Category Archives: Sources

Newsletter—2017 Year-end, and prospects for the coming year

  • New web posts:

            Disruptive Technologies Making Money Obsolete

            Limiting Factors in the Operation of Commercial Trade Exchanges

  • Newly discovered video from 2003 interview, Democratizing Money
  • 2017 recap
  • Thoughts on the state of the world, plus recommended authors, commentators, and sources


It’s been a long while since my last newsletter. It’s not that I’ve been idle, rather, more preoccupied with other aspects of my life. I’ve been somewhat less motivated to keep my nose to the grindstone, and more inclined toward spending time with friends and family, and recreational pursuits like playing bridge, enjoying the outdoors, and reading good literature. My commitment to societal improvement remains, but I realize that it is necessary to have the proper balance in life in order to be both happy and effective.

Now that 2017 is behind us, we can be hopeful that 2018 will bring better conditions and new opportunities for progress in our work.
New Web Posts

Broadly speaking, technology is the organization of knowledge, people, and things to accomplish specific practical objectives. It includes processes, practices, techniques and systems as well as things. So what are the disruptive technologies in money and finance? Or is that even the right question to be asking? Is it Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other so-called crypto-currencies? Is it the blockchain, “smart contracts,” “big data,” algorithms?

To find out, watch my 15 minute video, which was extracted and adapted from a longer recording of A World Without Money and Interest: A pathway toward social justice and economic equity, the presentation I  made to the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 10, 2016. It describes how communities and businesses can escape the debt trap and become more resilient and self-reliant? New independent approaches to payment and reciprocal exchange are being deployed which are making conventional money obsolete. It’s not as  complicated as you may think.

You can view the video at either of the following links:

YouTube link:

Vimeo link:

Many thanks to Ken Richings for doing all the hard work of editing and preparing the video for publication.

I’ve also posted another excerpt from my book, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization.

This one, taken from Chapter 15, Commercial Trade Exchanges—Their Present Limitations and Potential Future, describes the ways in which present practices of commercial trade exchanges are limiting their own growth and development.
Newly discovered video from 2003 interview, Democratizing Money

A long-time correspondent recently alerted me to a video that was made during my tour of the Pacific Northwest in 2003. It is an interview on Network X, in which the late Jeff Fairhall and I spoke about Democratizing Money. This is still every bit as relevant today as it was back then. You can find it on YouTube at–g.
2017 recap

Travel in 2017 was minimal, only two trips, one to South Carolina to visit family on the occasion of my granddaughter’s university graduation, and the other to Greece in June/July to conduct my weeklong workshop at Kalikalos Holistic Summer School and to confer with colleagues in Volos and Athens. I’ll not be conducting another formal workshop at Kalikalos next summer but I may spend some time there at the Kissos campus as a Facilitator In Residence (FIR)

During the first part of 2017 and the last two months of 2016, I participated in a cooperative living experiment in Tucson with two friends and colleagues, Susan and Jock. Susan is an author, administrator and grant writer, and Jock is an expert in community living and the founder of Kalikalos. We took a 6 month lease on a house in central Tucson with the intention of working out some alternative possibilities for seniors to age in place in a supportive community, and to take a first step in establishing a learning center that I call the E. C. Riegel Institute for Sustainability and Financial Innovation. With Susan’s expert help, we submitted a couple grant proposals for funding  the Institute but did not manage to get a grant, so by the end of April when our lease expired, the experiment was wrapped up and, as planned, we scattered. Susan moved back east to be closer to her son and daughter, Jock developed some health problems so he chose to move into an assisted living community in Marin county California, and I moved into another shared house in Tucson.

