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Letters of credit and p2p finance

by Migeru Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 08:14:05 AM EST

The situation surrounding International Letters of Credit doesn't seem to be getting any better more than two weeks after I first posted about it on the front page (This is where it gets real on October 13)

In my opinion the solution is going to have to be to create an international trade credit guarantee society. The WTO could organize this. It could be capitalised (maybe to the tune of $1 trillion) with a loan from the World Bank denominated in the IMF's "Special Drawing Rights" currency. Users of the guarantee (either traders or their countries) would pay an insurance fee for the use of the guarantee, which would be used by the guarantee society to pay the loan back. Come to think of it, instead of a loan this could be one of Chris Cook's 'capital rental' arrangements where, as long as the guarantee society uses the money from the WB (or from member states themselves) it pays a fraction of the 'insurance fee' revenues back to the capital contributors.

Below the fold I relate this situation to Chris' earlier writings on 'peer-to-peer finance'.


Chris Cook has been heralding for a long time the dawn of a new era of 'peer to peer finance'. In a recent comment thread he outlined it thus:

The solution, and the logical consequence of the Internet is IMHO for:
  • Peer to Peer credit - ie a Guarantee Society approach where bilateral unsecured credit is supported by a mutual guarantee;
  • Peer to Peer Investment - a Unitisation approach where Units issued by an Asset Trust or Capital Partnership would be redeemable in productive use value (eg Kilowatt Hours or Square Metre Years), and would replace secured credit.
In both cases, Banks are disintermediated and must morph to a service provider role in order to continue to be relevant.
Now, Peer to Peer credit as described is as old as banking itself. Meet the Letter of Credit (courtesy of Naked Capitalism blog)
For those new to this topic, international trade depends to a large degree on letters of credit. While they can help finance shipments, an even more fundamental role is that they assure the shipper that he will be paid for the cargo sent. Without banks using letters of credit as the means to send payment to exporters, parties that are new to each other or conduct business with each other infrequently could never trade with each other (one type, a documentary letter of credit, requires that forms, often a very long and elaborate set of them, verifying that the goods have been inspected and certified, that customs, have been cleared and all relevant charges and duties paid, be presented and vetted before payment is released).
(my emphasis)

In other words, a letter of credit is a bank-provided guarantee of a bilateral, 'peer to peer' credit transaction between two third parties. The bank providing the guarantee rarely has to actually put any money of its own in anyone's account - it just stands by ready to do so in the case that there is a problem with the shipment.

Trouble is, it appears that banks are now unwilling to accept each other's letters of credit or even unwilling to issue them, and so trade is grinding to a halt. See for example

"Our banker, State Bank of India, issued a letter of credit (LC) to the exporter's bank in South America, but the bank refused to negotiate the LC and pay the exporter. We will now have to negotiate with another banker to get the consignment totalling 1.5 million tonne of de-gummed soybean oil," said a company source.
Which makes me question banks' ability to "morph to a service provider role in order to continue to be relevant" as they are already unable to fulfill their current service provider role in existing peer-to-peer credit.

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See my previous story This is where it gets real (October 13th, 2008)

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 08:47:03 AM EST
Interesting approach. My fear of today is that IMF/WB/WTO don't as yet appreciate the gravity of the situation with LCs. It will be a while before they react.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 08:50:19 AM EST
Open letter to Pascal Lamy?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 08:52:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It will be a while before they react.

I thought these institutions were all run by dynamic, entrepreneurial people who could be expected to be proactive. Of course, they are only proactive in trying to ensure that there is no institution that can get in the way of the Masters of the Universe.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 09:34:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Meaning they are more reactive than proactive... ;)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 11:05:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Letters of credit and p2p finance
In my opinion the solution is going to have to be to create an international credit guarantee society.

Also known as an International Clearing Union....

The fact is that since both sellers and buyers will benefit from a guarantee to international (or national, come to that) trade credit then both should pay an amount into a mutually owned pot (or provide collateral) to support the guarantee.

This is indistinguishable in effect from Keynes' International Clearing Union proposal at Bretton Woods. He proposed a Bancor "Value Unit" to be issued centrally whereby both debit and credit balances on international trade would be subject to charges....

So what we could achieve here with a "Peer to Peer" alternative architecture would be to disintermediate and decentralise Keynes' centralised proposal for a Global Central Bank issuing Bancors.

Instead we would create a global framework (not an organisation, with accompanying bureaucracy) within which "Risk-Management-Institutions-formerly-known-as- Banks" would operate as service providers.

