financial exclusion

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pages: 279 words: 76,796

The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives by Lisa Servon

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, basic income, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, employer provided health coverage, financial exclusion, financial independence, financial innovation, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, Lyft, M-Pesa, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, precariat, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, too big to fail, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

Only her dark eyes are visible as she greets me while ladling steaming arroz con leche from an enormous orange insulated container into a cup for a customer. I can smell the milky sweetness, the pungent canela, from where I stand. Reaching into her granny cart, Marta hands me my usual—two pollo con salsa verde tamales. I have my money ready in my gloved hand and place it on her cart as she bags my lunch. She smiles and then turns to the next customer. The South Bronx is Exhibit A of what researchers call a “geography of financial exclusion,” where people tend to use mainstream financial services like banks less than people do in more affluent places. Its population of 500,000, including many immigrants and minorities, has only one bank per 20,000 residents. In Manhattan, one bank serves every 3,000 residents. More than half of the residents of Bronx Community Board 1, which includes Mott Haven, have no bank account; that figure is less than one in ten nationwide.

Some experts worry that banks have to be so careful, they’ve retreated even more from serving the people who are most in need of safe, affordable financial products. “The regulators are causing the opposite of the desired effect by making it so dangerous now to serve a lower-income segment,” Barefoot said. In short, banks have retreated from the subprime market partly for rational reasons. But, as usual, it’s the people living on the margins who suffer the most. For most of our nation’s history, banks practiced “financial exclusion,” and policy backed them up. The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC), part of FDR’s New Deal, rated neighborhoods on a scale of A to D. HOLC used the racial and socioeconomic characteristics of residents to determine whether a neighborhood was a safe investment. Predominantly white neighborhoods were consistently rated A, an acceptable credit risk. Predominantly black areas were labeled D, or unsuitable for investing.

It can be as simple as a mindset: wanting, as Murphy says, “to serve all of the clients in our community, from the low-income and underbanked to the wealthiest.” MISSION ASSET FUND The office of Mission Asset Fund (MAF) sits in the middle of a busy commercial block in San Francisco’s Mission District. The brightly painted space buzzes with activity. José Quiñones started MAF in 2008, convinced that he had a better way to combat financial exclusion compared to the strategies he saw being promoted. Where policymakers saw an unbanked community, Quiñones saw people, all over San Francisco’s Mission District, saving money. They just weren’t saving it in banks. They were using ROSCAs like the ones described in Chapter 7. Rather than try to change their behavior, Quiñones thought, why not try to make what they were already doing work better?

pages: 361 words: 97,787

The Curse of Cash by Kenneth S Rogoff


Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cashless society, central bank independence, cryptocurrency, debt deflation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, ethereum blockchain, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial intermediation, financial repression, forward guidance, frictionless, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, moveable type in China, New Economic Geography, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, payday loans, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, RFID, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, The Great Moderation, the payments system, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, unconventional monetary instruments, underbanked, unorthodox policies, Y2K, yield curve

Storing cash at home and carrying cash greatly increases the chance of theft.4 The risks of being subject to fraud are much higher outside the regulated financial sector. The poor may benefit from being able to use paper currency, but overall, financial exclusion implies large costs for basic services. In sum, the status quo is extremely regressive. A long-run solution is to provide government-subsidized access to financial services for the poor, giving them equal access to electronic currency and, at the same time, helping reduce some of the costs associated with financial exclusion. In principle, providing access can be done through a regulated banking sector, but there could also be a government provider of basic services. A basic account could, for example, allow up to a certain maximum number of transactions per month with no minimum balance requirements and only modest charges for transactions over the limit.

Third, it is essential that poor and unbanked individuals have access to free basic debit accounts (or the future equivalent), and possibly also basic smartphones, as several countries have already done or are contemplating. The cost is ideally borne directly by the government, though it can also be imposed on banks that will eventually pass the costs on to paying customers. Under the current system, financial exclusion imposes high costs on the poor (e.g., high fees for cashing checks or wiring money), and a strong case can be made for providing better access to financial services even under the current system. The costs are small compared to providing universal health care, and the potential benefits are large. As for privacy, it is important to separate out protection from government snooping and protection from relatives, friends, employers, or other private entities.

