The Future of Money | A Primer on How Money Works | Bernard Lietaer (1999)

“The only people who claim that money is not an issue are those who have sufficient money that they are relieved of the ugly burden of thinking about it.” So thought the American writer Joyce Carol Oates. This Primer will explain why now even those fortunate few should think about it.

Have you ever wondered where your money comes from? How the value of your money is determined?

Who is really in charge of your savings?

To start answering these questions, we need to understand the rules of the global money game, know who the players are and why they act the way they do. In this Primer, you will meet the key actors in our money system, and learn the essentials of the map of the current system that we will refer to later, when we explore the fundamental changes taking place in the system. Never before have monetary issues had such an influence on public policy worldwide, so this is a good time to educate ourselves about what is at stake. All of this will dramatically affect your money and your own future as surely as a radical climate change would affect the flowers in your garden.

The starting point is to become aware that “your” money really represents a partnership between you and your country’s banking system. In this chapter, you will learn how banking originated and how any form of storing value (real estate, stocks, bonds and currencies) can be transformed into additional new money by banks.

The cause of the recent series of currency crises (Mexico, Asia. Eastern Europe) will be traced to unprecedented ongoing changes in the global currency markets. Because banks have proven historically to be very fragile institutions, specialized emergency “firemen” or intervention organizations have been created: a Central Bank in each country, and on a global level the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS). Their role in managing the growing instability of the global money system will be assessed. We will then return to the initial questions on how all this affects your own money and future.

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The Future of Money | Introduction – Chapter 1 – Part One | Bernard Lietaer (1999)

The last beings to comprehend the nature of water are fish. Similarly this is true of people and the nature of money. We allocate a great proportion of our physical, emotional, and mental energy to getting, keeping, and spending money–but how many of us really know what money is or where it comes from?

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The Future of Money | Table of Contents | Bernard Lietaer (1999)

Reproduced from:  & The Future of Money © Bernard Lietaer August 1998 Table of Contents INTRODUCTION 8 Three Promises 8 Underlying Viewpoint 9 CHAPTER 1: MONEY – THE ROOT OF ALL POSSIBILITIES 12 The Time-Compacting Machine 13 1. Age Wave 15 2. Information Revolution 18 3. Climate Change and Biodiversity Extinction 20 4.… Read More

Bernard Lietaer on the Money System and Much More | Monneta | Bancor Protocol

4. May 2016, Brussels

Q 1– 0:07 – Where does money come from?
Q 2 –1:04 – Is money neutral?
Q 3 –2:41– Why is money scarce?
Q 4 –4:57– Can this monetary system work sustainably?
Q 5 –7:46– Does the financial system need growth?
Q 6 –9:11– Why are you interested in monetary-systems?
Q 7 –10:41 – Do we have just one monetary system at the moment? Like a monopoly?
Q 8 –12:32 – What would you propose regarding the monetary system?
Q 9 –15:31 – Are there alternatives to the current monetary system?
Q 10 –17:30 – Why is there this speechlessness about money-topics?
Q 11a –19:22 – What kind of behaviour does our money-system create between people?
Q 11b –21:49 – Does the scarcity of money harm only the poor people?
Q 11c –25:56 – What does money do to people and their relationships?
Q 12 –31:55 – How did you discover complementary currencies?
Q 13 –34:42 – Did the knowledge of complementary currencies effect your life?
Q 14 –35:49 – What do you think your co-author Margrit Kennedy achieved in regard to monetary systems?
Q 15 –37:33 – Are there changes to this financial system?
Q 16 –41:09 – What do you think about internet-based currencies like Bitcoin and the new technology Blockchain?
Q 17 –42:30 – You observed the global financial development for decades. What do you conclude from your experience?
Q 18 –44:34 – Where do you see practical progress concerning complementary currencies?
Q 19 –48:00 – What would you propose for countries which are in Euro-crisis like Greece?
Q 20 –49:02 – If you were in power, what would you do?
Q 21 –50:40 – What do you think about the Euro?
Q 22 –52:21 – For which task do we need the Euro?
Q 23 –55:02 – Could a currency have influence on the question of war or peace?
Q 24 –58:10 – Are there “currency-wars” or wars because of currencies?
Q 25 –59:43 – Does the money-system polarize?
Q 26 –1:01:10 – Can a national lead-currency deprive other currencies and nations?
Q 27 –1:02:00 –What is the motivation for your work?
Q 28 –1:03:45 – Do you like to give a message to the next generation?

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The Mystery of Money – Beyond Greed and Scarcity | Chapter 9 – Epilogue – Appendix | Bernard Lietaer (2002)

Money is like an iceberg, only the tip is visible, and we often believe that the visible part is all there is. I hope to have brought some awareness to the existence and importance of the deeper layers on which it all rests, and proposed a language that enables us to talk about it. The psychological and mythological territories explored may have appeared surprising, even puzzling, because the money domain has remained submerged for so long that even its nature as an agreement has remained unconscious.

