Read

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.

 

Add new comment

Sign Up

Article Tabs

Some of the biggest issues facing our country are forgotten once the cameras switch off, but our ADD news cycle only makes us more vulnerable to repeat disasters like the Flint water crisis.

climate change denial, climate deniers, Donald Trump, rising sea levels, carbon emissions

The billionaire who called global warming a hoax is now warning of its dire effects in his company's application to build a sea wall to protect Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland in County Clare.

wealth inequality, income inequality, wealth gap, growing poverty, growing disparity

After 35 years of wealth distribution to the super-rich, inequality has forced much of the middle class towards the bottom, to near-poverty levels, and to a state of helplessness in which they find themselves being blamed for their own misfortunes.

climate change, climate denial, Portland Public Schools

In a move spearheaded by environmentalists, the Portland Public Schools board unanimously approved a resolution aimed at eliminating doubt of climate change and its causes in schools.

single-payer healthcare, Obamacare, Affodable Care Act, public option, health insurance industry, health insurance companies

There's a not-insignificant amount of evidence that when you strip out the names of parties and candidates, support for government-run insurance cuts across partisan lines – and most Americans want a single-payer healthcare system.

Bernie Sanders, political revolution, money in politics, political left, generational shift, revolutionary politics, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Fight for $15, young voters, Bernie supporters

Without Occupy, Black Lives Matter, the Fight for $15, the mobilization of teachers and nurses, immigrant movements, and many other struggles, there would never have been a Bernie Sanders campaign.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago
wealth inequality, the 1%, the 99%, income inequality, "The Divide," Katherine Round, widening inequality, global protests, neoliberalism

Katharine Round’s new documentary, "The Divide," adds substantially to the debate around inequality as it explains in clear terms how our 35-year experiment in neoliberalism has failed spectacularly.

Posted 6 days 18 hours ago
Activists in Ibeno, Nigeria.

Last weekend, tens of thousands of activists in 13 countries on six continents protested against climate change and the burning of fossil fuels.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago
climate change, global warming, Break Free from Fossil Fuels, climate protests, global climate movement, Carbon Brief, carbon emissions, climate arrests, British Petroleum, BP, Enbridge, Flood Wall Street, People's Climate March, risking arrest, civil dis

My arrest didn’t feel like a risk, it felt like a transaction. I’ve found freedom in facing my fears and dispensing with false choices.

Posted 2 days 23 hours ago
Verizon strikes, outsourced jobs, low wage economy, telecom giants, corporate profits

Verizon’s decision to prioritize short-term profits and executive compensation over investments in advanced services that rely on its skilled workforce makes it the poster child for corporate excess.

Posted 6 days 18 hours ago
Nestle water grab, water privatization, Columbia River Gorge, Cascade Locks

Voters in one Oregon county last week approved a ban on commercial bottled water production, stopping a years-long effort by Swiss transnational Nestle to sell over 100 million gallons of water a year from the Columbia River Gorge.

Activists in Ibeno, Nigeria.

Last weekend, tens of thousands of activists in 13 countries on six continents protested against climate change and the burning of fossil fuels.

climate change, global warming, Break Free from Fossil Fuels, climate protests, global climate movement, Carbon Brief, carbon emissions, climate arrests, British Petroleum, BP, Enbridge, Flood Wall Street, People's Climate March, risking arrest, civil dis

My arrest didn’t feel like a risk, it felt like a transaction. I’ve found freedom in facing my fears and dispensing with false choices.

Verizon strikes, outsourced jobs, low wage economy, telecom giants, corporate profits

Verizon’s decision to prioritize short-term profits and executive compensation over investments in advanced services that rely on its skilled workforce makes it the poster child for corporate excess.

wealth inequality, the 1%, the 99%, income inequality, "The Divide," Katherine Round, widening inequality, global protests, neoliberalism

Katharine Round’s new documentary, "The Divide," adds substantially to the debate around inequality as it explains in clear terms how our 35-year experiment in neoliberalism has failed spectacularly.