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  • Wear no tear

    Posted on June 27th, 2009 Sheila Yair No comments

    India logic is a term I am going to start using to describe things that seem to make no sense but are the way of life here. Things like taking a bus somewhere and having it bring you somewhere else, taking a train that everybody says is 12 hours and ends up 24 hours or having a hotel owner quote three different prices for the same room in one sentence.

    On major India logic is that a little tear in a bill makes it lose its value, basically makes it worth its weight in toilet paper. We have a bill with a tear that is not being accepted by stores.

    Economies the world over are based on a certain system of trust. We go around with little pieces of paper which bear faces of people we believe helped the countries of which the federal bank who printed the bill belongs to. These pieces of paper have numeric symbols that represent what they are worth and as long as everybody is in agreement that is the value of the bill. Now I am oversimplifying, of course this is regulated by governments and there are financial institutions that run constant and complex calculations to determine the value of the different currencies. But in general, there is no way someone will give you a nice plate of rice with vegetable stew and bread for a piece of paper, no matter how nice the portrait, unless he agrees it represents something. As long as everybody is of the same mind that is what the paper is worth. Argentina thought their peso was worth a dollar, their economy wasn’t as strong and soon the world stopped believing it which made many Argentineans stop believing it which sent their peso down the drain.

    We all know there is a lot of psychology in economics. The exact same economy can be fundamentally strong one speech and collapse a few days later, adjusting in one sweep what all the little papers are worth. But we believe that despite psychology there is also some physical element of the value, based on how well the economy it represents is doing.

    Here in India it seems to be based on the wholeness o9f the bill itself. One tear will send the value of the bill plummeting. Is it better to base the value on psychology and notion of market performance or the intact form of the bill?

    You decide.

    Now we had many worn bills which where fine it is the torn bill that they don’t accept. I guess the term wear and tar wont work in Hindi as there seems to be a great distinction between the two.

    So now Sheila is going to have to put her crafty skills to work and try to conceal the tear. I will keep you updated.

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