July 21. JSG Boggs

As ConnectMidMichigan reports, “New types of money are popping up across Mid-Michigan and supporters say, it’s not counterfeit, but rather a competing currency. Right now, you can buy a meal or visit a chiropractor without using actual U.S. legal tender.”
–They say that most cutting edge trends in the US start on either the east or west coasts.  But the above article, along with another piece I saw, makes me think Michigan may now be the leading state. The article referenced above cites a move away from the dollar as a medium of exchange for goods and services, with certain business establishments accepting precious metal coins and other forms of payment.  A previous article I saw described people in Detroit taking matters into their own hands for social services, such as cutting the grass in public parks and maintaining grounds around foreclosed properties. 
–The other story that comes to my mind when considering paper money as a medium of exchange regards JSG Boggs.  This is a guy who drew currency as a form of payment (see below links).  He apparently would go to a fancy restaurant, order a sumptuous meal, and then draw intricate currency as payment.  The “authorities” frowned upon such payment as noted in links.  The point is that individuals begin to supplant state when state either fails to function or over-reaches.  
J.S.G. Boggs’ “currency exchange program” began by accident in 1984 at a Chicago bar. The bar’s waitress liked a drawing that he had made on a napkin, and accepted it as currency to pay for his drinks.
In 1986, the British government charged him with being a counterfeiter, but the case was thrown out of court. To celebrate his victory over the English legal system, Boggs vowed that he would live on his own self-made currency for a year.
In 1991, the U.S. Secret Service seized 15 of his works hanging in an exhibition in Cheyenne, Wyoming. A year later, they raided Boggs’ workshop and home, and confiscated the rest of his drawings plus his business records. According to Boggs, they took over 1300 items, and they never brought charges against him. To this day, the Secret Service still has possession of his works.
In 1993, he began suing the Secret Service to return his confiscated works.  He’s been paying his lawyers in $100,000 denominations of Boggs currency.
Boggs (Steve Litzner) was born in Woodbury, New Jersey, U.S.A., in 1955. Any person who gets a Boggs note can usually sell it for much more than its face value: a $10 Boggs note may be worth more than $1000. Any person who knows about Boggs is likely to accept a Boggs note; for this reason, Boggs prefers to spend his art with people who are unfamiliar with his work. He likes people to make a conscious choice to accept art instead of money, and their knowing how much money his art is actually worth spoils it. He views these “transactions” as a type of performance art, but the authorities often view them with suspicion. Boggs aims to have his audience question and investigate just what it is that makes “money” valuable in the first place. He steadfastly denies that he is a counterfeiter or forger, maintaining that a good-faith transaction between informed parties is certainly not fraud, even if the item transacted happens to resemble negotiable currency.
actual pictures of Boggs currency

Posted on July 31, 2010 at 8:57 am by alexmanzara · Permalink
In: Eurodollar Options

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