December 2008

Artists Design New Money

Art News - If the U.S. financial system goes south, at least we can turn to the
burgeoning "local currency" movement. John Isaacs -- who shows with Kinz +
Tillou Fine Art and also runs his own design studio, John Isaacs Design --
was commissioned to design a new currency for the Berkshires region in
Western Massachusetts, an area that encompasses Great Barrington, North
Adams, Pittsfield, Williamstown and 26 other towns. Dubbed "BerkShares," the
money now has more than 2,000,000 units in circulation and is garnering

Alternative Currencies Grow in Popularity

TIme - Judith Schwartz - Most of us take for granted that those rectangular green slips of paper we
keep in our wallets are inviolable: the physical embodiment of value. But
alternative forms of money have a long history, and appear to be growing in
popularity. It's not merely barter, or primitive means of exchange like,
say, seashells or beads. Beneath the financial radar, in hip U.S. towns or
South African townships, in shops, markets, and even banks, throughout the
world people are exchanging goods and services via thousands of currency

BerkShares on ABC40

ABC40 - BerkShares local currency supports the community, economy, ecology, and sustainability of the southern Berkshire region of Massachusetts. Launched by the E. F. Schumacher Society, BerkShares creates consumer awareness about the consequences of spending practices, supports local businesses, facilitates the development of import replacing industries, and serves as a model for other regions.

Make Money to Make Money

GOOD News - Now that we're officially in a recession, greenbacks are scarce. Why not print your own? That's what many communities are doing, though it's not as transgressive as it sounds. Many communities have turned to trading with their own currencies in an attempt to bolster local economies. The most successful of these, Massachussetts' BerkShares program, has more than two million notes in circulation.