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Book Review: Aaron Sahr’s Keystroke Capitalism: How Banks Create Money for the Few and Some Sociolegal Caveats

By Terry Trowbridge

The Easier Read We Probably Need

Aaron Sahr’s book Keystroke Capitalism: How Banks Create Money for the Few was published in 2022 by Verso Books. It is thin, at 132 pages long (Index included), light, quickly readable, and portable for almost every commuter on a subway, bus, or train. In the year 2024, when I am writing this, almost everybody agrees with the premise of Sahr’s title. We take for granted that banks are institutions that create money for a very few elite people. Sometimes we argue about what sort of banks are allowed to do that. 

We also tend to think that banks un-create, or destroy, money for a vast numerical majority of economically under-classed people, by manipulating loans, interest rates, and assisting a finance industry that changes prices so that inflation reduces the ability for people to accumulate wealth, and to reduce the opportunities for the majority of people to accumulate equity in assets. In other words, we agree that in the twenty-first century, banks create money for the Few, and we debate how banks might erase money for the rest of Us. Sahr is interested in explaining how banks create money. Sahr also proposes, through the title of his book, that by creating money for a restricted set of people, banks perform a basic function of capitalism.

Various thinkers have convinced us to think this way. 

Keystroke Capitalism by Aaron Sahr / cover
Photo: Verso Books

We, the humans who are increasingly surplus capital of the year 2024, are in the midst of a tremendous debate about whether capitalism itself still exists. Capitalism is a way of organizing society. A cadre of critical theorists and people who have held power over entire economies have publicly argued that capitalism no longer describes the organizing principles of nation-state societies.

Among professional capitalists, the outlook is grim. Aaron Stevenson, one of Citibank’s highest performing traders of the twenty-first century, is campaigning for people to internalize a truth that the finance industry is trying to make 99% of people poorer rather than richer (2023; 2024). This contradicts every theorist of classical capitalist economics, like Smith (2003), Bentham (1988), Mill (2008), Keynes (2017). Yanis Varoufakis, former Finance Minister of Greece, argues that capitalism is being replaced by a rentier system better described as “techno-feudalism” (2023; 2024a; 2024b). The plausible return to feudalism, whether in-progress, already completed, or perhaps an ahistorical mismatch of vocabularies, is now a hot topic of this year’s public and academic intellectuals; like Radhika Desai and Michael Hudson, engaged in online and on-campus panel discussions (2024).

Among thinkers who have laid the groundwork of the new economic scepticism are some rather famous names. Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz is one of the most prolific writers about income inequality and systemic financial failure (2015). Feminist icon Nancy Fraser has firmly rooted antifeminist social and legal changes to women’s rights in 21st-century income inequality (2013; 2023; Fraser et al. 2019). To the extent that Keystroke Capitalism refers to a global financial network enabled by transnational laws and internet technologies, the keystrokes themselves have been examined by Nick Srnicek as Platform Cpaitalism (2016); Shoshana Zuboff as Surveillance Capitalism (2020); and even the technology and mathematical theories of engineers and software writers working for banks as “quants” in Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction (2016); and competing with banks in Molly White’s journalism amalgamator about ex nihilo currencies, Web 3 is Going Just Great (2021-2024).

Meanwhile, some observers are warning that entire nation states’ levels of population are being officially, publicly earmarked to die in climate catastrophes and health care crises. When Romain Felli describes the reason why the G20 nations have changed from policies for climate mitigation to climate adaptation, he does so by describing the difference between profits accumulated by corporations and profits accumulated by humans. Felli says that governments have explicitly said that individual humans no longer live long enough to generate the profits necessary to maintain a stable national economy. Meanwhile, corporations, being legal persons, outlive their staff and employees, and in some cases, outlive whole countries. Therefore, Felli quotes and paraphrases in The Great Adaptation, policy presumes that individual humans are expandable, whereas corporations must be enabled to adapt (2021).

I am not going to ask if Aaron Sahr’s Keystroke Capitalism can answer whether capitalism is being replaced with a new form of feudalism, or if capitalism withstands the authoritarian pressures of digital communication technology’s oligarchs. Rather, what I want to know is whether or not Keystroke Capitalism will give a reader confidence that they understand how massive amounts of cash liquidity are being poured into the economy, visibly, spectacularly, but somehow nobody on the bus can access it. Is keystroke Capitalism a book worth reading, by middle-class employed workers stuck in traffic, frozen by the biopower of the twentieth century’s automobile landscape, with no plans for changing their lives, because they cannot acquire the liquidity nor the credit to change the structure of their day?