I maintain regular correspondence and collaboration with many in my peer networks but I’m finding it impossible to keep up with all the email I receive, so I’m having to be more selective about what gets answered. Also, there continues to be a steady stream of groups and individuals asking my advice about their ideas for a new economy, community currencies or credit clearing exchanges. As you might imagine, many of those who contact me have only a germ of an idea and little background in the principles of economics, money, finance and exchange. I try to direct them to resources (my own and others’) that are appropriate to where they happen to be on the learning curve, but there are a few who seem better prepared and have demonstrated abilities in related fields that I choose to work with more intensively. It’s hard to assess the ultimate impact of these efforts, and I’m still hoping to connect with social entrepreneurs and funders who are willing to take my advice to create and take to market an exchange system or currency that is sound, credible, effective and scalable, one that can adequately demonstrate the real potential and effective enough to be widely replicated.

In the meantime, I keep trying to improve my communication skills so that people can better understand, not only what is dysfunctional about conventional money, banking and finance, but also the principles and technical details required to realize the great potential of private currencies and moneyless exchange systems. Last year I published the Solar Dollar white paper, and I will soon be publishing another article in which I will try again to clear up the most common misconceptions, and help the next corps of social entrepreneurs to avoid repeating the old recurrent errors.
Thoughts on the state of the world

2017 has sure been an interesting year geopolitically, with Trump’s tweets, Russiagate, North Korean weapons tests, mass killings, and continuing U.S. interventions in the middle-east and elsewhere,  giving the pundits plenty of material to yack about 24/7. U.S. politics is playing out like a melodramatic farce. The executive branch seems to be a house divided against itself, and the political landscape is undergoing a seismic shift. The Trump presidency has shaken things up and it’s difficult to predict what might happen next. The corporate and banking oligarchs seem to be getting  enough out of Trump to accept (for now) his presence in the White House, but his rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and his coziness with Putin and the Russians must be exasperating to them.

It’s getting ever more difficult to sort out the real facts from the fake news and propaganda. If you get your news solely from the main TV channels, newspapers, and magazines you’re getting only a small part of the big picture and are thereby being misled. For a more complete picture, one needs to study history, listen to whistle blowers, and consult independent authors and commentators, and foreign as well as domestic sources. My current list of  recommended sites and sources is here. It’s up to you to decide what makes sense and what to believe. As one sage told me long ago, “Don’t believe everything you hear, and only half of what you see.” Over the past several months, I’ve posted five segments in a series I call, What in the world is going on? Go to my website,, and search on “What in the world” to find them.

Finally, regarding the economy, since the 2008 financial crisis the central banks have been inflating asset bubbles in stocks, bonds, and real estate by their policies of market interventions (quantitative easing) and low interest rates. Now they are making noises about raising interest rates and reducing the size of their balance sheets (by selling securities), but I don’t expect they will be able to go very far with those moves without causing more economic distress. They are more window dressing than real policy shifts. The Republican tax bill which was recently passed into law will, in the short run,  add to that bubble inflation by giving the rich and the corporations additional funds which they will mainly invest, not spend. Corporations, rather than raising wages or building new capacity, will likely use much of the windfall to buy back their own shares. That added demand will keep stocks pumped up for a while longer. But nothing has been done to remedy the flaws that are inherent in the global system of money, banking and finance (MBF), which in fact have been made worse. Another financial crisis is surely on the way and it’s likely to be more severe than the last one, but when it will break is difficult to predict.

Everyone wants to know how to protect their nest egg. My general advice for communities is to convert financial resources into resilient infrastructure that provides a steady stream of necessary goods and services. But what can individuals do? An inflationary depression is the most likely scenario, so keep enough cash on hand to last a couple weeks and hold some liquidity in a credit union account, but invest a major portion of your money in real things that will be useful and hold their value no matter what. For more detailed advice about that you can read my post Survival Strategies for Troubled Times.

Wishing you peace, love, and joy throughout the coming year,


History, people power, and practical education

The late progressive historian Howard Zinn is best known for his landmark book, A People’s History of the United States, which has been widely acclaimed and exposes to the light the “ceaseless conflict between elites and the masses whom they oppress and exploit.” Here’s an official description:

A classic since its original landmark publication in 1980, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is the first scholarly work to tell America’s story from the bottom up—from the point of view of, and in the words of, America’s women, factory workers, African Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers. From Columbus to the Revolution to slavery and the Civil War—from World War II to the election of George W. Bush and the “War on Terror”—A People’s History of the United States is an important and necessary contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.

