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Guest Post: The Greeks Have Already Dumped the Euro

Tyler Durden's picture


Via Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

[ZH: We first noted the shift to a barter economy that is occuring in Greece back in April. But Mike's excellent update below shows that this 'barter' has progressed to a new 'alternative' currency]

Really fascinating article about how many cities and communities in Greece have already moved on from the euro to bartering as well as alternative currencies.  The city of Volos, 200 miles north of Athens with a population of 170,000 is highlighted in the article due to the size of its alternative money market centered around a local currency call the Tem.  This sort of behavior will be the wave of the future in all countries, as Central Bank currencies are debased into extinction.  It’s interesting because while I was in Crested Butte over New Year’s I noticed they have a local currency going there called Crested Butte Bucks and I was really surprised to see that you can spend them pretty much anywhere in town.  I also highlighted this trend in my post earlier this year English City of Bristol Launches its Own Local Currency.

Now, from the Guardian:

It’s been a busy day at the market in downtown Volos. Angeliki Ioanitou has sold a decent quantity of olive oil and soap, while her friend Maria has done good business with her fresh pies.


But not a single euro has changed hands.


In this bustling port city at the foot of Mount Pelion, in the heart of Greece‘s most fertile plain, locals have come up with a novel way of dealing with austerity – adopting their own alternative currency, known as the Tem.


“Frankly the Tem has been a life-saver,” said Christina Koutsieri, clutching DVDs and a bag of food as she emerged from the marketplace. “In March I had to close the grocery store I had kept going for 27 years because I just couldn’t afford all the new taxes and bills. Everyone I know has lost their jobs. It’s tragic.”


For local officials such as Panos Skotiniotis, the mayor of Volos, the alternative currency has proved to be an excellent way of supplementing the euro. “We are all for supporting alternatives that help alleviate the crisis’s economic and social consequences.”

Full Guardian article here.


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Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:50 | 3123403 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

Never underestimate the will to survive.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:54 | 3123431 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Long live private currencies

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:02 | 3123470 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I dunno guys.  Artificial LOCAL currencies, based on nothing, do not seem to be long-lived.  This appears to be just a scrip, an alternative until something better hits town.

Why are they not bartering with silver?  That is the PAYMENT I would take, I would pay in that bogus local new paper currency...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:03 | 3123477 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

40 years median age, compare with 70y gov fiat

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:14 | 3123536 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

I took a nice dump today too, bitchez!

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:20 | 3123563 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

paper currencies only last for as long as joo bankers con you into believing they are actually worth something... The point of recognition comes long about the time that they have stolen all your gold...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:21 | 3123568 IvyMike
IvyMike's picture

I didn't say I was a Jew.

I said I was Jewish.


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:24 | 3123590 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Barter is getting big in Greece...

My friend Dmitri Apocalypsopoulos witnessed a guy trading a handjob with another guy for a blowjob cutting the taxman completely out of the picture.

Apparently it's the only 'jobs' available there these days...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:30 | 3123618 Michaelwiseguy
Michaelwiseguy's picture

Nigel Farage - Greece Descending into Total Chaos & Violence

He told me that he and his friends, who live in the big detached houses on the outskirts of Athens, they are all going out and buying Kalashnikovs (rifles).  He said, ‘We are doing that because we think those of us that have assets and property, at some point soon, are going to need to defend our properties.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:32 | 3123627 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Still listening to The City's Darling?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:05 | 3123996 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

If you write "I owe you a cup of coffee" on a piece of paper, it will hold it's value. It will always be worth a cup of coffee to those who honor it.

Not so much for the Dollar...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:11 | 3123796 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Since England is still a monarchy (sort of), they should make Nigel their king. Smartest thing they could ever do.

I could see hime dissolving Parliament, holding all new elections whereby all previous office holders were automatically DQ'd, then dissolving the monarchy and abdicating the throne. I don't know how well the Brits would handle freedom, though.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:21 | 3123837 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

did you ask 'em? Just thinking loud...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:08 | 3124005 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

You mean people actually need to eat?

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 10:26 | 3125055 MarcusLCrassus
MarcusLCrassus's picture

Nigel Farage = the next Cromwell? 


Now that would be awesome.  Initial policy he might institute would be a twist on what Shakespeare said: "the first thing we do, lets kill all the lawyers bankers."

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:44 | 3124410 walcott
walcott's picture

if that was the case they all should be dead already or killed some chaos.

