting the monetary union: a proposal to counter the eurozone’s imbalances

Persistent trade imbalances are threatening to derail the European economy. Luca Fantacci calls for a European Clearing Union to promote a sustainable pattern of production and consumption across the Eurozone.

Financial repression - myth, metaphor and reality

“Financial repression” always casts state regulators as authoritarian villains and allows apologists for uncontrolled finance to pose as freedom fighters. Maybe we should worry far less about efforts to “repress” finance and far more about finance’s efforts to oppress the rest of us.

Understanding and confronting financialisation

The growth of finance over the last forty years has changed capitalism profoundly. It is time for its critics to grasp the nature and significance of these changes. Only then will the supremacy of finance face an effective challenge.

Shadow banking, or why black holes are important in the global financial system

The shadow banking sector is now integral to the global financial system. Its architects are constantly seeking to evade oversight and control through the use of offshore accounting and forbidding complexity. The regulatory reforms that followed the 2007-8 crisis are bound to be tested.

The Keen-Krugman debate

The debate between these two economists on the role of banking and specifically the creation of credit is of fundamental importance in understanding the shortcomings of orthodox economic thinking - and why it was so ill-equipped to handle, let alone predict, the crash of 2008.

Whose money is it?

Money is currently produced by a ‘public-private partnership’ between the state and the financial sector, a partnership whose nature remains obscure to the great majority of the population. Is another distribution of knowledge – and hence of power – possible? This, argues, Geoffrey Ingham, remains the crucial question for socialists.

We can end the despotism of finance, at a price

To mark the publication of Ann Pettifor's e-book, Just Money: How Society Can Break the Despotic Power of Finance, OurKingdom are running a series of articles that explore the nature of money and the politics of the financial system. Here Pettifor launches the series and introduces some of its key themes.

Frankenstein's bankers - the tale every taxpayer should know

It is now 5 years since the banking crash but its effects are still with us. What exactly happened, what has the world done about it, and is there anything to stop something similar happening again?

More than a lobby: finance in the UK

Finance and the British state are mutually embedded to the point that it can be hard to tell where one stops and the other starts. Here, Tamasin Cave of Spinwatch gives us a brief tour of the tangled web that is public life in the UK.

The ills of financial dominance

The power of the financial sector in Britain has worked a transformation on the country’s ‘common sense’.  A successful challenge will require a radical change to the language we use to describe our shared life.

The resource curse, or the paradox of poverty from plenty

Is finance like crude oil? Countries rich in minerals are often poverty-stricken, corrupt and violent. A relatively small rent-seeking elite captures vast wealth while the dominant sector crowds out the rest of the economy. The parallels with countries ‘blessed’ with powerful financial sectors are becoming too obvious to ignore.

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