QUESTION: At the WEC, you said as the nation breaks apart, the most likely course of action will be the creation of local currencies. You also said you would post a catalog of Depression Scrip. I have not seen that. Can you post that, please?
Thank you for a great WEC. Always learning something new.
ANSWER: Sorry. I may have forgotten to publish that because I searched Amazon and could not find it. It was published back in 1984. Because Depression Scrip is not a huge field of collectors largely because most have never heard of the existence of private currency during the Great Depression, this book is quite rare. You may find some used copies that go for $125 or more.
I have studied the subject from the standpoint of economics. During the reign of Tiberius (14-37AD), he was very frugal and as such there was a shortage of money which led to a Financial Panic in 33AD. During such periods, private money surfaces as a necessity. This is why history repeats because human nature never changes. It will always responds the same way.
Here is private money from the Panic of 1837. The denomination reads 12 1/2 cents. This was issued by a Coffee House. Here is a half-penny issued by the New York store of Macy’s in 1876 following the Panic of 1873.
Throughout history, we see the very same reaction each and every time. I have collected a large number of private currencies covering the various financial waves of panic since Roman times. It has been a critical part of being able to forecast what takes place during these events. The common denominator is always humanity since we never change for thousands of years. We only progress in terms of technology – not our human emotions.
Here is private scrip issued by the San Francisco Clearing House where transactions were settled in the bond and stock markets. The backing was the private shares in companies. This was the Panic of 1907.
Here is another issued in 1908 in Augusta, Georgia. It was the Panic of 1907 that really we began to see widespread stock exchanges issuing money that began because if there was a shortage of cash, you could not conduct any business whatsoever since it was impossible to pay.
Here is the Chicago Clearing House which issued private money during the Great Depression in 1933. We find various stock exchanges issuing private currency in times when there was a shortage of money because people were hoarding their cash in times of uncertainty.
This was the very first Depression Scrip I ever saw and immediately purchased it. This opened the door in economics for me to understand how things function during a great crash. What took place during the Great Depression was that there was a shortage of cash. Over 200 cities began to issue their own currencies just to enable transactions to take place. Businesses could not hire people because there was no available cash to pay them
There are catalogs available in German concerning the NotGeld, private issues of currency during the Hyperinflation of the 1920s. Once again, it does not matter what nation or culture. The same human response will unfold every time.
As the United States breaks up, as is the case in Europe, we will see currencies appear on a regional basis. This is how it will always work. I spent more than two decades investigating these trends and collecting scrip from all financial crises going back to ancient times. Without access to these examples, there is just no economic historical account that has ever tied all of this together. I had to explore this all on my own.