Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Comment from Tim Inkpen, Canada

Thank you Deirdre for such a wonderful book! I've just finished reading your work. It packs quite a punch. It is a powerful and rich critique of our monetary system. Your style is very accessible. You are able to take very complex issues and make them understandable to an average reader without becoming boring or dull. This is a rare gift. together with "Reinventing Money" by Thomas Greco and "The Future of Money" by Bernard Lietaer your work should become a standard text in a curriculum for alternative economics.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

With a doctor and an economics teacher

Originally uploaded by localcurrencies.
Dr Viola Palmer, Deirdre, Mary Harray. We were all friends from Tauranga days. Mary was an economics teacher for many years and has followed the book with interest. Viola works as a GP and is the spokesperson for GALA, Group Against Liquor Advertising.

Watch for North and South article August 11th

A North and South journalist Jane Tollerton has written an article on two sisters whose books were published the same week. My sister Rachel McAlpine has written her fourth novel, called Humming and it is now on the best seller list for fiction for New Zealand.
  • Humming
  • It will make you laugh. Set in Golden Bay and involves a famous artist, a tai chi teacher and many others.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    Publisher's media release focusses on pressure for economic growth, spiralling debt and alternative money systems


    Healthy Money, Healthy Planet:
    Developing sustainability through new money systems

    By Deirdre Kent * $34.99 * Published June, 2005 * 320 pages * Craig Potton Publishing
    Review copies available * contact Phillippa Duffy * * Ph 03 548 3553

    Healthy Money, Healthy Planet argues that much of the relentless pressure for global economic growth, which results in so much environmental and social damage, is due to our money system.

    At a time when superstars, such as actor Brad Pitt and U2 singer/songwriter turned third-world debt-relief advocate Bono, are encouraging world leaders to consider collective approaches in relieving Africa’s spiralling debt crises, it is timely that New Zealanders look at their own monetary systems and its impact on our society. How often do we hear or read reports on increased household debt in New Zealand or new research into the impact and burden of student loans, and think only of the consequences, rather than any of the systemic causes?

    Deirdre Kent, in Healthy Money, Healthy Planet, goes some way to addressing this, offering the reader accessible information to better assess and consider what some of these contributing factors are. In Part 1: ‘Sick Money’, Kent outlines the money multiplier effect and how banks create money through interest bearing debt. She then goes through the consequences of this: a growing debt spiral; a widening gap between rich and poor; the transfer of money overseas; and resultant instability.

    We all deal with money in different forms every day – whether it’s through handling cash, using credit, personal loans and credit cards, understanding our or our children’s student loans, or taking on a mortgage. This book gives the ordinary New Zealander, those without an economics or finance background, an opportunity to really understand the mechanics of New Zealand’s monetary system and the impacts it has on our society. Some of what Kent discusses will be controversial, some worrying, and some illuminating. However, rather than just focussing on the negative impacts, Kent spends much of the book looking at solutions and alternatives such as barter and community-based currencies. In Part 2 ‘Healthy Money’, ideas and examples are offered on how we can make individual and community-based decisions to limit our reliance on, and exposure to, the damaging aspects of a spiralling debt system. The chapter on ‘Privately Issued Currency’ includes an interesting recap on the Chathams Islands Notes issued for the Millennium, their use on the island, and the ensuing media and public attention and resultant Reserve Bank action.

    Deirdre Kent has been an environmental activist, a maths teacher, a Values Party candidate, a city councillor and a full-time campaigner as Director on ASH (Action on Smoking and Health). Her passion is to inform people how the money system we have inherited contributes to world-wide environmental and social problems and to promote monetary literacy to avert further degradation. She is a trustee of Living Economies (, an organisation set up for this purpose.

    Deirdre Kent is available for interview. Contact Phillippa Duffy, Craig Potton Publishing to arrange an interview or seek more details for review purposes.


