Mike the Mad Biologist

The Dollar: Never Mind OPEC…

…Jay-Z has ditched the dollar in favor of the euro:

Pay attention as you watch the catchy new music video from the mega-star rapster Jay-Z, “Blue Magic”, and see if you can’t spot the product placement. It is not a fancy car that he is endorsing – although both his rides, a Rolls- Royce and soft-top Bentley, are plenty spiffy – but rather a currency – and it is not the dollar.

Like so many in the hip-hop genre, the song is a celebration of ostentatious wealth. But capturing the attention of commentators in this clip, shot in the glimmering, neon-lit canyons of New York City, are the repeated glimpses of flickering wads of €500 notes. Jay-Z has thus performed a currency defection: the dollar is not just down, it is out. The euro is the new bling.

It is only a music video, but Jay-Z, whose influence on pop culture is immense, may, wittingly or otherwise, be bringing America to what some pundits call the “point of recognition” – the moment when the droop of the dollar against other currencies ceases to be the preoccupation only of economists and American tourists in Paris, and enters the popular zeitgeist as a new and unsettling reality.

He is not, as it happens, the only celebrity imparting the new currency wisdom. Chatter about his video comes on the heels of reports that Gisele Bundchen, the world’s richest model, is asking that payment for her numerous advertising gigs be in euros. While her manager has since denied any such stipulation exists in Bundchen’s contracts, the message is nonetheless compounded: the dollar is out of fashion.

Even the Wu-Tang Clan, another power on the rapping scene, is daring to diss the dollar. Never mind that they coined the catchphrase of conspicuous consumption, “dolla dolla bill, y’all”‘ – click on their official website and inquire about buying their new album. It is priced not in greenbacks, but in euros.

….”It’s ignorance and arrogance,” commented Clyde Prestowitz, of the Economic Strategy Institute. “The candidates, the voters, the country’s elite – they all take it for granted that the US currency is always going to be the world’s currency. It hasn’t hit them yet.”

But Jay-Z has given the dollar’s slow demise visuals and a soundtrack, while Bundchen has given it a sexy face. Now Americans, reluctant as they may be, might start to pay attention.

But Republicans are really good at economics cuz they wear Adam Smith ties. Or something.

Comments

  1. #1 John McKay
    November 19, 2007

    I just read that the Taj Mahal (the building not the blues musician) is no longer accepting dollars for tickets. Thank god all my savings are invested in canned peas and ammunition.

  2. #2 Moopheus
    November 19, 2007

    “Thank god all my savings are invested in canned peas and ammunition.”

    I think you’ll find that a can opener is easier to use and doesn’t waste as many peas.

  3. #3 llewelly
    November 19, 2007

    Next Moopheus will tell us to use bottle openers for beer. Don’t listen.

  4. #4 Troublesome Frog
    November 19, 2007

    Thank god all my savings are invested in canned peas and ammunition.

    I suppose that depends on what you’re preparing for. To paraphrase a conversation between my father and my sister when she was younger:

    Sister: “Dad, the neighbors have a bunch of food and supplies stored away for an emergency. Shouldn’t we do that too?”
    Dad: “No, honey. We have guns, and you just told me where we can get food and supplies in case of an emergency.”

    We both turned out to be perfectly normal human beings. Honest.

  5. #5 Janne
    November 19, 2007

    Thanks, Moopheus; right now about fifty Japanese commuters on the Chuuo line are wondering why that foreigner is laughing at his computer.

  6. #6 Mr. Gunn
    November 19, 2007

    Also known as “Mark to Supermodel“.

    Gee, where could we find, I don’t know, say, a billion dollars a day, to prop up the dollar?

  7. #7 Reynold Hall
    November 20, 2007

    This is going into my sig:

    Sister: “Dad, the neighbors have a bunch of food and supplies stored away for an emergency. Shouldn’t we do that too?”
    Dad: “No, honey. We have guns, and you just told me where we can get food and supplies in case of an emergency.”

  8. #8 Ding Dong
    November 20, 2007

    But Republicans are really good at economics cuz they wear Adam Smith ties. Or something.

    Funny, the only candidate I’ve heard discuss the strength of the dollar is Ron Paul, one of those evil republicans… nothing out of your little Democratic darlings, Mike.

  9. #9 KeithB
    November 20, 2007

    Another household use that guns are not good for:
    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20071112/D8SSC2I81.html

  10. #10 Mike the Mad Biologist
    November 20, 2007

    Ding Dong,

    I was referring to the seven year economic disaster that has been the Bush Administration, not the Republican candidates. Funny, how every Republican is distancing themselves from America’s top conservative politician….

  11. #11 no money here
    November 20, 2007

    The devaluation of the dollar (and likelihood that the Euro will become the world’s currency) is just one more milestone in Little Lord Pontchartrain’s legacy of destruction.

  12. #12 Troublesome Frog
    November 20, 2007

    Funny, the only candidate I’ve heard discuss the strength of the dollar is Ron Paul, one of those evil republicans… nothing out of your little Democratic darlings, Mike.

    Of course, Ron Paul’s idea of the ideal currency looks something like this, so I wouldn’t be running to him for reform on the dollar just yet.

  13. #13 NoAstronomer
    November 21, 2007

    I think you’ll find that a can opener is easier to use and doesn’t waste as many peas.

    LOL. But not as much fun ! ;)

  14. #14 ????
    April 30, 2008
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    March 26, 2009

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    March 27, 2009

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