That article almost a year ago 2-15-2012

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:34 | 3124065 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

They last as long as the government which issues it, demands tax payments denominated in the issued currency.  Pay in the approved fiat or go to jail.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:25 | 3123581 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:16 | 3123511 sunaJ
sunaJ's picture

I've believed this would happen for a while now.  Local currencies are a good thing.  In fact, they can be the death knell for central planners, because they are formal rejections to the current centrally-planned offer (in this case, the euro).  When they catch on with more rapidity, it can be the vote of no confidence that precipitates hyperinflation in the dollar/euro.  These currencies will inevitably begin to form as the stress of austerity and taxes press on the populations.   Local, small currencies - even fiat - are much better than centrally-planned FRNs or the euro.  Local currencies will have to compete with each other and one failure will not be the end of the country (or continent).  There is also much more accountability with local control.  Be prepared to see the states issuing their own currencies once the dollar collapses here.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:55 | 3123721 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

Much of the world has been "bartering" around the USD for a while, now.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 03:48 | 3124800 Transformer
Transformer's picture

There's nothing wrong with a scrip or paper currency based on barter.  Nothing wrong that some bankers couldn't F up, though.  As long as the currency is for the people, and they maintain it honestly, it will work great.

There was a book written by Silvio Gessell  that led to scrip currencies being tried in various towns in Germany and Austria in 1932.  This was during the depression, and the economies of these towns did a 180 degree turn in just a couple months, and flourished.  The central banks put a stop to it though.

Most people forget that Hitler, whatever else he may have been, turned the German economy around, from horrid, to the wonder of Europe in just a couple years.  He did this by applying some of the theories of money from Silvio Gessell and others.  When a currency is desgned to work for the people and not so the bankers can steal, miracles are possible.  Gold and silver are not out of the picture, if you want to save money, you do it with PM's.  If you want do commerce, use the scrip.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:18 | 3123548 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

What you want is then a silver-backed currency. Duly noted
Other wishes and parameters? Debit card? PayPal-Clone?
Market is opening.... Ding ding ding

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 20:12 | 3124248 Matt
Matt's picture

Silver backed? I want silver coins. I think 90% silver, in 1/16 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1 ounce denominations (no $ face value, just indication of weight and purity). Maybe 1/4 ounce and 1 ounce nickel coins for small change? 

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 20:20 | 3124255 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

In the old days we used to call them Silver Dollars, Quarters and Dimes. They did not have denomiations as the legal meaning of the word "dollar" means "1 ounce of Silver"

All paper "dollars" are counterfeit. They can not be redeemed for an ounce of Siver or any other metal.Don't accept them, if you have to use them, pass them off to someone else as soon as you can.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 03:57 | 3124805 Transformer
Transformer's picture

I think one of the fallacies of our monetary systems is that money should both be for commerce and for savings.  Why not separate the two and make a currency designed to implement commerce.  If you want to save, you buy PM's.  The money might be steadily depreciating, but not for the gain of the bankers, but to encourage commerce.  The depreciation would go to the government, in a known and steady manner.  All the govs income would derive from commerce, thus the more commerce the more "tax receipts".

I know, it's a fantasy.  The psycho bankers must be gotten out of the control/create money business.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 20:45 | 3124307 CPL
CPL's picture

Acutally the TEM is part of an economic system devised by a Science Fiction author by the name of Harry Harrison (Eden series was his most notable).   He had a nickle book series in the 60's or 70's called the stainless steel rat.  They are really good if you have a chance to find them.


The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted calls it "Mutual Individualism".  No one persons time is less valuable than another persons, so a TEM is one hour of human work translated into a currency.  Since it's science fiction there is no crop failure and robots pick fruit.  It morphed into participatory economics by the time star trek came around.  Every wonder why there are systems of trade in a universe that appearently has unlimited energy and therefore replicator junk.  You've never seen Kirk go for his wallet, but every one around them uses pressed latnium.


That's the system the Greek have set up.  Very hard to fuck/corrupt with once it's in place and people figure out the value.  The idea that someone games the system is a risk of immediate removal from the system.  One work of labour = one tem, at least in the science fiction novel.  I am very curious to see how something I've only read about in Science Fiction novels and TV shows is working?

It's such a weird concept, it always smacked of communism.  But by how it would work if one hour of time = one tem and that value never changes.  A house would cost someone a decade of saving their time.  Although, doing work and saving the hours, it would make a very frugal society.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:00 | 3124329 strongband
strongband's picture

so an hour's worth of lawyer is charged at the same as an hour's worth of janitor?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:36 | 3124395 foofoojin
foofoojin's picture

if the goverment the AND the people acted in there responsibilty and nothing more. then 99 percent of the lawyers skill value would be made useless. and in that case i beleave the lawyer should ear less then the janator.   but out of pity. sure let them earn the same.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 05:01 | 3124849 Seer
Seer's picture

Excellent reply!

But, it just goes to show that we can't assume that what exists now will necessarily exist in the future.  What laws are lawyers going to be operating by?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 22:39 | 3124497 CPL
CPL's picture

If a lawyer wants their office clean, sure I suppose, why wouldn't it. If it takes a the janitor five minutes to clean an office that's 1/20th of a TEM.  Lawyer writes 400 pages of nonsense or 40 pages of tightly worded agreements.  One takes 12 TEMS, the other takes 400.  Legal work would end up being forced into a position that any extra clauses would cost someone a fortune.  So rider clauses and hidden legal pits would have to be disposed of for the sake of brevity.  nobody would pay out that sum to have a lawyer map out some padded bullshit.


