The term “decoupling” is extremely popular among politicians and economists. Everyone is talking about decoupling economic growth and nature consumption, although it is hard to imagine how this could work at the moment.
One could just as well think about decoupling the global economy from the financial system. After all, the financial system is the cause of economic growth because interest has to be earned. After decoupling, growth would therefore no longer be necessary.
The prerequisite is that the economy does not stop producing. But since only people work in the global economy, this will not happen. This is because work is a property that distinguishes us from animals. This property does not disappear if you decouple the systems. So what people need on a daily basis will continue to be produced. That is what it is all about, after all. And that would be much less than what is produced today to generate growth. As a result, the long-term climate goals would be achieved immediately and natural resources would be exploited much less.
Fifty years ago, the financial system had a right to exist. But today you could produce in real time, i.e. you could link the sales shelf directly to the factory via the internet. This would really only produce what is needed.
Especially in the global North, we live in abundance today, which is why the market is no longer necessary as an allocation instrument. Today, it would be important that what is produced is distributed fairly. The market and money are the most unsuitable tools for this. We see this clearly in the ever-widening inequality in the world.
The financial system has no material value whatsoever, it is a purely symbolic quantity with which one tries to represent the value of goods. After decoupling from the economy, this symbolic quantity could simply disappear without negatively affecting the real value of goods.
One trigger for this process could be the global abolition of debt. In silence, almost all of humanity wishes for this. After all, every family of four in Germany carries around one hundred and twenty thousand euros in national debt. The greatest effect, however, would be the establishment of justice between the global North and the global South. One would only have to initiate a global referendum to abolish all debts. This would not even cost much, word of mouth would probably be enough.
The abolition of debt and the devaluation of all money embody decoupling, and both would of course have to take place at the same time. This could be done within a year, so it is a short-term solution to the biggest global problems of climate change and inequality.
I think “decoupling the economy from the financial system” would be a proposal that could be put to politicians and discussed.