Where does money come from?

In one of those rare moments of clarity, I realized that there exists a giant hole in my knowledge about the world.  I’m sure anyone with a reasonable economics degree can answer this for me… but this question completely flummoxes me. (I’ve always wanted to find a use for the word flummox, btw. Sorry about that.)

Where does new money come from?

I mean, I see economies expanding and all, but as I look through the whole cycle, I just don’t see where new money comes from – and I don’t mean new bills.

I can look at the water cycle, and see that new water is not created or lost, it just changes forms… and, as far as I can tell, money is the same way.

When you mine something from the ground, you sell it, but the money people pay you to buy it already exists in their account – it just transfers money from one owner to the next. When the banks charge you interest, they just expect you to get it from your account, which came from selling a product or a service…  it just goes on and on…

If a government prints more money, the general theory is that it just devalues the rest of the money through inflation.

Even money that is lost in the stock market isn’t really lost – you’ve just given it to someone else for a share of a company or commodity, which may have more or less value when someone else tries to buy it from you.   Again, no money is created or destroyed – although it tends to accumulate into the hands of those who know how to exploit the system, but that’s a different story.

So, where in the money cycle does money come from?

I apparently have some reading to do.

Edit: thanks to Ryan’s comment, the solution is below in the comments.

Canadians debating the World Series

My wife and I are both Canadian and baseball to us is about the same as mayan handball is to the rest of the world – a complete non-issue. So this morning, when my wife announced that the Cardinals had won the World Series, we had an interesting conversation:

Me: “Cardinals… that’s St. Louis isn’t it?

Her: “I don’t know.  The TV said Texas and St. Louis yesterday.”

Me: “So it is St. Louis, then.”

Her: “How do you know?”

Me: “The other team had ‘Texas’ written on their shirts.”

Her: “Oh, then I guess St. Louis won!”

And now we know – St. Louis won the world series.

Craigslist Scam?

As my wife and I prepare to wind things down before moving, we’ve been selling a lot of stuff on craigslist.  So far, it’s been pretty good – not a lot of problems, although there have been a few annoying no-shows. (People who claim they’re going to show up to buy something, then just change their mind and forget to tell you they’re not going to drop by when they said they would.)

Anyhow, for the first time, I think I’ve been found by a scammer – and no surprise, this is on the biggest ticket item – A bass guitar and amp.

First, I received an email with only the following:


Which doesn’t exactly instill confidence in the buyer.  When I replied it was, I received the following email back.  I’ve highlighted a few interesting passages:

Good day,
I am happy to hear that its still available. As for the price i am okay with it but if there is any other information  regarding the
condition.please let me know by email…
I would take care of the shipping myself by sending  my shipper to come for the pickup.
Let me have some pictures send to me by attachment and also the pickup address of the item.
Payment would be made via cashier check only and am gonna add $50 to yr money so I would have your full name and mailing address and phone number to mail it out to as follows:
Full Names:
Zip Code:
Phone number:
The cashier check will come in excess funds and when the check is being cashed,you will send the remaining balance to the shipping company that will come for the pickup.
I would like you to take the posting off craigslist today.
Expecting to hear from you soon.
N.B Let me know If you have Agreed to help handle the shippers fee

First, the weird spacing of the email is a clue. No one writes that way.  Second, who would reply back and not even mention WHAT the item is or what price was mentioned in the add?  Did they want the amp or the bass or both?  Isn’t that important? Finally, they want the seller to handle the shippper’s fee.  That’s just not right.

Also, they’re asking for my information without giving me theirs.  I’m not exactly going to ship off $250 dollars worth of my stuff based on a casheir’s cheque and an email address.  (And really, can you even ship a bass and an amp for $50?)

The offer to send what is probably supposed to look like more money than necessary using an insecure method of payment just throws red flags all over the place.

Sometimes I really wonder about humanity.

Dog Bath

It’s the weekend, and I’m trying not to do too much science today.  That shouldn’t be too much of a problem, really – the canucks are playing at 5pm, I’m going to be making BBQ personal pizzas, and I got all of my chores done yesterday.  So, today was the day to bathe the dog.  I’d hate to have the doggy pet-sitter get a stinky dog, when my wife and I go to Copenhagen.

If you’ve never seen a puli get a bath, though, it’s something pretty spectacular.