Thursday, October 27, 2005

Comment from Daniel Evans of

Well it is good to know the book is being read now by at least one commercial barter company. Daniel Evans, who has just sold Ozone New Zealand, but is the Chief Information Office of XO Limited, a software development company based in Auckland, New Zealand, writes one day:

"I have actually read your book - and passed it onto the local Ozone operator here. It is very impressive. Quite a few people seem to be handing it around. " In a later email he says:

"Yep - Jo gave me the book. In turn I bought some copies and gave them to Seeby Woodhouse (the Ozone owner for NZ) and Josh Webb (his partner) and the Ozone franchise owner for Australia and another green-dollar person in Australia.. (or rather someone who wanted to start their own exchange).

It was very interesting."

Daniel's company has developed software for use by comercial barter companies and LETS systems.

I also discovered today that the owner of an organics shop in Wellington has read it too.

This review would put off most readers!

A review in the Nelson Mail on Thursday 20 October 2005 was fairly dreadful. Here it is:

A New Look at Money

This book deserves to be read and discussed, but that is an unlikely fate.

We like making money, spending money and having money in the bank. But when it comes to talking about money, most of us tend to go glassy-eyed. So money gets left to those who control it - and that, says Deirdre Kent, is a tragedy.

She argues that banks don't lend money that they borrow, but instead create it by making an entry on both sides of the balance sheet. Money based on interest is bad and she says measuring a nation's wealth by its gross domestic product is unhealthy.

Her reasoning is somewhat involved, but for those who get this far, she changes tack and reviews a list of alternative money systems.

Unfortunately, while many of these systems appear to have merit, for various reasons most have fallen by the wayside.

Writing a book such as this as if it were a dissertation for a PhD may not be the best way to win the public's hearts and minds. It badly needs a lighter touch for the general reader, and many more human interest stories to counterbalance the earnestness.

The latter chapters on non-banking institutions - such as the PSIS, building societies and credit unions - are more interesting. There is even a fleeting reference to plans for a Nelson bank that were shelved when Kiwibank came along.

Kent finishes the narrative (but not the book) with a gung-ho action plan. The book finishes with notes, references and an index that together take up more than 60 pages.

- John Ewan.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Helen Dew (NZ) and Stephen De Meulenaere in Bali

Stephen is a Canadian working for Strohalm, an organisation from the Netherlands. He works in local currencies. See www. to see what he is up to. He is a mine of information. Recently Helen Dew of Living Economies in New Zealand had to go to Bali for her son's wedding and it was an ideal opportunity to take my book to Stephen.

Stephen De Meulenaere's comments

It was very nice to meet Helen when she was recently in Bali, who so kindly brought me your book to give to me! I have had a chance to read the book through, cover to cover when I was working in a poor rural village on the side of the massive Merapi Volcano in Yogyakarta City, central Java Island, where we are working to implement our Voucher Circulation System.

I'm very impressed with the book, the quality of the cover and paper, and the nicely written text. I see that you have included all of the suggestions that I made, and I agree completely with all that you say throughout the book, and about the areas where I have been involved, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Argentina.

Comment from Gwyneth Wright of the Womens Loan Fund

Dear Deirdre

Thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I am delighted to have it and to share it with as many people as I can engage in conversation about the serious subject of money.

It is so well written that is is easily accessible and readers can get into the subject from many different angles, and so the book is immensely valuable in arousing interest.

Your work in making people think about the banking system and the creation of credit i.e. debt and to ponder on alternative systems. We in the Women's Loan Fund movement are aware of the destructive and growth-inducing effects of charging interest. In our own small way we are showing how those with a surplus of capital can enter into partnership with those who can use it productively. We take pride also in the fact that we keen money in the community that would otherwise be siphoned off – and probably up to no good in the global scene.

Your seminal work is of great worth to all of us who look for a better way – one that will look after people, so many of whom are caught in a virtual slavery to a system that should be working for, not against them. Thank you for undertaking it. It is a gift indeed.

With love and many good wishes

Gwyneth Wright (Thames)