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History, trivia on money, taxes

on Tuesday, 10 November 2015. Posted in Columns, Opinions

The following facts about money and taxes comes from Little Known Facts:

  • Bartering was first recorded in Egypt over 4,500 years ago.
  • In the past, people have used many different things as money. Among them: salt, cocoa beans, grain, cows, shark’s teeth, and precious stones.
  • The first record of a coin is by Croesus, King of Lydia (now part of Turkey).
  • The world’s smallest coin weighed only .002 grams and was from Nepal. The world’s heaviest coin was from Sweden and weighed 43 pounds 7 1/4 oz.
  • The writing on many coins is often a type of code to save space.
  • Coins have a grooved edge because in the past dishonest traders filed down the edges to remove some of the precious metal. Many countries print images or writing at the very edge of the coin to prevent this same dishonest practice.
  • A banknote is made on special paper; when held up to the light, it reveals a watermark that looks like a picture. A security thread is enclosed in the paper used for currency; this makes copying more difficult for counterfeiters.
  • The world’s smallest banknote, issued in Morocco, was the size of a postage stamp. The largest bank note was the Chinese 1 Kwan, printed in the 14th century, measuring 9 x 13 inches.
  • The largest check every written was from the American ambassador to the Indian government for $1,279,187,490.
  • As a check is only an instruction to a bank, it can be written on anything.
  • In the past people have written checks on such things as stone slabs, bananas and cows.
  • The cost of the 10-years campaign to eradicate smallpox worldwide was less than three hours spending on arms worldwide.
  • The world’s worst inflation was in Hungary in June 1946, when the 1931 gold pengo was valued at 130 million trillion paper pengos.
  • Half the population of the world earns only 5% of the world’s total wealth.
  • The first european stock exchange was established in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1531. There are 138 stock exchanges in the world.
  • While not all of a person’s income is taxable in Norway, some people there pay more than 100% of their taxable income.
  • The highest recorded personal tax demand is one for $336 million on the estate of Howard Hughes.
  • Four of the richest countries in the world with some of the highest personal income, Bahrain, Brunei, Kuwait, and Qatar, have no tax at all.
  • Many countries have a central bank to keep watch on private banks.

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