“The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.”

J. K. Galbraith

About the experiment

As the monetary house of cards is wobbling and about to collapse, a group of artists have stepped in with a remarkable initiative. In the heart of Amsterdam's financial district they have started a monetary experiment in the shape of a bank: the Art Reserve Bank.

The object of the experiment is to show that Art has a sound function in the real economy. Moreover: Art can very well serve as the basis of a more stable monetary system.

Central to the system is a new reserve currency: a currency which value is not based on the expectation of endless economic growth, but on the value of Art. This currency is minted in public with the bank's own coinpress.

No fake currency, no fiat currency, but real money with real value!

Although set up by artists, the Art Reserve Bank is no trifling artistic game in a museum or a gallery. It is a very real, life experiment in the tough world of big money.

In that world, the Art Reserve Bank was literally built from the ground up: without state support, without subsidies and without delving into the murky world of investment- or equity funds. For we have built this bank ourselves – with our bare hands. Together with volunteers, companies and institutions who perhaps share our doubts about the sustainability of the present financial system, but do not doubt the power of Art.

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Committee recommendation:

Herman WijffelsProf.dr. H.H.F. Wijffels, former CEO of Rabobank, chairman of the Dutch Social Economic Council and administrator at the World Bank in Washington. Herman Wijffels is currently professor of 'Sustainability and Social change' at Utrecht University.

Arnold HeertjeProf.dr. A. Heertje, Emiritus professor of Political Economy at University of Amsterdam's law faculty. Meanwhile professor of History of Economics and member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW).

Rick van der PloegProf.dr. F. van der Ploeg, was State Secretary for culture and media in the Kok II cabinet. Rick van der Ploeg is now professor of Economics at Oxford University and professor Political Economy at Amsterdam School of Economics.

Coop Art Reserve Bank — Overtoom 256, 1054JA Amsterdam — T. +31 6 1226 3331 — info@kunstreservebank.nl