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Past events

Page history last edited by Peter Verity 6 years, 7 months ago

Past events


20 Feb 2016 - Day conference on Public Banking

(write-up by Mike Black)

Five of us went to a day conference on Public Banking on 20th February in Manchester, organised by Marie McCahery who had given an inspirational talk on the subject at our November meetup.


This is a different proposal from Positive Money’s for reforming the banking system – local government authorities would set up and wholly own banks to operate within their geographical area.   Unlike the Positive Money proposal, these banks would still create money by lending it into existence, but unlike existing banks, their objective would not be to generate profit for shareholders or bonuses for employees, but purely to support and bring prosperity to the local economy.   The relative merits of Positive Money and Public Banking is a hot topic for debate!


25% of banks worldwide are publicly owned, and 40% in Germany which, because of this, survived the recent recession much more successfully.   But it’s 0% in the UK, where banks are all private, mostly large and even ‘too big to fail’, and don’t have the motivation or local knowledge to nurture and support SMEs.   Only 13% of UK bank lending is to productive enterprises, but only 2% is to SMEs, which do the most for local economies and employment.


Excellent speakers included Ellen Brown of the US’s Public Banking Institute; Prof Richard Werner (who has worked with Positive Money) who is setting up probably the UK’s first public bank, Hampshire Community Bank; and Ffion Travers-Smith of Move Your Money who demonstrated how the UK’s private banks are failing in the public functions they are supposed to be performing.


Marie believes the proposed devolution of powers to major Northern regions presents an ideal opportunity for them to set up public banks, and is seeking ways to get this message across.   Her team is setting up the Public Banking Initiative UK: http://www.pbi-uk.org/ .



11 Sept 2014 - Randall Wray lecture at University of Sheffield

see Steve's write-up Randall Wray Lecture -University of Sheffield


19 July 2014 - Talk to Quakers at Bakewell Friends Meeting House 

Attendance: about 20, from Nottingham, Fritchley, Chesterfield, etc., as well as Bakewell. 

Dermot's 15-minute talk concentrated on the basic PM view of circulatory-money creation by private banks. He used a ‘quiz’ question to see how many were already aware of this. Several present certainly did know, but phrased it in a variety of ways. Others certainly did not know. Then he briefly summarised the PM proposals for dealing with the problem. Some present clearly had a good grasp of economics (a contradiction in terms?) One said he used to be an investment banker!  

The most interesting feature was the range of questions from the floor.  Several were very basic. But others came in at a higher level – concerning the gold standard, high frequency trading, the fate of interest on private loans, the culture in investment banking, etc. 

This audience-feedback may point to the likelihood that, at some point in the future, the PM campaign may need to widen its scope to cover selected features of the full financial scene, shadow-banking for example. Although this is a daunting prospect because of its impenetrable complexity, it is also capable of generating a lot of anger at the recent behaviour of investment banks and bankers.  

Anyone who has ever been in the vicinity of Quakers (Friends) will know that they are seriously 'nice,' and quite seriously opposed to anger. Dermot did not use the word in his talk, but believes that there are two 'types' of anger. One is self-destructive and likely to lead to more conflict with others, not less. The other type of anger is progressive and can be a stimulus to engage with others to reduce injustice and conflict.  

Four people signed up for PM's email circulars. 


23 July 2014


12th July 2014 - Day of Action against TTIP

  • Several of our PM supporters joined the Day of Action against TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Parternship) outside the Town Hall. I have received the following letter of thanks from Peter Garbutt (Green Party), on behalf of the organisers :
    • "It was good to meet some of your members at the TTIP rally today.
    • Despite the inability to hold the speeches part of the rally [due to another protest taking place at the same time] we achieved most our aims. We took five full pages of signatures, we handed out tons of literature, and we had a lot of good conversations.
    • The next steps are crucial. I've created a Facebook page called NoTTIPSheffield. Could you urge your members to like it? I'd like to post on there the speeches that would have been made; could you do me a piece about how your organisation views TTIP? 
    • If you'd like to be involved in the campaign, let me know. I'd like it to encompass as wide a cross-section of interest groups as possible.
    • We'll be continuing to inform the public; media campaigns, leafleting, etc. I'f you've got any ideas, I'm eager to hear them.
    • I've already made a start on the media campaign, having booked an interview with Sheffield Live radio on the Midday slot on Wednesday.
      Looking forward to hearing from you."
  • For more on the day of action, see > the email I sent to our supporters
  • Please 'like' the facebook page Nottip-Sheffield


