The End of Money and the Future of Civilization Paperback – Jun 4 2009
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"We should be grateful to Tom Greco for his constructive and innovative thinking at a time when new ideas are badly needed."--Rodney Shakespeare, Visiting Professor of Binary Economics, Trisakti University (Jakarta, Indonesia)
"Tom Greco's The End of Money and the Future of Civilization is essential reading for everyone who yearns to restore sanity to our financial dealings and re-humanize our global economy. Greco details the abuses inherent in the widely misconstrued concept of 'legal tender,' and helps us understand the real roots of the current meltdown. He then offers unique tools for creating workable, enduring solutions. His story is compelling, and his lucid, accessible style makes it a rewarding read. The book's a true game-changer, and its appearance couldn't be more timely."--Philip Beard Professor emeritus, Sonoma State University, and co-founder of Sustaining Capital Cooperative, Sustaining Technologies LLC, and Sonoma County GoLocal Cooperative
"Many of the world's ills are symptoms of centralized control of our media, governments and resources by a small, invisible group of people. How can so few control and impoverish so many? Currency systems are an important source of this centralized power. Tom Greco's latest book helps us unpack the financial mysteries and consider our alternatives. There can be no question about it--Tom Greco is the pit bull of the alternative currency movement."--Catherine Austin Fitts, Solari Investment Advisory Services, LLC
"I have found Tom Greco to be a trusted and authoritative source of wisdom on the topics of the flaws in mainstream money and of the possibilities for alternatives. Even after years of garnering wisdom from Tom for my work with Toronto Dollars, his advice in this new book reaches a higher level of clarity and practicality."--Joy Kogawa, cofounder, Toronto Dollar
"Our world is moving to increasing and dominant usage of distributed networks, and the associated peer-to-peer dynamics of people aggregating around the construction of common value. We have the communication infrastructure, but we still need to build robust peer-to-peer energy grids, AND, just as important, we need to be able to create peer-to-peer currencies that strengthen resilient communities in the context of turbulent globalization. To undertake the latter task, one voice has been consistently investigating what determines success and failure regarding the social production of money. That voice is Thomas Greco, who not only offers the definitive book on the subject, but offers also the condensation of a whole life of research and engagement with the topic. The time of crying in the wilderness is over for Thomas Greco: this is the age where these ideas will be practically implemented. It is rare to find the combination of quality theory and robust implementation in one book, so please do acquire this gem."--Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation
"Greco continues to educate us about why and how we, the people, have the power, the knowledge, and the tools available to us to civilize monetary systems around the world, thereby restoring an essential human element to our existence."--Krista Vardabash, former Executive Director of the International Reciprocal Trade Association
"Maybe you've noticed a slight bit of turmoil in our national and global financial system? This book cuts to the very core of the trouble--and points toward several pathways toward that might allow us to slowly climb out of the pit into which we've stumbled."--Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy
"For the growing ranks of monetary reformers worldwide, long-time expert Tom Greco's deeply researched new book is essential reading. This gripping blend of theory and practicality lays out all the options for creating saner money and credit systems--and the real possibilities in today's information age of electronic trading and exchange, at last, without the need to use money at all."--Hazel Henderson, author of Ethical Markets and President of Ethical Markets Media (USA/Brazil)
"If there is one thing people everywhere should drop everything to learn right now it is how the money system works, why it is failing and what to do to survive and even thrive. The reason they don't is because it has been so difficult to get and to understand this information. Against all odds, Tom Greco has filled this important need with an easy read including the most practical advice for getting you through the crisis into a more secure, healthier and happier future."--Elisabet Sahtouris, Ph.D., evolution biologist; futurist; author of EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution
"For those who would survive the sustainable cynicism of monopoly capital, now that the usurpers are caught red-handed and the mask of democracy has slipped, Greco provides the tools for regeneration of societies. Can we conceive of a new culture? Yes we can. Here are the tools for its monetary system, and it will thrive."--Anton Pinschof, organic farmer in Brittany (member of FNAB, French national federation of organic farmers), and co-founder of CESC, the Cliffs Edge Signalling Company (cesc.net)
"A stimulating and well-balanced work. Here, the serious student of monetary reform will find the mature reflections of a leading advocate of credit clearing. Thomas Greco's analysis of the modern monetary problem is excellent, his solution is practical and founded upon basic principles of justice. Policy makers and communities across diverse cultures and religions can learn much from this detailed and eloquent book. I strongly recommend it."--Tarek El Diwany, author of The Problem With Interest and Partner at Zest Advisory LLP
Tom's book is a chilling and gripping narrative that examines the history and current condition of our 300-year-old unbalanced and unsustainable monetary system. He goes on to propose specific changes that, when adopted, will transform our money system into a more user-friendly platform of exchange that will benefit all of the world's people. Simply a must read for everyone."--David Wallach, President, International Reciprocal Trade Association Global Board of Directors
