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View Poll Results: What's in your wallet?
An AmEx and a wad of charge slips 4 66.67%
Cold, Hard, US Dollars 0 0%
Euros! 0 0%
Disney Dollars 0 0%
A coupon for a free apple pie with the purchase of a Big Mac 0 0%
Where are my shoes? 2 33.33%
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Old 08-26-2003, 06:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2001
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Corporate Currency

A fascinating interview with Bernard Lietaer on the nature of money in the 21st century. Not strictly travel-related, but it spends a lot of time in an area we're all fond of.

What do you think a frequent flyer mile is, but a currency issued by an airline? In Britain, you can go to J. Sainsbury, the largest supermarket chain, and use British Airway miles to buy your goods. Initially, it was only designed as a loyalty scheme for people taking planes. Today, you can earn this currency without ever taking a plane. On Visa cards you get miles. And you can use them to pay long-distance telephone calls, taxis, restaurants, hotels.

Now the point is: there are many new agreements being made within communities as to the kind of medium of exchange they are willing to accept. As I said, in Britain, you can use frequent flier miles as currency. Its not a universal currency, its not legal tender, but you can go to the supermarket and buy stuff. And in the United States, its just a question of time before privately issued currencies will be used to make purchases. Even Alan Greenspan, the governor of the Federal Reserve and the official guardian of the conventional money system, says, We will see a return of private currencies in the 21st century.
I found it a very interesting and stimulating read.
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