Michael E. Marotta writes:
"… what to leave in; what to leave out…" – Bob Seeger
Joseph Boling's views on the Krause Paper Money CD, (E-Sylum Volume 12, Number 39, September 27, 2009) raise basic questions about what "money" is.
An easy focus on nation-states is myopic. The Krause catalogs list the paper money of the Bank of England, the Bank of Greece, and the Federal Reserve Banks of the USA. Those are all private institutions. Back in 2000, when the Royal Canadian Mint introduced the two-dollar "twonie" coin, some banks wanted to buy them with one-dollar "loonies." The RCM refused. Only the notes of the Banque du Canada are legal tender. Coins are a convenience. In Greece, before the Euro, the situation was reversed: as issues of the government, coins were legal tender while the notes of the Bank of Greece were a convenience.
Consider that some Hong Kong banks, several Scottish banks, as well as the East Caribbean, East African and Central African currency unions are little more than checking accounts. Their reserves are in the currency of another agency, just as you back your checking account with Federal Reserve Notes.
Having worked on the Traverse City "Bay Bucks" project (www.baybucks.org), I am fully aware of the fact that not every issuer of money can be catalogued. On the other hand, by volume and continuity, Disney Dollars eclipse the money of many small nations. A numismatic cataloguer makes choices, as does every author and editor. I suggest that by the end of this century, numismatic catalogues will consider history, volume and collectability in preference to political (versus commercial) status.