Money is great. Especially, when You have it.
It gives You the possibility to spend it on something that is of importance to You.
“Is important?” … well, “You believe, something will be of importance to You” – to be precise.
It gives You chances on realizing opportunities, somehow.
It works like a catalyst. It can speed up or brake down. Depending on how it is used.
It is not exactly a catalyst, because of complexity. By using money in a certain way, inflation rate will rise. The inflation rate is the amount “consumption” to money. To get it measurable, we need another reference like “purchasing power” indicated by Big Macs for instance.
Money is the cause of troubles and harm.
Especially, when You feel a need and it cannot be fulfilled (“satisfied”), in the moment.
Or, when “everything is fine” – as long as You receive Your salary.
Until … the need to change, cushioned by high salaries, finally leads to the end of Your salary stream at all.
In the end, it is Your attitude to money that makes it the one or the other.
In the beginning, money is just an idea.
It is the promise that You can exchange it to something different. It is a converter of one into the other. Even if You exchange money into money like in debt, loan and even currency trades.
You are all aware of currencies symbolized by €, $, £, ¥ and all the others. Their exchange rate will differ from what people “see” in them. There are differences named like “inner value” and “outer value” that makes it difficult to value objectively and to assess in the end.
Values (in meaning of “worthiness”) are subjective.
You only can file prices to the books. That might reflect a “fair value” in the moment of statement. But, the conditions that influence that valuing change immediately after statement. First a little, time after time a lot more.
To get the idea, refer to exchange markets like Chicago’s CME or “The Wall Street”.
Price numbers only give You the feeling of stability. And this is the danger in them.
Trappy securities. Stupid.
There are a lot of other currencies in the world – reach, power, attention etc.
Some of them could be exchanged to and from money. That’s were difficulties arise from.
/money is hacking
So, what is money than? Money is one of the most important hacks of civilization.
Together with language, letters and law systems.
Money is the mother of all hacks!
What are hacks? Hacks are something that is initially intended to be and work in a certain way and then converted into something different. Often with a much vaster impact than intended initially. This is what makes us so curious about hacks.
Examples: telephone networks (today: IP-traffic carriers), Post-Its, the internet.
In the beginning, there was the declaration of something like fish, or stones, or metal to be something You can exchange some other for. Imagine gold and coins, there is a combination between material and “value” within it. That should preserve integrity of the currency against fraud by imitation.
Next step was to establish “issuing banks”. There was something of low value (paper) declared to be valuable by some attributes (issuer, counterfeits, number, letters etc.). To guarantee value it was linked to another good like gold.
This were the steps on “fiat money“. You know the story, hopefully.
Now, we are in times of change.
On the one hand, nobody really needs money any more – indicator: negative interest rates.
On the other hand, there are systems established to generate currency from complete virtuality via algorithms.
Where does the journey goes? What will survive? Time will tell …
Meanwhile, I want to reflect on what money is for us – or at least for me – today.
Money gives us the ability to do something else, instead.
Imagine what to do without money.
There are no supermarkets, no Kitchen Aid, no washing machine, no freezer.
You were not able to read this in the moment, You would have to hunt for deer or rabbit or grinding grain. Depending on Your gender. 🙂
Money concentrates and aggregates responsibility, knowledge and ability. It encapsulates complicacy of gaining effect into something we call “product”.
By this mechanism, it sets free resources (time, energy, inspiration) that could be used otherwise.
As we once noticed the immense power of encapsulated complicacy, we began to diverse everyday life into “work” and “private” life.
No, not back in the last century, back before stone age!
There were people that were good in hunting, others were good in baking, some were good in deciding, others in healing.
Everybody did, what s/he was “called” for.
Later, we encapsulated complicacy not only into people with certain abilities. We encapsulated by even separating ability from people into machines, then into frameworks we called “production plant”, today into networks we call “company” and even another step of abstraction we call “the cloud” where all the preceding systems evolve into.
Facing “work”, there is this one last question: “make or buy?”
Do I need it now? Do I need to know how it works? For what?
Stuff enough for another story, I guess …
The most abstract layer on this is the system layer of money.
This is where the Godfathers of Money act.
This is territory of Mr. Greenspan, Mr. Draghi, Mr. Buffet and aggregated power like Goldman Sachs.
They got all exactly one driver: INTEREST!
I love doing this in English. In German it does not work so well, because of very different words in everyday language. “Interest rate” and “meaning” or “importance” are used so differently, that almost nobody realizes the conjunction between “interest” and the rate on what You will pay in future in return.
If You feel the need to realize something now and make profit from it, visioning – and hopefully realizing – this will give You the ability to pay more in future, You will apply for credit today.
The more confidence one has to pay/earn more in return, the higher interest rates will grow in acceptance. From that perspective, the mid-eighties of last century must have been great.
For me they were, but from different reasons.
And today? Nobody wants or need to build a future, currently.
No struggling for resources. No “now” is of more importance in opposite to “then”.
Nothing material really matters, anymore. Some last hopeful people “invest” in real estate, because of almost “no cost”.
Well, we will see.
Interest rates are the price tags on the future. They drive economy or slow down.
That’s why some people are so keen on rising inflation rates.
But, they do not rise. Not really.
Thanks to Mr. Buffet and Mr. Draghi for bringing this enlightment to me.
As I introduced in the beginning, Your attitude makes money to what You view in it.
And how You deal with money, that’s Your personal style.
There are some, that found a good working method to generate certain credibility.
They invest in lots of insignia from which they suffered earlier in their life.
You face them all, once a while.
“lots of money – no style.” There are certain variants of goods that signalize just one expression: “It is good for nothing and I can afford it.”
High-end vehicle modifications, A-located real estate etc.
/Masters of the Universe
Another type of people cannot differ between power and ability within money, anymore.
They take price tags on income or assets as indicator for their personal life-value.
Sad, but true. Stupid.
Other people find their meaning in life by living as long and healthy as they can, consuming least energy and resources.
From business perspective, this is a problem. More on that, maybe in the future …
“Only when the last tree has died
and the last river been poisoned
and the last fish been caught
will we realise we cannot eat money.”
In my youth, that was shown by a certain type of people, sticking stickers on certain fossil fueled cars of Swedish provenience.
Did You got the joke, meanwhile? Hopefully, they got it.
Money, or some other motivation in any currency is important to get things go.
As long as we have no better alternative, we use “money” instead.
But, do not count on it! It will vanish in worth by time …
- Anne Clark: “Our Darkness“
- Anne Clark: “Abuse“
- Debt: The first 5000 years
- Heike Faller: “Wie ich einmal versuchte, reich zu werden.” (“Once, as I tried to get rich”)
- “Rich dad, poor dead“
- Don’t Panic: How To End Poverty in 15 Years
- Hans Rosling (TED): insights on poverty
… and many more.
/famous last words
Life runs in circles. Some are smaller, some are bigger.
In the end, there is no end – only another beginning.
“Enjoy, and share if You like.”
“Feel free to make life great!”
“Likes” are welcome. Comments are appreciated.