Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
ChrisCook:
So a litre of Shell unleaded might always have an energy value in its use as fuel of 1 Petro. But that does not mean that litre is a Petro.

Indeed not. But you then have the interesting situation where a litre of fuel costs more or less than a litre of fuel.

It's possible some people may find this less than intuitive.

Deli Dollars

...are a different issue. My criticism was that you can't use local currencies universally, and that still stands.

That doesn't mean local currencies are bad or impractical. As always, the problems are political - the ability to create a workable currency is politically rationed.

This idea might work as a one off, but the difference between this scheme and a loan is that buyers are gambling - on the basis of a personal relationship - that they'll get their value back. In the real world some bakers would be able to do this, but some wouldn't, and the value would disappear.

What's different here isn't the structure of the currency, it's the personal and social accountability which it creates. A small business owner who has to personally apologise to customers why he (or she) can't make good on an implicit promise is going to have an interesting time starting another business in the same area.

Personal and social accountability would do more to revolutionise finance than new currency schemes will. The current system is designed to minimise personal accountability. If the CEO of FailBank drives it into the ground, he's not accountable to anyone except his peers at the country club. Governments have been supine and accomodating, so don't expect action there, except perhaps a show trial for an unlucky few.

Customers and victims have no legal, political or social recourse at all. Any alternative form of finance has to change that explicitly.

ChrisCook:

For international transactions then a generally acceptable  "Custodian" entity - probably Swiss - would be necessary. I am proposing just that in relation to a "Caspian Master Partnership" and a Global Gas Partnership"

Why Swiss?

Okay - proposing one particular solution for one particular problem is very different to making the entire world economy make sense again.

What's interesting about the current system is that even though it's as stable as a levitating anvil, it's self-consistent across every level of transaction. Wall St gets rich, everyone else gets screwed, and everyone knows what the rules are.

So far you've proposed a patchwork of solutions which don't necessarily scale - from DeliDollars to Petros to pipelines.

Any system needs to be more integrated than this. And it has to be based on personal and social accountability.

Custodianship won't necessarily fix that.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 at 08:13:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
So far you've proposed a patchwork of solutions which don't necessarily scale - from DeliDollars to Petros to pipelines.

Well, drilling down into detail in each aspect might give that impression, certainly in the course of answering numerous questions from different perspectives. But I believe I have now developed the basis of a pretty coherent and comprehensive political economy, thanks in no small part to the rigorous examination on this site.

I am proposing as the basis of a political economy a generic partnership-based framework.

This could be seen as a network of clearing networks, based upon shared transaction and title repositories. A myriad types of value (aka "money's worth") will circulate locally, nationally, regionally and globally, but the Value Standards enabling and acting as a reference for this circulation are few.

Firstly, unitised energy value gives us the means for international exchange exactly analogous to Keynes' International Clearing Union and Bancor. The difference is that it would be a globally decentralised WIR style credit clearing union, with a Petro value standard. It would not be the top down centralised authority Keynes envisaged issuing IOU credit objects the value of which derives only from political fiat.

ie an energy standard would form the basis of global trade. Natural gas is a market where this could start.

Secondly, land rental value gives us the means for national exchange. ie units of land rental value would form the basis of geographically bounded trade. Fixing the property credit crunch through unitisation could kick this off.

Finally, "Guarantee Society" agreements give us frameworks of trust which allow us to introduce and exchange the value created by individuals, whether as sole traders or collectively within enterprises. Introducing WIR clones at local level could kick this mutual credit off tomorrow. After all the WIR itself was a response by Swiss businesses to the Depression.

So in summary, energy value, location value, and intellectual value would be the key "fungible" money's worth in circulation.

"Community Partnership" agreements would incorporate both direct investments in local assets in common custody (enabling Community Investment), and also the collective "Peer" guarantee which enables community credit.

I see such linked consensual agreements as enabling all of the functions currently carried out by governments.

Community Partnerships would not be institutions or organisations of government. They are frameworks for self government and self organisation to a common purpose.

solveig tells me I've done enough detailed explanation - it's time to write the book... :-)

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 at 09:15:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series