1. There is actually such a thing as a gift economy or gift culture. It is a society where valuable goods and services are regularly given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards (i.e. no formal quid pro quo exists). Ideally, simultaneous or recurring giving serves to circulate and redistribute valuables within the community. The organization of a gift economy stands in contrast to a barter economy or a market economy. Informal custom governs exchanges, rather than an explicit exchange of goods or services for money or some other commodity.
  2. What do you think the first type of currency existed in the United States? It was in fact, the Sterling pound and the Spanish Dollar! It was only in 1775 the Continental Congress first issued a US currency and only $2,000,000 was released. Every time this currency was released it was slowly devalued against the Pound Sterling and Spanish Dollar.
  3. Every year $541 million worth of currency is reprinted every year in the United States of America as the notes only have a short life-span. On average a dollar and five dollar bill will last less than two years and a ten dollar bill three years.
  4. What was the largest numerical bill to ever circulate as legal tender? It was in 1946 and issued in Hungary – the Millard Hungarian Pengo and was 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. At the time it was worth about sixpence!
  5. Barclays Bank in London was the first bank to create an ATM machine in 1967, A certain John Shepherd-Barron claims to have thought of it whilst having a bath.
  6. Interesting fact about the US dollar sign ‘$’. This sign, apparently has long been used to represent foreign currency long before the issue of the current US dollar in 1875. Also the sign doesn’t appear, nor ever has appeared on any US currency.
  7. In 1980 the US national debt was $907 billion. In 2010 it was 14 times larger. Can this ever be reduced?
  8. Currently, there is more steel created per hour than the amount of gold that has been dug up in our entire history.
  9. $2trn (That’s two trillion dollars!) of the combined worth of planet Earth’s billionaires has disappeared over the past year. The number of those who can boast a fortune of over a thousand million US dollars has shrivelled from 1,125 to 793. In 2009 the 10 biggest dollar-losers between them have this year lost more than the annual GDP (gross domestic product) of Ireland. Goodness knows what that figure is now!
  10. According to the Independent, the FSA (Financial Services Authority) has brought just one criminal case of insider dealing since its inception in 2001.
  11. In March 2010 the total amount owed on credit cards by UK consumers was £59,756,000,000.
  12. The City of London has a resident population of a little over 11,000, but around 316,700 people work there, mainly in the financial services sector.