Monopoly money

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the game of Monopoly, the manufacturers are apparently putting some real euros in the cash pile in a few boxes of the game.

The question in my mind is, given the current state of the single currency, whether there will be much difference between it and the real Monopoly money.

34 thoughts on “Monopoly money”

  1. Sheona, the Euro has gone up significantly today. I don’t think there will be anything to worry about with the Euro.
    Go to Jail…do not pass go. πŸ™‚

  2. At least with monopoly there is a set of rules laid down that one must adhere to,where with the euro they seem to make it up as they go along. No wonder the banks don’t offer savers a reasonable interest rate; it’s cheaper to print new money than to borrow it. Does anyone believe that phrase printed on bank notes ” I promise to pay the bearer……” is anything other than rubbish? We all know that Brown sold off the gold reserves yonks ago.
    Putting real euros in the same box is likely to devalue the monopoly money πŸ˜‰

  3. James: technically, the promise of “I promise to pay the bearer” is, well, solid as a pound. The problem is that if you brought a Β£50 note in, they’d give you either 50 Β£1 coins or 25 Β£2 coins!

  4. Christopher,
    But because the pound coin is not gold (or even worth its material value) they would just be replacing one form of “promissory ” note for another. Did I read somewhere that the US constitution specifically states that the US dollar must be gold or silver backed as they are the only substances that could not be counterfeited. It would appear that the founding fathers had anticipated the onset of the day when wanting to being a politician would represent an avaricious rather than a giving opportunity.

  5. James: that is exactly the catch. It can be exchanged, but it can only be exchanged for something of almost as little value. The US dollar, for its part, is no longer backed by either gold or silver. Nor are US banknotes promissory. They are simply government-issued scrip that the government says is worth a certain amount.

    In the 18th century there were far fewer banknotes and far more coins. Most people didn’t really need banknotes very often as coinage sufficed for most transactions. At the time most coins were either silver or gold with only the smallest in value being copper or bronze. The founding fathers were not especially blessed by foresight in this regard. (Although, ironically, they did design the US government to be prone to shut downs and paralysis. Any changes were to be glacial and, especially in times of public polarisation, to be difficult to impose)

  6. Janus: in Germany and Japan most things are still done with cash. In fact, many Westerners make the mistake of travelling in Japan thinking they can use plastic only to realise that many places do not accept it, even post offices and that most cash machines won’t even accept non-Japanese cash cards. It is similar in Germany in that some stores only accept cash cards with data chips. Some cash cards and credit cards, and most in the US, don’t have them. I avoid carrying my care around. In no small part this is because it is far too easy to remotely read card information and then make an ersatz card. It happened to my mum and uncle.

  7. People sometimes forget that physical cash is expensive to handle. It needs to be manufactured, delivered, counted, stored etc. all of which cost time and money. Physical cash is easy to steal and lose and more difficult to account for than digital cash. Digital cash can be sent instantly to anywhere in the world. Leaving aside the risks, physical cash takes time to get from a to b.

    My view is that generally speaking, those who deal only with physical cash because they do not trust electronic funds, do so based on ignorance rather than sound economic judgement.

    But I could be wrong.

  8. Sipu: I take it that you’ve never only need a quart of milk and the shop won’t accept plastic for under Β£10? So what do you do, buy an additional Β£9.35 worth of things you don’t need? Or have you ever been at a shop when the card readers don’t work? Brilliant idea to be without cash, eh? Or have you ever been to a restaurant or food cart that only accepts cash and you didn’t have enough to pay? I’ve dealt with all said situations, hence, I prefer cash. I just don’t carry more than I need with me.

  9. I should add that some banks’ computer systems will automatically freeze someone’s bank card if travelling outside the country, even if the bank was notified. That happened to me in Australia. It took 3 days for my card to be usable again. Had it not been for the fact that I carried enough cash with me, I would not have been able to check in at any of my hotels as my bank declined to process charges at every single hotel.

  10. C, I’m akshully surprised at your latest revelations re banks and their plastic. Touch wood my local bank card has been honoured around Europe for the past 10 years and before that my British card accompanied me without mishap for much longer.

  11. Janus: I was surprised when it happened as well. The main problem is with the bank’s computer system. Even if there is a record that the card-holder will be in a particular country, the system may still in some instances block the card until someone releases it again. I have also had my accounts hacked and Β£9,000 worth of purchases made within an hour. Although I was not held liable for the charges, it taught me a lesson about trust even the most advanced encryption. There are also miniature card readers that can make digital copies of bank cards at cash machines or less well-supervised machines.

    The best, perhaps, is to use both because both serve their purposes. Mocking people for preferring cash reminds me too much of one of my mates who teased me about being so old-fashioned and then had to ask me for loans of Β£2 for a bus ticket because the drivers didn’t accept bank cards. Or, for that matter, the technology-lover who mocked me mercilessly about my writing lecture notes by hand only to ask me several times for them because he forgot a cord or his computer froze.

