When an exceptionally wealthy business man was asked on television the other day if he did it for the money, he said no, money is just a way of keeping score.
Money in this day and age is becoming a more and more abstract concept that is only talked about. We all know that great fortunes are going to be made and lost in the city. That billions of dollars, pounds and yen are traded every day electronically around the world. At the click of one mouse a fast fortune can be made or lost.
On a more every day level we have replaced hard cash with credit and debit cards. Internet banking and your wages being paid straight in to your account. Direct debits and other such arrangement pay of the bill automatically. Easy credit and a liberalised finical system has meant that we can have to day what we ant and pay for it tomorrow.
But how did this happen, what happened to a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work? saving for what you want and then paying for it after you have saved for it. Putting a little away for a rainy day. A few generation ago this was a expected normal way of getting thing that now seem almost beyond belief. How did our attitudes toward money and what we think about it change so much and has it been a good or bad thing.
Credit before the 1980 in the United Kingdom was not such a readily available as it is now. You had to apply for a credit card, lone and mortgage and if you did not measure up to what the lender wanted then the lightly hood was that you would not get it. But it was also thought that a government could have control over finical police as well. What was going to be release on the world was the true power of the market and what it could do.
Controls on credit was relaxed and also a lot of property was sold to the people who rented it in the form local council. The nationalised industries were sold off and the market open to small investors. It was a domestic revolution that affected every one. We became aware that we was all responsible for and affected by the market and what they could do for us.
If we had a house and we owned it then you could see if the market was good then the price would go up. If we had shares then we could sell them and make money. But not only could we make money but we could lose money as well. And that was the thing about markets what went up always comes back down as well. And it was those very foundations that have lead us to were we are today.
The truth is the meaning of money is only what we want it to be. Like most things as well as money, property, gold or works of art. It is only worth what you can get for it. I could have a panting that I paid £50 for it . I sell it to a person who offers me £1,000 for it. I am happy as I have made a lot of money for some thing that did not cost me very much. The person who bought it from me thinks it is worth a lot more and puts it in to an action and gets £10,000 He was right. The dealer who got it at action sees it could be a Picasso , and takes it to be valued and sells it at another action in London to a art collector who pays £100,000 for it.
So what is the real value of that painting? Is it £50, £1000, £10,000 or a £100,000?
It is only worth what you can get for it and that is what the market dictates. And in this market every one is happy. Till a year latter an art expert reveals that the picture is not by Picasso by a student who painted in his studio. The picture is now worth £500. Now who paid the right price?
The real truth about many is that it can tell you how much a thing costs, but it can not tell you what it is worth. For that you need to decide and hoe that you get it right, for it will be you who has to live with the consequences.