The head of a fool on the neck of an ass
October 20, 2017 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Fascinating stuff, thanks! Yet another instance of the lingering influence of "pieces of eight" is that it's still common practice today for corporate and government bonds to be priced in increments of 1/8 of a percent--for example, a bond might pay a nominal interest rate of 4.375%.
posted by Pfardentrott at 1:37 PM on October 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you enjoyed this story (and you should), you will almost certainly wish to learn about the similarly cosmoplitan Maria Theresa thaler
posted by BWA at 1:40 PM on October 20, 2017

Shave and a hair cut...
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:32 PM on October 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Romance of the Spanish milled dollar(s) is one of my favorite USA origin stories just because the debate in the first congress over which foreign country (Holland, France, Spain, or GB) would get its business is sooo venal. (Shorter: search for arbitrage plays in debased gold, silver, or copper specie. Very Pirates of the Caribbean.) I found it kinda by accident several years ago. Magnify your browser.

"The financier" of the Treasury lectures at length, pp. 91 - 100. Mr Morris, of course, offers his shipping & handling services, pp. 101-103. Mr Jefferson gets curt with Mr Hamilton, p. 105 -107.
posted by marycatherine at 5:03 PM on October 20, 2017

Oh man, the piasse/peso thing is so interesting because I had been somewhat familiar with the story of the Spanish Dollar before this, and I had totally thought that both of these words had their origins in the word "piece" as in "piece of eight."

But no, peso comes from the Latin word "pensum," meaning something weighed and the quebecois piasse comes directly from peso.
posted by 256 at 6:01 PM on October 20, 2017

Previous FPP on Moneyness.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:15 PM on October 20, 2017

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