The science fiction I've read about it usually didn't go into exhaustive detail.  It's usually used as an after thought to make a plot device work.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:58 | 3125483 Chewybunny
Chewybunny's picture

That's why it's science fiction. 1 hour of labor for one kind of job doesn't equal the value of 1 horu of labor for another kind. We do not yet have the technology to completely do away with manual labor, nor the kind of technology to make it so resources, services, and goods, would be come so abundant they become totally worthless. When you reach that point, then we can talk about having equal kind of value for labor since at that point value becomes a meaningless term.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:04 | 3125854 CPL
CPL's picture

The "what if's" make it fun though.  Sci Fiction and Fantasy novels haven't really bothered to create financial fiction because our financial industry has the lock on that.  They just could never compete directly with their product positioning.  

Some other "what if's" that pop into mind if their speculative predictions of our current situation...all of which are dead wrong.

  • Vernes warned we would be getting harvested by the Morlocs and dragged into an underground feeding chamber.  Many are waiting for the chamber door to open in most capital cities and financial districts.  If it were to happen, Morlocs would prefer the better fed and healthiest of the 'herd'.
  • Philip K Dick described an America where Japan and Germany ruled North America by this point by WW2 monkey business and Germany crushing England instead of waiting like it did.   Alternatively Blade Runner future should be now as well.
  • Fredrick Poul (amazing writer) informed the general public that we would be returning from a Alpha Centauri mission with a complete and full understanding of genetics, sexual positions, dropping space acid and how to gene splice Marijuana into the common tomato.  Mainly to throw a very interesting orgy/party in space.
  • Logan's Run, (Nolan and Johnsen), 1970's hairy beaver shots and mini skirts made of the future technology of polyester complete with some hottie with a wind blown look.  I'm not sure about you but if we start wearing polyester jumpsuits with epidemic obesity.  It stretches,, we wouldn't want to live in that world.
  • Asimov had everyone neck deep in robots and androids by now.  Even listed some laws of robotics that are completely ignored.  Somehow he suffered under the delusion that Engineer means saint.


I am curious to how the real experiment is structured in Greece.  Tempted in fact to participate in it to figure out what works, what doesn't.  What societal effects does it have?  Like does crime pay?  Does a good deed?  There are many gaps in the history of finance and currency, I feel this is one that deserves to be noted properly.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:46 | 3125919 AetosAeros
AetosAeros's picture

Actually, I disagree with your statement that we don't have the technoloygy to do away with manual labor. The rest of your statement I find satisfactory.

There are technologies available that could minimize to a very great degree the labor of certain menial task industries. I'm not talking in an idealistic fashion, or with rose colored glasses, or fringe theory (cold fusion, perpetual motion, cryogenic superconductors which don't take into account the energy of the 'push' in there models), I'm talking about certain automation processes which can be used in growing, in animal husbandry, and things along those lines. Sure, there are jobs that will always require a human to monitor the actions, but when you can take 100 people 1 year to build something that at start up then requires only 5 people to monitor, and the initial job would take 40 people to operate and do constantly, at 'x' period, you get a lower cost. But some of these things would mean the loss of a job for 35 people at some point. So what to do for them?


Handouts are out, but there has to be something better. When we get rid of those who control our future as a gain for theirs, what do we do to make it better without becoming 'them' in the long run.


just a thought. I up voted you regardless.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 23:21 | 3124560 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

Well strongband it depends of whether you want your will drafted or your toilet cleaned. In my book they're worth about the same. And I think our society could do very well wiothout lawyers - without janitors, I'm not so certain.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 23:25 | 3126392 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Yep, I've never used a lawyer, but I have cleaned my bathroom. 

Very few lawyers would even exist if not for a corrupt government run by them, intentionally too complex for anyone to use themselves.  Therefore, in an honest system most lawyers would have no value.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:40 | 3124400 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

can be compared to Ithaca Hours maybe?

One of the interesting attributes of local currencies created since 1920 is that generally, they are not intended to be stores of value. During the Great Depression 300 towns and other entities created a wide array of emergency money, “stamp scrip,” and other media. Back then, one of the expected problems was “hoarding.”  The goal of these issues was to encourage spending, to keep money in circulation. Lakewood, Ohio, created scrip that announced on its face and back that it declines in value over time, the dollar of January 1933 being worth 50 cents in June. Other towns relied on other expedients to achieve the same result.

On the other hand, Ithaca Hours, as a “time dollar” is designed to maintain its value. Representing one hour (fractional notes also exist), Ithaca’s notes are relatively stable.


plenty of local communities have been rocking this "concept" for decades now, many successfully.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 04:01 | 3124808 Transformer
Transformer's picture

You are so right.  During hard times people save more than they normally would, or "hoard money" as you say, slowing the velocity of money way down.  This creates the same thing as deflation and dampens commerce greatly.  The Woergl scrip encouraged commerce as each bill was taxed 1% a month.  You didn't want to hold the money and pay the 1%, so people spent it into commerce.  Within a matter of months the town prospered.  Economists came from all over the world to witness the miracle.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 04:05 | 3124810 Transformer
Transformer's picture

It's a very different concept to "tax" the money itself.  Not with a sales tax or any other sort of VAT, but a direct tax on the money, that must be paid each month from the time of issue.  Saving it is a loser, as it costs over 12% a year to save the currency, so you spend it.  This tax would support any normal government

And again, if you want to save money, use the scrip to buy silver or gold.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 05:21 | 3124858 Seer
Seer's picture

"This tax would support any normal government"

If no one held on to the trade currency then no tax would be collected.  Since I'm a NO GOVT guy I don't have a problem with this, BUT... absence of govt doesn't = "normal government."

