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Making Money work - Globally, and Locally / Bernard Lietaer

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Making Money work - Globally, and Locally / Bernard Lietaer


Lars Schall interviews Bernard Lietaer: who advocates an upgrade of our monetary system. The monopoly of a single currency in favor of the banking system must be eradicated. Diversity of choice in currencies would be an improvement over what we have now.


(An excellent interview - well worth the time spent - especially the end of it)



Bernard Lietaer co-designed and implemented the convergence mechanism to the single European currency system and served as president of the Electronic Payment System at the National Bank of Belgium. He co-founded and managed GaiaCorp, one of the largest and most successful currency management firms in the world. In this capacity he was named by Business Week in the early 1990’s the world’s best currency trader.


Some Notes:


+ Money = is something that a community agrees to use as a "medium of exchange" in settling transactions
+ Who agrees? We got use to what we use now, and take the idea of using a single currency for granted. A single currency brings money to the top (because a central bank issues it.)
+ A bottom up currency (with negative interest rates), could be used at a local level, and this would transform society.
+ Giving one currency a monopoly, is dangerous, because it puts limits on what people can do.
+ Fractional banking allowed industrial society to develop. But it may be creating problems. It may be time for other tools.
+ A "monoculture is not stable" - nor is a single currency with a monopoly on transactions
+ Backing currency with Gold, is no magic. It can work - but it would be a "monoculture", like we have now. He prefers to have Gold as one of the currency choices.
+ All fiat currencies are created out of thin air
+ Are Central Banks necessary? Their purpose is to maintain the single currency, and to protect the banks that benefit from it. If you have fractional banking, you need a Central bank - because you will "need a fire department".
+ Will the US Dollar fail? It is only a question of WHEN. It will happen... and be a hard landing.
+ Without the Euro, the European community would have failed. There is no a "problem of governance" - as it is, there is a low chance that it will survive.
+ He likes the idea of a new currency (the "Terra") linked to a basket of commodities: copper, nickel, and other commonly used commodities. He says that the currency would tend to decline in value -having a negative interest rate: "There are storage costs of the basket of commodities, and the holder of the currency would bear those costs."
+ Money is today's god: and "it is a god of shadows, driving us towards: greed, competition, and drives out our chance for living in a sustainable way." With money, you can control others, including governments.


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Dominic Frisby, has also been thinking about Money




(Here's another conversation - with two GEI regulars - about currencies, and problems with our present money):


This conversation jumps around quite a bit, but it touches on some interesting topics:




Dominic Frisby states that the extraordinarily uneven distribution of wealth in country's like Britain and America is a consequence of our system of money. Those who receive the newly created money first benefit over those who don't -- a process which compounds over time and leads to an ever greater concentration of wealth among the top 1%. They also point out that government redistribution of wealth -- whether via inflation or through welfare payments -- is placing incredible pressure on the middle classes, who are finding themselves squeezed like never before.

Currency competition would take away the state monopoly on money and thus its ability to redistribute wealth via inflation. Dominic's favoured model is to go back to metal money that is stored in vaults, and where ownership can be transferred without much effort. Bitcoin is another example of an independent currency. They also talk about the idea of a currency that is backed by equities. The free market is best at creating the most efficient solution to a problem -- which in this case is the need for a reliable international currency.


(Questions which arose - after the interview ended):


Can a redesigned currency stop the rot, where our political process cannot ?
Or do we simply need to hit the wall in a gigantic crisis, where everyone suffers for years, so that voters re-learn the old virtues of spending discipline, and living within their means?

Can you be on the right wing, and believe in Sound Money, - and still be socially conscious?
I would say that those things now come together, because the current system of piling up more and more debt, is bound to lead to a crisis, which may cause an abrupt and sudden end to the familiar state benefits that so many are now enjoying.

But this reality (dangers of debt) is very hard to discuss in the present political environment (where so many people are feeling impoverished.)

As DF said: Wealth concentrates around those who have best access to the Money.


