Rathbone Greenbank Investments
Book Review - “Future Money – Breakdown or Breakthrough?”
With the turmoil of the 2008 credit crunch and subsequent banking collapses still vivid in the minds of all savers and investors, James Robertson has published “Future Money - Breakdown or Breakthrough?”. This is an invaluable account of how we have arrived at the present untenable position in the money markets. He gives us a fascinating insight into the root causes and a clear guide on how to challenge the power of the banks. He calls for a radical change in taxation from a tax on productive labour to a tax on the use of the global commons for personal benefit. In the short time since publication the urgent need to reform the money system has again been demonstrated by the revelation of the rigging of LIBOR (London Inter Bank Offered Rate) which follows the huge payouts from the banks against the mis-selling of PPI Insurance.
James Robertson traces the power of today’s banks from the origins of the Bank of England as a war finance institution for William III, and in his clear narrative style, explains the hidden financial advantage given to today’s commercial banks by their right to create the national money supply. His support of localism, periodic debt jubilees, and the Transition movement give ideas for practical action and are all the more compelling given his background in alternative economics. Following a stint in the Cabinet Office and as a researcher for British banks he has worked independently in this area since the 1970s and is one of the co-founders of the New Economics Foundation. As we bask in the reflected glory of the 2012 Olympics he reminds us that it was the inequality masked by ‘bread and circuses’ that led to the collapse of Rome. Now is the time for reform and, thanks to this book, we can all be its agent.