Reviews can be found at The book is widely available and can now be viewed online at

A few days ago, someone sent me a link to a TED talk in which Sanjit “Bunker” Roy describes the “Barefoot College, which is he founded. He tells a story that is both inspiring and informative, a model of what can be achieved when ordinary people share what they know and how communities can become more self-sufficient. You can view it here.

The Great Wake-up Call

Sometimes it’s a severe pain in the chest, sometimes shortness of breath, other times dizziness, numbness, disorientation or loss of muscle control. These are symptoms of something seriously wrong, a warning of impending health crisis, a signal that something needs to change.

In our collective experience known as political economy, we are experiencing symptoms of distress. The real estate bubble and subsequent bust, the financial meltdown, deepening recession and inflation are all telling us that something is wrong, that something needs to change.

The mainstream media don’t tell us what or how. They are part of the system that is trying to maintain the status quo. They will give space to minor policy adjustments and legislative proposals, but not to the kinds of deep structural changes or emergent systems that can make a real difference.

Fortunately, there are independent media and information sources that are devoted to providing the kinds of information people need.

Back in June of this year I viewed an amazingly good documentary film titled, Zeitgeist. I recommend it highly. Get it here.

Most of the information in it was already known to me, and includes much of what I’ve been trying for years to tell people in my own humble way. This film is well put together and pretty accurate as far as I can tell. One aspect that was somewhat new to me was the material that shows the congruence among the various “redeemer” myths going way back B.C. That part, and some of the political material, won’t go down easily with true believers of any stripe — the devout and patriotic, but if one can keep an open mind, there is much to be learned – much that could save our lives.

Now there is an addendum to the Zeitgeist movie that focuses more attention on the “money problem,” economic imperialism, and emerging sustainable technologies. The Zeitgeist: Addendum can be downloaded from the same site or from Google.

The first twenty minutes do a creditable job of describing how our conventional political money is created. It’s a good supplement to the films Money as Debt and The Money Masters that I previously recommended.

The next part of the film features John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. He does a superb job of clearly explaining how the empire achieves dominance over other countries, giving examples from his own experience. As he describes in his book, there are three levels of action. The imperial forces first try to corrupt the country’s leaders and get them to play along, saddling their people with huge debt loads and selling off government owned assets. If that fails, they will stir up internal opposition and either overthrow or assassinate a recalcitrant leader. If that fails, the military will be sent in as a last resort.

In recent years, the reluctance to use the last option seems to have diminished, as war affords opportunities for great profits to be amassed by political cronies and well-connected companies, and the power of Congress to mount opposition to military adventures has all but evaporated.

The original Zeitgeist movie contains important information about the central banking system and the Federal Reserve. If you don’t have time to watch the entire film, a relevant seven minute excerpt can be seen here.

If you want to view particular parts of each film, you can find them on YouTube. Start with Part I.

And now there is a Zeitgeist Movement you can participate in if you feel so inclined.

My new book will give a different perspective on the global problematique, and is unique in offering practical approaches that will enable us to “escape from the matrix.” I still expect it to be out by early next year.

Hal Turner Shows the new Amero Coin and Describes the Impending Collapse of the Dollar.

For the past several months the internet has been abuzz about the elitist plans for the North American Union and the new Amero currency. Now Hal Turner shows a coin which he purports to be an Amero coin issued by the US government. Is it? You decide.

In any case, a new currency, like the old, will manifest not as coins or bills but as ledger credits (bank deposits).

