A Path beyond Debt: Interest-Free Lending at Work
From: Resilience Imperative
Unlocking the debt trap is hugely difficult. Ironically, the primary solution advanced by banks and the International Monetary Fund is to issue more debt and charge compound interest for the privilege of bor-rowing. President Franklin Roosevelt commented on the intelligence of this refrain in his 1933 inaugural address to Americans: “Faced by a failure of credit, they [the banks] propose only lending more money.”
At 25, Mike Lewis founded what is now known as the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal. Ever since he has been engaged community economic development (CED), development finance and the social and co-operative economy. He is a prolific author and a respected practitioner. From entrepreneurial development to building national networks, from strategic assistance to CED organizations in impoverished settings to designing tools and curriculum to strengthen community resilience, Mike has led hundreds of projects over the last 35 years. Drawing on this diverse experience, motivated by his grandchildren and increasingly conscious of the interplay of climate change, peak oil and the outrageous excesses of the global finance industry, Mike considers the issues and innovations outlined in ‘The Resilience Imperative’ as the core focus of his vocation.
Pat Conaty is a Californian working in England and Wales. He is a Fellow of new economics foundation and a research associate of Co-operatives UK. He specializes in action research on innovative forms of economic democracy and mutual enterprise. His work has been mainly in the fields of household debt solutions, community development finance and community land trusts.