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1074587.  Fri May 16, 2014 8:49 am Reply with quote

Hmm, maybe I just haven't noticed it written on "normal" pound notes. Or it was just rather big and smack in the center on the Scottish ones...

Ian Dunn
1074588.  Fri May 16, 2014 8:52 am Reply with quote

I recall that in Lewes some people issued their own currency, the Lewes Pound, to promote local trade. The notes feature the face of Thomas Paine.

1074590.  Fri May 16, 2014 8:55 am Reply with quote

Yes, it's tiny on modern notes and the Scottish notes are less frequently changed I think.

Side note: Isn't Adam Smith Scottish? What's he doing on our notes? Will Scotland reclaim him if they go independent?

1074591.  Fri May 16, 2014 8:58 am Reply with quote

Also, this is probably the most obvious thing in the world but I still can't quite work out the answer:

a 1p is half the weight of a 2p and a 5p is half the weight of a 10p

and in the US, £20 dollars made up of the denominations of coin weighs exactly 1lb

why is this?

1087006.  Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:22 pm Reply with quote

Ancient Greek money might have been invented as an ideological/philosophical tool rather than to make trade easier: [point 5] -

"The classicist Richard Seaford has argued that the invention of money emerged from deep in the Greek psyche. It is tied to notions of reciprocal exchange and obligation which pervaded their societies; it reflects philosophical distinctions between face-value and intrinsic value; and it is a political instrument, since the state is required to act as guarantor of monetary value."

1097442.  Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:59 pm Reply with quote

The "flowing hair dollar" has the title as the most expensive coin in the world.

With a face value of $1, it was bought at auction for $10,016,875.

The reason for this is it was the first coin ever issue by the United States government.

It was minted in 1794 being one of only 1,758 coins minted in that year.

The nickname "flowing hair" comes from the image of Liberty on the from whose hair was free flowing.

1097593.  Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:14 am Reply with quote

Ian Dunn wrote:
I recall that in Lewes some people issued their own currency, the Lewes Pound, to promote local trade. The notes feature the face of Thomas Paine.

There is also the Totnes Pound.

And Wörgel, an Austrian town whose mayor performed a 'miracle' which the surrounding 200 towns attempted to copy and the French prime minister came to see firsthand when he visited.

The 'miracle' was to turn a town of 4,500 people with a very high unemployment rate and 200 penniless families into an economic masterpiece. He did this by using 40,000 Schillings he had to back a local currency called a stamp scrip. This stamp scrip would depreciate in value by just 1% every month but this was enough to make sure that everyone paid in scrip spent it quickly and locally. This meant that the shopping list of projects the mayor had - re-paving the streets, planting trees, ensuring water-distribution to the whole town and various other repairs - were completed incredibly quickly and then new projects had to be invented such as building more housing, a ski jump and a bridge. The bridge plaque proudly reads "The bridge was built with our own Free Money". When they couldn't think of what to spend the money on, most people chose to pay their taxes early! The stamp scrip created between 12 and 14 times more employment than regular Schillings.

When other towns successfully adopted the scrip plan, the Central Bank panicked as its monopoly on issuing money was threatened. The people sued the bank but the case was lost and lost again at the Austrian Supreme Court. After this time, in 1933 issuing 'emergency currencies' was made illegal.

This ruling forced Wörgel to return to 30% unemployment. In 1934 the whole of Austria was abuzz with social unrest and all leftish political parties were outlawed; the mayor's was deemed one of these. With the economy in tatters and no possibility for local-led economic salvation, the Austria of 1938 was receptive to Hitler's leadership if it meant they could avoid poverty.

At the same time, places in the US were fascinated by the idea of complementary currencies and looking into implementing their own. Sadly, Roosevelt's most famous speech laying out The New Deal made a brief mention of the outlawing of any 'emergency currencies' and the route out of the Great Depression was set in stone.

The mayor of Wörgel had vigorously campaigned against "both fascism and communism and their utopian economic theories, State capitalism, bureaucracy and lack of economic freedom". Rather ignorant to this point, people called his scrip plan 'craziness' at first, 'communism' when it worked and 'fascist' after the war.

