#924 A heretic in the halls of finance

If we had any lingering illusions about the global finance system, they came crashing down in 2008 and in the years that followed. As usual, the manipulators landed on their feet and threw the rest of us into the trash bin. And now Martin Scorsese’s popular movie, The Wolf of Wall Street, is playing the corruption behind the crash for laughs.

I am not laughing, but I am paying attention to ways of punching holes in the systems that cling to money and power at the expense of the rest of us. So I appreciate finding Brett Scott on Twitter. He spent a couple of years as a derivatives broker and is currently a fellow at the Finance Innovation Lab, a contributor to major media and author of Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money.

He also writes a thought-provoking blog. A recent post took the financial system to task as a “net drain on ecological systems” and explored the idea of applying permaculture principles, which “seek to build up the productive potential of the overall system.” An earlier post linked to a longer article in which he looked at alternative currencies and challenged our misconceptions about the nature of money.

Scott’s writings caught my eye in part because just around the corner from where I live a Bitcoin company has sprung up. Bitcoiniacs is better established in Vancouver but still has only a small number of participating merchants there and just one in Kelowna. (I’m wary of the idea but fascinated nonetheless.) It also piqued my interest because of my own unhappy experience with various investments that tanked and my distaste for a finance system that often sees no value in the environment or people beyond what profit can be dug out of both.

I like to shout out people whose view of human potential is not bound by the status quo. There are many examples in this blog, and I am happy to learn about Brett Scott’s “anarchic adventures in arts, activism, anthropology and alternative economics”. He sees the impact we can have by learning how to keep “the financial commons open.” That gives me hope.

You can follow Brett Scott on Twitter and on his blog

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