Does Keystroke Capitalism tell us anything about the structure of society in 2024? The answer, tentatively, is yes. Sahr does not explain why daily life is so rigid and exceptionally prone to resource scarcity that the majority of people practically have choices about how they spend their time. What Sahr does explain is that very few people are free to make choices about their lives because banks have ways to create money for them, and them alone. The narrowness is a new economics. Sahr explains bankers’ new narrow mandate. The emphasis of Keystroke Capitalism is not How Banks Create Money but rather how banks create money for the Few.

The Introduction

Sahr sets up his argument by pointing out that in the twentieth century, common ideology and economic common sense agreed that private wealth is impeded by private and public debt. However, by the year 2019, the antagonism between wealth and debt was no longer considered factual, nor even plausible. The total wealth of the world could be reasonably estimated at 418 trillion US dollars, while simultaneously, government, corporate, and consumer debts were estimated around 200 trillion US dollars. What was unthinkable in the year 1999 was disproved and obsolete rhetoric by the year 2019 because the meaning of debt was redefined. “One person’s debts are, of course, another person’s assets. A good half of private wealth consists of financial assets in the shape of bank deposits, investment fund or insurance claims, government loans, shares and so on assets whose value rests on someone else’s promise to pay up” (Sahr, 1-2).

Sahr is sceptical about even that definition of debt. The promise, to pay is notably inconsistent with the rates of income during the lifetimes of the indebted entities. “It can never be paid off with income from normal processes” (Sahr, 2).

Sahr, writing during the COVID-19 pandemic, was able to point out that the wealth of nations became more comparable in terms of private wealth. At least, Sahr noted the qualified terms of international parity. The inequality of OECD countries. Middle-class workers in OECD countries have increased their wealth so that the majority of workers are more equal to each other. However, Sahr points out the paradox at play: within each OECD country, there has never been such profound wealth disparity.

In this sense, Shar’s first chapter is easily relatable. Shar argues that credit is an uneven banking process by which banks transfer wealth from 99% of people to a small 1% of people. There is very little doubt of this description, in our supposedly post-Pandemic polycrisis.

Sahr’s second chapter is controversial. Sahr introduces his argument first by using semantics. Sahr regards 21st-century proliferating anti-capitalist critical economic theories as missing out on their own implications. Sahr notes that the critics of our capitalist policies are able to critique them, at all, because, “use of the term ‘capitalist economy’ suggests that ‘capitalism’ and ‘economy’ are two differentiable concepts” (Sahr, 9). He infers, “there must be such thing as non-economic capitalism” (Ibid.).

What Sahr risks is that his second chapter might be based on a logical fallacy. Not every syllogism is a biconditional. Not every syllogism allows for reversals and equal ratios between the terms. Speaking abstractly, all capitalism can be economic, but then not all economies need to be capitalist. All A can be B, while all B might not be A. 

For a concrete example, consider that some birds are ducks and some birds are not ducks. However, every duck is also a bird. Purely as a hypothetical syllogism, all capitalism might be economic, even though some economies might not be capitalist.

To understand the controversy of Sahr’s second chapter, We do not need to explore any of the counter-arguments. The question can be brought down to a non-academic level of cultural criticism for kitchen tables and subway straphangers. Is Sahr’s chapter at least internally consistent? Sahr proposes that he only needs to show how non-economic capitalism can explain the trinity of “growing private wealth, mounting debt, and rising inequality” (9).

Sahr’s third chapter argues that banks can facilitate non-economic capitalism because they are allowed to decouple the “available supply of property” from the limits on the money they can lend. Sahr argues that not only is there no more standard value for comparing the value of fiat currency, but that there is no relationship between property or the earning potential of capital property and the money that banks can lend. This is a less controversial argument for everybody who was an adult during the market crashes of 2007-2008. In fact, this fundamental disembodiment of finance from property is central to the claims of various thinkers like Varoufakis… We are all used to this reasoning.

In his fourth and fifth chapters, Sahr defines Keystroke Capitalism as a model where bankers create value, and therefore organize society, only by typing, rather than by the means of production or by some other measure of value.

