The German Professor Margrit Kennedy is best known for adding up the impact on prices of the cascade of money borrowed at interest throughout the economy. Her influence was prominent in a book review I have done for the latest issue of Resurgence.
Together with Ludwig Schuster, she now offers a timely case for complementary currencies, operating within the Eurozone, starting with Greece.
As an introduction, she tells the story of the German baron, Karl Friedrich Hieronymous Freiherr von Munchhausen, a seventeenth century adventurer and story-teller who claimed to have extracted himself from a swamp by pulling up on his own hair. This is Plan A, in her view.
The alternative is to draw on the growing body of praxis and innovation around complementary currencies, to kick-start the kinds of exchanges which are ruled out by the straightjacket of the Euro. As ever, getting the framework and technology right (Shann Turnbull suggests using mobile phone credits) and dealing with convertibility or not, without losing the heart of an alternative currency, are probably the key issues.
The Spanish co-operative think-tank, the Ekai Centre, has re-published a doomsday analysis on the breakup of the Euro by the investment bank UBS.
It feels like this is an innovation whose time may now have come.