Comment: Kublai Khan, a most infamous Printer-That-Be, 13rh Century.

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Kublai Khan, a most infamous Printer-That-Be, 13rh Century.

Chinese Flying-Money (paper-money) funded Kubliai Khan's conquest of Asia. Kublai Khan, the Mongol who ruled the Chinese empire in the 13th century... did so with paper-money. Kublai Khan established currency credibility... credit worthiness.. by decreeing that his paper-money must be accepted by traders on pain of death. As further enforcement of his mandate, he confiscated all gold and silver.... Marco Polo was impressed by the efficiency of the Chinese system, as he chronicles in his The Travels of Marco Polo (Il Milione).

    "All these pieces of paper are issued with as much solemnity and authority as if they were of pure gold or silver; and on every piece a variety of officials, whose duty it is, have to write their names, and to put their seals. And when all is prepared duly, the chief officer deputed by the Khan smears the seal entrusted to him with vermilion, and impresses it on the paper, so that the form of the seal remains imprinted upon it in red; the money is then authentic. Anyone forging it would be punished with death. And the Khan causes every year to be made such a vast quantity of this money, which costs him nothing, that it must equal in amount all the treasure of the world."

... In Persia, its forcible introduction in 1294 led to a total collapse of trade. By the 15th century even China had more or less given up paper money. Over this period, paper notes were issued irresponsibly, to the point that their value rapidly depreciated and inflation soared. Then beginning in 1455, the use of paper money in China disappeared for several hundred years. This was still many years before paper currency would reappear in Europe, and three centuries before it was considered common.

Western civilization had minted precious metal objects and coins for trade since about 500 BC. Devaluation and inflation often destroyed a monetary system. Banking systems were cyclic with nations and rulers, and the need to transfer large sums of money to finance the Crusades provided a stimulus to the re-emergence of banking in western Europe. In Europe, the first issuer of paper money was Sweden, where in 1661 Johan Palmstruch's Stockholm Banco introduced the first banknotes. Unfortunately, the bank subsequently overextended itself and had to call in government aid. Despite this example, other European countries soon followed the Swedish lead. In 1694 the Bank of England was established and was soon printing "running cash notes".

History of Chinese Invention - The Invention of Paper Money Chinese paper bank notes, 800 AD. Common ciruclation, 1050 and 1450 AD, overlapping the Song, Yuan (Mongol), and Ming dynasties.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul