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So in trade-weighted terms, the world's reserve currency should be 10% EUR, 8% EUR, 9% CYN, 5% JPY ?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 7th, 2009 at 06:13:44 AM EST
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The world's reserve currency should be an unitised measure of global ecological health.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 7th, 2009 at 06:50:41 AM EST
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that's an interesting comment, TBG.

can you illustrate what you mean a little more, please?

you mean a new currency, or any currency, but with a different value?

right now a banknote is a promissory statement, and as fungible a symbol as can exist.

is there any other kind of symbol that could supplant it, that took into consideration the 'externalities'  blithely dismissed with the 'deemed' value currencies presently enjoy?

i guess it will be 1's and 0's whatever form it takes in meatspace, and i guess money will not be a simple reward for creating wealth short term, but will also include an appreciation of its (symbolic) value to future generations.

my grandpa always said 'you have to learn the value of money', then when i heard how much one unit of british sterling has devalued since his time, i was really puzzled as to what he really meant.

conversations like this somewhat assuage this bewilderment. though i fumble to language exactly what i think, listening to you all is a great learning...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 7th, 2009 at 10:52:48 AM EST
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I think someone - probably me, when I finish this damn book - needs to write something about what value really is, and how people perceive prosperity.

Everyone knows it's not about rational actors, or even - particularly - about credit and useful things happening because of credit.

We have an interesting situation now where stock market value seems to exist even though economic activity doesn't, much.

This makes no sense - supposedly.

I think in fact it makes perfect sense - but only if you understand what's really being traded, what the motivation for trade is, and why what happens to people who don't trade on the markets doesn't actually matter a damn.

(Except in the limit, when they start starving, rioting and burning things down.)

From there it's possible - eventually - to create new theories of value that are less subjective than the ones we have now.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 12:39:29 PM EST
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thanks, i look forward to it.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 12:44:05 PM EST
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ThatBritGuy:

We have an interesting situation now where stock market value seems to exist even though economic activity doesn't, much.

This makes no sense - supposedly.

I think in fact it makes perfect sense - but only if you understand what's really being traded, what the motivation for trade is, and why what happens to people who don't trade on the markets doesn't actually matter a damn.

I am re-reading Veblen's Theory of Business Enterprise. In it he claims that the capitalised value of the tangible assets of firms are covered by ordinary debt and maybe preferred (non-voting) stock, whereas common (voting) shares cover the capitalization of intangible assets, that is goodwill. That this mimics the separation of ownership (debt) from management (equity) and that the goodwill of "captains of industry" can be capitalised many times over because having lend their reputation to a venture, a "captain of industry" (such as, say, Warren Buffet) doesn't have his goodwill exhausted but even increased.

Having read the book for a second time I think it is very relevant to out current predicament (it also contains an explanation of the business cycle as speculative bubbles, of recession as a psychological phenomenon of the business class, etc).

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 12:45:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably incompatible with floating exchange rates...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 7th, 2009 at 11:14:03 AM EST
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Or vice versa.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 7th, 2009 at 03:53:21 PM EST
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