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We all spend a lot of our time thinking about money; how to get it, how to spend it. But its nature eludes most of us. We do not ask what money is, and so we organize our lives around a mystery. Professional economists aren’t much help. The mainstream of the discipline and most of its critics are unanimous in seeing money as a neutral medium of exchange and finance as a m We all spend a lot of our time thinking about money; how to get it, how to spend it. But its nature eludes most of us. We do not ask what money is, and so we organize our lives around a mystery. Professional economists aren’t much help. The mainstream of the discipline and most of its critics are unanimous in seeing money as a neutral medium of exchange and finance as a mechanism for connecting lenders to borrowers. If you stray from this consensus you will find yourself in a wilderness of goldbugs and Bitcoin enthusiasts. In Just Money the acclaimed economist and critic of modern finance Ann Pettifor explains authoritatively and clearly what money is, where it comes from, and how it is currently controlled. She goes on to describe how we the people can use an improved understanding of money and finance to build economies that are more productive and just than the bank-ridden rackets we are currently lumbered with. Another world, a fairer world, is possible. But if we want to secure it we will have to do away with our inhibitions and misconceptions about the most misunderstood invention in human history. Just Money sets out in plain terms the link between the change in our pocket and the change we want to see in the world. "Ann Pettifor, director of Prime Economics, is a fantastic economist." Philip Aldrick "Ann Pettifor's economic analysis has proved prescient in the past. Today her work becomes increasingly relevant for those wanting to understand the link between easy but costly credit, the rise in consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Above all Ann's demolition of the argument that ‘there is no money’ to reduce poverty, finance childcare and fund the transformation of our economy away from fossil fuels, makes her work essential reading for Greens everywhere." Caroline Lucas MP "The critical issue is, if you can map a system, you can start to see what people aren’t actually watching, the dark corners, and often it’s the dark corners that really matter. Ann deserves a lot of credit because she was trying to highlight these issues many, many years ago, and unfortunately, there weren’t enough people who were trying to map the system, model it, and then above all else, modify it. We have to map the financial system and then work out how to change it going forward." Gillian Tett "As we wrestle with the biggest economic and environmental crises facing society, Ann Pettifor is a rare voice giving us a brilliant analysis of the overweening privilege given to finance. Her vital insight has been to explain how money, and the way banks are allowed to create and allocate it, fuels both economic and environmental havoc. Without Ann's call to re-imagine our bank and money system, we would not be able to find even the beginnings of the answers we desperately need." Andrew Simms "Ann Pettifor, the wonderful economist who first said that ‘Britain is living in an Alice in Wongaland economy’, a line that on its own is worthy of a Nobel economics prize, points journalists to George Osborne's Mais lecture of 2010. He was then a model of fiscal rectitude. Britain had to move away from ‘unsustainable private and public debt,’ he said, to ‘a new model of economic growth that is rooted in more investment, more savings and higher exports’." Nick Cohen


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We all spend a lot of our time thinking about money; how to get it, how to spend it. But its nature eludes most of us. We do not ask what money is, and so we organize our lives around a mystery. Professional economists aren’t much help. The mainstream of the discipline and most of its critics are unanimous in seeing money as a neutral medium of exchange and finance as a m We all spend a lot of our time thinking about money; how to get it, how to spend it. But its nature eludes most of us. We do not ask what money is, and so we organize our lives around a mystery. Professional economists aren’t much help. The mainstream of the discipline and most of its critics are unanimous in seeing money as a neutral medium of exchange and finance as a mechanism for connecting lenders to borrowers. If you stray from this consensus you will find yourself in a wilderness of goldbugs and Bitcoin enthusiasts. In Just Money the acclaimed economist and critic of modern finance Ann Pettifor explains authoritatively and clearly what money is, where it comes from, and how it is currently controlled. She goes on to describe how we the people can use an improved understanding of money and finance to build economies that are more productive and just than the bank-ridden rackets we are currently lumbered with. Another world, a fairer world, is possible. But if we want to secure it we will have to do away with our inhibitions and misconceptions about the most misunderstood invention in human history. Just Money sets out in plain terms the link between the change in our pocket and the change we want to see in the world. "Ann Pettifor, director of Prime Economics, is a fantastic economist." Philip Aldrick "Ann Pettifor's economic analysis has proved prescient in the past. Today her work becomes increasingly relevant for those wanting to understand the link between easy but costly credit, the rise in consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Above all Ann's demolition of the argument that ‘there is no money’ to reduce poverty, finance childcare and fund the transformation of our economy away from fossil fuels, makes her work essential reading for Greens everywhere." Caroline Lucas MP "The critical issue is, if you can map a system, you can start to see what people aren’t actually watching, the dark corners, and often it’s the dark corners that really matter. Ann deserves a lot of credit because she was trying to highlight these issues many, many years ago, and unfortunately, there weren’t enough people who were trying to map the system, model it, and then above all else, modify it. We have to map the financial system and then work out how to change it going forward." Gillian Tett "As we wrestle with the biggest economic and environmental crises facing society, Ann Pettifor is a rare voice giving us a brilliant analysis of the overweening privilege given to finance. Her vital insight has been to explain how money, and the way banks are allowed to create and allocate it, fuels both economic and environmental havoc. Without Ann's call to re-imagine our bank and money system, we would not be able to find even the beginnings of the answers we desperately need." Andrew Simms "Ann Pettifor, the wonderful economist who first said that ‘Britain is living in an Alice in Wongaland economy’, a line that on its own is worthy of a Nobel economics prize, points journalists to George Osborne's Mais lecture of 2010. He was then a model of fiscal rectitude. Britain had to move away from ‘unsustainable private and public debt,’ he said, to ‘a new model of economic growth that is rooted in more investment, more savings and higher exports’." Nick Cohen

