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November 09, 2012


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Arthur Edwards


Initially your article seems to rest on the assumption that cash = notes and coins. While colloquially this may be people's understanding (and historically this has been the case), the terms cash is not used today only to means notes and coins ... THEREFORE it must be referring to something different. Then you point out that increasingly today's 'cash' is 'cashless' ... which is a bit confiusing! Surely the point to make is that whereas previously we thought of cash in tangible terms, increasingly practice shows that it is essentially an accounting phenomenon - an intangible value. So we need to catch up in our language by distinguishing between 'cash' as value in exchange and the form in which it is embedded (such as notes and coins).

Otherwise it makes no sense to talk about companies being 'cash rich' etc unless we mean Henry Ford with banknotes stuffed into a strongbox in his factory. It is surely only the physicalism of present day consciousness that connects us to cash as notes and coins in the same way that we are bound to the idea that gold still has a monetary significance.

Chris Skinner

Hey Arthur

I've had the debates about the semantics of cash being a euphemism for any form of value exchange before, but the industry generally uses the term 'cash' to mean the exchange of physical notes and coins as a value exchange. Money is slightly less specific, and the general discussion is about the move away from physical exchange (cash) to electronic exchange (value).


Merlin Stone

Cash, remind me....

Oh yes, that funny stuff which now accounts for less than 10% of my personal payments.

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