This weekend, I participated in Confluence – an exhibition where art and words combine. It’s not a connection easily made. In that exhibition, there was one painting of a dolphin made with an array of dots. When seen from a distance it almost seemed printed. Yet, each individual dot, in the right place, is what made the picture of the dolphin so beautiful. It got me thinking about how we have become so accustomed to looking at everything from afar, that the dots and systems that make sure things look the way they do – are forgotten. So, this month’s article is all about connecting those very dots. And what is the connector? Money.
Money is the lifeblood of any organization. You need money to flow to be able to sustain your business. When there is a shortfall, you need to be able to request outside sources for an additional amount. Every business transaction , is related to money and involves the movement of money. Fintech and blockchain are entirely new systems in the way people interact with money. Entrepreneurs are finding ways to make and recover payments as smooth and convenient as possible – with the main aim of minimising the risk elements between the process of delivery of goods and services and receipt of payments of the same.
One would think then, that the more money there is in the system, the better it will be. Sort of like the Keynesian theory of “dig trenches and fill them up” as a solution for unemployment. Only, now it would be “print money and solve problems”. However, why don’t governments do that? Because money, is a commodity. Not just that, it is a common commodity used to determine the relative value of every other product and service. If, there is too much of money, the paper value of everything goes up to an extreme point where money is left as “paper value”. That, in very simple terms – is inflation.
A healthy body needs a balance, as does a healthy economic system. You need money or liquidity, that is enough to keep things moving. If it falls short, systems stop working. If it’s too high, systems stop to have meaning. Scarcity, at some end, is a requirement. Similarly, for businesses, problems are a requirement and they create a balance and a goal. If there are no problems to solve, why do businesses even exist?
So, the next time that you feel economic problems can be solved by printing money, or that your business would be so peaceful if no problems existed, stop and think. Money seems like it can make everything easier – and it can. But, money by itself, has no meaning. Its meaning is derived from a system. And you, as well as your business, are a part of that larger system. To access that system, you need to match the criteria laid out to create scarcity. Without scarcity, we would not need money to equalise value. Money can be magical. You just have to know, and recall, how its magic really works.
This article was originally published in Bahrain This Months November 2022 issue.