Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Remittance Technology Models: African Innovations for Southeast Asia?

By Ivan Small,  Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at Central Connecticut State University and previously a Postdoctoral Scholar at IMTFI. This blog post derives from a paper presented at Cornell University's Mobile Money, Financial Inclusion and Development in Africa 2017 symposium.

MPESA Agent, Kenya (Photo by Ivan Small)

One of the earliest and most heralded mobile money systems in the world is the M-Pesa system of Safaricom in Kenya, now extended to ten countries with around 30 million users. Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile network operator, introduced M-Pesa in 2007. Kenya, a country with many rural-urban migrants, but also significantly one characterized by periods of uneven political authority and stability, was a prime market to tap the needs and demands for domestic money transfer services. Safaricom, with close connections to government regulators, was able to quickly and effectively establish a national mobile money infrastructure including 40,000 agents that became widespread and most importantly, widely trusted. User uptake was rapid and today the system is seemingly ubiquitous, with some other competitors such as Orange and Airtel also joining in to compete for bankless customers eager to bypass the risks of physical money transfer. M-Pesa outlets are widespread in Kenya’s cities but also rural areas, where traditional brick and mortar banks are often lacking, and provide near instantaneous money transfer services for customers to cash in and cash out. Besides reducing risk, M-Pesa also reduces transfer fees. Following the success of M-Pesa mobile remittance services, Safaricom has expanded offerings to allow mobile phone users to access a range of other services, from bill and salary payments to an innovative microcredit system called M-Shwari where users can apply for small loans. The latter also reflects a growing practice of utilizing mobile user remittance histories as a form of financial records and Know Your Customer, thus creating greater possibilities for formal financial inclusion.

M-Pesa’s model has spread to other countries in Africa – next door Tanzania has seen a significant uptake in mobile money usage, quadrupling the number of people who now have access to financial services according to CGAP. But the M-Pesa effect goes beyond Africa. Indeed, the success of mobile money in Kenya has made it a technological hub and model for much of the Global South. In 2013, GSMA – a trade body representing the interests of many mobile network operators worldwide, held its Mobile Money for the Unbanked conference in Nairobi, Kenya. In attendance were Mobile Network Operators from countries around the world, as well as entrepreneurial start-ups eager to design, develop and hatch new MM systems. Most significantly however was the presence of bank regulators from many countries that did not yet have mobile money service operations but were interested in learning their potential and how to implement them. Among those represented were central bank regulators from some countries in Southeast Asia, including Laos and Vietnam.

Rural village in Central Coastal Vietnam
(Photo by Ivan Small)
Southeast Asia is a region that could benefit significantly from mobile money services. Like Africa, Southeast Asia consists of a diverse set of developing economies characterized by relatively low banked populations, high cell phone penetration rates, significant rural populations, and rural-urban migration. After Kenya and outside Africa, the Philippines has one of the most developed domestic mobile money systems in the world, with Smart Money and G-Cash launched in the early 2000s a few years after M-Pesa. The significance of Filipino international migration has also driven internal migration as labor moves to fill in employment vacuums as workers circulate in, out and around the country. Filipino mobile money success has been in part due to the flexibility of regulators that have allowed Mobile Network operators to cash in and cash out without going through a bank mediator, similar to M-Pesa. Notably, the Philippines (along with Kenya) in 2010 had been designated as non-compliant with anti-money laundering protection measures by the Financial Action Task Force, perhaps reflecting looser regulatory environments in which mobile money could more easily flourish in informal settings with relaxed Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements. Tightening regulatory measures on money laundering however, has not diminished the significance of mobile money in the Philippines, nor for that matter, Kenya.

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, a number of pilot services have explored the potential mobile money market. In Cambodia the MNO Wing has offered some services, which although limited in scope seem to have a strong value proposition, as Jeff Fang’s research shared on the IMTFI blog suggests. Myanmar is a country that has been compared to Tanzania in size and scope of unbanked population, availability of bank branches, mobile penetration, and around a 30/70 urban split. Companies like Wave have received regulatory approval for mobile money and hope to scale up in four years, following Tanzania’s model. Access to mobile phones is relatively new, the price of a Sim card having dropped to $1.50 compared to $1500 prior to 2011. Today over 90% of the population have cell phones and 80% of those are smart phones. For more recent IMTFI-supported projects in Myanmar, see "Intermediaries, Cash Economies, and Technological Change in Myanmar and India" and "Money Practices & Services Myanmar."

