Compementary currencies -a solution to the economic crisis

by yeslove, January 22nd, 2009 | 5 Comments | Svenska

Bernard Lietaer: White Paper on the Options for Managing Systemic Bank Crises

The on-going financial crisis results not from a cyclical or managerial failure, but from a structural one. Part of the evidence for this assertion is that there have already been more than 96 other major banking crises over the past 20 years, and that such crashes have happened even under very different regulatory systems as well as at different stages of economic development.
We urgently need to find better solutions because the last time we faced a breakdown of this scope, the Great Depression of the 1930s, ended up in a wave of fascism, and World War II However, so far the conventional solutions being applied – nationalization of the problem assets (as in the original Paulson bailout) or nationalization of the banks (as in Europe) – only deal with the symptoms, not the systemic cause of today’s banking crisis. Similarly, the financial reregulation that will be on everybody’s political agenda will, at best, reduce the frequency of such crises, but not avoid their re-occurrence.

The good news is that a systemic understanding and technical solution are now available that would ensure that such crashes become a phenomenon of the past. A recent conceptual breakthrough, that takes its evidence from balanced, structurally sound, and highly functioning eco-systems now proves that all complex systems, including our monetary and financial ones, become structurally unstable whenever efficiency is overemphasized at the expense of diversity, interconnectivity and the crucial resilience they provide. The surprising systemic “a-ha” insight is that sustainable vitality involves diversifying our types of currencies and institutions and introducing new ones that are designed specifically to increase the availability of money in its prime function as a medium of exchange, rather than for savings or speculation. Additionally, these currencies are expressly designed to link what would remain otherwise unused resources with unmet needs within a community, region or country. These currencies are know as “complementary” because they do not replace the conventional national money, but rather operate in parallel with it.