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warboss48
21-10-2007, 21:56
This came to me before. What is the currency of the Imperium? Is it the same on all the planets or would each planet have their own currency? Thanks.

Iracundus
21-10-2007, 22:00
The Imperium has no single currency. It is not a modern unified nation-state. Individual planets have their own currencies. Interstellar trade and taxation takes the form of raw resources including manpower rather than currency.

Vaulkhar
21-10-2007, 22:06
There is an interplanetary currency, simply known as the 'Imperial credit'. That said, a lot of planets do indeed maintain other currencies (Eechan, for example, only permits its mutant underclass to use local, low-value 'mill bonds').

However it still remains the case that nobody has yet amassed enough Ningis to own one Pu.

Iracundus
21-10-2007, 22:09
There is no unified currency. The "credit" mentioned may just be a local regional currency.

People agian need to stop thinking of the Imperium as a modern state with modern banking.

Khyron2000
21-10-2007, 22:18
Older Publications like the first "Inquisitor" quadrology mentioned an imperial "Shekel" as widely-used currency, but this is old fluff.

BrotherAdso
21-10-2007, 22:29
Although there is no "Imperial Common Currency" which is enforced by law, I'm willing to bet there are one or two de facto universal currencies. Interstellar groups like Rogue Traders, Inquisitors, the Ecclesiarchy, Fleet Captains, and Inquisitors would need some kind of highly transferable, easily transported, and fixed-value mobile wealth.

I wonder who or what set these up and what they are? I can see a "Tredit" (trade credit) or something, and I can also see E-Notes (Ecclesiarchical Notes, exchangable for their value from any Ecclesiarchy representative, since they're more or less on every world in the Imperium.

-Adso

Tastyfish
21-10-2007, 22:36
Apparently, Rocks are not Free, Citizen and their costs are calculated in Million Imperials (since its the AdAdmin and spaceship captains who are going to be the primary users of the universal currency and are going to deal in bulk). Would seem a spell in the Blue Chair would answer most of your questions, but to avoid such a fate I would suggest that the official universal currency of the Imperium is the Imperial Universal Monetary Unit. However as precise as this may be the actual name of the coinage (and I use the term loosely, as no actual coins representing IUMUs would ever be minted - though there may be locally produced tokens that represent a number of IUMUs) varies greatly depending on the planet in question.

Thus you might find the Imp$, Imperial Shekels, Imperial Crowns, Star Guineas, Galaxy Rubels and Emus all being the local names for the universal currency.

To make things even more interesting, these currencies are likely just confined to a few nearby starsystems and the time and effort in travelling from planet to planet, as well as processing claims through the AdAdmin makes a mockery of any exchange rate (though this in itself is likely how many Chartered Captains and Navigator Houses make or at least made their money, coupled with relativistic interest). For this reason, the Imperium itself (i.e the beaurocracy of the AdAdmin and Departmento Munitorum) tends to deal with real quantities rather than assigning some monetary value to the aid required. By the time the 500MI of tanks reaches their destination, who knows how much 500MI of tanks would be at the location they left and whether it was the same at the place they were needed when the order was put in.

Kage2020
21-10-2007, 22:40
That was a trilogy known as Inquisition War, by Ian Watson. And I seem to remember that it mentioned sesterces rather than "shekels," though that could be taken as more a local currency of Staalinvast (or however you spell it).

The fans seem to be broadly split by those that want one, those that don't want it, and those that don't even think it's possible and, therefore, it's darned stupid to even suggest it. ;)

I'm one of those people that think that not only is it possible, but even likely. For me, the Imperial currency is linked to the "total worth" of the Imperium, calculated by means of the same algorithm that is used to determine the tithe. Abstract? Yes. Very. Entirely plausible? Meh, I'm not an economist, but it does make a certain amount of sense.

Does this devalue the use of local currencies? I don't think it does at all.

Kage

Vaulkhar
21-10-2007, 22:45
Ravenor Rogue refers on p.103 to an operating budget that Ravenor carries with him, simply noting that three hundred and fifty thousand crowns (the local currency) made rather a dent in it. Since he carries this with him, presumably as a mix of credit and cash, it suggests a standardised currency of some sort, not least because running large amounts of currency through an exchange is a guaranteed way to attract attention.

