Ben Dyson talks about the progress made by Positive Money in sparking the debate about monetary reform over the past four years
The last six months have been full of breakthroughs for the movement to democratise money. Since 2010 we’ve been working to raise awareness of the fact that the same banks that caused the financial crisis currently create 97% of the money in our economy and decide where that money goes.
One of the early challenges was simply getting people to believe that banks create money. Even the UK Treasury would reply to letters from members of the public with the line: “Banks have no authority to create money, digital or otherwise.” But this argument was settled in March 2014 when the Bank of England released the paper Money Creation in the Modern Economy, in which they explained that “the majority of money in the modern economy is created by commercial banks making loans.” This confirmation from the Bank of England has already led some university lecturers to update their teaching on money and banking, and means that the debate can move on to the crucial issue of who should be allowed to create money.
The Positive Money movement continues to grow online and offline, with more than 30,000 followers on Facebook and 30 local groups around the UK (15 new groups have been set up this year alone). These local groups host film screenings, reading groups and run stalls at festivals. In addition, our members have been contacting MPs, local councillors, like-minded grassroots societies and the media to raise awareness of the fundamental problems with money. Internationally, there are now groups in 21 different countries, with Swiss group MoMo launching a petition that aims to get 100,000 signatures calling for a referendum on monetary reform.