Bernard Lietaer, Christian Arnsperger, Sally Goerner, and Stafan Brunnhuber, Money and Sustainability: The missing link

Bernard Lietaer, Christian Arnsperger, Sally Goerner, and Stafan Brunnhuber, Money and Sustainability: The missing link, Triarchy Press for the Club of Rome, EU Chapter, 1 908009 7 53, pbk, 211 pp, £24

This report, written for a European group affiliated to the think tank The Club of Rome, stands in a long line of publications that identify the creation of money via bank debt as an economic, social, and ecological problem. Money created in this way, and the ways in which we have turned money into a variously packaged commodity, amplify boom and bust cycles, result in short term thinking, require economic growth to sustain the system, concentrate wealth, and damage the trust on which social capital is built. Repeated banking crises are a clear signal of a system in trouble.

The authors identify the fundamental problem as currency monopoly, and propose that the monopoly should be broken by an extension of existing experiments in complementary currencies.

The reason for this review in the Citizen’s Income Newsletter is not because this book is about a Citizen’s Income, or about the structure of tax and benefits systems. It isn’t. But it is an exercise parallel in many respects to the research that the Citizen’s Income Trust and others have done on feasible extensions of universal benefits. The book recognises that the current monetary system has to continue much as it is; it identifies problems with the current system, and argues convincingly that plural currencies at a variety of levels (local, national, and European) would be a partial solution to many of the current difficulties and would reduce the risk of future crises; it studies and evaluates existing experiments in alternative currencies; and it makes feasible proposals on the basis of those evaluations. Similarly, we have shown that a Citizen’s Income would be an adaptation of the existing tax and benefits system, that it would respond to a variety of current economic and social problems, that it would build on existing experience of universal benefits, and that it would be feasible.

This is not the place for a detailed critique of the authors’ nine specific proposals, but to this reviewer they appeared both feasible and desirable: as would be a Citizen’s Income.

This is a good book on how limited economic reforms could make a real difference to both our global society and its environment.

Citizens' Income Trust

About Citizens' Income Trust

has written 115 articles.

One comment

  • Drew

    With the reckless printing of money in the federal reserve and the bank of England etc..because of the debts created by bloating overcontrolling governments..seeking out an agenda of world government, socialist programs..centralized management we are paying heavily now for it!

    It didn’t work in Russia!, It didn’t work in Romania, or Hungary etc. ad nauseum! You’d think that the worlds’ governments would wake up and get the hint that it is the work ethic, ambition, and creativity of the people that promotes success and well being in the economy and the currency!However in the currency, We need honest money!!!
    Backed by gold! To rein in the morally bankrupt bankers!….. The unbelievable piggishness, arrogance and greed is is truely “Unsustainable”!!

    There is NO WAY of paying back what the bankers stole and ripped off by their lousy gambling debts in derivatives!! I believe that this is deliberate to usher in a world electronic currency…

    How else would you correct all the abuses in banking and our world debt?

    Endgame….then New Game!!

    It kinda looks like that, doesn’t it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *