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Abstract: The global, interest-based, debt-money system is the primary driver of unsustainable growth, economic inequity, and environmental destruction. Almost all of the money in existence in the world today is created by banks when they make loans. The accrual of interest on these loans over time, causes the amount of debt to always exceed the means for its payment, so new loans must continually be made in order to keep the system from collapsing. Collusion between politics and high finance has resulted in parasitic drains on the economy; these are interest and inflation. But communities can enable the exchange of value without involving banks and without the use of conventional political currencies. “Home-grown” liquidity that is interest-free can be achieved by (1) private currencies or vouchers that are spent into circulation by trusted producers, or (2) by organizing trade exchanges that enable members to trade with one another using a process called “credit clearing.”

There is no paper for this media entry. This was a contribution to a scientific session at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014, which doesn’t exist in written format or is not published under open access.