47 review for Just Money: How Society Can Break the Despotic Power of Finance

  1. 5 out of 5

    James Elder

    This was an intriguing, educational read. I very much want others (especially those with specialist knowledge) to read it, review it and critique it; it makes a powerful case with far-reaching consequences, hence I really want to know whether others think that what is said stacks up. Briefly, it's about what money is and how it is created. Pettifor advances the case that money has always been an expression of trust - at both individual and societal level. She then explains how the development of This was an intriguing, educational read. I very much want others (especially those with specialist knowledge) to read it, review it and critique it; it makes a powerful case with far-reaching consequences, hence I really want to know whether others think that what is said stacks up. Briefly, it's about what money is and how it is created. Pettifor advances the case that money has always been an expression of trust - at both individual and societal level. She then explains how the development of the banking system (from its origins with goldsmiths and pawnbrokers) was a social good. Banks, in seventeenth and eighteenth century Lombardy, Britain and the Netherlands, began to issue credit, in the form of notes, based on their assessment of the collateral, reliability and future prospects of the borrower. Only a small amount of this credit was secured on existing reserves of gold and coin, so the large majority of it was new money created 'out of thin air. For the first time, inventors or businessmen with a good idea but no funds, were not dependent on rich landowners and aristocrats, charging high rates of interest, to gain the money to bring their bright ideas into being. Instead they could gain credit from the bankers - at significantly lower rates - and so improve the economy and society. Pettifor suggests that this is one underlying reason for the rapid developments in commerce, industry and technology from the 1700s onwards. However, she then goes on to argue that this system has now broken down. Banks, lightly regulated (especially since the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act) and having lost interest in their original social purpose of credit creation, are now creating money principally to speculate in their own interest, inflate asset prices (and so benefit the asset-owning rich) and pull wealth out of the rest of the economy. When they do lend to businesses and individuals they do so at high and ultimately unaffordable rates, decoupled from the low rates at which they themselves can borrow from the Central Banks. She makes the case that, if society were to have the courage to face up to the powerful vested interests of High Finance, and re-regulate the banking sector (and the shadow banks with their off balance-sheet SIVs) then we would be able to find the money for the kind of society we want, and to combat coming challenges like Climate Change. At the heart of the book is Keynes' liquidity preference theory, which Pettifor suggests has been unjustly ignored and which she thinks is still valid and points to a better way forward to the economy. Pettifor has a good claim to have predicted the 2008 crash and so deserves to be listened to but, as I say, I want others to read this and explain to me the flaws in her argument. Minus one star for excessive and irritating use of italics!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rahul Deodhar

    The book is just read. The first part is confusing - not because the author is confusing but mainly because it challenges the basic structure of money. Ann Pettifor describes the nature of money is sharp and quick manner - something I would have loved to see elaborated. The part where she uses Keynes as backdrop for solution is must read. Keynes was a very smart and highly misunderstood man. Credit goes to the author to get to Keynes' logic properly. This quick and short book aims to clarify man The book is just read. The first part is confusing - not because the author is confusing but mainly because it challenges the basic structure of money. Ann Pettifor describes the nature of money is sharp and quick manner - something I would have loved to see elaborated. The part where she uses Keynes as backdrop for solution is must read. Keynes was a very smart and highly misunderstood man. Credit goes to the author to get to Keynes' logic properly. This quick and short book aims to clarify many misconceptions. Some deserve a larger treatment. Must read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    David Hargreaves

    Great analysis This book is a very clear analysis of the origins of the financial crisis and the nature of money and the problems caused by a rentier economy. I did feel that it was not completely clear what the solutions were and the extent to which policies offered would really make a clear difference.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Martin Taylor

  5. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Muncey

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diogo Diogo

  7. 5 out of 5

    Federico

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joe Taylor

  9. 5 out of 5

    James

  10. 4 out of 5

    Albert Castellanos Maduell

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  12. 5 out of 5

    PAUL BROWN

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peter Antman

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  15. 4 out of 5

    Fern

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

  17. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Seifert

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Arliss

  20. 5 out of 5

    Guy Dauncey

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mike Duncombe

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sean McKeown

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  25. 4 out of 5

    Casey Woolley

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrea D'Cruz

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    Julie Ř.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kieron Bradley

  29. 4 out of 5

    Edwin

  30. 5 out of 5

    April Raine

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    Martynas Asipauskas

  32. 5 out of 5

    Laura Lee

  33. 5 out of 5

    Winterfella

  34. 5 out of 5

    Leland LeCuyer

  35. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  36. 5 out of 5

    The Pfaeffle Journal (Diane)

  37. 5 out of 5

    Sean Calvert

  38. 4 out of 5

    Dave

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    Mike D

  40. 4 out of 5

    Jake Metcalf

  41. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  42. 5 out of 5

    Joelle

  43. 4 out of 5

    El Dan

  44. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Aguilar

  45. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  46. 5 out of 5

    Alina Apine

  47. 4 out of 5

    Amy

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