Dinero mercancía

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Dinero mercancía, a veces llamado dinero real[1]​o retribución en especie[2]​ como pago, es aquella clase de dinero cuyo valor, a diferencia del dinero representativo y del dinero fiat, proviene fundamentalmente del bien del cual se compone. El dinero mercancía consiste en bienes u objetos que tienen valor por sí mismos, además del valor de cambio al ser utilizado como moneda.

Ejemplos de bienes que han sido utilizados como medio de intercambio, fueron por ejemplo el oro, la plata, el cobre, la pimienta, la sal (de donde viene la palabra salario), piedras gigantes (como las piedras rai), cinturones decorados, conchas, alcohol, cigarrillos, cannabis, seda, caramelos y cebada. Estos artículos eran en ocasiones utilizados como medida en relación con otros, en varias economías de valoraciones de bienes o sistemas de precios.

Diferencias entre "dinero mercancía" y "dinero fiduciario"[editar]

El dinero mercancía se distingue del dinero fiduciario, que es un certificado que puede ser intercambiado por su mercancía subyacente. Una característica clave del dinero mercancía es que su valor es percibido directamente por los usuarios de dicho dinero, quienes reconocen la utilidad (o belleza) del dinero del mismo modo que reconocen el valor de la propia mercancía. En otras palabras, el efecto de poseer una moneda por cierta cantidad de oro, resulta económicamente equivalente a poseer físicamente dicha cantidad de oro.

Dado que el pago por mercancía proporciona bienes y servicios útiles, el dinero mercancía es en cierta forma similar al trueque, pero es fácilmente distinguible de éste, al poseer una única unidad reconocida de intercambio.

Metales[editar]

En las situaciones en las que el dinero mercancía es un metal, típicamente oro o plata, usualmente una casa de moneda del gobierno ofrecerá monedas introduciendo una marca en el metal que sirve como garantía del peso y la pureza de dicho metal. Al hacerlo, el gobierno usualmente impondrá una cuota o parte a su favor conocida como señoreaje.

El papel de las casas de moneda y de la propia moneda difiere entre el dinero mercancía y el dinero fiduciario. En las situaciones donde existe un dinero mercancía, la moneda retiene gran parte de su valor aun cuando es fundida (en caso de ser metales) o físicamente alterada, mientras que con el dinero fiduciario esto no sucede. Usualmente, en un sistema de dinero fiduciario el valor de una moneda cae sustancialmente si ésta es convertida en metal. En algunos casos el valor del metal y de la moneda son similares, e incluso se ha dado el caso de que el valor de una moneda es menor que el valor del metal del que está hecha. Como un ejemplo de esto último, se tiene la rupia de la India, que desapareció del mercado después de 2007, cuando su contenido de acero inoxidable llegó a ser más valioso que el de la moneda misma.

Metals[editar]

In situations where the commodity is metal, typically gold or silver, a government mint will often coin money by placing a mark on the metal that serves as a guarantee of the weight and purity of the metal. In doing so, the government will often impose a fee which is known as seigniorage.

The role of a mint and of coin differs between commodity money and fiat money. In situations where there is commodity money, the coin retains its value if it is melted and physically altered, while in a fiat money it does not. Usually in a fiat money the value drops if the coin is converted to metal, but in a few cases the value of metals in fiat moneys have been allowed to rise to values larger than the face value of the coin. In India, for example fiat Rupees disappeared from the market after 2007 when their content of stainless steel became larger than the fiat or face value of the coins.[3]​ In the U.S., the metal in pennies (mostly zinc since 1982) and the metal in nickels (75% copper, 25% nickel) has a value close to (and at some times exceeding) the fiat face value of the coin.

History[editar]

Commodities often come into being in situations where other forms of money are not available or not trusted. Various commodities were used in pre-Revolutionary America including wampum, maize, iron nails, beaver pelts, and tobacco. According to economist Murray Rothbard:

In the sparsely settled American colonies, money, as it always does, arose in the market as a useful and scarce commodity and began to serve as a general medium of exchange. Thus, beaver fur and wampum were used as money in the north for exchanges with the Indians, and fish and corn also served as money. Rice was used as money in South Carolina, and the most widespread use of commodity money was tobacco, which served as money in Virginia. The pound-of-tobacco was the currency unit in Virginia, with warehouse receipts in tobacco circulating as money backed 100 percent by the tobacco in the warehouse.[4]

The Fort Knox gold repository long maintained by the United States, functioned as a theoretical backing for federally issued "gold certificates" to substitute for the gold. Between 1933 and 1970 (when the U.S. officially left the gold standard), one U.S. dollar was technically worth exactly 1/35 of a troy ounce (889 mg) of gold. However, actual trade in gold bullion as a precious metal within the United States was banned after 1933, with the explicit purpose of preventing the "hoarding" of private gold during an economic depression period in which maximal circulation of money was desired by influential economists. This was a fairly typical transition from commodity to representative to fiat money, with people trading in other goods being forced to trade in gold, then to receive paper money that purported to be as good as gold.

Cigarettes and gasoline were used as a form of commodity money in some parts of Europe, including Germany, France and Belgium, in the immediate aftermath of World War II.[5]​ Cigarettes are still used as a form of commodity money in U.S. prisons (Lankenau , 2001, p. 142 concludes that where jails don't ban them, the prison "gray market" creates a largely benign use of the cigarette as "currency").

Functions of commodity money[editar]

Japanese commodity money before the 8th century AD: arrowheads, rice grains and gold powder. This is the earliest form of Japanese currency.

Although some commodity money (barley), has been used historically in relations of trade and barter (Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC.), it can be inconvenient to use as a medium of exchange or a standard of deferred payment due to transport and storage concerns, and eventual rancidity. Gold or other metals are sometimes used in a price system as a store of perceived value, that does not break down due to environmental deterioration, and can be easily stored (demurrage).

The use of barter like methods using commodity money may date back to at least 100,000 years ago. Trading in red ochre is attested in Swaziland, shell jewellery in the form of strung beads also dates back to this period, and had the basic attributes needed of commodity money.[6]​ To organize production and to distribute goods and services among their populations, before market economies existed, people relied on tradition, top-down command, or community cooperation. Relations of reciprocity, and/or redistribution, substituted for market exchange.[cita requerida]

The city-states of Sumer developed a trade and market economy based originally on the commodity money of the Shekel which was a certain weight measure of barley, while the Babylonians and their city state neighbors later developed the earliest system of economics using a metric of various commodities, that was fixed in a legal code.[7]

Several centuries after the invention of cuneiform, the use of writing expanded beyond debt/payment certificates and inventory lists to codified amounts of commodity money being used in contract law, such as buying property and paying legal fines[8]

Legal tender issues and commodity money[editar]

The face value of specie and base-metal coins is set by government fiat, and it is only this value which must be legally accepted as payment for debt, in the jurisdiction of the government which declares the coin to be legal tender. The value of the precious metal in the coin may give it another value, but this varies over time. The value of the metal is subject to bilateral agreement, just as is the case with pure metals or commodities which had not been monetized by any government. As an example, gold and silver coins from other non-U.S. countries are specifically exempted in U.S. law from being legal tender for the payment of debts in the United States,[9]​ so that a seller who refuses to accept them cannot be sued by the payor who offers them to settle a debt. However, nothing prevents such arrangements from being made if both parties agree on a value for the coins.

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Véase también[editar]

Referencias[editar]

  1. Heriberto., Escobar Gallo, (2006). Diccionario económico financiero (3a ed edición). Universidad Medillin. p. 156. ISBN 9589794483. OCLC 434052440. 
  2. Diccionario panhispánico del español jurídico (ed edición). Real Academia Española. 
  3. Oconnor, Ashling (16 de junio de 2007). «Coins run out as smugglers turn rupees into razors». The Times (London). Consultado el 30 de abril de 2010. 
  4. Rothbard, Murray, Commodity Money in Colonial America, LewRockwell.com
  5. «Troublesome in Europe: Black Markets». Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan). 5 de enero de 1946. Consultado el 28 de noviembre de 2012. 
  6. «Shells are believed to be 100,000-year-old jewelry - 6/23/2006 8:12:00 AM - JCK-Jewelers Circular Keystone». Archivado desde el original el 27 de enero de 2013. Consultado el 3 de enero de 2013. 
  7. Charles F. Horne, Ph.D. (1915). «The Code of Hammurabi : Introduction». Yale University. Consultado el 14 de septiembre de 2007. 
  8. Dow, Sheila C. (2005). «Axioms and Babylonian thought: a reply». Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 27 (3): 385-391. 
  9. 31 U.S.C. § 5103