Saturday, 16 May 2020

An odd article on monetary reform.

Mary Mellor (emeritus professor of sociology at Northumbria University) has long campaigned for the abolition of privately created money, e.g. in her two books “The Future of Money” and “Debt or Democracy”.

But a recent article of hers concludes by saying privately created money is OK as long as it is subject to “democratic accountability”.  “Democratic accountability” is the sort of near meaningless sound-bit which will induce about 95% of the population to agree with you, regardless of what you’re saying. But what exactly does the phrase mean? Darned if I know. (Title of her article is "Neoliberalism has tricked us into believing....").

For a start, the activities of private banks are already subject to “democratic accountability” in that democratically elected governments have the power (a power which they already exercise in numerous ways) to tell private banks what they can and can’t do.

Plus the back cover of Mary Mellor’s book “Debt or Democracy” is odd in that it features warm words of approval from four individuals: Ann Pettifor, Ben Dyson (founder of Positive Money), Martin Wolf (chief economics commentator at the Financial Times) and Giorgos Kallis.

The “oddity” is that Ann Pettifor strongly opposes the basic thrust of Mellor’s books, namely that private money creation should be banned (as Giorgos Kallis says). Even odder is that Pettifor has penned articles specifically attacking Dyson and Wolf on the subject of money creation. E.g. see her article entitled “Why I disagree with Positive Money and Martin Wolf”.

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