For example, chapter 26 talks about the Program for Monetary Reform - a document produced by the following group of economists in July 1939.
- Paul H. Douglas (University of Chicago)
- Irving Fisher (Yale)
- Frank D. Graham (Princeton)
- Earl J. Hamilton (Duke)
- Willford I. King (New York University)
- Charles R. Whittlesay (Princeton)
But it turns out that proposal to ban fractional reserve banking dates from even further back. It was Frederick Soddy, an "amateur" economist who was a Nobel-prize winning Chemist at the University of Oxford, who can apparently take the credit. Soddy wrote four books between 1921 and 1934 in which he proposed a number of radical ideas, and you can download his 1934 book "The Role of Money" here. At the time, he was dimissed a crank, but several of his ideas are now almost orthodox:
- The abandonment of the gold standard
- Letting interntational exchange rates float
- Using the quantity of money to counter cyclical trends
- Establishing a consumer price index to monitor the quantity of money
It also turns out the J.R.R. Tolkein, the author of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, was also interested in monetary reform, and said
"There should only be one source of money: one fountainhead from which flows the nation's blood to vitalise commerce and industry, ensure economic equity and justice and safeguard the welfare of the people... In other words, it has always been and has always been our contention that the prerogative of creating and issuing the money of the nation should be restored to the State."It doesn't take much of a leap of imagination to suppose that when the Dark Lord Sauron had enslaved the people of Middle Earth with his rings of power, those golden rings, "forged in the fires of Mount Doom could be symbolic of central banks and their power to convince entire nations to borrow their money into existence".
At the end of Bill Still's book, he gives an overview of a number of places where interesting new ideas are being considered. For example, there is an excellent organisation called Monetative in Germany that is working along the same lines as the Positive Money group in the UK.