Let me remind you the purpose of this unfamiliar exploration. We have gone through many historical changes, but our interpretation of money has remained remarkably resilient through it all. If as a society we want to go to a different place than we have been, new roads need to be explored. Making a conscious choice of the kind of money we want to use among each other may become one of the most powerful tools available during the transition phase we are in.

Sustainable Abundance can be achieved. But it will require efforts by many humans on the planet – comparable to the building of Medieval cathedrals in their time – to make it happen in this world. It is only if what is called the Third World can leapfrog into the Knowledge Age, bypassing the intermediary step of the Industrial Age, that this planet has any chance of supporting the human population at its current or projected levels.

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The Mystery of Money – Beyond Greed and Scarcity | Part Three – Chapter 7 | Bernard Lietaer (2002)

Part Three applies the Archetypal map to contemporary issues.

The first step is to explore what it means in practice to have the shadows of the Great Mother archetype embedded in our conventional money system. We will discover that it explains both some of the best contributions of the Western world to humanity, but also some of the most serious problems that are now afflicting us (Chapter 7: Exploring Contemporary Money with the Great Mother Archetype).

Chapter 8 asks the question: Where are we now? It shows that a fundamental change in values has already started taking root in America, Europe and the world at large. Changes in structures of consciousness as seen by Jean Gebser, the German-Swiss philosopher, provide interesting insights into the nature of this contemporary change. Furthermore, the largest up-to-date survey of American values confirms that this mutation is already well under way for about one-quarter of the US population. All indications are that this may also be a global trend. I conclude by connecting what we know presently about the different subcultures, archetypes and different money systems

Chapter 9: Our Money, our Future highlights some of the conditions that will be relevant to make the shift towards Sustainable Abundance a possibility.

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The Mystery of Money – Beyond Greed and Scarcity | Chapter 8 | Bernard Lietaer (2002)

Quite independently from the above anecdotal indications, there is now for the first time quantifiable evidence that a fundamental change is already happening in our collective consciousness. Tracking changes of consciousness – over the long haul, all the way to today – will also be the final approach by which the archetypal human map will be tested.

The history of consciousness structures, as perceived by Jean Gebser, spells out the direction of a fundamental shift in values that is occurring now for the first time in many centuries. A convergence is manifesting in many fields simultaneously, all pointing to a new Integral Culture. Such a culture implies the integration of the “missing archetype” of the Great Mother. And all signs point out that this is already ongoing.

The most complete survey of changes in values was performed for the US, and reveals that the portion of the population that has made this shift rose from negligible to 29% in less than two decades! This is manifesting itself in all aspects of society: from concerns about ecology to holistic health practices, from chaos theory in physics to the replacement of hierarchical structures with networks (such as Internet and virtual organizations), from the bridging of the Cartesian epistemological split between matter and spirit, to a whole array of social movements including women emancipation. What all these movements have in common is reclaiming Yin-type archetypal energies that mainstream Modern culture had been dismissing.

But we first need to put this process in the context of the (very long) history of consciousness changes.

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The Mystery of Money – Beyond Greed and Scarcity | Chapter 6 | Bernard Lietaer (2002)

This whole Part Two is also an agenda for research. We clearly do not know enough about our monetary and economic history. As history is the only way whereby we can test any economic concept, such research is also important for our future. Studying comparative monetary systems will require exploring historic precedents much older than is usually done in economic research, centuries before the Industrial revolution. This needs to be a trans-disciplinary approach.

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The Mystery of Money – Beyond Greed and Scarcity | Chapter 5 | Bernard Lietaer (2002)

We find obvious that it is a good idea to save in the form of money. In many countries, parents open savings accounts for their children in order to teach the value of thrift in that form. It is an accepted part of the “modern ethic” to save some money for the proverbial rainy day. Interest on money is a systematic incentive to accumulate savings in the form of money. Furthermore, the entire banking system has been geared up to capture savings in that form, so that these deposits can serve in turn to make new loans.

Now imagine a world where the reverse is happening. Imagine a currency system where there would be a small charge on keeping money but where the currency itself would keep its value. What would that do?

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The Mystery of Money – Beyond Greed and Scarcity | Part 2 – Chapter 4 | Bernard Lietaer (2002)

Part Two explores the consequences on money systems of both repressing and honoring the Great Mother archetype. Historical evidence is the basis for all our social, economic or monetary knowledge. However, most contemporary economic thinking only considers very recent data, on the assumption that experience from the distant past cannot contribute any insights relevant for our contemporary economic structure.

However, we don’t enjoy that possibility in the case of money systems. Indeed, since the money paradigm has not significantly changed at least since the Industrial Revolution, such an approach would simply lock us into that particular type of money system. Furthermore, I will show later (Part Three) that our prevailing worldview, our economy, and our money system are now all undergoing a simultaneous fundamental shift, leaving behind the Industrial Age as a reference. As a consequence, it may be a “distant past” that unexpectedly could reveal some interesting insights into our not-so- distant future…

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