Secondly, in Malleus, Eisenhorn pays for a couple of drinks in a bar with standard coins and the bartender initially refuses them, saying "What's this? 'Perial coins? Come now twist, you know we ain't allowed to trade in those." Imperial coins, implying a standard imperial currency.

Thirdly, a standard Imperial currency, to which all local planetary currencies can be pegged, makes life a great deal easier both for interplanetary traders and the Administratum's taxation bods.

Kage2020
21-10-2007, 23:30
Thanks for the reference, Vaulkhar. That, and other reasons, is why I believe in an Imperial currency even if that doesn't make it a standard one.

I knew that I wasn't - quite - insane. :D

Kage

Vaulkhar
21-10-2007, 23:41
Daemon possessed, last seen taking a tumble off a vertical drop and worryingly good with a knife, yes. Insane, no :)

Sergeant Uriel Ventris
21-10-2007, 23:42
Ravenor Rogue refers on p.103 to an operating budget that Ravenor carries with him, simply noting that three hundred and fifty thousand crowns (the local currency) made rather a dent in it. Since he carries this with him, presumably as a mix of credit and cash, it suggests a standardised currency of some sort, not least because running large amounts of currency through an exchange is a guaranteed way to attract attention.

Secondly, in Malleus, Eisenhorn pays for a couple of drinks in a bar with standard coins and the bartender initially refuses them, saying "What's this? 'Perial coins? Come now twist, you know we ain't allowed to trade in those." Imperial coins, implying a standard imperial currency.

Thirdly, a standard Imperial currency, to which all local planetary currencies can be pegged, makes life a great deal easier both for interplanetary traders and the Administratum's taxation bods.

Yes, I'm glad you found it. I remember the exact part in Malleus that you're talking about. I think that people who have no reference to back up their argument rather than "because I said so" should pause before repeating it multiple times as if quantity equalled quality.

Minister
21-10-2007, 23:42
There's also the distinct possibility that "Imperial" currency would be a slightly inaccurate term for the sector or sub-sector's most common currency. The bit from Malleus also reminds me of the various situations on Earth where the local currency is all but worthless yet still the only legal tender, and other currency is used without anyone admitting openly to it.

Kage2020
22-10-2007, 00:56
Go, Minister... :D

Kage

Takitron
22-10-2007, 01:45
The currency of the Imperium of Man is Flesh and Blood. For only in duty to the God-Emperor shall we TRY to repay the debt that we owe to him!

:)

TheDarkDaff
22-10-2007, 07:21
There is also a fair mention of Guilder Credits (or Guilder's) that run from Necromunda.

Tehkonrad
22-10-2007, 07:50
clearly the money is called IMPERIAL DOLLARS!!!!!

Vaulkhar
22-10-2007, 07:50
True - and Necromundan Guilder Credits are a good example of local currency. They work on Necromunda because the planet's merchant guild guarantees them. Offworld (well, outside the Necromunda system at least), where the Guild isn't so powerful, they're going to be worth far less, if anything at all.

Gorbad Ironclaw
22-10-2007, 08:20
I'm quite sure there is some standard, centralised Imperial currency. It might not exist as actual coins on a planetary or even sector level, but interstellar trade and taxation gets a whole lot easier if you have a theoretical coinage to compare to. And it would seem much like something that the administration would like, as dealing with raw materials and millions of different currencies is adding a huge administrative burden on an already complicated system.

To me it seems like the logical thing to have, even if it might not be something the average imperial citizen would see anything about.

Iracundus
22-10-2007, 08:45
The Administratum is not about being efficient. The Taros campaign from Imperial Armor clearly gives an idea of what Imperial taxation and levying is like and there is no mention of any currency, let alone a mythical standardized Imperium wide currency. The world of Taros was taxed in its ore production, and required to deliver X amount of such and such ore on a regular basis. This was not based on any monetary value but rather the consumption rate of the forge world this ore was going to. The additional levy that the Imperium was going to impose was also based purely on the increased needs of the forge world, not on any currency or the economy of Taros. The only thing that mattered was whether there was enough physical ore that could be extracted.