Indeed, the increasing prevalence of smart phones is likely to change the mobile money landscape as Southeast Asia, a later entrant to the scene, gets up to speed. Tom Boellstorff’s IMTFI research for example examines the ubiquity of the smart phone in Indonesia and how it is central to consumption, browsing, and online commerce. However the smart phone, with its short battery life, is likely to face limitations in rural areas where electricity may be scarce and intermittent. As mobile money emerges in Southeast Asia, it is much more likely to be part of a large ecosystem of payments in which value is increasingly cashless and digital. Doing so is attractive for convenience, but of course disrupts and may ultimately bypass traditional intermediaries of remittances as well as businesses who are not part of such payment ecosystems.

Another country in which cell phones have had a significant role in connecting traders, markets and information, including in a cross border context with neighboring countries, is Laos. Landlocked with few major roads, Laos seems to be a potentially prime market for mobile money services, but the government has also struggled with anti-money laundering regulations and it will take some time to effectively implement domestic transfer channels that can hold up to regulatory scrutiny in the long run. Towards this end, the Lao Central Bank has been working with the United Nations Development Programme’s Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) initiative to establish a working group to launch branchless banking and mobile money services.

MoMo mobile payment and remittance service, Vietnam
(Photo by Ivan Small)
In Vietnam, mobile value transfer practices have started to emerge as users within the same provider network are able to transfer airtime credit via phone. There has also been experimentation with electronic kiosks where people can deposit money and input a cell phone number where the credit will be sent. Some start-ups like Momo have moved from airtime credit transfer to mobile wallet and e-payment services. The Vietnam Bank for Social Policies, in partnership with MasterCard and the Asia Foundation, recently ran a feasibility study and pilot project for mobile banking. However, the regulatory go ahead for Mobile Network Operators to provide P2P services without the intermediary of a bank has not yet happened, and many mobile money start up services appear to be closer to mobile banking than a service along the lines of M-Pesa or G-Cash.

In many countries in Southeast Asia, due to a long history of war, regime change, demonetization and economic instability, there is also a history of unbanked value storage in material items that range from gold to US dollars to motorcycles. People in countries like Cambodia experienced the destruction of the Central Bank and the abolishment of money in the 1970s. In Vietnam, informal black markets traders and money agents stepped in to provide financial services when the state sector was unable to do so. This led to the development of long standing networks where trust and history are extremely important when it comes to choosing financial services. It will be important to recognize the potential impact of how such historical, symbolic and material value management traditions and experiences will shape potential mobile money technological horizons going forward.

Mobile money has become somewhat of a buzz-word in Southeast Asia, but it also remains an anticipatory future horizon for many countries outside of the Philippines exception. In many cases, mobile money is conflated with mobile banking, and indeed the rapid uptake of smart phones and extension of banking channels in many countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia suggest that the smart phone – banking equation is likely to change the situation in those countries by the time mobile money becomes fully established and is widely operable. In this sense, “mobile” “money”, in a broad sense of the word(s), is very much the future in Southeast Asia. However, the contours of adoption and adaptation may be quite different from what M-Pesa looked like when it was first introduced in 2007, and also different across diverse regional financial cultures and national legal regulatory contexts, ranging from Indonesia to Laos. In this sense, models like M-Pesa and other stories and lessons from Africa offer inspiration as well as cautionary tales, rather than blueprints, for how domestic and even cross border remittance technologies and frameworks will eventually take shape in Southeast Asia.

About the author: Dr. Ivan V. Small is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at Central Connecticut State University. He is co-editor of Money at the Margins: Global Perspectives on Technology, Financial Inclusion and Design (forthcoming 2018, Berghahn Press) and author of Currencies of Imagination: Channeling Money and Chasing Mobility in Vietnam (under contract, Cornell University Press).

Monday, July 17, 2017

How India's Cash Chaos Is Screwing Over Their Neighbors — Oops!

IMTFI Fellow Vivian Dzokoto cited in article by Charu Sudan Kasturi in OZY

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE - Because cash knows no borders.

