What is money, where does it come from, and who controls it?
Money makes the world go round: but what is it really? And how is it produced? Above all, who controls its production, and in whose interests? Money is never a neutral medium of exchange. Nor are bankers simply go-betweens for savers and borrowers.
In this accessible, brilliantly argued book, leading political economist Ann Pettifor explains in straightforward terms history's most misunderstood invention: the money system. Pettifor argues that democracies can reclaim control over money production and subordinate the out-of-control finance sector to the interests of society, and also the ecosystem. She also examines and assesses popular alternative debates on, and innovations in, money: positive money, helicopter money and the rise of goldbugs. She sets out the possibility of linking the money in our pockets (or on our smartphones) to the change we want to see in the world around us.
"Ann deserves a lot of credit because she was trying to highlight these issues many, many years ago, and unfortunately, there weren't enough people who were trying to map the system, model it, and then above all else, modify it." - Gillian Tett, author of The Silo Effect "Ann Pettifor is a rare voice giving us a brilliant analysis of the overweening privilege given to finance. Her vital insight has been to explain how money, and the way banks are allowed to create and allocate it, fuels both economic and environmental havoc. Without Ann's call to re-imagine our bank and money system, we would not be able to find even the beginnings of the answers we desperately need." - Andrew Simms, author of Cancel the Apocalypse "A wonderful economist who first said that 'Britain is living in an Alice in Wongaland economy'" - Nick Cohen, author of What's Left? "Our livelihoods and ecosystem are deeply affected by the world of money production and finance. But it's a world largely hidden from us by vested interests. In language we can all understand Ann Pettifor explains the issues and the debates around money, shadow banking, QE and 'helicopter money'. A must-read" - Caroline Lucas, MP "Ann Pettifor was always the ideal author of a book that shatters the fantasy of apolitical money and the toxic myth that monetary policy must remain a democracy-free zone. This book is now a reality." Yanis Varoufakis, author of And the Weak Suffer What they Must?
Ann Pettifor is a political economist with a focus on finance and sovereign debt. She is director of Prime: Policy Research in Macroeconomics, an Honorary Research Fellow at City University, a fellow of the New Economics Foundation, and has an honorary doctorate from Newcastle University. She is known for her leadership of a campaign that resulted in massive debt cancellation for more than 30 countries - Jubilee 2000.. She has served on the board of the UN Development Report and in 2015 was invited onto the economic advisory board by the British Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. She is the author of 'The Real World Economic Outlook', and 'The Coming First World Debt Crisis', and co-authored The Green New Deal and The Economic Consequences of Mr. Osborne.