The wealthy can bribe the poor, taking the middle class to pay for benefits, but at some point the system becomes over weight, and collapses under its own weight. Than day may be getting very close.

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Best answer I ever heard:





Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value.

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The Problem with Compound Interest - per Lietaer


VIDEO - only about 2 minutes long:


This interest :

+ Creates competition (to get money to pay the interest), and

+ Assumes and requires accelerating growth to cover those interest payments


These are dangerous features for a society - and we should consider alternatives

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Best answer I ever heard:




Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value.

I liked that story - this part too:


Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor – your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?

. . .

"But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made – before it can be looted or mooched – made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability.


Is money A fair reward?

Yes, in many cases.


But when money is earned through Usury, and other forms of destructive rent-seeking behavior, I am much less sympathetic. Perhaps this is what we need to end - the easy legal advantages of the banking cock-a-roaches.


ENDING THE FED's MONOPOLY on money creation, would help to restore better balance in our economy, since all those banking parasites who are circling around the Fed, and benefitting from their access to cheap money, would suddenly lose their "control of the bridge."

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Lately I've been reading quite a bit of Frances Coppola. She's a brilliant writer with a gift for clear, concise explanations. I'd recommend anyone with strict Austrian/monetarist leanings to read her work and think about the implications.







e.g. This article is brilliant: http://coppolacomment.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/cleaning-up-mess.html

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ITHACA HOURS : Notional value: $10, but "is negotiable"


The Ithaca HOUR is a local currency used in Ithaca, New York and is the oldest and largest local currency system in theUnited States that is still operating. It has inspired other similar systems in Madison, Wisconsin; Corvallis, Oregon;[2] and a proposed system in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. One Ithaca HOUR is valued at US$10 and is generally recommended to be used as payment for one hour's work, although the rate is negotiable.



/wiki : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ithaca_Hours




Ithaca Hours: Local Currency



"We have had this local currency since 1991."

500 - 1,000 people are using it.


"You cannot invest it..."

"The only thing you can do with it, is SPEND it."

"We collect a membership fee ($10) to get listed in our directory,

and they get $20 worth of currency."

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Tony Greenham - Strengths of Community Currencies - CCS Conference 2013




"We have to make sure that people with bad intentions do not run currency schemes."


He does not like Bitcoins because:


Lack of Transparency in

+ Governance

+ The creation of new Bitcoins


Why do some community currencies fail?


+ Sometimes because the need it was meant to fulfill gets solved somehow


(And maybe sometimes because they are badly run and conceived.)







When Banks create currency...
+ Money gets created when money is lent, and therefore:
+ This new money needs interest payments to service it, and
+ To keep the system in balance, ongoing growth is needed
Community Currencies:
+ Allow Money to be created, which does not need interest payments,
and does not require perpetual growth

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I am only a few minutes in,

but I think those interested in Local Currencies will like this too,

Richard Cook is very knowledgeable, and has some "intriguing ideas":




I am only a few minutes in,

but I think those interested in Local Currencies will like this too:




+ Local Currencies are backed up by local labor
+ Backing a currency with Gold and silver can take money out of circulation
+ MONEY VELOCITY Is important, and a currency has to be flexible
+ Non-productive investments (a pleasure yacht?) take wealth out of an economy,
.. while productive ones increase it
+ Small business has been hammered by the favoritism shown to big banks
DESCRIPTION / Oct 6, 2011

Richard C. Cook Interview, {Author of "We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform} Oct, 2011 One Radio Network ; Creating local currencies backed by labor, services .. and building local communities + The Gaia Plan, the Basic Income Guarantee and how we owe it to everyone on this planet the means to survive.

"A local currency provides an economic "cul-de-sac" that keeps wealth within a community. Local money tends to stay close to home. This means that profits do not get exported via chain stores and multinational corporations. Instead, people buy and sell goods and services among themselves, with the currency being an accounting tool."
- Michael E. Merotta

"Money can be made to serve rather than to rule, to be use—rather than profit-oriented—and to create abundance, stability, and sustainability." ... it has "the potential to be the most destructive or most creative." - Margrit Kennedy

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A shorter explanation of his ideas : The Cook Plan



"The purpose of money... should be:

To put purchasing power in the hands of people who do the work at a local level."


