NI: Global Issues for Learners of English > The Issues > Money and Debt: contents



A look at some of the things that are wong with the world's financial system - and some alternative ideas

What is the money system really like?
What can we do about it?

  • The truth about banks 5 things that banks would like you to believe - plus the things they DON'T tell you.
  • Challenging the system Our money system, what is wrong with it, and some ideas about how to change it.
  • Money Transactions A quick look at speculation and "hot" money.
  • Third World debt What is the debt crisis? What effect is it having? What can we do about it? Includes a Quick Check

Two examples of how the money system really can work for the people:

  • Microcredit. Local banks lend money to poor people in communities in the South.
  • LETS (Local Exchange Trading System). A system of 'local currencies' that is becoming popular in communities in the North.


Money & Debt Vocabulary Quiz

The Poverty Quiz

Wealthy Pig Graphic


Visit the Jubilee 2000 site to find out more

Money: the Dream

The money system is ours, the people's. The system is well designed; its purpose is to allow people to exchange things that they need, but cannot provide for themselves. The people who manage this system are fair and do their job efficiently. They respect other people and the environment.

Money: the Reality

The money system is corrupt, it exploits people, and it is difficult to understand. For many people around the world, the money system is a nightmare. Events on one side of the world can take away the homes, the jobs and the livelihoods of people on the other side of the world. On the other hand, financial traders and speculators can get bonuses that are bigger than the yearly budget for a school.

EFFICIENTLY: doing something in a way that doesn't waste time, or money or anything else.

RESPECT (v): to treat someone as important.


CORRUPT (adj): using power in an immoral way to get an advantage.

FINANCIAL TRADERS & SPECULATORS: people who buy and sell currencies.

BONUSES: money added to one's usual pay, especially for doing good work.

Copyright New Internationalist Magazine 1998, 1999

'Money, the reality' and 'Money, the dream" are adapted from the beginning of the article, 'Our Money', by James Robertson. NI October 1998.
Pig illustration: Michael Terry

New Internationist Magazine Cover: Money

The New Internationalist Magazine On-line issue on the theme of MONEY

NI: Global Issues for Learners of English > The Issues > Money & Debt

Inter-activities For Learners For Teachers About us Readers' Letters

Last Modified: 20 July 2000