The waiting game: Millions of people rushed to withdraw money at an Indian Bank ATM
in New Delhi on  December 1, 2016. Source Sanjeev Verma/Getty

Over three decades, Sri Lankan Tamil businessman Sundar Thangarajan built a stash of Indian bank notes totaling the equivalent of $2,000 as insurance if he had to move to India from the island where the ethnic minority has often felt under siege. But on a visit to the southern Indian city of Chennai this April, Thangarajan decided he would no longer save Indian notes, and instead bought gold bars. His insecurities in Sri Lanka haven’t disappeared. But his faith in Indian currency has vanished now that his savings have turned to scrap.

Thangarajan is among millions across South Asia hurting from India’s decision last November to ban — overnight, with no advance notice — currency notes of 500 and 1,000 rupees (about $8 and $16) that comprised 85 percent of all available Indian cash at the time. The note ban, India argued, was aimed at uncovering undisclosed wealth and tackling fake currency within its borders. But for decades, these notes have been the savings Nepalese workers in India sent home, a source of security to war-ravaged Afghans and Sri Lankan Tamils, and a route to health, education and prosperity for patients, students and traders from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar.

Now, saddled with wads of unusable notes, many of them are weaning themselves off the “regional dollar,” as some refer to the Indian rupee, which is the largest and most stable currency in the neighborhood. Some, like Thangarajan, are buying gold as security; others, American dollars. Still others are discovering merits in their national currencies. The glint of the Indian rupee has dimmed for them. “This is natural,” says Vivian Dzokoto, an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, who has researched past demonetization exercises internationally and their social impact. “People across South Asia will ask, ‘What will India do next?’ ”

Pakistan, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana and North Korea have all tried demonetization. But none of them had economies the size of India’s, and the impact of the moves on neighbors was negligible, say experts. Unlike the gradual shift proposed by advocates of less cash like Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff, India’s initiative also was sudden.

To read the full article, visit - http://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/how-indias-cash-chaos-is-screwing-over-their-neighbors-oops/78977

To read Vivian Dzokoto's blogpost as part of IMTFI's Special Perspectives Series on Demonetization: "Before Money isn't Money Anymore," visit - http://blog.imtfi.uci.edu/2017/02/special-perspectives-series-on_7.html

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How to Talk about Money: Ethnographic Approaches to Financial Life

by Erin B. Taylor, Canela Consulting, former IMTFI Fellow and co-creator of the IMTFI Consumer Finance Research Methods Toolkit

Money changers in the bi-national market on the border
of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Photo by Erin B. Taylor.

On 1 June, 2012, I arrived at the British Museum to attend the opening of its newly renovated Citi Money Gallery. This was an exciting moment for me: inside was a display of money-related objects and images from Haiti that I collected with Heather Horst and Espelencia Baptiste for a research project. I couldn’t wait to see how our coins, phones, cards, and underwear with secret pockets for hiding cash would look inside this venerated institution.

It was a huge success. People were spending far more time in the new gallery, lingering over the displays. Why, all of a sudden, was money so much more gripping?

The answer, said curator Katie Eagleton, was the social aspect. Whereas traditional money galleries usually focus on coins, promissory notes, and other traditional forms of money, the new gallery includes a range of displays that focus on the social history and current practices of money. Not just for coin-collecting enthusiasts, the money gallery had something of interest for everybody.

By putting money-related objects in social context, the Citi Money Gallery challenges many of our assumptions about how people relate to money. Our approaches to researching money and finance need to change as well. What can we learn from ethnography?

It’s about Lives, Not Numbers

Popular culture tends to depict money as something that people are greedy for or afraid of. We are either trying to get more money to fuel our consumption habits, or we’re trying to avoid facing our financial realities. But in fact, people’s interest in money is far more diverse.

Most people, like ethnographers, view money as interesting for both its economic and cultural aspects—its utilitarian and symbolic functions. But conducting qualitative research into people’s financial behaviours can be difficult due to a range of money taboos, ethical issues, and practical matters. People can be very private about money and may be ashamed of their financial positions. Being wealthy can be as embarrassing as being poor, so asking people to talk about their financial positions is fraught with obstacles. Asking people to tell you their bank balance or how much debt they’re in strikes at the heart of people’s fears that they are using money incorrectly.

