16 Dec 2012

Kennedy, Lietaer & Rodgers : People Money - the promise of regional currencies

I've been increasingly convinced that the creation of alternative parallel currencies will be a vital part of the move to reform the economic system. My own proposal that governments in the Eurozone could create a parallel debt-free currency that might be called the "N-Euro" is a example.

But there are a vast range of different systems that are possible. And for me, the book by Margrit Kennedy, Bernard Lietaer and John Rodgers called "People Money : The promise of regional currencies" is perhaps the best overview of the state of the art.

It's actually a book that was originally published in 2004 in German under the title "Regionalwährungen - Neue Wege zu Nachhaltigem Wohlstand"), where it was a big success. There have also been versions in French ("Monnaies Régionales: De nouvelles voies vers une propérité durable") in 2008 (with a preface from Michel Rocard), and Spanish ("Monedas Regionales: Nuevos Instrumentos para una Prosperidad Sustenable") in 2010.

The new English language edition came out in July, and provides dozens of examples of different systems that are being tried out in various places across the globe.

They start by discussing two positive examples of regional currencies.
The WIR bank is a particularly impressive example. It's a debt-free trading system that has been in operation since 1934 and currently has some 60,000 businesses signed up.

Later on in the book there is a whole chapter that provides portraits of a wide range of different systems, based on interviews with some of the key players.

Currencies that support local economy - Business Exchange Systems
Currencies that support local economy - other local economic models
Currencies that grow communities It's difficult to read this book and not come away convinced that there must be a way to use this wide diversity of approaches to help fix the current system. My own feeling is that it is a very good thing to encourage a wide range of different approaches at the same time, and to let them evolve naturally.

But, at the same time, I am also convinced that we might be able to move faster by pressing governments to get involved, at the regional level, but also at the national and even international levels. The power of these alternative currencies comes when they start to be accepted as a real means for exchange. And the most efficient way to do that would be to get governments to introduce alternative currencies that can be used for paying for things that everyone needs.

1 comment:

  1. Jct: No mention of LETS Local Employment-Trading System timebanks nor the Millennium Declaration C6 for a global UNILETS! Har har har. Real comprehensive, not.