what was money

How to Count to Infinity

As a child, one might have imagined counting to ten billion in the course of reckoning with the seeming infinitude of enormous numbers. This is actually impossible to do in a human life time, since it would take over three hundred years. But, as an adult, one might discover that he can simply will himself from zero to that number, or even more—at least as long as he is counting in dollars, as the founders of Snapchat and Uber have discovered, whose companies are now valued at more than ten billion dollars. A lingering question: now that the ten-billion-dollar frat has become a little less exclusive, who will be [...]


A Unified Theory of Why Money Makes No Sense Right Now

A theory as to why the rent is too damn high and a potato salad is ten thousand dollars and Uber is ten billion dollars and you'll have to buy reservations for restaurants like concert tickets and tickets for Transformers 4 in IMAX are like twenty-five dollars so that it made three hundred million dollars its opening weekend: Welcome to the Everything Boom — and, quite possibly, the Everything Bubble. Around the world, nearly every asset class is expensive by historical standards. Stocks and bonds; emerging markets and advanced economies; urban office towers and Iowa farmland; you name it, and it is trading at prices that are high by [...]