I may as well retire

Gosh, people send me stuff. Today I discovered a huge windfall. My friend and volunteer moderator DB Stealey sent me 100 TRILLION dollars in the mail today. Here’s a scan of the bank note:

I’m rich! I can fund my own climate research group, I can get that Ferrari! Now all I have to do is convert it to US Dollars…and um…plot like Dr. Evil here.

http://pix.motivatedphotos.com/2008/7/13/633515366200848375-100-Trillion-Dollars.jpg

Oh, wait…

Seems it is worth about $30 in this January 2009 BBC article. Well at least I can buy a nice lunch.

Well, maybe not. McDonalds maybe?

Lessee…what’s the exchange rate today?

Maybe if I hurry, I can still buy a hot dog and a coke at Costco. I wonder why they bother putting a security strip in the banknote?

Well, it’s still worth more than this:

Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) Carbon Instruments

==============================

Happy Friday everybody!

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118 thoughts on “I may as well retire

  1. And in irony of ironies, the ad that Google stuck in the middle of this piece was for, wait for it!:
    Robin Carnahan for Senate,
    Ready for common sense solutions? Join our grassroots campaign today!
    http://www.RobinCarnahan.com
    Robin, needless to say, is a person we can count on to keep those printing presses running. She believes that we can borrow ourselves rich and spend our way out of any government-caused depression like any mindless Keynesian.

  2. I have been trying to buy carbon credits with 1/2 billion dollars I have won on my computer in cyber dollars. At par they are equivalent.

  3. “it’s still worth more than this:”
    LOLROF!!!!
    A good way to end another week in the world of Climate and financial hypocrisy.

  4. In a podcast on the recession that I recently listened to, I heard an
    economist talking about what happens when government prints money: it just
    dilutes the existing wealth. He said that in Germany before Hitler, when
    rampant inflation peaked, that in numbers of Marks, the sum total of all
    German home mortgages was worth 1/4 of 1 US cent. That is what inflation
    can do to your savings. We must stop our government from going any further
    down the road it is on. We must grow our way out of this recession. We
    cannot print our way out of it.

  5. Rich people here should move to Zimbabwe. They’d be Quintilionaires, or Sextillionaires.
    haha a few more years and they’ll have to invent new prefixes for their currency…or start using scientific notation.

  6. I’m from the old school.
    Is the con job of trying to sell the Brooklin Bridge still going on to tourists and the Statue of Liberty?
    Shares in the Moon?
    I’m selling donut holes…just the space inside.

  7. Doug- “haha a few more years and they’ll have to invent new prefixes for their currency…or start using scientific notation.”
    I suggest moving to the ‘comma’ method of valuing currency, similar to what was done for VC-funded start-ups during the dot-com bubble.
    1 comma = 1,000 ZD (Zimbabwe Dollars)
    2 comma = 1,000,000 ZD
    3 comma = 1,000,000,000 ZD
    etc.
    This works well if the smallest increment in denomination is 10^3. So, a 100 Trillion ZD would not exist.

  8. I’d suggest that when the US Treasury starts printing $100 Trillion bills, we put the face of the politician most responsible for this debacle on them. They should also be 4½” wide, and printed on rolls with a cardboard tube in the middle, for ease of use.

  9. The Great Germain Inflation after WWI, the Tulip Scheme, and the Mississippi Bubble, Brazil more recently. Ain’t paper money grand!
    The story about the German workers who would throw their pay over the fence to the frau who would run to buy anything rather than stay for an hour in paper may say it all.
    For more, browse http://www.AIER.org.

  10. Those were available as a set of 4 bills for a while on ebay for about 10 USD and may still be. Rhodesia just revalued the currency and knocked 11 zeros off the end. So that bill is now 10 new Rhodesian funnybux. Basically, the people in Rhodesia now use foreign currency for any transactions. There are signs (and I am not putting you on) in South Africa that state that you should not use newspaper, Rhodesian money, and a couple other things to wipe yourself in the loo.

  11. That bill is ominous vision of our future. When the rest of the world finally grows tired of lending us money to pay them the interest on the money they lent us previously the only option, other than complete default, will be the printing presses.

  12. I wonder if that pile of rocks pictured on the front of the bank note is worth more or less than $100 trillion ZD. ;-> Pretty sad when corrupt governments take over.

  13. Remarkably, this note is probably worth more on ebay than on the streets of Zimbabwe where US$ are now the currency of choice and legal tender. This too was after the re-denomination where about 9 zero’s were removed – yeah great success that turned out to be. Computers were having problems with all the zero’s.
    Mods – here is the sorry tale of the fall – halfway down the page. Note inverted log scale!! http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/apr21_2010.html
    Just remember, these are the poor people suffering the effects of climate change NOW and need your tax dollars NOW before its too late. Because this is all due to climate change and global warming and it will only cost $100 billion to make it go away. Perhaps you could forward this note to Hilary Clinton to help her pay your share.

  14. I just might be a little thick today but did you drop a couple of zeros when entering to the exchange converter? When I enter 100,000,000,000,000 to the converter it comes out to 7859.43 US dollars. What am I missing here?
    100 trillion = 1X10^14 or 100,000,000,000,000

  15. End the Federal Reserve! They are moving us ever closer to the Wiemar Republic and Zimbabwe. Our debt is over 10 trillion plus we have unfunded mandates totaling in the tens of trillions.
    Get to the life boats! The Titanic is going down! Meanwhile, the government is polishing the brass and sayin’ there ain’t nothing to worry ’bout.

  16. From the looks of the bill, they seem to care about it being counterfeited. Why? Maybe its the proof for the US bill of 2020.

  17. Now, I can’t stand Al Gore but even that makes me wince for him. When it’s wiser to invest Zimbabawe dollars than buy a carbon credits… ouch!

  18. Gee, when I entered 100T into the convertor, it came back with $7859.43. “Do you wanna sell your 100T Zbill for $20.00?”

  19. If you are going to retire, you’re going to play hell finding any dealer to take the Zimbabwe lucky bucks for a set of new Coopers.

  20. I think the point here is that paper money ( fiat currency ) is only a proxy for bartering in real goods, such as food, oil, minerals, machinery, etc. It’s easier to tote around than a bushel of corn or a hundred lbs of iron. Beads anyone?

  21. According to the conversion chart at the link in the article
    $100,000,000,000,000.00 Zimbabwe = $7,859.43 US
    looks like somebody dropped a couple decimal points when they wrote the article. Still can’t retire on that unless you want to live in a thatch hut, dress in a loin cloth, and eat rice & fish heads the rest of your life. It’s tempting. 🙂
    REPLY: I don’t think Dave would have sent it if it was that valuable -A

  22. I’d love to get one of those… any chance of posting directions on how to get one? ( I’m assuming the local money changers at the airports don’t keep a lot of them in stock… )
    BTW, while Gold “has issues” as a currency (volatility, low supply, pocket wear, physical shipping, ‘money supply’ controlled by a few countries, etc.) it is a decent yardstick for long term value of other currencies. Through most of history one ounce of gold has bought “one mans fine suit of clothes”.
    So if you want to ‘benchmark a currency’ using a gold reference is a decent way to go.
    about 1960 something:
    Gold: $45 / ounce
    Bread: 10 cents / loaf
    House: $7000
    Car: $1400
    Now:
    Gold: ~$1100 (roughly 25 x 1960)
    Using that ratio:
    Bread: $2.44
    House: $171,000
    Car: $34.222
    Given where that particular house was located, this is about the correct price for it today. I pay about that price for bread, and a decent car is about that price. (the baseline was a very nice car in 1960…)
    This, BTW, is my personal benchmark for inflation. Some prices I personally know. Stamps rose from 2 cents to a nickel about then too; and it was a great scandal. So 2 x 25 = 50 cents… and the present stamps are 44 cents. (The actual factor is 24.44 so it really is 48 cents. And rising how fast? We now have ‘forever stamps’ so you don’t have to use them all up this month before the rates rise again… )
    Not a perfect metric, but not subject to “official fudge” either. (Like when they redefined ‘inflation’ at the national level to ‘get inflation down’…)
    Bread, suit, car, home, stamps, gold. Covers a decent set of capital intensive, labor intensive, minerals / resources intensive, agricultural…
    The rate has run about 96% value loss in 50 years, or about 2% / year. (Though that is a fairly stupid linear method, the reality is a power function).
    So you can figure that over a typical lifetime any “money” you hold WILL become worthless. It’s just slow enough you don’t notice … much…
    And some of us older folks would add “HAS ALREADY become worthless”…

  23. Laugh it up! But what do you think the NWO plan for our currencies in their socialist, satanistic, dystopia. Hmmm?

  24. “Joe (14:36:47) :
    You know when your currency is no good ?
    When the paper it is written on is worth more.”
    Careful – i understand the US one cent has more value in its materials.

  25. Totally random question. What has happened to Zimbabwe’s temperatures over the last 50 years?

  26. @Xi Chin:
    NWO or not, makes no difference. EVERY “fiat money” has this problem with inflation. NO exceptions. Some are slower than others (Swiss Franc, Japanese Yen) but none are “as good as gold”.
    The basic problem is a bit of “inside baseball” in economics, but the “short form” is that a government can simply print money and spend it, that dilutes the value of all the existing money stock and so it acts as a “tax” on all holders of money. A tax that requires no vote, has no ‘paper trail’ of advocacy, and that is often not noticed by the folks so taxed. What politician could ever resist that? Not enough money for your pet project? Easy fix, just print some and spend it…
    That, btw, was the reason our USA constitution forbids the use of other than precious metals as “money”. Yet another bit of sound advice from our founders that is being tossed in the trash heap via “re-interpretation”…
    (There was one sound reason for leaving the Gold Standard under Nixon. The Soviet Russians were the major global supplier of gold, so by holding back, then selling in a big batch, they could whipsaw our economy a little bit. IMHO, the “result” of going off the gold standard was far worse than the “disease” of someone else having control of the gold supply..)

  27. Anthony, this all looks very funny but it is in fact a big tragedy.
    This is all thanks to one of the most effective community organizers the world has ever seen. His experiment has been closely watched by the UK and the UN who saw it as a kind of experiment!
    Many leaders from all over the world watched and learned!
    The UK that did absolutely nothing when the white farmers who turned Zimbabwe into a prosperous country were murdered and the UN blocked any request for sanctions! Fortunately the IMF was prepared to provide some loans so the people still have money although the paper it’s printed on comes with a higher value.
    (Not all the people can afford to have a one trillion dollar note!)
    Watch Mugabe meet another talented community organizer who also shares his deep respect for his people and their well being!
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1268115/When-tyrants-meet-Mugabe-welcomes-Ahmadinejad-Zimbabwe.html
    I am really sorry these guys did not have the opportunity to enjoy a nice Banana Gin
    like it was served in Uganda!
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8640731.stm
    But hey, when the money is good, maybe they have some in the near future.
    They really deserve it.
    Don’t you love those guys?

  28. I bought 10 of those Zimbabwe trillion dollar bills on Ebay last fall for $10, so I must be pretty good at currency trading if they now worth over $75US.
    I keep one over my desk at work to remind me where an economy goes when a gov’t juts prints more money to pay its obligations.

  29. As far as I can tell the Zimbabwe dollar was abandoned about a year ago. The currency convertor at coinmill says its exchange rate is valid as of today ($100T ZD = $7800 USD) but evidently it’s only about as good as tree ring proxies and Finnish thermometers.

  30. With the way the currency markets are these days, nobody is safe, maybe this the one area where Zimbawa is the world leader.

  31. A mate of mine was the geologist in a gold mine in Botswana a while back and I went to visit him in late 1998. We took a trip to Zimbabwe to see the Victoria Falls. That was just when thing were starting to go tits up out there.
    Meanwhile, Botswana is doing pretty well. They discovered diamonds just after they got independance and it is one of the few African countries not to be totally screwed up by corruption.
    The currency in Botswana is the “pula”. It translates as “raindrop”. Something valuable and to be cherished…

  32. Did you say Ferrari, Anthony? I was going to recommend getting yourself a used ENZO, but, unfortunately, your gifted millions would only cover the cost of gasoline for a few minutes. Well, there’s always the “Top Gear” test of the ENZO, and that’s free:

  33. Botswana is a fairly nice country, the only problem is that the HIV rate of the population is something north of 25%. I think it is the worst rate in Africa if memory serves.

  34. E.M.Smith (16:15:01) :
    Chiefio your example indicates 7.9% compound interest, which is what we have always used to inflate claims in our insurance calculations, and it has served us very well. When you do that, and adjust for population shift etc, any long term trend in catastrophic claims mysteriously disappears. Doesn’t make for a good scare story, though.
    OT Did Zeke Hausfather ever come back on your criticism of his comments about Eureka, or can I take your explanation of how GISS fills empty grid cells as definitive?

  35. About twenty years ago I bought a 100,000 peso note in Mexico for 34 USD. A few years later they fixed inflation: they just lopped 3 zeroes off the notes. Problem solved …not.
    E.M.Smith (16:15:01):
    Zimbabwe currency on ebay: click

  36. Not sure if this is OT or not, since it seems to me that it’s also tied in with inflation, etc. http://views.washingtonpost.com/climate-change/post-carbon/ Scroll down to get to the article: EEI, three oil companies to back climate bill; top 10 highlights of Kerry proposal
    A really cute statement in the above article:
    ” 4. Oil companies will be subject to pollution allowances that will be retired over time, rather than a linked fee. In an effort to counter criticism that any sort of carbon limits on fuel sales constitutes a gas tax, the Congressional Budget Office will issue a document stating this provision will not constitute a tax.

    Oh goody, goody! The money flowing out of our pockets and into “Fundamental Transformation” isn’t a TAX! How wonderful! Sure takes a load off my mind.

  37. I have a Zimbabwe $2 bill from when I went there about 12 or 13 years ago. I guess they have had a little inflation problem.

  38. In the old Weimar Republic of Germany, 100 trillion marks was worth $25 so Zimbabwe has a ways to go yet to match that exchange rate.
    The way this country is going, we may face similar exchange rates against the Chinese Yuan.

  39. R. de Haan (16:48:32) :
    “Anthony, this all looks very funny but it is in fact a big tragedy.”
    You beat me to it ! We can all have a giggle but the country was once the bread basket of Africa, dragged to its knees by its despot ruler. Before long it will be Nigeria following this ragged road!

  40. Zimbabwe has not yet discovered a “trick” we have been using for years in Argentina: we print new bills taking out zeros as needed. The first time, in 1967 we erased two zeros from the Peso Nacional an renamed the currency “Peso Ley 18,188”; a few years later we took three zeros and renamed it “Austral”, then five years later we took another 4 zeros and renamed it as plain “Peso”. Curiosly, it was always done to make the American Dollar to be equivalent to $4 units of the new currency.
    It means that our present Peso is worth 0,000.000.001 of the primitive Peso Nacional.
    My hope is that in the next year we won’t be erasing five zeros from our present Peso and cope with the Zimbabwe devaluation…

  41. Don’t forget that part of the GDP of Zimbabwe is the influx of aid $/sFr/Eu, etc. They won’t admit it, but that is a huge part of their GDP. It’s more than tragic.
    For a real rundown on the history of money, download the pdf of the History of Money by Elgin Groseclose at the Mises Institute. The book is sadly out of print, but still available via pdf: http://mises.org/books/money.pdf

  42. TomB (17:41:22) :
    Is that, seriously, a picture of a pile of rocks on the note?
    ————-
    Well, sure… they want to give the impression that their currency is “rock solid”. Wouldn’t you tend to wonder when it got to the point you couldn’t be sure what the denomination was? Pictures solve everything, ya know. Ask Mann–he’s a pro with this type of deception.

  43. Thanks for this post. Anthony.
    I normally only come here for the knife fights on science, but nice to see some topical financial advice.
    Of course with this type of advice a disclaimer is advisable,
    such as,
    this information is provided to reader as commentary only on the benefits of Currency Hedging and carbon trading and is not intended as financial advice and the reader before making a decision should seek independent legal advice from a professional. Hint Al Gore and Mr Mugabwe and GS are not considered quality independent advice at this point time.
    Caveat Emptor suckers.
    You almost made me spit me coffee with this one.

  44. “The money is diluted and spread around” sounds good if you think that somebody has more money than you, or if you are young and have not worked and saved for a life time…
    But when the money that you worked for, sacrificed for, didn’t go to the beach for, didn’t spend time with your kids while they were growing up for, sat in traffic everyday for, put up with crap from your boss for, strained your eyes for, stood on your feet all day for, bend over backwards for, etc.. so that you could have a little money when you were old and couldn’t work anymore… becomes worthless…
    do you know what happens?
    People stop working.
    Then, go and try to find a doctor, or a nurse, or someone to run your train or serve your food or even grow your food or repair your car. Good luck.

  45. James Cameron and Sigourney Weaver were recently in Brazil ( IIRC) to block the construction of a hydro-electric dam. That should help those poor stupid locals ( this last bit is sarcasm, FYI )!!!
    Enjoyed Avatar, but clearly Cameron has lost touch with reality and fallen for the myth of the noble savage. Apparently he would like the rest of us to fall for it as well. Blinders here, get your Hollywood blinders here. *Caution may cause inflated feelings of importance and intellect*.

  46. My connection to the topic is one of delusion. Hollywood is a delusion and money is an illusion. PRINT IT !! (as they say in hollyood, or they used to anyway,…. )

  47. “I wonder why they bother putting a security strip in the banknote?”
    I wondered about this too. It just makes no sense at all to spend so much money making money that has so little value.

  48. Following the divorce of Perth property developer, Warren Anderson, and the auction of his goods and chattels, you might be interested in blowing your new found wealth on the stuffed polar bear that is up for sale … the perfect addition to any sceptic’s home or office.

  49. REPLY: I don’t think Dave would have sent it if it was that valuable -A
    It was worth $7,859.43 USD when he mailed it.
    It was worth $7.86 USD when you opened it.
    But hey, it was the thought that counted. 🙂

  50. Curiousgeorge (15:59:19) (et al)
    It’s true that paper money is a more convenient way of representing of larger value, such as minerals or items of trade.
    However,a Scotsman called John Law (who was on the run from a murder charge) discovered the trick of creating wealth and power out of thin air – paper money with no actual physical backing. The chosen Government was France, which was bankrupt and ready to try anything. The project was the Mississippi Company, which was setup as a way of selling shares in something of no value, and he issued both the currency to buy the shares, and the shares themselves. It all went very well, and he swapped the worthless currency for valuable Parisian real estate. But, all Ponzi schemes, bubbles and manias eventually end, and the currency became worthless, and the people chased him from France. He died in Venice a pauper with large gambling debts.
    However, the astonishing act of creating something from nothing was not missed by other governments, and 300 years later that which was once considered an outrage against the people is now standard operating procedure for just about every government in the world. Sure, the politicians will tell you that everything is fine, and that the Gold backed currency (or similar) are relics of the past, but then they would say that, wouldn’t they? You can’t invent money to buy votes if you actually have to come up with the wealth through tough decisions and fiscal management.
    Because now they’re trying to sell you on the idea of Carbon credits, and you don’t hear a lot of politicans bagging that idea, when it’s clearly just as much lunacy as unbacked paper currency was once considered to be, before everyone just got used to it and no longer questions why.
    Of course, the events of the Mississippi company bubble affected the United States greatly in two ways : First, the founding fathers knew the dangers of unbacked paper money and thus forbade it in the constitution. Second, the bankrupt French government eventually handed over the entire French holdings in the Louisana Purchase.
    Thus the USA was on a Gold standard, which it managed to not only keep but consolidate after the second world war with the Bretton Woods agreement (the British dropped the link to silver after massive war debts after the first world war) and established the USD as the de-facto global monetary standard.
    This was all well and good until governments do what politicians like, and that is to start wars and invade people either for land, kicks, religion, some sort of ‘ism’ or just plain old glory on the battlefield. The war of choice for the newly powerful USA was Vietnam, and of course they spent so much money that foreign debtors around the world looked like they might ask for Gold in replacement. Nixon took one look at the amount of currency circulating vs the pile of Gold in Fort Knox, and said ‘no gold anymore’. Thus kicked off rampant inflation in the 1970’s. So much so, that a 1970 dollar is worth about oh, 5 cents today. Given the exponential growth in debt since then, you can be pretty much assured that your 2010 dollars are going to be worth about, oh, 5c in 2030? That’s if you’re not already using Yuan to buy your groceries in 203 like they use USD in Zimbabwe.
    And if you’re tempted to swell with national pride and say ‘it can’t happen here’, then you might like to look at the list of countries where it has happened in the past. All proud, powerful nations at one point – you mightn’t think so today necessarily, but before their currency devaluation they certainly were. Kind of like how a Cadillac doesn’t seem a big deal today, but once it really meant something. Germany, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Zimbabwe.. the list goes on and on.
    BTW – the above poster who said something about the Russians having all the Gold – I imagine this was the political line spun at the time, but it’s not the main factor in the version of history as I understand.

  51. Let’s look at the bright side. Maybe when cap & trade or a carbon tax passes we could ask for those trillions it’s going to cost us to be paid Zimbabwe money.

  52. Eduardo Ferreyra (18:50:18) :
    Zimbabwe has not yet discovered a “trick” we have been using for years in Argentina: we print new bills taking out zeros as needed.

    Actually, they have. The graph which people have been linking to, http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/chartdollar.jpg, indicates there were currency re-denominations in 2008 & 2009. A quick check of Wikipedia [yeah, I know, not necessarily to be relied upon] shows that in 2006, 3 zeros were lopped off, in 2008, *ten* zeros were removed, and in 2009, *twelve* zeros were dropped.
    This makes the Argentinian re-denominations look almost insignificant in comparison. Wikipedia shows the three re-definitions you mentioned, plus a “Peso Argentino” in between the “Peso Ley” and the Austral, for another 4 zeros. So a total of four changes, resulting in a “mere” 13 zeros over about 20 years.
    Anyway, to get back to that 10^14 ZD bill — because of its 2008 date, I think that the note in the picture was 100 trillion of the third Zimbabwean dollar; that is, before the last 1-trillion-to-1 redenomination. But currency converters are probably converting from the last, or fourth, Zimbabwean dollar, so the US$75K which has been mentioned by prior posters should be reduced by a factor of 10^12. Actually, it appears that Zimbabwean dollars aren’t even used any more [http://newzimbabwe.com/pages/banks86.19673.html] — so the bill’s value is strictly from collectibility.

  53. Frank (15:37:48) :
    End the Federal Reserve! They are moving us ever closer to the Wiemar Republic and Zimbabwe. Our debt is over 10 trillion plus we have unfunded mandates totaling in the tens of trillions.

    Ummm, Frank, you are WAY off here. Our unfunded liabilities are in excess of $100 Trillion U.S. dollars!!
    http://usdebtclock.org/
    Total personal debt alone is in excess of $16 Trillion. I recommend everyone here go take a look at the U.S. Debt Clock, pay attention to the values and look at the sources for the information. I believe everyone in this country should be mandated to study this debt clock. It is unbelievably disgusting. WARNING: Don’t stare too long, you may go blind!

  54. There was one sound reason for leaving the Gold Standard under Nixon.
    Actually, in a modern industrial age there are several.
    First, a skillful counterfeiter could have a field day. I’m talking something with enough skill and malice, like North Korea.
    The value of gold fluctuates wildly, independently of any control by a government. Freeing a currency of gold actually gives control back to the government. Once most of the world is free the others basically have to follow suit. Otherwise, again, a malicious opponent with the ability to fiddle gold values has you by the … . You might not have noticed in the 19th and early 20th century because it was the US and the UK with that control. And others resented it.
    Yes politicians can print money to fund projects in the current system. You know, build schools, bridges etc. Stupid stuff like that. Sure they can print money to waste – but politicians can waste money in any system. It is up to voters to prevent waste, not the monetary system.
    It’s not like being on the gold standard was a dream run. Countries left because it was untenable, and with much heartbreak.

  55. Over the long run, governments only have two ways of paying their bills.
    Taxation or inflation

    Don’t be silly.
    1) customs duties and fees (it’s taxation, but of other countries)
    2) State run enterprises.
    3) Sales of natural assets (oil, minerals etc).
    4) Rent of land etc.
    5) Passage rights (prime source for, say, Panama).
    etc
    Or for more malicious places:
    1) theft from citizens
    2) theft from other countries
    3) blackmail and extortion

  56. The value of gold fluctuates wildly,

    Unlike the dollar, I guess. The dollar has only lost about 96% of its value since the Fed took over in 1913. In the meantime, gold has pretty much held its value. Gold still buys about the same amount of T-bone steak as it did in the 1920s. See
    Gold: The T-Bone Steak Indicator
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rozeff/rozeff229.html

  57. Freeing a currency of gold actually gives control back to the government.

    But our government (US) gave control of the currency to highly secretive private bankers (the Fed). So it is not the politicians in charge of the printing presses. At least that would mean some kind of accountability. With the Fed there is no accountability. The Fed does what they want.

