Neptunes Brood (Freyaverse Book 2)

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  1. Crib Sheet: Neptune's Brood - Charlie's Diary
  2. Freyaverse: Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross – Book Review [Bane of Kings]
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Showing best matches Show all copies. What makes Biblio different? Facebook Instagram Twitter. Sign In Register Help Basket. Basket items. Toggle navigation. Neptune's Brood By Charles, Stross-. Krina Alizond is metahuman, descended from the robots that once served humanity. But her trip is interrupted when pirates capture her ship. Log-in or create an account first! Neptune's Brood Charles Stross Ships with Tracking Number! Buy with confidence, excellent customer service! May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Thank you for supporting our small, family-owned business!

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Crib Sheet: Neptune's Brood - Charlie's Diary

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Not price clipped. Demand-driven money creation, we could call it. There are also institutions that enforce potentially violently almost all agreements you Narnians make among yourselves when those agreements mention points. So: the sovereign exercises its monopoly on the legitimate use of force within a territory to nudge you into acting as if those make-believe points were real. So it makes some sense that you Narnians may be prepared to give up tangible things Turkish Delight chocolates, for instance in order to earn Narnia points, even if they are just arbitrarily made up.

Why would they do that, when they can see plainly that you just made them up? They have their own made up points, thank you very much. Englanders: don't you think accepting Narnia points in exchange for real things could be a bit of a slippery slope? So what if Narnia decided to make up enough points to own everything in England? The delicate balance is to make them servile without making them sulk. If you Englanders tactlessly spend your points on enough prime real estate -- buying up Cair Paravel and Deathwater Isle and Harfang and so on -- then Narnia may flex its muscles and say, "Now hang on.

Book Review - Neptune's Brood

But when you try to respond by gradually purchasing a big chunk of us, well! That starts to infringe on reasons of state, on sovereignty.

Freyaverse: Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross – Book Review [Bane of Kings]

And for slow points matters, we have Aslan on speedial. We're the ones with the military bases, after all. Basic mainstream economics of international trade tells us that trade imbalances are self-correcting , because exchange rates adjust so that over time if you're exporting more than you're importing, your currency appreciates, makes your exports less competitive, and gives your importers more purchasing power. But there are a lot of factors involved, and this self-correction might not happen.

It might not happen, for instance, if an institution in England decides it's going to mop up all those Narnia points that are washing around, for instance by using them to purchase Treasury bills from Aslan. More fundamentally, though, I find it difficult to know how to assess whether there really is any self-correcting mechanism that ensures that the tangible stuff that Narnia and England do for each other tend to equalize over time.

I think it's pretty easy to imagine scenarios in which the balance of trade self-corrects, but you can tell at a glance that there's still horrific inequality in what each country does for the other. You know: England exports millions of units of clothing, textiles, footwear, furniture, plastic products, ceramics, electrical gizmos, and to balance it out, Narnia exports one unit of "inspection of military bases by Aslan" of equal value.

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Well, I think that is an important mystery about money in the international system, and Stross is bringing it out in a quasi-allegorical way by emphasizing the vast gulf between star systems. It's a way of reminding us how weird it is that money even works at all across the boundaries of Westphalian sovereign states. I'm not sure I'm competent to reconstruct the finance and economics around Stross's slow money. Maybe one day I will be! Here's a stab at it anyway. Comments appreciated, of course. What we're grouping together as "fast money" might actually be various currencies, shortlived from the perspective of ponderous old slow money.

A powerful state charters a special new bank, which raises capital by selling perpetual bonds in the bank itself. These are bonds that never mature, so actually in a lot of ways they're like stock. Subscribers may take some heavy-handed persuasion to buy them, because although the perpetual bond itself is denominated in ordinary fast money so you get fast money if you sell it on the market , it pays its coupons in slow money, which is an entirely new unit of account. Nobody knows what it is, and nobody trusts it.

Never mind, perhaps that aspect of it doesn't need to last. The main difference between a perpetual bond and a stock is that, unlike dividend payments, the bond's coupon payments won't be discretionary. Every bondholder knows exactly what their future stream of slow money payments will be. Perhaps this is even hard-coded into the technology, a bit like Bitcoin growth. The bank doesn't need discretionary powers over the slow money it pays out, though because it's never going to run out of slow money.

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It's the source of the stuff, the wellspring, uniquely permitted to print slow money. So that's where slow money comes from. Slow money is only redeemable for anything at all by the chivvying of the government. The government creates tax and other incentives for certain kinds of producers -- starship builders and their suppliers and their suppliers -- to do some of their business in slow money. If you're doing anything remotely connected to interstellar colonisation, you suddenly find you can do a hell of a lot better if you start invoicing in a mixture of slow and fast money, using the slow money to pay suppliers and fast money to pay employees.

These are of course probably the same firms the government strong-armed when they raised the capital for the bank or at least institutional investors who are associated with them.

You can barely call it circulation. It oozes. Firms have to get used to a new way of doing business, where a significant proportion of their balance sheets is unconfirmed, beyond standard audit techniques. The whole thing is probably a logistics and an accounting nightmare. But this government is strong and durable and pretty bent on driving these reforms through, and eventually you do get a new sphere of exchange and a new a banking infrastructure established. At that point, perhaps things can change. Perhaps the charter can be relaxed, and instead of a single creator of slow money a slow money central bank you can have many banks that issue those special perpetual bonds -- a self-regulating trans-epoch industry?

Anyway, assume that things are liberalised a little, perhaps by default as the particular government or civilisation that set the system in motion collapses, while the system itself survives.

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The notion that slow money is actually "slow" is problematic, because after all, what is to stop me from issuing IOUs denominated in slow money and circumvent the whole get-a-third-party-in-a-nearby-star-system-to-verify-it business? The notion that slow money is "backed" by anything is also problematic, insofar as any legal regime or institution that could implement its redeemability must be more fragile and shortlived than slow money itself.

You could say the slow money banks are the exception, but we have to assume that their own fortunes rise and fall: at any given moment we can't rely on them to have any real power or assets other than slow money itself.