See also zero bound constraint Netherlands, the, 52, 55–56 Newton, Isaac, 19 Nicollini, Juan, 243n10 Nixon, Richard (former president, United States), 189 nominal GDP, targeting, 151–52 North Korean counterfeit “supernote,” 78 Norway: cashless society, movement to, 107; currency/GDP ratio, 1995, 46; currency/GDP ratio, 2015, 36–37; discount rate cuts in response to recent crises, 132; interest rates near the zero bound, 131 opportunity cost of holding currency, 80 opportunity cost seigniorage, 82–83, 87 Otani, Akira, 235n6 Palmstruch, Johan, 25 Panama, 72 paper currency, advantages of, 21; anonymity, 7, 67, 167, 226, 254n7; benefits accruing to government, 80–81, 85–86, 217 (see also seigniorage); central bank independence, concerns regarding, 90–91, 106; as “liquid freedom,” 6–7; paying for marijuana in Colorado, 112; in person-to-person transactions, 102; virtues of paper currency, 92, 217 paper currency, phasing out: case for, 114–15; cost of substituting interest-bearing debt for paper currency, 86–90; currency in the underground economy, issue of turning in, 87–89; digital currencies and, 218 (see also cryptocurrencies); emergencies, concerns regarding, 110–11; foreign currencies, coordination involving, 103–4; guiding principles of, 92–93; inflation target, effect on the optimal choice of, 105–6; international dimensions (see international dimensions to phasing out paper currency); long-run goals of, 94; monetary policy and, 104–5; negative interest rate policy as a collateral benefit of, 218–19 (see also negative interest rates); original proposal for, 1–2; pace of, 48, 92; phaseout of paper currency, 95–98; privacy, concerns regarding, 93, 100–102; public health advantages of, 78; real-time clearing and person-to-person transactions, 102–3; reasons for, 1–2, 217–18; regulations, need to adjust some, 114; the Scandinavian precedent, 107–9; security concerns, 111–14; universal financial inclusion, 98–100; variants on, 106–7 pass-through of negative interest rates, 180 Paul, Ron, 191 payments by instrument type, 54 payments per dollar amount per consumer, 54 Pederson, Carl, 44 Peng, Wensheng, 236n13 Peristiani, Stavros, 237n4 Perry, Rick, 191 (governor of Texas) phaseout of large-denomination paper currency, proposal for, 95 Philippon, Thomas, 251n6 Piketty, Thomas, 76 Pissarides, Christopher A., 239n13 politics: of money, 191–93; Nixon’s pressure on the Fed, 189; Paul’s attack on the Fed, 191 Polo, Marco, 15, 23, 81, 174 polymer plastic currency, 11, 204, 241n61 poor and unbanked individuals: cell phones/smartphones for, 3, 48, 93–94; drone money targeted at low-income households, 156; financial exclusion under the current system, costs of, 93, 98–99; proposal for currency phaseout, 93, 98–100 Porter, Richard, 43–44 Portugal, 46–47, 65 Posen, Adam, 232 power outages, 110 Prescott, Edward C., 231 privacy: cryptocurrencies and, 214; paper currency and, 92; personal vs. public concerns regarding, 93; phaseout of paper currency, concerns regarding, 7, 94, 100, 102; terrorism and compromises of, 77; threats to, 7, 101 profit from printing money, 81–82.

pages: 207 words: 86,639

The New Economics: A Bigger Picture by David Boyle, Andrew Simms


Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, congestion charging, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, deskilling,, energy transition, financial deregulation, financial exclusion, financial innovation, full employment, garden city movement, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, land reform, light touch regulation, loss aversion, mega-rich, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working-age population

