Book of the Day: Decontaminating the Economy Through a Monetary Revolution

* Book (in french only): Decontaminate the economy – A monetary revolution, by Michel Laloux

French title: Depollue l’economie [1]

This book comes highly recommended by Raymond Aitken, who is translating the book and produced the synopsis below, and the author seems to be close to p2p theory in that he places civil society at the center of the new economy.

Summary from the back cover:

“There is an alternative to disaster capitalism and to the dictatorship of the financial markets. It requires a revolution in our concepts about money, share-capital, labour-remuneration and land-real estate. In this first volume by Michel Laloux, we discover a triple circulation of money – for everyday consumption, financing enterprises and the contribution to the non-merchant economy. This triple circulation of money is therefore at the service of the real economy and dispenses with the fictitious and with speculation. Three forms of monetary institutions are conceived as a new type of public service, run by civil society. These institutions will organise this threefold circulation, without recourse to investors nor to a central bank.

A new foreign currency exchange rate approach, based on the real economy, will resolve the issues of wage, social and environmental dumping. This new concept will provide the foundation for an International Monetary System for the Real Economy, whose necessary mechanisms and institutions we will discover.

For Michel Laloux, the real economy contains within itself that which makes it healthy and humane, from the moment when all forms of speculation are removed from it. Without moralising on solidarity and social justice, he makes us dive into economic phenomena, enlightening them from the inside, and deducing the operational laws of an Economy with Human Added Values.”

Here is the synopsis by Raymond Aitken:

“On the basis of what the real economy is at its foundations, Michel Laloux sought how money should be so that the real economy is healthy, that is to say, at the service of humanity.

The question that had to be solved is the following: are speculation and the Unreal Economy that arises out of it a necessary evil, or can we find a monetary system that would work without them? This book is a contribution to the resolution of this question. What it proposes is revolutionary compared to the usual conception of money.

The present volume thus addresses one of the issues most vital to the economy and social life.

In the second volume, Michel Laloux will address the other fundamentals for a healthy economy: capital, labour and real estate, leading to the key issue, that of the prices of goods and services. It will then be obvious that if we arrange for money, capital, labour and real estate to no more be delivered into speculation, and therefore no longer behave as if they were commodities, then the price of real economy products will be subject to a different dynamic than that of supply and demand. This new dynamic can result from consultations between producers, distributors and consumers. It will be the basis for a whole new approach to marketing.

All the proposals that will be made in the two volumes constitute what Michel Laloux called Economics with ??Added Human Values, that is to say, an economy in which only value created by human activity is brought into play. In other words, what is called real economy.

* How does Decontaminate the Economy compare with other books in the same field?

Many books describe the dysfunctions of the economy, with particular regard to money and the financial system. Very few offer solutions other than a face-lift of the legacy of the Bretton Woods system. Rare are those which are based on a global vision of the economy, and which go back to the root causes of the problems.

* Key points

* Consumption Money, and Consumption Money Banks to manage its circulation.

* Financing Money, and Financing Institutes which manage its creation and destruction.

* Contribution Money, and Contribution Money Funds to collect the surplus of the merchant economy that they receive from the citizens.
The separation between the activities of deposit and financing banks demanded by politicians, but which is modelled under an entirely new form that allows the real economy not to have recourse any more to the money accumulated by investors.

The operation of Financing Institutes is designed so that the international transfer of financial capital is unnecessary.The financing of firms is done inside each country by these institutes. This principle enables an entirely new approach to currency exchange rates and therefore to the International Monetary System (see below).

As for Contribution Money, it allows citizens to practice a form of conscious donation, instead of the mechanical and impersonal process of conventional taxation.

This triple monetary circulation is a new form of public service, not centralised nor State-controlled, but a public service of civil society. This status allows the disappearance of the notion of interest, whose devastating effect can be seen today.

This triple monetary circulation is applicable internationally and leads to a new approach regarding exchange rates and the balance of payments. At a time when there is talk about social taxes, environmental taxes and social VAT, Michel Laloux offers an entirely different determination of the rates of exchange of currencies. This determination would integrate into economic dynamics that which is sought to be achieved by such taxation, which in reality are alien to the process of the real economy.

The book therefore culminates in an International Monetary System for the Real Economy, presented in 70 articles.There again, it is a public service of civil society, which will be under the supervision of NGOs specialized in the field of money, environment and social issues.”

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