Local Exchange Trading Systems

Copyright Sidonie Seron 1995.

Memoire presente par Sidonie Seron en vue de l obtention de la Maitrise de Langues Etrangeres Appliquees
Octobre 1995

Faculte de Langues et Communication
Departement des Langues Etrangeres Appliquees
Universite de Bourgogne - Dijon

Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
INTRODUCTION
1 - CREATION AND GROWTH OF LETS
1.1 LETS' background
1.1.1 Michael Linton's reflection on conventional economy
1.1.2 Problems with conventional money
1.1.3 Alternatives to money
Barter
Commercial barter networks
Countertrade
Local currencies
1.2 Principles of LETS
1.2.1 A community with personal currency
Community
Personal money
1.2.2 Fundamentals
Cost of service
Consent
Disclosure
Equivalence
No interest
1.2.3 LETS organisation
Role of Landsman Community Services
System administration
Directory
1.3 LETS development
1.3.1 Variations on LETS
EthicaLETS
LETSupport
LETShare
CapitaLETS
MultiLETS
1.3.2 LETS development strategy
Aims and principles
Contribution to Community
Regional development groups
1.4 World-wide growth of LETS
1.4.1 First experiences in Canada and the USA
1.4.2 New start in Australia and New Zealand
1.4.3 Arrival in the UK
Development in the UK
Letslink UK
1.4.4 Situation in the rest of the world
2 - SITUATION IN MANCHESTER
2.1 Manchester LETS
2.1.1 Presentation
Creation and growth
Promotion
Organisation
2.1.2 The small business network
Originality
Advantages
Results
2.2 LETSgo Manchester
2.2.1 Aims
Demonstration of the viability of LETS
Accelerated growth in the number of LETS
Test of a new concept
Confirmation of the leading role of Landsman
2.2.2 Principles
Large scale
Community support cycle
LETShare
Choice of Manchester
2.2.3 Design
Programme budget
Financing
Trainees
Further revenue
2.2.4 Implementation
Introduction across Greater Manchester
Practical course
3 - ASSESSMENT OF CONVENTIONAL ECONOMY
3.1 General context
3.1.1 Creation of money
3.1.2 Current situation
3.1.3 Nature of money
3.2 Positive aspects of money and global economy
3.2.1 Strengths of money
Medium of exchange
Store of value
Unit of account
Standard of deferred payment
3.2.2 Advantages of a global economy
Economic growth
Increased choice
Lower prices
3.3 Problems with our global economy
3.3.1 Weaknesses of conventional money
Inadequacy to real wealth
Interest rates
3.3.2 Drawbacks of our global economy
Interdependence
Unfair competition
Social and environmental problems
Crisis in developed countries
3.4 Strengths and weaknesses of existing alternatives
3.4.1 Barter
Simplicity and adequacy to wealth
Low level of economic activity
3.4.2 Commercial barter networks
Efficiency
Restrictive character
4 - ANALYSIS OF LETS
4.1 LETS' main characteristics
4.1.1 Community orientation
Money stays local
Boost for the local economy
Friendly atmosphere
Help for local charities
Less pollution
4.1.2 Personal money
Availability
Notional money
Positive psychological effects
4.1.3 Economic analysis of personal money
4.2 LETS' fundamentals
4.2.1 Cost of service
4.2.2 Consent
4.2.3 Disclosure
4.2.4 Equivalence
4.2.5 No interest
4.3 Weaknesses of LETS
4.3.1 Limited impact
Limited means
Low awareness
4.3.2 Low credibility
Unusual logic
Strong alternative image
Arguable assumptions
4.3.3 Vulnerability
Potential abuses
Possible take-over by commercial networks
4.4 Legal situation in the United Kingdom
4.4.1 Taxation issues
Users' responsibility
Distinction between commercial and social trade
Tax assessment
4.4.2 Social Security issues
Conditions
Remunerative work rule
CONCLUSION
LETS' strengths and weaknesses
Problems identified by LETSgo Manchester
Actions
Results and future projects
Conclusion
Afterword
NOTES
APPENDICES
BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Copyright Sidonie Seron 1995.
Permission to copy this document is granted on the following conditions: e-mail reply address: rsl@letsgo.u-net.com
Last Revised 21 March 1996 by Nigel Stewartof XTML