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I think that Keynes' Gesellian approach at Bretton Woods to his Bancor/International Clearing Union was spot-on and is a key insight which I have referred to here many times.

But the central issuance of a fiat Bancor by the ICU quasi-IMF/World Bank institution he had in mind required global government and global taxation to back it. This is just a New World Order wet dream.

I like to distinguish between:

(a) Financing - which is short/medium term, high risk credit based upon productive people, and which enables the creation of productive assets;and

(b) Funding - which is medium/long term; low risk, and based upon the use value of productive assets.

Financing does not require deposits: merely credit clearing based upon the capacity of individuals and corporates to provide value.

VISA is a good example, where there are no deposits, and both the sell side (through charges) and the buy side (who pay interest in respect of unpaid balances) cover system and default costs and provide a handsome profit to the owners.

The Swiss WIR is another credit clearing system which has been around since 1934, and the ongoing Ecuadorean FactoRepo is yet another. In neither case does fiat currency change hands: obligations are settled not in exchange for, but by reference to fiat currency as a numeraire.

It is the deployment of the credit necessary for Funding of productive assets which is the interesting question.

This is where the need for deposits comes in and how a currency issue may actually be based upon productive assets.

Here, John Law's analysis and proposal in 1705 for land-backed currencies remains valid, I think, but requires updating, through the creation of units redeemable in payment for rentals in respect of real property held by a custodian. Of course, such land-based currencies would be by definition domestic, but their creation would enable existing unsustainable property debt to be converted to undated credits ina  debt/equity swap on a cosmic scale.

But in relation to the EU and the need for a common (not a single) currency there is IMHO a genuine opportunity to base a European currency upon the value of energy. Moreover, the skills and experience to architect and lead such a project are available on this site.

How that might work is one of the things we'll probably touch upon next week when we focus on my pet subject of Resilient Financial Markets.

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon May 30th, 2011 at 07:32:13 PM EST
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