In 2008 the world economy met a threshold, taking humanity to the edge of its understanding of money and economics. Since then huge amounts of money have been created to stabilise the world economy, yet one crisis has simply followed another.
If today’s huge amounts of excess capital are not to be what Maynard Keynes predicted – when in 1940 he said “loose funds may sweep the world disorganising all steady business…” – then we need to rethink the links between the real and the financial economies.
This exhibition does just that; but not in ways most people are expecting. Here the focus is on capitalising capacities and grounding economics on accounting. So that young people in particular can influence their own lives and the economy of their world via the strength of their own situations.
The Financial Juggler
The sketch depicts someone juggling three balls while straddling a threshold. The three balls are all different and all up in the air. These are the three aspects of modern finance – whether known as the global architecture of trade, capital and central banks, the money functions of means of exchange, store of value and unit of account, or the three elements of accounting – income and expenses, balance sheet and closing entries.
Before 2008 these were always managed from outside, by experts, agents and ‘authorities’. Now each and everyone of us has to understand what those people understood: how to manage our affairs so that balance and stability result. None of this will be possible until the threefold nature of money is understood, an idea that takes everyone of us to the edge of modern ideas about money and finance.
This is the third exhibition edition of Associate!, celebrating 35 years. This issue in particular stresses again the need to back young people with the capital they need to find their way in life. What else matters when youth unemployment is now worldwide? In addition to the graph at the bottom of p.3, one could also mention 40% youth unemployment in Portugal and 70% in South Africa (information supplied by former Chief Secretary to the UK Treasury, when visiting the Mini Money Museum in Folkestone, England (financefolkestone.com), where the exhibitions featured here are being held).
As President Obama recently remarked: “Justice is living up to the common creed that says, I am my brother’s keeper and my sister’s keeper. Justice is making sure every young person knows they are special and they are important and that their lives matter – not because they heard it in a hashtag, but because of the love they feel every single day – not just love from their parents, not just love from their neighbourhood, but love from police, love from politicians. Love from somebody who lives on the other side of the country, but says, that young person is still important to me. That’s what justice is.”
– President Obama. Speaking 14 July 2015 at the NAACP National Convention