Assessing Local Mutual Credit as a Socioeconomic Tool for Farmers in New York State’s Hudson Valley

Andrew Bonanno

University of Georgia Department of Anthropology, Email:

Thousands of local mutual credit networks and other complementary currency systems have been developed worldwide in the last several decades. Many of these systems strive to support local economic activities such as small-scale agriculture. Although mutual credit systems and similar schemes have had significant social and economic impacts under certain conditions, they often fail to meet participants’ goals.  Nevertheless, new mutual credit systems continue to emerge. This paper analyzes the complete transactional history of one such system—the Hudson Valley Current (HVC)—from March 1, 2014, to February 28, 2015. Building on existing community currency metrics, a transaction performance ratio is introduced to understand credit flow within the HVC. Network linkage densities are also calculated to gauge potential for social capital creation. While the HVC has not been used as a significant means of exchange for farmers, metrics indicate that the HVC is a generally viable source of mutual credit and social linkage creation for some participants, at least in the short-run. Continued application of these metrics by mutual credit administrators, combined with purposeful partnerships with local farmers, might allow any potential benefits of system participation to be maintained and extended to include local farmers in a significant way.

Article Bonanno

To cite this article: Andrew Bonanno (2018) ‘Assessing Local Mutual Credit as a Socioeconomic Tool for Farmers’ in New York State’s Hudson Valley’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2018 Volume 22 (Winter) 89-102 <>ISSN 1325-9547. DOI: