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6/30/2005
Make Your Own Bank
Here's an awesome article on how to Make Your Own Bank. My summary: Gather the community together. Give each one a card. On that card goes their name and signature. There is also a central register (so each card needs a number, but not as important). If the basic needs for a person are met with $100/month in this group, then each person write "dividend" on the first line and $100 in the "money received" column. The bank ledger writes $100 for each person in the money spent column. Both parties sign both (card and ledger, in this case).

So you want to buy some rice. You go to the rice seller and write "10 kg rice" and in the money spent column, you write $5. The seller writes 10 kg rice and $5 in teh money received column. You both sign both cards.

Holy moley! It's a bank. And that card is all the money you need. And if you lose it no one else can use it. So they bring it back to you, "I found your money." And if it's truly lost, the central bank could figure it out by looking at the other cards (which they'd have to do from time to time to balance out, not sure of the details).

I wonder if this concept could simplify things at all in my housing co-op. We (the co-op) have a mortgage that we're paying every month and we also have a construction loan and we also have monthly expenses like electricity and garbage collection. So everyone writes a check to the co-op every month. But members also buy things for the co-op. A shovel here, 8 toilets there, etc. These have to get reimbursed somehow. And sometimes someone buys something that only 1 or 2 others have to pay back (the welder, window air conditioners). These cards could save a lot of back and forth with checks.

Totally cool