Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Totting Up The Losses

I have a large pickle jar which is full to the brim with 5p pieces. I sealed it over a year ago with wax and a paper cover tied with string. My friend, his wife and their two twin boys were here on Sunday. They had a little pile of coins of their own which they were repeatedly grabbing off each other. Because I really am Mr Bear in this house at least, I broke up the fight but showing them my jar of coins. They were impressed, and minutes later they were playing happily with a tin I received last Christmas that used to contain chocolate spiders, that now doubles up as a money box. The boys were as happy as larry feeding coins into the slot. As chief banker, I think I managed to change a grasping economy of me, me, me! into a thrifty economy of savers.

But what puzzles me is that the jar has exactly the same number of coins in it as it did last year. With all this talk of banking crisis, I haven't lost a single 5p (I'm out of work at the moment, but that's another thing). So if I can go down the shops and buy exactly as many 5p chews, and it would be a lot but I don't know how many, why do I keep hearing of a banking crisis, and how we a suddenly all going to get a lot poorer? Where has all the money gone? Does the fact that I hoard 5p's* mean that I am dragging down the economy by not spending them, or does it stabilise the economy because of my thrifty ways? If anyone wants to join me on what could be termed Mr Bear's Teach Yourself Economics course, they would be very welcome.

*Nice, managed to get one of those impossible apostrophes in where they don't stand for a missing letter or the possessive.

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