Uploaded on Oct 13, 2009

A veteran economic analyst and former Project Manager at the U.S. Treasury, Richard C. Cook joins us to discuss his "Cook Plan" to resuscitate the economy. We also discuss monetary reform and his new book We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform. For more information please visit his website:


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RICHARD C. COOK - A more recent video - June 2013


Presentation at Dominican University, San Rafael, CA




Alternative Currencies are legal in the US, so long as:
+ They are denominated in US Dollars,
+ They holders, and those transacting pay taxes
+ The tax payments are denominated in US dollars
(Cook thinks this last point is wrong, and payments, and tax payments should be allowed in the alternative currencies)
He wants a WORLDWIDE minimum income, administered by the UN (Ugh! One World government- why?)
"Every person should receive a stipend, to maintain the basic requirements of life"
Alaska has a annual dividend (from oil revenues), and Brazil is talking about something similar

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Cook on the Alex Jones show at the Stock Market Low

"The value of all the Tangible Assets in the world was $60 Trillion...

Now it is $30 Trillion."

Richard C Cook- on the Alex Jones, in March 2009

(When SPX hit 666 - today, it is around 1,700, +155% higher)

What's this figure? (It should be over $300 Trillion)

Was he talking about the value of Global Stock Markets?

The figure was far too low - but correct, maybe, if you add up only quoted stocks


"Is this intended to create a global firesale, where they are the only ones with the assets to buy it up?"

(Bingo !)

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Just reading "The Causes of the economic crisis and other essays" by Ludvig von Mises.

Correctly forecast events of the great inflation in Germany early 20s.


Essentially governments should never, ever be in control of money supply.


BUT we also consider energy - credit is underwritten by growth in energy - the two are correlated without doubt. Policies to break this are going to be er, interesting. Dr Tim Morgan explains this in his Perfect Storm paper.




Fund run by Terry Smith

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Interesting and Timely, B. !


It feeds right into THIS, which I was reading earlier today:


Henry Kissinger said:

"Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents;
who controls money can control the world"

I believe the truth of that statement is finally beyond questioning today.

The Riegel Mutual Credit Exchange™

... was founded and based upon the extensive writing and efforts of E. C. Riegel from the 1920s till his death in 1954. The following quote by Mr. E. C. Riegel best lays forth the incredible knowledge and vision this man had of the intimate relationship between the Money Power and liberty; how they simply cannot be separated; how all of the important things in life we all hope for, such as freedom, liberty, prosperity and peace, simply cannot exist unless we have absolute access to an abundant supply of money as needed to exchange freely among ourselves.

Money Power In You -

There is a treasure buried in your consciousness.
If you will dig it up from the debris of superstition and fear that covers it you will gain a freedom and self-mastery that will lift your life to a higher plane. This is the money power in you. The power to create money with which to purchase wealth, health and happiness actually lies dormant within you. You have thought of the money power as something remote from you and beyond your grasp. You have dreamed of the good you could and would do if you had money power. You have blamed others for not accomplishing this good. You have blamed them for evil economic and political conditions; for unemployment, for poverty, for crime, for war.

It is quite logical to blame these maladies upon the malfunction of the money power, but you have not suspected that the money power resides in you
and because of your failure to exert it the world is afflicted with miseries. You have the power; you have the responsibility. The power and responsibility to banish poverty, unemployment, insecurity, misery and war rests entirely with you. You, in cooperation with other intelligent persons, can drive economic and political evils further and further from the area of your life and ultimately they may be driven from the face of the earth. You can do this by the money power in you, expressed first in your own prosperity and happiness, and radiating to others. You can do it and you must do it. There is no power outside of you that can bring these blessings to you.
Petitioning the Government is like writing to Santa Claus. You need no laws - there is a law, a natural law that governs your money power.
You need no government aid. You need only cooperation with and from persons who, like you, have resolved to exert the money power inherent in us all...