Gorbad Ironclaw
22-10-2007, 09:13
Of course the Administratum is about being efficient. If they wasn't the Imperium would have broken down long ago.

That doesn't mean that they are efficient, because so much in 40k seems to involve doing things the most ineffective and difficult way possible, but if you are running a Galaxy wide administration you are going to need some efficiency else it collapses from poor infrastructure.

As for taxing Taros in ore, well, that makes perfect sense, as any standard currency would most likely be a pretty theoretical existance, and there were much more use for actual physical ore at the given forge world, than a 'bank transfer' of a theoretical amount of Imperial Credits.

However, you are going to need some sort of standards to be able to tax planets, and determine if they are falling below standards or not, and frankly, assessing each planet individually and figuring out what needs to be taxed and how much without some central guidance is going to be very, very difficult. Taros might have been told to pay in ore because it makes sense in the situation, but what do you think the forgeworld pays for the ore?

Forgeworlds are not part of the Imperium as such. They are a part of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and do not fall under the Administratums authority. So they will be paying for the ore somehow, they will not be getting it for free. They might be paying in equipment produced on the forgeworld, but the organisations involved are still going to want to know prices and costs at some level, they do not just give away things to be nice.

Iracundus
22-10-2007, 09:22
The agreement binding the Adeptus Mechanicus to the Imperium stipulates the Forgeworlds are to produce the equipment needed by the Imperial war machine in return for ore and autonomy. The forge worlds are not out to produce consumer goods or to turn a profit, like a conventional modern manufacturing company or even a modern military company.

Taxing planets indidividually based on what the produce is exactly what the Administratum does. Yes it's more tricky but once again the Imperium is not and has never been a centralized nation state. That is why Hive Worlds pay their taxes in manpower, agri worlds in crops, mining worlds in ore etc...

Sai-Lauren
22-10-2007, 09:36
There is no unified currency. The "credit" mentioned may just be a local regional currency.

People agian need to stop thinking of the Imperium as a modern state with modern banking.

Sorry, there has to be an Imperium-wide currency so that taxes can be levied and so trade can occur. The imperium is big, colossal even, but without frameworks it would just fall apart, and trade is probably the most important.

This doesn't mean that there aren't local currencies on individual planets, or even in different regions on different planets, but they will all be related back to, and have an exchange rate with, the Imperial currency unit (be it the Eagle, Credit, Groat or whatever). Some people may be able to make significant money on currency exchanges, and I would suggest the various agencies (Administratum, Local Law Enforcement/Arbites and even the Inquisition) have people monitoring such markets to look for manipulation, money laundering, funding of certain groups and similar crimes.

As Gorbad said, when a planet's taxes are levied, they will take that amount, but not necessarily in money. They may take it as raw materials (ores, coal, wood, gem stones), foodstuffs, produced goods, munitions and arms (including tanks), water or petrochemicals, livestock and even people, with their worth calculated at x ICUs per tonne/gram/cubic metre/head/person, or any combination of the above.


The bit from Malleus also reminds me of the various situations on Earth where the local currency is all but worthless yet still the only legal tender, and other currency is used without anyone admitting openly to it.
Like when the US Dollar basically became an accepted currency in the former Soviet states after the fall of Communism.

Iracundus
22-10-2007, 10:19
You don't need a centralized currency for the sort of taxation the Imperium levies on individual planet. It isn't a matter of calculating the value of each individual good per unit volume or whatever and levying a certain value. The Imperium takes material in kind based on the planet's production, as that raw material is of direct and likely immediate use for the Imperial war machine or military industrial complex. There isn't a centralized Imperial tax agency.

The Imperium doesn't say to a planet: You produce petrochemicals, so I'll tax you $100 billion every 10 years valued at $80 a barrel of crude.

The Administratum attempts to be a command economy in part. It says to the planet: Your planet produces 100 million tons of petrochemicals a year. Every ten years you better have 700 million tons in reserve for when the tithe ship arrives, regardless of what the value of your oil is at the time in your planetary economy. Oh and since your planet also has some farming industry, you will have 30 million tons of grain on hand every 5 years for tithes.

warboss48
22-10-2007, 12:59
Thanks for the answers everyone.