Even financial professionals face these fears: one economist recently told me that he avoids opening letters that will tell him that he’s losing money. If the professionals can’t generate the nerve to face their financial realities, what hope is there for the rest of us? If people seem inarticulate about money it’s fashionable to assume they’re financially illiterate—but the problem is just as likely to be fear, stigma, or other social issues. If researchers misunderstand these issues, our findings maybe limited or just plain wrong.

The key is in our approach to getting people to talk about it. When we started our research in Haiti, a number of people (including other researchers) told us that our project was doomed to fail: Haitians are wary of talking with foreigners at the best of times, and certainly wouldn’t be willing to talk about their finances with us. Our experience showed otherwise. We learned that asking people about what matters in their lives, and how money works for them as a social tool, is far more effective than asking people for numbers.

Our participants were more than willing to tell us how they sent money by boat to their children studying in other towns, complain about how long they spent standing in bank lines, demonstrate how they used the new mobile money service via their phone, show us the “symbolic money” they carried (such as foreign banknotes), and so on.

The technique we used was the Portable Kit Study. It was a challenging proposition, since it involved asking people to take all their possessions out of their pockets and bags, display them on a table, and talk about each object in turn. Coins, notes, bank cards, receipts, and identification cards were among the money-related objects we were shown. Asking about these objects allowed us to develop a picture of people’s financial behaviours without having confront people directly.

A research participant in our Portable Kit Study on the border of Haiti and the Dominican
Republic shows us what's in his bag, wallet, and pockets. Photo by Erin B. Taylor.

For example, one young Haitian man we interviewed on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic ran errands for a living using his motorbike, ferrying goods and passengers across the national border. His motorbike ownership papers led to a discussion of how his wife was able to get a loan to buy his bike because she had a Dominican passport and a full-time job.

This interview revealed the problems people face accessing credit, and how they can sometimes use services and social capital across the national border to solve financial problems. We ended up with quite detailed information about their incomes, debt obligations, and thoughts about their financial futures without having to ask them outright.

Read on for more about mobile money use in Haiti and innovative ethnographic approaches to money in the original article post part of the EPIC (Advancing the Value of Ethnography in Industry) Perspectives Series: https://www.epicpeople.org/how-to-talk-money/

Friday, July 7, 2017

When - and why - did people first start using money?

by Chapurukha Kusimba, Professor of Anthropology, American University

"Quart de shekel de la cité de Sidon en Phénicie," cgb CC BY-SA 

Sometimes you run across a grimy, tattered dollar bill that seems like it’s been around since the beginning of time. Assuredly it hasn’t, but the history of human beings using cash currency does go back a long time – 40,000 years.

Scientists have tracked exchange and trade through the archaeological record, starting in Upper Paleolithic when groups of hunters traded for the best flint weapons and other tools. First, people bartered, making direct deals between two parties of desirable objects.
Money came a bit later. Its form has evolved over the millennia – from natural objects to coins to paper to digital versions. But whatever the format, human beings have long used currency as a means of exchange, a method of payment, a standard of value, a store of wealth and a unit of account.
As an anthropologist who’s made discoveries of ancient currency in the field, I’m interested in how money evolved in human civilization – and what these archaeological finds can tell us about trade and interaction between far-flung groups.

Why do people need currency?

There are many theories about the origin of money, in part because money has many functions: It facilitates exchange as a measure of value; it brings diverse societies together by enabling gift-giving and reciprocity; it perpetuates social hierarchies; and finally, it is a medium of state power. It’s hard to accurately date interactions involving currency of various kinds, but evidence suggests they emerged from gift exchanges and debt repayments.
Chinese shell money from 3,000 years ago. PHGCOM, CC BY-SA
Objects that occurred rarely in nature and whose circulation could be efficiently controlled emerged as units of value for interactions and exchange. These included shells such as mother-of-pearl that were widely circulated in the Americas and cowry shells that were used in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia. Native copper, meteorites or native iron, obsidian, amber, beads, copper, gold, silver and lead ingots have variously served as currency. People even used live animals such as cows until relatively recent times as a form of currency.
The Mesopotamian shekel – the first known form of currency – emerged nearly 5,000 years ago. The earliest known mints date to 650 and 600 B.C. in Asia Minor, where the elites of Lydia and Ionia used stamped silver and gold coins to pay armies.
The discovery of hordes of coins of lead, copper, silver and gold all over the globe suggests that coinage – especially in Europe, Asia and North Africa – was recognized as a medium of commodity money at the beginning of the first millennium A.D. The wide circulation of RomanIslamic, Indian and Chinese coins points to premodern commerce (1250 B.C. - A.D. 1450).

