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How to Break the Power of Bankers
Forgotten password Please enter your email address below and we'll send you a link to reset your password. This is a short book heavy with credibility. Its key premise is that the financial crisis of created the possibilities for inequality to grow. As this suggests, this is not just a book about money, it is a book about power and control. First, she says, we need a public understanding of money and complex monetary systems.
Her book is aimed at facilitating this knowledge. Second, she wants us to channel our anger and sense of unfairness to drive us towards a progressive future.
A problem Pettifor emphasises here is not just with the lack of knowledge, but with those who conceal and divert attention. A core idea in the book is that the relations between public and private money need to be rethought.
'The Production of Money': How to Break the Bankers and Put Our Broken Economy Back Together
There is, for Pettifor, an apparent power imbalance at work here. And to what end is that money created? Here we have the questions that this book places at the centre of how power operates and inequality is forged.
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Unsurprisingly, the risks attached to inflation and deflation get a good deal of attention. As do interest rates and assets, capital and prices. As a translational resource the book is very helpful. Avoiding dry detail, these are explanations with a purpose.
The Production of Money
Alongside the descriptions come clear illustrations of how money can be complicit in injustice and inequality. It is here that we begin to see how public structures prop up private wealth generation for the richest. As Pettifor puts it:. The entwining of the public and private creates a platform for injustice to thrive by enabling those with wealth to use the public infrastructure to extend their private finance. As a result, the post-crash economic conditions were ripe for those with assets to make themselves richer.
Even where central bank rates are low, real rates can be very high. The role of a central bank, Pettifor points out, is to determine and maintain the value of currency. These activities are closely connected to tax intakes and financial solidity. The problem is that although central banks set a rate they are open to being reworked in the actual economy. Today the global economy is effectively governed by a small number of actors based in private global banks and other financial institutions.
They manage the system in their own vested interests to the detriment of wider society. In the absence of any real political challenge from society, private wealth owners have used the public infrastructure of money and their power over private money production, to amass astounding amounts of wealth. This is what Pettifor is arguing needs to be addressed.
Power can only be rebalanced if the power over the production of money is recast, if the setting of interest rates changes hands and if a political challenge is made to those who are able to leverage power over national governments. The point here is that these moments of crisis created opportunities to maintain this power imbalance rather than resolve it. As Phillip Mirowski has described, there is a sense here of never letting a serious crisis go to waste. So as public systems afford private wealth creation those public services suffer. Pettifor is openly disappointed with the money reform movement.
Many of these alternatives, she points out, continue the pattern of placing power in the hands of technocrats, and outside of the reach of democratic structures and decision making. The only solution, according to Pettifor, is to bring an end to the despotic power of bankers that is based in deregulation whilst also making clear that their wealth is being created on the back of public infrastructures.