Money – One of Man’s Greatest Inventions

Money is a strange beast. Full of emotion – different for everyone, a source of stress, pain and joy. Almost mystical for some, seemingly derided by our far left and seemingly venerated by our far right. It is a human creation, a concept. Money is used as a unit of account, a medium of exchange, a debt and a store of value. Our US dollar is modern fiat money and has no value beyond the trust we place in it.1 Money is ubiquitous in our world today and throughout history. Money is arguably one of Man’s greatest inventions right up there with the wheel and fire.

The most famous money quote is from the Bible where the Apostle Paul writes to his disciple Timothy in 1 Timothy: 9 “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” This is usually misquoted as “money is the root of all evil” whereas it is written as the “love of money” and not the money itself. The wisdom of this quote is highlighted again and again in the news each day and in the tragedies we see in our lifetimes.

My family went to see the play Hamilton this winter – what a terrific show! Emotional, powerful and right up my left brained CFP alley. Alexander Hamilton and Ben Franklin are founding fathers that were not President and are best known for their connection to money. Ben Franklin’s money connection is primarily from espousing the Puritan work ethic of discipline and frugality. His publication Poor Richard’s Almanack popularized for all time many aphorisms like “A penny saved is a penny earned”. Alexander Hamilton is generally acknowledged as “the founder of the nation’s financial system”.2 He was the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury and took the lead in establishing a national bank. His successful advocacy for the paying off of the State debts from the US Revolutionary war leads directly to today’s unchallenged world supremacy of the US dollar as a trusted medium of exchange.

Money is of great interest to me and there are lots of interesting facts about our US Dollar. For example – Crane & Co. is the sole supplier of banknote paper for the printing of our currency and has been since 1879! I use Crane & Co. for my personal stationary!

~ Mark F. Swingle

Take a look at the many fascinating US Dollar facts here.

  1. Wikipedia “History of Money”,

  2. Wikipedia “Alexander Hamilton”,

Coin graphic source:

ACR 249801/July 17