Monday, February 02, 2009

Local Currencies Grow During Economic Recession

New mobilities can also involve the movement of currency, especially in the move from the 'new' to the 'old': as in here, a return to local currency trading.

The gentle mountain slopes of New England isolate the Berkshires, creating a peaceful remoteness in this southern Massachusetts region. Today, the Berkshires is giving rise to a new wave of free thinking. The region's alternative to the U.S. dollar, Berkshares, is among the most successful of the country's local currencies.

Since the currency's launch two years ago, five local banks have printed more than 2 million paper notes. About 185,000 are currently in circulation, according to Susan Witt, a Berkshare co-founder.

The Berkshires is not alone. More communities are creating their own "complementary" currencies during the current economic crisis in an effort to keep wealth in their region. Witt is now fielding calls from around the world, she said, especially from the United States and United Kingdom.

"In the last four years, there has been a renewed interest in local economy, local production," said Witt, executive director of the E. F. Schumacher Society, a Massachusetts-based think tank focused on local production. "It just skyrocketed with the collapse of the global economy."

I think it possible that we will see an increased move towards localised communities and independent trading/mobility systems as a way of emerging from crashing global markets.

Read article at - 'Local Currencies Grow During Economic Recession'


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