All govts that I know of HAVE to be funded, in which case if people weren't holding trade currencies long enough to generate govt funding then some other means of taxation would be sought.

It's all in the details...


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 22:09 | 3124442 defender
defender's picture

I think I  heard about a "time bank" that was getting popular in SF area.  I am not sure if it is still in use though.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 05:26 | 3124859 Seer
Seer's picture

I think I'd heard of these as well (though from elsewhere).  Problem was that it cost to use the system.  Further, in my mind anyways, having something highly dependent upon computers (which can be hacked; and think "locally managed systems") doesn't sound like the direction we're heading; people can laugh all they want, but if anything like this goes forward it'll be forward to the past- pencils/pens and paper/ledgers.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 10:29 | 3125060 MarcusLCrassus
MarcusLCrassus's picture

Bitcoin, baby!


Its already caught fire, and the only way the government could stop it is by seizing every single computer in the world, i.e. never.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 13:37 | 3125318 Half_A_Billion_...
Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

the bitcoin scene in Berlin is exploding.  German savers are dumping the fucking euro real fast.


1 usd = 0.07 bitcoin


every ten minutes, 25 new bitcoins are created.

every ten minutes, $120,000,000 new federal reserve notes are created.

doing the math is left as an exercise to the reader
Sun, 01/06/2013 - 17:03 | 3127653 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

every ten minutes, 25 new bitcoins are created


Bitcoin is fiat by this example and should soon grow exponentially, just like Federal Reserve Notes.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:26 | 3123596 laozi
laozi's picture

They don't habe a problem with inflation (yet). So they have not learned the drawbacks of fiat.

When inflation comes, silver will be popular.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:33 | 3123616 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Oh it has been proven to work great in small to medium sized communities.
But in the end, they always become to popular and need to be crushed by central banks to avoid losing control.

Europe has a rich history of this kind of coinage.

during and after WOI and II, every big city had it's own currency.
And all over europe, there where hundreds of currencies.

untill the state took them down.

I still collect these coins from my city, out of sheer patriotisme for my city.

I don't know how it is in America, but over here, we are first inhabitants of a city, than of a country, than of europe.
If you look to our history, every city had it's castle and faught other cities who had a castle. Now, these castles have been replaced by soccer teams.
And they are the symbols of our cities.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:38 | 3123640 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Yes. But this time we reduced the National Banks. We have NO NATIONAL "interests" that "force us", "only" "common EZ ones".

On the other side, LOCAL interest FOR it.

Different political equation

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:41 | 3123654 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Wait until cities lend in local currency ;-)

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:43 | 3123662 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I'm an American.  History?  What's that?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:00 | 3123742 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Something akin to copyright, only weaker

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:01 | 3123987 SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

the stadium, great anology, Yes, Europe is reaching the tipping point

AC Milan rejected because they came with African immigrants

The EU is already exploding and burning 


Sat, 01/05/2013 - 05:34 | 3124860 Seer
Seer's picture

TPTB really love this stuff.  Divide and conquer.  "Professional" sports gears up competition in people to work hard for TPTB.  Alcohol is a great accelerant: imagine if pot rather than alcohol was sold at these events.

This is one reason why I lash out any anyone who pushes racist shit: you out there Freddie? Trav?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:45 | 3123667 Doña K
Doña K's picture

Do Chen,

The TEM is based on products and services you provide. You fix someone's car you get TEM you take the TEM to the market and you get milk and cookies.

No pain no gain. 


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:52 | 3123706 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Thanks for the info.  Hey if it works, it works.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:04 | 3123758 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

Who created the TEM?  Who prints or mints it?  I would like to be THAT guy.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 23:59 | 3126456 mkkby
mkkby's picture

That can't possibly work.  Somebody's got to print TEMs and hand them out to poor people in exchange for votes.  And who's printing extra for the banks and auto manufacturers who gave themselves bonuses instead of doing a competent job?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:55 | 3123719 Seorse Gorog fr...
Seorse Gorog from that Quantum Entanglement Fund. alright_.-'s picture

Gold, silver, Tem, tally sticks, seashells... all debt-free money (I'm assuming the Tem is anyway). What's important is who controls it, not the actual medium of exchange.  

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:10 | 3123792 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Why are they not bartering with silver?  That is the PAYMENT I would take, I would pay in that bogus local new paper currency...

