The End of Money and the Future of Civilization considers the money problem within the broad historical and political context that has made the control of money and banking the primary mechanism for concentrating power and wealth and the nullification of democratic governance.
It provides the necessary understanding for entrepreneurs, activists, and civic leaders to implement approaches toward monetary liberation, approaches that empower communities to restore their environments and democratic institutions, and begin to build economies that are sustainable, equitable, and insulated from the financial crises that plague the dominant systems of money, banking and finance.
It provides specific design proposals and exchange-system architectures for local, regional, national, and global financial systems, and offers strategies for their implementation prescribing actions that grassroots organizations, businesses, and governments will need to take to achieve success.
The book may be ordered from Amazon.com, or from your local bookstore.
For the growing ranks of monetary reformers worldwide, long-time expert Greco’s deeply-researched new book is essential reading. This gripping blend of theory and practicality lays out all the options for creating saner money and credit systems …and the real possibilities in today’s information age, of electronic trading and exchange, at last, without the need to use money at all. — Hazel Henderson, author, Ethical Markets: Growing The Green Economy(2006), President, Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil).
At a time when it is needed most, Greco tells us why and how we, the people, have the power, the knowledge, and the tools available to us to re-make monetary systems around the world. –Krista Vardabash, former Executive Director of the International Reciprocal Trade Association
Maybe you’ve noticed a slight bit of turmoil in our national and global financial system? This book cuts to the very core of the trouble–and points several pathways that might allow us to slowly climb out of the pit into which we’ve stumbled. — Bill McKibben, Middlebury College, author Deep Economy
Tom Greco’s The End of Money is essential reading for everyone who yearns to restore sanity to our financial dealings and re-humanize our global economy. Greco details the abuses inherent in the widely misconstrued concept of legal tender, and helps us understand the real roots of the current meltdown. He then offers unique tools for creating workable, enduring solutions. His story is compelling, and his lucid, accessible style makes it a rewarding read. The book’s a true game-changer, and its appearance couldn’t be more timely. — Philip H. Beard, Ph.D. Co-Founder: Sustaining Capital Cooperative, Sustaining Technologies LLC, and Sonoma County GoLocal Cooperative
Many of the world’s ills are symptoms of centralized control of our media, governments and resources by a small, invisible group of people. How can so few control and impoverish so many? Currency systems are an important source of this centralized power. Tom Greco’s latest book helps us unpack the financial mysteries and consider our alternatives. There can be no question about it–Tom Greco is the pit bull of the alternative currency movement. — Catherine Austin Fitts, Solari Investment Advisory Services, LLC
I have found Tom Greco to be a trusted and authoritative source of wisdom on the topics of the flaws in mainstream money and of the possibilities for alternatives. Even after years of garnering wisdom from Tom for my work with Toronto Dollars, his advice in this new book reaches a higher level of clarity and practicality. – Joy Kogawa, cofounder, Toronto Dollar
Greco precisely identifies the conflation of interests and confusion of thinking that have given rise to today’s monetary muddles and proceeds to elucidate a viable strategy by which we all, as individuals and in association with one another, can unravel the tangle and build the basis for a mutually profitable exchange. — Arthur Edwards, Director Centre for Associative Economics
[The End of Money and the Future of Civilization] is a chilling and gripping narrative that examines the history and current condition of our 300 year old unbalanced and unsustainable monetary system. He goes on to propose specific changes that when adopted will transform our money system into a more user friendly platform of exchange that will benefit all of the worlds people. Simply a must read for everyone. — David Wallach, President of the Board of the International Reciprocal Trade Association.
