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Re: interLETS exchange

April Sampson-Kelly wrote:

>About international payments through LETS
>we have a LETS system here comfortable with interLETS exchange.
>This is an issue which I brought to our LETS bodies attention.  (Iwas
concerned that
>the international exchanges would defeat the primary aims of LETS and that
>is to be a local currency.

The Readers Digest Universal Dictionary describes local as :

1)Of or pertaining to a place, and
2) Pertaining to, existing in, of interest to, peculiar to, or serving a
certain locality...

To me the locality of LETS is equally applicable to both these definitions.
Obviously, a LETS can be local to a place, but it can also be local, in that
it is peculiar to a community, be that community globalised, virtual or
confined to a village.

In other words we can have a international LETS which is still local because
it evolves out of the needs of a particular trading community, eg.the
permaculture movement/institutions. 

>I will be discussing it in Perth at the international conference.
>Basically, our LETS accepts your currency and sends a letter of acceptance
to your own body.

>You may have to check with your own body if this is acceptable.

I am currently a member of Greater Manchester LETSystem.  InterLETS exchange
is not acceptable in this form of LETS. 

>Your LETS body benefits from your commitment as you wrote, in that they get
the energy injected
>by your services, our Body already spends currency with other bodies Mainly
for organic produce
>from the nextdoor LETS body.  The only time I can see where this may come
unstuck is when the richer
>LETS body co-erces the indebted LETS body to repay in some way.  (seeing
you are on LETs you
>may like to join the discussion)

Another way of doing it would be through an international LETSystem. 

One of the criteria of a LETSystem is that the unit of currancy is of
equivalent value to the national currency. ie. 1 Greater Manchester pound =
1 sterling. In an international LETSystem, this rule could be adhered to so
long as the same international exchange rate was used. However, as soon as
exchange rates between national currencies fluctuated, the integrity of the
system would be lost, because its total trading balance would no longer
equal zero.

There are two ways to avoid this:

1)Select an exchange rate for the system, and keep to it for ever more. This
would render the system unsustainable, as a portion of the members would
lose out in comparison with other newer systems with more rescently
established exchange rates.

2)Create a new unit of currency which is neither equivalent to the pound, US
dollar, AUS dollar or any other.  I am not sure how such a currency could be
arrived at.

Any input ?


PS. This discussion has evolved because I wish to pay April a sum of money
in a LETS currency. She is in an Australian LETS which does InterLETS
exchange, whilst I am using a LETSystem. What would others do in this
situation ?   
 Rob Squires of CTCSystems | http://www.u-net.com/~yesyou
 Communitarianist          | E:mail - robgil@yesyou.u-net.com
 ========================= + ===========================================
 Gill Ellison              | http://www.connect.org.uk/merseyworld/ACSH/
 Age Concern - St.Helens   | E:mail -robgil@yesyou.u-net.com