Edited by John B. Davis and Wilfred Dolfsma
Chapter 31: Banking, finance and money: a social economics approach
This chapter will briefly summarize the orthodox approach to banking, finance and money, and then will point the way toward an alternative based on social economics. It will be argued that the alternative approach not only fits the historical record better, but also sheds more light on the nature of money in modern economies. While the orthodox approach presumes that money really does not matter (at least in the long run, when it is supposed to be ‘neutral’), the alternative stresses that money is perhaps the most important institution in an economy organized along capitalist principles. Further, rather than relegating money to a ‘thing’ that lubricates the market mechanism, a social economic perspective emphasizes social relations – credit and debt, power and sovereignty. Finally, the alternative view of banking, finance and money also leads to different conclusions regarding the appropriate scope for monetary and fiscal policy.
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