"Thomas Greco dedicates his new book to the causes of social justice, economic equity, personal liberty, world peace, and ecological restoration. He begins by showing that none of these can be achieved until we give birth to a just and sustainable paradigm for exchanging energies. Clearly written, the roots of our current financial predicament are revealed, and the need for something better is lucidly explained. The serious reader will appreciate the author's long experience with alternative currencies: this book is a concise and efficient way to get up to speed on the history of alternatives to conventional 'money' as well as enter the new world of technologically liberated exchange that has the potential to bring about the end of money as we have known it."--Paul Grignon, creator of the movie Money as Debt
"Greco ... outlines the increasingly familiar story of how things got so bad, and he tells it as well as anyone has ever done.... More than that, Greco writes about how to change what has gone wrong. His credentials as an engineer, college professor, author, and consultant are impeccable. His book is among the most important written in this decade. It is truly a book that can alter the world and, if taken seriously, give large numbers of people a practical way to survive the gathering catastrophe."--Richard C. Cook, author of Challenger Revealed and We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform
"Greco precisely identifies the conflation of interests and confusion of thinking that have given rise to today's monetary muddles and proceeds to elucidate a viable strategy by which we all, as individuals and in association with one another, can unravel the tangle and build the basis for mutually profitable exchange."--Arthur Edwards, Director, Centre for Associative Economics
"If anything could save this civilization from the calamity to which its economic madness has led it--the unrelenting pursuit of materialism, the starkly inequitable division of wealth, the despoliation of the earth for profit--it would be the widespread adoption of the wisdom embodied in Tom Greco's clear and forthright new book. The fact that I doubt such a thing will happen, I am constrained to say, does not diminish the value of reading it."--Kirkpatrick Sale, author of Human Scale and After Eden: The Evolution of Human Domination
About the Author
Thomas H. Greco, Jr. is the director of the Community Information Resource Center, which he founded in 1992. CIRC is a nonprofit consulting organization and networking hub dedicated to economic equity, social justice, and community improvement, specializing in community currency and mutual credit design, development, and implementation. He is a former engineer and professor of business administration. Tom's books include Money and Debt: A Solution to the Global Crisis, Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender, and The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. For more information on re-creating money systems, visit another webpage of Tom's, Reinventing Money (reinventingmoney.com).
Top Customer Reviews
Using cloud-based credit and debit management systems for trading goods and services, raising cash to fund new projects, facilitating group purchases, rewarding consumers, and many other applications that require tracking virtual resources among various trading partners, etc. will take the place of banks.
Social Media combined with many other web-based revolutions are about to sweep the planet and will change our world in many profound ways, including fundamentally transforming the way business is conducted around the globe.
The global financial system and world’s economies are about to undergo a radical and unprecedented series of changes. What peer to peer (p2p) file sharing has recently done to the recording industry, new (p2p) digital currencies will soon do to the banking industry; Crowdsourcing will do to the traditional world of business; and Crowdfunding will do to the current world of investing.
There will be a new value-based economic system using a powerful new digital currency management system combined with a sophisticated online trading infrastructure,
All of the above are very interesting comments and put forth in a very understandable way by Greco. Let's see if they come to fruition!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The author proposes that to help make money more accessible to everyone, and to be more equitable to all, is the formation of alternate currencies. He details how that has taken place in the past, such as in post World War One Germany, when hyperinflation gripped the country, and in 1923 a loaf of bread cost 428 billion marks. An alternate currency was introduced, with some key features that are crucial for any alternate currency, such as no legal tender compulsion, and reasonable limits on currency creation. Other examples come from various South American countries. In the United States, an example from Pennsylvania after the tragic Johnstown flood shows how this concept can work. A current example not mentioned in this book, but is covered in the book Africa Rising, is how cell phone minutes have become a medium of exchange in several African countries, combating hyperinflation there. You can get your car repaired in exchange for cell phone minutes!
The book highlights the major problem with current currencies as there has been a blurring of the distinction of the two basic purposes of money, and the role of central banks such as the Federal Reserve Bank in the USA. The first basic role of money is as a medium of exchange, or a store of value. The other is as a credit instrument, to help fund future production. What has caused our current predicament is the conflicts of interest between the banking industry and the central banks, in regards to creation of currency.