Whether or not that coin is authentic, one thing seems certain: the US dollar is headed for oblivion and a new monetary regime is being prepared by the powers that be. Wars and bank bailouts are being paid for with increasing amounts of “empty dollars.” The money supply is being inflated with legalized counterfeit at an unprecedented rate. Besides ballooning budget deficits, there is the chronic trade deficit. The US continues to import more than it exports, relying on foreign governments to buy US government bonds to finance the deficits. The value of the US dollar must therefore shrink ever more rapidly. The savings of the middle class will be wiped out. Dollar denominated assets, like bank accounts, CD’s, bonds will become increasingly worthless while your debts will remain. Price increases may be temporarily held in check by the credit crunch as more businesses fail and more people lose their jobs. But the handwriting is on the wall. It’s a credit crunch for main street but a lavish abundance of credit for Wall Street and the Military-Industrial-Banking complex. Much higher prices and lower dollar values must follow.

What to do?

Mike Adams provides some pretty good advice on his website, Take a look at his comprehensive special report, How to Build Your Financial Safety Net.

The thing that’s missing in Adams’ report is how to protect a nest egg. How do you protect the value of the assets you have? Here are my thoughts on that.

As prices bottom out, use your money to buy selected real estate and useful things of real value.

Get out of dollar denominated securities – bank deposits, CD’s, bonds, etc. Keep only enough liquid to are satisfy demands for payment of taxes, utilities, etc.

What are the alternatives?

Buy anything that can support you and your family directly – a home, productive land, gardens, orchards, woodlots, durable clothing, equipment, knowledge, skills, books, computers, etc. Buy selected foreign currencies. You might also help to build a sustainable economy by buying an equity stake (shares) in (small and medium sized) companies that are geared toward producing necessities of life in an earth-friendly way.Some promising industries are organic farming, renewable energy, pollution remediation, and complementary medicine. Above all, make friends, nurture your communities and form new ones. As my good friend Sergio Lub says, our best security is not in money or gold or material things, but in our relationships and our willingness to help each other. The effectiveness of actions by isolated individuals is severely limited. It will take organized cooperative action to really protect ourselves and get through this transition stage. Organize mutual support networks, including local credit clearing unions and currencies. My upcoming book will provide detailed advice on how to do that, but many of the ideas are already available on this blog (Beyond Money) and my Reinventing Money website.

WIR – Current Operational Realities

Susan Witt of the E. F. Schumacher Society has recently filed a report on her trip to Basel, Switzerland, during which she queried fellow Rotarians about their experience with the WIR Bank and WIR credits. It makes for some interesting reading. I’ve posted it with her permission as a page on this blog. WIR is an important case to study. Bes sure to read the other documents about it that are on this blog and my website.

And here’s a bit of levity:

Uncertainty has now hit Japan. In the last seven days, Origami bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank has announced plans to cut some of its branches. Yesterday, it was also announced that Karaoke Bank will go up for sale and will likely go for a song, while shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended today after they nose-dived. While Samurai Bank is soldiering on after sharp cutbacks, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank, where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.

Q: George Bush was asked today “what did he think of the Credit Crunch?”
A: He replied: “It was his favorite Candy Bar.”


New Links and Resources

We have added some new websites to our Recommended Links (in the right hand column). One of these is the Inspired Constitution link which has recently added an html version of Edward Popp’s classic book, The Great Cookie Jar. This version is searchable via google.


E. C. Riegel Added to Wikipedia

Wikipedia now has a detailed entry on E. C. Riegel, “master of monetary truth.”


First Report From California – Addendum – Sources & Resources

Sources and Resources on Money and Exchange Alternatives

Compiled by Thomas H. Greco, Jr.

P.O. Box 42663 * Tucson, AZ 85733 * Email:

Key Concepts

Credit clearing

Credit clearing is the process by which credits arising from sales are used to directly offset debits arising from purchases without the use of conventional money. This process takes place within an organized circle of associated trading partners. In accounting terminology, Accounts Receivable are offset against Accounts Payable.