Chapter One: Debt

Sahr’s first chapter is a recognizable race-to-the-bottom narrative familiar to us all. By 2013, bank debt was about 130% of advanced economy GDP. In 2020, a debt class called “broad money” was 133% of advanced economy GDP. Stock markets, which are all about selling debt in the form of promised share of business income, was 114% of advanced economy GDP in 2015 (13). The concrete description of these quantitative ratios is that “finance firms are achieving a much higher return on invested capital than industrial companies of non-financial service providers” (Ibid.). For workers, that means debts are more profitable than the work anyone does as an employee. Paying an employee is an opportunity cost, whereas loaning money is profitable.

However, that means workers have less purchasing power, because they have less work to do, along with interest to pay on items bought with debt. Therefore, the capital from repaying loans does not flow back into consumption. Profits must be invested in more debt instruments (15).

The race to the bottom is ensured by governments that protect the flow of capital into those instruments. The OECD countries have lifted administrative controls and restrictive definitions off of financial investments. Governments endorse, and even fund, more private debt at taxpayer expense (17). Thus, formerly regulated financial contracts called futures are now allowed to include tortured mathematics developed by engineers and software designers, to recalculate profitable returns that were considered pure fiction. Supply chains have not changed as radically as the calculations for futures, done by the bankers who manage them (19).

Labourers do not have access to those math formulae, so the “labour share” of the economy continues to be more precarious as wages get diverted to interest payments and service rentier incomes like service fees. In the meantime, the professional managerial class has developed analogous calculations for their incomes based on “general market mechanisms” instead of their own office performance. This inequality of opportunity for money is called “oligarchic closure” and separates current class dynamics from democracy. Corporate income is separate from labour, but entwined with the willingness to make loans (20-33).

None of these newsworthy. However, the extent to which only chartered corporations, CEOs, and C-suite altitude professional mangers have access to convoluted “probability calculation techniques” (27), means that their functions are no longer coupled to production. Capitalism organizes society around a person’s relationship to the means of production. If wages are no longer sufficient to be calculated as capital, what is capital? If profits are no longer calculated according to the value of labour, then what is the theory of value?

Sahr proposes, in the next chapter, that if these questions seem like gibberish, it is because they make sense as a theory of capitalism, but not as a theory of economics.

Chapter Two: Ownership

Sahr’s first chapter completed most of details of his argument. The second chapter, although interpretive rather than gathering evidence, is remarkably simple.

Traditional economics, Sahr points out, is the art of living under conditions of scarcity.  Scarcity poses problems for the distribution of resources (420-43). The economical solution is exchange. Households have pre-established ways to exchange the resources they have, for the resources they want (43-46).

Capitalism presumes that exchanges happen in marketplaces. Exchanges must be lawful, and that requires resources to be obtained “by transfer from another owner” (46). Capitalist economics presumes that scarcity is a fact situation. Scarcity, in economics, is treated as a condition created by the environment and by technology. Market forces determine how exchanges happen and the values of exchange.

In his first chapter, Sahr already established that scarcity for financial instruments has already been decoupled from the facts of the environment. Markets also determine nothing about exchange value of financial (debt) instruments. Instead, banks determine the exchange value with new, untested, unestablished, mathematical technologies. Therefore, the economic part of our capitalism is not based on natural conditions. They have been entirely created by recent agreements between the oligarchs who managed to impose oligarchic closure on the value of labour.

In the economics’ stead, Sahr proposes that “social constructs such as ‘the economy’ or ‘capitalism’ are complex arrangements of social practices” (41).

For the rest of this chapter, Sahr draws heavily from the structural functionalist systems theory of Niklas Luhmann. This choice is a little bit strange to a sociologist or an anthropologist, who might have chosen a far more recent social construction theorist who uses “the economy” as an example in their literature, like the Canadian professor Ian Hacking (2000). However, Sahr also cites other German sources, and therefore might simply be working with a more European vocabulary than North Americans academics. For commuters trundling to and from work, these sources should make no critical difference. Sahr’s argument would not be changed. “The means of production are not just the equipment that allows resources to be turned into goods through labour, but also the social arrangements that allow their owner [to do it]” (49).