If anything could save this civilization from the calamity to which its economic madness has led it-the unrelenting pursuit of materialism, the starkly inequitable division of wealth, the despoliation of the earth for profit-it would be the widespread adoption of the wisdom embodied in Tom Greco’s clear and forthright new book. The fact that I doubt such a thing will happen, I am constrained to say, does not diminish the value of reading it. – Kirkpatrick Sale, author of Human Scale and After Eden: The Evolution of Human Domination
We should be grateful to Tom Greco for his constructive and innovative thinking at a time when new ideas are badly needed. —Rodney Shakespeare, Visiting Professor of Binary Economics, Trisakti University (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Thomas Greco dedicates his new book to the causes of social justice, economic equity, personal liberty, world peace, and ecological restoration. He begins by showing that none of these can be achieved until we give birth to a just and sustainable paradigm for exchanging energies. Clearly written, the roots of our current financial predicament are revealed, and the need for something better is lucidly explained. The serious reader will appreciate the author’s long experience with alternative currencies: this book is a concise and efficient way to get up to speed on the history of alternatives to conventional ‘money’ as well as enter the new world of technologically liberated exchange that has the potential to bring about the end of money as we have known it. —Paul Grignon, creator of the movie Money as Debt
A stimulating and well-balanced work. Here, the serious student of monetary reform will find the mature reflections of a leading advocate of credit clearing. Thomas Greco’s analysis of the modern monetary problem is excellent, his solution is practical and founded upon basic principles of justice. Policy makers and communities across diverse cultures and religions can learn much from this detailed and eloquent book. I strongly recommend it. —Tarek El Diwany, author of The Problem With Interest and Partner at Zest Advisory LLP
If there is one thing people everywhere should drop everything to learn right now it is how the money system works, why it is failing and what to do to survive and even thrive. The reason they don’t is because it has been so difficult to get and to understand this information. Against all odds, Tom Greco has filled this important need with an easy read including the most practical advice for getting you through the crisis into a more secure, healthier and happier future. —Elisabet Sahtouris, Ph.D., evolution biologist; futurist; author of EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution
For those who would survive the sustainable cynicism of monopoly capital, now that the usurpers are caught red-handed and the mask of democracy has slipped, Greco provides the tools for regeneration of societies. Can we conceive of a new culture? Yes we can. Here are the tools for its monetary system, and it will thrive. —Anton Pinschof, organic farmer in Brittany (member of FNAB, French national federation of organic farmers), and co-founder of CESC, the Cliffs Edge Signalling Company (cesc.net)
Our world is moving to increasing and dominant usage of distributed networks, and the associated peer-to-peer dynamics of people aggregating around the construction of common value. We have the communication infrastructure, but we still need to build robust peer-to-peer energy grids, AND, just as important, we need to be able to create peer-to-peer currencies that strengthen resilient communities in the context of turbulent globalization. To undertake the latter task, one voice has been consistently investigating what determines success and failure regarding the social production of money. That voice is Thomas Greco, who not only offers the definitive book on the subject, but offers also the condensation of a whole life of research and engagement with the topic. The time of crying in the wilderness is over for Thomas Greco: this is the age where these ideas will be practically implemented. It is rare to find the combination of quality theory and robust implementation in one book, so please do acquire this gem. —Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation
List of Tables and Illustrations
1 My Purpose and My Journey
My Personal Journey • Seeds of Disillusionment • Awakening • In the Wake of Inflation • E.C. Riegel • Why Yet Another Book?
2 Mega-Crisis and Metamorphosis-Can Civilization Be Saved?
Prospects and Prognostication • Exponential Growth • Limits to Growth • Paradigm Shift • Metamorphosis • The Egg, the Caterpillar, and the Butterfly • Get With the Program
3 The Contest for Rulership-Two Opposing Philosophies
Elitist or Egalitarian? • The Contest in American History: Monarchy or Republic? • Power by Other Means
4 Central Banking and the Rise of the Money Power
Central Banking, an Unholy Alliance • The Bank of England • Central Banking in the United States • The First Bank of the United States • Andrew Jackson and the “Bank War” • The Free Banking Era • The Federal Reserve • Central Banking Spreads around the World
5 The New World Order
The Power Behind the Central Banks • A Merging of Interests • Wars, Internal and External • Money Power, the Key Element in the New World Order • Erosion of National Sovereignty
6 Usury and the Engine of Destruction
