Contemporary capitalism produces more and more money, debt, and inequality. These three trends have a common cause: the privilege of private banks to create money by means of accounting—with the stroke of a key. Why was this privilege unaddressed politically for so long—and who benefited from that negligence? At the heart of the answer lies the realisation that the power to create money has been hidden by the way we commonly think and talk about capitalism. Keystroke Capitalism traces the omission of money creation from theories of capitalism and maps its consequences. By expanding the manoeuvring space for the banks to use their privilege, the capitalist countries have financed a transformation of the economy known as financialisation. It is not simply ‘the markets’ but money itself that transfers economic benefits from the masses to a minority.
“Aaron Sahr’s book provides a highly accessible synthesis of the state of knowledge on modern money and how it affects the political economy. Readers learn about the nature of fiat money and fiat credit and their contribution the financialization of contemporary capitalism, the conflicts it generates, and the consequences for the state and public policy.”
“Why and how did a company with a huge cash pile in the bank—Apple Inc—set out to borrow $17 billion in 2013? How did the world’s billionaire class accumulate $418 trillion US dollars—an amount five times world income—in the blink of an eye? The answers can be found in this admirably accessible book on the way the globalised, private financial system generates ‘keystroke wealth’ and ‘keystroke capital gains’—but also its nemesis—‘keystroke debt.’ A must-read for all those fretting about the likely next crisis in the evolution of financialised capitalism.”