This paper investigates a special form of a community currency, the German Regiogeld System, which is a private monetary system with a regional validity and a non-profit-agenda. The focus of the sociological study is on how this special money effects actions of consumers. After some general information to the Regiogeld system, it therefore describes why people use this limited and costly form of money at all, how exactly they use it and for what special patterns of usage they adopt the regional money as their own. As a result it can be demonstrated that money is evaluated concerning its functionality and its symbolism. Since Regiogeld attempts to be an efficient monetary system and a moral symbol at once, it develops a structural problem which restricts the Regiogeld’ expansion.
To cite this article: Thiel, C. (2012) ‘Moral Money – The action guiding Impact of Complementary Currencies: A Case Study at the Chiemgauer Regional money’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 91-96 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.015
“The Idea is simple. People trade Money or Services into a regional currency and can only spend it regionally.
This strengthens smal and medium sized local businesses because it is not possible to buy products from overseas”.
“Die Idee ist simpel. Menschen tauschen Geld oder Leistungen in eine Regionalwährung und können diese nur in der Region ausgeben.
Ebenso müssen Unternehmen die Regio-Einnahmen in der Heimat investieren. Damit sollen regionale Wirtschaftskreisläufe gestärkt werden. Zudem verliert Regiogeld an Wert. Diese sogenannte Umlaufsicherung soll gewährleisten, dass Geld nicht gehortet, sondern ausgegeben wird. ”
“I had been accidentally – part of situations (professional jobs) that usually are mutually exclusive – i had been a central banker – i had been involved in the design of the Euro – i had been an off-shore currency fund manager – i had been an academic and i had been president of an electronic payment system – i have been working with the largest multi-nationals on this planet – and i have been working with some of the poorest countries of this planet.
Every one of this angles has every time given me a way of looking at money – in a way that was not visible from the other angles.”
“Humanity faces an extraordinary series of unprecedented challenges:
Aging of Society
Monetary Instabilities under the current system
Structural Unemployment – because the technologies we have today – can have economic growth without jobs
Money as a solution
“The conventional money is incompatible with sustainability”
“It has a number of implicit automatic programs that are incompatible with that.”
The way money is created – it is pro-cyclical – it increases the business-cycle
it brings all the users in competition with each others. Which is not the best way to operate in certain environments. Competition is good – but having ONLY competition is not good.
Learning from Nature
“Nature does NOT look for MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY.”
It looks for a balance on efficiency on one side and resilience on the other.
If the balance is not correct – if you only go for efficiency – you gonna have a very fragile system.
If you have a over-emphasis on resilience you have stagnation.
Conventional money is extremely efficient.
Money and Sustainability
“The challenges i have mentioned – i claim non of them can be addressed within the current monetary paradigm. (i.e. with a single currency created through bank-debt with interest – none of that is feasable)
With complementary currencies one can address every single one of them.
Money is the most important/powerful leverage point – because it changes the motivation system.
We need to rethink the motivation system that makes it possible to address those challenges.
Complementary Currencies Influencing Behavior
“A complementary currency is a medium of exchange other than conventional money – that people use – within a particular community.
The oldest complementary currency – what i call loyalty currency – the frequent flyer miles – provided motivation to change behavior to use the same airline or return to the same shop.
Those commercial currencies are usefull for the airline or shops but they won’t do anything for society.
Using this technology which is established – 40 years is enough time – a technology that comes from the information age – but apply them for things that do make a difference.
Changing behavior towards the environment, changing behavior to people – motivating people to do things that they won’t do spontaneously – and there is a long list of things that this could apply to.
We need to change behavior on a very large scale rather quickly.
The alternative is regulation or force – prohibiting people to do things – with a currency you can make it attractive – it’s a pull as opposed to a push – and that is a lot more powerful and way more effective.
The big advantage of complementary currencies is you choose your objectives – and you can design a currency that specifically motivates and changes behavior in the direction you are trying to motivate.
If you want to motivate people around the world – to have a complementary currency that specifically aims these behavior patterns and is exportable anywhere in the world – and you can actually bring everybody on board.”
“There are more people on the planet having mobile phones than bank accounts.
And the costs of these things 20-30 bucks you have a system that can take part into a global payment system if you want to.”