  58. I have some data that helps make the impact of such inflation a little more concrete. I tracked Zimbabwe’s inflation by polling the price of a USB flash drive watch worth about $US40. The prices were from a website that supplies the Zimbabwe PC market – see http://www.technopartners.com/index.php?link=prod&prod=81
    Date Flash Drive price in $ZWL
    03/03/07 364,560
    22/03/07 954,800
    10/04/07 1,085,000
    19/04/07 1,085,000
    30/04/07 1,215,200
    09/06/07 2,951,200
    27/06/07 5,208,000
    07/07/07 6,510,000
    15/07/07 6,510,000
    08/09/07 11,718,000
    08/10/07 23,870,000
    30/10/07 42,098,000
    10/11/07 56,420,000
    25/11/07 58,590,000
    22/12/07 151,900,000
    30/01/08 295,120,000
    13/03/08 1,345,400,000
    05/04/08 1,953,000,000
    24/04/08 5,208,000,000
    29/05/08 27,342,000,000
    26/06/08 1,953,000,000,000
    17/07/08 13,020,000,000,000
    31/07/08 43,400,000,000,000
    07/12/08 $US 43.40
    Towards the end of 2008, the Zimbabwe govt permitted purchases in foreign currency.
    The steepest rate of increase in the above was around May 2008, when prices were doubling every week. At around that time there was an election battle for the presidency and the Zimbabwe govt introduced the $500 million note and a special $50 billion agrarian note for farmers.

  59. Pete H (18:38:49) :
    R. de Haan (16:48:32) :
    “Anthony, this all looks very funny but it is in fact a big tragedy.”
    “You beat me to it ! We can all have a giggle but the country was once the bread basket of Africa, dragged to its knees by its despot ruler. Before long it will be Nigeria following this ragged road!”
    You are welcome Pete H, I think we will see a similar process develop in South Africa!
    This country too has white farmers carrying the economy who need to taught a lesson.
    Meet the man playing South Africa’s death card.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/7572374/The-man-playing-South-Africas-death-card.html

  60. ShrNfr 15:07:43:
    The country is called Zimbabwe, nowadays, not Rhodesia. Rhodesia is what it was called when it was run properly.

  61. I’d appreciate it if you’d post a nice scan of the back of that note.
    Just for artistic purposes.

  62. lowercasefred (04:20:05):
    “I’d appreciate it if you’d post a nice scan of the back of that note.”
    You can find scans of that and many similar notes here: click
    Images embiggen when you click on the magnifying glass icon next to “Enlarge.” Otherwise, just click on the picture or link, then click on “Enlarge” on the page that comes up, or on the image itself.

  63. @ brc (20:42:10) : I would quibble a bit about gold. It is also a proxy for value in the same way that paper, seashells, or beads are. The confusion arises in defining “value”, which is different than the thing that is used to represent that value. A gold coin has no intrinsic value in and of itself (ignoring actual industrial use as a mineral ), but only in relation to what amount of labor, food, etc. the recipient of it is willing to part with. Barter of goods and labor is the only way to establish the true value of anything. Gold, silver, diamonds, paper, beads, etc. are only of use if they are accepted by convention among the trading parties as substitutes for the actual goods, labor, etc. with some expectation that the “money” can be transferred to others in future bartering.

  64. nanny_govt_sucks (00:02:32) :
    The value of gold fluctuates wildly,
    ——————-
    Reply: It isn’t the value of an ounce of gold that fluctuates wildly; it is the piece of paper that represents that commodity. Hence the falacy of fiat currency and any argument that government needs nifty economic irresponsibility to function properly.
    There wasn’t a single country that went through hyperinflation (Germany, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Zimbabwe were examples listed earlier) that were on a gold standard when it happened. That should tell you something; it’s a contradiction in terms–remove any real value from a bank note and that bank note can be any value whatsoever, and sure enough, it pretty much will.
    And now neither is the United States on a gold standard. Sucks for us; personally I’d strongly recommend that you diversify your portfolio and buy gold and silver if you want to insulate at least some of your wealth from our own errant ways. The rest of your assets will be subject to the whims of irresponsible politicians and bureaucrats.

  65. David S (17:40:58) : OT Did Zeke Hausfather ever come back on your criticism of his comments about Eureka, or can I take your explanation of how GISS fills empty grid cells as definitive?
    Do I walk to school or bring my lunch?…
    The “or” is orthogonal… I don’t know what Zeke did, but it just isn’t relevant. The GIStemp CODE says what it does, and I’ve read and run the code. The description I gave is what it does. (All up and online for your amusement should you wish, though most folks will not want to “go there”)… see:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/category/gisstemp-technical-and-source-code/
    Or you can just google “The Reference Station Method” and get Hansen’s papers.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/sources/gistemp.html

    If no such neighbors exist or the overlap
    of the rural combination and the non-rural record is less than 20 years, the
    station is completely dropped
    ; if the rural records are shorter, part of the
    non-rural record is dropped.
    Result: Ts.GHCN.CL.1-6 – before peri-urban adjustment
    Ts.GHCN.CL.PA.1-6 – after peri-urban adjustment
    Step 3 : Gridding and computation of zonal means (do_comb_step3.sh)
    ————————————————
    A grid of 8000 grid boxes of equal area is used. Time series are changed
    to series of anomalies. For each grid box, the stations within that grid
    box and also any station within 1200km of the center of that box are
    combined using the reference station method.

    from comments here:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/gistemp-a-human-view/
    Oh, the heck with the forensic view. Here’s the GISS web links where Hansen’s name is all over it:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/
    History
    The basic GISS temperature analysis scheme was defined in the late 1970s by James Hansen when a method of estimating global temperature change was needed for comparison with one-dimensional global climate models. Prior temperature analyses, most notably those of Murray Mitchell, covered only 20-90°N latitudes. Our rationale was that the number of Southern Hemisphere stations was sufficient for a meaningful estimate of global temperature change, because temperature anomalies and trends are highly correlated over substantial geographical distances. Our first published results (Hansen et al. 1981) showed that, contrary to impressions from northern latitudes, global cooling after 1940 was small, and there was net global warming of about 0.4°C between the 1880s and 1970s.
    The analysis method was documented in Hansen and Lebedeff (1987), showing that the correlation of temperature change was reasonably strong for stations separated by up to 1200 km, especially at middle and high latitudes.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/references.html

