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Recession Currencies Rise

Updated on February 5, 2015

Currencies Used During Recessions

In economics, a local currency, in its common usage, is a currency not backed by a national government (and not necessarily legal tender), and intended to trade only in a small area. These currencies are also referred to as community currency, and are a form of alternative currency or complementary currency. They encompass a wide range of forms, both physically and financially, and often are associated with a particular economic discourse.

Free banking provides the economic prototype of local currencies.[citation needed] In the modern era, the most recognizable local currencies were company scrip issued in certain industries to pay workers, and token coins issued by some businesses to encourage consumer loyalty. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the failures of national banks during crises often created acute demands for cash, which were met by businesses creating emergency currency. These scrips were usually issued with the intention of redemption in national currency at some later date.

A few such currencies, however, developed into monetary systems in their own right. The idea of using free banking to produce an alternative, community-level currency dates back at least as far as the German Credit Unions in the 1800s. The oldest local currencies known to be in continuous use are the WIR in Switzerland, and the Labor Banks in Japan.

Continue: Local Currency

State seeking approval from their state governments to either issue their own alternative currency

By Blake Ellis @CNNMoney February 3, 2012: 10:53 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A growing number of states are seeking shiny new currencies made of silver and gold.

Worried that the Federal Reserve and the U.S. dollar are on the brink of collapse, lawmakers from 13 states, including Minnesota, Tennessee, Iowa, South Carolina and Georgia, are seeking approval from their state governments to either issue their own alternative currency or explore it as an option. Just three years ago, only three states had similar proposals in place.

Continue States - Gold and Silver

Recession Money Still Being Used

January 2011

Josh Freeman of North Fork, CA sure took President Obama's talk about providing help to "Main Street, not Wall Street" seriously. The tiny town of 2,400 people, located near Yosemite National Park, sits in a county with a staggering 15.7 percent unemployment rate. Seeing his town struggle, Freeman did what any red-blooded American would do: create his own currency. North Fork Shares, emblazoned with pictures of a butterflies and hummingbirds, are worth $12 per share, and are available in half and quarter shares.

continued article Town Prints Own Money

Plenty - A Local Currency

By Nicholas Riccardi

August 11, 2009

Los Angeles Times - Nation

Reporting from Pittsboro, N.C. - The stimulus for this mill town turned artist's colony arrived in the form of green bills bearing sketches of herons, turtles and trees.

A few dozen local businesses banded together this spring to distribute the Plenty -- a local currency intended to replace the dollar. Now 15,000 Plenties are in circulation here, used everywhere from the organic food co-op to the feed store to, starting this month, the Piggly Wiggly supermarket.

Last popularized during the Great Depression, scrip, or locally created stand-ins for U.S. currency, is making a comeback. Pittsboro, population 2,500, is one of a handful of communities that launched its own money in recent months. It reports an avalanche of calls from other communities that have lost faith in the global financial system.

Continued: Local Currencies & the Recession

Recession Darkens for Spain

August 2012

Spain has one of the largest "social money" experiments going in modern times. More than 325 time banks ....

continue alternative currencies in Spain

A New Trend Catching On - Local Currencies


1. Great way for communities to help stabilize staggering businesses.

2. Exchange them for local basic commodities: food at grocery stores and restaurants.

3. Consumer realized a discount.

4. Great morale and community builder.

5. Promote local economy growth.

6. Keep shoppers in town.

7. Legal as long as income earned through them is taxed.


1. Potential for easy counterfeiting.

2. Only accepted by a small percentage of merchants.

3. Non-profit organizations may accept a smaller percentage of actual payment in Local Currencies.

4. Currencies usually don't last past recessions.

Social connection-brings people together. Not just exchanging services-you're creating a community.

Local Currencies

Ithaca Hour, BerkShares, Detroit Cheers, North Carolina Plenty

What is Local Currencies. Ithaca Hours created in 1991 - each worth $10.

World Currencies in the Recession

We all know that the value of a buck is not a thing we can easily depend on, especially during a recession. While the U.S. dollar fluctuates in value, other countries are also experiencing their own flux in terms of their currencies. Here is a look at how 16 major currencies are holding up in comparison to the U.S. dollar.

read on

New England


The gentle mountain slopes of New England isolate the Berkshires, creating a peaceful remoteness in this southern Massachusetts region.

As a result, independent thinkers have thrived here. Herman Melville penned Moby Dick; Norman Rockwell etched paintings of American life; W. E. B. Dubois authored his first calls for emancipation.

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.

CONTINUE World Changing

Printing Their Own Money

Mesa Bucks

Shop in Mesa, Get Mesa Bucks

Wednesday June 3, 2009

Do you shop Mesa Riverview or Bass Pro Shops? Do you take the kids to Golfland SunSplash or to Stratum Laser Tag or to Amazing Jake's? Have you seen any shows or concerts at the Mesa Arts Center? Have you eaten at The Landmark or Serrano's or EJ's Steakhouse? If you do, and you get receipts from all those purchases, you can use those to get Mesa Bucks.

The City of Mesa has launched a program entitled Shop Mesa Get the Arts to reward consumers for making purchases in Mesa. By shopping in Mesa you can earn free admission to shows at Mesa Arts Center and free entry to Mesa Contemporary Arts, Arizona Museum of Natural History, and Arizona Museum for Youth.


Sterling falls to 2011 low vs currency basket

(Reuters) - Sterling fell to its lowest this year against a basket of currencies on Thursday, driven by sharp falls against a firmer euro in the wake of weak UK retail sales data and a warning by Moody's on risks to economic growth.

Trade-weighted sterling =GBP fell as low as 79.6, its lowest since December 31, 2010.

The fall came as the euro EURGBP=D4 jumped 1.2 percent to hit its highest in four and a half months at 87.88 pence.


LONDON, March 24 | Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:0

I Hope this lens has informed you and given you some information you may have not been aware of.

A Wealth of Readers

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    • profile image

      poutine 8 years ago

      I wasn't aware of this trend, thanks for the helpful info.


    • kerbev profile image

      kab 8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I know the Berkshires in Mass print their own money.