On Sunday evening I went to a Hell hole in East London (an old pub made into what looks like a refectory hosted by the 1980s The Young Ones) called Passing Clouds in Dalston, nr ‘Ackney.

I went to see a film called 97% Owned.  It’s about how money is created – 97% of the money in circulation is simply created digitally by the banks.  Not The Bank of England.  But Barclays, HSBC, Nationwide etc

They do it to fuel their profit machine.  I have absolutely nothing against profit.  I have a lot against profit made by screwing the masses.  And that is the way our system runs.

As they create more of the stuff and lend lend lend on houses no surprise that house prices have soared these last 40 years as lending has gone through the, er, roof.  (Sorry!)

Positive Money is behind the film and is a pressure group trying to educate folk how our system really works (or doesn’t as the case may be).  I have a lot of time for @PositiveMoneyUK set up by a young man by the name of Ben Dyson (https://www.positivemoney.org/ http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ben-dyson/13/266/b3 ).  They have their hearts and minds in the right place.  They see the primary problems correctly.

One of their main protagonists is @AnnPettifor with whom I ‘debated’ (!) on The Today Programme  (@BBCR4Today) on @BBCRadio4 a few months back.  She wouldn’t accept that #Capitalism sorted out the potential major Depression (that never was) from 1921.  She never will even though it is a simple fact of history.

As banks create money and lend it to their favoured sectors THE BANKS create the asset and price bubbles.  Not the Bank of England nor even the politicians.  However, the latter two allow the banks to do it and they should ASAP reform the system to reign in the banks.  Yeah, that’s going to happen.

Why on Earth do you think the cost of living is so high???

The screening was very well attended with, I would say, 100 people aged from 20 – 80, being what appeared to be Commies, charity workers, greenies, bankers, academics (uh oh!) and moi.

However, though I wish Ben and his colleagues and supporters well, I shall not be getting involved (unless the situation changes) as I have issues with their thinking.  (I guess I was also put off because Pettifor was in the film and she is very closed minded – or perhaps she just was live on national radio.)

They appear not to see that #Capitalism is the answer.  They want to alter the system and create another system.  So what’s the difference?  They want an ivory tower grouping to decide on the level and type of lending.  Well, sorry but that, to me, is the very definition of Marxism – whether that is how they intend it that is how it would play out.

No, let the market decide on interest rates and lending.  That is the way to sort out house price inflation, costs of living inflation etc

I asked Ben about the market setting rates and he didn’t answer (couldn’t?).  Their answer is regulate lending.  No, Ben, that is Marxism.

Anyway, it’s a good film, if ever you get the time.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcGh1Dex4Yo

They have something important to say and educate.  Unfortunately they don’t realise (or maybe they do…) that their panacea is just as flawed as the current situation.  They’ll win the support of quasi Commies and disenchanted.  But they’ll never sort the problem EVEN if they win parliamentary support.

#BringBackCapitalism to sort out the ills of our economy and of our society. Let the market decide on interest rates, not the political appointee ivory tower merchants in the Central Banks.

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14 Responses to @PositiveMoneyUK

  1. Anonymous says:

    agree that ZIRP is madness, but only those with a fundamentalist outlook could argue that an interest rate of 4500% for the UNWAGED is madness. or for the state through PFIs!

    i don’t see how outlawing both ZIRP and absurb wonga rates would harm a market economy.

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  3. Ben Dyson says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    Just a few points to clarify. Firstly, the film was made by a couple of independent film producers, and we were just interviewed for it, so we didn’t have any editorial control. That means the film doesn’t explain the details of our proposals particularly clearly. If you’re interested in the details, they’re explained in more detail here: http://www.positivemoney.org/our-proposals

    With regards to this: “They want an ivory tower grouping to decide on the level and type of lending”, this is not what we’re proposing (although it’s a common misunderstanding).

    We want to leave the lending to banks, and the money creation to the state. We’re advocating that banks continue to decide what they lend in, using money that people have lent to them specifically for investing. We want the risk to be shared between the bank and the investors, so that we no longer have governments guaranteeing private risk taking (ending the socialisation of losses by banks).

    Then interest rates WOULD be set by the markets, rather than by the Monetary Policy Committee. (The point of setting interest rates centrally in the current system is to encourage people to borrow more or less, allowing banks to create more/less money.)

    The only role of the MPC is then to decide whether to increase or decrease the money supply, depending on the needs of the economy on a macro-level. Banks can lend and invest where they like, but if they mess up, there’ll be no bailouts or taxpayer-funded rescue packages. We’d be removing the safety net. Banks would be forced to operate like any other business, without all the safety nets and socialisation of losses.

    So that’s possibly not as Marxist as you first thought! If you get chance have a look at one of the papers here, and feel free to fire over any questions.


    • Thank you Ben

      Most helpful. How come you, personally, are not on Twitter? if you are I couldn’t find you.

      So, it now sounds as if you’re proposing, in effect, Glass-Steagall. So why on Earth didn’t you say so?
      I can certainly agree to that.

      The film did say we mustn’t bail out banks but we must, to paraphrase.
      Of course, they need to divest of their retail and then they can fend for themselves.

      Problem is, they need retail even more now for all the Bail Ins they’re about to unleash on us. Which should have happened in 2007 but was politically untenable.

      isn’t everything worthwhile politically untenable?

      As I said, I have a lot of time for what you guys are doing and you have clarified, enhancing my positive view at least.

      I don’t know what you’re doing to promote but it may well be you have a positive Capitalist message there, though I will need time to digest. if you do then I hope you are pushing the true #Capitalist word (sounds quasi religious, not meant to). For my part when I tweet about these things I often say #bringbackcapitalism or #banbankbailouts etc

      Surely the Austrian school would be interested. I guess you’re already with them as you referenced @CobdenCentre in the film.

      I wondered if @nigel_farage was the real deal till I asked him why his party doesn’t have a policy on free mkt rates setting. His answer was the same BS as ever. Not easy to get it approved etc Yeah, right NIgel, it isn’t your party and you don;t decide what goes on do you.

      I hope you make headway. The problem is of course it’s all politically untenable. It will become tenable when we truly enter into #Depression. Of course then it will be (probably already is) too late.

      if you think I can help then we or your ‘people’ can talk and assuage my concerns.

      All best


      • Though when I look at the link to Proposals I’m not so sure of the free market thinking as you suggest in your reply.

        It may be mis-interpretation or lack of time.

        All best anyway

    • Belisarius6 says:

      Jonathan Davies thinks your proposal is equivalent to Glass-Steagall? He’s a moron. Drop him and move on.

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  5. SE10 says:

    Good blog – exactly my sentiments on Positive Money. I wonder if they will write a response like they did to Detlev’s article? http://www.positivemoney.org/2013/02/detlev-schlichter-on-positive-money-a-response/

  6. Anonymous says:

    agree with positive money – public banking, as in north dakota (working swimmingly for almost 100 years) is the best way to achieve a balanced social market economy

    some regulation of lenders in neccessary – 4500% loans to the jobless should be illegal.

    • Yes, there are only 3000 working at main financial regulator. They must be SOOOOOO busy

      • Anonymous says:

        good regulation like glass steagal, which if i remember correctly, was about 12 pages long is what i am proposing.

        and stopping astronomical interest rates or having a liveable minimum wage do NOT affect market or prices adversely. not in the real world, anyway.

        why are you “more free, more equal” if tory donors, wonga, are allowed to lend to the unwaged at 4500%

      • if the costs of living were much lower due to mkt rates rather than the idiotic ZIRP then WONGA would be less in demand.

        yes GS was indeed simple and brilliantly effective as @senwarren is often telling us

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