The Waterworks of Money: private profits, public costs, is now available as part 2 in a free video animation series which shows that the design flaws causing instability in our financial system have not been fundamentally addressed in or after 2008. It also shows how some of the measures taken by our governments and central banks have actually created new incentives for excessive risk taking and have exacerbated inequality within society. The response to the crisis has also boosted a new kind of ‘asset manager capitalism’. Asset management firms like BlackRock and Vanguard have grown into major power players. They are responsible for investing our pension savings and control trillions of dollars in assets. Just like the banks before them, they are now ‘too big to fail’. Who actually benefits from this system?
In the journey, the video also explores new monetary channels and policy options that haven’t been used in the past decade, but could be deployed in the future to make major improvements to the system as a whole. Could the introduction of a digital euro or dollar – also called Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) – improve financial stability and make the monetary system more equitable?
The structure of our monetary system is not a natural phenomenon. We can choose to change its architecture, but only if ordinary citizens develop their own vocabulary to participate in the debate, can they tell their politicians which kind of ‘financial irrigation system’ they want.
Can we redesign the architecture of the Waterworks of Money and achieve a different outcome?
Watch Part 2 here:
If you haven’t seen Part 1 yet, it helps provide a compelling foundation to the need for monetary reform. It is a fantastic educational piece. You can watch Part 1 here:
The Waterworks of Money was exhibited in Rijksmuseum Twenthe and Kunstmuseum Den Haag, and reproductions are currently on display at the Architecture Biennale in Venice and the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. In October 2023, this work of art received the Amsterdam Art Prize and the Dutch Design Award in the category Design Research.
You can also read more about the project here: