Who Created Money?
This fiat currency was issued by banks and private institutions, rather than by governments, who are now in charge of issuing the currency in most countries. The paper money was made out of mulberry tree bark (so, in a way, the money actually grows on trees). Most of that money, though, was not currency in the traditional sense. Paper currency did not really take off as a widespread form of money in Europe until the seventeenth century, after metal became incredibly expensive.
Some parts of Europe continued to use metal coins as the only form of money up to the 16th century. Other countries and civilizations soon began minting their own coins of a certain value. Metal coins as currency soon caught on elsewhere in the world, seeing the economic prosperity that Lydia experienced once it adopted the universal coinage. While gold, silver, and copper coins gained traction in international commerce, a corner of the world was coming to grips with the idea of paper currency.
Paper money was first introduced as a form of a note in promissory notes by rich merchants, who found carrying around a lot of coins to be cumbersome. Banks eventually began using paper notes to allow depositors and borrowers to carry in lieu of metal coins. The new paper notes from national banks replaced the old currencies of gold and silver. Paper money is now fiat currency, undergirded by a banks power, nothing more.
This meant the banks paper assets greatly exceeded any real gold in its vaults, making it the predecessor to the fractional reserve banking which is the norm today. Instead, most of that money served as promisory notes--promises to pay specified amounts in gold or silver--which were critical in developing banks. Fiat currency is money issued by the sovereign governments fiat (edict) and, unlike gold and silver coins, has no intrinsic value.
The primary form of currency is the number; today, the primary forms of money are notes, coins, or plastic cards (e.g. Many units of currency used today are descended from Roman originals, or, more precisely, versions of Roman coins that were minted in the Middle Ages. In Rome, coins were minted outside of the Temple of Juno Moneta, giving us the words millet and money.
Historians say that Lydians were the first to mint, or create coins from metals, and that they used electrum, which is a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver. Around 700 BC, the Lydians became the first Western culture to make coins. According to many historians, the Kingdom of Lydia (in modern-day Turkey) issued the first regulated coins during the seventh century B.C.E. Although China was the first nation to use a piece of material modern people would recognize as coinage, the first area in the world to employ industrial facilities for coin production that could be used as money was in Europe, in a region called Lydia (now Western Turkey).
Around the 11th century, when commerce was booming between Europe and China, China began running out of copper for minting coins, and began using real paper instead. Paper Money Given the fact that paper is generally considered to have originated in China, it is appropriate for this country to have introduced a paper currency.
The first official currency was made of electrum, a mix of silver and gold found in nature, with coins stamped with images serving as the denominations. Known as representative money, new bills of exchange and coins made from nonprecious metals represented specific values on which all people within these societies could agree. With the introduction of paper money and non-precious coins, commodity money evolved into representative money. The discovery of hoards of coins in lead, copper, silver, and gold around the world indicates that coinage--particularly in Europe, Asia, and North Africa--was recognized as the vehicle for commodity money in the early 1st millennium AD.
No one knows for sure who invented such currency first, but historians think that metallic objects were used for the first time as currency as early as 5000 B.C. Offa, the Anglo-Saxon king, introduced the first English coin known as a dime around 790 B.C. Copper shortages forced China to introduce the worlds first paper currency in the ninth century -- 700 years before Europe did. The Mesopotamian shekel, the earliest known form of money, emerged almost 5,000 years ago. There is even evidence of monetary units going even farther back than the Babylonians: What is known as the Codex of Ur-Nammu, written way back in 2,050 B.C., by Sumerians, talks of monetary units that include shekels as components of the minta, the largest form of money that Sumerians had.
Certainly gloomy has not, but the history of humans using a monetary system really goes back far -- 40000 years. Three centuries on, paper currency is one of the things in China that surprised Marco Polo most (see Chinas banknotes). In Britain, bills of exchange became a major form of credit and currency in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, prior to widespread availability of paper notes, checks, and credit lines with cash. The wide diversity of coinage initially used in the Hellenic world meant that cash changes were an early and the most widespread form of Greek banking.
In the American colonies of Britain, the chronic scarcity of official coins led to various substitutes being used for cash, including, in Virginia, tobacco, leading, through different means, to the development of paper currency. A depletion of money from China, in part to purchase off would-be invaders from the North, led to an increased dependence on paper money, leading by 1020 to an over-issue, leading to inflation. Leather Money Around the sixth century BC, leather and animal skins began to be made into money.