The current financial crisis leaves CDFIs vulnerable if banks cease lending to them, while at the same time demand for affordable credit increases. Government support has been short term and inadequate, leaving the sector without adequate funding to cover a gap created by banks. But the crisis could be an opportunity to use the leverage of public ownership to improve support to the sector. First, banks should disclose their lending patterns, revealing where there is systemic financial exclusion and provide information to rectify the situation. Banks could also work with CDFIs by referring clients and providing loan capital, receiving tax breaks or other incentives to do so. To help underpin the sector, government could use unclaimed assets to fund a social investment wholesaler. APPENDICES 165 6 Encourage the introduction of complementary, multilevel currencies to provide credit in tune with the needs of regions, towns, cities and neighbourhoods, whilst helping to inoculate the economy from financial shocks Complementary currencies have a successful track record of providing local means of exchange, when money is running short in the local economy.

BizFizz works with passionate people in relatively small and defined communities where there is some level of economic disadvantage, using an innovative, individual approach based on coaching people to achieve their dreams – and backed by a local panel of key advisors and local business people. BizFizz has a proven record of increasing business start-up and survival, but also increases the confidence and sense of self-reliance among the community as a whole. Community finance Community development finance plays a vital role in the UK to address financial exclusion and underinvestment in disadvantaged areas through provision of finance 174 THE NEW ECONOMICS and money advice to individuals and enterprises. nef was instrumental in setting up the Social Investment Task Force, and introducing the idea of Community Investment Tax Relief, helped found the Community Development Finance Association, incubated the London Rebuilding Society, and is a founding partner in the Adventure Capital Fund, as well as of the European Microfinance Network. nef was involved in researching and assisting in the development of seven community banking partnerships in England and Wales, which partner credit unions, community development finance institutions and money advice agencies in the co-delivery of community finance services to low and moderate income households. Community land trusts Land trusts were developed at the Institute of Community Economics as a way of dividing the property, which can be owned outright, from the land it stands on, which is owned by a trust.

Frugal Innovation: How to Do Better With Less by Jaideep Prabhu Navi Radjou


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Computer Numeric Control, connected car, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, financial exclusion, financial innovation, global supply chain, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, women in the workforce, X Prize, yield management, Zipcar

For instance, in the logistics sector, Mars, a global food manufacturer, has developed a sustainable distribution network in Germany by sharing its vehicles with rivals. Work with the social and public sectors Large companies are facing growing pressure from governments, customers and employees to act as responsible corporate citizens by solving pressing social issues such as health-care access and financial exclusion. It is too often assumed that corporations are just profit-hungry monsters that ignore social problems. In fact many of them do care, but they lack the knowledge, skills, resources, or the right business model to tackle social challenges systematically and profitably. They may even be too proud to admit their ignorance or inexperience. Fortunately, many other companies seek help from non-profit organisations to forge hybrid value chains (HVCs).

