View Full Version : For Alteran: S.S. Currency

11-28-2004, 09:56 AM
A local politician decided that Saltspring IS. should have it's own form of currency. He talked all the merchants and the three banks to honor, on par, the new currency. Twos, fives, tens and twenty dollar bills were printed professionally on cotton rag paper just like 'real' money. Four local scenes where printed on the money. The rational was the tourists would buy the money and lots would just take it back to wherever and never spend it. Multiply this by thousands and the Chamber of Commerce and the fund to build a recreation centre etc. etc. would have 'money to burn'.
The much awaited day came when everyone could buy 'Saltspring Bucks' or whatever they called them. They went on sale at the famous 'Fall Fair'. Hundreds of people lined up and bought the currency, me included.
For a few weeks the currency was all the rage.
One day three BMWs from somewhere showed up in Ganges. They contained three extremely well dressed young chinese couples. Apparently they went to the Chamber of Commerce and the banks and bought a few hundred dollars worth of S.S. Bucks. Then they spent the day walking around and buying high end antiques, art, jewellery, clothes. (There are some VERY expensive stores on the Island.) Well they left with their BMWs full.
Of course later it was discovered they had counterfieted the S.S. Bucks, (twenties only).
They stole by modest estimates about $20,000 worth of stuff.
That forced the "Bucks commitee" to try to withdraw any 'Bucks' from the market.
As the 'Bucks' were spent they were destroyed and the merchants were given 'real' money to replace the 'Bucks'. It didn't take long to realize that there were thousands more 'Bucks' than real money in the bank to replace them.
The next run of 'Bucks' printed had a little foil square supposedly to prevent counterfeiting. Well that didn't work either. The sheets of foil could be bought off the internet.
Then the guy who had the original idea got into some legal trouble to do with some crooked real estate deals and there were rumours that he was somehow lining his own pockets with 'real money'.
By this time the whole S.S. Bucks thing was starting to take on a funny odour.
Eventually the merchants and banks stopped honoring the 'Bucks'.
Now occasionally a little kid trys to pay for an ice cream cone with a 'Buck' and it is honored because the ice cream store knows the kid was probably given the 'Buck' by grandma when she visited. Don't try to pay for your gas with them though.

High C
11-28-2004, 10:06 AM
Just wait 'til those merchants try to do their taxes! :eek: :D

11-29-2004, 03:04 PM
Sounds like the plot of "Wingfield's Folly", one in the series of plays about a stockbroker who attempts to make a living as a farmer in S.Ontario:

Wingfield's Folly
In his third year on the farm, after two, profit-free seasons, Walt finally pinpoints the economic source of his problems and embarks on a course which brings him to his most profound crisis to date. In this sequel to Letter From Wingfield Farm and Wingfield's Progress Walt sets up a closed economy with his neighbours, prints his own currency and falls in love. The result is the same too - a local storeowner copies the money on a printing press in his basement. It's a hilarious play.

11-29-2004, 04:35 PM
Yeah the 'Wingfield Farm' TV series was great!
I remember the episode about the home made currency too.
Goggle it. You can buy the video tapes.

11-30-2004, 12:02 AM
Thanks jwaldin. Your post is like Paul Harveys, "The Rest of the Story" added to what I saw on the Chamber of Commerce website.