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The Future of Money

The Future of Money: Creating New Wealth, Work and a Wiser World (London:  Random House, January 2001), also translated in eighteen other languages.  This book is out of print, but a few copies are still available on Amazon UK. A digital version of this book is available for download at the bottom of this page.


Random House Press Release (27/10/1999): A brilliantly clear-sighted analysis of how on-going money innovations in dozens of countries around the world are proving that they can resolve key societal problems such as: jobless growth, community breakdown,  the economic consequences of an aging society, the conflict between short-term financial thinking and long-term sustainability, and monetary instability itself. This book provides pragmatic solutions to each one of these issues.

The debate it will create will be a contentious and passionate one.  Lietaer starting point is that money is only an agreement within a community to use something as a medium of exchange.  This agreement is being placed under an unprecedented strain, due to a wide range of factors (from the creation of cybermoney and currency speculation to social and political issues). This momentum of change could become even faster, and the effects more brutal, if the instability of the monetary system continues to spread. And the indications are that it will. The global monetary crises of the 1990s (Mexico, Russia, Asia and Brazil) proved that our money system is now sick, and that this affects everything. After all, money plays the role of modern society’s central information system equivalent to the nervous system in our own bodies.  In order to prevent a global monetary meltdown, a unique vision of sustainable abundance, and the mechanisms for achieving this, is proposed.


  • “This book is truly essential for our survival.  I was surprised how much I learned, (and how much I didn’t know about money). Bernard’s writing style is as enjoyable as it is instructive.”   Margaret Wheatley, author of Management and the New Physics
  • Others have shared Bernard Lietaer’s concern about a sustainable economy, but have not been able to provide a realistic solution. His book shows us such a solution in a bold and fresh manner, and it is in this sense that this is an epoch-making book. Bernard Lietaer’s idea on Terra may look too gargantuan to   many, but it is something that can be achieved with wisdom and agreement of intereted parties.”what its future is – and is not.’ Stephen Denning, Program Director, Toshiharu Kato, Director Services Department, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Japan
  • ‘Read this thoughtful, penetrating, readable book and you’ll understand how profoundly present monetary systems and the people who control them affect your life.’   Dee Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus, VISA International
  • ‘The Future of Money really opened my eyes as to what money is about; and “Exciting, challenging and profound; a unique and essential contribution to our understanding of money.”  Dr. Peter Russell, author of “The Global Brain” and “Waking Up in Time”.
  • “This is a wise and incisive analysis of the nature of money in our society; the remarkable and pragmatic solutions it offers demand of us that we think about money in entirely new ways.”  Professor Jacob Needleman, philosopher, author of “Money and the Meaning of Life”
  • “This is an important breakthrough in the emerging new economics of sustainability and human wellbeing.”  Ed Mayo, President, the New Economics Foundation
  • Former central banker and currency trader Lietaer’s guided tour behind the scenes, into the secrets of today’s global financial casino. It provides witty revelations of what money is, how it is created and why money systems need re-designing for social equity and environmental sustainability.  This book is a roadmap for monetary reformers to complementary and local currencies. It shows how the Internet is changing the game for all the players and blowing out the old confidence games of generations of bankers.  Hazel Henderson, author Building a Win-Win World and Beyond Globalization:  Shaping a Sustainable Global Economy.
  • “The mind of Bernard Lietaer is a rare mix of practical experience in modern finance, deep understanding of history, and lively imagination about the future.   Only such a mind could have produced so fresh and so lucid an analysis of how money has become an obstacle to abundance — and how conscious choices about new kinds of complementary money can help us fuse underused resources with underemployed people.”   Harlan Cleveland, President of the World Academy of Art and Science.
  • In our present finance dominated world of tragic inequities, Lietaer’s brilliant analysis of what money is and how it can be put into the service of all humanity is a vital key to truly democratic globalization–the next evolutionary leap for our species!   Elisabet Sahtouris, Ph.D. Evolution biologist; author of A Walk Through Time: From Stardust to Us and EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution
  • Bernard Lietaer has done the impossible – provided a core DNA for money, the centerpiece for the world’s most dominant of all of humankind’s systems, the economy. He pops the myths, shines light on the shadows, demystifies the unknown and blows the whistle on what really keeps it all going. For anyone who wants to have a clue about how money works in this complex age, this book is a “must read.  ~  John Renesch, futurist, author, Getting to the Better Future; Leadership in a New Era, New Traditions in Business, and Learning Organizations.
  • The medium is the message.  As Bernard Lietaer points out, the money system is not neutral.  One way or another, our behaviour is heavily influenced by it.  Can we change the way it works?  This question concerns us all. The answer will help to decide the future of humanity and life on earth.   Lietaer’s authoritative practical experience of money and finance, underpinned by his awareness of the worldwide shift of consciousness now taking place, results in many thought-provoking insights… I wholeheartedly recommend it.”  James Robertson – author of “The New Economics of Sustainable Development” (1999) and co-author of “Creating New Money” (2000).
  • Excellent food for thought and action. Bernard Lietaer’s “Future of Money” addresses the fundamentals of the subject matter from a systems theory standpoint. According to Nobel price winning physicist Ilya Prigonine the further you are from equilibrium the more traumatic, the more accelerated, the more non-linear is the behaviour of the systems unless placed on a new and sustainable level playing field. The development of civilisation with its socio-economic and political institutions, together with the advent of the world monetary system have evolved into systems which are far from equilibrium. The Future of Money encourages decision-makers to become much more sensitive to the respective signals and provides a “road-map” for addressing the key challenges: managing the resulting uncertainty while innovating with urgency the monetary systems in support of a sustainable economy.   Peter Sorg, Member of Senior Management and Head Group Relations, Ciba Specialty Chemicals Inc., Basel/Switzerland
  • “Something extraordinary and largely unreported is happening to money.  This book looks set to be the herald of the future money revolution.   David Boyle, New Economics Foundation, London.   Tsutomu Hotta, ex-Minister of Justice and Supreme Court Judge in Japan.  Chairman, Sawayaka Welfare Foundation, founder of the Japanese Hureai Kippu currencies
  • National currency is cold and selfish by itself. So let’s create community currencies with which we can warm up our communities as Lietaer’s Future of Money recommends.  Bernard Lietaer gives the recipe on how we in the future can create a social economy which is more responsible, more friendly towards the environment, and less filled with conflict.  Professor Jesper Jespersen , Churchill College, Cambridge University(UK) and  University of Roskilde (Denmark)
  • “The 20th century was the age of competition and the 21st century will be the age of cooperation. The concept of “complementary currency” this book elaborates on will be the keyword for global citizens who want to live fully in the age ahead of us. ”  Charmine Koda,  Japanese Environmental Journalist