Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Class Inequality and the Social Production of Money

I find Geoffrey Ingham to give one of the best understandings of money. The question of how money operates in our political-economy needs to be understood as more then a neutral veil, or epiphenomenal and our understanding of democracy then needs to incorporate ideas of democracy that reflect directly on our concept of a economic democracy. Money ultimately is not just (if even) a reflection or expression of the economy but its very creation and control is constitutive of the particular class and economic relations that dominate and drive forward the political-economy.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Figuring it all out

Okay I am sending this via email to see if it works and lands up getting posted. I have spent weeks learning how to link everything together - blogs, twitter, facebook, flickr, youtube etc. I tell you it is quite an art of connection.

I hope that this email to blog will enable me to write more regularly about my ideas and thoughts.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Brazilian Central Bank Backs "Social Money"

I don't post much these days about what I find in my explorations around the money space. That is in part because my energies have been focused more on accumulating money rather then on the discussions and explorations into alternatives.

With this in mind I am part of several email lists etc. and this one came across my desk today. I think it is a very interesting email talking about agreements between the Brazilian Central Bank and community based currency projects. This could be one of the first instances in which a central bank has backed a community currency project. It will be interesting to see how this devlops

From: Miguel Yasuyuki Hirota
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: [cc_research] The Central Bank of Brazil works to strengthen
community currency initiatives
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8; format=flowed

Dear all,

I'd like to share the information I've just got from Brazil.

The Secretaria Nacional de Economia Solid?ria (SENAES), which
belong to the Brazilian Ministry of Labour and Employment (MET), has
just issued its news letter

and on the page 1 you can read the following article (I translated
it into English).


Title: Coopera??o com banco central (Cooperation with the Central Bank)

The cooperation agreement between SENAES and the Central Bank aims
to realise studies on community banks and on social money, envisioning
the creation of the monitoring and evaluation mechanism and of the
development of this sector in Brazil. After a decade of many
articulation and mobilisation of the solidarity economy movement, with
the support of SENAES, the recognition by the Brazilian State was won,
by way of this terms of cooperation, that territoty-based communities
(small municipalities, neighbourhoods) can build their monetary authority.

For the first time the Central Bank of Brazil recognised the
existence of this tool called "community banks and social money" and
their important as social technology which generates financial
inclusion. With this, community banks will be less vulnerable, both
from the formal viewpoint - as definitions on their function,
methodology, characteristics, attributes, goals and concepts are
established - and SENAES closed a cooperation agreement with the Central
Bank also for the more social visibility to be achieved.

At this moment, a working committee and the work agenda it will
realise by itself are being created. With the concretisation of the
partnership there will be the elaboration of norms which should orient
actors who want to know, support and develop community banks which use
social money. SENAES is proposing the realisation of five public
hearings so that the society should join, together with the solidarity
economy movement, in the sense to warrant the more participation in the
elaboration of referred norms.

On the basis of this agreement, the community bank initiatives
under way win a new institutional framework, enabling the realisation of
new strategic partnerships for their development. On top of that, these
banks will be benefitted with the enhancement of of incentive and
promotion policies, and the institutional environment will be quite
favourable for the consolidation of such policies, which means that
public resources for training activities, technical assistance and
adequate credit lines.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Open Social Networking - The Future

The future of social networking is open source. The idea of not being able to take all your profiles history with you when you leave FB is completely the opposite of the ethos of the web. I foresee that every person will have his or her own profile on a web url that is built on an open source software much as the backbone of the web is reliant on Linux. This would allow your profile to lock in and be rendered through any specific gui interface.

In other words I always log into my web profile at say and through that I can go to my FB page, Twitter etc. Yet, everything that I have is in one place, at and belongs to me. Certain information I can control and limit, certain information can be accessed by certain applications such as FB and other cannot. So, I can have all my videos on my server under my profile and I can share some with say FB and some with Youtube, but the video itself remains mine forever, even if Youtube grabs a copy and places it on their server, the rights remain with me and they, Youtube, has to give me all data related to it – who saw it, when their comments etc. All this information is sent back to me in a standard open source format that allows me to store it and potentially share that data with another network – say FB. This means that what people need to ultimately design is the interface, we the people, own the back end.

Kind of like going to a coffee shop because it has a nice ambiance and good coffee and maybe some good books, in fact you may even meet some people there. But, at the end of the day you go back to your home, with the numbers, conversations and any other “data” you picked up. You may go off to another bar that night and bump into the same person or new person, a person that has never gone to that coffee shop. But, you can easily share all the information you acquired at the first coffee shop because you have it on you, it is in your cell phone your brain your notebook. That is social networking. Not today’s form, this is social control.