Monday, August 29, 2011

Money, Money, Money...

I have been reading David Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Years.  Among other interesting arguments, he maintains that economists usual idea of money and its history - that it evolved from barter - is utterly bogus, a just so story made up by Adam Smith and swallowed whole to this day in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence.

Fun fact: in Henry II time in England a sort of currency was made of notched tally sticks.  They were IOUs:

....both parties to a transaction would take a hazelwood twig, notch it to indicate the amount held, and then split in half.
The creditor's half was called the "stock", from which the term "stock holder" was derived.  The debtor kept the "stub."