This article gives an overview of various proposals for parallel currencies inthe eurozone. It provides an analysis of the purposes and aims, in particular with respect to the economic, political and monetary objectives. In addition, the different concepts for a parallel currency are compared, focusing on what it is that makes them different. The article ends with the conclusion that parallel currencies are seen by all proponents as a measure to strengthen the national economies, offering additional monetary flexibility and helping to stabilise the European economy.
In this Issue:
Redefining Progress in Light of the Ecological Crisis, D. Méda
The Commons and their Role in the Ecological Transition, W. Kalinowski
Reduced Work Time, Participatory Democracy and Time Currency, B. Theret
Why aren’t economists interested in social and solidarity-based economy ? Ph. Frémeaux
Book review: Alf Hornborg, Global Ecology and Unequal Exchange.
Thanks to the work of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom, the commons have become fashionable, and yet the term’s meaning lends itself to various usages. Beyond a few well-known cases, such as the management of natural resources or digital commons, the concept’s true potential remains to be explored, particularly in the realm of the joint production of services.
Though they do not like being dependent on the hypotheses or results of research in the natural sciences, the humanities and social sciences now face the challenge of addressing the radical changes that the former have revealed to us: first, to understand how human beings turned themselves into veritable geological agents capable of destroying the planet’s habitable character; second, to measure the extent to which we can trust traditional disciplines to define the contours of the world in which we aspire to live; and finally, to shed light on possible solutions to what we can now see is far greater than a mere crisis.
The potential of time currencies to serve as a tool of social change remains relatively unexplored, and yet these alternative currencies make it possible to combine into a single mechanism several different social and environmental goals: reducing work hours, increasing civic engagement in public affairs, lowering public debt, and redistributing wealth.
A monetary system must be consistent with a political community’s foundational values. In the case of the European Union, this implies to transpose onto monetary policy the old maxim “unity in diversity” and to recognize monetary policy as a tool that must be available to a sovereign people to ensure its survival.
A Canadian social innovation has recently crossed Atlantic and been introduced in France. Its originality lies in the way that it links three mechanisms that usually operate independently of one another: time-based currencies, community credit, and purchasing associations.
Dans le numéro de septembre : In this issue:
Monetary transformations ; editorial by Jerome Black
Making the Euro our Common, rather than Single Currency
Complementary Currencies as Tools for Sustainable Development
Monetary Innovations in the Social and Ecological Transformation
Economists against Currency Monopolies
Community Currencies and Self-Help Networks: The Case of the Accorderie
The WIR : A Complementary Currency in the Service of Small Business
The growing movement of complementary currencies suggests that we cannot fully address the social and environmental challenges of our age without reforming our financial and monetary institutions. A system founded on the principle of monetary pluralism and on a variety of actors authorized to issue such currencies would be more resilient in the face of speculative attacks than our current “monetary monoculture”, and far more conducive to endogenous territorial development.
When markets are unable to value an asset properly, financial intermediaries are in position to take advantage of other market participants. This moral hazard-problem is central to understand the destabilizing impact of shadow banking activities, and to effectively address problems involving valuation of complex financial instruments in illiquid markets. The guiding principles for regulation are straightforward: radical disclosure, shifted burden of proof and the rule of precaution applied to financial engineering.
As white-collar criminologists (and a former financial regulator and enforcement head) and experts in ferreting out sophisticated financial frauds, our careers and research focus on financial fraud by the world’s most elite private sector criminals and their political cronies. Therefore, we write to thank Congress and the President for preparing to adopt a JOBS Act that will provide us with job security for life.
Despite thirty years of experiments across the world, the potential of community and comple-mentary currencies (CCs) remains poorly understood by local governments and territorial development actors. Strengthening the fabric of the local economy, promoting moderate energy consumption and new lifestyles, reducing greenhouse gas emissions – there are many ways in which they can help us build a more sustainable economy and strengthen local communities.
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