Talking about money and men
Money makes the world go round: but what is it really? And how is it produced? Above all, who controls its production, and in whose interests? Money is never a neutral medium of exchange.
While women are largely responsible for managing household budgets, they have on the whole been excluded from managing the nation’s financial system and its budgets.
And at present the networks that dominate the financial sector are overwhelmingly male, and often shockingly sexist.
Their dismissive attitude towards half the population and their enjoyment of an unequal distribution of knowledge are not coincidental.
The creation and management of society’s money does not currently loom large in contemporary feminism. But it is a feminist issue, and it is central to the liberation of women from the servitude of unpaid work.
Pettifor is a political economist, perhaps best known for correctly predicting the Global Financial Crises in several publications including ‘Coming soon: The new poor’ and ‘The coming first world debt crisis’ and for leading the international movement for the cancellation of debts, Jubilee 2000.
In her new, ‘accessible, brilliantly argued’ book, ‘The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of the Bankers’ Pettifor explains in straightforward terms history’s most misunderstood invention: the money system.
Money: what is it really? And how is it produced? Above all, who controls its production, and in whose interests?
Money is never a neutral medium of exchange. Nor are bankers simply go-betweens for savers and borrowers.
Pettifor argues that democracies can reclaim control over money production and subordinate the out-of-control finance sector to the interests of society, and also the ecosystem.
She also examines and assesses popular alternative debates on, and innovations in, money: positive money, helicopter money and the rise of goldbugs.
And she sets out the possibility of linking the money in our pockets (or on our smartphones) to the change we want to see in the world around us.
‘The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of the Bankers’ will be published by Verso Books on 7 February.
Ellie Mae O’Hagan, the co-founder of the Words by Women Awards, is an editor at openDemocracy, and writes for the Guardian, the New York Times, the Independent and the Times, among others, and has appeared on Woman’s Hour, Newsnight and Channel 4 News.