“WIR in unserer Volkswirtschaft” (Title of German original)
by Prof. Tobias Studer
Department of Economics
University of Basel, Switzerland
Published by the WIR Bank, Basel, 1998
WIR and the Swiss National Economy
(English Translation by Philip H. Beard, Ph.D., Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California 94928 © 2006
The digital file can be downloaded for $3 from lulu.com, specifically, http://www.lulu.com/content/301348.
A printed copy can be ordered at http://www.lulu.com/content/268895 for the price of $15.00.
Founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1934 and originally called the Wirtschaftsring-Genossenschaft (Economic Circle Cooperative), The WIR Bank, as it is now called, was to my knowledge the first modern organized circle for directly clearing business trader’s credits among themselves without the assistance of any conventional financial institution; it thus provided an exchange medium that was independent of, and supplemental to, conventional government money. It is still the best example we have of a successful large-scale mutual credit clearing system that has stood the test of time and continues to thrive. Up until the late 1990s, very little information was available about its history and operations. That situation took a significant turn in 1998 when Prof. Tobias Studer published his book,WIR in unserer Volkswirtschaft (translated, WIR and the Swiss National Economy).
Professor Studer, an economist who taught at the University of Basel, served for many years on the WIR advisory board. His book provides important insights into how WIR operated up to that point and how it related to the overall Swiss economy.
In 2005, I paid a visit to Basel with my colleague Sergio Lub, during which time we spent several hours with Prof. Tobias Studer discussing his experience with WIR and the contents of his book. Upon returning to the United States I showed the book to my friend and colleague Prof. Philip Beard, a Professor of German at Sonoma State University who was very interested and agreed to translate the book from German into English
His excellent translation of the Studer book is now available and is a “must read” for any student of money, banking, complementary currencies, credit and exchange alternatives. See the links above for ordering information.
A short time later, a German colleague, Theo Megalli, and I prepared a precis and critique of the Studer book which you can download free at the link below.
An Annotated Précis, Review, and Critique of Prof. Tobias Studer’s WIR and the Swiss National Economy by Thomas H. Greco, Jr. and Theo Megalli (2006).
A Short Film about the Swiss WIR Economic Circle Cooperative
Here is a short film that describes the Swiss WIR Economic Circle Cooperative, now called the WIR Bank. This film appears to have been made sometime in the mid-1990s.
60 Years WIR Business Circle Cooperative – Origins and Ideology*
A translation by Frederika Almstedt with editorial assistance from Thomas Greco, of an article which appeared in WIR Magazin, September 1994.
Here is a report from Susan Witt on her visit to Basel in October, 2008.
Alternatives to Globalization: Cooperative Principle and Complementary Currency
This article was translated into English by Prof. Philip Beard of Sonoma State University.