Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
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Life and work
Greco graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Villanova University, acquired a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Rochester and did additional course work pursuant to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Syracuse University. For fourteen years he taught economics, finance, statistics, entrepreneurship, and forecasting as a faculty member in the college of business at Rochester Institute of Technology.
In 1979 Thomas Greco became a private consultant and community activist, working with local Rochester, New York peace and justice groups. From 1981 to 1990 he served as trustee and then president of the School of Living which promotes "decentralized, ecologically-sound, self-governed and humane communities." A frequent contributor to the decentralist publication Fourth World Review, Greco organized of the Fourth World Assembly and New Economics Symposium held in San Francisco in 1987.
After moving to Arizona, Greco assisted in the development of LETSonora (a Local Exchange Trading System) and helped organize Tucson Traders, both now defunct. He has advised groups like Current Innovations, and Alliance for Human Empowerment. He has traveled widely promoting and assisting currency projects in the United States, Mexico and South America, Europe, India, Indonesia, China and New Zealand.
Greco was the keynote speaker at the 1998 conference on "Sustainability: From Vision to Practice", held at Sirius Community and was a forum leader for the 2001 Radical Consultation Forum on Globalization, Money & Trade held in Swindon, England. In 2006, he participated in a discussion at the conference on Knowledge, Business and Consciousness held at the international community of Auroville, India; the keynote speaker at the annual convention of the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA), the trade association for the commercial "barter" industry; and a speaker at the E.F. Schumacher Society "Money in Local Living Economies" forum in Burlington, Vermont. In 2007, Greco was the featured speaker at forums in Beijing and Hang Zhou, China and one of the main speakers at The International Conference On the Dinar Economy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Greco has authored four books on monetary theory and how monetary alternatives can empower communities. He has published articles in many publications, including the Whole Earth Review, World Business Academy Perspectives, Earth Island Journal, Yes! Magazine, Green Revolution, and The Permaculture Activist.
Approach to Alternative Currencies
Jon Rutter, a journalist, described Greco's goal as "junking the dominant monetary system". He notes Greco's opinion that a centralized banking and investment system concentrates wealth, causing misery for average families. Rather than reform, Greco advocates "an entirely new system of money and exchange" which "democratizes credit and emphasizes local control."
The mission of this site is to demystify money by presenting the best leading-edge ideas on monetary and non-monetary exchange. It is a resource devoted to the advancement of economic democracy, self-determination, and global harmony.
He holds that:
The primary lever of power in today's world is the overly centralized, monopolistic control over money, banking, and finance. Money constitutes the greatest and most acute current problem, while being at once the structural domain that is most ready for a transformational shift. It is clear that the best and most promising approaches to liberating economic exchange are in the realm of private, voluntary, free-market initiatives ...
In a review of Greco’s Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender, Brian Leslie writes:
Greco is more concerned with the details of current and potential alternative currencies, devoting much of his book to descriptions of current examples and a selection of past ones, their strengths and weaknesses, and theoretical possibilities and recommendations for future systems, several of which are his own proposals. He notes that alternative currencies start and are most successful at times (and in places) when the failings of official money are having the greatest impact, and mostly discontinue when conditions improve.
Brian Martin writes in his review of Greco's New Money for Healthy Communities that the book's purpose is to describe guidelines for establishing a local currency. He concludes that even if one does not agree with all of Greco views, the book "is a good place to begin thinking through this important issue."
Greco’s 2009 book The End of Money and the Future of Civilization was reviewed in The Ecologist magazine. The reviewer described Greco's analysis of the alleged problem and his alternatives which range from "a complete web-based trading system to creating local, community- based exchange systems which can be linked to regional, national and international networks." He noted "The book leaves you thinking that given the political will and empowerment of grassroots and community -based systems, the environment and civilisation as we know it is not doomed after all."
- The End of Money and the Future of Civilization, Chelsea Green (June 4, 2009). Also at Books.Google ISBN 1-60358-078-6
- Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender, PDF, Chelsea Green (November 1, 2001). ISBN 1-890132-37-3
- New Money for Healthy Communities, self-published, 1994.
- Money and Debt: A Solution to the Global Crisis, self-published, 1990.
- Chapter 7, "New Mechanisms for Monetary Exchange," in Willis W. Harman, Maya Porter, The New Business of Business: Sharing Responsibility for a Positive Global Future, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1997, ISBN 1-57675-018-3
- Credit money
- Commodity money
- Digital cash
- Electronic money
- Economic Democracy
- Private bank
- Private currency
- Greco, Thomas H. "Beyond Money".
- Boyle, David (June 27, 2004). "Speech at Local Currencies for the 21st Century conference" (PDF). E. F. Schumacher Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-08.
- Paul Glover, Monica Hargraves, [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-53885034.html In Each Other We Trust: local currency brings communities together, Whole Earth, March 22, 1998.
- Greco, Thomas H. "Thomas H. Greco, Jr. (PDF)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-14.
- "Team". Current Innovations. Archived from the original on 2007-09-15.
- "Our panel of advisors". Alliance for Human Empowerment. Archived from the original on 2007-06-30.
- "Knowledge, Business and Consciousness". Auroville Universal Township. 2006.
- "Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)". E. F. Schumacher Society. Archived from the original on 2006-05-13.
- Greco, Thomas H. (June 30, 1997). "The Trouble with Money". Yes! Magazine.
- Rutter, Jon (September 13, 2009). "Learning to live sustainably". Lancaster Sunday News. Archived from the original on 2009-09-18.
- Greco, Thomas H. "Background and Rationale".
- Brian Leslie, Participatory democracy is good for you, review of Thomas H. Greco, Jr. and Bernard Lietaer books on money.
- Brian Martin, Review of New Money for Healthy Communities at his University web site.
- Jaswinder Kaur, review of The End of Money and the Future of Civilization, Ecologist magazine, September 29, 2009.
- Beyond Money, Thomas H. Greco, Jr.’s alternative currency blog.
- Thomas H. Greco, Jr., Improving Local Currencies, or How To Make a Good Thing Better at Global Development Research Center.