Friday, February 19, 2010

Print your own money!

From MSN Money:

Last year, two Detroit tavern owners were sitting at the bar, sampling their beverages and bemoaning the local economy -- no one in the city had cash, and when they did, they spent it in the suburbs. Then the pair hit on a solution: Print their own money.

It is, after all, perfectly legal for anyone to issue currency, as long as it doesn't look too much like a U.S. dollar. Thus was born the Detroit cheer, a local scrip accepted by a handful of city businesses, including a pizzeria, an electrician and a doggy day care center.

Residents can also exchange it at a few area bars for greenbacks, but the cheer is vastly more colorful. It features a chiseled, naked Greco-Roman superhero (the Spirit of Detroit) towering Godzilla-like over the city skyline, cupping a tiny family in one hand and a sunburst representing God in the other. He's a lot more fun than George Washington.

And Detroit isn't the only city sporting its own currency. Since the market tanked nearly 18 months ago, there's been an interest in local scrips not seen since the Great Depression.

VH: I find it interesting that this is another example of people having coordinated to create and use a viable currency without an over arching government authority. It's not the first time that this has happened and it won't be the last. Also, this all really says something about the general distrust of the Dollar and our governments profligate spending habit---people are really spooked and with good reason.


SBVOR said...

Respectfully, this strikes me as more of a rerun of an age old “buy local” theme than a “value of the dollar” theme. And, I’ve never been a fan of the “buy local” theme. To me, it’s just another form of counterproductive protectionism.

If local businesses are competitive and local politicians don’t impose an oppressive sales tax, I buy local. Otherwise, I don’t. Here in The People’s Republic of Steamboat Springs -- where nothing is considered more evil than a “Big Box Retailer” and Sales Tax is 8.4% -- almost everybody either buys off the net or drives 40 to 100 miles or more to shop elsewhere. The sales tax savings alone more than pays for the gas. Ironically, only the tourists “buy local”.

That said, hyperinflation seems a very real possibility and people are justified in worrying about the value of the dollar.

Thanks for all your great posts!


Harrison said...

How about going back to gold?

VH said...

Harrison, going back to the gold standard is probably too much to ask from our politico's; tying the Dollar to gold or a basket of commodities would be easier politically.

Harrison said...

Which basket of currencies? The Euro has shown its weakness with regard to Greece.

VH said...

"Which basket of currencies?"

Not currencies, commodities: silver, copper, gold. You're right about the Euro, it's in the dumps and has bumped up the Dollar for now but I noticed that gold prices have resumed their climb again.

Stopthepresses2 said...

With the current administration we'll soon be back to using shells.