Monday, February 6, 2012

Bristol pound makes debut as local currency

The Euro is in trouble, the world's financial system is in turmoil. Is this the perfect time for cities to go it alone, and print their own money
A group of independent traders in Bristol are launching their own currency, with the backing of the council and a credit union.The "Bristol Pound" will be printed in notes, and also traded electronically.
There are other local currencies in the UK, but this is the first which can be used to pay local business taxes.
Ciaran Mundy, the director of the Bristol Pound, explained the concept behind the currency.
"Big companies just hoover up money from a local area," he told me.
"Money goes into their financial system and typically out into London and into the offshore sector."
But by definition, Bristol pounds must stay in the city. Spend a tenner in a Bristol bakery, and they must use it to pay their suppliers or staff. In turn, those companies will have to use the money within the local economy. [emphasis added]
Read it at BBC News
'Bristol Pound' currency to boost independent traders
By Dave Harvey


Anonymous said...

These efforts never really take off. There have been many examples.

geerussell said...

I could be completely mis-reading this but at first blush it seems really underwhelming.

They promise to maintain 100% sterling reserves and provide pound-for-pound Bristol-Sterling convertibility.

It seems like less a currency and more an elaborate "buy local" marketing campaign.

Dan Kervick said...

The more frequently national governments fail, the more often we'll see these sad calls for the devolution of governments and disaggregation of currency systems. On the whole, if such systems become more prevalent, they represent a move toward protectionism, draining transaction costs and global economic slowdown.

Tom Hickey said...

It seems like less a currency and more an elaborate "buy local" marketing campaign.

That's exactly the point the article makes. It's an effort to keep local money local instead of it being siphoned off by the large national and international corps, destroying the mom & pop economy, like Wal-Mart devastated small town US.

Tom Hickey said...

Dan K., the whole point is to provoke economic slowdown. The present system based on growth is funneling money to the top and leaving everyone else hanging out to dry.

Matt Franko said...

Any word yet if the Chinese, Japanese and OPEC people have decided to start zealously accruing "future claims" against Bristol by exporting to the people in Bristol and accepting their new currency? Resp,