What Would Happen if Everyone Actually Did Move Their Money?

Search form

What Would Happen if Everyone Actually Did Move Their Money?

What Would Happen if Everyone Actually Did Move Their Money?
Wed, 5/29/2013 - by Brett Scott
This article originally appeared on Move Your Money

Move Your Money’s simple ask – that we think about which banks we put our money into – is more than a rebellion against the excesses of mainstream banks. It’s asking us to actively decide on a vision of what the future economy should be. Everything we see around us in our current economy was financed in the past, and that means that current decisions being made in the financial industry about where to steer money have profound effects on the future.

The financial system, in a sense, activates future systems of production and exchange, and commercial banks are one crucial actor in that process. So what would happen if Move Your Money was wildly successful in its aims, and managed to inspire a large proportion of the population to actually put their money into institutions such as Ecology Building SocietyCharity Bank and Triodos Bank? In my new book, The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money, I imagine a scenario in which that happens, and how the economy might shift over time. Here's how it would go:

The U.K. would support an extensive network of co-operatively run organic farming and food processing businesses. They would be connected globally to other networks of local food producers, sharing resources and information. There would be an intricate distributed renewable energy network, supplemented by offshore wind turbines, wave turbines, and a large-scale energy efficiency infrastructure, partly funded via the capital markets with ‘green bonds.’ There would be a major ‘green Silicon Valley,’ with top graduates applying their skills to developing hyper-efficient products, smart grid technologies and Internet ‘sharing economy’ technologies that reduce waste. A major source of employment would be in social business and social enterprise, judged on their ability to generate social value and meaningful employment. Poorer people would have access to financial services, including microfinance for small businesses that promote community resilience. The banking sector would support vibrant arts and culture projects, charity and third sector organizations, as well as philosophy of life initiatives. Mortgages would encourage green retrofits and energy efficient housing. There would be ups and downs, but the banking sector would make serious attempts to combine local community resilience, global equality and creative enterprise.

Sound good? It’s easier said than done, of course. The current financial sector seems to prefer a future vision of environmental degradation, societal inequality and treadmill materialism, and many people remain invested in that vision without knowing it. Getting people to shift both their money, and their idea of the future doesn’t happen overnight, but Move Your Money UK, and other similar initiatives around the world, are leading the way in solidifying that into a reality.

So next time someone asks you why they should shift their money, ask them two things: Firstly, what vision of the future do they want to see? Secondly, how they would invest to make that happen? It leads naturally to the simple realisation that the individual bears responsibility for helping to steer that future.

To read more about ethical banking campaigns and alternative finance, please do take a look at my book – I’m accepting alternative currencies too!

Brett Scott is a campaigner and writer who works in alternative finance and financial activism.

 

Article Tabs

On Sunday, hundreds of people milled around a protest site in the gentrifying, densely-populated district Mong Kok, manning aid stations and sitting in small circles on the pavement.

The California city of Rialto saw an 88% drop in claims of police misconduct within one year of officers wearing cameras.

"Peoples' movements will either succeed in transforming our economic and political systems to build a new world, or we will burn with the old one."

Florida has the highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014, and also has a "foreclosure king" who is now disbarred for his failure to oversee employees accused of carrying out wrongful foreclosures.

More than 110 students were reportedly arrested by the military-backed authorities during the first days of the new academic year.

"What we are doing is taking back this bit of common land for a short amount of time to create a real debate – a real discussion that people want to be having.”

Posted 6 days 19 hours ago

“We wanted to take action to dramatize the betrayal of the American people and show that we will resist and attempt to disrupt or at least expose pro-corruption politicians' ability to raise big money.”

Posted 5 days 26 sec ago

After 13 years of militarized zealotry and fear-mongering in the name of fighting terrorism, Risen's new book, "Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War," unveils difficult post-9/11 truths.

Posted 5 days 23 hours ago

The oil giant, with $21.4 billion in 2013 revenue, is trying to buy upcoming municipal elections in Richmond that pit a pro-Chevron bloc of city council members against an anti-Chevron bloc.

Posted 5 days 22 hours ago

The Seattle festival showcases bold visions on the screen, with 50 films challenging societal structures through creative perspectives and a critical eye.

Posted 5 days 22 hours ago

The myth that privatization of public services benefits most Americans is an outright lie.

Sitthixay Ditthavong Photo2: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, right, tells reporters at a news conference outside the union's headquarters that the city's 25,000 public school teachers will walk the picket line Monday.

The Chicago teachers' strike is on, and it's a worthy battle in the war on the poor.

5 Unbelievably Creepy Surveillance Tactics

They could be ripped from the plot of a sci-fi movie.

In Cairo, citizens express displeasure with Egypt's election results.

In an open letter, Egyptian revolutionaries write that recent elections were nothing but "an attempt by the prevailing military junta and its counter-revolutionary forces to garner international legitimacy to cement the existing regime and deliver more lethal blows to the Egyptian revolution."

Petrol bombs thrown by protesters explode near riot police on Syntagma Square.

Riot police in Athens have fired tear gas at protesters who in turn have been lobbing stones and petrol bombs in one of the largest anti-austerity demonstrations to hit the Greek capital in months.

Sign Up