Student's of economics may learn about Wörgel but, as a threat to centralised power, it is just an amusing curio in the history of money.

1097664.  Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:39 pm Reply with quote

To be fair for the time, Worgl was a unilateral experiment that was not given time to test the long term effect, and I suspect that a modern day equivalent would not be able to viable in western Europe because it relies on local industry.

The experiment was based on an idea which was different from Marx, in that instead of changing the social structure of society, you changed the economy, and it rather relied on the selfishness of people, which works well in small communities that rely on their own local industries, but would eventually harm national economies as it took away a major component of national currencies - trust.

1097713.  Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:43 pm Reply with quote

I think when there is any preference of one currency over another, confidence/trust is at its root. Also, were these experiments stifled for fear they ruin the old economy or succeed it? I think reasons for stopping them were self-interested, why else close the book on a very small-scale economic experiment?

1097865.  Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:59 pm Reply with quote

There's an obvious self interest why these experiments were stopped. For areas where local industries could support a local currency, this worked well, but it meant it contributed little or nothing to the national economy.

In Israel we can see how this unfolded with kibbutzes. These little communities were self reliant and didn't need the use of a national currency, but whenever any kibbutzes became so big that they relied on outside industries, they ended up adopting a more national approach to currency because they could not keep themselves insular. Another problem started in the 80s and 90s with the rise of communications and electronics, which forced outside industries on even the most self reliant of settlements.

1107130.  Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:47 pm Reply with quote

Wikipedia wrote:
The word "silhouette" derives from the name of Étienne de Silhouette, a French finance minister who, in 1759, was forced by France's credit crisis during the Seven Years' War to impose severe economic demands upon the French people, particularly the wealthy. Because of de Silhouette's austere economies, his name became synonymous with anything done or made cheaply and so with these outline portraits. Prior to the advent of photography, silhouette profiles cut from black card were the cheapest way of recording a person's appearance.

The term "silhouette", although existing from the 18th century, was not applied to the art of portrait-making until the 19th century.

1107261.  Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:15 pm Reply with quote

Old, foreign QI subjects, possibly recycable, wrong or outdated, already mentioned here, and so on. I've tried to leave out subjects already used, so it won't be a collection of the best remaining subjects:

Translated Q: why is it often better to be a cow than a human?
Known K: four stomachs

Translated Q: where does the Dollar come from?
Known K: America

Translated Q: what, owned by you, can a Bailiff not take?
Known Ks: the bed, wife (YlegalMMV)

Translated Q, a bit of a stretch: how did a small gardening company, selling turf, almost bust the Banco Central in Fortaleza?
Known Ks: none, Alan clearly gave the right answer immediately, so the story was more important than the question

Translated Q: why is the pig of a piggy bank used?
Known Ks: none
Answer: fatten a pig (when there's still more than enough food), fatten a piggy bank

Possibly already used (toast?): the panelists spotted a baby/child, Star Wars' Chewbacca, the backside of a giraffe and the seller's Mary:

GI section.

Translated Q: what's the world's richest country (GDP per capita)?
Known K: Dubai
Outdated answer: Luxembourg

Translated Q: in Singapore, why was Nick Leeson arrested in October 1994?
Known K: none
Moon-related answer

Translated Q: in the United States, where is most gold bullion stored (including gold belonging to other countries)?
Known K: Fort Knox
M-themed answer

Final words of wisdom, a Paul Getty quote: "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells."

Ian Dunn
1107266.  Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:31 pm Reply with quote

I think the last of those questions has appeared in the XL Edition of "Journalism".

Ian Dunn
1110007.  Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:45 am Reply with quote

In Manchester some managed to successfully pass of a counterfeit £20 note which just two cut-out colour photocopies stapled together.

Source: Metro

1110222.  Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:40 pm Reply with quote

Money, Mark, Monopoly & Moresnet:

A (prohibited, monopoly of the French State) 2p, 2 (German) Pfennig, stamp. The issuer was a private organisation of Dr. Wilhelm Molly. The official currency of (Neutral) Moresnet was the (French, French laws) Franc.

Minor bloody obvious detail: area 3.44 (at least 3.25), i.e. ~10.97% larger than 3.1.


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