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Barter Markets: Self Help Solution To The Disaster

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Life Goes On, Even After Money

This video tells the story of the barter economy that emerged in Argentina in 2001, when the mainstream economy collapsed.

The national currency, the peso, played no part at all in these massive markets. Instead, the hundreds of vendors traded using coupons called "creditos".

This network of markets became a parallel economy. Even wholesale produce vendors accepted the creditos, and people exchanged food they had produced themselves. Hairdressers, doctors, dentists and psychiatrists offered their services for creditos to trade.

Even employed people sometimes were paid in goods to swap and barter at the markets instead of money.

"This has become a way of life for us. The economic crisis has affected all of us. This is a way of earning our daily bread with dignity." says one participant.

Bartering and swapping are great ways of cutting costs for anyone in any economic climate -- but in a severe economic downturn they can literally be lifesaving.

No matter if you are unemployed -- if you think of what you have to offer, be it dog walking, gardening, computer support, legal services, language or music lessons -- you will find a way to get goods and services, even food and shelter in exchange.

Life goes on, even if money doesn't.

--Bibi Farber