What did Jesus Christ mean about the
Love of Money is Root of All Evil?
Staying in some sort of thinking mode after the Gospel from last Sunday about greed and how we can avoid greed, let us reflect on why Jesus calls certain kinds of mammon (wealth) sinful. This makes Jesus statements on mammon more jarring, since He is using the Aramaic word for riches all along, derogatory meaning. In this case, Jesus is talking about mammon as though it could be worshipped as a god. It is obvious in context that mammon means wealth, and Jesus is juxtaposing two forces competing for our loyalty.
In each case, the just mans mammon is being compared to the truly wealthy, and thus clearly there is an implication of earthly vs. spiritual wealth. In these passages, mammon means simply riches, and is called unrighteous, since abuses of riches are far more common than right uses. In these passages mammon merely means wealth, and is called unrighteous, because the abuse of riches is more frequent than their right use. And, by the way, I have just thought something up. And you may not be familiar with this, but I will say that one reason that you may refer to the term earthly riches as unrighteous mammon is that in the Book of Sirach--and it is the standard Jewish thought--there is a doctrine that is found there. We could also say that for all of that idle wealth you may have, and at the same time poor people need that, and are struggling with their needs.
I believe that Jesus said, Be careful of your money and worldly goods. Those who are in need will be your friends, and will pray for you, and God will answer, bless your money, and you will be more and more rewarded.
If you choose to serve money, you will end up pitted against what matters to God. If you choose to serve God, you will learn to despair the vain accumulation of riches and material possessions.
In other words, nothing short of the power of God is needed to rescue us from the perils of greed and self-interest which are bound up in riches. If wealth, or money, were itself evil, then all of us would be ordered to vow eternal poverty. Since wealth can be a dangerous trap, we must be careful to use it in a wicked way, and instead to live in fidelity.
It is also possible that the safety and power derived from wealth may corrupt us in ways that lead us to place greater trust in riches than in God. We may become seduced into pursuing riches, wrongly thinking that the secret to happiness is getting rich. The love of money is the root of wickedness, for some love money more than they love God.
You see, Lord Jesus, in Lord Jesus statements, is not suggesting a person should store up their treasures -- do not store up for yourselves the treasures on the earth -- because if you are setting these things up for yourself, and your purpose in life is to hoard things for yourself, those things are susceptible to every kind of danger that money faces today. So, the Lord Jesus says, in the text, Lay up no treasures for yourselves upon earth, where moths and rusts--that word rust means to eatth away--does not eat away--does not rust.
The Lord Jesus Christ does not say that you cannot serve God and money, any more than he would say you cannot serve God and gasoline. Jesus was not using an empty rhetorical device when He contrasted serving God and serving riches. For, Jesus the Lord meant exactly what He meant in Colossians chapter three and verse two, when He called believers to place their affections on things above.
Jesus says to them, You are those who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your heart. A bit later in the text, Jesus says, But seek first His Kingdom and the righteousness of God, and all these things will be provided for you (Matt. Jesus is saying our will is going to be either Gods will or the materialistic (marmaon).
The key to conquering the spirit of Mammon is to be filled with a greater, stronger Spirit, which is the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The message there is make lordship your master, make spiritual riches your true purpose, be faithful in your earthly affairs even in the affairs of earthly currency, that God may give to you spiritual riches in Gods kingdom. So this is how I would explain the latter part of there in these overall maxims of relationships between earthly riches and celestial riches, or between the things of earthly wealth and the things of God. Alright, so these are todays gospels. We are given material goods, which we are supposed to use to benefit others for eternity. If God is our Master, our riches are in the care of God. If God is our Master, our riches are at the disposal of God. Jesus is not unclear, because Jesus goes on to advise us to make friends with the poor through our unrighteous Mammon, which means that we are generous with others less fortunate.
How to run an Ethical Business?
Good business ethics assure customers, employees, and other stakeholders that a business is following the rules and doing things right. How ethics show up in the business does not make doing the right thing any easier. Developing, implementing, and maintaining a business ethics framework can take time, especially when the business is trying to be more ethical when they previously followed unethical practices. It is times like these that can put many companies who lack such an ethical commitment on the spot.
