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The Friday question: money

One of the restaurants where I sometimes eat lunch contacted me to say that they had made a mistake and billed my credit card €2260 instead of €22.60 last time I was there with a friend. Apparently they couldn't just reverse it but wanted to refund me in cash. So I dropped in today, picked up the €2k and change, and walked it straight over to my bank, fortunately just around the corner.

I got to thinking, though, about handling large amounts of cash. I once had to bank £7000 in takings from a shop I was managing, which is certainly the most British currency I've ever handled. But in the wild days of my time in Bosnia, I routinely did the Sarajevo-Banja Luka run with more than that in Deutschmarks, probably going up to DM 50,000 occasionally, though I don't remember exactly.

These days, so much is done electronically that it is rare for me to have even a hundred euro on me in cash (muggers please note).

So, what's the most worryingly vast amount of cash you have ever handled?


( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
To be honest, walking through Philadelphia with a $100 bill in my pocket felt quite alarming; I don't think I've walked around with more money than that. If I've needed to deal in larger sums it's always been by cheque or bank transfer.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
Hmm, to my mentality, I regularly walk around with at least twice that in my wallet. I figure I need enough to get by during an earthquake-disrupted e-banking scenario for the duration, and/or have enough to get to the airport by overpriced taxi at a moment's notice.
(no subject) - marnanel - Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - applez - Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
In my younger days I blithely walked around London with £10K or so in my rucksack, day-in day-out. I worked as a courier for a travel firm that dealt with a) first class flights b) visas and c) other random travel things that cost large fees, for (mostly Arab) clients who liked to pay in cash. I clearly didn't look like someone who might be worth mugging, because I never was...
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
I've written a cheque for £210,000 (about US $400,000 at the current exchange rate)[*], but never really held more than £3500 in actual cash. Hmm.

[*] Yes, I was buying a house, and recently at that ...
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
When I would have to open the bookstore in the mornings, I would frequently have to take the deposit of the day before to the bank. Usually it was just $4,000 or so, but I did have a few that were topping $10k. Granted this was in my car and across town. Which just made me wary of having an accident.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
The closer would leave $10k in the shop overnight unattended? That sounds kind of risky (not that I know anything about the bookstore's arrangements).
(no subject) - bibliophile1887 - Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
Well, I used to handle store deposits and later I did a stint as a bank teller. I can't think of what the largest amount I've ever handled was, but it was definitely a fair amount.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
Working in a bank in my youth I routinely pushed around large amounts of cash; tens of thousands of pounds. The big dosh though was when I was at Stock Exchange branch where on settlement day we sometimes handled cheques for hundreds of millions.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
I think I once walked across part of Dublin carrying about £20,000, and have occasionally handled cheques of several millions of pounds, all many years ago, when I worked for a bank.

Someone did once ask me if it would be possible to even physically pick up a million pounds, which of course it would be, quite easily*. Bank notes come from the mint in bundles of a thousand, so for instance a bundle of fifty pound notes would be £50,000, so you'd only have to carry twenty of those, and only ten bundles of tenners.

I just thought I'd mention that!

(Leaving aside the one million pound notes the Bank of England issues, of course...)
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
I thought you were joking, but


says that there are million AND HUNDRED MILLION pound notes. Holy crap.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
Am I the only one who thinks you laundered money for them, because hello, I can think of whole bunch of ways they didn't have to give you cash for an erroneous charge.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
Not the only one
(no subject) - frumiousb - Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - secritcrush - Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frumiousb - Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nwhyte - Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - secritcrush - Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)
I was one of five signatories (any two valid on a cheque) on a bank account which contained £20,000,000 once, when I was an employee trustee director of my employers' Employee Share Ownership Trust. The largest amount of cash I've ever carried is about £2,000.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough it was 1.5K GBP which was everything I had to live on in Brussels for 3 months - I took this amount over annually when I was a research student. It came over with me as cash on a cross-channel ferry or plane, and got walked into the Galerie Ravenstein branch of Bank Generale where I had my account as soon as it opened the next day.

Oddly enough the account had been opened for me by HSBC as Bank Generale were their Belgian partners. The Galerie Ravenstein branch was their selection, and is by no means a 'normal' branch.

I would walk in (usually with a filthy backpack full of all my worldly goods) and announce to the bemused security guard that I had an account there and wished to make a deposit. I would be whisked away to a room downstairs, where a flunky would set out coffee and chocolates whilst I would await the arrival of a personal banker. The game was to eat as many of the chocolates as possible before the banker arrived, for they and the coffee would be instantly removed as soon as he had looked in the paper file and seen what my balance usually was (~1000 BF) and I was not an eccentric multi-millionaire. Then I would make my deposit, collect a fresh 'Mr Cash' card from him (for I was not allowed a cheque book) and say my goodbyes for the year.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
Exact amount escapes me
But the greatest denominational volume of cash I've ever handled was two medium-sized krinkly carrier/shopping bags full of kyats, while antique-woodwork & textile shopping in Rangoon. I felt so black-marketeer, until I reminded myself how worthless the currency was. ;-p


Actually, come to think of it. The greatest volumetric transactable currency I ever handled was when I helped my dad load up our Volvo stationwagon with cigarette cartons and Johnny Walker bottles for Communist-era transactions.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
Probably about £1000 after freshers fair at the uni. The perils of being a treasurer.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
About £5000 when I was a student in Coventry: a full day's takings for the film society during freshers' fair.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
Wow! Your film soc must have been huge.
(no subject) - nmg - Feb. 23rd, 2008 09:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - arwel_p - Feb. 22nd, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nmg - Feb. 23rd, 2008 09:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - arwel_p - Feb. 23rd, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
£26m in Northern Bank notes, but I was just holding them in the wheely bin for a friend.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
I escorted bugshaw to a bank in Glasgow once to deposit around £6k in Fan Fund takings after the 2005 Worldcon. It was definitely a relief to hand it over!
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( 48 comments — Leave a comment )

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