Posts filed under “Currency”
When I first stated traveling for work, I was surprised and amused by the various currencies I saw. Pre-euro, one would encounter a multitude of paper bills of different sizes and colors, each imprinted with a famous man or woman I probably hadn’t heard of.
Imagine that: The locals actually believed these silly pieces of colored paper had value. Sure, paper currency worked as a medium of exchange, and it allowed you to buy goods and services within that society. But how far off was it to observe that this shared belief system was little more than a collective delusion? Take the paper to another land that didn’t share that belief system — they had their own, different delusion — and the paper seemed to be worthless.
That is the simplified version of paper currencies. The real world is obviously more complex. Banks exist, and foreign delusions (currencies if you will) can be exchanged for a fee for the local paper delusion. There is also a nation behind the “worthless” paper, with a standing army, the power to tax and an enormous enforcement mechanism. Perhaps that is the authority that makes our collective delusion seem to be somewhat less deluded.
This brings me to the digital currency, Bitcoin.
Bloomberg’s ace data visualization team crushes it again; this is an awesome primer:
At the heart of the European debt crisis is the euro, the currency that ties together 17 countries in an intimate manner. So when one country teeters on the brink of financial collapse, the entire continent is at risk. How did such a flawed system come to be? Bloomberg Television and Jonathan Jarvis present “The European Debt Crisis Visualized.”
Source: Bloomberg, Feb. 12 2014
One of the favorite tropes of the “End the Fed” crowd is the “falling purchasing power of the U.S. dollar.” Google that phrase, and you will be rewarded with 91,100,000 results. (drop the “U.S.” and it doubles to 187,000,000 results). The problem is, nearly all of these arguments are wrong. As Matt Busigin of…Read More
One of my biggest complaints about the media is the lack of accountability. People say things on TV in print an on radio, and then . . . Poof! No consequences. They influence public perception of issues, affect policy debates, drive legislation. This is a perfect example of a stern warning of currency debasement and…Read More