The Royal Mint made no new 1p and 2p coins last year, saying there are enough in circulation. The nearly worthless denominations aren't being phased out, though.
Cash use has fallen across the UK, and some feared the end of copper coins when the government announced a consultation on the mix of cash in circulation earlier this year. But the Treasury concluded that the coins were still needed, and said they would continue to be used "for years to come". Over 2 million people are estimated to be almost entirely reliant on cash in their daily lives, with the elderly, vulnerable and those in rural communities likely to be hardest hit by any decline in cash availability.
Canada ceased production of its 1c coin five years ago, but it remains legal tender. Australia and New Zealand ditched their 1c coins about two decades back. But the increasingly pointless American penny remains in business, held aloft by the tide of hysteria that washes in whenever the Treasury suggests getting rid of it. Read the rest
Computer scientist Alan Turing, key to decoding Nazi communications during World War II, is to be the face of the new £50 banknote. The BBC:
The work of Alan Turing, who was educated in Sherborne, Dorset, helped accelerate Allied efforts to read German Naval messages enciphered with the Enigma machine.
Less celebrated is the pivotal role he played in the development of early computers, first at the National Physical Laboratory and later at the University of Manchester.
In 2013, he was given a posthumous royal pardon for his 1952 conviction for gross indecency following which he was chemically castrated. He had been arrested after having an affair with a 19-year-old Manchester man.
Also, artist Turner on the Twenty:
The Jane Austen tenner entered circulation in 2017. Churchill's on the fiver. Queen Liz is, of course, on all of them.
There hasn't been a £100 in circulation from the Bank of England for decades (The Bank of Scotland has one, with founder Archibald Campbell on it). They should do a run and put Ira Aldridge or Mary Seacole on it. Read the rest
The Bank of England has unveiled its new £50 notes, which had been earmarked to honour a distinguished British scientist, and which will feature Alan Turing, the WWII hero who discovered many of the foundational insights to both modern computing and cryptography, and whose work with the codebreakers of Bletchley Park are widely believed to have shortened WWII by many years and saved millions of lives.
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It's been a crackerjack year, hasn't it? Kids are being held in concentration camps, whole species are disappearing from the face of the earth, our weather is absolutely borked and drinkable water is fast disappearing in many locales around the world. Everything is terrible!
Except for when it isn't.
From The Globe & Mail:
An anonymous benefactor who secretly placed a $100 bill and an unabashed message of positivity in a Nova Scotia park has delighted and intrigued the town’s residents.
The bill was taped to a New Glasgow, N.S., gazebo in a Ziploc bag with a note encouraging the finder to spend the money on something that brings them happiness and to remember the good in the world.
It was found by town employee Doug Miller while setting up for a funding announcement over the weekend.
As detailed in a photo on the Globe & Mail's website, the note reads: To whoever finds this $100 bill -- it is yours! I hope it will bring you joy and that you will use it for your enjoyment. Always know that there is good in the world and joy to be found. I hope you know, or will learn, that you are priceless and worth more than any paper or plastic. I hope you will always choose to be happy.
A hundred bucks is a lot of cash, to most people. To others, it's a fart in a mist. No matter how you're situated for cash, I'm sure you'll agree that it's nice to occasionally run across a news story where nothing is on fire, spreading like the plague or about to die at the hands of the military industrial complex. Read the rest
The escalating tariff slap-fight between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China is messing with so many bottom lines that the only people playing the market and making bank are those with companies that make red ink in their portfolios. Even Apple, a company that pretty much prints its own damn money, isn't immune. In a week where Chinese telecom and computing giant Huawei declared that they'd be making billions less than forecasted, signs that the fruit flavored phone floggers may be looking to shift their operations away from mainland China have cropped up.
From the Nikkei Asian Review:
Apple has asked its major suppliers to evaluate the cost implications of shifting 15% to 30% of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia as it prepares for a fundamental restructuring of its supply chain, the Nikkei Asian Review has learned.
The California-based tech giant's request was triggered by the protracted trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, but multiple sources say that even if the spat is resolved there will be no turning back. Apple has decided the risks of relying so heavily on manufacturing in China, as it has done for decades, are too great and even rising, several people told Nikkei.
The Nikkei Asian Review goes on to talk up the fact that a slowing birthrate, concerns over dependency on centralized production in one locale and rising labor costs are a part of driving Apple's wandering industrial eyes to look on over yonder. Read the rest
38.8% more than the same period a year ago
Apple announced the long-awaited modular Mac Pro yesterday. It's expensive, starting at $5000, but the faithful wanted some truly pro equipment and they got it. Even the 6k monitor to go with it is hard to fault at $4000, as there's nothing else out there to compete but for a plasticy 8k Dell that's only a little cheaper.
But $1000 for the stand? Even that was a little much for the audience at WWDC, whose collective gasp gave the presenter something to trip over.
Still, compare it to the roasting Steve Jobs got when he announced that Internet Explorer would be the default Mac browser:
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Illustrator Boden Him makes fantastic money art, transforming US presidents into pop culture icons. See more here: Illegal Tender.
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Facebook is said to be developing a 'stablecoin,' which is a kind of digital currency pegged to the U.S. dollar.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates made some comments this week on the 'tax the rich' ideas making the rounds in America.
Taxing the rich is fine, he said in an interview with The Verge, and "more progressive" taxes on the ultra rich are okay.
Gates then went on to characterize Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as an 'extreme' politician who is missing the point by focusing on targeting high income brackets. Read the rest
This fascinating infographic compares the values of various assets (gold, silver, cryptocurrency, real estate, stocks, and so on) by presenting each asset as a number of $100 billion squares.
All the global assets combined are dwarfed by the derivatives market.
The infographic includes this quote from Warren Buffett:
The derivatives genie is now well out of the bottle, and these instruments will almost certainly multiply in variety and number until some event makes their toxicity clear. Central banks and governments have so far found no effective way to control, or even monitor, the risks posed by these contracts. In my view, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.
(The infographic was made in 2017 when the market capitalization of bitcoin was $100 billion. It's now $60 billion.) Read the rest
"After Gerry’s death, Quadriga’s inventory of cryptocurrency has become unavailable and some of it may be lost," said his widow.
Amazon, including subsidiaries such as Whole Foods and temp work programs, will pay $15 an hour or more to all its U.S. workers.
This comes as Amazon is facing increasing scrutiny over how its workers are treated and paid. Senator Bernie Sanders, for example, recently introduced legislation to end what he calls “corporate welfare” — and it’s pretty clear who he had in mind, since the bill was titled Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS).
Now unionize. Read the rest
For the first time, the most common US bill in circulation is the $100: these benjamins aren't being used to transact our daily business -- they're the preferred form of savings after a long spell of low inflation and nonexistent interest rates, when there are so many obvious reasons to distrust the banks. (via Naked Capitalism)
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Making a living as an Uber or Lyft driver can be tough. An over saturated market, having too few people in need of your services, paying to maintain your ride and the high cost of gas can all take a serious bite out of a driver's bottom line. Read the rest
The Fitness Marshall has over a million subscribers and over 150 videos on his channel. His paltry take after three years of work comes to about $20 a video after record labels and everyone else take their cuts. Read the rest
Unlike most airports, London's Heathrow is privately owned, so it's a great case study for how airports make money. Wendover Productions explains. Read the rest