Interesting Links on Alternative Money and Banking Systems
Larry Gambone has a related post on the banking fraud at Porkupine Blog. Here's the money quote (no pun intended):
More than 150 years ago, Proudhon realized that workers and farmers had their own in-built collateral. For workers, it was the amount of labor over a given time period, for farmers, the crop or harvest. Hence, there was no need to have collateral in gold, bills or property, nor was there any reason, other than government preventing it from occurring, for farmers and workers to create money and loan it out to each other thru a mutual banking system. For the longest time banks ignored the workers and poor farmers, but with the rise of consumer society came a realization that a bundle could be made loaning money to these here-to-fore ignored customers. Our collateral is our labor, but the banks reap the benefit.
UPDATE: Atreyu, in the comments thread, provides a link to a site for Ripple.