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Just Money

We spend a lot of our time thinking about money; how to get it, how to spend it. But its nature eludes most of us. We do not ask what money is or where it comes from, and so we organize our lives around a mystery.

Cover of Ann Pettifor's Just MoneyProfessional economists aren’t much help. The mainstream of the discipline and most of its critics are unanimous in seeing money as a neutral medium of exchange and finance as a mechanism for connecting lenders to borrowers. If you stray from this consensus you will find yourself in a wilderness of goldbugs and Bitcoin enthusiasts.

In the Just Money series, the acclaimed economist Ann Pettifor has invited some of the most influential and insightful experts on monetary theory to explore the economics - and politics - of money. The financial crisis that began in 2007 made it obvious that there is more to money than meets the eye, or finds its way on to the evening news. But while we can reform the financial system so that it serves the interest of the many, rather than the few, we will only succeed once we understand how the current system works.

We just have to start thinking about money. The Just Money series is as good a place to start as any.

Ann Pettifor's Just Money: How Society Can Break the Despotic Power of Finance is published by Commonwealth. It is available on Kindle and direct from the Prime Economics website.

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.

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