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The Future of Money: Creating New Wealth, Work and a Wiser World Hardcover – 25 Jan 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Century (25 Jan. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712683992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712683999
  • Package Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 802,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amazon Review

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 the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Bernard makes a compelling argument that contradicts one of Adam Smith's basic tenets: that money is value-neutral. Instead he provides evidence to show that the structure of monetary systems have built-in biases that encourage certain behaviors / thinking and discourage others.
When Bernard analyzes the prevailing monetary systems and begins to look at the consequences (that are not necessarily consciously designed into the system, and that we are not aware of on a daily basis) you can start to see that there are positive aspects of the system that we have--and some negative ones as well.
Our money system is good at creating competition, financing business ventures that compete in the marketplace and centralizing wealth and power--which can be beneficial to development and growth--which are positive results in many cases. On the down side, the current prevailing global currencies have proved to do poorly at addressing a lot of social issues such as poverty, education, community development, unemployment, etc.
While a lot of time, effort and money has been thrown at these important social issues, they still seem to prevail and little progress has been made in the last century.
In "The Future of Money" Bernard proposes some practical solutions. He proposes creating "complementary currencies" that are designed with different rules and different system and designed in a manner that creates sustainability, community, abundance and stability.
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Format: Hardcover
Review: "The Future of Money" -Bernard Lietaer (Jan 2001, Century)
This book really opened my eyes- I would recommend it to anyone interested in what sort of world we are in the process of creating. Not only is it rigorously analytic and comprehensively well researched - but it is also genuinely inspiring. The subject is money; what it is, where it comes from, where it goes; its history, its present, its future. Unlike so many books about money it is focused not on what happens in the minds of economists but on the phenomena that point to a revolution in progress. Who better to have witnessed such phenomena first hand than Bernard Lietaer who has 30 years of experience working as a central banker, a speculative currency trader, a professor of international finance and as an international financial adviser. He wrote "The Future of Money" while a fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Resources at Berkeley, California. We often hear that money is at the root of so many of the worlds problems (unpayable debts, capital flight, foreign exchange instability, insufficient funding for social programmes etc.). However, this book attempts to turn that notion on its head in order to show that money could rather be the root of all possibilities. A crucial point is that how we use money is largely determined by what we understand it to be. We are so used to money that we think we know what it is and we tend to take it for granted - and yet the nature of money is changing, offering us the opportunity to reappraise it, reclaim it, reorganize it for the common good. Of course this process is not automatic but rather contingent upon our conscious choice.
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Format: Hardcover
Intelligent and responsible members of our community should read this book in order that they understand the way our world works.
The true facts behind and about the money system are a revelation.
The guy who wrote this is the genuine article, (he set up the Euro).
Consider this fact, money is often the most powerful influence on human behaviour in our capitalist system.
Economic competition created by interest on money is not sustainable for more than 20 years say, we are a heartbeat away from the money crisis, the bigbang is coming if we don't get it together to control money better.
Read this book and understand the behaviour that is required to make our future sustainable.
Detailed ideas and amazing stories of cities in Brazil and real stories where communities have challenged the banks' money system and made their communities much better.
If you can bear to read this, Mr Bernard Lietaer, thanks for the information, fantastic book, by the way; I have bought and given copies of this to my brother, my best customer, and a lawyer who bought me lunch (mind you, I don't think he's reading it!-) Alisdair Findlay, Liquidator, Glaswegian.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't wish to write a long, windy speech here. Buy the book. This man understands that all is in transformation, and he speaks with simple wisdom about the complex and multi-dimensional nature of money. I'm spreading the word in the US. I hope it gets published here soon so I can afford to buy multiple copies to pass around. If you liked The Cultural Creatives by Paul Ray, you'll understand the intention of this book.
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