    I could go on, but then folks would start to make choking gurgling sounds and we’d have to find the anti-toxin for this Hansen stuff 😉
    You see, the ‘spreading’ isn’t hidden, they are actually PROUD of it. It’s one of Hansen’s pride and joy babies. Centerpiece of a paper or two.
    So ‘warmers’ have no reason to say “I’m wrong” about it. It is celebrated. For without it they would have to admit that all we have are some sparsely separated data points, in both time and space, that fail Nyquist and it’s useless for saying anything about climate.
    Kitefreak (04:33:01) : Money is complicated.
    Actually, money is very simple. It’s what folks do with currencies that is very complicated.
    “Money” is a medium of exchange AND a store of value.
    “Currency” is only a medium of exchange.
    Technically, when we went to a fiat money [ paper money ] it ceased to be “money” and became only “currency”. So a lump of precious metal is clearly money. But a pretty picture of rocks, or even a dead politician, is just “currency”. I think we can all agree that an ounce of gold is a fairly simple concept…
    It’s fractional reserve banking with fiat currencies that’s complicated. And artificial complication is one of my basic indicators for someone running a scam…
    Mooloo (23:12:28) : Freeing a currency of gold actually gives control back to the government.
    You say that like it was a good thing…
    As soon as politicians have “control” of the money, it starts down the road to toilet paper. The only question is “rate” of decay.
    And, FWIW, I lived a good many years under the gold standard. I’ll take it any day over what we have now. No, not perfect, but better than this…
    Your comments about building schools et. al. is an emotional sop and nothing more. Yes, governments can do that with money. How they get the money does not change what they do. They ought to be honest about when and from whom they tax it; not stealing it by stealth of inflation. It’s just a matter of not lying about what you are doing. Apparently that’s a hard concept for some folks.
    And it also looks like you’ve not handled much real gold or silver. It’s far harder to counterfeit that you let on. Just drop it on the counter. Gold and Silver “ring”, base metals do not. That’s why the best “brass” instruments are made of silver. Platinum can not be counterfeited as nothing else is as dense (well, except for other platinum group metals that cost more..) And of course, there is always the “touchstone” if you are really worried. (Each metal leaves a very distinctive streak on the stone). I learned that at 7 years old when I was taught how to count out the register and make change. When in doubt, see if the coin rings. Worked 100% of the time. And it is far far harder to counterfeit a silver coin than a $20 bill.
    Don’t know why you are so hot and bothered about it. There is zero chance of us doing what the constitution mandates. Folks are just too addicted to plastic and paper. They would rather have the illusions of currencies than the realities of real money.

  66. “As soon as politicians have “control” of the money, it starts down the road to toilet paper. The only question is “rate” of decay.”
    ——————
    The money has control of the politicians. The politicians merely do the bidding of money.
    It starts down the road to the toilet when politicians are bought and paid for by the banks (at the end of the day).

  67. Hi All,
    I have the solution to the world’s economic problems. It took quite a bit of thought to come up with this solution. I feel that I should be rewarded, so send me dollars since my technique will make them (dollars) valuable.
    I propose a new VAT tax on INFLATION.
    Thank you for your consideration.

  68. brc (20:42:10) : BTW – the above poster who said something about the Russians having all the Gold – I imagine this was the political line spun at the time, but it’s not the main factor in the version of history as I understand.
    I think you are talking about me. I did not say they HAD all the gold (in fact, the USA had a large chunk of it) I said they were a major PRODUCER at that time (and they were, and still are. Gold remains a major Russian export.) They did not produce enough to seriously jerk us around, but it did cause minor ripples. (They tended to auction once a year. I do remember one year in particular they auctioned off a large batch and there was talk of how to cope with it in the financial papers and a brief mention on the TV news.)
    And, FWIW, that was not the “political spin” of the time. I said it was the only valid reason IMHO; and a very weak one at that, for leaving the gold standard. ( I do not count “The government wants to spend more than it can tax” as a valid reason…)
    So being somewhat precocious and hanging out around bankers, stock brokers, et al (they were at the counter, I was washing dishes in the little sink at the counter, with open ears…) I heard what they talked about. The volatility was one of the minor items mentioned. I doubt if 1 in 1000 people then even thought about it.
    The major “spin” was about the French raiding the gold window. The reality is that we’d printed so much paper that the official $35/ounce was untenable (and it WAS redeemable in Gold and Silver then). The French started sending bales of paper over and asking for Gold, please. We sent it. So much that it was clear Fort Knox was on it’s way to becoming Fort Echo Chamber… So the “official” price was hiked to $45/ ounce.
    That held for about a year, then other folks along with the French started saying “Hey, even $45 is better than paper!” and the redeemers returned. After about another year (both ‘about a year’ being wild ass guesses), they shut the Gold Window. But oddly, it took a couple of more years to admit that the gold price was just a fiction and you could not actually redeem the paper for anything and never would be able to, and might as well just admit it. It was a bit of an international monetary crisis.
    The “Spin” was all about how those “Greedy French” wanted to take all our gold and we need to stop them… by abandoning the gold standard.
    So it was blamed on the French. Much easier than blaming the politicians for spending more than they had… at least, easier for the politicians. I think it was started by Kennedy with the Vietnam war, then Johnson got going whole hog with the social programs. It all landed on Nixon who, in his typical way, decided not to fix it the right way but to stick it to somebody. And announced we were off the gold standard (and as a consequence one of my friends got to spend 3 days living on a train with a Eurail pass as he waited for the government to decide what his dollars would be worth… and for hotels to take them again…). After that it was collateral damage for about 20 years as inflation went nuts. Then Volker decided 18% Prime Rate at The Fed sounded just fine… and after eventually stabilizing the currency for a decade or two, we’ve now decided to print it like crazy again…
    Some folks really do need to read an economic history book… especially the politicians… but I fear they can not read. Lord knows they can’t read the bills they sign and pass…

  69. “Lord knows they can’t read the bills they sign and pass…”
    Federal Reserve Act of 1913, for example.

