August 6, 2011

Mia and I were Skype-ing and suddenly we got into the topic of how money is made. It was hilarious!! We were trying to figure out how our RM 1 notes were made and who pays for the paper and who gets profit bla bla.

It was the stupidest but most interesting topic I’ve had in a long time. We laughed so much at our bimbo-ness because seriously, we were both coming up with our own theories.

Ok, so for those who don’t know, Mia was with FV for a while and then she left us for Bank Negara. We were all ecstatic for her because we all needed someone to pay for our lunches as BNM pays really well, salary AND bonus. She wasn’t sure at first (cos she loves us too much) but we were practically shooing her out the door because this is a great opportunity for her.

So Skype conversation just now (it’s long but so funny):

“Eh, so when people ask me, I say Mia now works at BNM the place where money is made. Is that right?”

“No, our money is made in Australia, I think.”


With all these talk on Belilah Buatan Malaysia, Malaysian-made goods FTW, I find out that our own Malaysian currency is made OVERSEAS?!!! I felt so conned, you have no idea.  -___-

“So how do they ship it back here? By ship? By air? What airlines do they use to ship our coins and notes back??”

“How would I know?”

“You should know!! You work in Federal Bank! How is our money made?”

“Ok…you know those tins they use to store cookies.. they melt it and make round designs on them and they become our coins.”

“Ok…so who pays to buy the tins?”

“Government, I guess…”

“How do they get their money back out of their purchase of the tins? Like say the cost of making 50 cents coin is 20 cents, so government gets 30 cents back? I’m so confused…”

BTW, Mia and I have gone so off-track here, this is NOT how money is made.We decided to just go along with our own theories.

“Yeah, that’s why 1 cent has been discontinued, cos government can’t make profit out of it.”

“Omg, you can make so much money from printing money. Let’s open a printing money shop together.”

I wasn’t satisfied so I turned to my life encyclopaedia Toots and asked her how money is made.

“Dey, government decides to print money, then they’ll pay the agency to go and do it.”

“ if you were the government you’d pay me, the agency, RM 100, and I go and buy paper and tins and stuff, and give you back 80 RM 1 notes and I keep RM 20 for myself for my cut? Something like that?”


I swear all our degrees on the wall are laughing together.

3 economic geniuses

“Ok then Mia is lying. She said government pays like 20 cents to make a 50 cent coin. So they make 30 cents when public buys.”

“Hey that makes sense too! Hmm….”

Then we both went off topic.

Toots said, “It’s mandatory for all banks to keep some reserve in BNM. These money generate interest for them.”

“Who’s them?”



“So anyway, ppl save in bank and bank will use that money to loan people…”

Going off-topic like crazy here..

“Right, so if they have extra, they buy gold and store in their big fridge. So where do they have so much more extra cash to put in BNM as reserves? And if BNM is the one that gives them the money, why would they put it back to BNM for storage?”


Toots broke the silence. “So wait, our money is worth like 1/3 of what we think it is?”

“According to Mia the fashion blogger….”

“I trust her, she works there..”

“Yeah…but I don’t think she’ll get employee of the month anytime soon…”

I conveyed this conversation to Mia.

Mia’s reply, “Oh yeahhh that makes more sense than my theory.. All I know is BNM comes up with ideas and proposes to the government.”

“So Sister Zeti and friends say make more money, so government will probably say yes and agencies bid to supply the notes and coins. Whoever wins, government will pay them and they will courier the boxes of money back to Malaysia. Then who gets to keep the money?”


Toots’ answer, “BNM la.”

“But government is the one who pays the agencies. Shouldn’t the government check it? Takkan they just pay and chuck it to BNM without anything.”

“Nolah… Ye ke? Eh….”

I feel so stupid right now. If my degree had hands, it would put its hands on its forehead.

But seriously, how often do we actually ask how money is made?! They don’t teach that in high school. When we see money, we usually just go Woohoo, Rich!!

An hour later: Toots is BBMing me extracts of financial articles on money-making. All these economic jargon that I don’t understand. Such a nerd!! Toots, I’m alright, thanks. I’ve moved on with life.