Keystroke Capitalism

Keystroke Capitalism:How Banks Create Money for the Few

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Money creation makes the world go round

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 - by the stroke of a key. Why was this privilege not addressed politically for so long - and who benefited from it? At the heart of the answer lies the realization that the power to create money has been hidden by the way we commonly think and talk about capitalism. The book 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 financialization. As a result, the real economy and private households became a debt supplier to a monetary system whose returns accumulate at the top. It is not simply “the markets” but money itself that transfers economic benefits from the masses to a minority. Increasing inequality of income and wealth can therefore only be combated if one does not only correct distributive results of markets—redistribution—, but addresses predistribution: the modalities of money creation.


  • In the money-creation privilege of private banks, Aaron Sahr discovers a precarious mechanism of inequality reinforcement to which the regulation of capitalist economic activity has paid far too little attention to date.

    Hanno Pahl, University of Bonn, GermanyNeue soziologische Beiträge zur Kapitalismusanalyse: Ein Einblick. In: Soziologische Revue 42 (3), S. 405–417. DOI: 10.1515/srsr-2019-0050
  • Sahr has successfully identified the structures that privilege so few and put so many at a disadvantage. The way in which the author presents these issues, unravels the connections and structures, and elucidates the illegitimacy of the money-production privilege adds up to an outstanding piece of sociological scholarship.

    Stefan FreichelMonetative Blog
  • The uncontrolled creation of money by private banks should interest us all, because it creates a permanent redistribution from the poor to the rich, says the highly interesting ‘Keystroke Capitalism’.

    Mathias SonneInformation (Newspaper), DK