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Trade Currency Opportunities Grow Due To Economic Crisis

By Richard C. Cook

Our recent economic crisis has exposed the cracks in our financial system. The result is the deepest recession in a generation. We are now faced with the largest debt-oriented economy in history, with federal budgets of over $1.4 trillion a year.

We have completely forgotten the time in our history when money was viewed as a medium of exchange for producers of goods and services. Prior to 1913, the creation and use of money was much less centralized and mainly served the marketplace.

The true purpose and meaning of money was rediscovered during the Great Depression when many businesses and local jurisdictions produced their own money in the form of scrip. Scrip is actually a more stable form of currency than bank-created fiat money where people are forced to accept the fiat money as legal tender. Also stable is the use of self-generated �trading units� by trade exchanges acting as producer currency coops. This is how the commercial �bartering� networks work.

Today a similar movement to the scrip of the 1930s has begun through the creation and use of legal alternative currencies. Today, though, we have computerized databases to facilitate trading. This movement may be our best immediate hope of achieving a semblance of real economic democracy and restoring local/regional economic sustainability.

Richard C. Cook is the author of We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform. A retired federal analyst, his career included service with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House and NASA, followed by twenty-one years with the U.S. Treasury Department.

For more information on Mr. Cook see his web site at

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