Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fiat Is Not Just An Italian Car Company

From The Telegraph:
One of the big US banks texted me today to say that if QE3 actually happens, we could see gold at $5,000 and silver at $1,000. I feel terribly sorry for anybody on fixed incomes tied to a fiat currency because they are not going to be able to buy things with that paper money.
Interesting push back in the comments at that link.

A German banknote from the great inflation of the Weimar Republic.  I saved it from when I used to collect such things as a kid:

A 10,000 Mark note from 1922. 


  1. Sounds like a gold salesman trying to push product out the door.

    People will buy stuff!

    I'm so glad when I was young that my mom gave me a lesson in economics. TOPIC: WELFARE

    Honey, she said, its grease for the wheels! You "grease" (put money in) to people people's pockets; and it is immediately spent to pay rent. (Middle class landlord). And, to buy groceries. This employs the truck drivers ... who bring produce to market.

    It goes to the farmers who grow food.

    And, just to quote Balzac: Behind every great fortune is a crime.

    That Italy is in trouble? Yes. The banks fucked everyone. They took cash that was to be destributed around, and pocketed it for themselves.

    Now, you think poor people will starve?

    What happens to all the elite rich folk if hordes of poor people form mobs? And, slit throats? What good would having lots of money do for you then?

  2. Grew up in a retail store. Before depositing money in the bank, my mom would take out the silver certificates. And, all the quarters that were silver, before their centers got laminated with something else. (You could tell the pure silver ones, because you'd look at them sideways.)

    Today, I'm taking out the bills that are signed by Timothy Geithner. And, Larry Summers. But not too many people look at their money, believe it or not.

  3. Dimes, quarters and half dollars were still 90% silver until 1965. Then the dimes and quarters became sandwhiched copper nickel while halves went to 40% silver until 1970 when they too became sandwich clads. In the late 60s and early 70s (I was born in 1960) I could still find both kinds in my change but Gresham's law was kicking in and people were hoarding. I remember the early to mid 70s when the Hunt brothers cornered the silver market- both did silver take off.

    I used to save wheat pennies too which were common when I was a kid. We'd go to the drug store and buy those blue Whitman coin folders and try to fill them up with all the different years and mintages. I remember that the 1909-s VDB Lincoln cent was the holy grail of coins. No, I never got one but a boy could dream.

    Another trick is that I'd go to the bank and buy rolls of pennies (50 in a roll) and scan them with a magnet. I snagged a few 1943 steel pennies that way. They took the copper out of pennies that year because they needed all the copper to make bronze bullet shells. Nowadays there's scarcely any copper in pennies. You don't find the bronze ones let alone wheat pennies.

    I also collected silver certificate $1 bills (they had blue seals where modern Fed reserve notes have green seals). I also found a couple old $2 bills-they were still in circulation at horse racing tracks for some reason and I had an uncle who indulged. They had red seals and had Monticello on the back instead of the Signing of The Dec like the newer ones.

    A prize coin possession of mine is a complete set (1945-1964) of Roosevelt March of dimes, including all the mintages, all pulled from circulation by my grandmother. She left it to me after she passed.

    Thanks Carol

  4. Honey, she said, its grease for the wheels!

    Wise woman. What did she say about taxes? Taxes are like friction for the wheels of the economy--the opposite of grease. At least taxes without accountability.

  5. Taxes. Retail stores had to collect them for NYC. So, she said ... You report the taxes on the amount of sales you report.

    My mom also told me this:

    Usually business is pretty static. But every once in a while you hit a jackpot of a year. IF you don't keep your reported amounts pretty stable ... you'll invite the auditor!

    Auditors look for humongous discrepancies ... year to year. While, the next year ... IF business slumps ... you're stuck. Because out would come your tax report ... at the IRS ... Marked for auditing.

    Oddly enough, I had a dream about the old cash register. It had a manual handle. And, it was big, brown, and huge. Sitting up on the counter. When you wound up the handle ... out would come the box that held the money.

    (I still have all those bills and coins saved throughout those years. In the vault. $2 bills, too.)

    Please also remember I'm talking about "back in the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's. All records were paper. We didn't have databases. Or computers. And, since my mom's register was OLD ... You had to start each day by raising a small flap to see what the counter said. That's how you could tell what you took in. And, how, each night, you had to count all the money in the box.

    Did I say the first tax was 3%.

    Back in the early 1960's my mom began selling jeans. For $3.64 she sold a pair of jeans, which included tax. And, one free alteration. Her profit was 50-cents a pair.

    And, we only carried men's sizes. But given her sewing machine skills ... she'd size up a woman. Reach for a pair of men's jeans. And, she'd make 4 "darts" or tucks along the waistline ... bringing the pants "in" to fit. We didn't call them "low rise" ... but they were.

    You know. The worst days were the ones with terrible weather. Either rain. Or snow. You'd still have to open up your store. And, most likely no customers came in.

    My mom used to laugh that Macy's didn't carry jeans! (One day one customer of ours, shopping at Macy's ... found herself bringing a whole assortment of customers to our store. Because they wanted jeans. And, my mom added, if she went to Macy's looking for a buyer's job ... they wouldn't hire her.

    Sometimes, "not getting hired," is your lucky break.

  6. Didn't "fiat" once have a meaning that meant "order" ... Like in something you had to obey?

  7. It still does. It's Latin which is immutable. Fiat Lux means "let there be light."

    Perhaps it was miraculous when the Italians invented an affordable car and so they named it FIAT--"Let there be"

  8. "Fiat Lux" ... Well, for a sardine can, perhaps.

    But Lux has nothing to do with what you need to drive a Fiat. Which, I think, was a can opener key. At the "slot" you just peel back.

    By the way, I love your Latin touches!