In other words, to answer migeru's point

European Tribune - Comments - Letters of credit and p2p finance

Which makes me question banks' ability to "morph to a service provider role in order to continue to be relevant" as they are already unable to fulfill their current service provider role in existing peer-to-peer credit.

banks would no longer be involved in backing the guarantee at all: the sellers and buyers collectively would do that (back-stopped by governments).

The replacement for the Bancor (and for the US Dollar as global reserve currency) would IMHO be a Unit of energy - a "Carbon Dollar".

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 09:15:23 AM EST
Instead we would create a global framework (not an organisation, with accompanying bureaucracy) within which "Risk-Management-Institutions-formerly-known-as- Banks" would operate as service providers.

Well, the clearing union would have "an organisation, with accompanying bureaucracy". Someone has to build and operate the systems.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 09:36:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but it would be a "Managing Partner", and ideally a consortium of the different service providers necessary.

As you know, I have long believed that a partnership between a Cooperative of Service Providers and a Cooperative of Service Users is probably an optimal enterprise model...

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 09:47:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
banks would no longer be involved in backing the guarantee at all: the sellers and buyers collectively would do that (back-stopped by governments).

Anyone can contribute a fraction of the capital backing the the guarantee - it doesn't have to be sellers or buyers, it could be unitised and sold, and the (non-redeemable) units traded in a secondary market.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 09:41:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is true, of course, but the likelihood is that it would be the stakeholders/ end-users themselves who would provide the necessary collateral.

I'm reminded of the strange fact that Mega Corporations like Shell and BP appear quite happy to have the likes of the London Clearing House ("LCH") and now the proprietary silo

ICE Futures Europe Clearing

as a counterparty, when in fact LCH's (and ICE's) capital base isn't even a pimple on their financial arse.

I guess, these End Users have probably regarded LCH as having an implicit government guarantee and they may well have been right.

But since ICE Futures Europe operates For Profit it shouldn't be able to rely upon governments....

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 09:59:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That sounds like an... interesting story.

Care to describe it in a little more detail?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 01:40:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact is that since both sellers and buyers will benefit from a guarantee to international (or national, come to that) trade credit then both should pay an amount into a mutually owned pot (or provide collateral) to support the guarantee.

No, no, the users pay a guarantee fee. The capital backing the guarantee is provided by whoever has capital around and wants to. Obviously, as it is in the interest of users that this is in place, users are the most likely sources of guarantee capital, but their countries could do it too, or individuals or institutional investors who are interested in a revenue source coming from trade guarantee fees. Users who have enough capital invested in the guarantee society would effectively be receiving a discount to their own use of the guarantee but that's the net effect of wearing two hats, user and capital provider.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 09:52:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
The capital backing the guarantee is provided by whoever has capital around and wants to.

I don't see too much of an appetite among investors for this after being stung by the credit derivatives/ credit insurance model.

It's a role for governments IMHO.

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 11:24:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see a huge appetite for this among the scamsters and wannabes who created the credit crisis, because it has so much in common with the same model.

Which is why - yes, you're right - it should be reserved for governments.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 05:05:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
$1 trillion as suggested in the diary is not too far off.

world exports are of the order of $10 trillion a year. Shipments require credit for maybe 3 weeks which is roughly 6% of the year. So we're talking about having, at any given time, $600 billion worth of trade credit outstanding. That is the size of the guarantee we're talking about. This is about 1% of global GDP.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 10:01:56 AM EST
But how much of that would be at real risk of default/non-payment?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 05:06:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very little, particularly if the transit documents (bills of lading etc) are in electronic form, which they increasingly are...

I remember attending formation meetings re the proposal for

BOLERO

back in the late 80's....

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 05:29:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The negligible risk of default - and the fact that the credit is backed by the merchandise itself - is what makes this crisis so strange. I think the limiting factor is the exporter's bank not believing that the importer's bank is going to make good on the promised payment. It almost looks like international credit is now barely possible unless both buyer and seller are clients of the same bank.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 03:29:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
It almost looks like international credit is now barely possible unless both buyer and seller are clients of the same bank.

That's one approach,which requires Keynes' centralised global Bancor-issuing authority - because most of the planet would no longer accept the dollar, I think.

No proprietary/private bank could do this.

The alternative is simply a global framework agreement - which is all a Guarantee Society is.

All the banks would subscribe to this agreement, and there would need to be a Custodian entity (World Bank?) plus service providers managing the necessary fees/provisions.

The other requirement is for generic links (rather than individual proprietary solutions and links) to

BOLERO

which operates across borders to deal with transfers of title for goods in transit.

I think I will write a diary about this essential, but little regarded, part of global trade plumbing.

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 08:32:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's one approach,which requires Keynes' centralised global Bancor-issuing authority - because most of the planet would no longer accept the dollar, I think.