Monetization is the process of converting the value of fixed collateral assets into credit that can be spent. In conventional banking, a bank monetizes the value of collateral assets when it creates a deposit by granting a loan. For example, when a bank grants a mortgage, it essentially converts the value of a house into a demand deposit that the borrower can then spend. The process of monetization can also be effected within a credit clearing circle when a member is granted a line of credit or overdraft privilege based on the goods and services they offer for sale.

Websites and Blogs

Reinventing Money:
Community Information Resource Center:
Beyond Money Blog:
Tom’s News and Views:

The Infography about Community Currencies:

The Online Database of Complementary Currency Systems Worldwide. Stephen DeMeulenaere, Complementary Currency Resource Center.

Community Exchange System. South African New Economics Network (SANE). A web-based currency exchange platform and network.

Books – Primary (mostly available at the website

Greco, Thomas H., Jr., Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender. Chelsea Green Publishers (VT), 2001.

—, New Money For Healthy Communities. Thomas H. Greco, Publisher, P.O. Box 42663, Tucson, AZ 85733, 1994.

—, Money and Debt: A Solution to the Global Crisis. Second edition, Thomas H. Greco, Publisher, P.O. Box 42663, Tucson, AZ 85733, 1990.

Riegel, E. C., Private Enterprise Money. New York: Harbinger House, 1944.

—, The New Approach to Freedom. San Pedro, CA: The Heather Foundation, 1976.

__, Flight From Inflation. San Pedro, CA: The Heather Foundation, 1978.

Private Enterprise Money is out of print but may be found online through our website,

The other two books by E. C. Riegel may be obtained from Mike Aldana at the E.C. Riegel School of Money, 1430 Mountain View Lane, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402. Phone 208-522-5050. The prices are $12 for one book, $22 for two, plus postage and handling of $4 for one book, $1 more for each additional book. Acceptable payment forms are cash, check, or money order only.


WIR and the Swiss National Economy. Beard, Philip, trans. Philip Beard and Tobias Studer. Available at


Jacobs, Jane, Cities and the Wealth of Nations: Principles of Economic Life. New York: Vintage Books, 1985.

Kennedy, Margrit, Interest and Inflation Free Money. New Society Publishers, 1995.

Linton, Michael, and Thomas Greco, “The Local Employment and Trading System.” Whole Earth Review, No. 55, Summer 1987.

Modern Money Mechanics. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 1992. Online at

Timberlake, Richard H., and Kevin Dowd (eds.), Money and the Nation State. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1998.

Zander, Dr. Walter, “A Way Out Of The Monetary Chaos”. From The Annals of Collective Economy, Geneva, 1938.

Available at

Zander, Dr. Walter, “Railway Money and Unemployment.” From The Annals of Collective Economy, Geneva, 1934.

Available at

Video Documentaries

Money as Debt by Paul Grignon. Website:

Money: Who creates it? Who controls it? Who profits? A film by Isaac Isitan. Les productions ISCA, Montreal, Quebec.

The Money Masters. 1-888-the-plot

Pertinent Quotes

When businessmen resolve to set up a money system, they agree to hold in trust for each other goods and services that are pledged against the drafts which they have issued in the form of money. These values—that are held in trust by all for any who may present a money draft therefore—constitute a vast pool, not housed at one place, but scattered throughout the trading sphere. This vast pool of goods and services is the basis or backing for the outstanding money supply. “Reserves” and metal hoards are but window dressing. Only that which is purchasable is back of money.

– E. C. Riegel, Private Enterprise Money, Chapter 6.


New Research Guide on Complementary Currencies

I have written a research guide on my specialty, complementary currencies, that has been published by Fields of Knowledge at:

The Infography about Community Currencies

This is comprised of a short list of “superlative sources” and a somewhat longer list of other good sources on the subject.

The Infography appears to be a very good reference resource on a wide range of topics, and I suggest that you consult it when doing research on any subject and consider adding the following link to your blogs and web pages:

The Infography: Research Recommendations from Professors, Librarians, and Other Subject Specialists