Not enough silver to be continously used as a currency? That doesn't mean it WON'T be it just means it will be a scarcely seen and valuable one.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:00 | 3123980 Doña K
Doña K's picture

There is a simple idea behind this. The TEM is local and they want to keep goods and services local. As an example if you were to buy a computer through the internet, there will be leakage from the local economy. You suport your community your relatives your friends and neighbors who will not want to fix their cars in another city or state.

A similar situation as a reaction to that in the US is when states want to tax out of state purchases.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:44 | 3124411 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

mmm, yes, bonus points in learning to trust individuals within your community, and avoid those who abuse that trust.

it's how great communities are created, and maintained.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 10:01 | 3125028 Coast Watcher
Coast Watcher's picture

Not enough silver to be continously used as a currency? That doesn't mean it WON'T be it just means it will be a scarcely seen and valuable one.

Just as silver coins were far less common than copper coins in Medieval England, while gold coins were the currency of the aristocracy, used for really large purchases. The influx of massive amounts of gold and silver into Europe from the New World, via Spain, changed that dynamic a little, tho not by much, until the Industrial Revolution.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:41 | 3123911 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

Yeah, so the foodstore sources all it's wares from just inside the town based on Tems?  As soon as you want anything sourced from outside the town, I suppose you could given them cow dung or some other "product" manufactured in town but the limit to this is why money was created.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 20:49 | 3124315 Whiner
Whiner's picture

These are preliminary underground maneuvers that will soon be replaced by physical goods barter, which will next yeild for bigger transactions to the metals. That's when le garndarme comes for ze gold. Won't work this go round though.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 23:10 | 3124544 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

Hi DoChen - I normally agree with your insightful comments but in this case I think that what's going on is not a substitute currency but a method of simplifying barter among chains of people each of whom has something of value to offer but not necessarily something wanted by the person who has what they need. I do understand that this is the original idea behind money, but in this case I think the TEM system is closer to what actual money was/is intended to be rather than a substitute for fiat currency, which has nothing to do with the original intent of money. Of course if everyone had silver or gold to barter with that would be ideal but they don't, so some sort of system that is independent of fiat has to be devised. We should be congratulating the Greeks and getting ready to emulate them, probably sooner than we expect. I have been bartering for years whenever possible, and I also always - always - ask for a discount when I am paying cash. It works 70% or so of the time.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 00:23 | 3124647 decon
decon's picture

Exactly, unless the Tem is precious metal or script reliably backed by something of value then its "Tem has not come".

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 01:54 | 3124734 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

I'm sure you could buy Tem with your silver, which means the opposite is true. 

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 02:09 | 3124739 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

A local unbacked currency is the perfect compliment to PMs.  It's a sure bet that punishing capital gain tax on PM's will be the next deterrent, but will be impossible to enforce trading in and out of local currencies. 

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:50 | 3123700 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

grecians drop a lot of gyro's as well each year.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:11 | 3124007 Doña K
Doña K's picture

The Greeks have banned gyro for your information. You can not sell pre-ground meat raw or cooked.

The only way is to buy meat and have it ground in front of you (and have the butcher run the machine empty first) or you ground it yourself.

Gyro is sold in thin layers of meat stacked into the upside down cone shape.

That guarantees no slime or bad meat mixed in. Enjoy your cheese-burgers (Cheese from soy) chopped sirloin and compressed chicken boneless wings in the US.

If you can't trust the goverment that regulates everything, can you trust your butcher?   

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:05 | 3123730 HungryPorkChop
HungryPorkChop's picture

And here's the video made by a Greek comedian making these exact same points (contains some adult language):

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:36 | 3125133 Muddy1
Muddy1's picture

I'd like to float an idea.  Instead of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and halves we'll go to .22LR, 380 auto, 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP.


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:58 | 3123458 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

One currency for trade, on for savings, one for investments

I have two letters on my desk for new currencies to join as investor & shareholder

We have a tradition, after all...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:10 | 3123513 Manthong
Manthong's picture

How many Tems to a Mercury dime?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:20 | 3123566 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Metric, please?
We DO have "rational-cartesian" traditions, after all...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:53 | 3123411 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

Way too "smooth" for this to be happening on its own?


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:10 | 3123456 jayman21
jayman21's picture

So then what is really happening.  Did IN-Q-TEL start issueing FaceBook bucks and called them TEM?


I hope you are wrong, but it smells like it.


Edit*** Found another story on what a TEM is.


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:13 | 3123532 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Are you suggesting this is an example of letting something grow, only to blow it up once it gets big enough to do some damage? Then use it as an example of "why we must save the (dollar/pound/Euro/etc...)?"

Hegel, is that you?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:45 | 3123660 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

it's a conspiracy... called eurozone
oh. sorry. the proper word is "project"

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:52 | 3123412 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

The efficiency of markets on full display.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:59 | 3123459 Salon
Salon's picture

This is an example of why I am always an optimist in the long run. Human ingenuity can never be suppressed or controlled permanently

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:18 | 3123550 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

That's why we now have "total warfare" where the only endgame is unconditional surrender; as there's a certain kind of magical destruction coincident with an endgame with no acceptable ends.