., CEO, InProcess, interview with Navi Radjou, March 14th 2014. 11Gertler, N., “Industrial Ecosystems: Developing Sustainable Industrial Structures”, MIT master’s thesis, Smart Communities Network, 1995. 12Corkery, M., and Silver-Greenberg, J., “Lenders Offer Low-Cost Services for the Unbanked”, New York Times Dealbook, July 22nd 2014. 13Fera, R.A., “American Express Spotlights the Issue of Financial Exclusion in Davis Guggenheim Doc ‘Spent’”, Fast Company, March 2014. 14Birol, J., serial entrepreneur and strategy consultant, interview with Navi Radjou, August 25th 2014. 15Wiseman, L., Thinkers50-ranked leadership expert, interview with Navi Radjou, August 18th 2014. 16“Pearson debuts new global accelerator class”, Pearson News, June 16th 2014. 17Coughlin, B., CEO, Ford Global Technologies, e-mail exchange with Navi Radjou, August 2014. 18Radjou, N., “Innovation Networks: Global Progress Report 2006,” Forrester Report, June 2006. 19Vandebroek, S., chief technology officer, Xerox, interview with Navi Radjou, August 25th 2014. 20Musk, E., “All Our Patent Are Belong To You”, Tesla Blog, June 12th 2014. 21Litzler, J-B., “Sébastien Bazin divise Accor en deux pour mieux le réveiller”, Le Figaro, November 27th 2013. 22Lacheret, Y., senior vice-president, entrepreneurship advocacy, Accor Group, interview with Navi Radjou, July 7th 2014. 8Fostering a frugal culture 1Hall, J., “Sir Stuart Rose on the ethical spirit of Marks & Spencer”, Daily Telegraph, February 1st 2009. 2Vasanthakumar, V., Senior Associate, Office of the Chief Education Adviser at Pearson, interview with Jaideep Pradhu, August 28th 2014. 3Datta, M., head of Plan A delivery, Marks & Spencer’s worldwide properties, interview with Jaideep Prabhu, May 9th 2014. 4Marks & Spencer’s Plan A Report, 2014. 5Faber, E., CEO, Danone, e-mail exchange with Navi Radjou, August 2014. 6Lawrence, J., senior sustainability adviser and in-house counsel to Kingfisher Group’s Net Positive strategy, interview with Jaideep Prabhu, February 21st 2014. 7Kingfisher, Net Positive Report, 2013/14. 8Ibid. 9Marks & Spencer, op. cit. 10Radjou, N., Prabhu, J. and Ahuja, S., L’Innovation Jugaad: Redevenons Ingénieux!

pages: 200 words: 47,378

The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos


AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, ethereum blockchain, financial exclusion, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Marc Andreessen, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, underbanked, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Dumb Networks E economic activities, Primates and Money economic inclusion, Communications Expanding While Access to Banking Is Declining economics, Tragedy of the Commons electricity, Infrastructure for Natural Gas, From Natural Gas to Electricity elements, Bitcoin’s Atomic Structure email, Multiple Currencies Coexist, Alt Groups Will Destroy the Internet email attachments, Email and Email Attachments Will Destroy the Internet Ether, Choosing Currencies and Communities ethereum, Currency as a Language evolution, Currencies Evolve expression, Currency as a Means of Expression F fees, Bitcoin, the Invention, There Are No Spam Transactions in Bitcoin, Open Innovation and Opt-In Systems, Fee Optimization and Scaling, Spam Transactions, Legitimate Transactions, Illegitimate Transactions festival, Festival of the Commons festival of the commons, Dumb Networks, Innovation, and the Festival of the Commons financial exclusion, Dreaming of Totalitarian Control over All Financial Transactions financial inclusion, Predicting the Future for consumers, Open Innovation and Opt-In Systems freedom, Communications Expanding While Access to Banking Is Declining, Censorship of Financial Transactions, Bitcoin, the Zombie of Currencies, Banking Privilege and Surveillance G game theory, Open Innovation and Opt-In Systems geopolitics, Communications Expanding While Access to Banking Is Declining global, Money of the People, Solving Payment Problems global culture, Communications Expanding While Access to Banking Is Declining grand arc, Grand Arc of Technology H HD wallets, Festival of the Commons 2012-2014 hierarchy, Banking: Liberator to Limiter honeypot, Attacks Build Resistance I identity, Dreaming of Totalitarian Control over All Financial Transactions, Banking Privilege and Surveillance incentives, Open Innovation and Opt-In Systems inclusion, Money of the People, Banks for Everyone, Including 6.5 Billion People in a Global Economy, Banking Privilege and Surveillance incremental tech, Designing for Innovation index, Index Currency infrastructure inversion, Infrastructure Inversion, From Horses to Vehicles banking, From Banking to Bitcoin data, From Voice to Data electricity, From Natural Gas to Electricity paved roads, From Horses to Vehicles innovation, Recognizing Innovation, Open Innovation and Opt-In Systemsadoption, Infrastructure for Natural Gas asking permission, New Architecture, New Access automobiles, The Dangers of Automobiles, Electricity, and Bitcoin, New Technologies, Riding on Old Infrastructure banking, New Architecture, New Access, Open Innovation and Opt-In Systems, Festival of the Commons, Banking Privilege and Surveillance byob (be your own bank), Including 6.5 Billion People in a Global Economy cameras, Incumbent Reactions to Innovation competition, Infrastructure for Human Voices creativity, Building Blocks of Lego credit cards, Paper to Plastic crime, The Dangers of Automobiles, Electricity, and Bitcoin criticism, The Dangers of Automobiles, Electricity, and Bitcoin criticisms, Infrastructure for Horses, Infrastructure for Natural Gas disruptive tech, Designing for Innovation economic activities, Primates and Money electricity, Infrastructure for Natural Gas for consumers, Open Innovation and Opt-In Systems HD wallets, Festival of the Commons 2012-2014 incremental tech, Designing for Innovation infrastructure inversion, From Horses to Vehicles internet, UX and Society interstitial, Interstitial Innovation investment, Festival of the Commons 2012-2014 Linux, Incumbent Reactions to Innovation makers, Recognizing Innovation mash-up, Interstitial Innovation media, Infrastructure for Natural Gas modem, Infrastructure for Human Voices MP3, Incumbent Reactions to Innovation multisignature, Festival of the Commons 2012-2014 new medium, Separating the Medium and the Message open, Incumbent Reactions to Innovation paper money, Precious Metals to Paper permission, The Smart Network - Phones permissionless, Neutrality, Criminals, and Bitcoin, New Architecture, New Access, Bitcoin’s Dumb Network regulation, Predicting the Future tools for, Building Blocks of Creativity wallet, Fee Optimization and Scaling international finance, Money of the Peopleinternet, Bitcoin, the Invention, Neutrality, Criminals, and Bitcoin, New Architecture, New Access, The Dumb Network - Internet, UX and Society, Usenet Will Destroy the Internetprinting press, Authority by Production interstitial, Interstitial Innovationinvestment, Festival of the Commons 2012-2014 K keys, Master-Slave Architecture, Wallets aren’t wallets permission, Wallets aren’t wallets L language, How Old Is Money?

