Finance & Money

Governments across the world have given the power to create money to the private corporations that we know as banks. Today, over 90% of all of the money used by people and businesses in the western world is created by banks when they make loans.

This way of creating money has led to economic instability and financial crises. It has produced the highest-ever levels of personal and government debt, made houses unaffordable, and been a driver for the short-term behaviour that is destroying the businesses and ecosystems on which we depend.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. In this Solution Lab we will discuss the alternatives to the current monetary and financial system.

This theme will cover questions like:

  • How do we design our financial system in a way that does not create indebtedness, inequality and ecological destruction, but instead facilitates real investments and make local economies flourish?

The plenary session related to this theme will be led by Ben Dyson, while the Solution Labs will be led by Rasmus Hougaard-Nielsen (Omstilling Nu/Transition Now), Ole Bjerg (CBS) and Ib Ravn (Gode Penge).


To prepare well for the workshop we recommend the following texts:


Jackson, A. & Dyson, B. (2013): Modernising Money: Why Our Monetary System is Broken and How it Can be Fixed

  • Detailed, but accessible to non-economists, Modernising Money is written for anybody who wants to know how money is created in the modern economy, and how it could be changed to serve people, businesses, society and the environment.


Ryan-Collins, J., Greenham, T., Jackson, A., Werner, R. (2012): Where Does Money Come From?

  • Many people would be surprised to learn that even among bankers, economists, and policymakers, there is no common understanding of how new money is created. Where Does Money Come From? examines the workings of the monetary system and concludes that the most useful description is that new money is created by commercial banks when they extend or create credit, either through making loans or buying existing assets. In creating credit, banks simultaneously create deposits in our bank accounts, which, to all intents and purposes, is money.


McLeay, M., Radia, A., Thomas, R., Bank of England, Quarterly Bulletin 2014 Q1: Money creation in the modern economy

  • This article from Bank of England states that most money in the economy is created by commercial banks. Whenever they makes a loan, they simultaneously creates a matching deposit in the borrower’s bank account, thereby creating new money.

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