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When the Money Isn't Flowing: Invent Your Own Currency

How would you like to be able to move house -- packing, transportation, cleaning, moving materials removal, and gardening included -- without spending a dollar? If you lived in New South Wales, Australia, you could use shells, issued in points, to pay for everything but the gardening, which you would pay for with time.

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Microfinance: An Island of Stability in the Global Economic Storm

The global financial crisis is opening eyes to creative ways to bank with the world's poorest borrowers, a move that could actually help struggling financial institutions generate more profit in difficult times.

While traditional investment markets freeze up or melt away, microfinance institutions (MFIs) that make small loans to poor people are now being appreciated as - ironically - a relatively safe investment in a potentially huge and largely untapped market. 

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