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Great diary, rifek!  I was not aware of this backstory.  Has this information appeared in print and on TV in Iceland?  It is a powerful political message.  It was not just that entrepreneurs and politicians in Iceland got greedy and tried to buy the world.  The were instead the victims of a hit by a TNC and all of the citizens have suffered to the end that Alcoa gets cheap geo-thermal power for its exclusive use.  Properly managed, this has the potential to turn Chris Cook's ideas into a national demonstration project.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 12:47:06 PM EST
The Telegraph's Ambrose Evans - Pritchard (aka the "Hammer of the EU") - had an interesting take which illustrated well exactly how interested the Chinese etc would be in acquiring Aluminium "Units" in addition to the relatively limited physical metal.

A 'Copper Standard' for the world's currency system? - Telegraph

The beauty of recycling China's surplus into metals instead of US bonds is that it kills so many birds with one stone: it stops the yuan rising, without provoking complaints of currency manipulation by Washington; metals are easily stored in warehouses, unlike oil; the holdings are likely to rise in value over time since the earth's crust is gradually depleting its accessible ores. Above all, such a policy safeguards China's industrial revolution, while the West may one day face a supply crisis.

Beijing may yet buy gold as well, although it has not done so yet. The gold share of reserves has fallen to 1pc, far below the historic norm in Asia. But if a metal-based currency ever emerges to end the reign of fiat paper, it is just as likely to be a "Copper Standard" as a "Gold Standard".



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 01:17:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Copper Standard"
Pennies from Heaven!  At the rate things are going both pennies and nickles are likely to be much more valuable for their metal content than for their nominal value.  The mint loses money as it is on minting those coins.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 02:07:44 PM EST
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... $1 and $5 coins.

When we first started using pennies as the smallest unit of money, they could actually BUY something. Now vending machines don't even take them, and people leave them in little penny holders in the servo to avoid carrying them around.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 02:11:17 PM EST
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We'll probably have to in another year or so.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 02:15:17 PM EST
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A penny's worth of copper to give a yellowish hue to a dollar coin spreads the copper around much more thinly ... and making the coin slightly bigger than and slightly thicker than a quarter makes a much more sensible coin than the big platters of four times as much make believe silver as a quarter, and one that would make the vending companies much happier as well.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 03:38:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
look like copper, but also contain a white metal which I believe is zinc.  It melts out and separates when heated.  

All the same, they are worth more as metal than as currency.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Apr 29th, 2009 at 02:48:53 AM EST
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isn't that why it's illegal to collect them and melt them down?
or is that myth?

'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 Apr 29th, 2009 at 03:14:02 AM EST
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In most countries it's illegal to destroy the physical tokens used to represent money, because the central bank needs to know how many such tokens are around in order to make monetary policy, in order to conduct token switch-overs (when you get a new edition of bills - say with improved security features.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Apr 29th, 2009 at 03:28:25 AM EST
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Don't need to buy the metal, just controlling interests in the companies that dig up the stuff.  Such as Chinalco's growing stake in Rio Tinto.
by rifek on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 05:47:29 PM EST
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That's one way of doing it, but they'll still get screwed by the management.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 06:13:36 PM EST
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With a 1/5 stake, that may prove less than simple.
by rifek on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 06:47:12 PM EST
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People are just beginning to connect the dots.
by rifek on Mon Apr 27th, 2009 at 05:53:30 PM EST
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Has this information appeared in print and on TV in Iceland?  It is a powerful political message.

There is an icelandic documentary movie just released about it.

See http://icelandweatherreport.com/2009/04/quite-possibly-the-most-important-icelandic-film-ever-made.h tml

And rifek, you should probably update your story and list Iceland Weather Report as your main source.

by Trond Ove on Tue Apr 28th, 2009 at 10:02:38 AM EST
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Weel, I would, except that it wasn't.
by rifek on Tue Apr 28th, 2009 at 02:15:06 PM EST
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