If one can destroy enough, control isn't necessary. They will come crawling to the prison-camps for sustenance, as death is the only alternative.

Gov. 101

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:21 | 3123570 Salon
Salon's picture

And it might last 50 years. But control is never permanent.

You dont think north korea will be around forever do you?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:23 | 3123583 IvyMike
IvyMike's picture

Agricultural City-Statism (Civilization) has been around for 8,000 years now.

Will it last forever?

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever. George Orwell

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:31 | 3123619 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Out of context - GO was talking about his 1984, not ours... And his socialism changed, meanwhile

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:16 | 3124021 akak
akak's picture


If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever. George Orwell

Would that be better, or worse, than a dishonest and idiotic troll pounding out malevolent and genocidal anti-human drivel on his keyboard - forever?

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 05:44 | 3124862 Seer
Seer's picture

Exactly!  That's why I keep saying that BAD SYSTEMS = FAIL!

Of course, if you're experiencing most of your life during that 50 year reign it's not such a great thing, but...  I think that the more things can be left to run their course people will eventually LEARN what doesn't work and will ensure that they retain these valuable lessons (as it is now it's all so muddled that no one can recognize what's what, and will, therefore, not recognize the same shit in the future).

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:21 | 3123565 Tango in the Blight
Tango in the Blight's picture

Unfortunately repression can be around for a long time, for a large part of your life or even your entire life. Had you been born in Russia in 1918 and died there in 1988 you wouldn't have known anything but Soviet repression.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:24 | 3123589 IvyMike
IvyMike's picture

70 years of sweet vodka induces stupor.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:13 | 3124015 pirea
pirea's picture

not more than 100 years of fat burgers

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:54 | 3123422 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

Central Banks and their fake money are so 90's

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:57 | 3123446 Salon
Salon's picture

Yeah lol. The Tem is so non fake.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:30 | 3123615 unununium
unununium's picture

Wait til whoever is printing Tems figures out they have a magic lamp.

Or maybe they will go for the BIG payoff after they build loads of confidence in their unbacked scrip paper. 

This is different from central banks how?  

Hard money = PM's and bitcoin.   Nothing else.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:23 | 3123850 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

I just loaded up on the TEMUSD pair.  I can't lose.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:56 | 3123440 Salon
Salon's picture

They have replaced the Euro not because it is being debased to extinction but because it is too valuable and scarce.

Greshams law in action

Bad money drives out good (or at least fills a vacuum)

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:01 | 3123469 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

And so according Gresham's law the EUR is "good money", the category of gold... Just say'n

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:19 | 3123558 Salon
Salon's picture

Gold is even better and driven out by the euro

Their is a hierarchy of moneys

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:40 | 3123643 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

depending from function

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:19 | 3123559 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

It's all relative.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:22 | 3123577 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

All races are

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:05 | 3123763 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

"They have replaced the Euro not because it is being debased to extinction but because it is too valuable and scarce."


No. They are doing this to not pay tax.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 20:37 | 3124289 Matt
Matt's picture

And that, right there, is the justification The Powers That Be will use to outlaw these alternative currencies.

A better idea would be, in my opinion, to use consumption taxes exclusively. Let's say a jurisdiction has 12% VAT and retail generally has an average 8% profit margin. Simply cut the costs of administering income tax, and charge a 20% consumption tax on all purchases made with the alternative currency. 

This tax would have to go to the local government, who would use it to pay for local services. How taxes would be remitted to higher levels of government, I do not know.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:57 | 3124422 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

Why not just use a flat consumption tax across the board, as the sole tax on the current currency? Burn the tax code, abolish most of the IRS, close all tax loopholes. Can it be all so simple?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 23:16 | 3124554 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Not enough room for graft for the nomenklatura. Otherwise, yes it could be that simple.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:59 | 3123462 Jonas Parker
Jonas Parker's picture

Coming soon to a city near you...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:03 | 3123463 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

"Central Bank currencies are debased into extinction........................"


What a load of crap.


Why are they using this Tem thingy ?

Because they don't live within a functional state that can print..............



If you don't get it by now you never will.

The euro is not real money.

Its a claim on capital...........unfortunatly using claims on capital as a medium of exchange does not work very well (for the host economy) in a debt money system.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:50 | 3123516 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

You are so slippery

Small currencies get dollarized - sucked in the Vortex

A Drachma would have to peg to the USD - Option A

OR the EUR has to peg to the USD - Option B

OR we keep the current course with it's options open - Option C

That's it, folks. C is trading the present for the future...


you, DoK, want A for everyone. without consequences, of course

well, there ain't such thing as a free meal

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:38 | 3123751 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture


Of course its the master currency..........

But the Euro said on the tin it was supposed to stop did not , therefore it has no function.......

It cannot buy enough oil and yet remains too hard for its users.


What is its function again ?

Remind me please.


nearly 2MBD of oil has been taken out of OECD Europe since 2006 and yet it remains hard !!!!!