14th June 2014 - Peace in the Park 2014

  • Another successful event - we had around 60 to 70 to visitors to the Positive Money stall, many of whom engaged us in conversation and showed a lot of interest in what we had to say, and in the information leaflets we were giving out. We also walked round the crowds, giving out over 100 flyers.
  • Our plot was right at the top of the top field - next to the 'healing' area (healing the economy?!) - so we were on a bit of a limb. That probably meant we didn't get quite as big a footfall as we might have hoped for, but at least it meant we could chat without being drowned out by music from the main stages. 
  • Take a look at the pictures > Peace in the Park pictures 2014


1st March 2014 - National Conference "Building a movement for change" 

  • Steve and Peter attended the 2014 conference on March 1st, in London. In total there were about 240 supporters there, including around 40 from overseas. There was a great buzz, and another 12 local groups have been formed arising out of the conference, taking the total to 30.
  • The Sheffield group of supporters is the longest continuously running local group, and Peter gave a talk about how we formed, how we operate, and what challenges we have faced.
  • You can see a full report from the conference here> report and watch some of the videos here> videos (watch out for the audience member yawning half way through Peter's talk!)


13th July 2013 - Green Fair (St Mary's community centre 11-5)

  • The weather was much kinder to us this year - a sunny day with temperatures in the high 20s.
  • We gave information leaflets out to about 70 people, and it was pleasing to see how many had a pretty good understanding of the role of banks in creating money (though not all - one person said, when asked if she knew where money comes from, said "the hole in the wall"). Several had a really in-depth knowledge of monetary reform and were familiar with the works of eg. Bill Still and Ellen Brown
  • We met the mother of Simon Thorpe - founder of Positive Money in France (see forum entry here )
  • see Green Fair 2013 pictures  


15th April 2013 - Question Time with Ben Dyson (founder of Positive Money)

  • We were privileged to welcome Ben to Sheffield for an informative "question time". About 40 people attended.
  • Ben started by giving us a presentation on where the campaign is heading, then answered 5 pre-prepared questions, and finally answered open questions from the floor.
  • You can see a write-up of the event, including all the questions and answers, here - Bens answers
  • Part of the event was filmed, and you can see it here -  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxhe4E6QnFA (thanks to Paul for the recording)


2nd March 2013 - Occupy "Peoples Forum on debt"

  • Around 40-50 people attended this event, which was organised by Occupy Sheffield
  • The day started with three 20-minute presentations 
    • Richard Leman - Sheffield Equality Group
    • Ash Ghinn and Peter Verity - Positive Money
    • Alpha Collins - Personal Debt management
  • We then split into three break-out groups. There were 20-25 people in the Positive Money group; all points raised were recorded on flip-charts and can be downloaded here Occupy Forum breakout (final).doc
  • After lunch, all 50 got together again for the "peoples' forum"
  • a full report of the event can be downloaded here PEOPLES FORUM DEBT REPORT.docx


26th January 2013 - national conference "Modernising Money"


5th July 2012 - public talk "Fixing our broken economy", given by Peter, followed by discussion

  • We have over 2.5 million unemployed, and we have empty factories, offices and shops – everything we need in fact to produce the goods and services society needs. Yet the economy seems to be unable to produce enough real wealth for lack of money. Where does money come from? Who creates it? And what are the implications for our failing economy? This talk looks at how our debt-based money system is the root cause of many of our economic problems, and explains the Positive Money proposals to reform and democratise our money supply.
  • 19 people attended. The talk was based on the Positive Money booklet which can be downloaded here FixingOurBrokenEconomy 


30th June 2012 - Green Fair (St Mary's community centre 11-5)

  • This was a more family-oriented event than Peace in the Park. An estimated 60 people came and spoke to us at our stall, most of them already had a pretty good awareness of the problems in our banking and monetary system, though not many could give a good answer to "do you know where money comes from?"!
  • No photos were taken, but Richard gave a brief (3 minute) interview, which you can see here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdzxzhnhhUk - also on the Sheffield Green Party website.


18th June 2012 - Screening of "97% owned" at the Showroom


9th June 2012 - Peace in the Park

  • At our stall we gave out flyers with contact details to over 200 people, many of whom came and spoke to us at the stall and took away further information (including over 80 copies of the booklet "Fixing our broken economy"). The day got off to a rather slow start, not helped by unseasonably poor weather, but it picked up during the afternoon as the skies cleared and more people came out. By the evening the event turned into a huge open-air party and stall-holders were left on a bit of a limb! I got pictures shortly after setting up, and of the crowd at the end of the day, but unfortunately didn't get any inbetween!
  • Peace in the park pictures


19th May 2012 - Conference "an economy for the 99%"- organised by WDM (World Development Movt)



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