Coinage as commodity money owes its success largely to its portability, durability, transportability and inherent value. Additionally, political leaders could control the production of coins – from mining, smelting, minting - as well as their circulation and use. Other forms of wealth and money, such as cows, successfully served pastoral societies, but weren’t easy to transport – and of course were susceptible to ecological disasters.

Money soon became an instrument of political control. Taxes could be extracted to support the elite and armies could be raised. However, money could also act as a stabilizing force that fostered nonviolent exchanges of goods, information and services within and between groups.
Medieval English tally sticks recorded transactions and monetary debts. Winchester City Council Museums, CC BY-SA
Throughout history money has acted as a record, a memory of transactions and interactions. For instance, medieval Europeans widely used tally sticks as evidence for remembering debt.

Read on to learn about following the money to see trade routes in the full blog post found at The Conversation here: https://theconversation.com/when-and-why-did-people-first-start-using-money-78887

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Series on Socializing Finance Blog - Bill Maurer and Lana Swartz. Post #3: Considering Money Stuff

Socializing Finance, a blog on the social studies of Finance, recently invited IMTFI Director Bill Maurer and Lana Swartz, the authors of Paid: Tales of Checks Dongles, and Other Money Stuff, to write a few posts. This is the third and final post in the series, written by Alexandra Lippman, Whitney Trettien, and Jane Guyer, contributors to the book, who respond to the book as a whole. Lippman’s section includes a link to the playlist she created for the book.

Alexandra Lippman on the Art of Money

Money is the most commonly circulating art form. At the same time, payment objects are unstable and excessive, frequently transforming their status from money to trash to art (and back again). Argentinian artist, Máximo González—who I write about—weaves out-of-print Mexican pesos and discarded scraps of currency into fabrics like The World’s Garbage (2012) and creates collages from out-of-circulation currency into Landscapes with Landfill (2003, 2005) transforming the trash of cash into art (potentially convertible to cash).

Through our repeated handling, however, the art of money stuff becomes unremarkable. U.S. dollars—through their uniform color and dimensions—appear particularly adept at fading into the background. By curating payment objects in Paid: Tales of Dongles, Checks, and Other Money Stuff, Bill Maurer and Lana Swartz take these things out of circulation. Each of the chapters sets a particular type of “money stuff” aside and asks the reader to take a moment with it. The chapters reveal the personal stories, history, memories, and beauty bundled up in diverse objects of payment. We, the readers, must pause to consider the complex ways in which we keep track, tally, make jokes, create art, and remember through objects of payment.

Money stuff also inspires art. While Square may have killed the signature—how can we take our finger-painted “signatures” seriously? —it also gave birth to electronic signature art. When asked for their e-signature, artists, as Bill Maurer relays, instead draw scenes such as “the sun setting a house on fire and people running away and one guy on fire.” Not only are these “signatures” accepted by merchants, but also collected in ‘zines devoted to this new art form. More than 250 years prior, Benjamin Franklin pressed foliage—raspberry leaves, fern fronds—into the printing press to prevent the counterfeiting of bills. Printing from nature—as beautiful and seemingly whimsical as it is hard to replicate——Whitney Trettien suggests, “authenticated the strange materiality of money” (2017:163).

Inspired by Maurer’s and Swartz’ remarkable work editing Paid as if curating an imaginary exhibition of money stuff, I ask what the possibilities for curation are within scholarship. To mark the publication of Paid, I have experimented as a collaborative scholar-selector by curating an unofficial soundtrack to the book. I asked chapter writers to send their favorite songs about money to mix with my own. The playlist explores some of the ways in which payment is represented and debated in different genres, time periods, and places. From Horace Andy’s dubby repetition of “Money, money, money is the root of all evil,” to Wu-Tang Clan’s “Cash Rules Everything Around Me,” money stuff inspires music. Not only that, but money—as the sampled clink of coins or whir of bills being counted—becomes music.

