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Economics: An A-Z Guide by Matthew Bishop

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H

Hard currency

MONEY you can TRUST. A hard currency is expected to retain its value, or even benefit from APPRECIATION, against softer currencies. This makes it a popular choice for people involved in international transactions. The dollar, D-mark, sterling and the Swiss franc each became a hard currency, if only some of the time, during the 20th century.

Hawala

An ancient system of moving MONEY based on TRUST. It predates western BANK practices. Although it is now more associated with the Middle East, a version of hawala existed in China in the second half of the Tang dynasty (618–907), known as fei qian, or flying money. In hawala, no money moves physically between locations; nowadays it is transferred by means of a telephone ...

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