Skip to main content


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Film premiere and discussion with Dirk Bezemer

Money is nothing more than debt created by banks. How does a debt crisis work? And how can we prevent crises and get out of our current one?

Money is debt created by banks. Humans have invented debt some time in prehistory. This invention has contributed to the enormous success of the capitalist system to make us rich. But on the other hand, debt is responsible for the recent mortgage bubbles and financial crisis, and the downright ugly situation in southern Europe. How does debt creation help the economy? How does a debt crisis work? And how do we get out of it, and prevent future crises?

In this documentary, Dirk Bezemer of the Faculty of Economics and Business tells the story of debt and the nature and origin of money. The film has three themes: the good, the bad and the ugly. The good explains that all our money is debt created by banks and how this leads to (tremendous) economic  growth. The bad explains how debt, used for speculation on house and stock prices, can drive up these prices and lead to cycles of booms and crises. The ugly shows how the destruction of banks and the repayment of all debt can undo much of the good that debt did for us as it throws economies into deep crises.

All this is presented in a new film format where the power of video and simple animations is used to make a complex story accessible – perhaps even entertaining!  After the premiere of the film there will be the opportunity for discussion with Dirk Bezemer and a panel of financial specialists.

Dirk Bezemer is an Associate Professor in Economics at the University of Groningen. He worked in a variety of policy and research roles in the field of development and monetary economics. His current research is on the causes and consequences of financial crises.

Discussion panel:
Henk van Arkel, director Social Trade Organisation, promoting local, sustainable money-systems
Jesse Frederik, financial journalist at Follow the Money
Daniel Neilson, researcher Institute for New Economic Thinking

The documentary (English with Dutch subtitles) is the start of a pilot project of the Faculty of Economics and Business, aiming to make its teaching and research more accessible for students and a wide audience.

Organized by the Faculty of Economics and Business, in cooperation with EBF (Risk, Marug, Vesting) and Studium Generale.

Interesting link:
YouTube: Debt - full movie

Organized by the Faculty of Economics and Business, in cooperation with EBF (Risk, Marug, Vesting) and Studium Generale. 

See also

Marja Pruis en Miriam Rasch
Nieuw licht op eigenliefde in tijden van sociale media

De moderne mens lijkt erg van zichzelf te houden, als je de sociale media mag geloven. Maar is dat wel zo?

Dr. Alex Belenky
Myths and realities

The electoral system in the United States of America is complicated and differs from systems we know in Europe.