The Raam Development Currency
The Raam, or the World Peace Bond as it is also known, was launched on October 26, 2001 by Maharishi Global Financing, one of the financial arms of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of Transcendental Meditation (TM) to become "the global development currency of the global country of world peace."
The Raam is considered a key element in the programs of theMaharishi Mahesh Yogi "to promote a balanced world economy, reduce poverty, and create world peace," according to Dr. Benjamin Feldman, Minister of Finance of the Global Country of World Peace. 200 Million Euros worth of the notes were printed, by the same company that prints the Euro in Holland.
The Raam is a bond, issued in denominations of 1, 5 and 10 Raams, with one Raam equal to 10 Euros in Europe, or 10 US Dollars in America. It is convertible in Holland at the Fortis Bank in Roermond, Holland, or in the Maharishi Vedic City in Iowa.
According to Maharishi Global Financing, "agreements have recently been made, for instance, with a farmers' association in South America and with traditional leaders in Africa to start using the RAAM as the Farmers' Currency for agricultural development projects. The RAAM will act as a catalyst in the field of economy, enabling the development projects to start, and transforming itself into hard currency after the export of the crops."
As of March 2004 no information has been provided about these projects, or what projects have actually been started in the 2.5 years of operation of the Raam. It appears that the Raam is focused on continuing the export of third world products for first world consumption, rather than in improving local circulation to benefit the lives of local people. This makes the Raam, although appearing as a currency, very different from all of the other projects listed in this website, which are solely focused on local and regional self-development using development currencies.
That said, the Raam is promoted as a tool to "reduce poverty in the world", to "create peace" and to network a "global chamber of commerce to increase unity through economic development", and the "cultivation of agricultural lands producing healthy organic food", among other inducements for people to purchase Raam Bonds. Dr. Feldman continues, "There are 1.5 billion people living in extreme poverty and currencies like the US dollar are not available to most of them. The raam can be used to build new houses, roads, schools and health clinics," Mr Feldman said. These results have yet to be seen.
There is also no information about how the currency will circulate in the countries where these projects are taking place, given that 1 Raam is worth 10 Euro, and there are no smaller denominations. Will other currencies be issued for local circulation?
So far, the questions outweigh the answers.