This already exists: it's called IMF Special Drawing Rights.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 08:35:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was aware of it, but didn't really think that SDR's are "fit for purpose" as a global trade currency in terms of the way they are issued and the whole IMF infrastructure, which is geared to investment, rather than to transactions.

Adapting IMF/SDR's to a global trade purpose, would be a nightmare, it seems to me.

I think it would be more straightforward to start with a global guarantee agreement relating to existing trade and develop organically from there.

After all government guarantees seem to be in vogue... ;-)

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 09:25:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ummm..if I read your proposal better it might be a good idea ;-)

It wouldn't need a loan to the World Bank though, merely a World bank as "Custodian" and a guarantee from the IMF.

Not much else needs to be done...

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 09:38:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IMF Creates $100B Fund | WSJ | 30 Oct 2008

The new program, which will use up to about half the IMF's resources, represents a big break from such requirements. "Exceptional times call for an exceptional response," said IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

The Fed also took new steps to flood dollars into markets outside the U.S., where banks' unwillingness to lend has left foreign firms without dollars they need. In recent weeks, the Fed has created arrangements with central banks in Europe, Australia, Canada and other developed economies to make dollars available overseas. On Wednesday, it extended those lines, for up to $30 billion each, to Brazil, Mexico, Korea and Singapore. ...

The IMF said it won't disclose the names of countries that it rejects for condition-free loans to try to make sure its decision doesn't worsen the applicant's problems. But Mr. Strauss-Kahn said in a news conference that Argentina wouldn't qualify because it hasn't had an IMF review of its finances for more than a year. ...

The IMF is funded by contributions from its members and its large holdings of gold, among other sources. By itself, IMF money might be enough for the needs of Mexico or other countries. IMF funding also can often unlock other lending. The World Bank, for instance, chipped in $1.3 billion for the Hungary package. The World Bank has said it may double its lending to countries that might be affected by the financial crisis to $27 billion from $13.5 billion in 2007.

In many ways, the new plan is a reprise of a proposal by President Bill Clinton in late 1998 to have the IMF lend to pre-approved countries. That was in response to criticism of the IMF by countries caught up in the Asia financial crisis in 1997 and 1998 in which IMF pushed them to make deep economic changes. Tough IMF requirements in Indonesia, for instance, played a role in violent riots that led to President Suharto's resignation.

IMF: Gold Leases, Loans, Swaps and the Gold Forward Rate | Jesse | 27 Oct 2008

In reading this [BOPTEG ISSUES PAPER # 21A], it becomes clear that the IMF believes that once gold is lent out it becomes the property of the borrower who may in turn lend it out to third parties. What the lender holds is the 'promise' of the return of the gold at some future date.

What we find shocking however is that on the books there is no accounting for this potential liability. The gold that is lent out is still marked as 'gold reserves.'

What is the extent of this lending? How many ounces of central bank gold are really just paper promises for its return? If the dominos start falling in this carry trade it is very likely that there will be a declaration of force majeure, and the contracts will be settled in paper.

IMF Special Drawing Rights FAQ | SDR daily valuation
IMF Financial Statements

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 12:00:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They keep wasting their ammo on the wrong things.
The IMF's new program, called the Short Term Liquidity Facility, would be used largely to pad a country's reserves, which could help the recipient defend its currency. But the funds could also be used to help recapitalize banks or cover import bills.
$100bn would be better spent backing a guarantee of trade credit.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 12:06:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
$100bn would be better spent backing a guarantee of trade credit.

I agree in principle. The IMF could, by exercising its extra-legal authorities and (ahem) unencumbered currency reserve, "unlock" specific bi-lateral credit transactions among firms. If I were Strauss-Kuhn, I'd target food commodity delivery/settlement.

That option however contradicts the current consensus in the thread as to IMF administrative scope, e.g. governments.

That said, the IMF gives me gas. So I have insufficient knowledge of its operations to comment further and in detail.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 12:22:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The IMF would just provide the capital backing the guarantee, which would be managed by some bank(s) or other, potentially the central banks themselves
Government is our one and only safety net. It could, if it wanted to, provide basic financial services, that could easily fulfil three economic functions that are attributed to finance: to provide liquidity, to share risk, and to allow agents in the economy to make inter-temporal choices. You don't need CDOs and CDSs for that. A network of central bank branch offices, in combinations with a relatively small number of national, or nationalised banks, could temporarily offer the vast bulk of all financial service of wider economic relevance. The way to go is to shrink the financial system and nationalise the systemically important financial institutions.
(why, oh why did we have to privatise all public retail banks?)

