Urgent Evoke

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The Future of Money: Let’s hope for more of the same !

Dear Evoke Agents,

Mission 5. The Future of Money: Let’s hope for more of the same!

Let’s start a debate!

As everyone is trying to revolutionize the way we live, let’s be realistic and let’s try to Take a sad song and make it better! (Hey Jude). The actual global system of payment may not be perfect, but it is the evolution of more than 2000 years of tests, tries, adjustments, fusions, de-fusions, with all possible mistakes that you can imagine when humans are involves. Barter and counter trade have all been used, and judged inefficient once you want to get out of your neighborhood.

Call it money or any other name, but we need a medium of exchange that:

1) is a store of value, for future use,

2) is represented many grades,

3) must be easily and safely transportable,

4) must be easily recognized and durable.

Local solutions mean isolation to me!

I know this doesn’t represent consensus here, let’s see!

Please take a minute to comment and support

Views: 40

Comment by Daniel LaLiberte on April 7, 2010 at 1:42am
Thanks for raising the subject. I think people have trouble with money because of how it has been abused, but it is really the abuse of money that we don't like. It is like blaming the messenger rather than the source of the message. I've written about this and related issues in a couple blogs: "Money is information, but does it want to be free?", and "Money will always have some value"
Comment by Sylvain Ratelle on April 7, 2010 at 1:45am
Hi Daniel, I fully agree with you, I will have another look at your blog, Thanks
Comment by Thomas Carlisle on April 7, 2010 at 4:01am
I would have to agree, to be honest. Local banks and currency seems to be a step backwards, towards local marketplaces. It is world-wide trade, currency exchange rates, and supply and demand that dictate the current economy. It may not be the best system in the world, but abandoning the system is not the answer.
Comment by Cynawynn on April 7, 2010 at 4:05am
One of the most misquoted sayings: "Money is the root of all evil". The actual quote begins "For the love of money is the root of all evil". Big difference.
Comment by Michal Kliger-Spatz on April 7, 2010 at 5:20am
"For the love of money is the root of all evil"
Fully agree… however the big question is can we make a change?
Comment by Daniel LaLiberte on April 7, 2010 at 5:27am
Great point Cynawynn. "Root of all evil" explains it pretty well.

Thomas, I'd have to say that many smaller banks, closer to where the people are, is a good idea for many reasons, even if it ends up being less efficient. We need the redundancy to avoid the "too big to fail" problem, especially when it comes to money. We need the local banks to invest in local communities by their loans and interest on money in the bank.

We also do need several higher levels of coordination all the way up to the global level, but mostly in the form of monitoring and keeping things in balance. The higher the level, the more people should be involved in the process making extra sure that things are done right. What we have instead is the higher levels are controlled by fewer and fewer extremely wealthy corporations and individuals. We are essentially upside down, with the powers that be shaking all the spare change out of our pockets.
Comment by Sarah Shaw Tatoun on April 7, 2010 at 6:12am
Building on what Daniel has said, I don't think it has to be 'either or'. On a world-wide level, for international trade we have to have some version of the current system. I would argue for smaller banks, with strict international regulatory standards and a great deal more transparency-- but I would hate to go back to the bad old days of the 1980's when I found myself stuck in Brussels without money because the check I had was drawn on an English bank that didn't have a correspondent in Belgium. There were no international ATM's in those days, and the banks were so unused to international transactions that the bankers had no idea how to help me. It took a disabled GI who had experience getting his US pension check cashed in Europe to explain how to go about it.

On the other hand, there are a lot of advantages to having a variety of local systems operating in parallel to the 'main' money system. In the US, Credit Unions (essentially banking cooperatives, where you become a 'member' of the bank) usually provide much better and cheaper services than commercial banks. Barter, gift-circles, work-credits for food coops, and other less formal systems of trade are often much more satisfactory than money payment when you're operating on a small enough scale that people can meet and get to know one another-- and build up reputations.

The alternate systems allow you to do something much more complex than simply trading services-- they allow you to build up networks reflecting the multi-dimensional nature of people's skills and talents. These kinds of networks are soul-satisfying to use-- but they are also fragile and intricate. To expect them to do the heavy lifting of international trade would be unfair.
Comment by Michal Kliger-Spatz on April 7, 2010 at 7:47pm
Kenneth your idea about African union is very nice but I have many doubts if it will be applicable. I would like to remind you that even in the EU only specific countries had been selected very carefully based on their economical wellness. Only recently less developed countries were allowed to join under a very restricted rules and conditions. The situation in Africa is far away from it.
Comment by Sylvain Ratelle on April 7, 2010 at 11:40pm
Adding on Daniel's point, I support the idea of maller banks closer to their community, That was suppose to be a strenght of the US banking system. The US is having 10000 banks, and the fact they can fail is suppose to make sure that the management will be prudent enough to avoid it. All US banks should be limited to a market share of 1%, not 10% like it is right now. Even worst, 6 banks are now close to that 10 % limit. You can some banks, with less than 1% go under, but you cannot let 60% of the system fail at the same time. And on Sarah's point, banks can, and have some business relationship with others for a fee, so that you would avoid being caught without money in a foreign place. Thanks for sharing views.
Comment by Shakwei Mbindyo on April 11, 2010 at 8:46am
AU is already a reality only is is not yet looking at having a unified currency. Withing Africa there are other regional affiliations in Eastern Africa (EAC), Southern Africa (SADEC), Western Africa (ECOWAS). The EAC has 3 members and is already working toward a unified currency. It certainly will not be easy but IMHO it is possible.


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