15th Annual AMI Monetary Reform Conference, 2019
Chicago, October 3-6, 2019
We proudly announce our 15th Annual AMI Monetary Reform Conference, bringing together some of the world’s leading experts on monetary history and theory together with some of the world's most serious advocates of real and achievable economic and monetary reforms.
The Conference (and Gala Dinner) venue is University Center, 525 S. State St, Chicago, IL 60605. As there is very little time left to make all the arrangements, please think, and act now. If you can’t come, consider making a donation to help us offer those student and teacher scholarships (just click the Donate button below).
Thanks and warmest regards, hoping to see you in October!
"Do not be afraid – and remember: Action dispels fear."
– Stephen Zarlenga, AMI co-founder and first Director 1941-2017
Professor Paul Davidson is widely regarded as a founder of Post-Keynesian economics in America and holds the J. Fred Holly Chair of Excellence in Political Economy Emeritus at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Professor Davison is highly soughtafter as a critic of mainstream economics. He originally studied natural sciences before turning his attention to economics, earning his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Davidson is the Founding Editor of the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics. He is the author, co-author, or editor of over 20 books and 200 journal articles. His most recent book is titled Who’s Afraid of John Maynard Keynes? Challenging Economic Governance in an Age of Growing Inequality (Palgrave, 2017). His research interests include international monetary payments and global employment policies, monetary theory, income distribution, energy economics, demand and supply for outdoor recreation, and Post Keynesian economics. Dr. Davidson is listed in Who's Who in Economics, Who's Who in The East, Who's Who in The South and Southwest, American Economists of The Late Twentieth Century, Dictionary of International Biography, Men of Achievement, and Contemporary Authors.
Professor Davidson has participated in previous AMI conferences. His paper and presentation this year is on the very topical subject of cryptocurrencies or "virtual currencies": Understanding the role of money and money contracts in a market economy. - Bitcoin is not money. Professor Davidson writes us that "to develop a “serious monetary theory” one must provide the properties necessary to understand the special role of money and money contracts in explaining the operation of a market economy" and that "It also explains why so called “virtual currencies” such as Bitcoin are NOT money."
Professor Steve Keen is widely regarded as one of the world's most accurate analytical economists, voted in 1st place for the inagural Revere Award for Economics in 2010 by the (Real) World Economics Association for giving an early warning (initially in 1995) for the 2008 financial crisis using his highly advanced economic modeling system: MINSKY. Professor Keen has continued to refine his MINSKY system and it is in demand by national governments, central banks and financial institutions to dynamically model real economic inputs and outputs. In 2012 he was invited to give testimony at a Congressional Briefing in Washington, DC on Avoiding the “Fiscal Cliff” and the mistakes of the Great Depression to warn Congress on the dire consequences of austerity in the midst of a recession. More recently Professor Keen has done important work in the field of energy analysis as it applies to economics, and the wider social and environmental ramifications of our present energy use.
Professor Keen has participated in many previous AMI conferences and this year he presented Why banking has to be tamed: the role of credit collapses in America's deepest crisesd - Professor Keen writes us "I'll prove that credit is part of aggregate demand, show how debt booms can cause depressions using Minsky, and use credit to explain and show why 1837, 1929 and 2007 were America's worst economic crises." View presentation slides.
Professor Kaoru Yamaguchi has continued to refine his highly advanced modelling system to project how AMI's proposals achieve stable monetary reform. Having concluded it will pay off the U.S. national debt as it comes due; provide the funding for infrastructure, which solves the unemployment problem, and does this without inflation, he presented this macroeconomic model on the to a plenary session of the System Dynamics International Conference in Seoul (2010), being attended by more than 300 researchers. It was so well received that on July 26th, the same International Conference asked him to speak on this matter again, at their meeting in Washington, DC.
Professor Yamaguchi is currently directing the Public Money Initiative movement in Japan preparing for a crypto-token experiment called EPM (Electronic Public Money)-token to create 100% pure money electronically using blockchain technology. You can read about his papers and books here.
Professor Yamaguchi has participated in many previous AMI conferences and this year he presented (from Turkey via Zoom) on Money Stock = Total Domestic Debts: From Mainstream & MMT to Public Money. View presentation paper (+ more in-depth slides).
Professor Nicolaus Tideman received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago (where he studied under Milton Friedman among others), taught at Harvard (1968-73) and served as Senior Staff Economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (1970-71) before moving to Virginia Tech in 1973. He has been Professor of Economics there since 1985. While his research has focused primarily on urban economics, public finance, voting rules and social justice, in 1975 he collaborated with Nobel Laureate James Buchanan in writing on “Gold, Money and the Law.”