Can you even conceptulize the waste within such a  Defective monetary system

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:17 | 3123817 Salon
Salon's picture

I dont think small currencies have to peg.

They can use derivatives to hedge exposure

And then let it float. Volatility can be managed by hedging.

With an economy without a lot of labor and capital barriers there is no problem with floating a small circulation currency.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:34 | 3123881 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

The national account data is conclusive .

Since about 1995~ there has been no rational internal economies within these euro vassal countries including France & Germany.


They must either export their wealth or create useless assets to create a  positive money (at huge real input cost) supply via bank credit creation.

This waste reduces domestic demand.


The euro is a full blown monetary & now physical world disaster zone.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:02 | 3123474 darteaus
darteaus's picture

And the US will replace the dollar with a new currency soon because the dollar "just doesn't work anymore."

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:26 | 3123862 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

The Greeks replaced the Euro with the TEM.

Americans will soon replace the dollar with some PHLEGM.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 20:22 | 3124267 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

Our next currency?

 They're called BULLETS

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:04 | 3123994 One of these is...
One of these is not like the others..'s picture

Is't it called the Amero???

And is already sitting on pallets waiting for it's day in the sun...

Thought everyone knew that.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:46 | 3124413 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

yes, here is a link to one of them.

Col House is on the front. Ironic.


I feel confident we will see something like this in about 18 mos or less.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 05:53 | 3124863 Seer
Seer's picture

There's always someone's pet project stuffed on the shelf somewhere.

In case people have missed the underlying current, it's about decentralization and localization, not more global unification stuff (NWO).  There are possibilities and then there are probabilities; I focus on the probabilities.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:04 | 3123482 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

i hope there are not any skyscrapers in Volos

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:04 | 3123486 The Miser
The Miser's picture

Every living animal desires freedom.  If necessary invent your own currency or barter to survive.  Regulations and taxes are killing the American economy too.  The black market was a major activity in the old USSR.  In fact, many believe the black market kept the USSR going for many years until the colapse.



Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:16 | 3123538 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Leechs and parasites don't want freedom.

They want a host to feed on. Freedom means death to parasites.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 05:58 | 3124866 Seer
Seer's picture

Really, WTF is this conversation?  Isn't this some sort of anthropomorphism?

Sometimes the tail DOES wag the dog.  Consider that it's bacteria living in your gut that keeps you alive (breaks down food and produces the energy to heat your body); who is in control here?  Are you free of your bacteria?

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 03:34 | 3124790 Athenian
Athenian's picture

The black market is the classic sign of disengaging with the official system designed to screw but the few. Everyone should do it, as much as possible.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:01 | 3124868 Seer
Seer's picture

Sadly, it was the black market that kept the Big Casino from total collapse (of course, the probe into HSBC's activities were never about this, only to collect some "protection" money).  Maybe there's a good (white) black market and a bad (black) black market?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:08 | 3123498 Cap Matifou
Cap Matifou's picture

Same thing happening in Spain

In Spain, financial crisis feeds expansion of a parallel, euro-free economy

The common result in both places, people see as a wonder, how their labor all of a sudden is twice as much worth in terms of products. Not a wonder at all, with all the parasites turned off. Same was done once by the US (Lincoln) and once by the germans, by just thinking out of the box.

"Within two years, the unemployment problem had been solved and the country was back on its feet. It had a solid, stable currency, no debt, and no inflation, at a time when millions of people in the United States and other Western countries were still out of work and living on welfare"



Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:08 | 3123502 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Argentina's black market wants dollars:


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Along a busy street in the Argentine capital, the man in the brown suit doesn't need to speak above a whisper to sell his goods: "Money change. Money change." Those who want to swap pesos for dollars follow him through a run-down mall to a lingerie store. There, amid bras and pantyhose, he closes deals for greenbacks.

Argentines have increasingly turned to such black market money changers since President Cristina Fernandez sharply restricted purchases of dollars in banks and exchange houses to try to keep hard currency from pouring out of the country.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:18 | 3123551 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Nice link.  Go to Argentina, be careful while paying in dollars, and your trip is cheaper!  Also, maybe in a year or so, buying a condo in La Recoleta (a nice neighborhood) may be cheap!

We once went to B. Aires a few years ago.  Great wine and top quality beef were so cheap...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:51 | 3123704 Doña K
Doña K's picture

In Venezuela, you get 4 Bolivares Fuertes per dollar in the bank. But, locals with foreign accounts will give you 12+ BLF's per dollar and then you deposit dollars in their account in the US.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:55 | 3123720 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

perfect example of dollarization & DollarZone membership

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:08 | 3123504 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Bernocchio will have to change the printer plates. Fuck You Bernanke

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:11 | 3123515 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Hey everyone! At the last few days of % increase, looks like theres only 2 weeks left until all-time RECORD market highs are breached! YAY! <:D

