Money…A Strange Thing
I have always been fascinated money. Not with what money can buy necessarily, but with the idea of money ITSELF. The fact that there exists this thing called “money” and I can give it to you for a good or a service, and you will accept it, and give me the good or service…this is so “strange” to me. Why? Because, who says that money “means” something. Well, I guess we all do. Somewhere back there, some folks decided that a little rectangular piece of paper or a circular piece of metal with some particular markings would be the mechanisms for facilitating the exchange of goods and services. And we all go along with this…kinda neat.
What REALLY got me thinking about this were the fees that I was charged by my bank, and the fees that were refunded. They “removed” 240 “dollars” from my account, and then they “returned” 240 “dollars” to my account. BUT…did that money every really MOVE? Was that money ever even “real” or was it just a series of 1′s and 0′s on a computer hard drive? We live in this age of electronic exchange of money…I can “send” you 10 bucks via paypal, but what have I really “sent.” WHERE is that magic money. How long does it take to physically move from my bank to yours…or DOES IT EVER EVEN MOVE…I guess it just sits there, being “traded” around by various electronic transactions…The money doesn’t even really “exist” in anyone’s accounts, it exists on a balance sheet somewhere on some hard drive. Granted…you can “get” to the money in you accounts when you withdraw cash from you bank…BUT…that’s not really the money that I sent you…That cash is just some bills that your bank ALREADY had…very, very weird. Billions of dollars can “move” around the world everyday, without a dime of it actually “moving.”