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Book Review: Democratizing Finance – Restructuring Credit to Transform Society

Book Review: Democratizing Finance
Fred Block, Robert Hockett
Verso Books, 2022
Level: beginner
Perspective: Post-Keynesian Economics
Topic: Crises, Institutions, Governments & Policy, Money & Debt
page count: 336 pages
ISBN: 9781839762673


What if our financial system were organized to the benefit of the many rather than simply empowering the few? Robert Hockett and Fred Block argue that an entirely different financial system is both desirable and possible. They outline concrete steps that could get us there. Financial systems move the worlds savings from investment to investment, chasing the highest rates of return. They run on profit. But what if investment went to the enterprises or institutions that provided things that the majority of people would prioritize? Democratizing Finance includes six responses that seek to amend, elaborate, and challenge the arguments developed by Hockett and Block. Some of the core arguments put forward by other contributors include calls for the rapid elimination of private financial entities, the dilemmas of the politics associated with financial reforms, and the fate of parallel proposals advanced in the US in the 1930s.

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Comment from our editors:

This blog post reviews "Democratizing Finance", an edited volume that analyses and provides policy proposals to ensure that the financial system serves the public good. Mquzama undertakes the task of summarising the main takeaways from each essay in the book as well as an exposition of its shortfalls. While he acknowledges the necessity of the book's reimaging capitalism and the financial system in a way that is practical within the current economic and political structures, he also highlights its failure to look beyond the United States of America. While the review is slightly lengthy, it is an interesting insight into the book as well as an application of the book's key takeaways to the contemporary world. (This is a comment on the review, not on the book).


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