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Money is the linchpin of modern economic systems and central to the way we live. Charles Dickens described bank notes and coins as the little screws of existence. And when money talks, it talks loudly. It is not easy to sidestep the prism of money values and prices. So it is a pleasure to read two very different books that set out to put money in its place as our servant rather than our master.
The Ethical Investor investigates the growing, mainstream social investment movement that originated in US student protest during the Vietnam War and the international struggle against apartheid. Just as a campaign can become a social movement, so a movement can become an industry. In the UK, for example, funds screened or managed under ethical criteria now amount to around [pounds]1 billion.
New Money for Health Communities, meanwhile, traces the experience and relevance of …