Cash versus Corporate Finance?
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung: Brett Scott and Fabio De Masi discuss the possibilities and pitfalls of digital finance
Brett Scott is a South African economic anthropologist and former financial broker in the City of London. He regularly features in the Guardian, CNN, and other major news outlets, exploring the politics of money systems, finance, and digital technology.
The last decade has witnessed a veritable revolution in how we conceive of and use money. The rise of cryptocurrencies, mobile payment apps, and the growing convergence between Big Data and Big Finance has changed the way we earn, spend, and invest, and reshuffled the banking industry. Cash — the primary means of everyday exchange for centuries — increasingly feels like a thing of the past.
What does this transformation mean for producers, consumers, and ultimately for workers? Particularly in parts of the world where informal employment dominates and many people still do not have access to traditional banking services, how will the disappearance of cash affect their daily lives? For all of the supposed benefits of this bold new age, what do we risk losing?
Brent Scott, author of Cloudmoney: Cash, Cards, Crypto, and the War for our Wallets, spoke with Fabio De Masi for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation about these questions and more. The Left, Scott argues, cannot afford to sit these changes out — it must understand them and develop its own, progressive plan for digital finance in the twenty-first century, or risk being left behind.