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Popular anger against the financial system has never been higher, yet the practical workings of the system remain opaque to many people. The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance aims to bridge the gap between protest slogans and practical proposals for reform. Brett Scott is a campaigner and former derivatives broker who has a unique understanding of life inside and outside the financial sector. He builds up a framework for approaching it based on the three principles of 'Exploring', 'Jamming' and 'Building', offering a practical guide for those who wish to deepen their understanding of, and access to, the inner workings of financial institutions. Scott covers aspects frequently overlooked, such as the cultural dimensions of the financial system, and considers major issues such as agricultural speculation, carbon markets and tar-sands financing. Crucially, it also showcases the growing alternative finance movement, showing how everyday people can get involved in building a new, democratic, financial system.
You can change only the things you understand. In rarely a field of economic policy is this adage more relevant than in finance, where all too often thought about the subject is stuck in gold standard terms (think exogenous money) and fails to cover both money creation as well as destruction by the private financial sector and the increasingly dominating role of corporate cash pools as well as shadow lenders in the plumbing in global financing activities. The Great Financial Crisis of 2008/09 has turbocharged the discussion about the system and what ought to be done about it in order to make it more resilient and work better for society as a whole. Brett Scott's is an important contribution to that debate.