Monetary Policy

The Cocaine Standard

|


The Telegraph reports from Guerima, Colombia, where government troops recently drove out FARC guerillas:

Countless ordinary people depend on the coca trade. "We are sitting on a mountain of coca and a series of Farc 'IOUs' ", said one local. "We need the rebels back to pay the debts and buy the coca, otherwise the town will die."

No money has reached Guerima for months and transactions are conducted in coca, with one gram enough to buy a soft drink.

Add that to your list of commodity moneys. I found the story via Wired for Strange, which also notes that bottle caps are being used as a currency in Cameroon and claims that drug-free urine is being used as a currency behind bars:

This strange alternative to money is used in the prison system; they have been known to use cigarettes, sardine cans and now urine. This has become a precious commodity because drug screening has become much more prominent in penitentiaries. Clean samples are traded and they are usually kept in a condom and warmed to body temperature by rectal insertion.

A commodity, yes—but a currency? Seems to me that the Piss Standard would be especially susceptible to inflation.