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by James Robertson
PROGRESS REPORT ON THE G20 MONETARY REFORM CAMPAIGN This Progress Report on the campaign to put national and international monetary reform on the G20 agenda for 2nd April includes news about:

  • the rising number of our petition signatories
  • mainstream monetary reform and decentralised alternatives e.g. in Transition Towns
  • moves by Russia and other countries to put international monetary reform on the agenda, with support from the United Nations
  • the possible consequences for Prime Minister Brown and President Obama, if differences among G20 countries result in failure to agree on a concerted policy to deal with the global crisis, and if this meeting is seen to be a flop, and
  • what they should do about them.

1. The No 10 petition to the Prime Minister is now supported by more than 400 signatories.
If you haven’t already signed, please consider signing. It only asks for the subject to be discussed at this stage. It is quick and easy to sign. Please tell anyone else about it who may be interested, including any networks you belong to.If you have signed, please check to see that your name is actually on the list of signatories. We know of people who think they have signed, but who must have failed to complete the confirming stage.
If you find that your name isn’t there and should be, please sign up again and then make sure you click on the link in the confirmation email that the Number 10 website will send you. Only once you have done this will your name appear on the petition.
NB. For immediate practical purposes the deadline is 30th March, not 30th April as the petition states. So there are only a few days left. But signatures after 30 March will still be valuable for supporting follow-up action by G20 governments after their 2nd April Summit.
2. The important link between mainstream monetary reform and complementary local currencies, local banks, etc.
I was very pleased to be interviewed on the phone by Marian Farrell of Transition Derry ( on 11 March. The interview can be heard at
The interview was about the need for mainstream monetary reform, what it would involve, and why it is important for local monetary, financial and economic decentralisation in Transition Towns like Derry and other places aiming for local sustainability.
This prompts a comment about the wider context.
The aim, after this G20 Summit, must be to help to transform the world’s money system into a multilevel system – international, national and local – primarily designed to serve the public interest but also allowing groups of people and businesses to develop their own systems of exchange between their members – like LETSystems.
These local community currencies like Time Dollars, Ithaca Hours, LETS, Chiemgauers and others already existing in many countries – together with new local community banks, credit unions, investment funds, etc – can make an essential contribution to financial and economic decentralisation and self-reliance on a greater scale than exists today. For a vision of this, see
Decentralisation and self-reliance can become a real possibility once mainstream monetary reform has freed us from depending on a public money supply created by banks as debt. If the banks are allowed to keep that power, they will obviously do what they can to limit the development of local competitors.
In other words they will use their power to keep us as dependent as they can on paying and being paid in the national currency for our purchases, earnings, pensions, benefits, etc. But, if the nationalised central bank has been given responsibility for creating the national money supply in the public interest, it will not have that reason to prevent us committing ourselves increasingly to decentralised alternatives.
Some well-intentioned advocates of local currencies oppose the proposal to transfer the creation of national money supply to a central bank which is democratically accountable to parliament and people, and to deprive the banks of their unaccountable power.
They think that that would transfer too much power to government, and suppose that just by deciding to use decentralised currencies and local banks ourselves we could painlessly erode the power of the banks. The banks love that idea!
3. International monetary reform SHOULD be on the G20 Agenda. Russia says so. So does China. So do UN advisers.
A head of steam is now building up on international monetary reform.
Detailed Russian proposals for the G20 meeting have now been published –
A ten-page paper – – includes the proposal to consider the “Introduction of a supra-national reserve currency to be issued by international financial institutions. It seems appropriate to consider the role of IMF in this process and to review the feasibility of and the need for measures to ensure the recognition of SDRs [special drawing rights] as a “supra-reserve” currency by the whole world community”.
China yesterday proposed replacing the US dollar as the international reserve currency with a new global system. The goal would be to create a reserve currency “that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies”. The Chinese central bank Governor acknowledged a debt to John Maynard Keynes in the 1940s.
See –
A U.N. panel will recommend this week that the world should ditch the dollar as its reserve currency in favour of a shared basket of currencies, a member of the panel said on Wednesday, adding to pressure on the dollar. The proposal is to create something like the old Ecu, or European currency unit –
Comment. International acceptance of the idea of a genuinely international supply of money created by an international agency, rather than continuing to rely on the currency of one self-interested nation, will have an additional significance beyond itself.
It will help more people to see that a corresponding reform is needed at the national level – to replace a money supply created by a self-interested group of profit-making banks with a money supply created by a public agency in the public interest.
4. Could the G20 meeting be a serious failure? If so, what then?

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