Sargon Nissan writes a preview of his session on the history of money…
Why does money matter so much? Excuse the obvious and perhaps stupid question, but it is one that economists agonise over and activists increasingly question, especially since the global financial crisis shone a light on the murky excesses of the global financial system.
Many wonder about the strange nature of something that is simultaneously worth everything and nothing – money’s the only thing worth the paper it’s printed on, and then some. On March 5th at 6 Billion Ways, I’m going to try and untangle the history of money and how our current financial system has shaped and been shaped by the way we manage our money.
Some argue that the power banks have to create money lies at the heart of the excessive power that banks and financial institutions now have, able to lose a fortune in a day and make it back from taxpayers the next. But would changing this fact do anything about it?
Internationally we hear rumblings about the privilege the dollar’s role confers on the United States. Despite holding trillions of the greenback, the Chinese government has hinted that maybe it is time to change the international financial order, starting with the currency. Could this be done, and if so how?
The way we rely on the dollar and on financial institutions to manage credit and debt clearly has massive implications for the global economy, and I would argue that another (financial) world is possible. So what are the more progressive and sustainable forms of investment and financial institutions? Could they lead the charge to a progressive investment system, that doesn’t bring with it so much anarchy and instability?
I’ll be trying to answer these questions at 6 Billion Ways with a few props, a few chocolate coins and some audience participation. If you’re interested come down to either the morning session (10:30) or afternoon (3:30) to get stuck into debate that will veer wildly from the global financial system to Brixton pounds in a gonzo guide to the history of money.