Record of Meetings held in the Palace of Westminster



Report of the Meeting held on 25th November 2003
- around our basic objective
- that more money be publicly issued rather than privately

EDM 1515 in 2002 called for using the public credit. EDM 854 in 2003 asks for an Inquiry into the possible benefits of publicly-created money. EDM1515 with 24 and EDM 854 with 28 signatures have thus set signals for understanding the mechanisms of money creation and supply in a Parliamentary context. Interest on debt constitutes some 22% of taxpayers' money spent by Government - generally slightly more than the military budget . Who benefits? And how does the exponential growth of compounding interest effect the country's economy and government's budget? Public Services have been suffering noticeably and the Public Services Forum is an opportunity to draw the Unions' attention to the devastating effects of our debt- and interest-based monetary system. After John Courtneidge's article 'New initiatives for Public Finance' was published in "Voice of the Unions" we hear a report on the latest attempts of raising awareness among those who suffer most: the workers and employees - whether personally through health and education, or collectively through transport and pensions.
Dr John Courtneidge is a chemist, town councillor, Quaker, Co-operator and socialist. He
co-founded the Campaign for Interest-Free Money in 1997 and has been an active supporter of monetary reform on many levels. Richard Murphy is the mastermind behind EDM854: an accomplished accountant and businessman. Richard Greaves worked as a solicitor for 15 years before becoming interested in economics and politics, including the power of banks in money creation.

After the disturbing account at the previous Forum of the intricacies of international financial exploitation, it was important to turn, as we did on November 25th, to the nature of our own commitment to contribute to effective change. We wrestled for two hours with the imperative of having a strategy and appropriate tactics with which to alert people and government to the urgency of financial system change.

John Courtneidge (JC) used a mild shock tactic of stripping off jacket, tie and shirt to reveal an undershirt - proclaiming silently "Campaign for Interest Free Money". He declared that his role was to trigger a discussion in which all would want to partake. He hinted at the long history of desire for justice, and in particular the 40 year history of the 1962 Dundee report leading to the branch of the monetary reform movement that finds expression in the Global Table, in this Forum and in the work that all its participants now pursue in the cause. We were to discuss money as value - how it is created - how used - how we can tackle the achievement of positive change. He set a tone to the discussion to follow in a context of Quaker, Co-operative and socialist insights about strategies of non-violence, co-operative advantage and inclusive justice.

Richard Murphy (RM): spoke as the mastermind behind EDM 854 and as an accomplished accountant and business man. He both represented and urged the pragmatism necessary to convince the power holders of the necessity and possibility of change. Depth of analysis is available, we must fortify our intent to apply. Disillusioned with economics from early student days, he reminded us that "profit" and "utility" are not really defined and that significant alternatives were needed. He was disappointed in the early alternatives pioneered by TOES (The Other Economic Summit) and NEF (New Economics Foundation) - being contained in analysis. NEF concentrated on micro schemes. We want to see effective change. He was determined to be a campaigning Chartered Accountant. Action was to be delivered as practical solutions. Neo-classical economics is profoundly biased towards the rich. No problem with wealth creation except where wrongly achieved. Bias to the poor - the message of Jesus - requires our theological explorations. Capitalism is a return on interest. Profit is the return to enterprise. We are called to pragmatism - no dreams - no panacea - but achievable action. The Biblical record is that usury must be prohibited. Our hermeneutics (the science of interpretation) must contemporise that significant affirmation. Psalm 15 "Those who are to rest upon the holy hill - will be those who don't exploit through usury". 1844 Bank of England Act - declared seigniorage for the government only, as in the USA at the end of c17 ....and remained there ever since, expanding rapidly. The present process is an obscenity. The trap in double entry bookkeeping is a fiction because there is no money, but only entries, which generate less to savers and disproportionately more for banks. Of the top ten on the FTSE 100 list, five are banks, where the top to bottom ratio is of 100:1. Banks are staggeringly greater than the rest. Why are there so many selling money so successfully? Because it costs nothing to make. "Provident Financial" is number 96 in the 100 and charges 176%. A cap will come on interest in the UK probably at a level that makes business possible. Therefore the next step is a new Early Day Motion, with Austin Mitchell MP and Alan Simpson MP, with the tactical step of asking the Treasury to review the situation. We must walk in the right direction, as Tarek had said previously.

To understand the potential, let's return to James Robertson and Joseph Huber's "Creating New Money" - practical and available on Its proposal says: the Government could borrow from the Bank of England on loan account - the difference being that it would not be repayable - it will be at zero% as 'free money'. The Bank of England has no requirement to make a profit. Under the current system we pay c£30 bn a year which is equal to the deficit this year! But it must be the Bank of England only - otherwise it would evoke massive resistance from the City. Bank business is not the same as the general business of wealth creation. True banking can continue as brokerage - but won't be able to make money. We affirm the principle that money in your account belongs to you not to the banks. WHAT IT WOULD DO : it would create effective pension schemes - it would end student loans - it would do away with the Lottery that drains the poor. [Recall John Tomlinson's paper to the Forum - on why is it necessary to preserve confidence in banks? Because they have a unique way of accounting that disguises their truth as companies.]

Richard Greaves
(RG) Described how he worked as a solicitor for 15 years before becoming interested in economics and politics, including the power of banks in money creation. Sheffield Education. Family firm making cabinets for cutlery and hi-fi. His Father's dictum was: Don't borrow! But he was forced to and by 1981 they were in receivership. Sold small factory and lost it all in the interest payments. Then as a solicitor he asked where is all the money coming from, NOT from savings. The Grip of Death by Mike Rowbotham opened his mind (but it is 350 pages long!!) So he set himself the task of getting the essence into eight pages on money and banks - the truth. We are encouraged to read and comment. No money is created by the system to pay interest - so there is always a shortage and we are all formidably competing for it and cost cutting consumes us.


