Monday, January 19, 2009

Communities start making their own currency

Who's with me on starting one for Siem Reap! From
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Diana Felber brought her groceries to the checkout and counted out her cash — purple, blue and green bills that are good at only businesses in western Massachusetts.

Known as “BerkShares,” the colorful currency is printed by a nonprofit group to encourage people to spend close to home in the state’s Berkshire region. Customers who use the money also get a built-in 10 percent discount, since they can get 100 BerkShares for just $90 at local banks....

Interest in local currencies often spikes during a recession as communities scramble to promote their businesses and curb unemployment, said Lewis D. Solomon, professor at the George Washington University Law School and author of “Rethinking our Centralized Monetary System: The Case for a System of Local Currencies.”

The U.S. Constitution prohibits states from coining their own currency, but it is silent on local paper money. The courts have allowed private groups to print complementary currency, provided it does not compete with federal money and does not circulate beyond a limited area...

“If you have local networks, you can trade within them,” said Paul Glover, founder of the Ithaca program. Whether they are business, religious, neighborhood or professional groups, “there is a capability within those to trade without strict dependence on dollars.”

1 comment:

puayki said...


I'm very interested in what you do, and I have a passion for Cambodia and their people too, that I made two trips there as well. I am still missing Cambodia a lot, and looking for ways to work for some NGOs, less priveleged people around. Hope to talk about this more. Pls do email me at thanks.


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