Professor Tideman has participated in all AMI conferences and this year discussed The Case for Tax-Deferral Loans Managed by the Fed, as a Fiscal-Policy Substitute in which he proposes that the Fed be instructed to seek to stabilize the growth of consumption, with appropriate concern for inflation, by financing loans to taxpayers in proportion to estimates of their demand for cash balances. View presentation notes.
Joe Bongiovanni is a second-generation monetary reformer, Co-founder and Director of the Kettle Pond Institute (KPI) in Vermont, a Co-founder and Member of the Alliance for Just Money (AFJM) of Bloomington, IL, and a Member of the Green Party U.S. Banking and Monetary Reform Committee (BMRC).
This year Joe will be speaking on the topic of – Where Are the Economists When We NEED Them?:
Although there will be several economists speaking at the conference again this year, Joe will provide a contrast to the dedicated monetary reform work of an outstanding team of academic economists who co-authored a paper in 1939 just for the purpose of engaging the entire discipline of American economists with the topic of reforming the national money system.
The teaching tool for the talk will be – “A Program For Monetary Reform” a paper dated July 1939. The co-authors of this paper include noted progressive University of Chicago economist Dr. Paul Douglas, who later had an honored and illustrious career as a U.S. Senator representing Illinois. Another co-Author of the 1939 Program – as we call this paper here - was none other than Dr. Irving Fisher, Distinguished Professor and later Professor Emeritus at Yale University, where Fisher taught Political Economy for over 20 years. Fisher earned the first Ph.D. in Economics issued by Yale, where he graduated from traditional and classical economics to become a real thought leader in political and monetary economics. A third noted co-author was Dr. Frank D. Graham, distinguished professor of Economics and International finance at Princeton University, again a thought leader of his times in the area of international trade economics, who like many of that era finally moved to the study of monetary economics. These three authors were joined by Profs. Willford King of NYU, Earl J Hamilton of Duke University and Charles Whittlesey, also of Princeton in writing the 1939 Program.
Joe will discuss this outstanding paper for its parallels with our modern money reform proposal found in the AMI-Kucinich proposed legislation as the National Emergency Employment Defense Act (H.R. 2990 of the 112th Congress). He will also discuss why and how economists today will need to harken back to the clarity of the monetary thinking of these authors – from back in the day. This new version of the 1939 Program was prepared by Kevin McCormick, a fellow Member of the Green Party U.S. Banking and Monetary Reform Committee (read it here). Joe will tell a little story of how this modern document from 1939 came to be. View presentation slides.
Dr. Norman Ehrentreich received his Ph.D.in finance with summa cum laude in 2006 after completing hismaster's degree with a specialization in monetary economics and growth theory in 1999.His thesis on an artificial stock market simulation has become a standard textbook on behavioral-based agent-based modeling and was a precursor of modern artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning techniques.
Being a participant in the inaugural AMI conference in 2005, Dr. Ehrentreich has presented several times at subsequent conferences. He got interested in monetary reform early on when he was a student of physics during the aftermath of the collapse of East Germany. His student group invited a speaker who introduced him to the ideas of Silvio Gesell, a German-Argentinian merchant and monetary reformer of whom Keynes said that “the future will learn more from Gesell’s than from Marx’s spirit.” Consequently, when he started studying economics, Norman was already infected with monetary reform ideas. Coming from the natural sciences, it seemed only natural to him that in a finite economic system, exponential growth is impossible in the long run, yet the monetary system is built on the premise of unlimited exponential growth.
Working for many years in the Twin Cities at large financial firms and as an independent consultant, he has most recently been responsible for designing and executing stress testing processes and models as part of the Federal Reserve's annual Comprehensive Capital Adequacy Review (CCAR) stress tests at two of the largest banks in the U.S.
At this year's conference, Norman will discuss Where are all the economists when you need them? - Part 2 which suggests a solution to Joe Bongiovanni's question “Where are the economists when you need them?” When Norman was an undergraduate student in economics himself, he participated in an international student essay contest that was sponsored by a German monetary reform organization. It was by winning that competition and receiving a substantial monetary award that cemented his lifelong dedication and participation in various monetary reform organizations. This experience led him to suggest that the AMI should sponsor an award in honor of Stephen Zarlenga, the founder of the American Monetary Institute.
