Following the gloomy prognostications of the future of the global economy in John Grey's False Dawn
, it is refreshing to read Bernard Lietaer's upbeat account of The Future of Money
. Lietaer made his name implementing the convergence mechanism for the European single currency, and was named the world's top currency trader in 1989. This suggests that he knows what he's talking about when he argues that "we are largely ignorant about our money system", concerning the nature and management of money. Lietaer argues that once we understand the shifting temperament and function of money, particularly in relation to the current revolution in information technology, we can harness it for a brighter future.
Lietaer begins by addressing what he sees as the four "megatrends" currently driving society--an "Age Wave", the growth of an increasingly aged population, the Information Revolution, Monetary Instability, and Climate Change. Lietaer argues that "all crises contain hidden opportunities", which leads him to his central thesis that "we are now engaged in a structural shift of the world system, and this shift offers an unprecedented opportunity to give birth to Sustainable Development". Much of the rest of the book deals with defining sustainable development, and offering practical scenarios for its implementation. Much of this seems vague and utopian, but along the way Lietaer offers a wonderfully lucid account of the philosophy of money, the liquidity of currency and the nature of personal savings. As a financial map of the 21st century, The Future of Money is a little hazy, but as a story of the current state of money, it's extremely entertaining. --Jerry Brotton
"Read this thoughtful, penetrating, readable book and you'll understand how profoundly present monetary systems and the people who control them affect your life" (Dee Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus, VISA International)
"Exciting, challenging and profound; a unique and essential contribution to our understanding of money." (Dr. Peter Russell, author of The Global Brain Awakens)
"This is an important breakthrough in the emerging new economics ofsustainability and human wellbeing." (Ed Mayo, President, the New Economics Foundation)
"I thoroughly disagree with it." (The Rt. Hon. John Redwood, MP)
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.