Thursday, August 23, 2012

A history of exchange-rate regimes 1821 to the present

Chart of the history of exchange-rate regimes from 1821 to the present day

Gold Money
A history of exchange-rate regimes
Alasdair Macleod |
(h/t Kevin Fathi via email)


Matt Franko said...

this is rich:

"It’s almost as if currencies are designed to confuse you. In fact, sometimes they even lie to you. Take the pound sterling for example; each 5, 10, 20 and 50 pound note assures you, the esteemed owner, the gracious right to redeem it for… 5, 10, 20 and 50 pounds respectively. Either there’s an awkward “I-give-it-to-you-so-that-you-can-give-it-back-to-me” manoeuvre involved here or somebody’s lying. "

Ha! yes it probably is easy to be confused if you a a gold-loving moron! LOL!

If it's not convertible into gold they simply "can't understand it"... AND I BELIEVE THEM!


Roger Erickson said...

What we need is a

"History of Distributed Buying Power and Net Output Regimes: 1821 to the Present."

y said...

Just looking at a one dollar note again.

It's funny because MMT is staring you right in the face.

On the right you have the Treasury stamp. They print the notes, supply them to the Fed, and demand them in payment from the public.

On the left you have a Federal Reserve stamp. They issue the notes to the public.

Above the two you have "The United States of America", i.e. the US government. Their promise to accept this note in payment gives the note value.

Beneath this to the left is written "this note is legal tender for all debts public and private". The legal status of the note reinforces its value.

Along the bottom you have the signature of the Treasurer of the United States and of the Secretary of the Treasury. (Not that of Ben Bernanke).

On the reverse side, to the left, you have an image which could easily represent the "pyramid of liabilities".

On the right you have an image of the Republic (stripy flag) and the State (eagle), holding arrows in one claw (symbolising the monopoly of force) and an olive branch in the other (symbolising peace).

The phrase E pluribus unum means "one out of many" - Many private monies (i.e. credit), but only one currency, perhaps?

Above this you have shining stars in a geometric arrangement (symbolising law).

A very succinct explanation of MMT on one small piece of paper.

Why not carry some around with you and give them out to your friends?

Matt Franko said...

" holding arrows in one claw (symbolising the monopoly of force) and an olive branch in the other (symbolising peace). "

They cant understand this because Libertarians only focus on the former and dont connect it to the latter....


paul meli said...


This is a great idea and i can't wait to try it out on my extreme right-wing friends down at the tennis courts on Saturday.

y said...

lol. My interpretation of the united states seal on the reverse isn't strictly correct though!

Detroit Dan said...


That was hilarious. I'm a believer in your interpretation and will spread the word...

Leverage said...

Great stuff 'y'. I'm certain if you did a study of national currencies around the world along history you would find similar symbolism.

Deep inside everyone knows how it works, but there is a deep disconnect because work to acquire currency and easiness to create it make the brain run havoc.

All sort of rationalizing bullshit has to be made up by a part of the population with some personality traits that won't let them handle the truth ("you are spending your whole life energy into acquiring something that can be created out of nothing by institutions").

I recommend you thinks about it, extend this to your personal relations and you will find this sort of explanation appealing for some forms of behaviour.

Tom Hickey said...

Leverage "you are spending your whole life energy into acquiring something that can be created out of nothing by institutions"

Right. This drives people up a tree and if the world goes back on a gold standard, this will be the reason, with all the unintended consequences to follow, including the mother of all wars.

Look at the history of the world. Until the advent of free market capitalism, the m.o., was to secure wealth through mercantilist trade and conquest. The anti-govt stance of Adam Smith and the Classical economist was to reverse this through the free market. Clearly, this did not work as planned either, as WWI and WWII go to show, as well as the American Empire now, which "everyone knows and no one says" is about resources.

Add gold to the mix, and it become an explosive cocktail.