  12. I have had a ‘Christopher’ happen to me when tooing and froing over the Atlantic when the boy was ill. At the time I was moving a lot of money electronically to pay for all sorts and was detained in a bank in Brum accused by the card company of money laundering!!! Fortunately the bank knew me and said rubbish refused to confiscate my card or call the police as instructed, got onto the card company in the USA and gave them hell!

    Sipu you couldn’t be more wrong! A judicious use of both cash and cards is by far the safest mix. Paki owned garages in the Midlands are renowned for the scam of cloning pins and emptying your accounts. Anyone that travels in the Brum area without hard cash is a total idiot, uninformed or naive! In both the UK and USA we make a point of topping up our cash in town inside a bank once a week at a counter with a human, never use ATMs on the street. Never use cards in stores that have a bad reputation with security such as Target. Keep all our internet banking on an external drive unconnected to any computer, etc etc.
    Use old fashioned cheques at our usual venues for purchases.
    Needless to say we have never been taken for a penny!

  13. I have to say that the only time I warned a card issuer in advance of our travel plans, my card was frozen. When my daughter had her bag stolen in Buenos Aires and tried to get her card cancelled, Barclaycard didn’t do that but at least they had to pay the bill. I think it amounts to ” can’t get the staff these days”.

  14. I took a school party to Thessaloniki in ’03. One student had a purse stolen within an hour of arrival. Guess who had to tell the parents!

  15. On two occasions I have had significant amounts of digital money stolen and in both cases it was returned. I cannot say the same for the multiple amounts of physical cash that I have lost.

  16. Sipu: at the same time, you fail to acknowledge the times that systems do not work correctly which would render people unable to even function at the most basic level if they did not have cash. Or, for that matter, the fact that not every shop, restaurant or driver be it of a bus, coach, taxi or train will accept cards. You also do not acknowledge that not all cards are accepted everywhere. In Germany, Canada and Japan this can be a concern. For example, some shops and post offices in Germany will only process bank cards with chips. What happens if the chip stops working on holiday (it happens)? Last month I posted a mate a hamper. They would not accept my Californian bank card so I had to rush to the nearest cash machined and pay over 5 euro to to take out 50. In Japan, only the Japan Post Bank will honour non-Japanese bank cards and many shops do not like dealing with bank cards. One of my banks makes it difficult to even pay online because of international banking insurance laws. When booking a room at a B&B in Dublin my card was rejected twice (!) and I had to spend considerable amounts of time and effort sorting it out — as did the owner of the B&B who had the patience of a saint. I couldn’t even reserve a tour of parliament — through an internationally respected ticketing agency — without having to go through a 3-step process that took over an hour to complete.

  17. Janus: necessity requires me to have a US bank account. The bank I have is one of the better, more ethical ones and I know them all by name. As I refuse to sign any further agreements with Americans or have any more dealings with them than absolutely necessary, this is impractical.

  18. c. I think it may be easier for you if you had two bank accounts, one USA based and the other German.
    I have encountered similar problems between the USA and the UK. So I maintain bank accounts and credit cards based in both countries. I suppose that is why they tried to nick me for money laundering!
    I also keep a set of executrix accounts for the boy as I still have his apartment. Was advised to keep it all as separate as possible in case of tax liabilities. It is so much easier to prove things with the bloody taxman with a series of cancelled cheques rather than vague credit card statements. The real problems start when you derive income from more than one country and have to remit same to another country. They all want a bite of the same cherry. During the seventies my husband was paid in the USA but worked and lived for the American company in Europe. It was a total bloody nightmare. Talk about forensic accounting skills needed! It is all a damned sight easier to control with a good paper trail and an offshore bank!

  19. CO: I do have two bank accounts. I kept the one I’ve had for a very long time. If anything goes wrong, I can telephone the local office and it will be taken care of. There is no call centre to deal with. It is also difficult to deposit international cheques in Germany. Germans scarcely use them to begin with.

    Germany contents itself with leaving people in peace in regards to foreign income. If it isn’t earned in Germany, it is exempt from German taxation. The few times I need to verify income, a scan of a cheque suffices. My concern is with the bloody IRS and FATCA. That is one reason why I am watching the 2016 presidential election closely. If someone decent becomes president, someone who wants to repeal FATCA then I will content myself with ignoring the existence of the USA and having decreasing contact with the place until it simply fades into a bad memory. If someone wretched becomes president and I have to continuously hand over all documents, I’ll likely cut all legal ties with the US within a handful of years. Never really liked the place and have no affinity for it, can’t see any reason to keep legal ties with the place.

  20. I agree, the IRS is a bitch but you can at least deduct expenses overseas. Believe it or not I still get USA relief for a mortgage paid in the UK, totally legal.
    I would hesitate before you junk your USA nationality. The boy found dual citizenship to be rather useful, some countries are far more predilected to one country or the other. According to where he was going he always made a choice between one or the other or both passports, he found it most helpful in the third world.

  21. CO: the point is that I want a clean break, to be away from the USA — to not have to answer to them. I’ve had to use my German passport against US police. They hated the fact that the bloody-minded pedants of the Foreign Ministry might well stick their nose in and expose their scheme. The Germans are infamous about that!

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