The scale of modern money

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MorphingDragon, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #2
    Something like this is also available, dealing with the U.S. debt (I think), in a faux 3D version, with money piled up on skids. :eek:
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #3
    Really? Sounds interesting. Could you possibly tell me where I might be able to find a copy?

    To the OP, a very interesting idea and thank you for posting it; is there any way to size that poster so that the entire thing appears on my screen and yet remains legible?
     
  3. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    #4
    You could try the 6.8MB download

    I just tried it fullscreen in Preview and even on a 30" screen it is barely legible. :eek:
     
  4. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #5
    Sorry that you missed my Edit, but this is the one I was thinking of.

    http://usdebt.kleptocracy.us/
     
  5. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Absolutely fascinating. I think the scariest number is the derivatives market. I still am not clear on exactly what a derivative is, but the market is equal to about 1/5 of the entire history of economic output of the human race. That's just f'ed up!!
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #7
    Yeah, I think it's pretty scary. Just wrapping one's head around things like debt on a public scale and how they work differently than debt on a private scale (e.g. what the consequences would be of the US having no debt, vs. the consequences of me not having any debt) is enough to produce a headache. It's an amazing system, made all the more amazing by the fact that no one is "in charge" of it in any meaningful way.
     
  7. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #8
    Just a different way of stealing the future from your children and theirs, etc, etc.
     
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #9
    Thank you very much for posting that link. I have a 13" MBA and this download allows me to see the 'economy of scale' element of the post pretty well.

    Absolutely stunning (and horrifying and downright scary). Terrific image, though. Again, thanks hugely for posting the link - much appreciated.
     
  9. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #10
    I think it works something like this:

    A farmer will produce ten thousand bushels of corn. In February, corn is selling for $5/bushel, but the farmer knows he will not be able to get that in September when he harvests it (there is a lot more corn floating around at that time). So he makes a contract with a wholesaler for $3/bushel in order to get a fair price at harvest time. The contract becomes a derivative that might then be traded amongst financiers. A glut of corn will cause the value of the contract to drop, whereas flood or drought will make it worth more (it depends on what the market price of the real corn will be when it is harvested).

    What is being traded is not the actual product but the profit or loss associated with its projected market value. Some derivatives are designed to yield a good return on a lower price rather than a higher price. The original idea was to stabilize markets by separating real time effects from finance and to allow investors to diversify their holding to avoid catastrophic losses if one issue fails badly. Issues have become so elaborate and complex that it ends up looking to you and like little more than casino gambling.
     

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