Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Early American Currency

Fascinating early banknotes. Share


Amanda Borenstadt said...

Fascinating! I've never seen such old American paper money.

Michael J. Russell said...

There's a valuable lesson to be learned here for today's economy. Since it's inherently a proxy or an IOU for something else of intrinsic value, paper money is worth exactly what those accepting it think it's really worth - no less, no more.

Some early American currency, called continentals, were perceived to be worthless, since there was no certitude about the gold behind them at that time. Based on this, a popular expression, "not worth a continental" persisted well into the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

So, when any modern currency is backed solely by the full faith and credit of the government issuing it, it's essential not to debase it by unsound and inherently inflationary measures like the euphemistically-named "quantitative easing," if we wish to prevent our money from being "not worth a continental" in the not-too-distant future.