April 2009
Democratizing Finance
Editorial by Hazel Anderson, USA

"DEMOCRATIZING FINANCE" by Hazel Henderson © April 2009

The financial meltdown generated by Wall Street and the "too big to fail" culture of global money-center banks and financiers is generating local initiatives and demands to decentralize and democratize finance.

Meanwhile, at the global level, the G-20 countries’ demands to democratize the voting structures of the IMF and the World Bank are essential to reflect the changing balance of economic power. The G-7 and G-8 group of countries are no longer relevant now that the G-20 group (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and also the European Union) has taken center stage.

While national safety-nets are unraveling due to budget cuts, local leadership is rising, offering many creative alternatives for communities to nurture healthier homegrown economies:

  • Local barter-clubs, like Freecycle.com, Craigslist and LETS, and scrip currencies are proliferating – as they always do when central bankers and the International Monetary Fund fail or apply the wrong remedies and make matters worse. Some of the most successful complementary currencies are Switzerland’s WIR and in the USA, Berkshares, with equivalent to $2 million in circulation and accepted by banks and businesses in Massachusetts. Similar complementary currencies are matching needs and resources and clearing local markets in Britain, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and other countries.

Read more at: http://www.hazelhenderson.com/editorials/democratizing_finance.html