Responding to the complexity of the current global economic crisis, Timothy Geithner, US Secretary of the Treasury, reiterated the Obama administration's commitment to press ahead with the elimination of money as a medium of exchange. "The whole thing has gotten out of hand," Geithner said. "No one can sort out whose derivative is derived from what any more," he continued, "so we've decided greater transparency can only be had by returning to exchanges of animal pelts, coloured beads, shiny glass and such like. Simply put, you've got your thing of value in hand or you've not. Forget banks - all smoke and mirrors, that. We hope to have the deed done in time for the holiday season."
ATM manufacturers have raised concerns that new requirements to dispense pelts, glass and related objects of value would likely exceed the capabilities of the current generation of equipment. "In particular, storing and dispensing living things would present unique challenges to the industry," said Dennis Hoop, chief engineer at IBM.
Accountants, too wonder how companies would transform cash assets to a form compatible with the envisioned simplification. Eric Gurst, chairman of the Ofuscation Committee of the AICPA reports that his group has fretted over appropriate nomenclature for what used to be called simply 'cash.' "What shall we call this category of asset?," he puled. "'Hoard?' 'Things I think have value but maybe you don"t'? It simply isn't clear. People will be misled and confused." When reminded that a similar situation currently obtains, Gurst replied "One doesn't improve things by simply renaming them."
In Paris, the move by Geithner and the Obama admininstration was viewed not surprisingly with abject contempt. Lillian du Vuerst-Fitte snipped "We will not sell 'haute couture' to cowboys slinging road kill at us." When it was suggested that creations of French design houses might themselves become fungible she remarked "We do not have problems with fungus here."
Germans, with the support of their Irish EU brethren, have cautiously embraced Geithner's proposal, with a potentially significant modification. "We think the medium of exchange should be beer," the EU's Joint Commission on What's Really Valuable said in a prepared statement. "Indeed, it doesn't have quite the shelf life of cash, but long shelf life for beer has never been a problem, for us, anyway. It's an asset with no liquidity problems, and easily transformed into other admittedly less valuable but nonetheless equally liquid assets."
Other suggested candidates for the medium of exchange are vodka (Russia), curry (India), and one-tonne megaliths (Yap).