12.10.04

Money, money, money


I have spent the whole day translating an article about 19th century Portuguese government finances into English for a colleague of mine. I know it doesn't sound as if it possibly can be interesting, but it actually is. It got me to thinking about money, and what exactly it is. The more I thought about it, the more ridiculous a concept it seemed: you do some work, and someone puts some numbers in your bank account that you can change into bits of paper and metal, and then swap these tokens for other things that you find useful. But what the heck, the process seem to work by and large - so if it ain't broke, don't mend it. After musing on the concept of money in the abstract, I thought about it in actual use. I wondered why people in Britain are so attached to the pound when our major trading partners have all gone over to the Euro. I am even more perplexed as to why some Scots, Welsh and Irish are so attached to the pound, and why they don't change the name of the central bank in this country to something along the lines of United Kingdom Bank or Bank of Britain, instead of the Bank of England - which I find quite offensive, if the truth be told. When it boils down to it, instead of making cosmetic changes to the pound, I would much prefer it if we were to start using the Euro. But then I would think that, since 99.9 percent of the money I earn in any given year is in Euros, and I am sick of paying commission charges to get at my money while I am in my own country, when I can use any cash machine in any Eurozone country, and I am not charged a red cent. Oh Well... "In 1846, the government of...."

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