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Monetary reform

Monetary reform is accounting reform that reaches more deeply into banking central bank, money supply and monetary policy. It affects how money is created and destroyed, and what constitutes a reliable measure of economic growth and measures of national income.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve and Department of the Treasury are resopnsible for these functions. Thus the term Treasury reform, which is a synonym but one that applies only to such reform of the US dollar.

In recent years debates have focused on measuring well-being, nature's services, the relative valuation of different styles of capital, debt and its effects on peace and conflict, notably the role of property rights and military spending in securing reliable repayment of debt.

Marilyn Waring, John Kenneth Galbraith, Robert Tobin, Amartya Sen, Amory Lovins, Paul Hawken, Herman Daly, David Suzuki, Robert Costanza, Joseph Stiglitz, David Korten, George Soros, and almost all other theorists who have become associated with the anti-globalization movement, peace movement, Green movement, Natural Capitalism, green economics and human development theory have strongly criticized current systems of money supply, banking, and debt, and made a great many policy recommendations. For details see the articles on those individuals and theories.

An important point of consensus is that present policies resemble those that have in the past led to depression, world war, and local resistance to centralized government and debt collection, and a general rise in militarism as those who feel entitled to payments, must increasingly collect them by force. Another is the advocacy of soft currency for barter and the acceleration of a strictly local service economy, to complement a global hard currency.

These measures are also associated with left-wing politics and green politics, so they are often rejected by those practicing right-wing politics and libertarian principles, who in general see little or no role for global policy setting on monetary policy, and no relationship between local treatment of natural ecosystems and global money relations.

Robert Mundell is an important theorist who, while being associated with the "right", has advocated global money policy and currency integration, in part so that sane central ecological management of the entire Earth would be at least possible in a crisis. Lester Thurow is also to some degree associated with these arguments, as he has portrayed a pyramid of value with natural capital and associated nature's services "at the base", with all wealth depending absolutely on continuing ecological health.

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the major monetary reform measures that brought about the gold standard are thought by some economic historians to have made it more difficult to avoid World War I, while the Bretton Woods institutions are universally agreed to have been a direct consequence of World War II (spreading John Maynard Keynes measures of national income globally to become the United Nations standard). A similar major world war is thought by some to be necessary to agreed globally on (what Henry Liu and others have called) a post-autistic economics.

See also