Believe it or not, the current US Presidential nomination process has thrown up a passionate debate about the nature of money, and particularly whether it is 'sound' or not. Voters are frustrated and fearful about the economy. Politicians (with no economics training) are arguing that in these uncertain times we need a currency backed by something 'real' like gold. This seems oddly backward-looking in the era of the internet. It begs a question: what sort of money do we need to fuel the economy of the 21st century?
Many of us are returning from the holiday break newly resolved on self-improvement – give up this, lose that, do better at the other thing. APCA too is resolved on self-improvement. Back in August 2011, we gave a public commitment to reform APCA’s own governance arrangements so as to make it a fit vehicle for more inclusive, stronger self-governance of the payments system. This is currently a hot topic for the Reserve Bank, and has been one for APCA for quite some time as well. So, next month, in February, we hope to be talking about a new model for how APCA works. This has to fit in with the views and needs of many different people and organisations, not least the public policymakers, so we know it probably won’t be a short conversation. But we hope it will be a successful one.