Every day brings reports of new financial crises and financial malfeasance within the banking and financial establishment. In an effort to keep the banking system functioning, the largest banks and financial institutions have been relieved by national governments of tremendous amounts of their bad debts, shifting that burden onto the shoulders of the citizenry. At the same time, governments are imposing austerity upon their citizens in order to reduce the extremity of their budget shortfalls. Clearly, the global system of money and finance contains structural flaws that must be recognized and transcended. Reform is very unlikely to come in time to avert widespread social, political, economic, and environmental disasters. That leaves it to citizens, businesses, and communities to take action on their own behalf to ameliorate the negative effects of the failing system. Parallel systems of exchange and finance are both necessary, and easily implemented at the local and regional level. The most effective approach is the process of direct clearing of credits amongst buyers and sellers. This credit clearing process, which is being used in such systems as LETS and commercial trade exchanges, enables the creation of local liquidity based on local production, avoiding the use of conventional money and bank borrowing and moving local economies toward resilience, independence, and sustainability. The focus of this article is on credit clearing as a local exchange option, and deals specifically with the proper allocation of credit within credit clearing exchanges. It explains the causes of (1) the “pooling” of credits, (2) stagnation of circulation, and (3) failure to thrive, it prescribes policies to be applied in credit allocation, and it describes metrics that are important in assessing the performance of individual member accounts and in monitoring the overall health of a credit clearing system. Further, it explains the distinction between private credit and collective credit and the role of each in facilitating moneyless exchange, and recommends procedures for preventing excessive negative and positive balances while enabling both saving and investment within the system.
T. H. Greco Jr.
To cite this article: Greco, T. (2013) ‘Taking Moneyless Exchange to Scale: Measuring and Maintaining the Health of a Credit Clearing System’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 17 (A) 19-25 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2013.003
Groups involved in complementary currencies (CC’s) that push for an interchange between their member-currencies are not yet a favourite subject in the existing CC-grassroots movement. One reason could be the existing doubts of activists that such structures might be non-transparent, support instability, raise corruption or be a gate for the comeback of the ruling system of limitless inequality. On the other side, an interchange could open bigger markets, add more diversity or raise the number of participants above a critical number for long term survival. The authors present the case of the region of Zurich, Switzerland, where a council of different CC-organizations was founded. As a result a new software platform cc-hub was developed to bundle regional LET systems. The platform is based on the open source Online Banking software, Cyclos, and covers many possible needs of a regionally or purpose-linked network of CC’s. It is able to support interchange, improve the efficiency of clearing and help to build up the necessary resilience for long term stability. It could serve as a model for cooperation between small neighbouring CC’s, for organizational improvement and additional economical benefit. But to verify such benefits will be a subject of further research.
Lucas Huber and Jens Martignoni
To cite this article: Huber, L. and Martignoni, J. (2013) ‘Improving Complementary Currency Interchange By A Regional Hub-Solution’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 17 (A) 1-7 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2013.001
This paper studies the determinants of the usage of alternative currencies (currencies which exists parallel to the national currency of a country) across countries. We find that monetary stability, financial sector development and a country’s general level of economic development are all positively related to both the likelihood of a country hosting an alternative currency as well to the number of alternative currencies a country is hosting. This suggests that these currencies, in contrast to their historical function, mainly act as a complement to fiat money. We discuss the implications for the role of fiat money in the economy as well as for the welfare effects of alternative currencies.
Damjan Pfajfar, Giovanni Sgro, and Wolf Wagner
To cite this article: Pfajfar, D., Sgro, G. and Wagner, W. (2012) ‘Are Alternative Currencies or a Complement to Fiat Money? Evidence from Cross-Country Data’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 45 – 56 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.004
This article aims to explore the ways in which Community Currency Schemes (CCS), as markets, are permeated by other influential social orders, in this case that of gender. The paper therefore looks at the way in which gender structures may be reproduced or reflected in these kinds of markets and how they sometimes acquire certain features depending on the CCS in question. The paper is based on a particular case study, the Argentine experience with a CCS – known as the ‘Barter Network’ – and is structured around three main issues. The first analytical section deals with a characteristic of the Barter Network shared by many other CCS: the preponderance of female (or the scarcity of male) participants. Thus, the reasons for the gender composition of the Barter Network are examined. The second section explores the way in which, through its development, this CCS generated its own gendered structures. Hence, the dynamics of certain trade practices which imply differential returns for men and women are examined. Finally, the article considers the degree of empowerment that participation in this sphere may have implied for female participants.
To cite this article: Pereyra, F. (2007) ‘Exploring Gender Divisions In A Community Currency System: The Case Of The Barter Network In Argentina’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 11 98-111 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2007.006
This article looks at whether or not Community Currency Systems form part of an alternative development agenda when analyzed through the lenses of feminism and associationalism. It begins by differentiating Alternative Development, as a static concept, from alternative development which is only comprehensible in its current context and form. The latter, according to the author, must involve a process of self-empowerment, a deepening of democracy and embody strong sustainability. A case study is provided of Thailand’s first CCS, Bia Kud Chum, and its encounter with state authorities. Using this example, it is shown that CCS and feminism share a recognition of the shortcomings of economic dualism and the desire to re-structure market values. Risks from this vantage point include the creation of new gender-biased institutions and an increase in women’s double burden. The associationalist analysis of CCS highlights the system’s capacity to serve as a vehicle for decentralization and potential in building networks central to economic success. However CCS proponents must be wary of co-optation into a programme which threatens the redistributive role of the state in the South. In the conclusion, it is argued that the Bia Kud Chum system was able to initiate a process of self-empowerment and encourage a deepening of democracy, and should, therefore, be considered part of an alternative development agenda.
To cite this article: Powell, J. (2002) ‘Development at the Conjuncture of Feminism and Associationalism’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 6 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2002.004