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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
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