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

FarmDrop and Open Food Network stress the desire to create positive, systemic social change that disrupts the existing dominance of supermarket provision of food.

Republicans are arguing that Wall Street should have the constitutional right to influence politicians and the investment decisions those politicians make on behalf of pension funds and pensioners.

As the outrage in Ferguson takes on new forms and becomes less openly confrontational, the shooting of Michael Brown has started a nationwide dialogue about race, class and American law enforcement.

The vote on Independence is a moment of unprecedented possibility for Scotland to peacefully reject the U.K.'s failed neoliberal agenda.

Grassroots organizations that once made American democracy strong plummeted in the Reagan era – when political parties stopped representing the views of constituents and turned instead to money.

Charlie Hardy, the 75-year-old former Catholic priest now running for Senate, wants to halt NSA spying on ordinary citizens and overturn Citizens United with a Constitutional amendment.

Posted 3 days 21 hours ago

A group of watchdogs at Maplight has introduced an interactive tool to track not only the level and location of political donations, but how the money impacts specific pieces of legislation.

Posted 4 days 16 hours ago

From clashes during the Occupy movement to violence this month in Ferguson, Mo., researchers say protests get ugly when officers use aggressive tactics, dress in riot gear and line up like military.

Posted 3 days 20 hours ago

Choiseul, a township of around 1,000 people on Taro Island, is less than six feet above sea level.

Posted 4 days 16 hours ago

If we want a healthy society that follows its laws and applies them equally to everyone, we must demand a full investigation and criminal prosecutions for everyone involved in the mortgage backed securities fiasco.

Posted 1 day 12 hours ago

This second in a three-part series looks at the development of participatory, fun-tivism, resilience, networked post-syndicate, and collective intelligence micro-utopias in Spain.

A Housing Justice Movement Builds in Chicago

Amid the urban sprawl and industrial decay that have come to mark Chicago is a growing epidemic of foreclosures and evictions now threatening the lives of tens of thousands of the city’s residents.

A Nebraska judge struck down a state law that allowed Gov. Dave Heineman to approve the route of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, a decision that could significantly delay the $5.3 billion project.

Brendan McDermid

After serving as the epicenter for press suppression and journalist arrests over the last nine months, the NYPD is trying to rewrite history and pretend like nothing ever happened.

One goes by the name of the “intelligence community” and its epicenter is the National Security Agency within the Defense Department. The second goes by the name of Wall Street and is centered in the largest banks there.

Sign Up