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May 29, 2014

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Paul Mutter

Maybe he wanted to fill a pool with the notes and dive around in it like Scrooge McDuck. http://www.sidekickcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/money-bin-scrooge-mcduck.jpg

dsquared

If they had 16 machines, they ought to have been able to count around 12,000 notes a minute. So the total count should have been done in well under two hours, and to burn out for machines seems like really bad operator error. Counting a million notes is not at all an unknown activity for banks, so I would guess that we can also take away from this story the conclusion that the anti corruption squad aren't yet used to handling large volumes of notes.

Brendan

A few days ago, I came across a wonderful Yuan-dynasty sanqu poem that rang a few bells. In a quick'n'dirty translation:

奪泥燕口。
削鐵緘頭。
刮金彿面細搜求。
無中覓有。
鵪鶉腺褢尋豌豆。
鷺鷥腿上劈精肉。
蚊子腹內刳脂油。
虧老先生下手。

He'd snatch the mud from a swallow's gob,
shave iron from a pin,
peel the thin gold leaf off a Buddha's face --
steal where there's nothing at all to steal:
The peas in the stomach of a quail,
the juicy meat on the legs of a stork,
the grease in a mosquito's gut --
His for the taking. Just watch him work.

jamie

Hey, Brendan. And you put that up here! Thank you!

Dan @2. I think one factor here may be that China's tabloids are a lot like ours.

Alex

Economic collapse was among the many factors that brought the Ming Dynasty to an end. The reason? A serious cash flow problem because too much of the nation’s wealth was stored in corrupt officials’ basements.

This is a Keynesian depression, isn't it? All anyone wants to do with cash is to stash it away, for fear of bad stuff (i.e. really high precautionary demand for money), so the investment component of aggregate demand collapses, prices fall, and as a result, the real interest rate is still too high for the cash to re-emerge even after the nominal rate hits the zero lower bound.

ajay

I would like to see the numbers on the amount of wealth that corrupt officials would have to hide in order to create a Keynesian depression...
The Ming Dynasty collapsed in part because of a shortage of externally supplied silver, but that was as much to do with Spanish and Japanese policies as it was to do with hoarding (by merchants as well as by corrupt officials) and most of the money supply was in the form of copper cash or paper anyway.

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