Economic Recovery in Debt-Ridden Countries via Fast-Circulating, Slow-Leaking Regional Money
(Press Release - 22.2.2012)
A new approach to solving the euro crisis is the subject of a recent study. "Our options are not limited to euro vs. drachma; a constructive middle route is available to us", write authors Christian Gelleri and Thomas Mayer. "By adopting a complementary, government-issued regional money, the euro crisis countries can accelerate monetary circulation in their economies (liquidity optimization), thus promoting economic growth, new jobs, enhanced tax revenues, and more independence from foreign influence. The affected countries will realize the advantages of a regional currency, but simultaneously maintain their membership in the euro network. This alternative is far preferable to a catastrophic exit from the euro."
Ten years ago the authors created the Chiemgauer, now the largest regional money system in Germany. Their proposal for the euro crisis states draws in large part on their success with this system.
The essential idea is this: When no additional money can be funneled into the economy, because it immediately disappears again as payment for imports or via monetary flight toward higher returns, the solution lies in using the available money more efficiently. The economists call this efficient use "liquidity optimization"; in everyday language, it could be called "Express Money". Concretely, the authors propose:
"The parliaments and governments of Greece, Portugal, and/or Ireland introduce a national regional money, henceforth referred to as 'EM' (for 'Express Money').
- The EM is not an independent, self-sufficient currency, but a supplement to the euro, coupled to it and used in parallel with it. It is backed by euros in an escrow account and is issued into circulation by the state, in conjunction with the central bank of the respective country.
- The EM is unique in two ways: 1. Via its spending incentive (user fee), its circulation is accelerated, thus driving economic activity. Doubling the velocity of money effectively doubles GDP!
- 2. Its leakage inhibitor (fee for exchanging EM into euros) keeps the money circulating domestically, thus strengthening the regional economy and reducing trade deficits.
- By issuing EM the government immediately gains access to about 10% more liquidity, and via the spending incentive and leakage inhibitor earns additional billions. Low-income people bear practically no increased burden.
- EM credits carry a lower interest rate than euro credits, thus facilitating economic investment.
- The EM will quickly become the vehicle for a large percentage of domestic payment transactions.
- The EM will circulate only in the real goods-and-services economy, since it will not be suitable for speculative financial products."
The study has been published at www.eurorettung.org. Translations into English, Greek, and Portuguese are also available there for further distribution in the respective countries.
Direct link to the study: "Express Money: Avoiding the Eurozone Breakup"
Febr. 2012, 12 pages, pdf