Sahr presents scarcity as, “accessing goods that others are likewise desirous and capable of accessing – and in such a way as to preclude further access to those goods” (43). Exchange is based on the socially constructed, and thereafter lawfully maintained, “right of ownership…the exclusive right to possess, use, and dispose of a thing” including the sale of one’s own labour or time (45).

Furthermore, Sahr adds to capitalist practices the act, or art, of speculation. Sahr’s speculation is, “the teleology of profit…in anticipation of an outcome… To be possible at all, there needs to be an expectation of success” (48). In capitalism, the expectations and the ability to speculate are “appropriative practices” and if the benefits of those practices are unequal, directing more benefit to a small group over time, Sahr proposes to “speak of them as appropriate complexes” (50-51). ‘The accumulation of wealth’ is less of a condition of naturally occurring scarcity, and more of practices that have been made systemic and embedded in society to keep appropriative complexes going, on repeat, day after day, forever.

Sahr’s most controversial argument is an internally consistent redefinition of terms. Sahr draws on well-established sociological theory. And while, tentatively, the German systems theory Shar cites is often considered hackneyed, more updated social construction theories can hack it, to the same effect.

Chapter Three: Capacity

“The engine of capitalism runs on a single fuel: bank debt” (53) is Sahr’s dramatic beginning to his Keystroke’s third chapter. Money, he argues, exists purely in the form of bank debt, and only bank debt. Legally, bank balances drawn on for cash purchases are money that the bank owes to the account holder. Currency itself is an amount calculated by central banks, and they calculate them as debits on their balance sheets (Ibid.). Banks serve three functions this way. “The money used to pay for things in a transactional economy consists of bank debt.. The lion’s share of transactions is organized and managed by the banking system… Banks produce the means of payment…in the form of circulatable liabilities” (53-54). For the rest of Sahr’s book, the word ‘money’ refers to a social relation of credit at one end and bank debt at the other (54).

Sahr’s thesis is that “the very act of entering credits and debits on a balance sheet – in effect, the ant of writing itself – can generate capital and thereby contribute to its accumulation” (54). Sahr offers, as his first example, the act of using a debit card at a grocery store checkout. His argument is that situation is one in which a bank “has the capacity to make payments without the constraint of ownership” discussed as the3 right to ownership in the previous chapter.

Sahr provides a short history of banking since the Late Medieval Era. He includes the invention of accounts and the transition from “hoarding” to “saving” as well as the creation of fractional reserves, the invention and then abandonment of gold standards, the beginning and ending of the Bretton Woods system curtly dispatched with, “Due to a series of misfortunes, this network was dissolved in 1973 and replaced with the global money system that still exists today (60). 

Shar’s point, though, is that banks are not intermediaries who collect and distribute deposits. His point is that they are not getting their capital from borrowing property, in the form of other people’s money. If they did, their role in the fiat currency system would be as normal, typical economic actors. Central banks would help to control the money supply by limiting or increasing the amount of total money that can be created, and the regulated private banks would only be able to create a predetermined amount of fiat currency through their fractional reserves, based on a central bank’s current, presumably quarterly, policy.  

Instead, Sahr draws upon a report released by Deutsche Bundesbank in April of 2017 that appears to confirm critical economists who believe that the social relation theory of capitalism operates independently of the constraints of property and scarcity. The bank declared,

“It suffices to look at the creation of (book) money as a se to straightforward accounting entries to grasp that money and credit are created as the result of complex interactions between banks, non-banks, and the central bank. And a bank’s ability to grant loans and create money has nothing to do with whether it already has excess reserves or deposits at its disposal” (65).

Sahr accepts Deutsche Bundesbank’s claim at face value. (Or perhaps Bundesbank also cited Niklas Luhmann or Ian Hacking). However, Sahr also cites experiments with tracking loans, and explanatory letters from bank executives, that prove banks do not check their own reserves when they approve loans for individuals and give them money. When they create a loan and add money to an account balance, the money did not come from anywhere. Literally, the bank employee typing on their keyboard generates the amount (Ibid.). Even though a myth persists that “deposits are leant to other customers” that simply is not part of the loan process in the twenty-first century (66).

Above this fiat loan system looms the question of social relations. How are some people denied loans? How are most people’s credit limited? What are the appropriative complexes in banking that determine the types of keystrokes involved?