Norman strongly believes that in order to be successful, the monetary reform movement needs to be more than just a grass-roots movement. We need insiders in academia and in finance, especially in the banking system and its regulators. However, it is extremely difficult to “convert” finance experts and turn them into monetary reformers after they have graduated from today's academic institutions. They have been trained in running our current financial system, in treating its symptoms of financial malfunction without ever questioning whether the system itself is fundamentally flawed. Therefore, even if it sounds very time consuming, we need to “grow” our own economists and bankers. That happens best if we get students of economics and finance interested in monetary reform early on as undergraduates, well before their economic thinking has become too rigid and before they have become too invested in today's academic and financial institutions. Therefore, we will use the time to brainstorm on the details for the Stephen Zarlenga Award. What are the questions we would like the students to investigate? What do we want them to learn? What other logistics do we need to pay attention to? Any suggestions are welcome.
Dr. Amara Enyia is a Public Policy expert on city and state policy as well as international affairs/foreign policy with expertise in Central Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. She writes extensively on issues of education, economic development, fiscal policy, equity in policy, and systems thinking. In addition to Bachelors degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science, Dr. Enyia holds a Masters degree in education, a law degree, and a Ph.D. in Education Policy. She has worked as a grassroots organizer particularly around issues of education equity, economic justice and environmental justice. She has served as part of local and national efforts to diversify the economic ecosystem through educating, advocating and developing policy for cooperative economic models and financing tools that support cooperative enterprises. She also serves as a leading advocate for efforts to establish public banks in cities and states across the country. In addition to her public policy consulting work, Dr. Enyia is a political consultant and strategist.
Amara will present on Connecting the Dots: Building a Comprehensive Monetary Policy System that Creates Better Outcomes for Historically Disinvested Communities.
Sana Syed is the Senior Development Manager at the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), a community organization that fosters health, wellness, and healing on Chicago's Southside, where she leads the organization’s strategic development initiatives and partnerships. Born and raised in Mumbai, Sana has engaged across divides and worked with communities and non-profits in Sweden, Egypt, Yemen, Spain, Somaliland, India, Switzerland, and the United States.Sana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and a Master’s in Religious Leadership for Social Transformation from the Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS).
At last year's conference we were very fortunate to have Sana give us a truly sensational presention entitled There Is No Wealth But Life: Centering People, Communities & Ecosystems in Economic Thinking, which explored some ethico-pragmatic economic traditions and considerations in Islam, alongside insights from the 19th century English thinker, John Ruskin, and his critique of modern political economy, closing with some reflections on her work with a community organization attempting to resuscitate Chicago's blighted South Side neighborhoods from chronic disinvestment. The discussion highlighted the possibilities of centering people, communities and their ecosystems within a larger, ideally decentralized economic framework. This year Sana will discuss INDIVISIBLE - Working Across Geographies & Identities: Exploring the motivations, challenges, and rewards of building community beyond zip codes and identities that are recognizably one's own.
Uli Kortsch is the Founder of both the newly formed Monetary Institute and Global Partners Investments (GPI). Currently most of his time is spent on the Institute whose mission is to drive monetary and fiscal strategies to better serve and protect humanity. In 2013 he was asked to organize a conference on this topic at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the proceeds of which are now published as a book. More recently he was asked to organize an in-depth conference in Switzerland toward the objective of changing the country’s constitution to a modified Chicago-Plan style. He is a regular speaker at various conferences in different countries. As President of Global Partners Investments and other ventures Mr. Kortsch has worked in over 50 countries, written a bill for Congress, and conferred with numerous national presidents, ministers of finance, and ministers of commerce. He has served on many corporate boards with both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He was a missionary with Youth With A Mission for over 20 years in various senior roles.
The title of Uli's presentation last year was Money Growth Determination. Uli writes: "The methodology and potential democratization of money growth determination has not garnered much academic interest; however, it remains a common criticism of sovereign money or Fisherian economic initiatives. Here is one example of how this may be handled to allay that criticism." This year Uli will discuss Conversion Scenarios. Three conversion scenarios: from the current system to one of Chicago Plan (instant), or sovereign money (incremental), or systemic solvency.
Howard Switzer is a Tennessee architect working in eco-friendly building methods and builds energy efficient, healthy, homes and has presented at the International Materials Research Congress. He is a founding member and was co-chair of the Green Party of Tennessee 2002-2003, serving many terms on the Green Party’s National Committee as a delegate from Tennessee, and has run for state office in Tennessee to give the party standing in elections. In 2006 he attended the AMI presentation from Stephen Zarlenga at the Green Party U.S. (GPUS) national meeting in Reading, PA, which confirmed his belief that monetary reform is critical to democracy and funding a transition to a Green Economy. Howard co-founded the “Moving the Money to MainStreet Campaign” adopted by the GPUS in 2007, and has presented on monetary reform at the 2013, 2016 and 2019 Green Party National Meetings. He is currently co-chair of the Banking and Monetary Reform Committee of the GPUS and a GP national delegate advocating monetary reform, as per the Green Party platform which includes the key elements of the AMI/NEED Act proposal, to be a central component of the 2016 GPUS POTUS campaign and is calling for Reviving the American Revolution electorally to reclaim our nations’s economic sovereignty for the democratic governance of the United States. Howard is also board member of the Alliance For Just Money. Howard will present on Green Money and the Green New Deal - Green New Deal? Whose? A comparison.
