Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Money Wisdom #154

"I kept them [the Turkish banknotes] because I sensed their value evaporating, their moneyness seeping into the old satinwood, till they were just coloured paper you couldn't even write on. And at some moment, I cannot remember when, looking at that confetti, I had a thought: I realised that moneyness was not a permanent attribute of those pieces of paper, but attended them for a period of their existence, rather as good fortune had attended me as a young man; in reality, attended them only so long as they were in motion. The banknotes shared that character with no other physical object, for a clock remains a clock and an automobile a vehicle even when they do not move. Further I realised that money must be visible, for a buried hoard is not money until it is exhumed; and must have an owner, for a banknote blowing in the street, like an Egyptian half pound I once saw on the Corniche of Alexandria, is not money until it is run after and picked up. Money becomes money only at the instant it incorporates a wish..."

James Buchan Frozen Desire (1997) p.12-13

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