10+ Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Money
Does anyone else think Pink Floyd and their song “Money” when they hear the word money? Okay, me neither then. Money is fascinating in that it’s needed to live. You can’t live without some form of currency, at least not for a long time (unless of course you are supported by someone with money). Money can’t buy everything, but it sure helps and it’s natural to want more. I’m not going all Gordon Gecko Greed Is Good, but c’mon, it’s money! When, Willie Sutton, the famous bank robber was asked why he always hit banks his response was simply, “Because that’s where the money is.” You can’t argue with that. Being intrigued (and wanting money) is as natural as breathing, eating and disliking Duke Basketball.
Despite the decrease in the popularity of paper currency, money continues to make the world go round and round. There are so many different currencies and denominations you can spend your whole life researching and not see every coin or bill produced. Every day more money is produced and old money is recycled. Some coins cost more to produce than their face value, some are very rare and others have been clearly used for recreational activities outside of purchasing services. Did you know rats will eat paper money? That’s not a snarky comment pointed at (insert B-level celebrity here) I mean actual rats. I guess that’s why they are rodents ruling the sewers and not the country.
Ever want to stack your bills a mile high? Which company has generated a million dollars since you started reading this? What is the best strategy for winning Monopoly? Okay, there is no clear answer for the last one. However, we are looking at interesting facts, not the size of the bill or which face appears on which denomination. No, hopefully these should make you go “hmm,” and also make you reconsider that counterfeiting dream you have had since a teenager (I know I had one).
The word bankrupt is part of our everyday language, referring to areas outside of just money (moral, social, etc…). The original meaning of the word was very much related to money and banks. In the old days bankers did their business on public benches. If the banker ran out of money or was dishonest his bench was literally broken. That’s hardcore, old-school punishment right there. It can’t be easy to go home after that day. “How was work honey?” “Not great, they broke my bench again.”
Over 65 percent of all U.S. money is actually overseas. I’m sure a lot of this has to do with banks holding money in other countries as well as money borrowed or held for debts. Still, this seems like a high percentage. Shouldn’t this be less than 50 percent? Then the U.S. can proudly say they are the majority owner of their country. I live in constant fear the U.S. will be overtaken via hostile takeover.
China was the first country to create paper money. This occurred over 1,400 years ago. How long did it take before people attempted to counterfeit? It didn’t take long and China was very vigilant in their punishment. Anyone caught counterfeiting their paper currency had their heart cut out. You can read that again. I’ll wait. Let’s face it, if removing hearts doesn’t deter counterfeiting, nothing will.
Drug king pin Pablo Escobar had so much money that rats would ravage and eat approximate $1 billion in currency a year. Anyone else wonder why he didn’t just put someone on the payroll for, oh let’s say 50K to protect his earnings from rats? How many people died before Escobar realized it was the rats eating his money? That number is probably pretty high. I’ve never been jealous of a rat; that is until now.
We already discussed how the Chinese initially cut out the hearts of counterfeiters. The British had more of a “big bang” approach in 1817 when they hanged 313 counterfeiters. It’s pretty clear that printing fake money is a not a good idea. Punishments are stiff and for anyone that has watched the cartoon Scooby Doo you know that that you always get caught (counterfeiting plots accounted for approximately half the episodes). Clearly, counterfeiting doesn’t pay.
90 percent of U.S. paper currency carries traces of cocaine. Does that seem high? Seriously, I blame the seventies and of course, Hollywood because they always deserve our finger wagging. This doesn’t mean that every bill has been rolled up and used to snort cocaine. (Note: I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean this.) Instead, it’s a complex game of money handling and tracking where your currency originated, traveled and has ended up. It’s asking the question, what adventures has your money been on? Money has so much fun! I’m just going to assume all of our money was once stored in Pablo Escobar’s “money barn” and not only does all of our money contain cocaine, but also rat feces.