/more :

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THIS GIVES A HINT (song and comment) - of the suffering and dissatisfaction that some are feeling now...


( talking about a revolution )


~ It Sounds like a Whisper ~

I could only think of one song that fit in with all the love, change, and positivity sweeping the planet, Tracy Chapman’s, ‘Talkin’ about a Revolution’. She really nailed it in this song. It’ll be a movement that comes from within, from the most repressed, the ones who always bear the mistakes of the upper-class: the poor.

Sadly, being impoverished is becoming commonplace as more of us fall through the cracks. Yet, through it all, the one thing we’ve learned from the elite’s war on the poor is that we need to take care of each other. It’s when we’re down that we shine the most, and, in that, the rich have failed to oppress and drive us into submission.

Social revolution has to come from the heart if it is to have any meaningful and lasting change. They can kill our bodies, but not our souls. The rich could never have won that war; all they have succeeded in doing is displaying their mental illness around vanity and avarice. It’s embarrassing, really.


/more: http://i-uv.com/earth-guide-sun-in-libra-2013/

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HARD-Q : http://z13.invisionfree.com/HARD_Qs/index.php?act=Search&CODE=getnew


Members : HOL, xxx


"Darkness clothes itself in light... to deceive."
/ Truth seekers do their own research, and use their skills of discrimination to understand what is really going on. Even inside an idea wrapped with beating hearts, and declarations of love, you can find the darkness of ignorance. /


A lovely house of cards built from half truths will collapse when the first big Wind-of-Truth blows in.


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Internet only businesses won't be supplied.

Games Workshop will no longer supply to retailers who don't have a shop (bricks and mortar).



Ebay is partnering up with big business (Argos teaming up with Ebay), smaller traders are being squeezed.


Re: Sales dropped by 75% and listing visibility dropped






That is not good.


I think it is time to think about building Local Economies,

and using Local Currenciies

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Richard Russell - US Ponzi Collapse & A New Monetary System


"a totally new monetary system will have to come into being"


In the aftermath of last week’s chaotic trading in global markets, today the Godfather of newsletter writers, Richard Russell, warned about the coming U.S. Ponzi scheme collapse, and how this will usher in a new monetary system. He also discussed how it would impact global debt and hard assets such as gold, silver, collectibles, etc.


Trouble ahead for stocks ?

. . .

Can't forget gold. I continue to believe that gold is building a powerful base. Note the rising bottoms on the chart.




Big Picture -- The US doesn't pay off its debts, it simply rolls them over. Since the US continually runs deficits, it rolls over its debts on an ever-larger compounded basis.


The debt of the US Government is now $17 trillion. The debt is increasing exponentially, and we can assume that it will double in about 7.4 years. Furthermore, unfunded liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare mean that the total debt is closer to $100 trillion, and some say $200 trillion.


It's an amazing Ponzi scheme run by a government that has run out of answers. The current players in this sad scenario are all over 50 years of age, so they will not be around when the national debt runs into a stone wall. I believe the current thinking is that we can roll over our national debt forever, and there will never come a time when we will be forced to “settle up.”


As I see it, ultimately, a totally new monetary system will have to come into being. And there may have to be a moratorium on all world debt.



/more: http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2013/9/24_Richard_Russell_-_US_Ponzi_Collapse_%26_A_New_Monetary_System.html

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CYCLOS - has software platform for community currencies




The sales pitch is very new-agey !