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 12:28:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The IMF would just provide the capital backing the guarantee" to those "mission critical" firms in the event commercial and/or central banks refuse, for whatever unaccountable reasons, to accredit their own LOCs: Yes, I ought to have been more explicit.

Let's assume the IMF has sufficient information (firm free cash: commodity expiry) to determine its emergency beneficiaries. Then the IMF's administrative problem is confiscating payment from banks withholding beneficiaries' funds.

Aren't you curious as to how I conclude food stocks are "mission critical"? It's my understanding, a significant quantity is rotting in ships' holds and fields at the moment. Should LOCs unlock, "subprime" stocks will not be dumped but "treated," then mixed with current harvests before release to wholesale markets.

oh why did we have to privatise all public retail banks

I chalk it up to indiscriminant applications of "profit motive" and "incentives" to promulgate a particular metric (price premium) of a business's ongoing concern. Conversely, certain governments do not exercise their power of natural monopoly (a "public trust") either to design barriers to "excess surplus" or to enforce "disincentives" to extorting premia. So the costs of capital accumulate through the supply chain.

So where do unsupported "guarantees" end? As Mr Truman famously noted, "The buck stops here."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 01:46:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I have in mind is that governments, through state banks or using private banks as service providers, would issue letters of credit to their importers backed not by the country itself but by this newly created IMF fund.

The problem is that an importer's bank is not creditworthy enough to have the exporter's bank accept its letter of credit. The importer's bank would pay through the nose for the government guarantee to unlock this, or be forced by an executive order of its own government to provide the administrative services to allow the Government to issue its own letter of credit to the bank's customer.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 02:30:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I have in mind is that governments, through state banks or using private banks as service providers, would issue letters of credit to their importers backed not by the country itself but by this newly created IMF fund.

How is this different from current distributions? Show me. Use diagrams if necessary.

The way I see it (though I'm not expert in IMF operations): The "newly created IMF fund" is a name change called "Short Term Liquidity Facility" that was always long-termliquidity facility. This name change recognizes only pervasive, global central bank failure to control domestic cost of capital.

Since its inception, IMF distributes funds (of central bank members) through country-specific "credit facilities" --enforced by martial operations-- to governments (which authorize central bank borrowing against currency/inflationary gov.bonds) which then distributed funds among commercial banks and central bank gov.bond dealers who take profit from fees and/or arbitrageur info.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 03:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They keep wasting their ammo on the wrong things.

That value judgement is dependent on whether one accepts the IMF's stated purpose and demonstrable achievements in financing sovereign states. LOL.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 12:29:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The negligible risk of default - and the fact that the credit is backed by the merchandise itself - is what makes this crisis so strange.

Yup.  This is the reason I'm breaking out the old tinfoil hat and thinking it's an International Plot to achieve some dastardly end.

Just because you're paranoid that doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!

On a more 'normal' level, the rapid price fluctuations in the commodities markets will create uncertainties and increased risk wrt the value of the goods being shipped.  Against that is the low cost of moving the goods from port A to port B and the fact nobody is going to load a shipload of wheat until they have a buyer already lined-up.

And, realistically, the players in these markets have long standing relationships.

A puzzlement.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 12:57:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Metatone suggested [private communication] that maybe banks don't have the money to advance to exporters for a few days or weeks while they wait for delivery and use the credit crunch as an excuse. Blame the other bank instead of yourself for not having any cash around.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 01:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CC
Thanks for the link to BOLERO.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 01:03:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In my opinion the solution is going to have to be to create an international trade credit guarantee society. The WTO could organize this. It could be capitalised (maybe to the tune of $1 trillion) with a loan from the World Bank denominated in the IMF's "Special Drawing Rights" currency. Users of the guarantee (either traders or their countries) would pay an insurance fee for the use of the guarantee, which would be used by the guarantee society to pay the loan back.

Have you been reading Keynes again? ;)

Keep up the coverage of the Letters of Credit story, I find them incredible fascinating for some reason. They kinda... capture my fantasy, dunno why. :)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 09:37:02 PM EST
No Keynes, the institutions are already in place. Though having read about his International Clearing Union in the past does provide inspiration I suppose.

This crisis makes for great "Doom Erotica", I think.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 03:31:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What, doom porn for intellectuals?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 03:37:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who could have imagined!  Intellectuals need their erotic fantasies just like everyone else.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 01:30:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Come up to my place and we'll look at my charts of International Currency Flow."

:-D

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 12:44:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A related recent threadis this, on B2B (business 2 business) and B2C (business to client) trading and LETS (local exchange trading systems).

How is the crisis of international letters of credit is to be eased?

by das monde on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 10:51:32 PM EST


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