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Exchange rates

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151631.  Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:03 am Reply with quote

I’ve slightly mislaid my source for this (it was Galbraith, via a third party), but it seems that between the early 17th and early 19th centuries, tobacco was legal tender in Virginia and Maryland.

I just wondered if there were any other weird things used as money, in relatively modern economies?

153042.  Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:05 am Reply with quote

In the late 1990s, it was routine practice in Russia (due to the currency crisis) to pay workers' salaries with their factories' produce. Known examples of "in kind" payments include wages paid in potatoes, pieces of porcelain, slippers, light bulbs, pianos and even coffins!

153056.  Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:28 am Reply with quote

And a bottle of vodka, of course! It was a sort of a “liquid currency”, much more stable and reliable than a rouble. Anything – from a trip abroad to difficult-to-obtain roof tiles, could be bought and sold for vodka, and had its inflation-free vodka equivalent.

153202.  Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:48 pm Reply with quote

I can't give you a source for this, but when a Polish friend of mine used to go and visit his relatives in Poland in the days when it was still a communist country, he used to partly finance his trip by taking a suitcase full of Levi jeans and selling them at a large profit. Not sure if that counts as currency though!


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