Sue Peters has degrees in History and Education and was an information technologist specializing in finance. Having spent 35 years on Wall Street, the last 15 at a multinational bank, she has an insiders knowledge of the relationship between Wall Street and money. She gave a public in-depth class on the book, The Lost Science of Money, by Stephen Zarlenga; the extensive class materials can be viewed from the HISTORY tab on the website, GreensForMonetaryReform.org. She is a member of The American Monetary Institute, Green Party Manhattan Local and NYS State Committee, National Organization for Raw Materials (NORM), the website GreensForMonetaryReform.org, and the NYC Labor Chorus. Sue will present the inaugural Robert Poteat Lecture on DEBT DRIVES WAR & WAR DRIVES DEBT: The Powers of Bank Credit Creation in World War I as this year's Keynote Address.
John Howell (Ph.D., UCLA); teaching and research in physiology for 42 years (Ohio University); recipient of numerous grants and awards; including the directorship of the Institute for Musculoskeletal Research, and chairing various committees. He currently serves as a teaching assistant in the Department of Classics and World Religions. He is co-founder and co-ordinator of Democracy Over Corporations in Athens, Ohio, and has attended AMI Monetary Reform Conferences since 2012, and is now giving presentations on monetary reform at local and regional gatherings. John gives one of the clearest, most inspiring talks on the problem of “fractional reserve banking” and using debt in place of money, and has established himself as a premier monetary reform presenter. This year John presented on Money creation: mechanisms, consequences, and alternatives - Presenting Monetary Reform to Newbies and Others. View presentation slides.
Bill Bergman is Director of Researh at the Think Tank Truth in Accounting. He was previously an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Bill will discuss the financial situation of Chicago and Illinois. This year Bill will discuss The Public Purse: What Do We Know and When Do We Know It?
Randy Cook is the President of the National Organization for Raw Materials (NORM). Last year Randy will be speaking on Parity Agriculture, Sound Money and the NEED Act. This year Randy will discuss Parity Money Creation.
Geraldine Perry is the co-author of The Two Faces of Money and the author of Climate Change, Land Use and Monetary Policy: The New Trifecta, as well as numerous articles on the web. Two chapters from her upcoming book Ghost of Our Grandfather, Echoes from the Northern Plains provide the material for her presentation this year on 19th Century Populists and the Money Question. The presentation will focus on some of the more surprising lessons for modern monetary thinkers that were provided by the 19th Century Populists. She begins with a short summary of who the Populists were and from whence they came, then moves into a discussion of how they defined the money question, in their own words. The money question in particular led to charges leveled against them that included “a tendency toward conspiracy,” “overblown rhetoric” and “paranoia.” It will be left to the audience to decide the extent to which these charges were accurate and the extent to which they were counter-propaganda waged by the opposition.
Govert Schuller is a Dutch-American author who writes about the Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher Krishnamurti. He studied philosophy in the Netherlands and just finished his masters degree. For 20 years he has been maintaining Alpheus.org, a website looking at religion, spirituality and politics from an evolutionary point of view. He became interested in monetary reform after meeting Stephen Zarlenga in 2008. After attending the 2014 conference of the American Monetary Institute he participated in many of its activities promoting monetary reform. In 2017 he participated in the founding of the Alliance for Just Money. Govert will discuss the work he has done on composing different bibliographies of items directly or indirectly addressing monetary reform. He created a relatively small introductory list, a medium size list of best studies with input from experts, and an extensive list differentiated into eight categories. He will discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of the lists and is open for feedback and help.
Virginia Hammon is dedicated to teaching about our current money system and a better alternative. She’s just launched a campaign with the support and endorsement of the Alliance for Just Money, called, How We Pay for a Better Future. The plan is to take the message on a national road trip next Spring. This fall she’s experimenting with what works on the West Coast. Virginia will present the Campaign launch: How We Pay for a Better World — taking the message of money reform on the road and aiming to get 3 million people in the next 18 months to tell their Congress people to learn about MR. Buy your postcards online!
John Conroy has a B.S. in Finance (1987) from Northern Illinois University and has a interest in monetary history, theory, and reform. John presented: Money Is A Function Of The Law — which will suggest that money is determined by way of legislation, and old technology such as coins can be useful for the purpose of enacting reforms. View presentation slides.