    Monday, July 11, 2005

    A book about Green Monetary Reform and Green Economics

    This book looks at the world's money system and its social and environmental consequences. It outlines how money is currently created as interest-bearing debt by commercial banks and reflects on the history of this process. Then it summarises all the appalling financial and environmental social effects of creating money in this way and asks what to do. Graphs show the rise in debt in several sectors including corporate, housing, student and credit card debt. To complete the section one on unhealthy money, there is a chapter on unhealthy globalisation, one on economic mismeasurement and one on answering the critics.

    The second part of the book, larger than the first, starts to provide some solutions. It revisits the concept of money and outlines the reasons for complementary or local currencies. Many chapters then describe the various local currencies which have been used over the centuries and round the world at the moment, including LETS, commercial barter, timebanking, currencies with a circulation incentive. There are two chapters discussing why some local currencies are more successful than others, one on biomicry in organisational structures, one on community banking in New Zealand before a final chapter looking to the future and suggesting options for action.

    It is completed with a bibliography, a list of organisation and websites and an index.

    So this is a comprehensive book on green monetary reform and green economics for the information age.

    Green economics in bookshop windows

    First, if you want to read about the book, go to Archives, then click on June. It is just that at the moment I have limited skills writing this website and I don't want to frustrate first time users who don't want to see a whole lot of photos of my booklaunch but want to find out about the book. OK, yesterday I discovered that Bennetts Government Bookshop has my book in the window. Bennetts is right near Parllament so all the government servants and politicians and lobbyists use it a lot, as they sell Hansard there and political books. This means green monetary reform is in the news. I had to order more books today as I have sold 50 already and the publicity has barely begun. I am off to a conference in Nighthawk, Colorado on 27th July and will be away for three weeks.

    Sunday, July 10, 2005

    Some of the grandchildren for whom the book was written

    Hamish charged everywhere pushing a trolley full of blocks and toys. That's my daughter Rachel with the children.

    Proud author

    Proud author
    Originally uploaded by localcurrencies.
    It was so nice to hear people say good things about my persistence and stamina throughout this project.

    Malcolm Murchie introduces speakers

    My partner Malcolm Murchie, a long time monetary reformer, acts as the MC and says he is very proud. He refers to many published authors among the guests.

    With granddaughter Tereana

    Tereana goes to boarding school and is in my custody. She did the housework beforehand and afterwards to earn money.

    Derek Wilson, Susanna Kent and Daniel sell books

    Derek wrote a big book called the Five Holocausts, outlining the problems faced by humanity. A retired architect he often writes to the paper. He is a board member of Pacific Institute for Resource Management which publishes Pacific Ecologist.

    Anna and Finlay Thompson with baby

    Finlay was a lecturer in Maths at the time he and I were working in the organisation we founded called NZ Banking Reform. Together we read and researched about the money system, visited the Reserve Bank and organised forums. Finlay's brother Alistair runs the website

    Deirdre Kent and Helen Dew

    Well my 7 year old grandson Daniel actually took this. Hence the angles look a bit wobbly. Helen Dew of Living Economies drove over from Carterton for the launch.

    Economist Prue Hyman with Jill Abigail

    Book launch very successful

    What a wonderful celebration day, at our place in Waikanae. The photos tell the story. A book which took from 1997 when it was first dreamed up, 1999 when I put my computer down in a cold basement garage in Highbury, Wellington and dressed myself in hat, mittens, thick socks, big slippers and covered myself with a rug. I worked like this all winter until we had an office built upstairs. Then for four more years till publication. My friends and colleagues were delighted that it has come to fruition. MC at the event was my partner Malcolm Murchie, who drew attention to several published authors in the room and spoke of my persistence in the task. Helen Dew of Living Economies formally launched the book into the world. The contents of her speech are in a separate posting. Then my sister Rachel McAlpine, who has taught and published on writing and has just published her fourth novel, spoke of the way I had taken advice on writing and of the difficulty of getting a book published, as she advises many in this sometimes fruitless pursuit. Prue Hyman, the feminist economist who commends the book, spoke of its significance for those who want social justice. Family and friends enjoyed this occasion and made me feel proud, as the photos show. It was a great opportunity to thank all those who had supported me. I am running out of books to sell and must order more. I never dreamt I would sell 50 so quickly.