A laugh a dollar

A laugh a dollar

I know the Financial Times is no longer the most serious newspaper on the block – indeed, I think it is better for not being so. But I have to admit to a certain shock when I read their articles on keeping cash under your mattress and reopening the Cornish Tin Mines. Silly season it may be but in this age of white hot technology the Mattress Bank does seem absurd. But it is not you and I thinking of doing this. Oh, no, it’s the banks themselves. I always doubted the security of those expensive deposit boxes.

Forced by the all-powerful Central Banks to pay for holding cash our creative bankers are looking for ways to obtain and store actual dollar notes safely out of the reach of their masters and presumably also out of the reach of us, too. So if the banks are thinking of doing it surely we should be as well. Initially it will cause a run on the banking system which might break it, but once the idea has settled down we can do away with banks altogether and simply dip our hand under the sheets when we need a wad or two.

Apparently – and I quote the FT – you could cram $100,600,000 in the space under a 4.5ft bed. Handy for those of us not aspiring to even this meagre wealth. For the better off a 26-ft removal van would accommodate $7,800,000,000, a tidy standby for emergencies. But for the truly well-heeled you need an average hotel room to stash away your $11,900,000,000.

Don’t fancy anything so vulnerable? Worry not, Britain – or, to be more precise, Cornwall – is opening up its tin mines again. Just the place to tuck away your ill-gotten gains. Handy for the beach (smuggling) and many delightful old pubs to relax in. And, in case you get caught, well, Dartmoor Prison is only a short ride away.

Thank God for the silly season.