Jamie Walton worked for two years in Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s office, helping put the N.E.E.D. bill together. He will describe how its various elements work together, the three key elements of this single reform being: 1) incorporation of the Federal Reserve into the U.S. Treasury; 2) decisively ending what's called "Fractional Reserve Banking" through simple changes in accounting rules so that banks no longer create any part of what we use for money; and 3) create the new money needed for a developing society by introducing it into circulation through investment in universally needed things like infrastructure, starting with the $3.6 trillion our engineers (ASCE) tell us is needed by 2020 just to make it safe and sustainable. Also included is investment the “human infrastructure” of education and health care. Jamie is an experienced civil engineer, and a senior AMI Researcher. Jamie will discuss The NEED Act: A Strategic Way Forward.
Schedule of Events:
Thursday Oct. 3
11 AM to 12 PM Registration at Second Floor Lobby; break for lunch 12 PM
1 PM to 6 PM Conference Opening & Presentations; refreshment break; break for reception party 6 PM
7 PM Reception Party & Networking
Friday Oct. 4
9 AM to 7 PM Presentations; break for lunch; refreshment breaks, break for free time 7 PM
Saturday Oct. 5
9 AM to 6 PM Presentations; break for lunch; refreshment breaks; break for gala dinner 6 PM
7 PM to 10 PM Gala Dinner & Keynote Presentation
Sunday Oct. 6
9 AM to 12 PM Presentations & Discussion
12 PM to 1 PM Conference Closing
Our 15th Annual Conference registration is $75 for student discount, $350 for teacher discount, $500-$700 for associate-full registration and AMI membership. This includes conference materials and aids, daily coffee breaks, a “Get Acquainted" Reception and Gala Dinner. Hotel costs are separate at group discounts (as advised below). Affluent participants who want to help out with larger donations are encouraged to do so, as it enables us to extend participation scholarships to deserving students.
Conference Venue: University Center, 525 S. State St, Chicago, IL 60605
Thursday Oct. 3 … Registration from 11 AM + 1 PM to 6 PM Conference opening & presentations; refreshment break + 7 PM Conference reception party.
Friday Oct. 4 … 9 AM to 7 PM Presentations (break for lunch) + refreshment breaks.
Saturday Oct 5 … 9 AM to 6 PM Presentations (break for lunch) + refreshment break + 7 PM Gala Dinner & keynote presentation.
Sunday Oct. 6 … 9 AM to 12 PM Presentations, discussion & closing; 1 PM Conference adjourns.
Travelodge Hotel Downtown
65 E Harrison St, Chicago, IL 60605
Rates quoted are net non-commissionable; Oct 3-6, 2019:
$135 rate per night, economy room. 2 beds, single-quad occupancy.
$155 rate per night standard room. 2 beds, single-quad occupancy.
$172 rate per night deluxe room. 2 beds, single-quad occupancy.
All rates are subject to the prevailing tax, currently 17.4%. Porterage optional. Breakfast $12 per person per day if needed
Alternative Lodging Information
Call: 1 (312) 360-0300
Register by PayPal at:
Thank you for your support in helping AMI with our mission to reform the money system. Your help will allow us to continue educating our citizens and lawmakers on the need to establish an honest system that helps create a nation of peace, prosperity, and justice.
Register by phone at: 224-805-2200
Mail registrations to: The American Monetary Institute, P.O. Box 601, Valatie, NY 12184
[PLEASE NO CREDIT CARDS: Unfortunately, AMI can no longer accept credit card payments, except via PayPal.]
Enclosed is my $______ registration donation for the 2018 AMI Monetary Reform Conference in Chicago October 3rd to 6th.
After July 3rd, 2019, the minimum donation for non-students rises to $350 per person.*
All participants must pre-register. There are no “at the door” registrations! (An 80% refund is available for cancelations until March 3rd, and will afterward be pro-rated downward to a 20% refund after September 3rd.)
I am a bona-fide student at _______________________. Enclosed is my $75 registration.
I am a certified teacher at _______________________. Enclosed is my $ 350 registration.
CALL (224)-805-2200 if you prefer for us to process your registration over the phone or have questions.
For excellent pre-conference reading, get a copy of The Lost Science of Money book featured at our home page (click HERE).
Enclose Check: ___
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* The American Monetary Institute, as part of its responsibility in sponsoring the Conference, reserves the right at its sole discretion and without public or private explanation, to restrict attendance at this Conference to persons it considers will enhance the purposes of the meeting, as detailed above. Participants should understand and be in agreement that the conference will stay focused on monetary system questions.