Locally produced scrip was a feature of the Great Depression.
Last year, two Detroit tavern owners were sitting at the bar, sampling their beverages and bemoaning the local economy — no one in the city had cash, and when they did, they spent it in the suburbs. Then the pair hit on a solution: Print their own money.
It is, after all, perfectly legal for anyone to issue currency, as long as it doesn’t look too much like a U.S. dollar. Thus was born the Detroit cheer, a local scrip accepted by a handful of city businesses, including a pizzeria, an electrician and a doggy day care center.
Residents can also exchange it at a few area bars for greenbacks, but the cheer is vastly more colorful. It features a chiseled, naked Greco-Roman superhero (the Spirit of Detroit) towering Godzilla-like over the city skyline, cupping a tiny family in one hand and a sunburst representing God in the other. He’s a lot more fun than George Washington.
Read more at MSN Money.