Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Penny security

You can't steal something you can't move.
  (+1, -8)(+1, -8)
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Imagine, if you will, that you a genius bank robber. For years you have been plotting an ingenious heist. You and your highly practiced gang of thugs succesfully infiltrate and blast your way into a gleaming stainless steal safe. Inside, you find and pilied about the room are bags and bags stuffed full of... pennies. Millions of them. Only able to lift a few twenty or thirty bags, you and your gang escape in your pre-positioned helicopter with a grand total of fifty dollars.

"darn" you sputter, "if only I had brought a fork-lift!"

ultra-toaster 3000, Oct 13 2009

Stone Money of Yap http://www.pictures...ds/Stone-Money.html
Fiddly small change... [8th of 7, Oct 13 2009]

Rai stones http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rai_stones
Nice memory 8th. [bigsleep, Oct 13 2009]

[link]






       This is impractical for the same reason that you cite it being hard to steal. Can you imagine going to the bank with a fleet of trucks just to get enough cash to pay Mark for the pics he got hold of from that summer you were a bit too drunk in Lyon and the wives were out of town?
vincevincevince, Oct 13 2009
  

       Hmm, true, but on the other hand you could just write Mark a check.
ultra-toaster 3000, Oct 13 2009
  

       If you had spent years casing the place, you should know it's full of pennies before going in there. Also, imagine how much bigger a vault would have to be to store all its money in penny form. [-]
21 Quest, Oct 13 2009
  

       Why not take the idea a step further, and make the pennies 9 feet in diameter and 4 feet thick?
Wrongfellow, Oct 13 2009
  

       That's very impractical, [Wrongfellow]. I would say 5 foot by 16 inches would be big enough to be secure, but small enough to roll through a normal front door and down the street to the shops.
pocmloc, Oct 13 2009
  

       With cast copper weighing 542 pounds per cubic foot, this is going to bring a whole new weight to the saying "a penny for your thoughts".
normzone, Oct 13 2009
  

       Apparently there is an island in the Southern Pacific where the inhabitants used to use very large - almost immovable - stones as currency. Quite how it worked was not made clear.
8th of 7, Oct 13 2009
  

       //Quite how it worked was not made clear//   

       The gist of the wikipedia article is that it worked like gold - cost of production and not doing anything useful with it. Fort Knox comes to mind.
bigsleep, Oct 13 2009
  

       Actually, the Wikipedia article (as well as most popular articles on stone money) is (are) bollocks - the interpretation of them as "money" is perverse and wrong.   

       The big stone discs are "money" only in the same sense that the Mona Lisa or a ceremonial sword are "money". Yes, the discs were exchanged and given on various occassions and, yes, they were considered "valuable". Exactly the same is true today of statues, ancient artifacts etc - this does not make them "money".
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 13 2009
  

       //this does not make them "money".//   

       They didn't have paper notes or smaller pebbles to represent the value. They did have word of mouth though, and the concepts are the same.   

       "Is your money where your mouth is?" "Sure! Look at my stones !"   

       //"money"// are you sure your sub-prime money has the necessary stones ?   

       I don't know why I bother with all the cultural inertia references.
bigsleep, Oct 13 2009
  

       // this does not make them "money" //   

       Indeed not. They are "negotiable securities". In some ways they are superior to paper money or even coins which are non-unique and have little or no intrinsic value.   

       It is admittedly rather awkward to purchase three pints of bitter and two packets of cheese and onion crisps with a Gary Larsen original cartoon, and getting the change in live chickens, but barter remains a workable method of commerce, and is retained in a number of the more primitive areas of your planet, such as New Guinea, the Amazon rainforest, and Aberystwith.
8th of 7, Oct 13 2009
  

       //this does not make them "money".// //the concepts are the same. //   

       No, the concepts are not the same. The value attached to the stones was not consistent either over time or across people; nor were they used in the wide range of situations where currency would be used.   

       They were works of art or status symbols, and had value accordingly, but they weren't "money".
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 13 2009
  

       //The value attached to the stones was not consistent either over time or across people//   

       I hope you realise what you just said.   

       //this does not make them "money".// //the concepts are the same. //   

       Admittedly (like a recently deleted idea) it does take a stretch of the imagination.   

       Imagine an average human being who starts bugging you. Eventually you want to say "Stop bugging me! You are wasting my time.". At what point do you start equating relationships with "money" ? The stones and other status symbols are not representations of "money", but of the power they can exert over their society.   

       How on earth is this different than a typical corporate wanting to own its employees and announce to the world "Behold my spoils of gullability !"   

       The currency comes in when the emotional inertia of the staff just has completely had enough and rebel. And then the stone would be in their court, market collapses, whatever.   

       And at this point I want to name a personal god of mine, but some people might agree and skew the markets.
bigsleep, Oct 13 2009
  

       Well, I didn't really follow that. Anyway.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 13 2009
  

       //Well, I didn't really follow that. Anyway//   

       Just suppose you knew a trader "in-the-know". Would you capitalise on that relationship ? Would that be considered insider trading if he said "the markets are complete bollocks, it's all going to crash". Or does that only apply if he's seen one dodgy balance sheet or proposed future stock bloat ?   

       Believe me, I would like those who have worked hard to achieve wealth to be able to keep it. But the global economy gods are as cruel as any other.   

       It does make me wonder whether the business news segment is generally received by a rapid change of channel and covering of the ears (like tobacco or business is actually a new idea).
bigsleep, Oct 13 2009
  

       interesting idea for Fort Knox: just melt all the gold into one large impossible-to-move nugget.
FlyingToaster, Oct 13 2009
  

       Bigs, I may be dumb or tired (or both), but I really don't follow. All I'm saying is that calling the Big Round Stones With Holes In "money" is no different from calling, say, a valuable statue "money". It can be given, it can be traded, its value depends on circumstance and perception, but it's not money.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 13 2009
  

       [FT] when they say they move the gold from side to side, you do wonder if they can be bothered and its just a gentlemans agreement.
bigsleep, Oct 13 2009
  

       a truely huge brick o gold could be kept outside and guarded by genetically re-incarnated man eating dinosaurs. We would never need money again, all checks would be backed by the national gold mountain standard.
WcW, Oct 13 2009
  

       //Big Round Stones With Holes In "money"//   

       Think of the bar tab you could run up with your credibility. No payment down (besides the stone of course). Best of all they waiver the bill for publicity.
bigsleep, Oct 13 2009
  

       [ ] for the post, [+] for a huge brick/nugget guarded by recreated dinosaurs.
FlyingToaster, Oct 13 2009
  

       //for a huge brick/nugget guarded by recreated dinosaurs//   

       Now I feel dumb, what does that mean ?
bigsleep, Oct 13 2009
  

       [bs] [WcW]'s anno following your previous one
FlyingToaster, Oct 13 2009
  

       Thanks, found it. Predator backed currencies are baked.
bigsleep, Oct 13 2009
  
      
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