Rodney Shakespeare questioned the proposal on interest-free issuance unless it was repayable and cancellable, thus countering the greatest block we all faced - the fear of inflation. RM felt that there was an argument for fine tuning on what amount was repayable and what was not repayable.

JC referred to the Budget available in our libraries: £1000 billion is the total money supply. £400billion is the Government's budget with an annual increase £40 billion. The Bank of England should be 'ours' - as part of the common wealth. The Bank of England to provide that £40billion and then monitor. This will affect whether there is withdrawal or continuing circulation. There must be a public debate informed by realistic figures offered to us in a realistic way. Keynes saw this as stated in his very last essay - then there was no measurement of what is out there. Post World War Two Econometrics made it possible to measure, and so opened up new possibilities.

did not really see the need for repayable money, using inflation to meet the obligation, which is a con. But we need each generation to build what the next generation will need. We need steady growth of the money supply for a long time to come. Monitoring is the key to the effect. Savings: the monetary medium is being misused - savings should be as dividend instead of interest. 80% don't save and that won't change. We must note the % who are not capable of saving because they have insufficient money - very difficult to read. £14000 - £200,000 is a very large band whilst £80,000 is in top 1%.

It was acknowledged that there is confusion about the nature of the ownership of the Bank of England. Serious enquiry by the Treasury or an independent body would need to clarify this publicly. After one enquiry the Bank of England did name names, but within a week the relevant we site had been withdrawn. Tax Justice research shows a ruse that a dormant Company is often a cover for activities closed to public review. For example. PWGlobal Limited web site for 150 countries..... is dormant !! 2% inflation is too much if we want stable currencies, and the real figure for inflation is not published. Administrative charges in financial services must be recognised.

1. Fear of capital flight
[RM] - the international dimension is immensely significant but is ignored. Tax Havens, which account for over ? of all world trade have only 40 academics world-wide looking at them, despite 5000 accounting academics in the UK alone. The UN is looking at this and RM is to go to Geneva to give evidence. Change will come in 5 -10 years KPMG own vast proportion of the Tax Havens.

2. Discussion followed on variable rates of interest
- how do we deal with this? Will zone rates prevail? There is some indication that this discussion is beginning to be a concern in the Treasury. The library system model from charge at point of use to free at point of use took 100 years to develop. We all could follow. Capital flight inwards will follow the first country to issue interest-free money. In the deeper holistic paradigm we have yet to define and reach, the key or ordinate issue is money: its creation and its use. A National Credit Office is one possibility and doesn't have to make a profit. Banks are effectively nationalised - because they cannot fail. Person of last resort is the Government - that is us. Why say others own it? [See German model of equity risk] In the future, banks should help to enrich the economy which they don't presently do! The European dimension - nobody can say anything. The European Central Bank is as much its own master as the Bank of England. Treaty says no advice from anyone. We have an opportunity.

3. Pro Bono tried the idea of companies creating their own banks. Is there any mileage in this? Differentiate between banking services and saving required. There are important extant examples 1. JAK banks. 2. Shared Interest. 3. Triodos. 4. Co-operative. 5. Mondragon (an equity bank but with interest). Co-op bank in UK is a shocking black hole - makes surpluses it doesn't know what to do with - new co-op businesses and gets up to all sorts of scams. (Note the Chris Cook explorations of the new model available in Limited Liability Partnerships, of which examples are beginning to be founded.)
1. There needs to be a radical shift in sense of responsibility.
2. Interpersonal relations must improve.

4. Two issues stand out:
1. The Creation of Money and 2. Should it bear Interest ? Money creation could not be a completely free service, but it could be a very different one, having equity in place of debt, like a sterling LETS scheme with an administrative charge? There was strong concern expressed that we would not achieve change in our lifetime unless we start with interest-free repayable issuance - because the debt-free is not admissible to the present Monetocracy. That is a first step that cannot be seen as inflationary - interest-free repayable - counter inflationary is better phrase. Other steps could follow.

5. The discussion moved
to a close around the timely commitment to table a new Early Day Motion for the parliamentary year that would open the following day. So we all buzzed privately for a while and then left, challenged to start where the shoe pinches.

Comments are always welcomed on ways to progress. We share the realization that free market theology and market worship is not the way to go; and that a moral outcome is essential. If we all insisted on full agreement on all points, there is little possibility that any type of movement could proceed. Then the bankers, united in their exploitation of humanity would continue to dominate. They've had plenty of experience with exploiting divisions and ruling. There are probably real differences that we will argue over in the future, but if we agree on 70% and more of general objectives,  then I'm for putting those arguments off till after we have the bankers on the run.

Sabine's comment:
I regret that the debate on interest did NOT make the distinction between
1. interest paid on the National Debt as part of the Government's budget and
2. interest paid for ordinary loans.
Banks charging interest from their customers is different from the Government being charged interest on its budget when this represents 40% of the total money supply, since this interest payment has to be covered by taxes. The Chancellor thinks he can raise money either from taxation or from borrowing. The truth is that in BOTH cases, the taxpayer suffers.

In terms of strategic thinking, an All Party Group is our next goal.
Lobbying the Treasury Select Committee is one 'prong'.
Campaigning via 'the network' is the second 'prong'.


Wednesday, January 14th, 2004 .... Citizen's Diplomacy - A joint effort with the "Simultaneous Policy" Initiative. PREPARE BY VISITING and

Peter Challen, Minute Secretary, Forum for Stable Currencies
Organiser; Sabine McNeill