When those expectations are not met, that is not only poor ethics, but it is also poor business. When companies set high standards of ethical business behavior, employees know that they will be treated fairly. In the workplace, a standard of ethics can be established across a whole company. Jiang said that company owners can foster an ethical culture by hiring or promoting executives and managers who are truly committed to maintaining high ethical standards, as well as setting up a concrete ethical code that employees are expected to follow.
This also means consumers could begin becoming more conscious about corporate ethics, and choosing companies that adhere to stronger ethics, which would help the moral practices to stick.
When you build a reputation of being ethical in the way that you source and construct products, as well as in your treatment of employees, customers, and communities, more people want to do business with you. Strong business ethics are also a compelling quality, meaning that other investors are more likely to want to put their money behind a company that you are working with, keeping the stock price up and protecting it from being bought out. An ethical business does not just translate to higher profits, but can protect your business as well. As a recent study shows, the more ethical, forward-looking companies in the U.S. are consistently better performers than their competitors.8 Therefore, when considered in the right, long-term light, conducting your business ethically is a smart business decision that builds a goodwill with stakeholders, fosters a positive company culture, and ultimately supports profitability.
Whether a business realizes higher profits during a given quarter, conducting ethical business has other, less tangible, but nonetheless important benefits. Whether your company's quarterly or yearly profits outpace those of competitors, conducting yourself ethically is a necessity. Ensuring that ethical behavior is in place in your company may be the key to improving the financial results of your business. It is not surprising that companies who continually display ethical behaviors and social responsibility produce better results.
Ethical behavior has the potential to greatly benefit the business, that is, to enhance its reputation, which may contribute to increased sales and profits. Ethical business practices can help companies to avoid the legal issues and adverse financial outcomes which occur after unethical behavior is discovered. These practices also help companies deliver consistent returns on investments, because they keep focused on operating efficiently and efficiently, free from distractions from negative press and negative public perceptions, which harm businesses.
In addition to these known business practices, companies who adopt a management philosophy based largely on business ethics have proven more successful than those who operate in unethical ways. Business ethics may provide considerable benefits, particularly for the company's reputation, but it has certain downsides. The primary drawback to business ethics is that they may decrease the company's ability to maximize profits. The design, implementation, and preservation of ethics practices may restrict a company's ability to maximize profits.
Without a solid set of ethics, the business may fall foul of the law, face financial pitfalls, and face ethical dilemmas. Companies who engage in dubious ethics may also see their stock prices drop and their business partnerships dissolve, both of which could impact viability. This conduct illustrates that consumers may punish that company in the market if it does not behave ethically. The positive goodwill generated from ethical business practices, in turn, creates a business's success over the long run.
Consistently applying ethical values in daily business decisions is a basis for building truly successful, socially responsible businesses. An ethical business does not just obey laws and proper regulations, but operates in a fair manner, competes fairly, provides reasonable conditions for their employees, and builds partnerships with customers, suppliers, and investors. In other words, it preserves the best interests of all stakeholders. All parties who have a stake in the organization, including employees, customers, investors, community, and others. Companies set up corporate ethics in order to foster honesty among employees and build confidence with major stakeholders like investors and consumers.
Ethical accounting practices, employee treatment, interactions with the public, and disclosures made to shareholders are all responsible for an organizations management, and may directly affect the organizations overall viability. Understanding the effect that business decisions will have on shareholders and the other stakeholders is crucial for the ethical behavior of businesses. While it might not be the first variable considered when analyzing the bottom line of a company, the ethics of a business are just as critical catalysts for a firms success.
When business ethics are encouraged by the leadership, and the executives in a business set a good example, employees focus ability to complete the job at hand increases exponentially. To motivate employees to operate according to principles, the organization needs to be led by a CEO who is effectively making decisions, not just within business and legal boundaries, but within moral boundaries as well.
Global research firm Gartner recommends that companies integrate their ethics programs into their business operations. The costs of doing business in an unethical manner could be catastrophic if you are caught, whereas embedding ethics in the company's identity helps build trust and their dollars. Large, profitable companies like Microsoft and Dell are recognized and rewarded for big-time ethical behaviors, showing you can be a good corporate citizen while still turning a profit.