Monetary Stringency, Past and Present • Increasing Instability • The Magic of Compound Interest • What’s Wrong with the Global System of Money and Banking? • How Debt-Money is Dysfunctional • Three Aspects of Money Dysfunction • Moral Arguments, Laws, and Practical Solutions • Keys to Transcendence • Exchange and Finance-Two Distinct Credit Functions
7 The Nature and Cause of Inflation
What Is Inflation? • Who Has the Power to Inflate? • Improper Basis of Issue by Banks Is Inflationary • Government Deficits and Inflation • The German Hyperinflation-A Classic Case • How the Inflation Was Ended • Constraints Upon Debasement of the Money • Responding to Inflation
8 The Separation of Money and State
The Separation of Church and State-A Comparison • The Disestablishment of Monetary “Religion” • Two Meanings of “Dollar” • Delinking from the Dollar as a Payment Medium • Delinking from the Dollar as a Measure of Value • Stable Value Reckoning • Toward Freedom of Exchange
9 The Evolution of Money-From Commodity Money to Credit Money
What We Don’t Know Is Hurting Us • Kinds of Economic Interaction • “The Ladder of Economic Civilization” • The First Evolutionary Step-Barter to Commodity Money • Commodity Money • Symbolic Money • The Second Evolutionary Step-From Commodity Money to Credit Money • Two Distinct Kinds of Money-Fractional Reserve Banking • Redeemability Abandoned • Checks and Checkable Deposits Displace the Use of Banknotes • Gold Versus Credit Money-A Comparison • How Credit Money Malfunctions
10 The Third Evolutionary Stage-The Emergence of Credit Clearing
Banks and the Credit Clearing Process • A Confusion of Language • Particle or Wave? Thing or Relationship? • Clearing Through Banks Versus Mutual Credit Clearing • Direct Credit Clearing Makes Conventional Money and Banking Obsolete
11 Solving the Money Problem
The Basis of Monetary Dysfunction • Reform or Transcendence? • Emerging Exchange Alternatives • Separating the Functions of Money • Back to Commodity Money? • The Unit of Account Versus the Unit of Currency • The Measurement of Value • Proper Relationship Between Commodities (Gold/Silver) and Credit • Confusion Caused by Legal Tender Laws
12 Credit Clearing, the “UnMoney”
What Is Credit Clearing? • A Simple Example of Clearing among Banks • Settlement of Accounts • Mutual Credit Clearing Systems as Clearing Houses • Direct Credit Clearing-A Simple Illustration Using Four Accounts and Ten Transactions • Balance Limits and Settlement • Providing Surety of Contract • An Insurance Fund
13 The State of the Alternative Exchange Movement
Two Currents of Alternative Exchange • The Tucson Experience • Why Exchange Alternatives Fail to Thrive • Failure of Reciprocity • Inadequate Scale and Scope of Operation
14 How Complementary Currencies Succeed or Fail
Architecture of the Currency Itself • Principle 1: Who Is Qualified to Issue Currency? • Principle 2: On What Basis Should Currency Be Issued? • Principle 3: How Much Currency May Be Issued By Each Issuer? • Implementation Strategies • The Situational Context • WIR • Social Money in Argentina
15 Commercial Trade Exchanges-Their Present Limitations and Potential Future
Limiting Factors • Limited Scale and Scope • The Value Proposition • Operations and Agreements • Proposed Remedies • The Real Deal-Credit Clearing Services • Tapping the Vast Potential Market • What About Taxes? • An Eventual Cashless Trading Network
16 A Regional Economic Development Plan Based on Credit Clearing
Approaches to Community Economic Development • Stage I: Mapping the Territory and Import Substitution • Stage II: Mutual Credit Clearing Provides an Alternative Means of Payment • Sage III: The Credit of “Trusted Issuers” Provides an Alternative Currency for Regional Circulation • Stage IV: Support Structures for Localization-Saving, Investment, Finance, and Education • Stage V and Beyond: Transition to an Objective Measure of Value and Accounting Unit
17 The Next Big Thing in Business: A Complete Web-Based Trading Platform
The Convenience of Cards • Improving the Exchange Process-Challenge and Opportunity • Significant Trends and “Disruptive Technologies” • Strengths and Vulnerabilities of Political Money and Conventional Banking • From Disruptive to Sustaining-Moving Upmarket • The Emergence of a Complete Web-Based Trading Platform • Essential Components of the Web-Based Trading Platform • Completing the Web-Based Trading Platform
18 Organizational Forms and Structures for Local Self-Determination and Complementary Exchange
Toward Economic Independence • The “Banjar” and the Balinese Governance Structure • The Mondragon Cooperatives • Ways of Organizing Credit Clearing Exchanges • Corporations • Limited Liability Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships • Mutual Companies • Scale of Organization
19 The Role of Governments in Establishing Economic and Financial Stability
What National Governments Should Do • Objectives • Rationale • Legislative Proposals in Brief • The Role of State, Provincial, and Local Governments • An Early Example of a Local Currency
20 Exchange, Finance, and the Store of Value
The Store of Value • Saving and Investment • Liberating Saving and Investment • Debt Claims Versus Equity Claims • A Shared Equity Mortgage • Savings and Investment within Complementary Exchange Systems
Appendix A: A Model Membership Agreement for a Credit Clearing Service
Appendix B: An Objective Composite Standard Measure of Value
About the Author