pages: 212 words: 80,393

Getting By: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain by Lisa McKenzie


British Empire, call centre, credit crunch, delayed gratification, falling living standards, financial exclusion, full employment, income inequality, low skilled workers, moral panic, New Urbanism, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, unpaid internship, urban renewal, working poor

This rate is even higher for children under 16: Nottingham has the seventh highest percentage, with 32 per cent classified as ‘living in poverty’ – a total of 18,840 children in 2010 (Nottingham City Council, 2012). In both age groups, only London authorities and Manchester have higher rates of child poverty. Between 2009 and 2010, despite a small reduction in child poverty rates, Nottingham’s position relative to other authorities worsened. The experiences of parents are shaped by the local employment market, financial exclusion, economic recession, national changes to welfare benefits, adult literacy levels, the availability of good quality affordable childcare, by fuel poverty, housing and environmental issues, parental physical and mental health, and more. St Ann’s also has the highest number of people not employed within the city. This includes 1,278 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, with a total of only 42 per cent of St Ann’s residents in any kind of employment, 15 per cent of those unemployed being over the age of 50, 10 per cent never having worked, and 40 per cent being the long-term unemployed.

pages: 700 words: 201,953

The Social Life of Money by Nigel Dodd


accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, David Graeber, debt deflation, dematerialisation, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kula ring, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mental accounting, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, predatory finance, price mechanism, price stability, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, remote working, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, Scientific racism, seigniorage, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Veblen good, Wave and Pay, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Streeck, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

