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1778 FINANCE FROM 3500 BCE TO THE CURRENT DAY: DIVINE OR THE DEVIL?

Click on the individual lecture title for a pdf of the notes.

Bradley Bordiss, independent scholar

Two approaches have influenced the thinking and practices of finance and monetary systems from 3500 BCE to the current day: the laissez-faire economy described by Friedrich Hayek, and the co-operative society propounded by Karl Polanyi. This five-lecture course considers the disagreements between these two broad intellectual groups. On the one hand there are those who advocate individual accumulation of savings achieved through competition within a deregulated banking system (where inflation rather than deflation is a concern), on the other there are those who view money and finance as mere social conventions which must serve society and the real, productive, economy: agriculture, manufacture and mining. The latter group worries about the fundamental instability of the banking system.

Each lecture in this course will focus on key thinkers within the debate that still rages today.

 

 

LECTURE TITLES   

1.         How was money invented? Adam Smith (1776) and David Graeber (2011)

2.         National money or international money? Thomas Mun, Antonio Serra, David Hume and Adam Smith

3.         Banking and finance debates in Britain from 1797 to 1844. Bullionists, anti-bullionists, currency school and banking school

4.         Money produced ‘out of thin air’: Knut Wicksell and John Maynard Keynes

5.         Endogenous money and financial collapse: predicting and explaining the cause of the collapse of finance in 2008. Minsky, Moore and More

 

Recommended reading

Graeber, D. 2011. Debt: the first 5,000 years. Brooklyn, NY: Melville House Publishing.

Minsky, H. 1986. Stabilizing an unstable economy. New Haven: Yale University Press.

 

Date: Monday 7–Friday 11 August 
Time:  5.00 pm
COURSE FEES Full:  R480,00  Staff: R240,00  Reduced: R120,00