(Chinese use SmartPhones a lot for payments)
“With the information-age we can now design much cheaper and much more universal payment systems that can have multiple currencies than we could have ever done before.
And that is why i claim that it is possible today to do things with complementary currencies on a scale that has never been available before.
That is fortunate – because we need it on a scale that was never be the same as in the past as well.
My drop in the ocean is an interesting pioneer model.
I want to encourage experimentation – improvements – diversity and my drop in the ocean is part of that.
And it is part of it in a specific field where there is not a hell of lot of things happening otherwise.
We also need to actually start doing work on the main-stream economy with businesses and the relationship with the businesses and citizens/consumers and that is what my drop in the ocean is tackling.”
Visions for the Future
“Leverage of changing the money system is making it possible not only to address the challenges – but actually create a world that i describe as ‘sustainable abundance’.
There is no reason that there should be scarcity in everything.
We can create a planet of sustainable abundance even for 10 billion people i claim.
At the condition – the necessary condition of rethinking our money.
It is not a sufficient condition – i am not claiming it is enough to change the money system and everything else will fall into place.
We still need education – we still need regulation you still need other things.
But i claim it is a necessary condition –
without touching the money system i claim we have no chance – of in a period of 10-15-20 years to have a planet we want to live on.”
“SMEs prefer to finance their spending by using their own resources because they are not sure future profits can pay back new loans.
Businesses used to accept some risk by taking out loans to finance their projects. But this is becoming less common because the success of new projects is increasingly uncertain, especially in light of stagnant and even decreasing economic growth in Europe.”
If you substitute the word “growth” into “sustainable living” – then we come closer to a solution.
This is a very accurate analysis of the situation – and it has A LOT TO DO WITH THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM SOMEONE CAME UP WITH AND FORCED US TO LIVE IN. (You can’t say Mario Draghi was elected democratically… because he is not in any party besides Goldman-Sachs)
So the SMEs are using up their savings, their substance… and then what? 1929 revival party?
What is the Goldman-Sachs Draghi plan? A third Reich? World War 3 with Russia?
Overthrow of the government and installing a pro-Russian or pro-Washington dictatorship? (Hey Putin? What about a putsch?)
I do not know about you – but i would like to avoid the “usual” 1929 civil war and survival revival “party”, that economists probably say is “normal”? (Ups and Downs… Life and Death… last downer killed 60 million people.)
What would J.P. Morgan do? After all – there are limits and endless growth is not a blessing but like cancer – a disease – killing the patient.
He often knew how to fuck things up and make profit at the same time.
You could also say: “I like to keep competition small”
or: “I prefer monopolies”
“they” (the SMEs) – just as anyone else – that does not belong to the winners of the Euro-Game (monopoly is just a game with FIAT money) lose trust in the correctness, fairness, effectiveness and long-term functionality of the finance system – that allows multi-national companies and banks to avoid trillions of € and USD in taxes.
Again: Who cares about the social and environmental costs – if it is (again) the 99% that pay? J.P. Morgan shurely not. After all: It’s Darwinism-time! Isn’t it? Wasn’t it all the time?
“But the rain will also fall on you”
Your children might one day want to kill you for being such an egoistic bastard – there a gun can help. Or you just try to keep em stupid FOREVER 😀 (will not work for all). Btw. Stalin’s second Wife should have shot Stalin first – then herself.
While the Soviet-Russian System is “obviously” corrupt – the Western Systems are just as corrupt – but not that obviously.
Pujo Committee, a subcommittee of the House Banking and Currency committee. The committee ultimately concluded that a small number of financial leaders was exercising considerable control over many industries. The partners of J.P. Morgan & Co. and directors of First National and National City Bank controlled aggregate resources of $22.245 billion, which Louis Brandeis, later a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, compared to the value of all the property in the twenty-two states west of the Mississippi River.
Ms. Colibasanu is Vice President of International Marketing at the US geopolitical analysis company Stratfor (www.Stratfor.com). She joined Stratfor in 2006 as a regional consultant before joining the company’s research department. Ms. Colibasanu is also an associate lecturer in the International Relations department of the Romanian Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest. The courses she teaches include Research Methodology, Economic Growth and Development and International Organizations and Diplomacy. Antonia Colibasanu is also the founder of Books for Peace, a non-profit organization focused on promoting peace through education and culture.