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

Another day, one less dollar.
  (+3, -5)
(+3, -5)
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The idea is this: your wealth would be inversely propotional to the amount of the currency you have. Example:

Customer: Oooh, look at that shirt! I'll take it. Shopkeep: Here is your shirt, and here is your money.

or

Banker: Good news! You've been approved for a $10,000 loan. Borrower: Great! Here's $10,000.

Each person at birth would start out with some positive quantity of money. Their parents would probably hold onto most of it for them until they grew old enough to support themselves.

The money would be a burden to carry in some way (maybe it's heavy, or radioactive, or something), and would be illegal/impossible to discard other than in a transaction.

Not a good idea, mind you, but kind of interesting, I thought.

O-Jive, Feb 19 2004

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       //Not a good idea// - you said it.
PeterSilly, Feb 19 2004
  

       I thought this would be like, if something cost $4, you could give the cashier a $5 bill and a $-1 bill, and thus make your own change.
phundug, Feb 19 2004
  

       Sell this idea short
theircompetitor, Feb 19 2004
  

       Look, [O-Jive], you have negative croissants! It must be working!
k_sra, Feb 19 2004
  

       So...I would mail a check to my employer every two weeks? Creditors would accept money from me temporarily based on how much money I *don't* have? My financial devestments would lose money over time? And my goal in life would be to become independently impoverished? But if I find myself with too many people owing me money, I should declare bankruptcy? And the Treasury would come to my house and demand to know why I was *not* counterfeiting?
ConsultingDetective, Feb 20 2004
  

       I prefer [phundug]'s version.
Acme, May 02 2005
  

       there is a definite halfbakery logic working here.
benfrost, May 03 2005
  

       It's kinda like keeping score in golf, except golf makes sense.
Mauve Herring, May 10 2005
  

       I kinda had my heart set on -1 bills, too. Printed up in negative images.
Soterios, May 10 2005
  

       So you could bury all your debt in the back garden?
MikeOliver, May 10 2005
  

       It already exists, it's called debt - normally it's abstract, but can be paper based - in fact, when seen from the point of view of The Federal Reserve, or The Bank of England, regular cash is already negative.   

       Money means nothing unless it is in motion from one owner to another. When in transit, it is to the credit of one person, at the expense of another person. When it sits still, it's entirely meaningless.
zen_tom, May 10 2005
  

       O sure, get all technical and ruin it with the facts.
Soterios, May 10 2005
  

       You could have a system whereby ownership of some piece of paper meant that others had an economic advantage over you, however, the system would soon fall down as soon as anyone caught on that disposing of the stuff was easy to do.
"Oops! I lost my wallet, again!"
"Oh dear, I've accidentally set fire to all my money in a freak stick-rubbing incident."
The closest thing I can think of is the credit-card statement, but that is of course administered and maintained by the company into who your money/debt is flowing.
zen_tom, May 10 2005
  

       I@ll give you a wad.
goatfaceKilla, May 13 2005
  

       Death Liquid for all!
daseva, May 13 2005
  
      
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