Chapter Four: Appropriation

The fourth chapter begins with a terse review of literature about buying and selling in capitalist markets, and interventions by democratic states that promote markets but also tax. Then The ability to buy, sell, and make payments is supported by the right to own property, and therefore as a right, that ability is a product of the rule of law (77). Meanwhile, the same state that maintains the rule of law intervenes on the right to determine the sale and value of property through taxation imposed on that right (Ibid.). Therefore, the “sovereign capacity” is different from the “property-based capacity of the capital owner” (Ibid.). A least, that is what the various sources in Sahr’s literature review describe.

In counterargument, Sahr proposes that property-based rights of disposal and democratic decisions are both different social relations that keystrokes generate payments. That third appropriative complex, Sahr refers to as “keystroke rentiers” and it is that rentier capacity without property to rent that is crucial to our contemporary 2024 debates between platform capitalism and techno-feudalism.

Keystroke capitalism “is characterized by the ability to make investment decisions for the purpose of accumulating capital without having to rely on existing funds” (79). The asymmetry that makes the capacity capitalist is that the profits return to the party with more capital, the bank. Sahr offers three ways that, in the twenty-first century, ensure the profits go almost entirely to the wealthy.

Firstly, Sahr offers a rather pedestrian, and therefore easy to understand, cycle of asset inflation. Keystroke capitalists invent loans to purchase financial assets that already exist. For example, a business loan so that a person can buy stocks on a stock market. The assets are debt, so the value of the debt is increased because there are more buyers vying for it on the stock market. Over decades of keystrokes, the loans must be enlarged until they are beyond the capacity of wage earners to apply for them. Other assets that seem more corporeal have also been financialized, meaning they are turned into speculative assets instead of the capital they used to be. Under neoliberalism, houses are investment instruments for speculators rather than places for people to live, meant not to be “flipped” and resold often, leading to inflated prices matched by keystroke mortgage loans (79-84).

Secondly, Sahr offers a new vocabulary term, “looting circles” (84). In looting circles, companies, like the notable Apple, take out loans to buy back their own shares. Stock buybacks have been explained and decried for over two decades, so I will not retell the story here.

What Sahr does, is to reframe stock buybacks as social relations. Apple CEO Tim Cook was a major shareholder in Apple. By taking out a loan, instead of using Apple’s cash reserves, Apple’s corporate buying power was undiminished by spending the money. That meant Tim Cook’s shares in Apple increased in value. Using loans for corporate buybacks therefore inflates asset prices beyond the ability of workers to buy using their wages, but the professional managerial class whose incomes are determined by peer-group values instead of performance, get paid even more through their stock portfolios increases. Looting circles are social relations of the professional managerial class that is kept within the oligarchic closure (84-89).

Thirdly, Sahr points out that earned interest on both debts created and the payments that erase those debts are profits that go only to banks. Earned interest on loans is a social relation of banks (90-95). The interest rates earned on bank accounts and retirement funds like RRSPs have become so crassly small that individual humans outside the oligarchic closure, as noted by Romain Felli, are not even considered relevant to GDP or economic health anymore. While there used to be a myth that banks invested interest in the purchasing power of people, that myth depends on those interest rates being the basis of capital loans. Alas.

Chapter Five: Change

Although Sahr makes thoughtful proposals for an ethical future, the fact is that his conclusion chapter has been stretched into an unrecognizable plasticity of arguments by policymakers and critical theorists in the year 2024. The polycrisis has consumed us and banks are its teeth. There is not much Sahr says that is not currently elaborated across financial op-eds and a world of long-form YouTube interviews.

He makes two broad points worth repeating.

First is that, regardless of jurisdiction or income sources, we require needs-based justice (103). Long ago, Nancy Fraser and Iris Marion Young were in a fiery debate about capitalism and social justice. Which was more important, redistribution of resources, or recognition of identity politics? If scarcity and exchange are social relations, Fraser argued, then redistribution of resources must be the pathway to social change. However, Young argued, if scarcity and exchange are social relations, then they are based on the identities of the people participating, and therefore the politics of recognition must change before society can change.

The Fraser-Young debate was hot stuff at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. It has been almost forgotten. Sahr is unequivocal, even in the context of BLM and the rise of far-right fascism in Western societies. Sahr believes that distributive justice is only possible by establishing terms for redistribution of wealth based on people’s needs. He believes this part of critical theory must come before the problems of recognition can be solved, like the components of critical theory known as critical race theory.

