We live in a paradox world. On the one hand, as individuals, we see possibilities and options everywhere. We never had more choices than today of where to live, how to work, or what lifestyle to endorse. On the other hand, we have run completely out of options as citizens. Intangible political concepts such as globalization, indebtedness, or financial stability more often than not seem to dictate a single course of action.
«There is no Alternative»
Is this the deal of the postmodern society? Has the world become too complex and interconnected for high ideals to still be practical? I do not think so. With the technological and social progress, we have more possibilities in general, be it as individuals or citizens. As such, we need big ideas more than ever to cope with this rapidly changing world.
My field of study and work, banking, is very familiar with the notion that «There is no Alternative». I did not buy it. Instead, I joined forces with an academic economist and we asked ourselves what could be done differently. So we questioned the very foundations of the existing financial system.
The Last King of Finance
We came to the conclusion that recent technological change – the digital revolution – has left banking broken beyond repair. Today’s financial system is completely outdated: It is as fit for our time as the last king of France was fit for his time. Only fundamental changes can set things right again.
So we ignored the spirit of our times, and developed a big idea to change the financial system as a whole. Are we crazy? A little. Are we presumptuous? We do not think so. The thing is, sometimes you realize small steps will not do the trick. Then a wild idea is more helpful than never-ending tweaks to an inherently outdated system. And this is when you have to take the risk and jump.
We jumped. The result is a book called The End of Banking: Money, Credit, and the Digital Revolution. It is a big idea, and we believe that it provides the answers to the major challenges our financial system is facing today.
For sure, it is an unusual thing to do these days. But we sense that the world is slowly defrosting. After the financial breakup in 2007-08, the frustration that there was no alternative to the inefficient, unstable and unfair banking system was widespread. It is about time to think about big ideas, bold visions, and wild dreams. If the Financial Times and Reuters are discussing what is behind the End of Banking, what more do you need so you start to believe in big ideas again?
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The authors have published the book The End of Banking: Money, Credit, and the Digital Revolution under the pseudonym Jonathan McMillan. The opinions in this article are their personal views, and do not necessarily represent the views from their employers.