Our monetary system is based on fraud. Can you and I write checks “drawn on ourselves”? Of course not. We have to back them up with value. The Fed does not. So, the mighty US dollar is not backed by gold or silver or anything at all; it’s simply an accounting trick ... Paul Rosenberg
How does a monetary economy differ from one in which trade occurs by barter? This ruled out gold being money, since gold is a commodity that anyone can produce for themselves with a bit of mining (and a lot of luck). So even though gold is really special and incredibly rare, it is in the end, a commodity: an economy using gold for trade is really a barter economy, not a monetary one.
A true monetary economy is inconsistent with the presence of a commodity money. A commodity money is by definition a kind of money that any producer can produce for himself. But an economy using as money a commodity coming out of a regular process of production, cannot be distinguished from a barter economy. A true monetary economy must therefore be using a token money, which is nowadays a paper currency ... Augusto Graziani
In a credit economy at the end of the period some agents still owe money to other ones, a final payment is needed, which means that no money has been used. So to be money, the token given in exchange for a good must be accepted as a final payment, but this carried the danger that whoever produced the token might be able to “get something for nothing”.
Graziani's three basic conditions that had to be met for something to be called “money”:
- money has to be a token currency (otherwise it would give rise to barter and not to monetary exchanges);
- money has to be accepted as a means of final settlement of the transaction (otherwise it would be credit and not money);
- money must not grant privileges of seignorage to any agent making a payment.