  70. @curiousgeorge
    @ brc (20:42:10) : I would quibble a bit about gold. It is also a proxy for value in the same way that paper, seashells, or beads are.
    I agree with you that gold is the worst idea for storing value as money. Apart from all the even worse ones that have already been tried. (With apologies to Winston Churchill)
    Gold is rare, durable, divisible and portable, and has been agreed upon as a store of value across diverse cultures as far back as recorded history goes. All the qualities a store of value needs. Unbacked paper is only as rare as the financial discipline of the people printing it, and is a 300 year old experiment with an extremely patchy history. There isn’t one single currency that lasts for more than hundred years or so before it gets replaced. Think about that – because the chances of you starting your life with one currency and ending with the same one are actually quite small.
    The idea of a gold standard is to prevent politicians from ruining it, or at least making it quickly and blatantly obvious when they do. In other words, keeping control of the currency away from the government. I’m shocked that on a climate skepticism site, there are people who trust politicians to do the right thing (and even worse, the Federal Reserve). It’s not being about a conspiracy theorist or a tinfoil hat wearer, just a student of history and a knowledge that too much debt and currency issue by sovereign governments eventually leads to currency failure.
    The value of gold doesn’t really change much – as already noted the same amount of gold buys a loaf of bread today as it did in ancient Rome. The value of the pieces of paper with numbers on them fluctuates wildly. Don’t confuse the tail with the dog when watching one wag. People see Gold double but don’t realise it’s actually their currency that halved.
    Call me strange but I’d like the $100 I earn today to be worth the same amount when I retire. It’s certainly a wrong-way-around world when that is seen as nonsense, and rapidly-depreciating currency is seen as a good thing.

  71. nanny_govt_sucks (00:14:27) : But our government (US) gave control of the currency to highly secretive private bankers (the Fed). So it is not the politicians in charge of the printing presses. At least that would mean some kind of accountability. With the Fed there is no accountability. The Fed does what they want.
    Um, I think technically the U.S. Treasury does the physical printing. The Fed has an even more nefarious trick. They do ‘fractional reserve banking’ but have no limit on the leverage (the ‘reserve requirement’) they choose to use. This lets them EFFECTIVELY create any quantity of “dollars in accounts” that they want. In Economics Geek Speak: The Treasury makes currency but The Fed makes M0 and via a leverage system lets other banks make M1, M2 (and eventually M3). You can think of M0 as being currency and Fed deposits (i.e. entries on their computer…), while M1 is “plus checking” and M2 is “plus savings and CD”. M3 includes ‘and all the bigger stuff’ like repurchase agreements, really big CDs,etc. Last I heard, there was some controversy over where to put “credit cards” and some folks thought they belonged in M1, but that was a long time ago…
    I guess that’s all just a very long winded way of saying “The Fed doesn’t even need to print the money, they can just wish it into being with some computer bit twiddling.”
    In theory, there is a complicated process of the US Govt issuing bonds to The Fed who hand money to the Govt so the Govt is not actually creating the money they spend (in excess of taxes). But it’s more about smoke and mirrors than practical impact. The practical impact is that the Government prints one kind of paper (bonds) sells them to The Fed for M1-M3, then spends it. While the Fed prints another kind of currency (computer bits / account deposits) via the fractional reserve system. Somewhere along the line The Fed ships some bonds or bits to The Treasury for the actual currency needed, if any. But at the end of the day all that has happened is that three incestuous parties have swapped various papers around between each other and then somebody spends the “currency” or M1 to get goods and services.
    There was no real wealth creation at any point in the process, so someone who ships goods of real wealth / value in exchange for the money so generated is expecting to move that money on to someone else in exchange for some real value. This keeps up until someone realizes they have less value than they expected and delivered real goods in exchange for bloated promises. That’s when inflation kicks in…


  72. brc (20:42:10) :
    … a Scotsman called John Law …
    It all went very well, and he swapped the worthless currency for valuable Parisian real estate. But, all Ponzi schemes, bubbles and manias eventually end, and the currency became worthless, and the people chased him from France. He died in Venice a pauper with large gambling debts.

    And – he was going to take a share with him????
    (Just widening the perspective a bit, looking for non-aligning logic/rationale in the ‘story’; citing now the ZeroHedge motto: “On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”)
    .
    .


  73. nanny_govt_sucks (00:14:27) :
    But our government (US) gave control of the currency to highly secretive private bankers ..

    Cue Gail Combs in 5 . 4 . 3 …
    .

  74. RockyRoad (05:42:32) :
    And now neither is the United States on a gold standard. Sucks for us; personally I’d strongly recommend that you diversify your portfolio and buy gold and silver if you want to insulate at least some of your wealth from our own errant ways. The rest of your assets will be subject to the whims of irresponsible politicians and bureaucrats.

    Unfortunately, gold is also subject to political idiots. You may recall that FDR confiscated gold in the 30’s. Swindled the public out of billions. And he the icon of liberal democracy, a hero to Obama. I believe it will happen again.
    Best to hide the goodies!

  75. @ brc (07:00:27) :
    I think we are on the same wavelength, although gold has not been the only “standard” throughout history in all cultures. We tend to focus on the ancient European/Mediterranean cultures and forget those parts of the planet that Alexander, etc. didn’t know about. Those other cultures had other standards – ivory, and indeed shells, etc. that represented agreed value.
    We sure have evolved complicated societies over the centuries. I wonder why?

  76. Tim Clark (09:00:11) :
    (…)
    Unfortunately, gold is also subject to political idiots. You may recall that FDR confiscated gold in the 30′s. Swindled the public out of billions. …
    ———-
    Reply: Yes, and I understand the executive order that allowed for that confiscation is still on the books and has never been rescinded! All it would take is a word from the Prez and they’d come after it again–most sources people use for precious metals have such good records that finding those possessing it won’t be difficult. Get ready to be swindled again!

  77. Mugabe stopped obeying his sponsors, the British government and his fate was sealed. Zimbabwe has also had a terrible drought. So, concidentally has North Korea.
    MI6 cultivated anti socialist Nelson Mandela in South Africa to avoid making the same mistake there. Turned him into a global hero and made him president. It’s no capitalist paradise.

  78. @ brc (07:00:27) : PS: All that said, I also have physical possession of gold, silver, gems, and arable land with gas and oil under it, and various “old-world” marketable skills. But I am content to play the game for the time being.

