It’s been a truly fantastic year for Positive Money.
More appearances in the media than ever before, high-profile politicians acknowledging the UK’s monetary policy is broken, hundreds of us meeting in our communities to spread the Positive Money message, and more top economists backing our proposals for a fairer, more democratic and sustainable money system.
Together we’re pushing the case for money reform out of the shadows and into the mainstream. Thank you for being part of it.
Here are just some of the things we’ve achieved together in 2016…
Key government ministers and politicians started to agree with us
Several leading politicians publicly acknowledged that monetary policy is contributing to inequality: Theresa May, George Osborne, Vince Cable, Labour and SNP MPs, and members of the Treasury Select Committee. This is after nearly every MP in the country got an email from a Positive Money supporter, inviting them to the first ever debate in parliament on the effects of quantitative easing (QE).
It’s a huge step forwards. Because now that politicians are starting to accept that monetary policy isn’t working, they’ll be more interested in our proposals to reform it.
Positive Money also held packed-out panel debates at both the Conservative and Labour Party Conferences. And we delivered a 10,000-strong petition to the new Chancellor calling for Money Creation for People, not financial markets.
Positive Money hit the mainstream media more than ever before
BBC Newsnight, broadsheet newspapers, magazines and the radio – this year there’s seen a big increase in coverage of the Positive Money campaign. We’re now an established authority on monetary policy and QE. And we’ve pushed our images into the media, thanks to brave Positive Money supporters who took our bold and bright message to the Bank of England – twice!
We talked to hundreds of people in our communities about the case for money reform
In June, we launched the Positive Money Speakers Network. And our speakers didn’t waste any time in getting out and about! Like Charles, who spoke to over 100 people alongside two top economics professors in Shropshire. Or John, who spoke at Chester Cathedral. And Frances, who delivered a five-hour workshop in Cheltenham for the Workers Educational Association.
In November, 11 Positive Money local groups ran street stalls in town centres across the UK. We spread the word that the Bank of England is pumping billions of pounds into financial markets, when it could choose to spend that money on projects like housing and green infrastructure. Together we gathered hundreds of new signatures on the petition!
We published important research in important places
- In a big mark of progress on our mission to stop banks creating money, the esteemed Cambridge Journal of Economics dedicated an entire issue to the topic. The journal published Positive Money’s response to critiques of ‘full reserve banking’. This shows academics are now taking the issue very seriously!
- Our report on Digital Cash, outlining why the Bank of England needs to start issuing an electronic version of notes and coins was covered in the Financial Times.
- Whilst our Guide to Public Money Creation argues money should and could be created in the interest of society, and outlines the alternatives to QE for financial markets.
And we helped change Bank of England policy!
After Positive Money submitted reports and had meetings with policy makers at the Bank of England, the Bank announced a policy change that we’ve been arguing for two years. Non-bank ‘payment service providers’ will now be able hold accounts at the Bank of England, so that they can compete with existing banks to provide current (checking) accounts.
This is a very positive breakthrough! It will break the stranglehold that large UK banks have over the provision of payment accounts, which will reduce their power. It’s a step towards more changes that would limit banks’ ability to create money. And it’s a demonstration of our power – much of the Bank’s reasoning for making this change was in line with our proposals!
We persuaded more top economists to back our call for money creation for people
Throughout the year, we’ve hosted conferences and panel discussions, bringing together a number of renowned economists – all the time working to build key relationships. Last month, 30 economists, academics and PhD candidates gathered in the Netherlands, at a meeting hosted by Positive Money and our Dutch sister organisation Ons Geld, to discuss the big questions that need addressing about sovereign money creation, and to plan further research and collaboration.
Positive Money’s letter to the Chancellor – calling for QE to be replaced with a stimulus directed at the real economy – has been signed by 40 of the UK’s leading economists. When the Bank of England announced a new round of QE, our letter was covered in the Guardian, and several TV and radio stations. This success shows that we’re building a credible case for reforming monetary policy and are increasingly being taken seriously by economists and the media.
We built our knowledge, got active, and made friends in our blossoming network
More than 7000 people have joined the Positive Money mailing list this year, bringing us up to nearly 40,000 supporters! Together we’re signing and sharing petitions, writing to our MPs and keeping in touch to share and inspire each other. And we’re active offline too…
30 local groups, from Bournemouth to Edinburgh, Newcastle to Devon, have held monthly meetings to educate each other on monetary reform and plan actions together. You’ve created card games, street stall activities, and booklets. You’ve held film screenings, talks at festivals and shown what’s possible when dedicated individuals come together in our communities.
In September, 30 dedicated Positive Money supporters spent two days together in the Lake District. We did workshops to develop ourselves as leaders, devised campaign strategies, and built new relationships across the network. We all came away more passionate and fired-up than ever.
And we started making waves in Europe too:
In February we launched our exciting Eurozone campaign, “Quantitative Easing for People”, with a conference event in the European Parliament. Following this, 19 MEPs signed an open letter to the European Central Bank (ECB) in June. Then we helped push the European Parliament to adopt a critical resolution on the ECB’s quantitative easing programme in November. And this month, the ECB finally admitted that “QE for People” would be legal under certain conditions in the Eurozone.
Together we’re showing decision makers in the Eurozone that they should seriously consider helicopter money. And with the idea making progress in Europe, it will help our cause for money creation for people in the UK too.
With your help, we’ve achieved so much together in 2016. We’re now really excited about what could happen in 2017.
Thank you so much for making our campaign for a money system that works for society possible.