If there was a common currency* used in Middle Earth, Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey would’ve totally been famous enough to have their faces grace coins all over the land. But back here on regular old boring Earth, they’re important enough in New Zealand to be featured on actual legal tender, as well as a new set of stamps to commemorate the upcoming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. [More]
Who hasn’t grabbed a handful of Monopoly money and just wished it could be used to purchase things in real life? A few towns are doing that with their own currencies, and it’s helping to keep things bustling within their communities. [More]
Maybe you’ve always seen yourself running out the clock in Scottsdale or Miami, but if you want to make your retirement dollar stretch, you may want to expand your horizons. Some foreign countries cater to retirees with friendly tax rates and low cost of living, making them attractive alternatives to American retirement havens. [More]
Even though it’s referred to as “paper” money, most of the material used to produce U.S. banknotes is actually cotton. And with raw cotton costs at a 140-year high, it’s costing more money to print money. [More]
Remember just a few days ago when we wrote about that visionary Dunkin’ Donuts franchise that had started a voluntary no-penny policy? Well it didn’t last long, as NPR has learned from Dunkin’ HQ that the penny-abolishing policy has since been abolished. [More]
One donut shop is taking a stand against the bacteria-ridden zinc disks of suck that are pennies. Reader Tom sent us this photo from a store he recently visited. In a policy change that was probably born during an 8 AM rush, this franchise appears to be are rounding customer totals up or down to the nearest five cents, and only providing pennies to those annoying people who actually want them. [More]
Remember the Downtown Dollars that Ardmore, PA sold to its citizens this year? Sara Lepro at American Banker looked at that and other “homegrown currency” experiments happening across the country, which are intended to stimulate the local economy and take advantage of “a growing ‘localism’ movement.” [More]
Last month, a business improvement group in Ardmore, PA issued $15,000 in local currency, which citizens bought at half the face value and which can be spent like real money in stores and restaurants in the downtown area. Strangely, despite the 50% savings promised only $2,900 of it has been spent so far, with thrift stores receiving more than any other type of business. The group is going to launch another money printing campaign in November to try to boost holiday sales, preferably of new things. [More]
Today the Treasury Department will reveal a redesigned $100 bill. The new design brings the bill in line with the smaller denominations that are already in circulation, and it adds a fancy new anti-counterfeiting measure called Motion that uses special threads to “create an optical illusion of images sliding in directions perpendicular to the light that catches them.” [More]
Here’s the new design for the back of the 2010 penny. Instead of the Lincoln Memorial there’s now a shield, or maybe a tiny badge that you can flash whenever you want to announce, “I have jurisdiction over your pocket change.” No, I’m pretty sure it’s a shield. [More]
We might be dealing with low inflation and even a falling cost of living, but not everyone in the United States is dealing with the same economic woes. Americans who are in prison have their own economy—one with rampant inflation, alleged price-fixing, and a fish packet-based economy.
Visual Economics has a fun chart that shows how many of each denomination of U.S. currency is in circulation, as well as their average lifespans. For some reason, the $5 bill has the shortest lifespan. Also, seriously, we need to stop producing pennies NOW.
Banks are increasingly charging foreign transaction fees on domestic purchases, a dangerous practice that’s likely to expand as banks look for new ways to generate profit. Tripso tells us the story of Sunil, who bought tickets with Qatar airlines, which sounds ever so expensively foreign. Citi charged a 2% foreign transaction fee, even though the tickets were bought in U.S. dollars and processed by the airline’s central reservation system based in Washington D.C.
Did you have a few brews and decide it’d be funny to light cigars by burning $100 bills? If you have at least half of it left, you can get it replaced. Here’s how.
Reader Justin says he bought some software from Valve’s Steam service — and was randomly charged in British pounds. This resulted in a bunch of extra charges from his bank. He’s tried to contact Valve about the issue, but he says he’s being ignored.
Have you seen them? The Europeans? They’re everywhere! In our fancy bistros, on line at the Apple store, spending their fancy-pantzy valuable Euros while we suffer through this intolerable non-recession. The patriots at the New York Times finally sounded the warning call over this European “invasion” that’s transforming New York into the “Walmart of hip.”
According to the AP, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that because all dollar bills are identical to the touch, it denies blind people “meaningful access” to the currency. For years, the American Council of the Blind has been going after the government to take action, but the government has always resisted. Details, inside…