Second is that Sahr is convinced that Sociology is a requisite education for survival during the inequalities of keystroke capitalism’s era (102). He argues that Sociology and Anthropology provide accurate vocabularies and conceptual tools for everyday life. They must be taught as the common curricula in schools. They must become the vocabularies of work family, and political opinions. This curriculum Sahr calls “public sociology” (Ibid.).

In Conclusion

Can Aaron’s Sahr’s Keystroke Capitalism help guide perplexed people through the monetary injustices of the polycrisis? Yes. But! We must not confuse the theory in Keystroke capitalism with radical, oppositional theory.

For theory and analysis of similar concepts, there are other writers. Also from Verso Books, there is Mackenzie Wark’s book Capital is Dead: Is This Something Worse? (2021), proposes that banking is a component of rulership through the control of information, which precedes the distribution of debt and assets. The classic criminological analysis of manipulating financial instruments of debt among thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of households at once was discussed long ago, in 1976, by Frank Pearce in his monograph Crimes of the Powerful” Marxism, Crime and Deviance (1976). 

Some of Sahr’s foundational keystroke elements are well-established components of crime. In Tom Wright and Bradley Hope’s book Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World (2018), they document how a single young Wharton graduate named Jho Low was able to obtain over a billion dollars in bank loans through fraud. That scale of fraud by a single person was possible because every bank loan was granted without checking Low’s accounts to confirm his ability to repay, and without any of the banks requiring themselves to confirm that they could survive if he defaulted.

Similar stories of white-collar crime appear in Laureen Snyder’s politically centrist, but still criminologically motivated book about Canadian banking in Corporate Crime (2015). The more radical critical criminology book Legalizing Theft: A Short Guide to Tax Havens by Alain Deneault (2018) utterly destroys Sahr’s claim that the rule of law that regulates private property rights is separate from the state’s ability to impose taxes. Although, perhaps, The Panama Papers (2017) that led to various prosecutions around the world, and the ongoing work of the  International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (2023), will vindicate Sahr’s political theory over Deneault’s critical legal theory.

From the point of view of Critical Criminology, or Critical Legal Studies, Aaron Sahr elides the mechanisms by which white-collar crime permeates the social relations of banks, governments, and human individuals and households. If we recommend Sahr’s Keystroke Capitalism, then we must be cognizant that we must keep in mind that Sahr takes for granted that the rule of law operates in certain ways that empirical research reveals are always being breached. We do not need to be malcontent about it: there is a kind of truism even among jurists that the rule of law exists more in the breach than as a functioning wholeness. But we should acknowledge that Keystroke Capitalism is a strong introduction to the weirdness of capitalist society in the twenty-first century because it is succinct. Because of that effective parsimony, it sacrifices opportunities for detailed opposition to some of the more deeply unjust consequences of those ex nihilo keystrokes.

Keystroke Capitalism can be read by just about anyone who has completed a college diploma or a university degree. It just helps to have the skillset for sitting through two-hour lectures and assigned readings, when Sahr delivers multiple pages of literature review. Someone who has graduated high school but takes deep dives into rabbit holes of Wikipedia or Reddit debates will also be able to follow along. At only 145 pages long, Sahr gets away with occasional bursts of scholarship between the critically engaging descriptions of injustice.

But the abstraction of “social relation” as being separate from “economics” might also feel like splitting hairs by nth degrees to someone who has not sat through lectures nor written the essay section of an undergraduate exam. Perhaps, though, pervasive and persistent inequality is motivation enough to read through dense passages. It is okay to skip pages. If readers do not feel like finishing the book after Chapter Three, they will still get the benefit of definitions and debates that contextualize our current discourses of discontent.

If this book is being assigned in either high school or college social science syllabi, Chapter One or Chapter Four will be most informative. Chapter Four’s history of Late Medieval banking would make for an engaging and challenging high school History lecture, and could spur discussion about the historical context for fiat currency and cryptocurrency.


About the Writer

Terry Trowbridge is a Canadian living on Lake Ontario, a plum farmer, a sociolegal researcher, a book reviewer, and a Pushcart nominee. His poetry and essays have appeared in something like 100 different journals, zines, and chapbooks. His Erdős number is 5.


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