They have all made important contributions to a tradition of practical schemes that use innovations in the design of money and the price system to improve economic conditions, including proposals by renowned economists, such as Irving Fisher’s stamp scrip (Fisher, Cohrssen, et al. 1933) and Robert Shiller’s baskets (Shiller 2008). Finally, there are now several thousand alternative monetary systems in operation worldwide, using a range of different media and accounting schemes designed to foster local economic growth, resist financial exclusion, and even challenge what many believe to be the persistent and damaging hegemony of states and banks in the way that money is produced and managed. There are, then, whole hosts of ways in which, to use Simmel’s memorable phrase, war has been declared on the monetary system.3 Although not all such skirmishes involve the construction of utopian programs, many of them are triggered by what Jameson, after Bloch (Bloch 2000), called the utopian spirit.

Significantly, the factory was small, employing only around 2,000 people, and was surrounded by a society living under very different life conditions.7 When Simmel states that “completely or approximate socialistic arrangements until now were feasible only in rather small groups, but are ever frustrated in large ones” (Simmel 2009: 53), a parallel is suggested with today’s local currency movements, which operate as what Polanyi would call special-purpose monetary circuits serving specific needs (for specialized credit, local trade, and so on) within much larger circuits of general-purpose money. The stated aim of such movements is rarely (if ever) to replace mainstream (general-purpose) money. Rather, it is to provide a counterweight to it, that is to say, a set of monetary arrangements that can make up for the shortcomings of mainstream money, such as financial exclusion (Dodd 2005b). Likewise, socialism appeals to Simmel not tout court, but rather as a corrective, i.e., a tendency that resists the equally complete realization of the form of individualism he identifies with economic liberalism. If anything, socialism would work most effectively only from within a liberal market order. Simmel’s arguments about socialism and liberalism are taken further in his critique of just pricing.

pages: 363 words: 107,817

Modernising Money: Why Our Monetary System Is Broken and How It Can Be Fixed by Andrew Jackson (economist), Ben Dyson (economist)


bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, credit crunch, David Graeber, debt deflation, double entry bookkeeping, eurozone crisis, financial exclusion, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, land reform, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Northern Rock, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, seigniorage, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, unorthodox policies

Any bank that did take customer’s funds, promise repayment of the funds on demand and then lent the funds would be in breach of this law. This catch-all requirement prevents banks from offering alternative products that offer the same services as Transaction Accounts but allow the bank to use the funds for other purposes (which would effectively be a return to the current monetary system). 2. One concern is that charging fees for the provision of Transaction Accounts will hurt the poor and increase financial exclusion. A solution to this problem is for the government to simply provide anyone earning below a certain threshold with a small grant which can be used to open a Transaction Account. 3. In addition, the need for the Bank of England to provide additional intraday liquidity through same day repo for securities transactions (as it currently does in CREST under a procedure known as auto-collateralisation) will no longer be required, as due to the reforms every account will be fully liquid. 4.

pages: 275 words: 84,980

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us (Perspectives) by David Birch

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, capital controls, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, creative destruction, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Irish bank strikes, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, large denomination, M-Pesa, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, Northern Rock, Pingit, prediction markets, price stability, QR code, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Real Time Gross Settlement, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, social graph, special drawing rights, technoutopianism, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, Washington Consensus, wikimedia commons

They are also paying the highest transaction costs because they lack credit ratings and references, and (in an example I once heard from Elizabeth Berthe of Grameen at the Consult Hyperion Forum back in 2011) they are the ones most likely to have their life savings eaten by rats. So what should be done? Well, the answer is clear. Make electronic payment accounts that are capable of supporting account-to-account push payments available to every European citizen at no cost. Now, financial exclusion is often associated with an inability to provide a proof of identity or address (e.g. immigrants, homeless people), unemployment or financial distress in general, and low educational attainment. Electronic money itself does not attack any of these issues so we must have relaxed KYC for low-maximum-balance accounts. Manifesto Commitment 3. We will regulate for an on-demand electronic payment account capable of holding a maximum of €1,000 without further KYC.