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  • Posted February 5th, 2023

    Matthew Slater’s money news roundup

    Matthew Slater’s money news roundup

    Matthew Slater, co-author of the Credit Commons white paper, produces a biannual (usually!) roundup of money news he finds interesting. Here are previous roundups and below is the latest. Ideas around money can get very complex very quickly, so do feel free to put queries to Matthew in the comments section below.

    Over to Matthew:

    Greetings post-petrodollar citizens,

    Please checkout the new website of my colleagues in London, Mutual Credit Services. Here also is a really helpful presentation by Dil Green on inside, outside & local money.

    If you are working on credit clearing, ripple, local discount vouchers, or multilateral offset clearing, and you’re up for a conference in Austria, please reply telling me about your work.

    I’ve been busy making audiobooks. Justice is an Option is a post-Marxist account of markets, futures, options and a theory of how to struggle for justice in that highly financialised context. The manifesto of the Economic Space Agency (ECSA) is a mindbending but credible total redesign of monetary economics. The next one will be Colin Drumm‘s PhD thesis.

    Onto the news…

    It was only last month that Pepe Escobar reported that China had made a ‘PetroYuan offer’ to Saudi Arabia, and a few days ago that country announced the end of the Petrodollar agreement. It seems most of the world seeks to distance itself from the collapsing USA, BRICS is expanding, trade between Russia and China is growing, and there is ever more talk of the South American trading block Mercosur, issuing its own currency, spurred on by Lula’s recent re-election in Brazil no doubt.

    If you think all this is good news, don’t forget it also indicates a descent into political chaos, which could mean governments asserting their power by, say, dictating to producers, or imposing capital controls. If global cooperation is still possible maybe there will be a new space to replace the IMF with an International Clearing Union.

    Here is a clip of Italian prime minister Georgia Meloni talking about the CFR and how France’s colonialist currency was supporting slave mines in Africa. A powerful moral argument, but substantially false, although France does extract seigneurage of course – but who in Europe is innocent of exploiting Africa? Anyway, here is a book on the subject (which I haven’t read). here is Meloni making a rather more compelling point, calling more cash use because credit cards were ‘private’ money. Yay!

    There is a whole narrative that says China is growing its empire by ‘Debt Trap diplomacy’, which I only realised when I read this counter-argument. Seems like the biggest predatory lenders of all are gaslighting us!

    Other stuff:

    • some informed opinion about CBDCs,
    • a reflection on the fact that increasingly stablecoins yield interest
    • Yannis Varoufakis arguing that the money issued at negative interest in the last decade is actually economic ‘poison’.
    • Damien Hirst, burning his art, or ‘converting’ it to NFT form.

    Stay sane out there!


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