Thursday, May 17, 2012

firsthand experience

I'll share the full story soon enough but here's a quick photo of the counterfeit $10 bill my wife just discovered in her wallet. She was ticked off but also laughing. "Before the book project, did you know that it was a crime to go and try to spend one of these. Not that I want to, obviously"--yeah right, hun--"but I'm just wondering."

She can't recall where she got it, although she's guessing the supermarket. That's sort of the point with fake money, though--the lack of recall, I mean. Passers bank on the fact that some people are in too much of a rush, and maybe too frazzled trying to control rambunctious toddlers, to allocate much time or brainpower to the matter of paper money's authenticity. Either that or they're hoping that you're too drunk, senile, or both to notice that a banknote doesn't look or feel quite right.

Looks like I'll have to pay a visit to the local office of the US Secret Service.


Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you/your wife were quick enough to spot the forgery before it cost you $10.00 or so.

As a member of the lower class, I am so concerned with the amount of cash that I have, I keep giving that to the government for safekeeping! I think that if it wasn't for the government, or some person that was so concerned about the welfare of poor people, like you, I would be completely broke today!

David Wolman said...

A+ for writing voice.

Small correction: the fake banknote did cost us $10 the moment my wife accepted it.

Lots of love,

Ten98 said...

I find your commentary interesting and I've heard a lot about your book.

One question, in a fully electronic society, where the banks and by extention the government are privy to every transaction everyone makes, how will you buy drugs? How will you give money to a homeless person? How will you donate some spare change to charity?

David Wolman said...

Ten98: I don't think we should go cashless until we have tools that allow us to confidently make the kinds of transactions you're talking about, whether small value (your gift to the homeless person), or sufficiently private (your drugs). I've been in touch w/ some people involved in charity fundraising and they have some interesting--and often surprising--things to say about different forms of money and how that impacts their efforts. I hope to blog about it soon(ish), but we've already seen some of this with programs for texting donations to support earthquake victims in Haiti or in the aftermath of Japan's 2011 tsunami.