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Naming Money

When there’s trouble, bust-out nations and their central banks go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to pick up some walking around money. Like a super-national quick-cash store, the IMF is the world’s lender of last resort. When the IMF issues a loan it isn’t denominated in dollars, euros or yen, but in Special Drawing Rights, aka SDRs, the fiat currency issued by the IMF. Economists say that the IMF has the cleanest balance sheet of all the world’s central banks. Meanwhile, the IMF is known to have a longstanding desire to become the source of the world’s monetary supply, under a single, one-world currency. With the major central banks in the US, the EU and Asia going broke, maybe now is time for the IMF to make its move. If that happens the SDR would become the new global currency.

Politics and economics aside, does an “SDR” sound like money to you? Maybe I’m too superficial, but frankly, I don’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling from the term “SDR”. If it’s going to be the new money, can’t the world come up with a better name for it? As a good global citizen, I offer some suggestions to name our new cash.

First, the Global. Not too imaginative, but it creates a mental image that would dovetail nicely with the IMF’s branding efforts. Clear. Concise. It has a nice, round sound to it. But it’s bland.

How about the Gaia? Working from a similar theme, but with more sophistication and international flair. The Gaiasounds warm and lush, at least to me, as a northern-hemispherer. Maybe to a Saharan it sounds hot and dry, I don’t know. It will need to be tested marketed. But the environmentalists should love it. Unless they take exception to having "filthy lucre" named after their Mama.

Speaking of mama, how about the Mother Earth? Admittedly, this is an Anglicization of Gaia, which may be undesirable. Empire building has that effect on people. The Mother Earth does connote nurturing and care, with a planetary ring to it, which is good for the big picture. But it may prove too unwieldy for day-to-day use.

Then how about this -- the Bling? How often do you get to create a one-world currency? Why not make it fun? Besides, Hollywood glitz and glamor is popular worldwide. Everybody wants to be a star. Why not work with that? Give it some street, yo! You feelin’ me?

But how would it sound in use? For example, “that Rolex costs five thousand Bling.” Or this, “the US economy posted a one-point-two-billion Bling deficit last quarter.” I don’t know, kind of works, kind of doesn’t. Better keep going.

The Kumbayah. Isn’t this global peace-in-our-time, buy-the-world-a-Coke thing all about getting along? Then this name’s a winner. How could I get ticked off at someone over a few hundred Kumbayah? The spelling is a little tricky, but it has a friendly sound to it. For ease in trade it could be shortened to the Yah. “Yah” has a positive ring to it too. Let’s try it, “the Big Mac is three Yah.” Sounds agreeable, yes?

The Shizzle. This one is fun to say. It even sounds funny. There’s a “shh” sound and a “zzz”. It’s easy to shorten, “that shirt is on sale for fifteen Shizz.” What’s not to like? May sound slightly Yiddish, which could be an issue in some quarters, but all and all, a good solid choice.

How about the Illumibuck? This name will appeal to the skeptics, who look for the story inside the story, or the man behind the curtain. Could the whole one-world thing be nefarious? Maybe so. But give credit, or debt, as the case maybe, where it’s due. If there are puppeteers leading us along, throw them a bone. Put a name on it!

Maybe all this naming stuff is over the top, too complicated, too many syllables. Instead, I offer a last, simple, straight-forward name, the MF, short for Monetary Fund. Easy to remember, easy to spell. What’s the big deal? Loss of state sovereignty, democratic control, regional accountability. Why all the fuss? It’s just currency, right?

Best of all, with a name like the MF, people can dress it up with nicknames on their own. Names that encapsulate their feelings for the new currency and the people responsible for bringing it about.

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