NEWGroup Newsletter 11.4.2014

New Economy News: IPS Newsletter
April 11, 2014

Democratize Money; Democratize the World Bank

Dear Christopher,

Here in the Western world, many of us grew up believing that societies must be organized around money. We’re taught that markets maximize our individual freedom to make choices according to our personal values and interests. Part of the story is that we must also somehow ignore the fact that the monetization of relationships gives enormous power to those who control the creation and allocation of money.

In the United States, the structure of the money system gives much of this power to Wall Street institutions that seek their own financial gain without much regard for human or natural interest. Despite the facade of political democracy, through their control of money, large financial institutions – not regular people – rule the global economy.

One of these institutions – the World Bank – is hosting its “Spring Meetings” in Washington, DC. While the Bank is technically a public institution funded by taxpayer dollars, it has played a large role in advancing the narrow interests of Wall Street and large, multinational corporations.

For example, the World Bank is home to an international tribunal that allows global corporations to sue governments over environmental and public health regulations that might impede their future profits. For details on a particularly egregious case, see the IPS report Pacific Rim Mining/OceanaGold Mining Corporation vs. El Salvador and The Guardian’s article, El Salvador Groups Accuse Pacific Rim of ‘Assault on Democratic Governance.’

Wall Street rules and institutions must be replaced with those of a New Economy: that is, rules and institutions that protect the right to democratic self-determination (at the local, regional and national levels) while acting at the global level to set international standards for Universal Human Rights and the Rights of Mother Earth.

The current money system must also be democratized in order to change these global rules. Money is essential to the function of a modern society, this is true. But the common good depends on reducing our dependence on money and assuring that its power is transparent and accountable to those who have an interest in the health and well-being of the people, community, and ecology of the place where they live.


Noel Ortega
New Economy Coordinator
New Economy Working Group, IPS

Check Out this Award-Winning Film: Money & Life

Money and Life Movie Screencap

The film invites us to participate in the great transition to a sustainable, equitable and restorative economy that meets the needs and realities of the 21st century.

Featuring David Korten, New Economy Working Group Co-Chair

read more

Endorse Open Letter to President of the World Bank

World Bank flyer

More than 300 organizations are supporting El Salvador in its legal battle with mining company Pacific Rim at the World Bank. The coalition submitted a letter to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on April 10 demanding a review of the lawsuit against El Salvador.

Please endorse the letter.

Sign the Petition for a Constitutional Amendment to Overturn McCutcheon v. FEC and Citizens United v. FEC Rulings

Public Citizen logo

The U.S. Supreme Court has handed down another outrageous ruling giving CEOs, billionaires, and Big Business even more power to sway our elections.

By Public Citizen

Sign the petition.

High-Frequency Trading is a Blight on Markets that the Tobin Tax Can Cure

NYSE trading floor

A tax on financial transactions can calm the frenzy of speculation fueled by computer-driven algorithms.

By John Fullerton, in The Guardian

read more

Two Big-Box Decisions Show How Smart Planning Policies Protect Good Jobs

Strengthen and Protect Small Businesses

Although few cities take full advantage of them, planning and zoning powers are among the most potent tools communities have for shaping their economies.

By Stacy Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

read more


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