Western Massachusetts town starts printing its own money

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Many Great Barrington, MA merchants are now accepting a new currency: Berkshires.

Here's how it works: Some local banks are now offering consumers Berkshires with a nominal value of $1 for every 95 cents in cash they trade in. Then some banks are accepting those Berkshires as cash -- meaning that consumers can save 5% by using Berkshires. The banks can then presumably trade the Berkshires in for 95 cents in cash.

In other words it isn't really a new currency that would conflict with the United States Constitution. Many of the town's 7,527 residents (according to the 2000 Census) have adopted the new currency as a way of supporting local businesses and buying locally.

It's a nifty idea to be sure, and a great headline grabber but it's really not that unique: It's no different from a coupon that offers a 5% discount at select businesses -- or a store that treats 95 cents worth of postage stamps in lieu of $1 in cash. But hey: If it builds community spirit and helps keep towns lookin' good with quaint shops instead of big boxes, I'm all for it. It's a harmless enough gimmick. Check out the video below for more detail.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Read Full Story

People are Reading

The Latest from our Partners
1 - 3 of 15