It is your own easy Value System and, like a bank, you can work with others in the system even if you are not in the same value system. Also, like any currency in the world, it won't be accepted everywhere but the system is connected already all over the world and they are making an online map (without your name, only location) of every value system in the world so you can connect with other existing value systems. We only need about 10 000 people to make it work as well as any small village. Let's get people involved! Please, feel free to ask any questions here in the chat room.
Also, I want everyone to know and understand that this is just a proposal for those who are interested in BEing and DOing Absent Limits with their Eternal Value. We have chosen the "LOCAL UNIVERSAL VALUE" as a currency name and LUV symbol to replace the old currency and $ sign.
(A few of us discussed the name and since we are the system value and we are always local where we stand has an estate, LUV sounded proper)
You have all the right to do your own currency, the "value system" we propose here when I say (WE), it is THE ONE like you and me, who agreed to give their opinions and suggestions and second this new currency LUV.
Hope you join us and if not we are still joined as ONE!
Start Here: (takes about 15 to 20 min. average)
Click the link below and follow the steps I have outlined for you. Read all of the steps once before starting to fill in the form. (No Download needed)

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Conversations w/Great Minds - Rethinking Money - What is Money? P1




Feb 18, 2013

Bernard Lietaer & Jacqui Dunne, co-authors, Rethinking Money join Thom Hartmann. During the past four decades - there have been around 10 countries experiencing some kind of financial or monetary crisis each year. Could turning to alternative currencies help relieve some of the burden that nations are facing today - and improve the global economic outlook?


Interview with Bernard Lietaer - Economist, author and professor



Jul 2, 2013

This interview is part of an article published in the online magazine Talkin'Business of the School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University.

Read more: http://www.talkinbusiness.net

Multiple moneys and development: making payments in diverse economies

2nd International Conference on Complementary Currency Systems (CCS)

Title: Interview with Bernard Lietaer - Economist, author and professor
Link: http://www.lietaer.com/
Recording date: 20th June 2013

The 2nd International Conference on Complementary Currency Systems is held from the 19th to the 23rd of June 2013 in The Hague, The Netherlands. The conference is hosted by ISS. It offers space to academics, local government officials and practitioners alike to organize panels, workshops, and other session formats that participants see fit to stimulate the exchange of ideas and experiences.

Community and complementary currency systems include initiatives like the LETS, time banks, the Argentine Redes de Trueque, the Ithaca Hours in the USA, the German Regiogeld, the Brasilian community banks with surrogate currencies, the SOL currency in France, the 'Transition Towns' in the UK, the RES in Belgium and the Wir in Switzerland, mobile-phone payment systems in Uganda and Kenya, and for digital remittances in El Salvador.

=== ===

/ More interviews: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.ie/index.php/2011-12-06-16-50-31/podcasts

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Another interview about Lietaer's ideas on Complimentary Currencies



Some Ideas covered


+ Our present currency system is headed towards collapse, and needs a replacement

+ Present "masculine" system (highly competitive and structured from the top) destroys community

+ Local "feminine" currencies ("hours") based on time spent, and local efforts can provide balance

+ The local currencies are best within a community, and cannot readily be used by merchants outside

+ The two currencies can exist happily, side-by-side, with different valuation dynamics

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An excellent short podcast summary of their fresh ideas

"The Problems of single currency" - Bernard Lietaer and Jacqui Dunn

How Switzerland has succeeded by using two currencies

When the banks pulled their credit lines, corporations got together and created their own currency (the Weir) , and thousands of companeis began using it.

Other examples:

+ Brazil's bus token currency

+ Japan's currency for carring for the elderly


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The Coming Currency Revolution (an article from 2008):

A digital currency for Microsoft Outlook? Social Networks?

WSJ's Andy Jordan talks to currency renegades tired of big-government centralized cash, and desperate to make their own (legal) money systems.

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Good stuff.


Surely Bitcoin (currently at around an all-time high of $US 430) ticks all the boxes for those tired of big-government centralized cash - except being a global - decentralized entity makes it all the more useful and potentially a game-changer for the financial world.


You can watch the world's failing QE-addled currencies gradually leaking away in real-time into BTC here.




Surely this is truly money of and for the people, although the early adopters (as with any IPO) will be big-time winners, the rest will also be able to participate in what looks like a win-win system.

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