He then details how a gradual transition to a more equitable solution is possible. The main idea is the creation of "barter clubs" to get to the point where cost of credit becomes reasonable and controlled. He details past attempts at such barter clubs, and gives a balanced coverage of both the successes and the failures, and details what can be done to avoid the past failures. The beauty of the barter club is that members can obtain reasonable amounts of credit for current inventory without any interest charges He mentions the key to the success of these barter clubs is to recruit the entire supply chain; manufacturers, wholesalers, service businesses, and retail. I know from experience with a barter club in the 1970s a major drawback was almost all members were service businesses such as beauty salons, realty agents, and car repair. Taxation implications are addressed; barter clubs are not an attempt to bypass income taxes. Barter club is perhaps a too narrow term, but sufficient for this review.
The book has a very thorough index, 198 footnotes, and four pages of references from a variety of sources. Two appendixes contain a sample member agreement for barter clubs and a proposed standard measure of value.
This book could have a profound positive impact on local and eventually global economies. It is definitely worth the effort to read through it, if nothing more to better understand our financial system and its weaknesses in order to garner support for a more equitable and secure financial system.
The author also expresses strong views on the separation of money and state. He believes that the ability to endlessly print currency, run up national debt, and for the government to print money only backed by the credit of the federal government is antiquated. With the advances in Visa, debit cards, wire transfers, and the like, currency will no longer be needed in the near future. He instead advocates the use of credits linked to the valuation of a basket of commodities. This book is very fascinating and I believe we will see the advances he talks about come to fruition over the next few years. Very insightful read for curious minds.
I totally agree with everything this book is saying - not only does it do a thorough job defining the history and the problems with money, as we know it today, but it offers very real, practical solutions. Solutions that I believe are going to be vital if the US is going to retain it's world power status and avoid revolution.
That said, there are cartoons on youtube that are much more accessible to the average joe that needs to be aroused from 'this is the way it works' slumber. NO IT DOES NOT. Therefore, giving this to your friends to try to help them understand is probably NOT a good idea - and that would be the best value of the book, because chances are, most people that are going to buy it ALREADY KNOW how the fractional reserve system works, and already understands that the FED is NOT part of our govt. and that central banking was NOT something the founding fathers ever wanted in AMERICA!
That said, this book can give those already familiar with how money works an excellent arsenal to be used in discussing the future of currency and how loans COULD work to build America instead of forcing us all into positions of wage slaves for a few elite.
Even though I am pretty well versed in Austrian economics, and the current problems, I found I had to read this book about 1/2 a chapter at a time. It is 'hard' reading.
Greco shows that "elitism" - the central banks monopoly of credit - is at the root of the problem. The solution is to decentralize power and wealth by eliminating the banking credit monopolies which have a stranglehold on credit (money).. in other words, more openness, participation, "egalitarianism". Greco explains how to do this using what are called credit clearing or credit exchanges that can eliminate the need for money entirely. Just as banks already clear checks between one another in clearing exchanges, without actually moving money back and forth (debits and credits cancel each another), individuals could operate at the same level, without the need for money - or interest, or needing a bank for credit. Computers and the Internet make it more practical. It's an audacious long term vision - just as Creative Commons could take generations to make a dent in the stranglehold of copyright - but check it out and understand what's happening on the forefront of monetary reform.
Unlike most books about money it doesn't serve as an alternative to a sleeping potion. Unlike most books about money that identify the problems with our monetary system, "The End of Money..." not only defines the problems but also identifies the solution to the current crisis.
The book is readable, entertaining, enlightening and understandable to anyone, not just monetary students.
Tom Greco strips away the mysteries that blind most of us to the functioning of debt money and fractional reserve banking. He explains how money is created by monetizing debt and the resultant twin imperatives for ever more debt and unsustainable growth to feed the insatiable demands of compound interest.
But then the book gets really interesting when Greco shows that there are various alternatives to the current debt based monetary system that address its defects and offer incredible promise of enabling a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future for all. And, these alternative systems aren't something that Greco dreamed up or that have never been tested. Rather he describes and demonstrates several examples from around the world that have survived, in some cases for decades. Greco also provides a candid description of the problems alternative monetary systems must confront, including many that are self inflicted by the organizers and users of the systems.
Thomas Greco is no dreamer. He is a realist and the work he has completed offers a clear and honest evaluation of the current situation, the dangers that ultimately could threaten civilization and the hope for a reasonable future. In short Greco is not just willing to say "The Emperor has no clothes." He also showed me the money, warts and all.
If you really want to understand money, the problems with money and solutions to enable civilization to prosper, read "The End of Money and the Future of Civilization."
You need to know this information, understand it and act upon it.