In his book, Value(s): Building a Better World for All, former governor of The Bank of England Mark Carney, looks at value beyond dollars and demands your attention. Review by Guy Dauncey. First published in The MINT Magazine, September 2021.
When the world’s best-known central banker writes a new book, we should sit up and pay attention, especially since Mark Carney is one of the few central bankers who really gets the climate crisis.
It’s a quite personal book; his writing reveals a deep commitment to ethical values, and service to the wider community. He makes me feel that I know him, and we’d get along well over a pint of beer. He often shares stories from his time at the Bank of England, and as chair of the Financial Stability Board, which was set up after the 2008 financial crash, resulting in over 100 reforms. Will they work? Time will tell.
How can we turn around the world’s financial institutions so that their creation of money serves to construct a new ecological civilization, rather than destroy our current civilization through the financing of ecological and climate catastrophe? It’s a massive problem that needs multiple solutions.
Before we turn our attention to some possible solutions, we need some context. Global GDP in 2018 was $87.5 trillion. Global debt, created by the world’s financial institutions, was $247 trillion, growing by $14 trillion a year. Between 2005 and 2016 the debt increased by 73%, split between governments ($63 trillion), non-financial corporations ($68 trillion) and private households ($44 trillion).