Why Cash Costs the U.S. Economy Real Money

10/2/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Why What We Use as Money Matters
Why What We Use as Money Matters

We recently came across an article by Diane Brady at Businessweek which touched on a theme that is near and dear to us here at The Mint:  The “cost” of money.

The reason that things like this interest us is that we believe the point of something acting as money (more accurately, the monetary premium) is that it has a cost.  Not only a cost, but a cost which, if allowed to be set by free market conditions, provides the perfect, tacit governance of the activities of humankind on this earth.

Brady’s article, as you can see, fell short of our high philosophical ideals and, instead of analyzing why cash has a cost, degenerated to the default position held by many that money should be free:

Why Cash Costs the US Economy Real Money 

Disappointing but not entirely unexpected from the Senior Editor of a financial publication.

The truest saying in all of economics is that there is no such thing as a free lunch.  There may be a lunch that costs you nothing but the time spent to approximate oneself to the plate and consume it, but rest assured that the cost of the ingredients and preparation of the lunch itself have been borne elsewhere.

The same dynamic is at work in the monetary realm.  Whether or not one needs to go to an ATM or simply swipe their credit card or tap their mobile phone is of consequence only to that person, but the cost of the production and exchange of money is being borne not by the economy, as Brady suggests, but by the earth itself, which is daily thrown further out of balance by the misguided actions of humankind.

This state of affairs will continue as long as we use debt as money.

Key Indicators for October 2, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.24
Oil Price per Barrel: $101.55
Corn Price per Bushel: $4.39
10 Yr US Treasury Bond: 2.65%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US: $137.07
Gold Price Per Ounce: $1,288 THE GOLD RUSH IS STILL ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*: 0.25%
Unemployment Rate: 7.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI): 0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 15,192
M1 Monetary Base: $2,470,500,000,000 ANOTHER MARKED DROP
M2 Monetary Base: $10,789,400,000,000