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

Japan Self-Defense Forces, Tokyo protests, Japan security bill

Tens of thousands of people have gathered in front of Japanese parliament to protest against security bills they believe to be unconstitutional, allowing Japanese soldiers to fight overseas in defense of national interests.

Beirut protests, You Stink! movement

Demonstrators have gathered for weeks in downtown Beirut calling for the resignation of officials responsible for the current waste crisis and demanding new elections.

Malaysian protests, anti-corruption protests

People participating in the 34-hour protest slept in the streets overnight in an unusually calm demonstration of public outrage by the group Bersih, which means “clean” in Malay.

refugee crisis, E.U. refugee policy

It’s a strange feeling to see all those people marching away, like they're heading to some big concert.

Seattle school protests, income inequality, wealth inequality, Seattle school policies, Seattle transit inequality

We want all inequitable policies to be challenged.

Posted 6 days 14 min ago
Al Jazeera, You Stink, Beirut,

Clashes intensify as protests sparked by the city's garbage problem widen in scope, and the prime minister calls an emergency parliament session.

Posted 6 days 21 hours ago
police body cameras, police surveillance, Michael Brown, Stingray

The spread of body cameras into our schools may come as surprise to some, but it shouldn’t.

Posted 5 days 23 hours ago

The lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety accuses the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of withholding information about GMOs for more than 13 years.

Posted 4 days 2 hours ago
Act Out!, Eleanor Goldfield

It’s our six-month anniversary and we’re celebrating with whistleblowers!

Posted 4 days 23 hours ago
coal shipments, coal terminals, Bowie Resource Partners, Arch Coal

A secretive plan to ship coal through the Port of Oakland is being driven by a company that wants to massively expand its coal mining operations in Utah – and by a public official who stands to profit personally.

police body cameras, police surveillance, Michael Brown, Stingray

The spread of body cameras into our schools may come as surprise to some, but it shouldn’t.

We need to disrupt the legal and political system that expects people of color to shut up and women to behave.

350.org, The Academy of Sciences, fossil fuel divestment

The Natural History Museum and 350.org launched a collaborative campaign calling on the country’s top science and natural history museums to dump all stocks in oil, coal and gas.

Sign Up