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:11 | 3123520 greyghost
greyghost's picture

mike thanks for bring this to the fore front. these local monies have been around since at least the 1970's. ithaca new york started their ithaca hours in the 1970's after all the textile factories went south to north and south carolina. interesting to note that by the 1990's the textile factories then went even further south to central america. at this point the southern folks went to talk with the, shhhh....yankees in new york to see how they handled the "sucking" sound of business leaving. well guess what, the idea of local currency went south. so this has been going on for about 40 years in the u.s. that i know of. i did learn after reading up on the subject that this was wide spread around the world during the 1930's and the great depression. it really took hold in austria until it became a threat to the central bank. this is all legal in the u.s. as long as you don't use the word "DOLLAR", that is legally the right of the united states goverment residing in the district of columbia. don't be a nimrod like the clown minting coins using the word "DOLLAR", yep that idiot went to jail. for those who like to reseach different topics this is a great one. you just don't know where you will end up.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:41 | 3123647 laozi
laozi's picture

Thanks man! In Europe during 1900 there has been countless kinds of "coupons" acting as money in times of deflation. Seems like these things pop up in times of poverty, like a mini speculative bubble.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:12 | 3123524 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Barter also deprives the government of tax revenue.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:44 | 3123661 laozi
laozi's picture

Not always. Even with bitcoin you are legally bound to pay tax (probably up to you to do it). If you just want to avoid tax: use cash.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:50 | 3123701 WTFx10
WTFx10's picture

Barter also deprives the government of Extortion revenue.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:44 | 3123927 Cap Matifou
Cap Matifou's picture

Money is not created by taxation, but by somebody going into debt.

The sole reason in local currency is not leaving the area in any guise. Local taxes are OK, but screw outside taxes, because their application means the debt free local lifeblood is forcefully exchanged back into debt money.

Paper based scripts work until falsification starts, plus the banksters can start to buy and hoard them to restrict their amount, only to be dumped at the right moment and cause collapse of confience.

Good luck to flood the market with virtual money, that changes owner by face to face transactions. There will be some idiotic explanation, why the local survival money needs to be shut down. Or internet/electricity will be turned off in the village, to have them come to reason (ie. back to debt money slavery).

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 19:17 | 3124113 W74
W74's picture

If you've ever used Craigslist you've participated in the barter economy.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:41 | 3124401 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Gee, if everyone went to barter as much as praticable, somebody would run out of tax fiats.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:09 | 3124871 Seer
Seer's picture

By LAW all trades must be accounted for.  Barter reduces the traceability, but not the liability.

If your AIM is to reduce tax revenue you can do it LEGALLY!  Yes!  Just pay me $$s and I'll tell you the secret!  OK, seriously, the ONLY way to accomplish this is to CONSUME (trade)/EARN LESS.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:21 | 3125114 hawk nation
hawk nation's picture

barter is the peaceful revolution by free people

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:16 | 3123542 Lord Peter Pipsqueak
Lord Peter Pipsqueak's picture

Nobody is allowed to leave the Euro.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:58 | 3123731 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

70% of the Greeks still don't want it
still this old City line?

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:10 | 3124872 Seer
Seer's picture

Hotel California, great song!

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:17 | 3123546 Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

It won't take much to get a non dollar market going here as the number of people buying silver and gold increase.  Take a mechanic and a car owning customer, with a long term business relationship.  Small talk over time leads them to know they both buy silver.  One day the car owner needs about 1K worth of work on the car.  The mechanic says 1k, but I'll take 30 oz. of silver.  Perhaps the car owner's a little short of cash?  Done deal. By the time it's noticable to TPTB, it's rampant.  Bet there are plenty of silver and gold transactions happening every day right now.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:20 | 3123561 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

The mechanic might offer to fix it for 1k.

I would only offer him 20 oz of silver...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:00 | 3123982 One of these is...
One of these is not like the others..'s picture

I think I'd offer as much fiat as I could, before haggling about the Silver...

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:12 | 3124874 Seer
Seer's picture

I'd use the fiat to buy Silver and I'd work on my own car... because, well... I'm a cheap bastard!

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:17 | 3123547 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

I'm not certain, but I think war is getting close. If the elite can't control the people with money they will try force soon.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:14 | 3124875 Seer
Seer's picture

When there's not enough bread to keep the masses fed (resources) then that means the circus (wars) has to ramp up: ALL WARS ARE ABOUT RESOURCES (if you have plenty of resources then you're only needing to be in a defensive stance; offensive stance means that your masses will tolerate war because they are restless [due to a lack of resources]).

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:20 | 3123562 news printer
news printer's picture

French screen icon Brigitte Bardot on Friday threatened to follow compatriot Gérard Depardieu to Russia, who was granted citizenship for tax exile

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:34 | 3123631 Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

I remember a time when she could be a citizen any place she wanted.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:20 | 3124881 Seer
Seer's picture

I'd be more than happy to crank up the taxes so that all the banksters, politicians and other non-producers like them (actors etc.) leave the country for the rest of us.  Would only have to endure high taxes for a short amount of time until they were all gone.  Would be a double win- reset things w/o the problem folks.

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