  79. Curiousgeorge (09:16:38),
    Gold has always been used for money world wide. Some backward societies used inferior money, which only lasted until the use of precious metals replaced it. China, Russia and India used gold as a store of value [ie, money], as did all other significant cultures.
    The case of Alexander is interesting. He was hailed as a god for two thousand years after his death. Most people think it was due to his military victories, but it was actually what he did following his victories.
    The Persian empire was a mercantilist economy, which meant that governments [satraps; governors] hoarded immense quantities of silver and gold, without allowing it to go into circulation.
    Alexander had the huge quantities of silver bars he captured minted into coins [tetradrachms] and paid his soldiers with them, so the coins promptly found their way into general circulation. The effect on the economy was enormous.
    People no longer had to trade a cow for five pigs, eight chickens and a bale of hay. Now they could use money instead. As a result the Hellenistic economy exploded, and through the mechanism of the velocity of money the entire middle east became much wealthier than it had ever been.
    Because of their almost immediate newfound prosperity, they revered Alexander as a god. The reality was that Alexander’s policy greased the wheels of the economy, and allowed anyone to become wealthy, to store their wealth in an easily moveable form, and to run efficient businesses.
    Now we are moving back toward a form of mercantilism, with government control, and its knowledge of the location of money [serial numbers on banknotes, no more bearer bonds, political pressure on Caribbean and Swiss bankers to disclose the identities of account holders], making the possibility of confiscation ever easier. And with human nature involved, how long will politicians be able to resist the lure of easy money?

  80. Wild speculation on commodities happened creating “inflation” even when the money was gold.
    Read the Mayor of Catsorbridge if you don’t beleive me.
    Let’s put the blame where blame is due:
    Greenspan manipulating the interest rate to create “constant low inflation.”
    the repeal of Glass-Stegal,
    the banks that were “too big to fail” threatening congress with “total destruction” if they don’t hand over the money,
    massive fraud in mortgages that went un-checked by the SEC,
    spending, spending, spending by the government.
    etc..

  81. Beware Anthony, this is a note from the “heart of darkness”.
    I often wonder how the world got like this, but perhaps this is our nature.
    The hell on earth that is Zimbabwe must be the work of the Devil, I see the Devil’s work all around, so if the Devil exists, what about God?

  82. Hey
    Anthony —
    you might (not) share your retirement by joining
    the 400 million dollar (bonus) Exxon retiree
    -Lee Raymond-
    on the golf links
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Profiling-CEOs-and-Their-S-by-Thom-Hartmann-100423-529.html
    Lee Raymond did more than pump gas for Exxon–
    http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Lee_Raymond
    he also headed up their Exxon URANIUM division
    for
    ten years — which might help explain
    the recently revealed Exxon enthusiasm for
    carbon legislation — they win both with and without carbon legislation —
    they straddle the agw fence–
    Indeed, Exxon will not be paying taxes on
    either oil or uranium –and their
    usa govt uranium and oil subsidies are far more
    than all renewable energy credits paid out
    to greenies. (exxon solar is not green —
    just pathetic)
    Lee Raymond earned his 400 million,
    although he probably has never worked as hard as you have.

  83. Well, I was going to submit a long diatribe as to the state of the US economy, which no one would be interested in or read. Instead, I’ll just give these suggestions to those who wish to set something aside in case the value of the US dollar falls below that of Zimbabwe’s:
    To store wealth, hold some gold (treat it like a CD or money market account, use it to buy houses and cars).
    For large purchases (refrigerator, TV, etc…) keep silver on hand.
    For everyday barter (primarily food), mini-bottles of liquor are great.
    If the economy revs up and rising tax revenue is sufficient to manage our growing debt, the gold and silver will always retain value, and you can toast the great economy with the alcohol (it will never go bad)!

  84. E.M.Smith (16:15:01) :
    BTW, while Gold “has issues” as a currency … it is a decent yardstick for long term value of other currencies. Through most of history one ounce of gold has bought “one mans fine suit of clothes”.
    So if you want to ‘benchmark a currency’ using a gold reference is a decent way to go.
    about 1960 something:
    Gold: $45 / ounce
    Bread: 10 cents / loaf
    House: $7000
    Car: $1400
    —…—…—
    I would add “price of energy” to that:
    A bit harder to maintain through the the centuries though:
    We’d have to start from “a cord of wood”, then equal that to a “ton of coal”, then a “barrel of oil.” Each represents a unit of energy as a resource that can be (must be!) bought and sold at an agreed upon price, regardless of what is going to be done with the energy . Now? Perhaps overlap a barrel of oil with a 1000 Kwatt.

  85. As a long time collector of older [pre-1928] U.S. currency, I’m always fascinated by the notes used when the country was on the gold standard: click1, click2, click3
    [The $20 gold note’s reverse looks sort of red in the picture, but the actual color is closer to yellow to orange/yellow, to indicate gold. There were also brown back notes, in addition to yellow and green back notes.]
    Today the highest U.S. denomination is $100 [Euros are availablle in $500 denominations]. But as recently as the 1930s there were $500, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 and higher denomination notes in circulation. Some examples: click1, click2, click3

  86. theBuckWheat (14:37:12) :
    … We must stop our government from going any further
    down the road it is on. We must grow our way out of this recession. We
    cannot print our way out of it.
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    You are too late. Obama authorized the doubling of the US money supply as soon as he hit the oval office. That halved the value of the dollar right there unfortunately that is not the end of it. The banks can now take that additional money supply they were handed and perform “Fractional Reserve Banking” on it. Given there is no effective reserve requirement and the Fed has been disconnected from the control of Congress we are at the Federal Reserve (JPMorgan Chase Bank) mercy.
    David Rockefeller has hosted luncheons at the family’s Westchester estate for the world’s finance ministers and central bank governors, following the annual Washington meetings of the World Bank and IMF. Rockefeller’s Chase Bank served as training grounds for three World Bank presidents, John J. McCloy, Eugene Black and George Woods.

  87. E.M.Smith says: April 24, 2010 at 7:25 am
    the point of all that being, the treasury does not create any money, it borrows it. all of it.
    well, outside of what it steals from us.

  88. Anthony,
    Perhaps you could send the Zimbabwe note to Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, with a sticky note attached “This is what happens when you create fiat money out of thin air”.

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