23 Feb 2016


I've been a bit quiet recently, but things have nevertheless been moving. I have just returned from a four day training program of the IMMR (International Movement for Monetary Reform). The event took place in Brussels and was organised by Stan Jourdan and other members of Positive Money. It was very well organised, good fun, and was an opportunity to meet other reformers from a wide range of countries - UK, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and well as South Africa and the USA.

We kicked off with a special conference on QEforPeople that was held in the European Parliament on Wednesday the 17th of Febraury. It was introduced by Molly Scott Cato (MEP for the UK Green Party) and featured talks by Richard Werner (Director of the Centre for Banking, Finance and Sustainable Development at the University of Southampton), Eric Lonergan (a macro hedgefund manager, economist and writer), Frédéric Boccara (a member of Les Economistes Atterés), Frances Coppola (who has worked in banking for many years) and  Frank Van Verven and Fran Boait who are both from Positive Money. You can see interviews with a journalist during the meeting for several people at the meeting : Molly Scott Cato, Eric Lonergan, Frances Coppola and Fabrio De Masi (MEP) in which they talk about the basic ideas.

The arguments presented in the debate were pretty convincing. We know that since march 2015, the European Central Bank has been trying to get the Eurozone economy kickstarted by injecting €60 billion a month into the financial system by using a range of measures known collectively as Quantitative Easing. However, as argued by Frank Van Verven, these measures have been remarkably ineffective, and in general have mainly led to increase in asset prices - thus increasing inequality by putting money in the pockets of people who are already wealthy.

People at the meeting were arguing, quite rightly, that it would make far more sense to simply put those €60 billion directly into peoples' pockets - for example with a citizen's dividend.

Note added on 25th February: There's a short description of the meeting that you find here. A full two hour video of the entire conference has now been uploaded to Youtube.

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