Money—or often the idea of if—is also sonified. On YouTube, a two-hour-long track of water bubbling, rain, and whirring, “Sleep Programming for Prosperity-‘Millionaire Mindset’ -Attract Abundance & Wealth While You Sleep!” boasts 2 million hits. Hundreds of other (very popular) tracks promise to attract money to the listener through subliminal binaural beats, hypnosis, or spoken affirmations in various languages. In a very different vein, artist and writer, Jace Clayton, is planning a project to sonify the data of financial markets. Gbadu And The Moirai Index, which will take place on Wall Street, by using an algorithm to translate the financial market’s movements into a musical piece for four voices. Each singer plays a mythological character — the Moirai are Greek goddesses of fate and Gbadu is a Dahomey fate deity, and the performance will reflect on the history and architecture of Lower Manhattan.

Whitney Trettien on Print and Money

I’m a book historian, which tends to raise eyebrows when I say it; but it simply means I study the history of print and other text technologies. I’m particularly interested in the ways people have used reading and writing technologies to create communities.

As part of this research, I think a lot about words like “publication,” “circulation,” and “value.” Publishing simply means to make something public; but who gets to make information public any given time fascinates me. For instance, one of my primary research projects right now addresses a set of cut-and-paste biblical concordances — essentially radically “remixed” collages made from fragments of printed bibles and engravings. They were produced by a group of women at the religious household at Little Gidding in the 1630s and 1640s, a time when women had limited access to traditional print publication. How does one get around the injunctions for Renaissance women to remain chaste, silent, and obedient? If you’re at Little Gidding, you “print” with scissors and paste. This clever book-hack (literally!) has the added bonus of making their concordances into boutique, speciality objects, available only to powerful patrons. Et voila: ideological restrictions have become a strength. It’s not a bug; it’s a feature.

I didn’t think of my work as having much to do with the history of money or finance until working with the editors of Paid and reading the other contributions. Across our various fields, we share an interest in circulation as a social process, and value as contingent on some sense of a public. We also share an interest in the objectness, the brute materiality, of cultural transactions. In my own short chapter, I drew on book historians’ research on nature printing in the eighteenth century to show how trust in colonial currency was tethered to innovations in printing technology — innovations that were not themselves the natural outcome of the history of printing but which in fact happened in tandem with social and financial pressures. I’m thrilled to see this work alongside chapters on dongles and Bitcoin. In this fabulous tangle of interdisciplinary interests lies the future of the humanities, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Jane Guyer on Trust and Money

Materiality is the central, and inspirational, theme across all these contributions. It provoked me to search into the rich details to explore the socio-spiritual properties imbued into these materials. Not unlike the classic “spirit in the gift”, its hau, the trust in monetary transactions, which lives in these objects, seems to have a life of its own. In God We Trust was first stamped into the American currency, a coin, in 1864, and onto every paper bill after 1956. Does this convey to the users that what we do with cash/money is under the oversight of God? “Trust” also pervades the financial vocabulary: as trust funds and trustworthy partners, whose qualities can also be nuanced from the Old Norse term for confidence, traust, into the Latin-origin fidelity, from fides, for faith. There has been a continual nuancing of these terms and their referents, and here we have material forms that are infused with their qualities. Does a “token of value”, as Maurer and Swartz put it in their Introduction, have a “life” of its own, and, if so, what is understood by this “life”, especially – perhaps now – when “part of their job is to be invisible”? Maurer suggests that signatures evoke “wonder”. Hau, trust, what words now circulate for the inner qualities of money materials? The papers about the past – Graeber, Trettien and others –  and about elsewhere – Urton, Hart and others – invoke, or imply, older, and non-European, terms. The articles about new technologies bring us into a new linguistic world: “ether” (O’Dwyer), the transfer of “trust” to “trust in yourself’ through the cryptocurrencies (Brunton). By ending with a current experience with silver (Brunton), which can take us back to the past, this collection prompts the reader to return to every paper, bringing close attention to the infusion of immaterial qualities into the Money Stuff of the title. The whole book deserves reading with close attention, inviting each reader to enter their own unfolding monetary experiences and perceptions into the collective conversation.

For original post - https://socfinance.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/blog-series-from-bill-maurer-and-lana-swartz-post-3-considering-money-stuff/